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# Scientists have recently discovered what could be the

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Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2003, 16:29
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Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.

(A) extending
(B) extends
(C) extended
(D) it extended
(E) is extending
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Why is extending and spawned parallel participial phrases?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
you can ask an expert
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05 Nov 2004, 22:07
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A is the correct answer. This question is about the use of present vs past participle.
present participle is used to denote a present condition that still prevails
past participle is used to denote a completed action, usually in a passive mood

The sentence is definitely talking about the filigree:

filigree [of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles] spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest

What is b/w brackets is a prepositional phrase and remove it to make the sentence less cumbersome:

filigree spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest

As you can see, the filigree spawned by X some 10,000 years ago. This warrants the use of past participle. Also, "spawned by" denotes passive voice which justifies the use of past participle.
As for the "extending", it is still prevailing today in the Michigan forest so you cannot use past participle "extended".

The present and past participles are used to describe the "filigree", they act as adjectives.
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Re: SC-Largest Living organism [#permalink]

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04 May 2012, 13:27
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balajinaik wrote:
My answer is B.

I have always had an issue with this type of question. What i have found in GMAt questions is that in most cases like the one here, the question talks about many properties of a single item. In the process they mix the verb tense thereby confusing the subject.

This Q is a classic example of that. The scientists discovered the Fungi, the next 2 are properties of the fungi. hence extends is correct and not extending

Balaji

Hi,

Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.

It is imperative to understand the meaning of the sentence in order to get the correct answer. So let’s do that first. Scientists have recently discovered something that could be the largest and oldest organism on Earth. So what have they discovered? They have a discovered a giant fungus which has qualities that make the scientists believe that this fungus could be the largest and oldest living organism. What are these qualities? This giant fungus is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles. This fungus has been spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago. So this is why the scientists think that this fungus is the oldest living organism. The other quality that the fungus has is that it extends for more than 30 acres. This is the reason why the scientists think this fungus to be the largest living organism

After we have understood the meaning, let us evaluate the errors in the sentence. Now notice “spawned” is not verb here. It is verb-ed modifier that is presenting the quality of the giant fungus. In the very same way, “extending” is a verb-ing modifier that is also presenting another quality of the fungus. Hence, verb-ed modifier “spawned” and the verb-ing modifier “extending” are parallel to each other. Hence this sentence is correct as it is.

POE:

Choice A: extending: Correct.

Choice B: extends: Incorrect. This is a verb and a verb cannot be parallel to a modifier.

Choice C: extended: Incorrect. We again have a verb in the past tense that cannot be parallel to a modifier. Also the fungus is still extending. It is still there. So use of past tense is wrong anyway.

Choice D: it extended: Incorrect. Same error as in Choice D.

Choice E: is extending: Incorrect. This is a verb and a verb cannot be parallel to a modifier.

Hope this helps to understand why choice A is the correct answer.
Thanks.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the larges [#permalink]

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16 Jan 2014, 03:57
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kiranjith wrote:
Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and root like tentacles spawned by a single fertilised spore some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.

(A) extending
(B) extends
(C) extended
(D) it extended
(E) is extending

Would "that extends" be a correct choice?
A giant fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms..... and that extends for more than...in Michigan forest. Can these be parallel?

The most important clue in this sentence is AND … the word AND mandates Right to Left strict parallelism. To the right of AND is ―extending‖ … to check parallelism, we have to understand the role of the word ―extending‖. It is not a verb as -ING forms alone are never verbs. So it can be a noun or an adjective. In this sentence the word ―extending‖ is describing something … we need to know what it is describing.
If we read further … ―extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest‖ can describe the largest organism (30 acres is really LARGE), which is the same as ―giant (large) fungus‖ or ―interwoven (interconnected, large) filigree‖. ―Mushrooms and root-like tentacles‖ of a single plant can‘t extend for 30 acres … their filigree (wire formed into delicate tracery such as filigree foliage) can. So the word ―extending‖ surely describes ―organism‖.
As the word ―extending‖ describes something, it is an adjective. And the word ―extending‖ is written after the word AND … so we must find another adjective (that describes the organism) to the left of AND. We have the word ―spawned‖ before AND. ―Spawn‖ (meaning: produce or generate, especially in large numbers and undesirably) cannot describe tentacles, as tentacles of a plant cannot extend for 30 acres and can‘t get generated in large numbers. Also, the fact that ―a single spore‖ was responsible for the whole 30-acre growth (happening for the last 10,000 years) makes sure that the word ―spawned‖ describes the organism …
So we have 2 adjectives: ―spawned‖ and ―extending‖, both describing the organism … perfectly parallel … option A must be correct.
Option B: ―extends‖ is a verb … but there is no verb parallel to ―extends‖ before the word AND … Incorrect.
Option C: ―extended‖ is also an adjective. But this signifies intention whereas the given action of extending is completely unintended. So this is the wrong adjective.
Imagine the two sentences:
The road extended from A to B was found to be skewed by the local authorities. Here, the word ―extended‖ means that somebody intentionally extended the road. Past participles show intention.
The smoke coming out of the building corroborated the suspicion that the building had caught fire. Here the word ―coming‖ is unintended. Present participles show no intention.
There's really no point in deciding which of these roles ―extended‖ is playing―the point is that both interpretations produce incorrect answers! In an appropriate context, ―extended‖ could be either a past participle or a past-tense verb. Most importantly, if either of these interpretations works, then the sentence is correct.
Imagine the sentence:
The new state highway, built in 2007 and extended for an additional five miles in 2009, is now the busiest road in the area. --> here, ―extended‖ is a past participle.
The state highway extended for fifty miles before it was razed in 1985. --> here, ―extended‖ is a past-tense verb.
Option D: ―it extended‖ is a verb … but there is no verb parallel to ―extended‖ before the word AND … Incorrect.
Option E: ―is extending‖ is a verb … but there is no verb parallel to ―is extending‖ before the word AND … Incorrect.

