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Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but it ran 363 miles a

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Re: Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but it ran 363 miles a  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2017, 17:17
mikemcgarry wrote:
LakerFan24 wrote:
With all due respect, I've read your entire post looking for a direct answer to my question and was unable to find one. To reiterate, if you told me to find a canal that is 40ft wide AND 12 ft deep, and then later you tell me to find another canal that is 40ft wide OR 12ft deep, there is absolutely no way I could find one canal satisfies both of your requirements. In the end, I would find one canal for each of your 2 conditions, leaving you with a total of two different canals. This is why I say the meaning changed.

Does my argument make sense?

Dear LakerFan24,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

I see now. You misunderstand the word "or" itself. See this post:
The Word “Or” in GMAT Math

You see, in most ordinary colloquial speech, the word "or" is used as the exclusive or (written XOR in logic)
P XOR Q means P by itself or Q by itself but definitely not both together and definitely not neither

In all of mathematics on planet Earth, and through the GMAT, the word "or" is used exclusively as the inclusive or; in logic and mathematics, this is represented by the ordinary word "or."
P or Q mean P by itself or Q by itself or PQ together but definitely not neither.

Thus, in the logical use of the word, I would be an example of both
(a) a man who is a college graduate AND a NY Mets fan
(b) a man who is a college graduate OR a NY Mets fan
I am definitely not an example of
(c) a man who is a college graduate XOR a NY Mets fan
In fact, by definitely, any person in (c) could not be in (a), and vice versa. All true, but wherever "or" appears on the GMAT or in any math book on the planet, it never never never means XOR. On the GMAT, OR is always inclusive, and (a) is a strict logical subset of (b).

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)



Ah - completely understand. I didn't really think about "exclusive" or "inclusive" or, but you're right. I feel like in Probability problems, the "inclusive" or can be highlighted, whereas if someone says "Mike, you won a new car OR a new house", the "exclusive" or is taken into effect.

Now to clarify -- you're saying the "inclusive" version of "or" occurs on both the Quant AND Verbal sections? So every time I see an "or" on the GMAT, I am to assume the inclusive property?
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Re: Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but it ran 363 miles a  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2017, 10:16
LakerFan24 wrote:
Ah - completely understand. I didn't really think about "exclusive" or "inclusive" or, but you're right. I feel like in Probability problems, the "inclusive" or can be highlighted, whereas if someone says "Mike, you won a new car OR a new house", the "exclusive" or is taken into effect.

Now to clarify -- you're saying the "inclusive" version of "or" occurs on both the Quant AND Verbal sections? So every time I see an "or" on the GMAT, I am to assume the inclusive property?

Dear LakerFan24,

My friend, I'm happy to respond. :-)

Yes, in spoken language, the word "or" often means the exclusive "or"--especially when emotional inflection lands on that word! (I'll let you think about examples in emotionally charged interpersonal situations!)

On the GMAT Quant (and conventionally through mathematics in general), the word "or" is always inclusive. To be consistent--and the GMAT is nothing if not logically consistent!--if the unadorned word "or" appears on the Verbal or IR or even the AWA, the GMAT always would intend it as the inclusive "or." If, under some circumstances they intended the exclusive "or," they would have to spell that out explicitly (e.g. "P or Q individually, but not both together"). You are 100% safe if you assume, barring explicit language to the contrary, that every "or" you see on the GMAT is inclusive.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but it ran 363 miles a  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2017, 11:55
Although mikemcgarry clearly rules on this question with some brilliant answers out there. I would like to add a quick note from my side.

Mike I know you have clarified the confusion between "and" and "or" I am still not getting it completely, may be because it's just the way, we non-natives have been using till date.

Coming back to the question. Let's begin the answer analysis.

A. Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but it ran 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, the Erie Canal connected

- ",but it ran" is illogical and hence the sentence is not parallel with the modifier "Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep"

B. Seldom more than 40 feet wide or 12 feet deep but running 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, the Erie Canal connected

- CORRECT
- Usage of verb "connected" is correct


C. It was seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, and ran 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, but the Erie Canal, connecting

- Missing verb as the word "connecting" is used, making the sentence fragment.

D. The Erie Canal was seldom more than 40 feet wide or 12 feet deep and it ran 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, which connected

- usage of "which" is ambigous

E. The Erie Canal, seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but running 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, connecting

- Missing verb as the word "connecting" is used, making the sentence fragment.

