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# The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and m

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26 Nov 2019, 01:00
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53% (01:09) correct 47% (01:27) wrong based on 205 sessions

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Project SC Butler: Day 196: Sentence Correction (SC2)

The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and markets, the orderliness and cleanliness—everything about Tenochtitlan impressed Cortes so that he compared it favorably with the great cities of Spain.

A) impressed Cortes so that he compared

B) so impressed Cortes to compare

C) were impressive enough to Cortes so that he compared

D) so impressed Cortes that he compared

E) impressed Cortes so as to compare

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The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and m  [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2019, 01:02
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OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

Project SC Butler: Day 196: Sentence Correction (SC2)

The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and markets, the orderliness and cleanliness—everything about Tenochtitlan impressed Cortes so that he compared it favorably with the great cities of Spain.

• HIGHLIGHTS

-- Meaning?
This sentence is about cause and consequence/ cause and effect.
A city in ancient Mexico deeply impressed a man; as a result, he compared it favorably with the great cities of Spain.
Because everything about the city of Tenochtitlan impressed Cortes very (so) deeply, he compared it to the great cities of Spain.

-- IDIOM?
Among other concepts, this question tests a fairly common idiom of consequence / result: So X that Y
Some options tempt us with scrambled versions of this idiom and other idioms of consequence or purpose.
I discuss a few similar idioms below.

-- EM DASH?
If the em dash confuses you, just remember that anything set off by an em dash is not essential.
The list gives specific examples of "everything" (about Tenochtitlan), but we can remove the list and the em dash without changing the core meaning of the sentence.

THE PROMPT
Quote:
The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and markets, the orderliness and cleanliness—everything about Tenochtitlan impressed Cortes so that he compared it favorably with the great cities of Spain.

A) The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and markets, the orderliness and cleanliness—everything about Tenochtitlan impressed Cortes so that he compared it favorably with the great cities of Spain.
careful - when the words "so that" are in one piece, right next to each other (i.e. NOT so ___ that), on the GMAT the words indicate purpose.
Technically, "so that" can indicate result. See, for example, Mike McGarry's examples in this post, here. (Scroll down to "Clauses of Consequence.")

• I do not recall an official answer in which "so that" led to a result clause.
I recall many in which "so that" expressed purpose.
-- SPOILER ALERT Here is a fairly typical official question in which "so that" expresses purpose.
Generally, "so that" indicates purpose whereas "so [adjective/adverb] that" (So X that Y) indicates consequence.

• this sentence is about consequence, not purpose. The city impressed Cortes. As a result, he compared it favorably to great Spanish cities.

• the phrase so that seems jarring and illogical.
The city did not impress Cortes "for the purpose of" his comparing it to great cities or in order to make him compare cities.
KEEP, but look for better options

Quote:
B) The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and markets, the orderliness and cleanliness—everything about Tenochtitlan so impressed Cortes to compare it favorably with the great cities of Spain.

• even without the idiom problems, the sentence makes no sense. Read a stripped version:
-- Everything about P so impressed Cortes to compare it with Qs.
-- That sentence is nonsensical.

• The sentence mangles the So X that Y phrasing.
-- "so X," in which X is an adjective or adverb, should be followed by a [that + full clause] OR
by [AS + infinitive], in another less common idiom of consequence, So X as to Y, which would not work in this option.
-- that is missing, as is a full clause,

• (B) seems to be mashing up idioms: enough to and so X that Y
This way might be correct: The Aztec city impressed him enough to compare the Aztec city to other great cities.
(Enough carries a meaning different from what we need."Enough" is a threshold whereas "so X" deepens the effect of the adjective or adverb)
-- Eliminate B

Quote:
C) The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and markets, the orderliness and cleanliness—everything about Tenochtitlan were impressive enough to Cortes so that he compared it favorably with the great cities of Spain.

• the easiest split: subject/verb agreement. The singular noun everything does not agree with the plural verb were

• Too many mixed up idioms!
-- Correct: Everything was impressive enough to inspire Cortes to compare the city with other great cities.
-- "enough to" is a threshold, whereas "so X" is an extreme. Spoiler alert -- one official question in which "enough to" is correct can be found here.