moreover do u have any option with that or do u have that before extending in the non underlined portion?no. so why r u looking for a that and that parallelism. understand the function of extending. its a modifier describing a noun. ok i think u r asking where that and that would have been grammatically possible. yes. but i think the meaning wouldn have been clear . he there r two reason why the scientist think that it is the oldest organism 1. coz its spawned and 2. extending bla bla...
Hope this helps
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22 Mar 2005, 01:43
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Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus that is a interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some 1000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in the soill of a michigan forest.

The key to solving this is to identify the right modifier.

There is a giant fungus. What is it like? It is characterized by an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles and is extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.
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16 Apr 2007, 09:25
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msingh wrote:
what is past participle in the above sentene. All the verbs that i see are in simple past tense.
The word "recently" does not mean that that it is an on going activity & continuing in the present.

i would go with choice B - extends.

OK. Let's substitute EXTENDS in the original sentence and see what happens -

I am just breaking the whole sentence into 'logical chunks'

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scientists have recently discovered

what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth,

a giant fungus that is

an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles

spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago

and

extends for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.

In other words in the phrase - an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles SPAWNED by blah blah AND EXTENDS for more than blah blah, the SPAWNED part is describing the interwoven filigree HENCE the connecting AND part must (in order to maintain parallelism) have another adjectival phrase to describe the same interwoven filigree - something which the extending participial provides.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2013, 12:55
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VTay25 wrote:
Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.

(A) extending
(B) extends
(C) extended
(D) it extended
(E) is extending
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Why is extending and spawned parallel participial phrases?

Scientists have discovered a giant fungus which is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles. There are two characteristics of the fungus 1) It has been spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago. 2) It extends for more than 30 acres in the soil of Michigan.

These two characteristics have been shown in the original sentence in the form of Adjectival clauses spawned by...........ago AND extending for more............forest. The first clause is Verb-ed Modifier and the second one is Verb-ing Modifier

Since the first characteristic of Giant fungus has been described by a Adjectival Clause, The second characteristic also need to be shown in the form of a Adjectival clause, which is done in the original sentence. Hence the sentence is correct as written. Choice A is Correct

B) Extends acts as verb and can not parallel to Modifier spawned.

C) Extended also acts as verb and can not parallel to Modifier spawned. Also simple past tense extended indicates that the process of extending has been stopped, which is wrong. The fungus is still there and extending.

D) It extended is independent clause which can not be parallel to Modifier.

E) Incorrect for the same reason cited in Choice B.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Brutal OG question [#permalink]

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05 May 2011, 02:17
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cano wrote:
Subject + verb + direct object
Scientists discovered the organism.
Most of the sentence describes this organism: largest, oldest, LIVING, etc. Many of you made the parallelism between "is" and "extends". But if we make "living" parallel with "extending"? Think about it. For me, what helped the most was the structure of the sentence. If you think of verbs inside the big modifier, then you get lost and confused with "is", "spawned", "extending", etc.

No. While the name is 'present' participle, they really have no tense (Present/Past/Future) of their own. Present participles 'derive' their tense from the 'main verb'.

He is running Vs He was running

Present Participle 'running' used in both sentences, but deriving the 'tense' (present and Past respectively) from the linking verb 'is/was'.

That aside, in the question under consideration, 'extends', as used in B cannot be used because 'extends' is a 'verb' and a 'verb' cannot be parallel with a 'participle' ('spawned'). Past Participle ('spawned') and Present Participle ('extending') can be perfectly parallel. Few examples are:

Tired but beaming, the athlete displayed the gold medal. (Tired- Past participle; beaming - Present participle)
The old lady's face, wrinkled but glowing, shone in the sun. (wrinkled - Past participle; glowing - Present participle).

