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Rome’s great intellectual achievements laid in organizing th

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Rome’s great intellectual achievements laid in organizing th [#permalink]

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33% (00:50) correct 67% (01:11) wrong based on 387 sessions

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Rome’s great intellectual achievements laid in organizing the Empire, but Greece’s had laid in mathematical and philosophical breakthroughs.
(A) laid in organizing the Empire, but Greece’s had laid
(B) laid in the organization of the Empire, but Greece’s had lain
(C) laid in organizing the Empire, whereas Greece’s had lain
(D) lay in organizing the Empire, whereas Greece’s had lain
(E) lay in the organization of the Empire, whereas Greece’s had laid


Diction is a particularly tricky issue on the GMAT SC, and the folks who write the GMAT love it. For more on this issue, as well as an explanation of this question, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/more-on-diction/

Mike :-)
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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

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Re: Rome’s great intellectual achievements laid in organizing th [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2014, 23:32
Excellent question! I got it wrong, but I won't get any of these wrong ever again.

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Re: Rome’s great intellectual achievements laid in organizing th [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2015, 12:28
mikemcgarry wrote:
Rome’s great intellectual achievements laid in organizing the Empire, but Greece’s had laid in mathematical and philosophical breakthroughs.
(A) laid in organizing the Empire, but Greece’s had laid
(B) laid in the organization of the Empire, but Greece’s had lain
(C) laid in organizing the Empire, whereas Greece’s had lain
(D) lay in organizing the Empire, whereas Greece’s had lain
(E) lay in the organization of the Empire, whereas Greece’s had laid


Diction is a particularly tricky issue on the GMAT SC, and the folks who write the GMAT love it. For more on this issue, as well as an explanation of this question, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/more-on-diction/

Mike :-)


Hi mikemcgarry,
I have confusion in split between "organization of " and "organizing"(NOUN Vs ACTION).
Can you please help

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Re: Rome’s great intellectual achievements laid in organizing th [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2015, 13:25
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ssriva2 wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
Rome’s great intellectual achievements laid in organizing the Empire, but Greece’s had laid in mathematical and philosophical breakthroughs.
(A) laid in organizing the Empire, but Greece’s had laid
(B) laid in the organization of the Empire, but Greece’s had lain
(C) laid in organizing the Empire, whereas Greece’s had lain
(D) lay in organizing the Empire, whereas Greece’s had lain
(E) lay in the organization of the Empire, whereas Greece’s had laid


Diction is a particularly tricky issue on the GMAT SC, and the folks who write the GMAT love it. For more on this issue, as well as an explanation of this question, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/more-on-diction/

Mike :-)


Hi mikemcgarry,
I have confusion in split between "organization of " and "organizing"(NOUN Vs ACTION).
Can you please help

Dear ssriva2,
I'm happy to help. :-)

See this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/active-verbs-on-the-gmat/
When an action is concerned, the GMAT always prefers a verb over a noun, precisely because this is the preference in the business world. Think about advertising. No ad would say:
We will help you in the organization of all the clutter in your life.
Yawn! Wordy, flaccid, and boring! Instead, an advertiser would say
We will organize all the clutter in your life!
That version is shorter and much more powerful. It's powerful in part because the principle action appears as a verb rather than as a noun. That's the substance of the split between (D) & (E) in this question. We are talking about the great achievement of the Roman Empire: in other words, the biggest thing that the Roman Empire ever did! We are taking about a huge action, so the most powerful way to discuss this action is to use a verb. Using the noun makes the sentence awkward and less direct and less powerful.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

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Re: Rome’s great intellectual achievements laid in organizing th [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2015, 21:57
Hi Mike,

Thank for the question. I got it correct.

But want to know the subtle difference between laid and lain. Laid can take the direct object, but lain cannot take direct object. Am I right in assuming so.


mikemcgarry wrote:
Rome’s great intellectual achievements laid in organizing the Empire, but Greece’s had laid in mathematical and philosophical breakthroughs.
(A) laid in organizing the Empire, but Greece’s had laid
(B) laid in the organization of the Empire, but Greece’s had lain
(C) laid in organizing the Empire, whereas Greece’s had lain
(D) lay in organizing the Empire, whereas Greece’s had lain
(E) lay in the organization of the Empire, whereas Greece’s had laid


Diction is a particularly tricky issue on the GMAT SC, and the folks who write the GMAT love it. For more on this issue, as well as an explanation of this question, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/more-on-diction/

Mike :-)

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Kudos to you, for helping me with some KUDOS.

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Re: Rome’s great intellectual achievements laid in organizing th [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2015, 02:20
mikemcgarry wrote:
ssriva2 wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
Rome’s great intellectual achievements laid in organizing the Empire, but Greece’s had laid in mathematical and philosophical breakthroughs.
(A) laid in organizing the Empire, but Greece’s had laid
(B) laid in the organization of the Empire, but Greece’s had lain
(C) laid in organizing the Empire, whereas Greece’s had lain
(D) lay in organizing the Empire, whereas Greece’s had lain
(E) lay in the organization of the Empire, whereas Greece’s had laid


Diction is a particularly tricky issue on the GMAT SC, and the folks who write the GMAT love it. For more on this issue, as well as an explanation of this question, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/more-on-diction/

Mike :-)


Hi mikemcgarry,
I have confusion in split between "organization of " and "organizing"(NOUN Vs ACTION).
Can you please help

Dear ssriva2,
I'm happy to help. :-)

See this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/active-verbs-on-the-gmat/
When an action is concerned, the GMAT always prefers a verb over a noun, precisely because this is the preference in the business world. Think about advertising. No ad would say:
We will help you in the organization of all the clutter in your life.
Yawn! Wordy, flaccid, and boring! Instead, an advertiser would say
We will organize all the clutter in your life!
That version is shorter and much more powerful. It's powerful in part because the principle action appears as a verb rather than as a noun. That's the substance of the split between (D) & (E) in this question. We are talking about the great achievement of the Roman Empire: in other words, the biggest thing that the Roman Empire ever did! We are taking about a huge action, so the most powerful way to discuss this action is to use a verb. Using the noun makes the sentence awkward and less direct and less powerful.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


Hi mikemcgarry,
Your explanation is perfect.
Still I have a doubt .
"Organize" is definitely verb but "organizing " is an action.
Please help me to understand.

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Re: Rome’s great intellectual achievements laid in organizing th [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2015, 03:21
In addition to Mike's explanation, the following links might be of help in understanding the usage of lie, lay etc...
http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/educat ... versus-lie
http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/lay-versus-lie-quiz
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Re: Rome’s great intellectual achievements laid in organizing th [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2017, 10:39
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Re: Rome’s great intellectual achievements laid in organizing th   [#permalink] 22 Oct 2017, 10:39
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