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Supreme Court decisions while binding on all United States courts

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Supreme Court decisions while binding on all United States courts  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2019, 13:15
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A
B
C
D
E

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Supreme Court decisions, while binding on all United States courts, leave room for interpretation; it is therefore important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law.

A) important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law

B) important that lawyers and judges be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, and holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law

C) important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, that refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, and holdings, that refer to the binding decisions of the law

D) important that lawyers and judges are able to distinguish dicta, referring to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, referring to the binding decisions of the law

E) important that lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of law

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Re: Supreme Court decisions while binding on all United States courts  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2019, 13:33
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Supreme Court decisions, while binding on all United States courts, leave room for interpretation; it is therefore important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law.

A) important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law( between dicta and holdings is correct, between dicta from holdings is incorrect)

B) important that lawyers and judges be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, and holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law( correct)

C) important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, that refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, and holdings, that refer to the binding decisions of the law( that is not used for non restrictive clause.which is used for non restrictive clause )

D) important that lawyers and judges are able to distinguish dicta, referring to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, referring to the binding decisions of the law(between dicta from holding is incorrect)

E) important that lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of law( between dicta and holdings is incorrect)

Will go with choice B.

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Re: Supreme Court decisions while binding on all United States courts  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2019, 04:23
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IDIOM: distinguish between X AND Y
That introduces essential modifiers; therefore, Comma before that here is incorrect usage.
Considering above, Gotta go with Choice B.
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Re: Supreme Court decisions while binding on all United States courts  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2019, 06:11
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Imo B
Correct idiom is distinguish between x and y
Also the reference of using for lawyers and judges does not convey the exact meaning....that is preferred

important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law--incorrect, as mentioned wrong idiom and usage of that

B) important that lawyers and judges be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, and holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law---correct

C) important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, that refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, and holdings, that refer to the binding decisions of the law---incorrect, that is used to represent important information therefore it should have been without comma

D) important that lawyers and judges are able to distinguish dicta, referring to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, referring to the binding decisions of the law---incorrect, wrong idom and ing modifier is to present clause modification

E) important that lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of law+--incorrect, wrong idiom

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Re: Supreme Court decisions while binding on all United States courts  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2019, 09:18
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generis wrote:

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Supreme Court decisions, while binding on all United States courts, leave room for interpretation; it is therefore important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law.

A) important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law

B) important that lawyers and judges be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, and holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law

C) important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, that refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, and holdings, that refer to the binding decisions of the law

D) important that lawyers and judges are able to distinguish dicta, referring to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, referring to the binding decisions of the law

E) important that lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of law

The best or excellent answers get kudos, which will be awarded after the answer is revealed.



it tests distinguish between X and Y idiom , so A ,D and E are out.

B has error that Holdings is taken as singular but its plural - so - incorrect

So, correct option is C
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Re: Supreme Court decisions while binding on all United States courts  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2019, 15:49
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Yash312 wrote:
Imo B
Correct idiom is distinguish between x and y
Also the reference of using for lawyers and judges does not convey the exact meaning....that is preferred

important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law--incorrect, as mentioned wrong idiom and usage of that

B) important that lawyers and judges be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, and holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law---correct

C) important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, that refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, and holdings, that refer to the binding decisions of the law---incorrect, that is used to represent important information therefore it should have been without comma

D) important that lawyers and judges are able to distinguish dicta, referring to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, referring to the binding decisions of the law---incorrect, wrong idom and ing modifier is to present clause modification

E) important that lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of law+--incorrect, wrong idiom

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Just wanted to let you know there is no idiom error in D. The error is with the ing modifiers being used to modify a noun when it should modify a clause.

Distinguish X from Y is perfectly fine IMO.
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Supreme Court decisions while binding on all United States courts  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2019, 16:57
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Project SC Butler: Day 57 Sentence Correction (SC1)


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Supreme Court decisions, while binding on all United States courts, leave room for interpretation; it is therefore important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law.

A) important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law
B) important that lawyers and judges be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, and holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of the law
C) important for lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, that refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, and holdings, that refer to the binding decisions of the law
D) important that lawyers and judges are able to distinguish dicta, referring to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, referring to the binding decisions of the law
E) important that lawyers and judges to be able to distinguish between dicta, which refers to the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, from holdings, which refers to the binding decisions of law

OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

• [Paraphrasing] This question tests the idiom [Distinguish] between X and Y.
That construction is correct. [Distinguish] between X from Y is not correct.

