It is currently 17 Nov 2017, 10:51

### GMAT Club Daily Prep

#### Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

# Events & Promotions

###### Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

# quot;When my sister is sad, my friend is upset and confused,

 new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics
Author Message
TAGS:

### Hide Tags

Intern
Joined: 17 Oct 2012
Posts: 19

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 1

quot;When my sister is sad, my friend is upset and confused, [#permalink]

### Show Tags

22 Jan 2013, 14:25
00:00

Difficulty:

(N/A)

Question Stats:

0% (00:00) correct 0% (00:00) wrong based on 2 sessions

### HideShow timer Statistics

"When my sister is sad, my friend is upset and confused, or my thoughts are derailed by questioning and opposition from within themselves, things really become real"

Is there a parallelism error in the sentence in the underlined part ?

Source article: http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/01/a-perforating-doubt

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 1

Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4488

Kudos [?]: 8730 [1], given: 105

Re: error in sentence [#permalink]

### Show Tags

22 Jan 2013, 15:22
1
KUDOS
Expert's post
piealpha wrote:
"When my sister is sad, my friend is upset and confused, or my thoughts are derailed by questioning and opposition from within themselves, things really become real"
Thanks Mike for nice explanation. However, I am confused as the verb "derailed" uses participle "questioning" in conjunction with noun " opposition". Is it not strange, even if it is correct usage? Should a verb not followed by parallel participles ?

Dear piealpha,
This is a really tricky point. The -ing form of a verb can play three different roles
(a) participle modifying a noun (analogous to an adjective)
(b) participle as part of the progressive tense construction (functions as a verb)
(c) a gerund, which plays a noun-role in a sentence.
See this post for more on this distinction:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/the-ing-form-of-a-verb/

Here, the word "questioning" is the object of the prepositional phrase "by", so it must be a gerund, not a participle. While it is non-standard ---- I have never seen it in official GMAT material ---- technically it is not grammatically incorrect for a gerund to be in parallel with a noun. It's not right enough to appear on the GMAT, but not entirely wrong either.

"... derailed by P and Q ...." That would make perfect sense if P & Q were both nouns or both gerunds --- either of those could appear on the GMAT. If one is a noun and one is a gerund --- well, that's somewhat non-standard, but not fully wrong, good enough to pass in somewhat informal conversation or writing, but not up to snuff for the GMAT SC.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Kudos [?]: 8730 [1], given: 105

Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4488

Kudos [?]: 8730 [0], given: 105

Re: error in sentence [#permalink]

### Show Tags

22 Jan 2013, 14:43
piealpha wrote:
"When my sister is sad, my friend is upset and confused, or my thoughts are derailed by questioning and opposition from within themselves, things really become real"
Is there a parallelism error in the sentence in the underlined part ?
Source article: http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/01/a-perforating-doubt

Dear piealpha,
This is a difficult sentence, but I see no parallelism error. Here's how I parse the sentence

When
(1) my sister is sad,
(2) my friend is upset and confused,
or
(3) my thoughts are derailed by questioning and opposition from within themselves,
things really become real.

The main parallelism in the sentence consists of the three clauses in parallel, all following the word "when". The only independent clause in the sentence is the green part at the end.

To rephrase what the author has written somewhat less eloquently, we could say:
When my sister is sad, or when my friend is upset and confused, or when my thoughts are derailed by questioning and opposition from within themselves, things really become real.

There is also parallelism with the prepositional phrase beginning with "by" --- "by questioning and opposition from within themselves" ---- admittedly, a strange existential statement that probably only a Harvard student could write, but grammatically, this is 100% correct, no flaw in parallelism at all.

I guess my question for you is --- why do you believe there is a parallelism flaw?

Mike
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Kudos [?]: 8730 [0], given: 105

Intern
Joined: 17 Oct 2012
Posts: 19

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 1

Re: error in sentence [#permalink]

### Show Tags

22 Jan 2013, 15:03
mikemcgarry wrote:
piealpha wrote:
"When my sister is sad, my friend is upset and confused, or my thoughts are derailed by questioning and opposition from within themselves, things really become real"
Is there a parallelism error in the sentence in the underlined part ?
Source article: http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/01/a-perforating-doubt

Dear piealpha,
This is a difficult sentence, but I see no parallelism error. Here's how I parse the sentence

When
(1) my sister is sad,
(2) my friend is upset and confused,
or
(3) my thoughts are derailed by questioning and opposition from within themselves,
things really become real.

The main parallelism in the sentence consists of the three clauses in parallel, all following the word "when". The only independent clause in the sentence is the green part at the end.

To rephrase what the author has written somewhat less eloquently, we could say:
When my sister is sad, or when my friend is upset and confused, or when my thoughts are derailed by questioning and opposition from within themselves, things really become real.

There is also parallelism with the prepositional phrase beginning with "by" --- "by questioning and opposition from within themselves" ---- admittedly, a strange existential statement that probably only a Harvard student could write, but grammatically, this is 100% correct, no flaw in parallelism at all.

I guess my question for you is --- why do you believe there is a parallelism flaw?

Mike

Thanks Mike for nice explanation. However, I am confused as the verb "derailed" uses participle "questioning" in conjunction with noun " opposition". Is it not strange, even if it is correct usage? Should a verb not followed by parallel participles ?

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 1

Intern
Joined: 17 Oct 2012
Posts: 19

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 1

Re: error in sentence [#permalink]

### Show Tags

22 Jan 2013, 15:29
Thanks again to clarify. I got your point.

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 1

Re: error in sentence   [#permalink] 22 Jan 2013, 15:29
Display posts from previous: Sort by

# quot;When my sister is sad, my friend is upset and confused,

 new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics

 Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group | Emoji artwork provided by EmojiOne Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.