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Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction

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Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2006, 11:36
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Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction material for the desert tortoise because it is not so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause tunnels to collapse.

(A) so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause

(B) hard enough to make burrowing difficult or soft enough as to cause

(C) so hard as to make burrowing difficult or soft enough so it causes

(D) as hard as to make burrowing difficult or as soft as to cause

(E) too hard, making burrowing difficult, nor too soft, so as to cause

https://www.nytimes.com/1996/05/14/science/tortoises-get-some-unusual-help-from-the-military-s-spy-satellites.html

Mr. Ahmann hypothesized that granitic soil was ideal for a tortoise because it was not too hard, which could make burrowing difficult, or too soft, which could cause tunnels to collapse. He said dirt high in calcium was frequently too hard and collected water.
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Re: Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2016, 19:34
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I can see why people don't love A, but the "it" in A clearly refers to "soil." If you had any doubt about that, it might help to notice that "it" is already used for that purpose in the fixed portion of the sentence, and the GMAT will never switch antecedent for the same pronoun in the same sentence. In other words, once it=soil, that will remain true throughout the sentence, just like a variable in an equation.

There's also no problem with parallelism; we just shift from the simple present ("it makes") to a hypothetical ("it could cause"). It's perfectly fine to switch in this way when the meaning demands.

The odd thing is that we end up saying that the soil could make the tunnels (made of soil) collapse, but most other ways of saying this would run into problems, too. In the end, A is the only choice that works. (As others have stated, "as hard as to make" in D is not idiomatic.)
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Re: Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2014, 04:31
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Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction material for the desert tortoise because it is not so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause tunnels to collapse.

A. so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause OK - "so X that" is the correct idiom because "that" allows for a subordinate clause to follow, and a clause is needed. Trap is the "so x that" clause, since it is not frequently used.

B. hard enough to make burrowing difficult or soft enough as to cause "hard enough to" or "soft enough as to" are not parallel; "hard enough" should be replaced with "as hard as" as to convey an equal degree

C. so hard as to make burrowing difficult or soft enough so it causes "so hard as to" and "soft enough so it" is not parallel

D. as hard as to make burrowing difficult or as soft as to cause "as hard as" and "as soft as" should be used between two nouns for proper comparison

E. too hard, making burrowing difficult, nor too soft, so as to cause "making burrowing difficult" or "so as to cause" are not parallel
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Re: Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2006, 11:47
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A) it doesn't have a clear referent
B)as to is awkward in this context
C) not parallel
E) so as to is unidiomatic

so D is the only one that survives
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Re: Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 09 May 2006, 16:57
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deowl wrote:
A) it doesn't have a clear referent
B)as to is awkward in this context
C) not parallel
E) so as to is unidiomatic

so D is the only one that survives


"so as to" is not unidiomatic. it is perfectly idiomatic. rather "as .. as to" in D is unidiomatic.

contarary to the aboves, go with A cuz "so.. that" is correct expression..
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Re: Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2014, 08:14
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Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction material for the desert tortoise because it is not so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause tunnels to collapse.

A. so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause -> Correct
B. hard enough to make burrowing difficult or soft enough as to cause -> as breaks the parallelism
C. so hard as to make burrowing difficult or soft enough so it causes -> So X as Y is not a correct idiom."as X so Y" or "as X as Y" are correct usage. Also "soft enough" breaks the parallelism
D. as hard as to make burrowing difficult or as soft as to cause -> As X as Y is used to compare the similarities about X and Y and not provide reasons. So X that Y is a better construction
E. too hard, making burrowing difficult, nor too soft, so as to cause -> Combination of idioms doesn't correct the problem
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Re: Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2014, 16:09
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I choose A. That is the only sentence which don't have any parallel issue.
As for D, " as hard as to" is unidiomatic. I only heard of " so as to". " as hard as" can be used for comparison but then again, we run into parallel issue: it is not as hard as it is to make - we need "it is" to make the sentence parallel.
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Re: Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2014, 00:54
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i think in D, we are incorrectly comparing soil with hardness which is incorrect. it refers to soil....as hard as to make burrowing difficult or as soft as to cause

A, is correct because it refers to soil and soil is not so hard or so soft. we do not repeat not.

hope this helps.

C. is out because hardness is compared with burrowing.

jzchina wrote:
Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction material for the desert tortoise because it is not so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause tunnels to collapse.