(Another correct construction is
Distinguish X from Y)


Eliminate options A and E

• Choice B correctly changes [Distinguish] between X from Y (between . . . from) to [Distinguish] between X and Y (between . . . and).

[Option B also] correctly changes to be able to the subjunctive be able. That change must happen because of the clause it is . . . important

• Choice C removes between but does not use the other possible idiom, Distinguish X from Y;
instead choice C incorrectly uses Distinguish X and Y (distinguish . . . and . . .).
Eliminate option C

• Choice D incorrectly changes the verb to be able to are able, instead of rendering the verb in the subjunctive mood as be able.
Eliminate D.

The correct answer is B

COMMENTS

I am glad that the expression "It is (therefore) important THAT" is at issue.
Command subjunctive, discussed below, is not limited to bossy verbs.
Other constructions require the command subjunctive.
The most common of such constructions is the expression: "It is [adjective of importance] that."

***
Errors not related to command subjunctive
• Idiom - correct: Distinguish between X and Y. Wrong: Distinguish between X from Y. Discussed above.

• Usage of that.
-- As discussed in the first few posts, that must not be preceded by a comma in this context and almost always.

The word that implies an essential modifier:

Right: The house that federal agents searched for drugs is around the corner.
Wrong (remove the commas!): The house, that federal agents searched for drugs, is around the corner.

Commas imply that we can remove the information in a "non-essential modifier" without changing the core meaning of the sentence.
Correctly punctuated, but incorrect meaning: The house, which federal agents searched for drugs, is around the corner.
(Mentally remove the "which clause." Now we have a house that is merely around the corner. I am trying to describe a house that is unusual because it was searched for drugs. What is the location of house that was searched for drugs? It is around the corner.)

A slightly different sentence in which the non-essential modifier IS non-essential, correct:
The house, which is not hard to find, is around the corner.
comma + which = introduction to a NONessential modifier.
***

GENERAL APPROACH and ANALYSIS OF COMMAND SUBJUNCTIVE

Strip the sentence, put brackets around the questionable parts, and rename long parts of no consequence with variables

Supreme Court decisions, while binding on all United States courts, leave room for interpretation; it is therefore important for lawyers and judges [to be able] to distinguish between dicta, which refers to X the written material detailing the opinions of the prevailing justices, [from] holdings, which refers to Y the binding decisions of the law[/u].

. . . It is therefore important for lawyers and judges [to be able??] to [distinguish between??] dicta, which refers to X, [from??] holdings, which refers to Y.

• Meaning: Lawyers and judges must be able to tell the difference between dicta and holdings [when they read Supreme Court opinions].

WITHOUT THE IDIOM - we can decide this question on the basis of subjunctive construction alone

• Ignore the first IC
Unless it is used in a complicated list, a semicolon always separates two independent clauses, ICs
Ignore the first IC except to note that the question is about written Supreme Court opinions. That fact is enough.

• Words and phrases that should grab our attention, especially if we scan the answer choices:
"it is important"
distinguish (already discussed in OE above)

It is therefore important: requires the command subjunctive

If we compare answers using splits, we see that v. for
-- B, D, and E: It is therefore important that lawyers and judges . . .
-- A and C: It is therefore important for lawyers and judges . . .

If we have
IT IS + an adjective of importance, then command subjunctive is required.*

The expression it is important that is "bossing around" the subjects that follow, just as a bossy verb would boss those subjects around.

• How to construct this type of expression:

IT IS + ADJECTIVE OF IMPORTANCE + that + subject + bare infinitive (command subjunctive)

Correct: It is imperative that smoke detectors be placed in every classroom.
Wrong: It is imperative that smoke detectors are placed in every classroom.

Because A and C incorrectly use "It is important FOR," eliminate them.

• Looking for the correct verb.
Only one form is correct: the bare infinitive. Simply remove the word "to."
Infinitive = to be able [to distinguish]
Bare infinitive = be able

It is important that lawyers and judges be able [to distinguish] . . .

Option D incorrectly uses "are able." Option E incorrectly uses the infinitive "to be able."

Option B is correct.