Hence, Answer is B

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Re: Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but it ran 363 miles a  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2017, 13:45
Although "B" is a correct choice. I wanted to know if someone else can throw a few convincing points about WHY A and C are incorrect? Thanks.
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Re: Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but it ran 363 miles a  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2017, 14:17
AnubhavK wrote:
Although "B" is a correct choice. I wanted to know if someone else can throw a few convincing points about WHY A and C are incorrect? Thanks.



Hello AnubhavK,

I will be glad to help you out with one. :-)

Let's take a look at Choice A:

Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but it ran 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, the Erie Canal connected

This choice is incorrect for two reasons:

i. The sentence presents two features of Erie canal that should be parallel to each other - the width and depth of the canal and the length or the extent of stretch of the canal. Although logically parallel, the two features Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep and it ran 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York are grammatically not parallel because the former is a phrase while the latter is a clause.

ii. Comma + but ids followed by an independent clause it ran... which is connected to another independent clause the Erie Canal connected... by just a comma. This structure is not grammatical.


Now let's take a look at Choice C:

It was seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, and ran 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, but the Erie Canal, connecting

This choice is also incorrect for two reason:

i. There is no verb for the subject the Erie Canal.

ii. Use of connector and instead of but takes away the intended contrast mentioned in the original sentence.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
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Re: Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but it ran 363 miles a  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2017, 14:42
ydmuley wrote:
Although mikemcgarry clearly rules on this question with some brilliant answers out there. I would like to add a quick note from my side.

Mike I know you have clarified the confusion between "and" and "or" I am still not getting it completely, may be because it's just the way, we non-natives have been using till date.




Hello ydmuley,

I would like to present my two cents on the usage of and Vs. but in this official sentence. :-)

The sentence presents a few features of the Erie Canal. This canal ran 363 miles across the upstate New York. But it is not imperative that the canal was 40 feet wide AND 12 feet deep at the same time all across the stretch. At some places it were 40 feet wide, and some places it was not. Similarly, at some places it was 12 feet deep, but not that deep at most of the places.


So it is not that the Erie Canal was seldom 40 deep wide and 12 feet deep at the same time as conveyed by the usage of and. These two conditions did not occur together. It's not that where the canal was 40 feet wide, it was 12 feet deep also. It was any one condition all along the stretch. Hence, use of or makes more sense in the context of this sentence.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
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Re: QOTD: Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2018, 21:38
5
1
Quote:
(A) Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but it ran 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, the Erie Canal connected

This is a hot mess. We start with a modifier (“seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep”) that needs to describe “the Erie Canal”, but then it takes an eternity to actually get to any mention of the canal. That’s not OK.

Similarly, the pronoun “it” is an awfully long way from its referent (“the Erie Canal”). It can be OK for a pronoun to precede the noun it refers to, but it’s awfully confusing when the “it” is THIS far away from “the Erie Canal.”

Finally, it’s hard to make sense of the phrase beginning with “but.” Logically, I guess the phrase “but it ran 363 miles…” is trying to provide a counterpoint to the fact that the Erie Canal is “seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep.” But it’s not structured correctly: “seldom more than 40 feet wide…” is a modifier, and I don’t think a dependent clause starting with “but” could logically provide a counterpoint for a modifier – the initial phrase would need to be an independent clause, not a modifier.

But even if your eyes glazed over reading that last paragraph, there are plenty of other reasons to eliminate (A). ;)

Quote:
(B) Seldom more than 40 feet wide or 12 feet deep but running 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, the Erie Canal connected

I don’t think this sounds great, but I don’t have a problem with it, either. The entire phrase before the comma is just one big, complicated modifier, telling us more about the Erie Canal: it’s “seldom more than 40 feet wide” but runs "363 miles across upstate New York". Fair enough. All of those things reasonably describe the canal.

If you're skeptical: notice that “but” is doing something different in (B) than in (A). In (A), “but” is followed by “it ran..” – so we have a full clause (dependent, in this case) in (A). In (B), “but” is followed by an “-ing” modifier, “running 363 miles…” – and that “-ing” modifier serves as an adjective that modifies the Erie Canal. That's really not a problem at all: the phrase "running 363 miles..." is parallel to the phrase "seldom more than 40 feet deep...", since they both modify a noun ("the Erie Canal").

