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# The parents of a baby born with spina bifida say that had

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The parents of a baby born with spina bifida say that had [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2010, 02:29
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The parents of a baby born with spina bifida say that had they known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain, they might have chosen to abort the pregnancy.

a. had they known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain, they might have chosen to abort the pregnancy

b. had they known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain, they would have chosen to abort the pregnancy

c. they might have chosen to abort the pregnancy if they had known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain

d. if they had known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain, they might have chosen to abort the pregnancy

e. they might have chose to abort the pregnancy had they known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain

can anyone explain what's difference between answer a and c?
when such a swap is OK and when it is not?

Thanks
Rafi
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2010, 04:29
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rafi wrote:
a. had they known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain, they might have chosen to abort the pregnancy

c. they might have chosen to abort the pregnancy if they had known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain

can anyone explain what's difference between answer a and c?
when such a swap is OK and when it is not?

Grammatically option A and C both are right.
In such cases, understand the meaning and the tone of the sentence.

Here the tone is "If they knew the result, they would have taken the action". So in this sense option A feels right to the ear.

b. had they known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain, they would have chosen to abort the pregnancy - Wrong. Double condition

c. they might have chosen to abort the pregnancy if they had known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain - Wrong. Awkward.

d. if they had known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain, they might have chosen to abort the pregnancy - Wrong. Awkward.
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2010, 05:48
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2010, 05:51
rafi wrote:

Thanks for the kudos!
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2010, 07:24
I chose (A), but can anyone explain how you're supposed to determine between (A) and (B) here? The only difference between them is in the meaning of the sentence and not in the grammar -in (A) the parents say they would have considered aborting, while sentence (B) says they definitely would have aborted. The only reason I was able to pick (A) was because all of the other answers used "might", but how can they ask you to determine whether some hypothetical parents MIGHT or DEFINITELY WOULD HAVE done something in a question like this?
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2010, 09:21
TehJay wrote:
I chose (A), but can anyone explain how you're supposed to determine between (A) and (B) here? The only difference between them is in the meaning of the sentence and not in the grammar -in (A) the parents say they would have considered aborting, while sentence (B) says they definitely would have aborted. The only reason I was able to pick (A) was because all of the other answers used "might", but how can they ask you to determine whether some hypothetical parents MIGHT or DEFINITELY WOULD HAVE done something in a question like this?

TehJay,
As I said, B uses double condition - Which is grammatically wrong.
And about the attitude of parents in question..no comments..we are just here to correct the sentence
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2010, 09:40
piyatiwari wrote:
TehJay wrote:
I chose (A), but can anyone explain how you're supposed to determine between (A) and (B) here? The only difference between them is in the meaning of the sentence and not in the grammar -in (A) the parents say they would have considered aborting, while sentence (B) says they definitely would have aborted. The only reason I was able to pick (A) was because all of the other answers used "might", but how can they ask you to determine whether some hypothetical parents MIGHT or DEFINITELY WOULD HAVE done something in a question like this?

TehJay,
As I said, B uses double condition - Which is grammatically wrong.
And about the attitude of parents in question..no comments..we are just here to correct the sentence

pls explain the words which signify the double condition ...the only difference in A and B is in the use of words might and would ...

thanx

BTW i picked A
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2010, 09:45
piyatiwari wrote:
TehJay wrote:
I chose (A), but can anyone explain how you're supposed to determine between (A) and (B) here? The only difference between them is in the meaning of the sentence and not in the grammar -in (A) the parents say they would have considered aborting, while sentence (B) says they definitely would have aborted. The only reason I was able to pick (A) was because all of the other answers used "might", but how can they ask you to determine whether some hypothetical parents MIGHT or DEFINITELY WOULD HAVE done something in a question like this?

TehJay,
As I said, B uses double condition - Which is grammatically wrong.
And about the attitude of parents in question..no comments..we are just here to correct the sentence

What's grammatically wrong about it? I don't understand what you mean by "double condition." The only difference between the two choices is "might have" vs. "would have" - in (A), if the parents had known, they would have considered doing something, while in (B), if the parents had known, they definitely would have done something. The grammar is the same, but the intent of the parents is different.

If (B) is grammatically incorrect, what needs to be changed to make it correct?
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2010, 10:25
Quote:

What's grammatically wrong about it? I don't understand what you mean by "double condition." The only difference between the two choices is "might have" vs. "would have" - in (A), if the parents had known, they would have considered doing something, while in (B), if the parents had known, they definitely would have done something. The grammar is the same, but the intent of the parents is different.

