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# Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap

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Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 20 Sep 2018, 22:12
5
37
00:00

Difficulty:

35% (medium)

Question Stats:

56% (00:46) correct 44% (01:00) wrong based on 1099 sessions

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Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap easily, as though it was a twig.

(A) will snap easily, as though it was a twig

(B) will snap easily, like a twig does

(C) will snap easily, as though it is a twig

(D) might snap easily, as though it was a twig

(E) will snap easily, as though it were a twig

This question is part of the GMAT Club Sentence Correction : Verb Tense Revision Project.

Originally posted by ugimba on 14 Jan 2010, 15:17.
Last edited by Bunuel on 20 Sep 2018, 22:12, edited 2 times in total.
Edited the question.
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Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap  [#permalink]

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29 Mar 2015, 19:16
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4

OFFICIAL EXPLANATION:

The expression “as though” introduces a supposition that is contrary to fact (the pipe is not a twig). Such suppositions must be expressed in the subjunctive mood. For example, in the phrase "I wish I were rich," the verb "were" is in the subjunctive because the phrase expresses a desire contrary to fact. The appropriate singular form of the verb “to be” in the subjunctive mood is “were.”

(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.

(B) “Like” should not be used to introduce the comparative clause “a twig does.” The word “as” should be used instead. "Like" is used to compare nouns only.

(C) The verb “is” is not appropriate for the subjunctive mood. The appropriate singular form of the verb “to be” in the subjunctive mood is “were.”

(D) The verb “was” is not appropriate for the subjunctive mood. The appropriate singular form of the verb “to be” in the subjunctive mood is “were.” In addition, this choice changes the meaning of the sentence. While the original sentence asserts that it is possible for rust to deteriorate a steel pipe to the point where it will snap easily, this choice asserts only that it is possible for rust to deteriorate the pipe to a point where it might snap, i.e., it implies a somewhat lesser degree of possible deterioration.

(E) CORRECT. This choice correctly uses the subjunctive “were.”
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Re: Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap  [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2010, 13:35
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Great work to all here. That said, I'd encourage you all to also be comfortable with the second split in this sentence (like vs. as), because that comes up just as often as the was/were issue.

Like: Can only be used to compare nouns
As: Can be used to compare clauses

"My uncle looks like my aunt." --> Correct: We're saying the two look similar to each other.
"My uncle looks at me as my aunt does."--> Correct: We're saying they both look at me in a similar way.

"My uncle looks as my aunt." --> Incorrect because "my aunt" is not a clause and needs "like."
"My uncle looks at me like my aunt does." --> Incorrect because we're comparing two clauses (how my uncle looks at me and how my aunt looks at me) and thus we need to use "as" instead of "like."

Just a little GMAT tip...

Brett
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Re: Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap  [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2010, 08:20
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ugimba wrote:
Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap easily, as though it was a twig.

A) will snap easily, as though it was a twig
B) will snap easily, like a twig does
C) will snap easily, as though it is a twig
D) might snap easily, as though it was a twig
E) will snap easily, as though it were a twig

I picked C ..
as though (present tense) + future tense

But answer is given as E ... can some one explain?

You don't have here a construction present tense + future tense. The sentence compares hypothetically the pipe and the twig.

Consider the following analogy

present + will

if you train everyday, then you will run faster

if you train everyday, then you will run as if you were an athlete.

Both examples contain the construction present + will and the second just adds a hypothetical comparison.

In the same way you can eliminate as though ... from the sentence

Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap easily

The important thing to notice is that as though is just comparing hypothetically the pipe and the twig.
Is this clear for you?
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Re: Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap  [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2010, 21:46
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We need to use the subjunctive form. Hence use of 'were'.

We use subjunctives mainly when talking about events that are not certain to happen but hope will happen.
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Re: Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap  [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2010, 01:16
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Here the sentence is a Hypothetical Subjunctive and for Hypothetical Subjunctives the 'to-be' form of the verb should always be in Plural.

Eg: If I were (not was) a rich man, I would buy a yacht.

