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The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion

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New post 23 Oct 2007, 22:56
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The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2017

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 775
Page: 704

The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion just as the planets are, yet being so far away from the Earth that their apparent positions in the sky do not change enough for their movement to be observed during a single human lifetime.

(A) The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion just as the planets are, yet being

(B) Like the planets, the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, but they are

(C) Although like the planets the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, yet

(D) As the planets, the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, but they are

(E) The stars are in motion like the planets, some of which at tremendous speeds are in motion but
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Re: The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2013, 21:16
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1.) Notice that the end of some of the answers include a subject/verb, so check sentence structure. ABCD each uses ", but" or ", yet" and each of these requires an independent clause on each side (S/V ", but" S/V). There is no verb after the underlined part, so we need a subject/verb in the answer after the ", but" or ", yet". This knocks out A and C. E doesn't need to be eliminated, because we don't have a comma before "but"

2.) We see "like" and "as" in the beginning, so comparisons are being tested. "like" needs to be followed by a noun. "as" can be followed by a noun or a subject/verb, but it is NOT a comparison if it is followed by a noun - it is describing function. Because we are comparing how the stars are in motion to how the planets are in motion, "as" needs to be followed by a subject/verb if it is used.

3.) The order of "stars" and "planets" changes, which usually indicates a modifier-related meaning issue. Here the sentence is intending to tell us that the "stars" are "so far away from the Earth", not the "planets".

The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion just as the planets are, yet being so far away from the Earth that their apparent positions in the sky do not change enough for their movement to be observed during a single human lifetime.

A) The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion just as the planets are, yet being - "being" doesn't make this wrong. In fact, the GMAT sometimes starts a clause using being if it is trying to use the state of being something as the subject. What makes this answer wrong is the lack of a subject/verb after the ", yet"

B) Like the planets, the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, but they are - There is a subject/verb after ", but" and there is proper use of "like". Also, the modifier "some of them" is properly modifying "stars". Don't worry that "them" might be a little ambiguous ("stars" or "planets") because ambiguity is a lower priority than improper sentence structure, improper like/as usage, and improper meaning from improper modifier placement.

C) Although like the planets the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, yet - Again, no verb after ", yet"

D) As the planets, the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, but they are - "as" is followed by a noun, so it describes the function that the stars are performing, which is not the intended meaning of the sentence

E) The stars are in motion like the planets, some of which at tremendous speeds are in motion but - The modifier "some of which" is describing planets as being far away from the Earth. This is not the intended meaning of the sentence.
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Re: The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2013, 05:16
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A) The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion just as the planets are, yet being -using of being is not preffered for this sentence ,makes it verbose

B) Like the planets, the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, but they are
-bingo. :) Like is used to compare nouns and it is used to compare stars and planets here. The rest of the sentence is gramatically correct.

C) Although like the planets the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, yet -Use of although and yet simultaneously makes the sentence less clear .
D) As the planets, the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, but they are-Use of as is wrong in the sentence .As is used to compare clause ,Like is prefered

E) The stars are in motion like the planets, some of which at tremendous speeds are in motion but -Incorrect comparison.
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Re: The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2013, 23:44
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The statements says that both the stars and planets are in motion , but since the stars are farther away from earth,human eyes will not be able to see them moving.

So,we need "but" in there to bring upon the actual meaning.Retain B and D.
Like the planets --> Compares the motion of stars with that of the planets . Correct answer :)
As the planets --> incorrect comparison as we are comapring the motion of planets with stars and not just the planets.

Kudos if it was helpful :D
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Re: The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Apr 2013, 08:51
bujilover wrote:
The statements says that both the stars and planets are in motion , but since the stars are farther away from earth,human eyes will not be able to see them moving.

So,we need "but" in there to bring upon the actual meaning.Retain B and D.
Like the planets --> Compares the motion of stars with that of the planets . Correct answer :)
As the planets --> incorrect comparison as we are comapring the motion of planets with stars and not just the planets.

Kudos if it was helpful :D

Be careful. Here, "but" and "yet" are being used as conjunctions, and "but" and "yet" are interchangeable when used as conjunctions.

I enjoy movies, yet I never get a chance to go.
I enjoy movies, but I never get a chance to go.

These are identical. "Yet" only means up until now when it is being used as an adverb.