• The sentence is also nonsensical, and comes very close to using a construction that GMAC dislikes: enough . . . that.
Eliminate C

Quote:
D) The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and markets, the orderliness and cleanliness—everything about Tenochtitlan so impressed Cortes that he compared it favorably with the great cities of Spain.

• this sentence conveys the correct meaning with the correct words.

• although the idiom So X that Y is used, X is neither an adjective nor an adverb.
It's a verb. X = impressed, and not in the adjective/past participle (verbED) sense.
Verb: The city impressed Cortes.
Still a verb: The city so impressed Cortes that he did ABC.
This construction is antiquated but not wrong.
-- A similar example: Andy so feared his tests that he made himself sick with a pile of junk food.
KEEP

Quote:
E) The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and markets, the orderliness and cleanliness—everything about Tenochtitlan impressed Cortes so as to compare it favorably with the great cities of Spain.

So as to in one piece indicates purpose.

• I have never seen a correct official answer in which "so as to" was in one piece (rather than split up as the phrase is in So X as to Y).
Although it is grammatical to use "so as to" in order to express purpose, GMAC does not like the construction.

• By contrast, GMAC occasionally uses So X as to Y—the words are split up.
-- So X as to Y is very similar to So X that Y
-- So X as to Y expresses consequence: attribute X is so extreme is this particular case as to cause Y.
-- Doer01 gave one good example of an official sentence in which So X as to Y was used to express result, here. Another official question is HERE
-- so as to in option E connotes purpose or intent, but the city did not have the intent to impress Cortes
Eliminate E

• Option A or D?

-- Option A is not as good as (D), even though (D) uses a fairly "quaint" construction that does not quite fit the template So [adjective] that _____.

-- Option A does not convey the extreme nature of the characteristics of the city, characteristics that were SO impressive they led Cortes to compare the city favorable to great cities in Spain.
The word "so" is in the wrong place.

A) Everything impressed Cortes so that he compared the city to ABCs. (Eh. Boring, and does not contain the sense that Cortes was deeply impressed.)
D) Everything SO impressed Cortes that he compared the city to ABCs. (Much better.)

• NOTES

Recap: the idioms

SO THAT
So that expresses purposes or intent.
-- She goes to physical therapy so that she can avoid an operation. (purpose, intent)
To express purpose, GMAC likes so that. (Warning: do not use SO by itself to express purpose.)

SO AS TO
So as to also expresses purpose or intent. GMAC dislikes this idiom.
-- He slowly offered a treat to the frightened puppy so as to reassure the animal.
-- Correct answer frequency? So far, zero.
In other words, so as to is legitimate but GMAC rejects it.
-- See Mike McGarry's posts here and here; and Ron Purewal's post, here
I cannot find a single official question in which so as to is correct.

SO X THAT Y
So X that Y indicates results. Attribute X is so extreme in this case that Y results.
-- mykrasovski , your example was so vivid that I felt a little green myself.
-- Correct answer frequency? Medium high

SO X AS TO Y
So X as to Y also indicates results that are caused by an extreme characteristic.
-- The professor's description was so esoteric as to be incomprehensible.
-- Correct answer frequency? Medium low.

• If "so as to" is correct (legitimate), why doesn't GMAC use the construction?
(1) to a native ear, the phrase sounds very stilted. I don't think I have let a sentence with "so as to" go out my editing door.
I certainly do not recall ever having written the phrase in anything professional.

(2) GMAC likes so that to express purpose. "So that" is straightforward.

EDIT: I deleted the material in which I wrote that GMAC had been inconsistent about "so as to."
Not true. Wrong idiom. GMAC had allegedly been inconsistent about So X as to Y.

Some authors assert that GMAC has been inconsistent about So X as to Y.
Some people will not choose So X as to Y because MGMAT Sentence Correction 6th edition calls the idiom "suspect."

I would rethink that position.
At this point, I think it's safe to say that the controversy was created by a tired OE writer.

The idiom is intact.
In fact, So X as to Y is the correct answer for SC87460.01 in OG 2020.
SPOILER I describe the question with three words beneath the spoiler so that if you've taken the question, you'll recognize it.

Who the h#ll is Andrew? Or Andy?

I am teasing. I am glad to see dialogue: learning is not a spectator sport.

