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# The Coast guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons

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The Coast guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2007, 21:50
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83% (01:23) correct 17% (00:19) wrong based on 298 sessions

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The Coast guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons can be trained to help find survivors of wrecks at sea.

(A) to see whether pigeons can be trained to help find
(B) to see whether pigeons can be trained as help to find
(C) to see if pigeons can be trained for helping to find
(D) that see if pigeons are able to be trained in helping to find
(E) that see whether pigeons are able to be trained for help in finding
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by HKD1710 on 22 Oct 2016, 11:48, edited 1 time in total.
added OA
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Re: using the infinitives [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2010, 10:07
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hirendhanak-

This is just one of those fun things about language, I suppose. Anytime you have the word "to help", the word that comes after it should be in the subjunctive tense (i.e. the infinitive with the word "to" removed).

For example:

"Can you please help me cook?"
"Can you help me answer this question?"

"Can you help me to cook" would be right when translated into certain languages, but not in English.

Other verbs that typically require this construction include can, must, and will:

"I can tell you the answer."
"I will run five miles later."
"You must try this cake!"
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Re: using the infinitives [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2010, 10:52
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In A - can be trained to help find - is a literary form of elliptical writing where the infinitive to is dropped to obtain some cogency. Imagine the expression - can be trained to help to find – not very elegant, I feel. Here are some examples

For many aspirants, MGMAT SC is the Bible [highlight]to help solve[/highlight] many SC questions

750 in GMAT will be the best ladder [highlight]to help reach[/highlight] the corridors of the Whartons and the Harvards

Structurally – help – in B is used as a noun following the preposition - as -, the meaning of which is – assistant or associate or aide etc.
Its problem is that it is not very idiomatic to say - trained as help -
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Re: The Coast guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons [#permalink]

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11 May 2012, 11:22
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Hi All,

The Coast guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons can be trained to help find survivors of wrecks at sea.

Error Analysis

1. When there is a condition, use of “whether” is preferred over “if”. Hence, use of “whether” in this sentence is correct.
2. Placing two verbs “help find” together is acceptable in English language. This expression is actually a variant of “help to find”. However, removal of two does not make this expression incorrect. It is not uncommon to find sentences with this phrase.
3. To verb “to see” perfectly presents the reason why the teats are being conducted.
4. There are no errors in this choice. This sentence is correct as is.

POE:

Choice A:to see whether pigeons can be trained to help find: Correct for the reasons stated above.

Choice B: to see whether pigeons can be trained as help to find: Incorrect. The use of idiom “trained as” is not correct here. Note that the idiom is not incorrect by itself. Consider these examples from New York Times and analyze the use of “trained as”:
1. Nikos Gavalas and Alexandra Tricha, both 31 and trained as agriculturalists, were frustrated working on poorly paying, short-term contracts in Athens, where jobs are scarce and the cost of living is high.
2. Some 125 older adults have been trained as navigators or community health workers who help individuals and families master the intricacies of the health care system.
3. I am trained as a cognitive-behavior therapist, and my master’s was on depression.
In this sentence, when we say that pigeons are being “trained as” help, it means that they are being trained as domestic help or a servant. This is certainly not the intended meaning of the sentence.

Choice C: to see if pigeons can be trained for helping to find: Incorrect. 1. Since the sentence has a condition, use of “if” is not considered to be correct. 2. It is better to use to verb when we need to express the purpose of an action. “to help” is certainly better than “for helping”.

Choice D: that see if pigeons are able to be trained in helping to find: Incorrect. 1. Relative pronoun “that” stands for “tests”. Now tests cannot perform the action of seeing. The subject does not make sense with verb here. 2. Use of “if” is not correct here. 3. This choice is way too wordy and awkward.

Choice E: that see whether pigeons are able to be trained for help in finding: Incorrect. 1 Same SV do not make sense error as in Choice D. 2. Wordy and awkward again.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: The Coast guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2013, 13:23
nikhiil wrote:
While answering this question, i was perplexed b/w option A and C. But went ahead with A, as C wrongly uses "for helping" instead of "to help.". Regarding the weather vs If, i am not much satisfied with the explanations above. As per my understanding, We use "If", when we have a question in context and we use "Weather" when we have options to choose from, So usage of "If", as per me is not wrong in this question. Rather i prefer "If" over "whether".Would any expert like to enlighten me here on this ?

hi nikhil,

In GMAT use IF...only when you have construction like: IF X, THEN Y===>Without this it will always be incorrect in GMAT.
TAKE SOME EXAMPLE.
if you exercise daily,then you stay healthy.

that is the problem in the above question.....hence use of IF is INCORRECT.
MOREOVER THERE ARE OTHER ERRORS TOO...but you can eliminate the option on the basis of "IF "

HOPE IT HELPS
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Re: The Coast guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2013, 22:58
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nikhiil wrote:
While answering this question, i was perplexed b/w option A and C. But went ahead with A, as C wrongly uses "for helping" instead of "to help.". Regarding the weather vs If, i am not much satisfied with the explanations above. As per my understanding, We use "If", when we have a question in context and we use "Weather" when we have options to choose from, So usage of "If", as per me is not wrong in this question. Rather i prefer "If" over "whether".Would any expert like to enlighten me here on this ?

