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# The only way for a team to win the \$10 million Ansari X

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Re: The only way for a team to win the \$10 million Ansari X [#permalink]
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The only way for a team to win the \$10 million Ansari X Prize for private manned spaceflight is to win the Ansari prize. The other functions are the means for achieving the intention and so they don't necessarily have to be parallel as has been amply pointed out. Secondly, 'to privately finance' is a split - infinitive

D. by privately financing and successfully launching a reusable craft.

E. to privately finance and successfully launch a reusable craft

I am afraid E has some problems. First, we use infinitive verbs when we intend a purpose of action. In E by using the infinitives- to privately finance and (to) successfully launch --will imply that they are also intended purposes. Not so, The only purpose is to win the Ansari Prize and the rest are the means of achieving the goal; Per se, they don't have to be necessarily parallel, as has been amply pointed out here before.
Second, -to privately finance- is a split- infinitive, which is rather a casual expression not acceptable in formal language.

I feel D is superior to E.

Originally posted by daagh on 25 Nov 2016, 08:57.
Last edited by daagh on 26 Nov 2016, 11:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The only way for a team to win the \$10 million Ansari X [#permalink]
The confusion is probably because of the difference in usage between "the way to..." and "the way is by..".

The only way to win is by financing.
The only way to win is to finance.

The first sentence is preferred as already explained by daagh sir above.
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Re: The only way for a team to win the \$10 million Ansari X [#permalink]
sayantanc2k wrote:
The confusion is probably because of the difference in usage between "the way to..." and "the way is by..".

The only way to win is by financing.
The only way to win is to finance.

The first sentence is preferred as already explained by daagh sir above.

Can we use V-A-N rule here to select between D and E?
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Re: The only way for a team to win the \$10 million Ansari X [#permalink]
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warriorguy wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:
The confusion is probably because of the difference in usage between "the way to..." and "the way is by..".

The only way to win is by financing.
The only way to win is to finance.

The first sentence is preferred as already explained by daagh sir above.

Can we use V-A-N rule here to select between D and E?

Good point - this is one way of looking at the problem:
Noun ( verb infinitive): to finance.
A comes before N.

However I would suggest to use VAN only as a last resort when no other reasoning works to eliminate a choice. Here we have solid reason to prefer D over E.
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Re: The only way for a team to win the \$10 million Ansari X [#permalink]
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macjas wrote:
The only way for a team to win the \$10 million Ansari X Prize for private manned spaceflight is for them to privately finance and successfully launch a reusable craft on a 62-mile-high flight twice within two weeks with a live human pilot on board.

A. for them to privately finance and successfully launch a reusable craft
B. if they privately finance and successfully launch a reusable craft
C. if a reusable craft is privately financed and successfully launched by them
D. by privately financing and successfully launching a reusable craft
E. to privately finance and successfully launch a reusable craft

I am responding to this question because I saw a report from munnabhaimbbs concerned that the timer flagged (E) as incorrect. The reason the timer flagged (E) as incorrect is that (D) is listed as the OA.

I will say that I was not able to determine the source of this question, but I think it is a low quality question, a question that doesn't reflect well the GMAT SC.

We can nuke (A)-(C) because of the "they"/"them" pronoun mistake. The real choice is between (D) & (E).

I agree with my brilliant colleagues daagh and sayantanc2k that (D) is better than (E). One concern is a matter of idiom:
(D) has "the only way ... is by financing"
(E) has "the only way ... is to finance"

I agree that the former is slightly better than the latter, but the latter is not "wrong." This is more a subtle matter of stylistic preference. This is not the stuff of a true split on a real GMAT SC question.

Also, (E) sounds atrocious because of the split infinitive, "to privately finance." This is also tricky, because while split infinitives seem to appear only on incorrect answer choices on the GMAT SC, a split infinitive itself is NEVER the sole reason why a choice is incorrect. It's always true that the choice is incorrect for some other reason and also happens to have a split infinitive mistake.