We have no completely correct answers today, a fact that is just fine. This question is hard.
sonusaini1
Incorrect about E: "between dicta and holdings is incorrect)" -- if that statement were true, then B could not be correct
IronMaiden97
Your first sentence eliminates A and E. Your second sentence eliminates C. How do we choose between B and D?
Yash312 , the idiom in option D is okay. Both are correct: Distinguish between X and Y and Distinguish X from Y
gadde22 , "holdings" is used as a term, a singular term. That issue is hard; dicta is italicized because it is Latin. Although not italicized,
in context, "holdings" refers to a general and singular thing (the part of a Supreme Court opinion in which binding decisions of the Court are found).
kchen1994 , you are correct about option D. (Not pointing out an error. Just acknowledging your contribution, which unfortunately is not a whole solution.)

Thanks for posting, all! :)


**Here is a not-exhaustive sample of adjectives that require the command subjunctive when preceded by "it is."
It is important (that) the rules be followed.
It is best (that)
It is imperative (that)
It is necessary (that)
It is desirable (that) she be given access to the secret code.
It is essential (that) he cooperate with the police.
It is urgent (that)
It is recommended (that)

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Re: Supreme Court decisions while binding on all United States courts  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2019, 18:05
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generis

I agree that "holdings" is singular here. But why the sentence refer "holdings" to "decisions", which is plural? Is that acceptable?

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Supreme Court decisions while binding on all United States courts  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2019, 18:10
generis

Also want to confirm, whether "it is important that" always imply we have to apply command subjunctive mood structure?

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Re: Supreme Court decisions while binding on all United States courts  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2019, 19:34
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duybachhpvn wrote:
generis

I agree that "holdings" is singular here. But why the sentence refer "holdings" to "decisions", which is plural? Is that acceptable?

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duybachhpvn , the relative pronoun which
(1) is the relative pronoun for dicta and for holdings
(2) is followed by the singular verb, "refers."

The focus seems to be on "the written material, singular [composed of dicta on one hand and holdings on the other hand]."
This way of dividing a court case into "one part = dicta" and "the other part = holdings" is
specialized and used by legal practitioners and scholars.

If you are asking whether an author can decide to make
what seems to be a plural noun into a collective singular noun, the answer is:
yes, if that's the only grammatical option or
yes, if all five answer choices are identical.
All options use the singular verb refers, so this issue is not a decision point.

I doubt that the GMAT would test the issue this subtly.

The more likely scenario is this one:
in the non-underlined portion of the sentence we would see a word such as "species"
and another word indicating whether species is singular or plural.
Then we would see answer choices that test whether we noticed that "species" is plural [or singular].
HERE is an official question in which the underlined portion tells us about the plurality of the noun.

I cannot think of an official question that tests the issue you raise.
We can say, for example, "I believe that all existing human beings are homo sapiens sapiens, which refers to a single species."
Can we reclassify a plural noun into a singular collective noun?
In this situation and others, yes.
But without concrete examples, I can't say that doing so is always possible.
(And I cannot think of concrete examples in which the reclassification is ungrammatical.)

In short, I would not worry about this issue. :)
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Supreme Court decisions while binding on all United States courts  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2019, 19:51
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duybachhpvn wrote:
generis

Also want to confirm, whether "it is important that" always imply we have to apply command subjunctive mood structure?

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duybachhpvn , on the GMAT, in formal writing, and in well-spoken English, yes.

People trained in British English will need to be a little bit careful about this issue.
In B.E., the subjunctive is often replaced with should.
B.E., wrong on the GMAT: It is important that he should meet her parents.
GMAT and U.S. English, correct: It is important that he meet her parents.

But the clue word is THAT.
We can also use an infinitive:
Correct: It is important to be professional and to show collegiality.
Correct: It is important for him to meet her parents.

If you see "It is important" + THAT, yes, use the subjunctive.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Supreme Court decisions while binding on all United States courts  [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2019, 02:23
Hi,

Could someone please let me know why "be able to" is correctly used in option B?
I thought we should have used "are" here.

Thank you!
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Supreme Court decisions while binding on all United States courts  [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2019, 06:31
norahwei wrote:
Hi,

Could someone please let me know why "be able to" is correctly used in option B?
I thought we should have used "are" here.

Thank you!
Best regards,

Hi norahwei , I'm not sure whether you read the thread and still do not understand.

In my official explanation above, HERE, I wrote:

If we have
IT IS + an adjective of importance, then command subjunctive is required.

The construction is important, and in that post I explain how it works and why we use it.

If that post did not help, please let me know and I'll be happy to explain more about command subjunctive.

Hope that helps. :)
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Supreme Court decisions while binding on all United States courts   [#permalink] 20 May 2019, 06:31
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