A. so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause
B. hard enough to make burrowing difficult or soft enough as to cause
C. so hard as to make burrowing difficult or soft enough so it causes
D. as hard as to make burrowing difficult or as soft as to cause
E. too hard, making burrowing difficult, nor too soft, so as to cause

Welcome to discuss! Thanks.
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Re: Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Nov 2016, 22:24
Can someone from egmat plz help here?
Isn't the use of So X As Y correct?
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Re: Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2016, 22:02
I think you mean "so X as to Y." That can work, although it's not the clearest way to say what we want to say. C has bigger problems, though. First, "soft enough so it causes" is not idiomatic. We need "soft enough to cause" or "so soft that it causes." Even if this were okay, it wouldn't be parallel with "so hard as."
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Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 05 Sep 2019, 07:56
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1. (A) it doesn't have a clear referent.
What else other than 'soil' can 'it' refer to logically? Can 'it' refer to the tortoise, meaning that tortoise is not hard for X and not soft for Y? So no doubt need be entertained about the reference of the pronoun reference in A because logic is the leading light in such cases.
2. Why D is not equal to A.
D uses and infinitive as 'to make' burrowing difficult and as soft as to cause tunnels to collapse. the infinitive 'to make' implies that the action is not a finite action but at best a surmise or notion. On the other hand, A uses the subordinator 'that' using a clause with definitive action verbs 'makes' and 'could cause'. The premises of their hypothesis, in fact, are real happenings. This intention is rather feebly presented in D, making it depend upon some yet - to - happen notions rather than upon some real happenings as in A.. Therefore, it can be reckoned In D the original intent has been diluted, however grammatically normal it sounds.
Therefore, A IMO.
I have also seen that when a negative factor such as 'not' is involved, so…. as is used while in positive contexts as… as is used. Example:
Tom is not so tall as Dick
Tom is as tall as Dick.
This looks more like a convention than a decree.
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Originally posted by daagh on 01 May 2017, 09:12.
Last edited by daagh on 05 Sep 2019, 07:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2018, 06:15
Experts, there is a lot of confusion pertaining to this one. Can you please elaborate why D is incorrect, and why A is the correct answer?
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Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2019, 12:23
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Hello Everyone!

While I've seen some good discussion here, it seems like this question is pretty challenging for everyone! Let's take a closer look at it to figure out how to best answer this difficult SC question!

Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction material for the desert tortoise because it is not so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause tunnels to collapse.

(A) so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause
(B) hard enough to make burrowing difficult or soft enough as to cause
(C) so hard as to make burrowing difficult or soft enough so it causes
(D) as hard as to make burrowing difficult or as soft as to cause
(E) too hard, making burrowing difficult, nor too soft, so as to cause

After a quick scan over the options, there are a few things we can focus on to narrow down our choices:

1. so hard / hard enough / as hard / too hard
2. that it makes / to make / as to make / making
3. so soft / soft enough / as soft as / nor too soft
4. that it could cause / as to cause / so it causes


With so many things to choose from, where do we start? There aren’t any “either/or” options to choose from, so we need to look at the bigger picture to determine what type of issue we’re dealing with:

Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction material for the desert tortoise because it is not so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause tunnels to collapse.

We are trying to determine how to word two different phrases, so it’s most likely what we’re dealing with here is PARALLELISM! We need to make sure both phrases are worded similarly so they “flow” together nicely.

Let’s take a close look at each option to determine which ones use parallel structure. To make the parallelism issues easier to spot, let’s add the non-underlined portion from the end of the sentence:

(A) so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause tunnels to collapse
This is OKAY for now because both phrases are written using parallel structure, so let’s save this one for later.

(B) hard enough to make burrowing difficult or soft enough as to cause tunnels to collapse
This is INCORRECT because it’s not parallel. If it had said “soft enough to cause,” then it would be parallel.

(C) so hard as to make burrowing difficult or soft enough so it causes tunnels to collapse
This is also INCORRECT because it’s not parallel. The beginnings of both phrases are clearly worded differently.

(D) as hard as to make burrowing difficult or as soft as to cause tunnels to collapse
This is OKAY for now because both phrases are written using parallel structure, so let’s save this one for later.

(E) too hard, making burrowing difficult, nor too soft, so as to cause tunnels to collapse
This is INCORRECT because “making” and “so as to cause” are not parallel.


We can eliminate options B, C, and E because they do not use parallel structure for both phrases. Now that we have it narrowed down to only 2 options, let’s take a closer look to see if we can find any other problems:

(A) so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause tunnels to collapse

This option is CORRECT! It is written using parallel structure, and there are no other problems we can find!

(D) as hard as to make burrowing difficult or as soft as to cause tunnels to collapse

This is INCORRECT because the sentence uses the phrases “as soft as” and “as hard as” incorrectly. Whenever you see “as X as” in a sentence, the word immediately after it MUST be a noun. In this case, there is a verb after each one, which is not grammatically correct.


There you have it – option A was the correct choice all along! It uses parallel structure and doesn’t contain any idiomatic problems!

I hope this helps!
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Re: Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2019, 02:48
jzchina wrote:
Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction material for the desert tortoise because it is not so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause tunnels to collapse.

