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Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit

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New post 21 Jun 2018, 00:20
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Technically, "quicksand" is the term for sand that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character.

(A) that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character

(B) that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid

(C) that is saturated with water enough to acquire liquid characteristics

(D) saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid

(E) saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character

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Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 08 May 2019, 14:51
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Hello Everyone!

Even though the stats for this question show it's a tricky one, we can narrow down to the right option by exploiting the error type clues.

Let's start by looking at the differences in the options:

1. that is so saturated / saturated enough
2. acquires / to acquire
3. character / characteristics


Verb tenses are often an easy place to start narrowing down options, so definitely let's start by tackling #2 on our list: acquires vs. to acquire.

When we use the to+verb combination, it implies intention. This means that when we say the sand wants "to acquire" the characteristics of water, it is a thinking, breathing, intentional being that chooses to go out and get the characteristics of water. We know that sand isn't a living thing that has intentions of its own. Therefore, it isn't appropriate to say "to acquire." Here are some examples:

I want to acquire the rights to that song for my movie. = CORRECT (I'm a person with thoughts and intentions, so it's okay.)

The chair is so short as to acquire the perfect balance for short children. = WRONG (A chair can't want "to acquire" balance from somewhere - it's either balanced or it's not. The chair can't decide for itself what it wants to be!)

The school acquires new students every fall. = CORRECT (Just saying "acquires" doesn't imply intention is involved. It just happens, so it's okay.)

Now, let's use that understanding and we'll be able to decimate the incorrect options. Check it out:

(A) that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character

(B) that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid

(C) that is saturated with water enough to acquire liquid characteristics

(D) saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid

(E) saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character


There we have it. The only answer that doesn't imply that sand or quicksand "chooses" to take on the characteristics of a liquid is answer B.

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Originally posted by EMPOWERgmatVerbal on 25 Jun 2018, 17:27.
Last edited by EMPOWERgmatVerbal on 08 May 2019, 14:51, edited 3 times in total.
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Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 27 Apr 2019, 03:44
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There are several reasons to eliminate A and choose B.

so X as to Y implies that Y SEEMS TO BE TRUE.
Official examples:
Climatic shifts are so gradual as to be indistinguishable from ordinary fluctuations in the weather.
The features of the idealized sculpture portrait are so unrealistic as to constitute what one scholar calls an "artificial face."
In each case, the blue portion is something that SEEMS TO BE TRUE about the preceding subject in red.

so X that Y implies that Y ACTUALLY HAPPENS.
An official example:
Everyday life is so brisk that it hampers the ability of some children to distinguishing discrete sounds.
Here, the blue portion is something that ACTUALLY HAPPENS -- an action that is actually performed by the preceding subject in red.

A key difference between the two idioms:
Whereas in the second idiom Y can serve to express an actual action, in the first idiom it cannot.
In the first idiom, Y must serve to express not an actual action but something that merely SEEMS TO BE TRUE about the preceding subject.

A: so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character
Here, so X as to Y incorrectly serves to express the action in red.
As noted above, Y in this idiom must serve to express not an actual action but something that merely seems to be true about the preceding subject.

Moreover, the usage of so X as to Y implies that the portion in red does not actually happen.
Not the intended meaning.
A person can DROWN in quicksand.
Thus, quicksand actually DOES acquire the character of a liquid.
To express this meaning, we should use so X that Y, as in the OA:
"Quicksand"...is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid.

Another issue:

A dog's eyes can reveal much about its temperament.
Here, the phrase in blue implies that every dog has UNIQUE eyes -- eyes that can reveal much about the dog's temperament.

A: a liquid's character
This phrase seems to imply that every liquid has a UNIQUE character.
Not the intended meaning.
The intention here is to discuss the general nature of any given liquid.
The OA correctly expresses this meaning:
"Quicksand"... is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid.
Here, THE CHARACTER of a liquid = the general nature of any given liquid.

For all these reasons, eliminate A.


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Originally posted by GMATGuruNY on 02 Jul 2018, 14:43.
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 22 Jun 2018, 07:16
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Technically, “quicksand” is the term for sand that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character.


A. that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character--- more ideal than B as it avoids the prickly pronoun issue.

B. that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid-- 'it' may refer to either the term quicksand or just sand.

C. that is saturated with water enough to acquire the liquid characteristics --- Liquid characteristics means different from the character of a liquid.

D. saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid--- so as to acquire in a stretch isn't acceptable. 'So adjective as to' is the correct idiom.

E. saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character-- liquid character changes the meaning.
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Originally posted by daagh on 21 Jun 2018, 08:05.
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 04 Sep 2018, 00:33
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IMO, B makes sense.
Other options say "as to acquire" liquid's character (which could be one particular type of liquid) or characteristics of liquid, means sand itself want to acquire those characteristics by enough saturation of water. However, in general, quicksand is a condition where sand behaves like a liquid when it is saturated with enough water. Also "so X that Y" is correct
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Originally posted by SWAT09 on 22 Jun 2018, 12:27.
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 22 Jun 2018, 13:38
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It's definitely between A and B. I personally think the phrase "a liquid's character" is very awkward. Because of that, I lean toward B. On the other hand, the "it" in B is somewhat ambiguous, even though B sounds more natural than A overall.

As pedantic as the people who write these tests seem to be, something tells me the answer will end up being A, which is clunky but has no real technical problems. ;)

Originally posted by neptune28 on 22 Jun 2018, 12:50.
Last edited by neptune28 on 22 Jun 2018, 13:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2018, 05:30
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urvashis09 wrote:
IMO B.

to+verb is used to denote aim/purpose/intention. The sand does not acquire water to become like liquid. Therefore, B.

Also, there is no pronoun ambiguity as water cannot acquire a liquid's character as it already is a liquid.

Not very sure, waiting for the OA.


I think there is a subtle difference in meaning between A & B.Lets have a re-look at the options.

A. that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character
In A, 'liquid' works to replace 'water'.
So option A could be read as : that is so saturated with water as to acquire a water's character.

B. that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid
In B, 'liquid' do not acts as a replacement of 'water'. It means that 'quicksand' acts as a 'liquid'

IMO, sentence intends to convey that 'quicksand' works as 'water' and not just a 'liquid'.

Experts comments awaited.
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2018, 14:00
Well, well—turns out the answer is B after all.

If someone could post the explanation too, that would be extremely helpful. I thought "a liquid's character" in choice A sounded very strange, but it would be interesting to know if that was indeed the deal breaker.

I guess the slight pronoun ambiguity in B wasn't considered a big deal.
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New post 28 Jun 2018, 21:02
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neptune28 wrote:
Well, well—turns out the answer is B after all.

If someone could post the explanation too, that would be extremely helpful. I thought "a liquid's character" in choice A sounded very strange, but it would be interesting to know if that was indeed the deal breaker.

I guess the slight pronoun ambiguity in B wasn't considered a big deal.


You can check the solutions above. For example, here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/technically- ... l#p2084021
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New post 28 Jun 2018, 21:50
Bunuel wrote:
You can check the solutions above. For example, here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/technically- ... l#p2084021


Thanks, Bunuel, but if you read my response to that post, the claim that the "so X as to Y" structure isn't idiomatic is puzzling. I also provided an official question in which that structure is considered idiomatic. So it seems nothing less than an explanation from the OG is going to do. ;)
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2018, 22:25
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neptune28 wrote:
Bunuel wrote:
You can check the solutions above. For example, here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/technically- ... l#p2084021


Thanks, Bunuel, but if you read my response to that post, the claim that the "so X as to Y" structure isn't idiomatic is puzzling. I also provided an official question in which that structure is considered idiomatic. So it seems nothing less than an explanation from the OG is going to do. ;)



Hope this might help

The idiom "So + Adj + that + Clause (Sub+verb) - expresses cause & result

The idiom "So + Adj + as to + Verb - expresses the extreme nature of whatever you are talking about

The OG example quoted by you has the idiom of the form

"So + Adj + as to + (be+ Adj)" - is used to strengthen a description for e.g. so pale as to be translucent


In the question topic, Choice A i think is wrong for the use of possessive "liquid's character"

Possessive nouns are used to describe parts of living things or something that belongs to a living thing.

e.g. unicorn's horn, bird's feathers, etc.

for inanimate objects we do not use the possessive form

e.g. we don't say "door's handle", we say "door handle"

I hope this clarifies.

Experts please correct me if i am wrong. The above explanations are from my notes collected from various sources.

You can refer to RonPurewal explanation to " So....as to" here https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/forums/idioms-so-x-as-to-y-vs-x-enough-to-y-t1711.html


Thanks,
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 29 Jun 2018, 13:16
GyMrAT wrote:
Hope this might help

The idiom "So + Adj + that + Clause (Sub+verb) - expresses cause & result

The idiom "So + Adj + as to + Verb - expresses the extreme nature of whatever you are talking about


Thanks—that's interesting. But I think you could also say that in this sentence, the "extreme nature" of something is being described. So, unfortunately, I'm not sure this really clears things up. Does the sand's property of extreme saturation "result" in the acquiring of the character of a liquid? I don't think so. Here it seems we're just describing an inherent characteristic. So, I don't see any real cause and effect—it's all just instantaneous.

Quote:
In the question topic, Choice A i think is wrong for the use of possessive "liquid's character"

Possessive nouns are used to describe parts of living things or something that belongs to a living thing.

e.g. unicorn's horn, bird's feathers, etc.

for inanimate objects we do not use the possessive form

e.g. we don't say "door's handle", we say "door handle"


That makes a lot of sense—thanks.