"If" is used to present hypothetical situations.
"Weather" is used to present a choice.
I'll decide Weather (...)
@shaileshmishra, you are not correct:

Official question #40 OG:

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had long been expected to announce a reduction in output to bolster sagging oil prices, but officials of the organization just recently announced that the group will pare daily production by 1.5 million barrels by the beginningof next year, but only if non- OPEC nations, including Norway. Mexico, and Russia, were to trim output by a total of 500,000 barrels a day.

CORRECT ANSWER: E)year only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, trim output

Official question #82 =G:

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients' misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

CORRECT ANSWER: B)if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food,
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Re: The Coast guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2013, 01:13
Zarrolou wrote:
@shaileshmishra, you are not correct:

sorry ZARR0LOU,

see IF -THEN construction are use to express condition.
there are types of construction possible with IF-THEN

1) IF clause 1,THEN clause 2
2) IF clause 1 ,clause 2========>(THEN can be omitted but you can make out that THEN can be placed there)
3) clause 2,IF clause 1=========>(THEN can be ommited and THEN part is ahead of IF clause)

now in your given example:
Official question #40 OG:

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had long been expected to announce a reduction in output to bolster sagging oil prices, but officials of the organization just recently announced that the group will pare daily production by 1.5 million barrels by the beginningof next year, but only if non- OPEC nations, including Norway. Mexico, and Russia, were to trim output by a total of 500,000 barrels a day.

CORRECT ANSWER: E)year only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, trim output

THIS example comes under the category of CASE 3(clause 2,IF clause 1)==>LET ME SHOW YOU:

CLAUSE 2 (the group will pare daily production by 1.5 million barrels by the beginningof next year) onlyIF CLAUSE 1(non- OPEC nations, including Norway. Mexico, and Russia, trim output by a total of 500,000 barels a day)

Official question #82 =G:

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients' misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

CORRECT ANSWER: B)if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food,
THIS example comes under the category of CASE 2.( IF clause 1 ,clause 2)====>LET ME SHOW YOU AGAIN:

IF CLAUSE 1 (criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food), CLAUSE 2(the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.)

so i will say i am not wrong ,rather you misunderstood something.

let me know if anything more to clarify.
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Re: The Coast guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons [#permalink]

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01 Jan 2015, 04:41
IMO - A

The Coast guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons can be trained to help find survivors of wrecks at sea.

>> We don't require a IF-Then construction here. 'whether' is apt indeed to show highlight the condition. Also, we require to see after ...tests to correctly show the reason of the tests. Therefore, C,D,E gone. Between A & B, A is correctly imparting the intended meaning that main work of pigeons is to help in finding, not just as help. [please reread to know the difference between A&B ]

(A) to see whether pigeons can be trained to help find >> CORRECT intended meaning

(B) to see whether pigeons can be trained as help to find >> In original sentence 'find' is the main work pigeons are suppose to help in. using as help here is changing the meaning slightly, help becomes main work pigeons to used in to find survivors...

(C) to see if pigeons can be trained for helping to find >> additionally, to help find (verb) preferred over for helping to find (noun)

(D) that see if pigeons are able to be trained in helping to find >> additionally, are able to be trained is wordy

(E) that see whether pigeons are able to be trained for help in finding >> additionally, to find (verb) preferred over in finding (noun)
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Re: The Coast guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons [#permalink]

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10 Apr 2017, 01:31
rakesh_chi wrote:
The Coast guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons can be trained to help find survivors of wrecks at sea.

(A) to see whether pigeons can be trained to help find
(B) to see whether pigeons can be trained as help to find
(C) to see if pigeons can be trained for helping to find
(D) that see if pigeons are able to be trained in helping to find
(E) that see whether pigeons are able to be trained for help in finding

GMATNinja & GMATNinjaTwo, Does the infinite to help find (to + verb + verb) is the correct usage in GMAT? It is confusing for the usage. Could you please help to explain?
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Re: The Coast guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons [#permalink]

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10 Apr 2017, 07:55
Expert's post
Top Contributor
In this case, "help" functions a little bit like a helping verb, and it's completely fine to use "help + verb" under the right circumstances.

These look fine, right?

• Charles must eat eight meals per day. --> "Must" is the helping verb, so it's no problem to use "must + verb."
• Mike can surf as well as Kelly Slater. --> "Can" is the helping verb, so it's no problem to use "can + verb."

"Help" isn't technically a helping verb, but you can use it in a similar way:

• An increase in government jobs programs will help reduce unemployment to its lowest levels since the 1990s.

In this case, it probably wouldn't make sense to use "reduce" by itself: the jobs programs won't accomplish this goal on their own, so you'd need to say "help reduce" to convey the correct meaning. Grammatically, this is completely fine. Sometimes, you'll see this written as "help to reduce", and that's technically fine as well, though most grammar experts would argue that the "to" is unnecessary.
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Re: The Coast guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons [#permalink]

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10 Apr 2017, 17:30
Merged topics! Please, search before posting questions!
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Re: The Coast guard is conducting tests to see whether pigeons   [#permalink] 10 Apr 2017, 17:30
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