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Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde

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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Feb 2017, 06:35
mpetwal wrote:
How do the two sentences differ from each other?

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 giant fungus that is-
1) an interwoven filigree of mushrooms.
2) extending for more than 30 acres.


The bones of Majungatholus atopus, a meat-eating dinosaur that is a distant relative of Tyrannosaurus rex and closely resembles South American predatory dinosaurs, have been discovered in Madagascar.

A meat eating dinosaur that -
1) is a distant relative of T-Rex.
2) closely resembles South American predatory Dinosaurs.

Case 1 includes is after 'that'.
Case 2 doesn't.

Help needed to understand.


The parallelism for the two cases are as follows:

Case 1:
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.

The parallelism is between two noun modifiers:
1. spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years
2. extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest
Both refers to "tentacles".

Case 2:
The bones of Majungatholus atopus, a meat-eating dinosaur that is a distant relative of Tyrannosaurus rex and closely resembles South American predatory dinosaurs, have been discovered in Madagascar.

The parallelism is between two verbs:
1. is a distant relative of Tyrannosaurus rex
2. closely resembles South American predatory dinosaurs, have been discovered in Madagascar
Both have the same subject "that".
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2017, 03:22
mpetwal wrote:
Thank you for Replying.

When do we use 'comma + and' structure? Only in list parallelism?


Following are the cases when comma + and is used:

1. Before the last item in a list of three or more items:
I like apples, oranges, and grapes.... correct
However this usage is optional. Even without the comma, the sentence is correct: I like apples, oranges and grapes.... correct

2. To join two independent clauses:
She sings, and she dances.... correct.
Here the usage is mandatory. Without the comma, the sentence would be wrong: She sings and she dances.... wrong.
(Note: "She sings and dances" is alright - here two verbs are joined, and hence comma is not required.)
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2017, 01:31
smanujahrc wrote:
why is extending correct when if we follow rules of parallelism extended should be correct
spawned...extended


The first modifier ("spawned by a single fertilized spore") is in passive voice - the tentacles are spawned by a single fertilized spore.
The second modifier ("extending for more than 30 acres in the soil") is in active voice - the tentacles extend for more than 30 acres in the soil (not the tentacles are extended). Thus the parallelism is alright.

Please note that a past participle modifier (verb-ed), a present participle modifier (verb-ing) and an adjective can be used in parallel, if the the participle modifiers function as adjectives.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2017, 05:58
yogesh610 wrote:
I completely understand that we are looking here for the parallelism and the coordinating conjunction gives the hint of it. If spawned is past participle then it should be extending because participles stands in parallel no matter they are in present or past. But i doubt that isn't that spawned seems more like a verb in simple past. I am confused?
help me


you can check whether action was done by the subject to differentiate between participle and verb. For example here tentacles didn't do action of spawning it was done by spore and in question also it is stated as tentacles spawned by....... Therefore spawned is not verb but past participle. Past participle is originated by passive construction , removing helping verb before the participles . Since we need participle after 'and' to make the construction parallel and to show that 'extension' is still happening , we need present participle.


A good explanation is here https://gmatclub.com/forum/ed-forms-ver ... 34691.html
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Nov 2017, 23:56
i have a question here. If the sentence read " Scientist recently discovered......" can we use extended in this sentence. Also how can the past participle spawned be parallel to the present participle extending??
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2017, 07:28
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We may note that either a past participle or a present participle does not indicate any timing. They are just technical names and have no tense of their own but adopt the tense of the main clause. To repeat in a different way, they are not verbs but simply verbals.
That said, 'spawned by' here is a participle because the doer of spawning is not in front but behind the action. However, if you say 'extended' only missing the 'by' preposition, then the doer of extending is in front namely - interwoven filigree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles -. Since the doer is there in front, the word is a verb.
The essence of the topic is that even though structurally two words may look the same, still they may vary in meaning and hence, are not parallel.
However, the participle 'extending' is in accord with the other participle 'spawned' because both are participles. As such, we should not bother about the structural difference between a past participle and present participle.
Probably if the choice had said 'spawned by' and 'extended by' something, then it would have been a different story.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2017, 00:37
sir according to egmat every subject in a sentence must have verb so my question is what is the verb of a giant fungus lets look at the question
1st subject scientists whose verb is have
2nd a giant fungus no verb
3rd new clause started by that which refers to giant fungus whose verb is "is" and according to explanation spawned and extending is modifier than where is the verb of a giant fungus? please explain
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2017, 21:30
rishabhmishra Not every noun is the subject of a verb. At its core (stripped of most modifiers), the sentence looks like this: Scientists have discovered the organism, a fungus. "A fungus" is just modifying "organism" and does not take a verb. This is common. Notice that none of the italicized nouns in the sentences below are the subjects of verbs. They are all objects (something acts on them) or modifiers of other nouns.