On a side Note, a Hypothetical Subjunctive is a sentence in which a Hypothetical statement is made ... which may or may not be true.
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Re: Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap  [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2010, 09:00
BKimball wrote:
Great work to all here. That said, I'd encourage you all to also be comfortable with the second split in this sentence (like vs. as), because that comes up just as often as the was/were issue.

Like: Can only be used to compare nouns
As: Can be used to compare clauses

"My uncle looks like my aunt." --> Correct: We're saying the two look similar to each other.
"My uncle looks at me as my aunt does."--> Correct: We're saying they both look at me in a similar way.

"My uncle looks as my aunt." --> Incorrect because "my aunt" is not a clause and needs "like."
"My uncle looks at me like my aunt does." --> Incorrect because we're comparing two clauses (how my uncle looks at me and how my aunt looks at me) and thus we need to use "as" instead of "like."

Just a little GMAT tip...

Brett

Thanks very much for your explanation.... can you help me in identifying flow in below mentioned problem

According to a study by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of
Teaching, companies in the United States are providing job training and general
education for nearly eight million people, about equivalent to the enrollment of
the nation’s four-year colleges and universities.
(C) equal to those who are enrolled in
(D) as many as the enrollment of
(E) as many as are enrolled in

I don't understand why C is wrong in terms of comparision, i don't know what is the difference in the C and D.
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Re: Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap  [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2010, 01:02
Quote:
hirendhanak wrote: I don't understand why C is wrong in terms of comparison, i don't know what is the difference in the C and D.

I just wish to point out a small custom here. The words - equal or equitant - are special words. (BTW, I don’t think there is any difference between them). These words can not be used to equate just one dimension of some factor. When we say that Franklin Roosevelt was one or the greatest presidents of America, equal to only Abraham Lincoln, we mean that Roosevelt matched Abe in all respects of his personality, not just in one or two attributes. Equality denotes an all-round and comprehensive idea of identically. This is why equal or equivalent isn’t the right choice here, since the comparison is just on one aspect of numbers. - As many as - will be a better choice.

D also wouldn’t be correct, since the expression - the enrollment of - isn’t idiomatic and elegant

E is the solution as far as I see.
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Re: Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap  [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2010, 13:43
In the interest of finding all the errors here, notice also:

B uses "like" where it should use "as." (We are comparing two clauses, so we need to use "as.")

From here, you are all correct: We need to use "as though it were."
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Re: Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap  [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2012, 06:28
E for me, though i was confused for a moment between E and B. can anyone explain why it cant be B. i understand that like can be used to compare. Is it wrong because of the use of "does"?

Pls explain
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Re: Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap  [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2012, 06:44
tsheshraj wrote:
E for me, though i was confused for a moment between E and B. can anyone explain why it cant be B. i understand that like can be used to compare. Is it wrong because of the use of "does"?

Pls explain

Hi tsheshraj,

The answer to your question is “Yes”. “Like” is used for comparison, but “like” is always followed by a noun entity and never by clause. In choice B for this sentence “like” is followed by a clause “a twig does”. This usage is incorrect. So, choice B can be eliminated easily.

For detailed explanation on correct usage of “like”, click on the following link:
as-vs-like-correct-and-incorrect-usages-133950.html#p1100728

You can also view detailed explanation on correct usage of “like” and practice quizzes by logging on to e-gmat.com. Register for free and view the “Usage of Like” concept in the free trial concepts.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2015, 21:36
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E.

We use plural 'were' as this is a hypothetical scenario.

Posted from GMAT ToolKit
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Re: Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap  [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2015, 08:52
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souvik101990 wrote:
This question is part of the GMAT Club Sentence Correction : Verb Tense Revision Project.

Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap easily, as though it was a twig.

A. will snap easily, as though it was a twig

B. will snap easily, like a twig does

C. will snap easily, as though it is a twig

D. might snap easily, as though it was a twig

E. will snap easily, as though it were a twig

'As though' , 'As if ' and 'If ' are used for hypothetical situations and requires 'were' as verb.

Thanks!
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Re: Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap  [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2018, 22:25
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Re: Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap &nbs [#permalink] 20 Sep 2018, 22:25
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# Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap

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