(A) so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause

(B) hard enough to make burrowing difficult or soft enough as to cause

(C) so hard as to make burrowing difficult or soft enough so it causes

(D) as hard as to make burrowing difficult or as soft as to cause

(E) too hard, making burrowing difficult, nor too soft, so as to cause

https://www.nytimes.com/1996/05/14/science/tortoises-get-some-unusual-help-from-the-military-s-spy-satellites.html

Mr. Ahmann hypothesized that granitic soil was ideal for a tortoise because it was not too hard, which could make burrowing difficult, or too soft, which could cause tunnels to collapse. He said dirt high in calcium was frequently too hard and collected water.


parallelism dose not need to be perfect to be correct. this is the lesion. I have missed this problem.

choice B. "enough as to" is wrong idiomatically
choice C, "soft enough so it causes" is wrong idiomatically
choice D, "it is not as hard as to make" is wrong idiomatically. we should use "so... that", which idiom to show a purpose in this case.
choice E. "nor" require "neither". "nor " dose not need " neither" only in the following case

I do not learn French next month, nor my English girl.
"nor " dose not require "neither" if "nor" follow a negative clause and precede a positive clause to negate the following positive clause. this pattern dose not need parallelism.

so, all 4 choices are wrong grammatically or idiomatically. the correct answer is not parallel perfectly .
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Re: Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2019, 08:05
jzchina wrote:
Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction material for the desert tortoise because it is not so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause tunnels to collapse.

(A) so hard that it makes burrowing difficult or so soft that it could cause

(B) hard enough to make burrowing difficult or soft enough as to cause

(C) so hard as to make burrowing difficult or soft enough so it causes

(D) as hard as to make burrowing difficult or as soft as to cause

(E) too hard, making burrowing difficult, nor too soft, so as to cause

https://www.nytimes.com/1996/05/14/science/tortoises-get-some-unusual-help-from-the-military-s-spy-satellites.html

Mr. Ahmann hypothesized that granitic soil was ideal for a tortoise because it was not too hard, which could make burrowing difficult, or too soft, which could cause tunnels to collapse. He said dirt high in calcium was frequently too hard and collected water.


Use of as to is not meanningful

B ,C,D,E : ALL ELIMINTAED

A IS CORRECT ANSWER WITH COINCISE MEANING
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Re: Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jul 2019, 04:51
generis

Can you help on this one. I got this wrong in my mock exam today.

I chose E. Comments above are saying that there is a parallelism issue. Is that so ??


Please help
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Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jul 2019, 08:46
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generis

Can you help on this one. I got this wrong in my mock exam today.

I chose E. Comments above are saying that there is a parallelism issue. Is that so ??

Please help

warrior1991 , well, the good news is that you missed a hard question.

The posters above are correct. Option E is not parallel.
Nor is a conjunction. [That fact is easy to forget.]
Conjunctions pair equivalent things (noun phrases with noun phrases, for example).
Conjunctions are parallelism markers and join structures that are similar.

In option E, the phrases that follow too hard and too soft are not similar in structure and thus are not parallel.

(E) [G]ranitic soil is the ideal construction material for the tortoise because it is not too hard, making burrowing difficult, nor too soft, so as to cause tunnels to collapse.

Granitic soil is the ideal construction material for the desert tortoise because
IT is
NOT
-- too hard, making burrowing difficult,
NOR
-- too soft, so as to cause [tunnels to collapse]

Nor, a conjunction, signals that the two things that nor joins must be similar structures.

What structures do we have in option E? Essentially, an __ING phrase and an idiomatic clause of consequence that does not begin with an __ING word

making burrowing difficult
-- anchored by making, which in this case is a verb-like noun (in jargon, a "simple gerund." )
-- the structure is a participial phrase: [verbING] + [direct object] + [adverb]

so as to cause tunnels to collapse
-- anchored by so as to, which in this case is an idiom of consequence
-- the structure of so as to is an idiomatic conjunction that leads to a clause of consequence: [so as to] + [infinitive] + [direct object] + [infinitive modifier]

Compare the anchors.*
So as to is definitely not a verbING (a gerund).

Option E would be parallel if it were written in these two ways, the first of which is much better than the second:
. . . [the soil] is not too hard, making burrowing difficult, nor too soft, causing tunnels to collapse

. . . [the soil] is not too hard, so as to make burrowing difficult, nor too soft, so as to cause tunnels to collapse
(So as to as an idiom of consequence is rare. GMAC tends to use the construction in (A). )

Hope that helps.



*The anchors in Option A are similar.
Option A joins two parallel examples of the idiomatic structure So X that Y
so hard that it makes burrowing difficult
or
so soft that it could cause
[so] + [adjective] + [that] + [it] + [verb]
As others have mentioned, the verbs (makes and could cause) do not need to be parallel because meaning allows the verbs to be paired.
We can pair a simple present and a hypothetical: The building is sturdy and could withstand a monsoon.

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New post 05 Sep 2019, 04:45
Hi bb / Bunuel,

Can you please add GMATPREP tag to this question? I got this in official mock #3.
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Re: Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2019, 04:41
experts please help with this question GMATNinja Karishmab egmat VeritasKarishma
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Researchers hypothesize that granitic soil is the ideal construction   [#permalink] 08 Sep 2019, 04:41

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