I just got my first dog, a beagle.
I want cookies, ice cream, and pie.
The writer combined a traditional plot with innovative writing techniques to create her second novel, a popular masterpiece.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2018, 10:18
Shraddha - Hi egmat - could you please confirm, why the initial part in bold below is not a initial modifier that can be removed ?

I believe the big issue i found was -- I thought the bold could be stripped away from the core of the sentence ...Turns out, the bold is indeed part of the core of the sentence ...Once i realized that, then I could get the right answer

Is it because, the initial sentence is a clause (has a subject /verb)

Can i infer that initial modifiers that are clauses (have a sub/verb) and dont have words like (although / because of / even though .....) == those are always part of the core of the sentence ?


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
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New post 30 Apr 2018, 22:38
jabhatta@umail.iu.edu It's more than that. Because the first part is an independent clause (it doesn't start with something like "While" or "Because"), it isn't a modifier at all. It contains the main subject and verb of the sentence. Notice that it could stand alone by itself if we placed a period after "Earth." That's never true of modifiers. The part after the comma is all one long noun phrase describing the fungus. After the word "fungus," it's all modifiers. There's no verb there at all.

So the underlined part is actually the essential part of the sentence, and the non-underlined part is one long stretch of disposable modifiers!
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2018, 21:24
Paul wrote:
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.




How do you know it is still prevailing today? You do not have any reason to believe that except your general knowledge.
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New post 28 May 2018, 21:19
manishk30 What do you mean? The sentence indicates that it is a currently living organism.

In any case, even if we imagined that the fungus used to extend further than it does now, there's no option for that in the answer choices. We'd need something like "which extended." Otherwise we are saying that someone or something "extended" it, and that doesn't make sense.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2018, 22:22
manishk30 wrote:
How do you know it is still prevailing today? You do not have any reason to believe that except your general knowledge.

Hi Manish, extending does not mean that it is still extending.

extending is a participle. Participles do not have a tense of their own. So,

i) Present participle does not mean present tense
ii) Past participle does not mean past tense

Participles derive their tense from the main verb of the sentence. For example:

i) Michael is extending his leave - Present participle extending in a sentence that is in present
ii) Michael was extending his leave - Present participle extending in a sentence that is in past

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana explicitly mentions this aspect of participles. Have attached the corresponding section of the book, for your reference.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2018, 22:36
EducationAisle Well, that's true as a generality, but in this case it is still extending. The sentence is set in the present: the fungus is alive now, and its network currently extends through the soil of the forest.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2018, 22:46
Hello DmitryFarber, indeed and if you read my post, I mention that the participles derive their tense from the main verb of the sentence or the clause that the participle is a part of (which is is in this sentence).
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2018, 22:14
Can someone explain to me why its not B? Why can't we have parallelism between "is" and "extends". I read the sentence like:

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.


This makes sense to me, a giant fungus that extends for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jul 2018, 00:24
This is a very good example to understand questions based on parallelism and modifiers.

Now as it can be observed that before the underlined portion there is a conjunction and so it has to be ensured that the grammatical function of the connecting terms remains the same. In this case and connects spawned which is not used as a verb rather it is a modifier which tries to modify the fungus. Similarly, extending is also not a verb but ing modifier. Both spawned and extending have a similar grammatical function. Hence Choice A is correct.

B- extends is a verb and hence can’t be parallel with a modifier spawned

C –fungus is still expanding so past tense can’t be used

D-fungus is still extending and hence past tense is incorrectly used

E- the verb is not parallel with the modifier

Hope it helps.

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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2018, 15:12
I got this one wrong.
As pointed out by other members we are paralleling modifiers here ie -ed and -ing. Hence, A is correct.
The issue with B is that it parallel's a clause (that is...) with a modifier (extending) which is incorrect.
Please correct me if i am mistaken.
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New post 30 Aug 2018, 23:41
shahMeet As you say, we want "spawned" and "extending" (two modifiers). Therefore, we don't want "spawned" and "extends" (a modifier and a verb). There's no need to go looking for other items ("that is") to match "extends" with.
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Re: Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and olde &nbs [#permalink] 30 Aug 2018, 23:41

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