Originally posted by neptune28 on 29 Jun 2018, 12:50.
Last edited by neptune28 on 29 Jun 2018, 13:16, edited 4 times in total.
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New post 29 Jun 2018, 12:54
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Water is already a liquid. Therefore, there is no question of it acquiring liquid's character yet again. The logical subject of 'to acquire' is only the otherwise solid sand, which becomes a swampy medium.
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New post 29 Jun 2018, 13:01
daagh wrote:
Water is already a liquid. Therefore, there is no question of it acquiring liquid's character yet again. The logical subject of 'to acquire' is only the otherwise solid sand, which becomes a swampy medium.


Good point. OK, so why is choice A definitely wrong then? It would definitely be helpful if someone could post the explanation from the OG verbatim.

Frankly, if there's so much confusion over this question, I don't think it's a very good one. ;)
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New post 29 Jun 2018, 13:34
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If the correct choice hinges on a subtlety between two nearly interchangeable idioms, then doesn't it go against the ethos of the GMAC, which not long ago said that it wouldn't bind the teat-takers on idioms? The latest official guide should walk the talk.
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2018, 18:10
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Bunuel wrote:
Technically, “quicksand” is the term for sand that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character.

(A) that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character

(B) that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid

(C) that is saturated with water enough to acquire liquid characteristics

(D) saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid

(E) saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character

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https://www.nytimes.com/1986/04/15/science/q-a-262786.html

Does quicksand really suck in its victims? A. Dr. Stanley Schumm, a professor of geology at Colorado State University, said that contrary to superstition, quicksand does not draw in its victims. The human body will not sink out of sight in quicksand, he said, because the density of the quicksand is greater than that of the body. Most of the people who perish in quicksand, however, do drown after losing their balance from struggling to get out, he said. Quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated with water that it loses its supporting capacity. As water beneath the surface is forced upward through the sand, the grains are pushed apart and the sand swells, acquiring the character of a liquid.
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2018, 22:01
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EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
Hello Everyone!

Even though the stats for this question show it's a tricky one, we can narrow down to the right option by exploiting the error type clues.

Let's start by looking at the differences in the options:

1. that is so saturated / saturated enough
2. acquires / to acquire
3. character / characteristics

Verb tenses are often an easy place to start narrowing down options, so definitely let's start by tackling #2 on our list: acquires vs. to acquire.

When we use the to+verb combination, it implies intention. This means that when we say the sand wants "to acquire" the characteristics of water, it is a thinking, breathing, intentional being that chooses to go out and get the characteristics of water. We know that sand isn't a living thing that has intentions of its own. Therefore, it isn't appropriate to say "to acquire." Here are some examples:

I want to acquire the rights to that song for my movie. = CORRECT (I'm a person with thoughts and intentions, so it's okay.)

The chair is so short as to acquire the perfect balance for short children. = WRONG (A chair can't want "to acquire" balance from somewhere - it's either balanced or it's not. The chair can't decide for itself what it wants to be!)

The school acquires new students every fall. = CORRECT (Just saying "acquires" doesn't imply intention is involved. It just happens, so it's okay.)

Now, let's use that understanding and we'll be able to decimate the incorrect options. Check it out:


(A) that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character

(B) that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid

(C) that is saturated with water enough to acquire liquid characteristics

(D) saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid

(E) saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character


There we have it. The only answer that doesn't imply that sand or quicksand "chooses" to take on the characteristics of a liquid is answer B.

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I found the below explanation from a GMAT expert on another site -

The explanation is that “to acquire” indicates the purpose/intention of “sand”. Since “sand” cannot have an intention, this option is incorrect.

However, this explanation is incorrect. In this “so x as to verb y” construction, “to verb” doesn’t denote purpose or intention. “to verb y” part indicates the extent of “x”.

For example:
-The numbers coming out of Exxon Mobil XOM 0.37% were so good as to be slightly embarrassing. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/no-more-ti ... 1517589782)
-Potential penalties would be so low as to have no relevance for financial markets. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/investor-t ... 1536256548)
-The company’s descriptions of the partnership dealings were so complicated as to be practically indecipherable. (https://jp.wsj.com/articles/SB1011560211577333280)

In all the above sentences, the subjects of the sentences cannot have an intention. Still, the sentences are correct. There are hundreds of other similar sentences on WSJ.com and NYTimes.com. Unless we consider all these sentences incorrect, we cannot agree with the above explanation.



Technically, “quicksand” is the term for sand that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character.

(A) that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character - the phrase a liquid's character is incorrect because we want to discuss the general nature of any given liquid

(B) that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid - Correct

(C) that is saturated with water enough to acquire liquid characteristics - “enough” word is misplaced. It should come before “water”. The construction should be “that is saturated with enough water to…”

(D) saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid -- so as to acquire -- Doesn't it mean intention?