If (B) is grammatically incorrect, what needs to be changed to make it correct?

b. had they known (Condition 1) the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain, they would have (Condition 2)chosen to abort the pregnancy - Wrong. Double condition

To make it grammatically correct we need to remove one conditional statement. Either the first one or the second one. Removing 1st one makes the sentence kinda awkward. So we choose option A.
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2010, 10:33
piyatiwari wrote:
Quote:

What's grammatically wrong about it? I don't understand what you mean by "double condition." The only difference between the two choices is "might have" vs. "would have" - in (A), if the parents had known, they would have considered doing something, while in (B), if the parents had known, they definitely would have done something. The grammar is the same, but the intent of the parents is different.

If (B) is grammatically incorrect, what needs to be changed to make it correct?

b. had they known (Condition 1) the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain, they would have (Condition 2)chosen to abort the pregnancy - Wrong. Double condition

To make it grammatically correct we need to remove one conditional statement. Either the first one or the second one. Removing 1st one makes the sentence kinda awkward. So we choose option A.

I'm sorry, but I still don't understand what you mean by double condition. I don't see anything wrong with "Had they known... would have." It's the exact same sentence construct as "Had they known... MIGHT have."

If "Had they known... they would have" is an incorrect sentence, how would you reword it to convey the same meaning (that if they had known some piece of information, they MOST DEFINITELY would have done something about it) in a grammatically correct way? And why is that wrong, while saying "Had they known... they might have" (if they had known some piece of information, IT IS POSSIBLE they would have done something about it) is correct?

Not trying to be difficult.. I just don't see the difference here.
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2010, 10:39
I don't know whats not there to understand. I've been using this approach n got right answers almost every time. The concept is getting complicated here. Glad that our answer choices are same!
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2010, 10:44
piyatiwari wrote:
:) I don't know whats not there to understand. I've been using this approach n got right answers almost every time. The concept is getting complicated here. Glad that our answer choices are same!

Can anyone else explain this then? I just googled this issue and got results agreeing with me that "Had they known... they would have" is perfectly correct grammar...
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2010, 17:47
For sure B changes the meaning, so A is right. I also couldn't understand the double condition logic to eliminate B, by the way.

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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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08 Sep 2010, 06:30
I also think B will change the meaning so went for A
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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08 Sep 2010, 07:57
I have one Q for piyatiwari : How is it that MIGHT is not a condition and WOULD is one? Could u please clarify?
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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10 Sep 2010, 02:56
Initaily, i thought 'D' because 'Had they known' sounded awkward and i think 'if they had known' introduces the conditional statement better than 'Had they known' but looking closely...
This is tricky I can see 'would have' changes the meaning of the sentence in B. However, in A - 'had they known' and 'might have' also introduces uncertainty because 'might have' does not mean that the parents are definitely going to abort the pregnancy if they had known.

D is similar to A in meaning. In D 'if' and 'might have' still is uncertain.
Therefore on that note, I think it is A.

What is the OA
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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10 Sep 2010, 03:57
What is the Source of this question, and are such questions expected where almost 3 choices are gramatically correct ?
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2011, 23:36
rafi wrote:

Dear Rafi
as it will help us
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2011, 04:44
This topic is not listed as sourced from either GPREP or OG. Is there any OA or OE?
My reckoning is that, in such past conditional sentences , wherein the conditional part is some thing that was missed, meaning that the parent did not somehow know in the past the future problems of the child, a hypothetical setting of missed occurrence , then the main cluse should be expressed in the future modal would. The formulaic application of If X happens/ happened, then Y will happen / would happen is the right form. IMO, therefore the text is flawed by using the speculative modal 'might' and Chocie B is the only logical one that rectifies the error. I see no reason to drop it on grounds of altered intent.

Also I see no difference between A and C in that they are both bad.

Incidentally, and curiously, can somebody cite in GMAT, an instance where the topic has used the modal ‘might’ in its main sentence rather than the definitive ‘would’?
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2011, 06:02
rafi wrote:
The parents of a baby born with spina bifida say that had they known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain, they might have chosen to abort the pregnancy.

a. had they known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain, they might have chosen to abort the pregnancy
The statement has a sense of hesitation OR uncertainty as described by word "might". This is grammatically correct. CORRECT.

b. had they known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain, they would have chosen to abort the pregnancy
Grammatically correct. Changes the meaning. "would" shows certainty, of course in the perspective of a hypothetical situation from the past

c. they might have chosen to abort the pregnancy if they had known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain
if they had known. "if" is redundant.

d. if they had known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain, they might have chosen to abort the pregnancy
Same as C's.

e. they might have chose to abort the pregnancy had they known the child would be born with a disabling defect that can result in paralysis, profound learning disabilities and fluid on the brain.
might have chose. Not a correct usage.

can anyone explain what's difference between answer a and c?
when such a swap is OK and when it is not?

Thanks
Rafi

Good question!!! Indicative of the pattern GMAT has apparently adapted- emphasis on meaning.

Ans: "A"
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Re: SC - Swaping sentence parts   [#permalink] 28 Sep 2011, 06:02

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# The parents of a baby born with spina bifida say that had

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