One way that I assess answers is to see whether a person has reasoned their way to an answer—and how well.
You do not have to be correct all the time.
You do have to think all the time.

I am very pleased to see critical and creative thinking on my Butler threads.
These idioms are hard. (I've tried to simplify them in "Notes.") If you took a wrong turn in your reasoning—well, now you know.

It's the eve of a holiday in my country, one that celebrates abundance.
Even more than courage, I respect generosity.
Kudos to all. To people in the U.S. and anyone else who wants to join in: Happy Thanksgiving.
##### General Discussion
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Re: The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and m  [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2019, 07:48
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generis wrote:
The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and markets, the orderliness and cleanliness—everything about Tenochtitlan impressed Cortes so that he compared it favorably with the great cities of Spain.

A) impressed Cortes so that he compared
B) so impressed Cortes to compare
C) were impressive enough to Cortes so that he compared
D) so impressed Cortes that he compared
E) impressed Cortes so as to compare

MEANING
Everything about the city so impressed C that he compared it [the city] favorably with other cities of Spain.

Idiom: "So + [adjective] + THAT"

A) "so that" is used to indicate the purpose or intention of some action - this means that "everything about the city impressed him with the intention/purpose that he compared it to other cities", unintended;
B) "so…to" is unidiomatic, the correct form would be "so + [adj] + as to";
C) "everything [sing]…were [plural]" sva; "so that" unintended;
E) "so as to" like "so that" is used to indicate purpose/intention of some action, unintended;

Ans (D)
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26 Nov 2019, 08:42
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The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and markets, the orderliness and cleanliness—everything about Tenochtitlan impressed Cortes so that he compared it favorably with the great cities of Spain.

A) impressed Cortes so that he compared - The sentence uses idiom, so that, indicating the purpose of the event/result of the something. However, usage of he is weird here. Still, let's hold the sentence.

B) so impressed Cortes to compare - Usage of so modifies to impressed without that. So, it distorts the meaning as compared to original sentence.

C) were impressive enough to Cortes so that he compared - usage of impressive enough is incorrect as per meaning of original sentence

D) so impressed Cortes that he compared - Seems correct usage of idiom, hold it.

E) impressed Cortes so as to compare - usage of so as is incorrect.

A, B, C and D - everything about something impressed cortes so that he compared it with something else Vs A, B, C and D- everything about something so impressed cortes that he compared it with something else.

If impressed modifies cortes then, it function as adjective in option D. So, it seems that usage of so + adjective + that, then there will not be any verb in the sentence. So, i'd go with option A.

Imo. A
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The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and m  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 26 Nov 2019, 11:21
1
Quote:
The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and markets, the orderliness and cleanliness—everything about Tenochtitlan impressed Cortes so that he compared it favorably with the great cities of Spain.

Quick glance at the sentence reveals that we have a number of things about T impressed Cortes, who compared T with cities in Spain. The sentence tests an idiom "so X that Y", which is common on the GMAT.

A) impressed Cortes so that he compared
Even though this option looks pretty good, we need so X that Y.

B) so impressed Cortes to compare
so .... to compare is unidiomatic. Out.

C) were impressive enough to Cortes so that he compared
This option employs were impressive enough and is not better than (A), so let's just leave it out.

D) so impressed Cortes that he compared
Things about T so impressed Cortes that he compared T with cities in Spain. Keep.

E) impressed Cortes so as to compare
So as to is unidiomatic in the context of this sentence.

Originally posted by mykrasovski on 26 Nov 2019, 09:34.
Last edited by mykrasovski on 26 Nov 2019, 11:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and m  [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2019, 11:03
1
Quote:
The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and markets, the orderliness and cleanliness—everything about Tenochtitlan impressed Cortes so that he compared it favorably with the great cities of Spain.

Hi,
IMO E.
Meaning: Some qualities of Tenochtitian impressed Cortes so much that he compared it (Tenochtitian) with Spain.

