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# Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively

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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively  [#permalink]

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17 May 2018, 05:44
pikolo2510 wrote:
I really didn't get how option E is correct. According to previous posts, there 3 things parallel in Option E

X = erosion
Y = prehistoric glacier movement
Z = ancient

As X and Y are nouns, Z also has to be a noun to be parallel

But here "ancient" is used an adjective. How can this be parallel? I'm really confused with the parallelism here.

Hey pikolo2510 ,

Z in your parallel structure is "ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface" rather than just ancient. Ancient is an adjective modifying the riverbeds.

Hence, E is correct.

Does that make sense?
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively  [#permalink]

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17 May 2018, 06:17
abhimahna wrote:
pikolo2510 wrote:
I really didn't get how option E is correct. According to previous posts, there 3 things parallel in Option E

X = erosion
Y = prehistoric glacier movement
Z = ancient

As X and Y are nouns, Z also has to be a noun to be parallel

But here "ancient" is used an adjective. How can this be parallel? I'm really confused with the parallelism here.

Hey pikolo2510 ,

Z in your parallel structure is "ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds" rather than just ancient. Ancient is an adjective modifying the riverbeds.

Hence, E is correct.

Does that make sense?

Hey abhimahna,

1. If thats the case, why do we have a comma between "ancient" and "gold bearing-riverbeds" . It is confusing to find the parallel structure with the comma.

2. Also, the part after "gold bearing riverbeds" - what is it describing? "Gold bearing riverbeds" OR all the three parallel parts? The comma again confuses what is being modified
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively  [#permalink]

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17 May 2018, 06:48
2
1
1
pikolo2510 wrote:
Hey abhimahna,

1. If thats the case, why do we have a comma between "ancient" and "gold bearing-riverbeds" . It is confusing to find the parallel structure with the comma.

2. Also, the part after "gold bearing riverbeds" - what is it describing? "Gold bearing riverbeds" OR all the three parallel parts? The comma again confuses what is being modified

Hey pikolo2510 ,

I read the sentence again and here is what I found.

We are saying some task is easy because Clause.

Here Clause is "since erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach of..."

Now, Look at the Subject and Verb in the clause.

Our Subject is "erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity"

Verb is "put".

Now, if I look at the subject, we have a conjunction "and" and the construction X, Y and Z.

X: erosion
Y: prehistoric glacier movement
Z: ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity

All the blue highlighted are actually the point of comparisons and other information is just the modifier.

Now, please note that whenever you are adding too many adjectives to a noun, it is okay to have a comma between those objectives.

So, Our very first adjective is "gold-bearing" and the 2nd adjective is "ancient". Both of these adjectives are referring to the riverbeds thrust.

If you don't put a comma between the two, the adjective "ancient" will act as an adjective of "gold-bearing". So, basically it will act as an adjective of an adjective. But this is not the intended meaning of the sentence. We are not saying Gold bearing was ancient. Rather, we are saying the thrust was ancient. Hence, a comma is very much required here.

Does that make sense?
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively  [#permalink]

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17 May 2018, 22:37
abhimahna wrote:
pikolo2510 wrote:
Hey abhimahna,

1. If thats the case, why do we have a comma between "ancient" and "gold bearing-riverbeds" . It is confusing to find the parallel structure with the comma.

2. Also, the part after "gold bearing riverbeds" - what is it describing? "Gold bearing riverbeds" OR all the three parallel parts? The comma again confuses what is being modified

Hey pikolo2510 ,

I read the sentence again and here is what I found.

We are saying some task is easy because Clause.

Here Clause is "since erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach of..."

Now, Look at the Subject and Verb in the clause.

Our Subject is "erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity"

Verb is "put".

Now, if I look at the subject, we have a conjunction "and" and the construction X, Y and Z.

X: erosion
Y: prehistoric glacier movement
Z: ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity

All the blue highlighted are actually the point of comparisons and other information is just the modifier.

Now, please note that whenever you are adding too many adjectives to a noun, it is okay to have a comma between those objectives.

So, Our very first adjective is "gold-bearing" and the 2nd adjective is "ancient". Both of these adjectives are referring to the riverbeds thrust.

If you don't put a comma between the two, the adjective "ancient" will act as an adjective of "gold-bearing". So, basically it will act as an adjective of an adjective. But this is not the intended meaning of the sentence. We are not saying Gold bearing was ancient. Rather, we are saying the thrust was ancient. Hence, a comma is very much required here.

Does that make sense?

I understood now

Thanks abhimahna for the detailed explanation. Much appreciated
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively  [#permalink]

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18 May 2018, 10:01
1
1
pikolo2510 wrote:
Hi GMATNinja, GMATNinjaTwo

I really didn't get how option E is correct. According to previous posts, there 3 things parallel in Option E

X = erosion
Y = prehistoric glacier movement
Z = ancient

As X and Y are nouns, Z also has to be a noun to be parallel

But here "ancient" is used an adjective. How can this be parallel? I'm really confused with the parallelism here.