(E) saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character - ‘a liquid character’ doesn’t necessarily mean the character of a liquid. It could mean a character which is liquid or malleable

2- Also, can we eliminate options based on saturated enough(which specifies a threshold) or so saturated(which specifies a high value) here?
3 - In option D, doesn't "so as to acquire" mean intention?

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , GMATGuruNY , VeritasKarishma , DmitryFarber , RonPurewal other experts -please enlighten and provide an explanation for the question
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2018, 13:40
Skywalker18 wrote:
I found the below explanation from a GMAT expert on another site -

The explanation is that “to acquire” indicates the purpose/intention of “sand”. Since “sand” cannot have an intention, this option is incorrect.

However, this explanation is incorrect. In this “so x as to verb y” construction, “to verb” doesn’t denote purpose or intention. “to verb y” part indicates the extent of “x”.

For example:
-The numbers coming out of Exxon Mobil XOM 0.37% were so good as to be slightly embarrassing. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/no-more-ti ... 1517589782)
-Potential penalties would be so low as to have no relevance for financial markets. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/investor-t ... 1536256548)
-The company’s descriptions of the partnership dealings were so complicated as to be practically indecipherable. (https://jp.wsj.com/articles/SB1011560211577333280)

In all the above sentences, the subjects of the sentences cannot have an intention. Still, the sentences are correct. There are hundreds of other similar sentences on WSJ.com and NYTimes.com. Unless we consider all these sentences incorrect, we cannot agree with the above explanation.



Technically, “quicksand” is the term for sand that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character.

(A) that is so saturated with water as to acquire a liquid's character - the phrase a liquid's character is incorrect because we want to discuss the general nature of any given liquid

(B) that is so saturated with water that it acquires the character of a liquid - Correct

(C) that is saturated with water enough to acquire liquid characteristics - “enough” word is misplaced. It should come before “water”. The construction should be “that is saturated with enough water to…”

(D) saturated enough with water so as to acquire the character of a liquid -- so as to acquire -- Doesn't it mean intention?

(E) saturated with water so much as to acquire a liquid character - ‘a liquid character’ doesn’t necessarily mean the character of a liquid. It could mean a character which is liquid or malleable

2- Also, can we eliminate options based on saturated enough(which specifies a threshold) or so saturated(which specifies a high value) here?
3 - In option D, doesn't "so as to acquire" mean intention?

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , GMATGuruNY , VeritasKarishma , DmitryFarber , RonPurewal other experts -please enlighten and provide an explanation for the question

Hi Skywalker18,

Great due diligence here! :)

There are actually two different idioms being discussed here. When we see:

"so as to X"

"so as to" means "in order to". This usage doesn't make any sense here -- we would not want to say "saturated with water in order to acquire the characteristics of a liquid", because that does imply intention/purpose, which would be incorrect. This is the idiom used in D, so D is incorrect.

This idiom:

"so X as to Y"

is a totally different idiom, which is actually a comparison. See this article (under "Clause of consequence") for more examples of this idiom. The examples that you quoted are examples of this construction, not the "so as to X" construction. The "so X as to Y" structure is used in choice A, and GMATGuruNY gave a great explanation above of why that construction is incorrect here.

Hope that helps! :)
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Re: Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2019, 09:42
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There may be some truth to EMPOWERgmatVerbal's analysis, but it does seem a bit oversimplified. And this question certainly throws a wrench in EMPOWERgmatVerbal's line of reasoning.

I think GMATGuruNY has a solid analysis and it's consistent with the official questions that use "so ... as to". Also, "as" is used as a preposition when used as part of the idiom "so ... as to". And the definition of "as" when used as a preposition is "appearing to be, or being". Thus, the definition of "as" when used as a preposition fits with GMATGuruNY's explanation.

Finally, I find it helpful to think of the idiom "so X as to Y" as equivalent to "so X that it appears to Y".
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Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Feb 2019, 00:08
According to Manhattan SC Strategy 6th,

SO…AS TO

SUSPECT: The sauce was SO hot AS TO burn my mouth.

Note: The GMAT has an inconsistent position on this idiom. Question #39 in The Official Guide for GMAT Review (2015) claims that this idiom is “incorrect” with no further explanation. However, a problem in GMATPrep ® has this idiom in a correct answer choice. Other authorities consider this idiom correct, and we agree. Nevertheless, you should be wary of its use.

Wrong: The sauce had SUCH heat AS TO burn my mouth. The sauce had SO MUCH heat AS TO burn my mouth.
GMAT Club Bot
Technically, quicksand is the term for sand that is so saturated wit   [#permalink] 24 Feb 2019, 00:08

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