Quote:
A) impressed Cortes so that he compared
Use of so that is always A Clause ( Action ) + So That + A Clause ( Purpose ). Purpose generally contains a modal(can, could etc.) I left work early so that I could catch the game. Incorrect

Quote:
B) so impressed Cortes to compare
everything about Tenochtitlan calls for a verb not for a conjunction. Plus, use of infinitive to + verb is a bit off beat. So impressed Cortes that he....would have been slightly better but not correct. Incorrect

Quote:
C) were impressive enough to Cortes so that he compared
same as A. this would have been better without so. Incorrect

Quote:
D) so impressed Cortes that he compared
Even though this structure looks same as So X that Y, it is wrong. There is no verb before so. When we use so X that Y, we almost always have a verb before so. e.g.: The cake was so delicious that I ate it all even though my gym instructor was next in the cafe. Incorrect

Quote:
E) impressed Cortes so as to compare
We are left with E and indeed, it is correct. Clause 1 +so as to + clause 2 is a correct construction so long as clause 2 shows the purpose and clause 1 the action which is exactly what is happening here. Clause 1 is the action, qualities impressed Corte, and Clause 2 is the purpose, to compare....Correct.

Below is an example question where so as to is tested: (Not exactly how it is used here but close)
https://gmatclub.com/forum/immanuel-kan ... 62621.html

More on the idiom: https://englishstudypage.com/grammar/us ... n-english/
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Re: The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and m  [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2019, 11:52
1
Doer01 haha, yeah he indeed is!

Let's see what the official answer says. I do not think Cortes had any purpose. Imagine he just saw these things, got impressed, and then compared to Spain's cities. The comparison was not his purpose.
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Re: The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and m  [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2019, 22:21
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The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and markets, the orderliness and cleanliness—everything about Tenochtitlan impressed Cortes so that he compared it favorably with the great cities of Spain.

A) impressed Cortes so that he compared> an adjective is needed between so and that.

B) so impressed Cortes to compare > so.. that is the idiomatic form

C) were impressive enough to Cortes so that he compared > the subject here is eveything, which is singular.

D) so impressed Cortes that he compared > proper and concise.

E) impressed Cortes so as to compare > same problem as B
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Re: The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and m  [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2019, 11:27
hi Doer01 great that you found and linked some info about the idiom "so as to". However, IMHO, I do not believe it is used correctly in (E). As your article says, "so as to" can be used to indicate the purpose.

Andrew ate 10 kgs of ice-cream so as to get sick and miss three mid-terms tomorrow.

Option (E) has different meaning compared to the ice-cream example. The meaning of the sentence infers that there were few things about a place (town, country?) that impressed Cortes who then compared that place to cities in Spain. So, the first part has a list of things about T SO impressed Cortes that Cortes compared T to Barcelona and Madrid.
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Re: The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and m  [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2019, 11:42
mykrasovski wrote:
hi Doer01 great that you found and linked some info about the idiom "so as to". However, IMHO, I do not believe it is used correctly in (E). As your article says, "so as to" can be used to indicate the purpose.

Andrew ate 10 kgs of ice-cream so as to get sick and miss three mid-terms tomorrow.

Option (E) has different meaning compared to the ice-cream example. The meaning of the sentence infers that there were few things about a place (town, country?) that impressed Cortes who then compared that place to cities in Spain. So, the first part has a list of things about T SO impressed Cortes that Cortes compared T to Barcelona and Madrid.

Hi mykrasovski

Well, if getting sick was Andy's purpose, then indeed eating (action) 10 kgs of ice cream did fulfill it.

In the original sentence, Somethings impressed(action) Corte who then compared(purpose) T to cities of Spain.

P.S. Andy is God!!
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The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and m  [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2019, 22:24
The official explanation is here.
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Re: The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and m  [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2019, 06:53
generis you had posted answer on a similar question, however your understanding on idiom "so as to" stated in that question is different from the explanation stated here.

here is the link to the question.
https://gmatclub.com/forum/in-his-class ... 05680.html

Can you please see and clarify, as I am finding it difficult to accept the other question.
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Re: The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and m  [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2019, 20:34
Hi generis, I was just thinking about ice-cream... I know a good ice-cream place, and one of the clerks who works in that place is Andy. He usually gives very generous samples. I guess this is how people become famous

Happy Thanksgiving!
Re: The huge painted temples, the canals and cause-ways, the palaces and m   [#permalink] 28 Nov 2019, 20:34
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