The tougher part to see in this sentence is that 'extended', as used in C, would act as a proper verb (and hence would not be parallel with the Past participle 'spawned').

Lastly, the question is interesting, but that is only one clause in this sentence:

Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth

Rest all is an appositive modifier:

a giant fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,300 years ago and extending for more than 33 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.
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04 Nov 2005, 21:47
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I got A,

this is a IIism. a giant fungus is modifying what scientists have recently discovered.
The rest of the sentence is modifying the fungus
by that is -an interwoven
-and root like tentacles spawned by a single .....
- and ..............for more than.....years

This a a trap. a lot of test takers will choose extended in order to parallel the sentence with ...spawned
now the parallelism is not with spawned here. it is with and inter woven, and root like....if we use past participle then we are actually making this part a passive one, so the question come is extended by whom? but the fact is the fungus wasn't extended by anyone but is extending by itself.

So A is the right choice.
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04 Nov 2006, 20:29
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Scientists recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles spawned by a singles fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a michigan forest.

Both the texts pieces in RED are adjective clauses 'cos they are modifying the subject gaint fungus.

spawned is past paticiple and since it is still existing it should have a parallel fragment in present participle as extending.

is is not necessary before extending 'cos that is is understood.

A should be it
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Re: Brutal OG question [#permalink]

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19 May 2010, 03:49
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RaviChandra wrote:
thanku can some one post the explanation OG12. i dont have that book

I'm not sure this is legal in this forum. Otherwise I apologize to the moderators and won't do it again.

Full explanation from OG12:

The original sentence is correctly written. The giant fungus is described as an interwoven filigree spawned ... some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres. The present participle extending parallels the past participle spawned.

A Correct. This sentence has the participles spawned and extending in a correct parallel construction. Spawned refers to something that happened in the past, while extending refers to something that continues into the present.
B Extends is a present tense verb, not the participle needed for parallel structure; the ostensible parallel between extends and the distant verb is is superficial and would result in an awkward and unclear sentence.
C Extended looks parallel to spawned, but this phrase would mean that the fungus extended on in the past when the fungus clearly lives on in the present.
D It extended is not parallel to spawned and indicates an event completed in the past.
E Is extending is the progressive form of the present tense verb, not the participle required for parallelism.
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Re: Olding Living Organism [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2011, 23:07
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The reason why there is so much confusion here is that the principles of participle usage have not been understood well. A participle though called present or past participle per se does not indicate the sense of the tense. It goes along with the tense of the main clause.

In the above simple sentence, if the intruding descriptive structures are removed, the clause will read under

Scientists have recently discovered a giant fungus, spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in
the soil of a Michigan forest

“spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest” is indeed the long, long participial phrase .The participles ‘spawned’ ( past participle ) and extending( present participle ) both refer to the fungus and not to the filigree or the tentacles. If it were to refer to tentacles, it should say “tentacles that were spawned and that are extending”. Logically only a fungus can be spawned and not the tentacles.

@Cracky: You are trying to parallelize ‘a fungus is’ with ‘a fungus extends’ because both are in present tense. In the process you have forgotten the all important ‘spawned by’ .The second leg of the participial phrase 'extending' should parallel the first leg 'spawned'. It is legitimate to use both past and present participles as parallel structures in the same sentence. Hence A is the right answer, as many have already said.

P.S. I have a small note prepared for my students on this topic, titled A Pamphlet on the Use of Participles in GMAT, running to about 25 pages . Perhaps that may be of help to some.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered [#permalink]

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29 Mar 2011, 22:45
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Ideally an action that was started in the past, that continues thorough he present and that might extend to the future, must be expressed with a perfect tense. But in the above case, are these conditions extant? No doubt the action of spawning (spawning means seeding) was done in the past and ended in the past. The spawning is not continuing today. The other event extending was not there 10,000 years ago, becos, at that point of time the fungus did not occupy 30 acres. So in both areas, a prefect tense becomes irrelevant.

What is the alternative then? A present tense such as is spawned to denote a completed action is ungrammatical. It is in such places that the use of participles, whether past or present is handy. That is why the sentence is using spawned, a past participle for spawning and present participle extending for the other event. As per norms of participles, it is parallel to use past and present participles in the same sentence.

C, which seems to use the speciously more parallel extended[/color]\, is wrong, becos the first arm says ‘spawned by’ while the second arm just says 'extended'. In essence, unless it clarifies ‘extended by what’, there is good reason to assume that it was extended by the same single fertilized spore. This is not logical.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the larges [#permalink]

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06 Apr 2013, 08:20
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mun23 wrote:
Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.

(A) extending
(B) extends
(C) extended
(0) it extended
(E) is extending
I picked c .why c is wrong?