Be careful not to be TOO rigid in your analysis of the parallelism. Consider these two silly sentences:

• For breakfast, I ate eggs and ham. --> fine, since "eggs" and "ham" are two tasty, parallel nouns
• For breakfast, I ate eggs and green ham. --> technically, we have "I ate noun and adjective noun", but there's really no problem here: these are two foods (nouns), and we just happened to describe one of them in more detail with an adjective ("green ham")

So look a little bit more closely at Z: it doesn't just say "ancient", it says "ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds." As the ever-wise abhimahna pointed out, "ancient" and "gold-bearing" are just modifiers (specifically adjectives), and the essence is still that we have a noun: "riverbeds." So we're all good on the parallelism.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively  [#permalink]

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18 May 2018, 11:20
GMATNinja wrote:
pikolo2510 wrote:
Hi GMATNinja, GMATNinjaTwo

I really didn't get how option E is correct. According to previous posts, there 3 things parallel in Option E

X = erosion
Y = prehistoric glacier movement
Z = ancient

As X and Y are nouns, Z also has to be a noun to be parallel

But here "ancient" is used an adjective. How can this be parallel? I'm really confused with the parallelism here.

Be careful not to be TOO rigid in your analysis of the parallelism. Consider these two silly sentences:

• For breakfast, I ate eggs and ham. --> fine, since "eggs" and "ham" are two tasty, parallel nouns
• For breakfast, I ate eggs and green ham. --> technically, we have "I ate noun and adjective noun", but there's really no problem here: these are two foods (nouns), and we just happened to describe one of them in more detail with an adjective ("green ham")

So look a little bit more closely at Z: it doesn't just say "ancient", it says "ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds." As the ever-wise abhimahna pointed out, "ancient" and "gold-bearing" are just modifiers (specifically adjectives), and the essence is still that we have a noun: "riverbeds." So we're all good on the parallelism.

I hope this helps!

Thank you for the explanation GMATNinja
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21 Jul 2018, 00:52
Can anyone explain the role of thrust and put in the correct answer choice?
Which one is the main verb between the two ?
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25 Jul 2018, 20:46
Setback wrote:
Can anyone explain the role of thrust and put in the correct answer choice?
Which one is the main verb between the two ?

What makes this distinction tricky is that “thrust” can function as both a verb and a modifier. Take some silly examples: “Knowing she didn’t have much time to dispose of the evidence, Amy thrust her shovel into the ground with great force and efficiency.” Here “thrust” is a verb – it’s the action Amy is performing.

But “thrust” can also be used as a modifier. “The shovel thrust into the ground broke when it collided with the surprisingly shallow coffin.” Now “thrust” is a modifier describing the shovel. Which shovel? The one thrust into the ground. It’s the presence of the verb “broke” that helps clue us in to the fact that “thrust” plays a different role here.

The OA for this question is more like the second of the two above examples.

Quote:
Erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach of

“Thrust” is a modifier describing the riverbeds. Which “riverbeds?” The ones thrust to the surface by volcanic activity.

“Put” is the main verb of the sentence, the action performed by erosion, glacier movement, and those aforementioned riverbeds.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively  [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2018, 07:13
(A) because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach for

(B) because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of

(C) owing to erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that had thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of

(D) since erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, putting gold literally within reach for

(E) since erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach of
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16 Dec 2018, 03:32
Question
Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively easy task, because of erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds thrust to the surface by volcanic activity put gold literally within reach for anybody with a pan or shovel.

Incorrect Option
owing to erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity that had thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of

Suggestion sorted
if the incorrect option is tweaked slightly to make the following sentence:
Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively easy task owing to erosion, prehistoric glacier movement, and volcanic activity, which thrust ancient, gold-bearing riverbeds to the surface, and putting gold literally within reach of anybody with a pan or shovel.

Would this be correct? IF yes, does it seem redundant?

I am confused as to what would be implications if the comma after "task" is removed in the sentence.

Further, as to how would be the incorrect option be added herein ? want to understand how does "owing to..." would fit here.
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07 Mar 2019, 17:46
The first part of the sentence is the main clause, there should not be a comma to separate it from the dependent clause. Why a comma before "since?"

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03 Apr 2019, 13:08
1
stonepam wrote:
The first part of the sentence is the main clause, there should not be a comma to separate it from the dependent clause. Why a comma before "since?"

daagh, GMATNinja, parker

Excellent question! If you're a usage guide nerd, you may at some point have come across the "rule" that if you begin a sentence with an independent clause and follow it with a dependent clause, you don't use a comma. For example, "Dave likes to watch Frozen with his children because he prefers the sound of his children singing to the sound of his children screaming." (But not by much.) There's no need for a comma before "because" here, as it's introducing a dependent clause that provides information about the main one.

However, this is less a rule than a convention, and it's a good reminder that we don't want to be too rigid about applying "rules" in Sentence Correction, particularly when it comes to comma usage, which is ultimately left to the discretion of the writer.

In some cases, a comma, though not technically required, can help clarify the meaning of the sentence. Consider (E) without the comma: "Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively easy task since erosion..." The confusion comes from the fact that "since" can be used two ways. It can mean 1) "because" or 2) "from the time when."

Without the comma, the sentence seems to communicate that prospecting for gold was easy since the time of erosion, as opposed to the intended meaning, which is that prospecting was easy because of erosion. The comma makes this distinction clearer.

In other words, there's no definitive grammar rule here - it all comes down to meaning and clarity. And for whatever it's worth, the GMAT doesn't generally waste its time testing comma usage. A little bit more on that issue can be found in this video on GMAT punctuation.

I hope that helps!
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03 Apr 2019, 13:22
Brilliant explanation from GMATNinja. Thank you
Re: Prospecting for gold during the California gold rush was a relatively   [#permalink] 03 Apr 2019, 13:22

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