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Recently physicians have determined that stomach ulcers are not caused

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Re: Recently physicians have determined that stomach ulcers are not caused  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2019, 01:37
Hi EMPOWERgmatVerbal,
Thank you for this broad explanation of this question. Can I add choice F as possible correct choice?
Thanks__

Quote:
Recently physicians have determined that stomach ulcers are not caused by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but a bacterium that dwells in the mucous lining of the stomach.

A. not caused by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but
B. not caused by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but are by
C. caused not by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but by
D. caused not by stress, alcohol, and rich foods, but
E. caused not by stress, alcohol, and rich foods, but are by

Possible Choice F:
F) Recently physicians have determined that stomach ulcers are caused not by stress, alcohol, and rich foods, but by a bacterium that dwells in the mucous lining of the stomach.
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
Hello Everyone!

This is a great example of a sentence that focuses on parallelism, so let's dive in! To start, let's take a quick look at the original question, and highlight the main differences in orange:

Recently physicians have determined that stomach ulcers are not caused by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but a bacterium that dwells in the mucous lining of the stomach.

A. not caused by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but
B. not caused by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but are by
C. caused not by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but by
D. caused not by stress, alcohol, and rich foods, but
E. caused not by stress, alcohol, and rich foods, but are by

After a quick glance over the options, there are a few things we can focus on:

1. not caused / caused not (parallelism/idioms)
2. or / and (meaning/lists)
3. but / but are by / but by (parallelism/idioms)


Since we know this question mainly focuses on parallelism, let's tackle #1 & #3 on our list at the same time. This is the idiom structure we're working with here:

not X, but Y

Both X and Y must be written using parallel structure, including word placement, verb tenses, singular/plural, etc. Since the phrase "caused by" is included in this sentence, we need to be careful to make sure it's included in both X and Y only if it appears after the word "not:"

not caused by X, but caused by Y = PARALLEL
not caused by X, but Y = NOT PARALLEL

caused not by X, but by Y = PARALLEL
caused not by X, but caused by Y = NOT PARALLEL
caused not by X, but Y = NOT PARALLEL

Let's add in the end of the sentence to see which options use parallel structure, and eliminate those that don't:

A. not caused by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but a bacterium that dwells in the mucous lining of the stomach. --> not caused by X, but Y = NOT PARALLEL
B. not caused by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but are by a bacterium that dwells in the mucous lining of the stomach. --> not caused by X, but are by Y = NOT PARALLEL
C. caused not by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but by a bacterium that dwells in the mucous lining of the stomach. --> caused not by X, but by Y = PARALLEL
D. caused not by stress, alcohol, and rich foods, but a bacterium that dwells in the mucous lining of the stomach. --> caused not by X, but Y = NOT PARALLEL
E. caused not by stress, alcohol, and rich foods, but are by a bacterium that dwells in the mucous lining of the stomach. --> caused not by X, but are by Y = NOT PARALLEL

There you have it! Option C is correct because it's the only one that uses parallel structure within the idiom "not X, but Y." By focusing on parallelism, you should be able to answer this question pretty quickly!


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Re: Recently physicians have determined that stomach ulcers are not caused  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2019, 02:16
Hi my honorable expert MartyMurray, DmitryFarber, ccooley, GMATNinja.
I'll be very glad if I've your feedback for this confusing choice B.

Quote:
Recently physicians have determined that stomach ulcers are not caused by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but a bacterium that dwells in the mucous lining of the stomach.
A. not caused by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but
B. not caused by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but are by
C. caused not by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but by
D. caused not by stress, alcohol, and rich foods, but
E. caused not by stress, alcohol, and rich foods, but are by


The question is totally Parallelism issue. Here the correct answer is C. But, my question is: WHY not B. B makes parallelism to me!
B. NOT (tag)+CAUSED (verb)+by+something....................BUT (tag)+ARE (verb)+by+Something
Indicate parallelism to each other!!
Thanks...
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Re: Recently physicians have determined that stomach ulcers are not caused  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2019, 16:42
The problem is that "are by" doesn't mean anything here. Notice that we already have the verb "are," so one way to read B would be "are not (caused by X) but are are by y." Another way to think about it is that "caused" isn't really a verb here--it's a past participle. It describes where stomach ulcers come from, not what they do. Making it parallel to a simple verb ("are") doesn't work.

If we don't want to put "caused" before the first parallel marker ("not"), as in C, then we need it after each marker: NOT caused by x BUT caused by y. However, in this case there's no reason to use that longer form. C solves the problem much more elegantly.
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Re: Recently physicians have determined that stomach ulcers are not caused  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2019, 17:40
DmitryFarber wrote:
The problem is that "are by" doesn't mean anything here. Notice that we already have the verb "are," so one way to read B would be "are not (caused by X) but are are by y." Another way to think about it is that "caused" isn't really a verb here--it's a past participle. It describes where stomach ulcers come from, not what they do. Making it parallel to a simple verb ("are") doesn't work.

If we don't want to put "caused" before the first parallel marker ("not"), as in C, then we need it after each marker: NOT caused by x BUT caused by y. However, in this case there's no reason to use that longer form. C solves the problem much more elegantly.

My ultimate query is to fix B like your highlighted part. Now, it make sense to me. Many many thanks DmitryFarber!

Also, one more query:
Can I add choice F as possible correct choice?
Thanks__

Quote:
Recently physicians have determined that stomach ulcers are not caused by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but a bacterium that dwells in the mucous lining of the stomach.

A. not caused by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but
B. not caused by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but are by
C. caused not by stress, alcohol, or rich foods, but by
D. caused not by stress, alcohol, and rich foods, but
E. caused not by stress, alcohol, and rich foods, but are by

Possible Choice F:
F) Recently physicians have determined that stomach ulcers are caused not by stress, alcohol, and rich foods, but by a bacterium that dwells in the mucous lining of the stomach
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Re: Recently physicians have determined that stomach ulcers are not caused  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2019, 23:02
Normally, we don't use "and" with lists of negatives, because it's then unclear whether we mean to negate each of the items, or just all of them together as a group. In other words, if I say "I don't have a car and a bicycle," now you don't know whether I have just one of those things or neither of them. If I say "Ulcers are not caused by X, Y, and Z," I seem to be saying that the combination of XYZ does not cause ulcers, whereas I think the intent here is to say that none of those things cause ulcers at all.
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Re: Recently physicians have determined that stomach ulcers are not caused   [#permalink] 28 Jan 2019, 23:02

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