I don’t see any other potential issues, so let’s keep (B).

Quote:
(C) It was seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, and ran 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, but the Erie Canal, connecting

This one is such a hot mess that it’s oddly tricky to explain why it’s such a hot mess.

The first problem here is that the word “it” is an awfully long way from its referent, “the Erie Canal.” It’s OK to have a pronoun precede its referent on the GMAT, but it’s pretty confusing when there’s so much stuff between the “it” and “Erie Canal.”

Another is that the “but” doesn’t really make sense where it’s placed. The sentence is trying to draw a contrast between the canal’s small size (“seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep”) and… well, basically everything else in the sentence, including the fact that it runs 363 miles across the state. So if anything, the “but” needs to be placed BEFORE the phrase “ran 363 miles…”

And then the phrase “but the Erie Canal…” needs a verb somewhere. The sentence starts with an independent clause (“it was seldom more than 40 feet wide…”), and then we have “but” followed by a noun – so we’re going to need a verb next for this to make any sense. And it never happens – we just have more modifiers (“connecting” and “providing”).

But if you just read (C), said “holy poop on a stick, this is a mess”, and crossed it out, that’s cool, too.

Quote:
(D) The Erie Canal was seldom more than 40 feet wide or 12 feet deep and it ran 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, which connected

It’s pretty easy to eliminate (D) based on the modifier “which connected…” Noun modifiers beginning with "which" generally need to modify the immediately preceding noun (or at least a noun that's reasonably close!). So (D) seems to be saying that either “upstate New York” or maybe “the wilderness of upstate New York” connected the Hudson River to the Great Lakes, and that makes zero sense.

You could also argue that it’s illogical to use “and” to connect the phrase “the Erie Canal was seldom more than 40 feet wide…” with “it ran 363 miles.” Ideally, the canal’s small width and depth should be contrasted with its length – so a “but” would be more appropriate.

So (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) The Erie Canal, seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but running 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, connecting

This thing is basically just a string of modifiers and dependent clauses, and it isn’t actually a sentence at all. We have: “The Erie Canal, (modifier), (dependent clause), (modifier), (modifier).” Not cool.

So we can eliminate (E), and we’re left with (B), even though it arguably sounds kinda funny. :?
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Re: QOTD: Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2018, 23:16
+1 B

(A) Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but it ran 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, the Erie Canal connected-The it in the opening modifier is unnecessary.

(B) Seldom more than 40 feet wide or 12 feet deep but running 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, the Erie Canal connected-Looks fine,hold it

(C) It was seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, and ran 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, but the Erie Canal, connecting- The subject Erie Canal doesn't have any verb

(D) The Erie Canal was seldom more than 40 feet wide or 12 feet deep and it ran 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, which connected-which is wrongly modifying New York.New York does not connect the Hudson River at Albany to the Great Lakes at Buffalo,The Erie Canal does

(E) The Erie Canal, seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but running 363 miles across the rugged wilderness of upstate New York, connecting-The subject Erie Canal doesn't have any verb

Hence the right answer is B
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Re: QOTD: Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 09:54
Question about B:
doesn't B change the meaning with '40 feet wide or 12 feet deep' instead of '40 feet wide and 12 feet deep'. ?
I understand 'it' in B is problematic as pronoun 'it' comes before subject noun 'the Erie canal'.
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Re: QOTD: Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 10:21
ManSab wrote:
Question about B:
doesn't B change the meaning with '40 feet wide or 12 feet deep' instead of '40 feet wide and 12 feet deep'. ?
I understand 'it' in B is problematic as pronoun 'it' comes before subject noun 'the Erie canal'.


Nice observation. I think the point here is not about the or/and connector. It is about structure. Remaining options are out for want of the correct sentence structure. This option is structurally correct and logically valid too ! The logical meaning here is that in-spite of being 40ft wide or 12 ft deep the canal ran 363 miles across the ruggedness wilderness . The contrast here is between narrow width or shallow depth and length of the river.

Hope this helps !
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Re: QOTD: Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jan 2018, 01:50
Hi GMATNinja

Is there any other reason why the answer A is wrong? Besides the use of "it"?
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Re: Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but it ran 363 miles a  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2019, 08:24
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Re: Seldom more than 40 feet wide and 12 feet deep, but it ran 363 miles a   [#permalink] 17 Jan 2019, 08:24

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