In this case, C ("extended") and A ("extending") are each participle modifiers. These are basically short versions of relative clauses. An easy way to see how they work is to add a relative pronoun (that, which, who, etc.) and a verb.

"... filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles that is spawned by ... and that is extending ..."

Now we see that the sentence makes sense. The filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles is spawned by (or created by) something else, but it actively does the act of extending.

If we tried this with C, it would say:

"... filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles that is spawned by ... and that is extended ..."

This doesn't make sense. Now, the second modifier is in passive voice, so something else is extending the filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles, as if someone is stretching them 30 acres.

Easy rule: -ed modifiers create a passive construction (the thing being modified does not do the action - something else is acting on it), while -ing modifiers create an active construction (the thing being modified does the action)

You might think there is an issue with parallelism between -ed and -ing modifiers; however, this is not an issue. Since each of these are participle modifiers, they are the same type of modifier, so they are parallel. It doesn't matter that one is active and one is passive.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2014, 13:52
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Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus
that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and root-like tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some
10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.

A. extending - Correct
B. extends - present tense not required, Eliminate
C. extended - verd-ed modifier is parallel to past tense, wrong parallelism
D. it extended - no referent for it
E. is extending- present continuous tense not require
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Filigree (yeah again!!!) [#permalink]

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09 Dec 2005, 17:06
Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.

(A) extending

(B) extends

(C) extended

(D) it extended

(E) is extending

"As you can see, the filigree spawned by X some 10,000 years ago. This warrants the use of past participle. Also, "spawned by" denotes passive voice which justifies the use of past participle.
As for the "extending", it is still prevailing today in the Michigan forest so you cannot use past participle "extended". "

from (http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic ... n+filigree)

I understand the past vs present argument, but then why is B wrong? That is also present right?

Paul, you cracked this one, could you answer my query? Thanks!
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30 Jul 2007, 02:01
It's not B because of verb tense.

A rule is if it's a quote of speech (Sally said ...) it's past tense, if it's a direct quote ("I'm a dyke", said sally) then it's present tense. If it's an indisputable fact (The fire IS hot, not the fire WAS hot), it's present tense.

I did this grammar workbook, which I think is fantastic for grammar. It's called 'English Grammar Workbook for Dummies', by Geraldine Woods. It's meant for people doing the SAT and writing college entrance exams, but she covers everything you pretty much need to know. She doesn't do the subjunctive mood that well, but you can read up on it in other places. I just completed this book today, spent 3 days on it, and I know 100x what I knew before. In Canada they teach us NO GRAMMAR!!!!!! Argh. 0!!!!!! I didn't know what the hell the difference between a subject and object pronoun was (ie who/whom), I didn't know ANY verb tenses.. I just knew past/present/future... of course I know how to speak English But I don't know any formal rules.... I'm still learning, but this book is a great starting spot.
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30 Jul 2007, 19:09
It's not B because of verb tense.

A rule is if it's a quote of speech (Sally said ...) it's past tense, if it's a direct quote ("I'm a dyke", said sally) then it's present tense. If it's an indisputable fact (The fire IS hot, not the fire WAS hot), it's present tense.

I did this grammar workbook, which I think is fantastic for grammar. It's called 'English Grammar Workbook for Dummies', by Geraldine Woods. It's meant for people doing the SAT and writing college entrance exams, but she covers everything you pretty much need to know. She doesn't do the subjunctive mood that well, but you can read up on it in other places. I just completed this book today, spent 3 days on it, and I know 100x what I knew before. In Canada they teach us NO GRAMMAR!!!!!! Argh. 0!!!!!! I didn't know what the hell the difference between a subject and object pronoun was (ie who/whom), I didn't know ANY verb tenses.. I just knew past/present/future... of course I know how to speak English But I don't know any formal rules.... I'm still learning, but this book is a great starting spot.

Do they teach you manners and maturity in Canada?
I wouldn't use the term "dyke" in public in an American B-School, lest you fancy getting thrown out of class by one of your professors, or punched in the face by a complete stranger

Last edited by anonymousegmat on 30 Jul 2007, 19:14, edited 1 time in total.
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12 Aug 2007, 15:01
is extending - Progressive form of verb

extending - present participle Spawned - Past Participle

Scientists recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles spawned by a singles fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a michigan forest.

spawned-extending parallel

Hence A
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23 Sep 2010, 05:27
spawned by a signle fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago
AND
extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest

both refer to : an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles

the way I think of this is to imagine as if there was just one sentence here and no "AND" connector, and try and see what fits in best on the second sentence. The only form of "extend" that fits in well is "extending"... it is trying to to describe what an unfus is. A filigree extening for 30 acres makes sense ... a filigree extended for 30 acres, doesnt sound correct
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Re: Olding Living Organism   [#permalink] 23 Sep 2010, 05:27

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