On a good GMAT SC question, one choice is right, and each other is wrong for a clearly discernible reason. While I agree that (D) is preferable to (E), I submit that (E) is not wrong they way an answer choice on the GMAT SC might be wrong. This is NOT a GMAT-like question. I have no idea who created it.

By contrast, here's a high quality GMAT SC practice question:
With American cryptanalysts

Please let me know if anyone has any questions.
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Re: The only way for a team to win the \$10 million Ansari X [#permalink]
Citing a post by blueseas in this thread: https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-only-way ... l#p1260183

blueseas wrote:
LINKING VERBS acts as a parallelism marker.
LINKING VERBS: IS / AM / ARE / WAS /WERE...So structure before and after should be parallel.
there are few exception to this...refer parallelism chapter from MANHATTAN SC for exception.
OTHER LINKING VERBS: APPEAR / BECOME/FEEL /GROW/LOOK/REMAIN/REPRESENT /RESEMBLE/SEEM /SMELL/SOUND/STAY/TASTE /TURN.

If you find adverbs modifying LINKING VERBS then that sentence is WRONG.

Originally posted by sherxon on 13 Aug 2021, 19:05.
Last edited by sherxon on 14 Aug 2021, 08:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The only way for a team to win the \$10 million Ansari X [#permalink]
MartyTargetTestPrep, IanStewart, I would love to hear your take on this question. I feel the answer should be D.
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Re: The only way for a team to win the \$10 million Ansari X [#permalink]
kntombat wrote:
MartyTargetTestPrep, IanStewart, I would love to hear your take on this question. I feel the answer should be D.

I don't see how there's an unambiguously best answer here. In E, for clarity I'd want the subject restated before "to privately finance", but that doesn't seem strictly necessary. Answers D and E are otherwise essentially the same, and there's not much basis to choose between them. I have no issue with the split infinitive in E, which is a reason some posters above rejected it. We use split infinitives all the time in good writing, and they're often preferable to the alternative. That's the case here too -- "the only way to win the prize is to finance privately and to launch successfully a spacecraft..." frankly sounds ridiculous, so there's no good way to avoid split infinitives here.

I'm also not even perturbed by the number-agreement issue in answers A, B and C ("a team"... "they"...), It's often perfectly fine to use plural pronouns when discussing a (singular) group of people. "The group couldn't agree on what movie to see, so they went out for dinner instead" is a perfectly correct sentence, and it becomes a bizarre sentence if "they" is replaced with "it". So I don't even think answer A is all that bad, and answer A would be very obviously fine if earlier the sentence said "a team of astrophysicists" or "a team of engineers", because then there would be no conceivable agreement issue.

I don't know the source of the question, but I'd guess someone was trying to model an SC question after that official question quoted above (about 'salvaging citrus'). The official question has one unambiguously correct answer though, and this question has two or three right answers, so the official version is the only one worth studying.
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Re: The only way for a team to win the \$10 million Ansari X [#permalink]
egmat wrote:
The only way for a team to win the \$10 million Ansari X Prize for private manned spaceflight is for them to privately finance and successfully launch a reusable craft on a 62-mile-high flight twice within two weeks with a live human pilot on board.

Error Analysis:

The sentence is talking about how “a team” can win the \$10 million Ansari X Prize for private manned spaceflight. Use of plural pronoun “them” is incorrect to refer to singular “a team”.
Also, “for them” is not required in the sentence because “a team” has already been mentioned in the very same clause.

PoE:

A. for them to privately finance and successfully launch a reusable craft: Incorrect for the reasons discussed above.

B. if they privately finance and successfully launch a reusable craft: Incorrect. Plural pronoun “they” is incorrect to refer to singular “a team”.

C. if a reusable craft is privately financed and successfully launched by them: Incorrect. Plural pronoun “them” is incorrect to refer to singular “a team”.

D. by privately financing and successfully launching a reusable craft: Incorrect. Using “by…” is not correct here.

E. to privately finance and successfully launch a reusable craft: Correct.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

Hi,

I am a little unclear as to why in Option D, the usage of "by..." is incorrect. Could you elaborate on that?