You got the right answer, but you should not have eliminated A and C for using "yet." Also, why then is E wrong? It also uses "but" and might not need a comma.
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Re: The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2013, 22:27
mmagyar wrote:
1.) Notice that the end of some of the answers include a subject/verb, so check sentence structure. ABCD each uses ", but" or ", yet" and each of these requires an independent clause on each side (S/V ", but" S/V). There is no verb after the underlined part, so we need a subject/verb in the answer after the ", but" or ", yet". This knocks out A and C. E doesn't need to be eliminated, because we don't have a comma before "but"


Hi,

Aren't we supposed to read the second clause as - yet The stars being so far away.... in which case
There is a subject: The stars
and verb : being
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Re: The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2013, 23:14
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kiranck007 wrote:
mmagyar wrote:
1.) Notice that the end of some of the answers include a subject/verb, so check sentence structure. ABCD each uses ", but" or ", yet" and each of these requires an independent clause on each side (S/V ", but" S/V). There is no verb after the underlined part, so we need a subject/verb in the answer after the ", but" or ", yet". This knocks out A and C. E doesn't need to be eliminated, because we don't have a comma before "but"


Hi,

Aren't we supposed to read the second clause as - yet The stars being so far away.... in which case
There is a subject: The stars
and verb : being


Hi Kiranck007

If I read you comment correctly, you mean the clause "The stars being so far away.." is correct (subject: The stars; verb: being). "being" is not a verb, it's a noun (human being) or an adjective. The main verb in this sentence is "are" (but they are so far.....)
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The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2013, 00:41
Are you saying "being" is not at all a verb? My wordweb dictionary reports it as a verb too
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New post 25 Jul 2013, 06:34
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kiranck007 wrote:
Hi,

Are you saying "being" is not at all a verb? My wordweb dictionary reports it as a verb too


Hi kiranck007,

“be” is an auxiliary verb, is/am/are/war/were/will etc. are different helping verbs in different forms.

Now is/am/are/war/were/will etc. are considered verbs but “be” or “being” juts by itself is never a verb that can complement a Subject. “being” is what is called present participle. Present participles are not verbs that can complement Subjects. For example:

The work is being done.
Joe, being a naughty boy, never finished his homework on time.

Hope this helps. :)
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Re: The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2013, 08:10
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egmat wrote:
kiranck007 wrote:
Hi,

Are you saying "being" is not at all a verb? My wordweb dictionary reports it as a verb too


Hi kiranck007,

“be” is an auxiliary verb, is/am/are/war/were/will etc. are different helping verbs in different forms.

Now is/am/are/war/were/will etc. are considered verbs but “be” or “being” juts by itself is never a verb that can complement a Subject. “being” is what is called present participle. Present participles are not verbs that can complement Subjects. For example:

The work is being done.
Joe, being a naughty boy, never finished his homework on time.

Hope this helps. :)
Thanks.
Shraddha


Additionally, "being" can be a gerund (basically an action acting as a noun). For example:

Being nice can be hard.

This is the most likely way that the GMAT will make "being" part of the correct answer. See OG13 SC#100
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Re: The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2014, 23:14
beckee529 wrote:
The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion just as the planets are, yet being so far away from the Earth that their apparent positions in the sky do not change enough for their movement to be observed during a single human lifetime.

A) The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion just as the planets are, yet being

B) Like the planets, the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, but they are

C) Although like the planets the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, yet

D) As the planets, the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, but they are

E) The stars are in motion like the planets, some of which at tremendous speeds are in motion but

to me they all sound retarded...


Please explain how B is correct. Manhattan SC states that 'Like' cannot be used for comparison if there is a clause. Isn't 'the stars are in motion' a clause or am i making a very stupid mistake here
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New post 11 Apr 2014, 06:20
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nityamskhurana wrote:
beckee529 wrote:
The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion just as the planets are, yet being so far away from the Earth that their apparent positions in the sky do not change enough for their movement to be observed during a single human lifetime.

A) The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion just as the planets are, yet being

B) Like the planets, the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, but they are

C) Although like the planets the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, yet

D) As the planets, the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, but they are

E) The stars are in motion like the planets, some of which at tremendous speeds are in motion but

to me they all sound retarded...


Please explain how B is correct. Manhattan SC states that 'Like' cannot be used for comparison if there is a clause. Isn't 'the stars are in motion' a clause or am i making a very stupid mistake here


I think you misunderstand the Manhattan SC. You are focusing on the part that "like" is modifying, when you should be focusing on the "like" itself.

It should not be "like [clause], ...". In this case we have "like [the planets], ..." which is "like [noun], ...". Another way to look at it:

[Like the planets, the stars] are in motion
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Re: The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2014, 11:29
Hi -- Two questions:

Can someone explain the difference here between "like" vs. "as"? I was under the impression that "as" is used to compare clauses vs. "like" which is used to compare nouns, correct?

I narrowed it down to B and D and chose D because I *thought* that I was comparing the "motion of the stars" to the "motion of the planets". Doesn't that warrant a clause comparison, in turn, using "as" as the comparison marker?

As a + 1 -- can someone purely use comparison to eliminate the 5 answer choices, I would love to see what is being compared. I can only eliminate "C" b/c of the "although" in the front creates an awkward comparison. Was I wrong?
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New post 21 Apr 2014, 09:14
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russ9 wrote:
Hi -- Two questions:

Can someone explain the difference here between "like" vs. "as"? I was under the impression that "as" is used to compare clauses vs. "like" which is used to compare nouns, correct?

I narrowed it down to B and D and chose D because I *thought* that I was comparing the "motion of the stars" to the "motion of the planets". Doesn't that warrant a clause comparison, in turn, using "as" as the comparison marker?

As a + 1 -- can someone purely use comparison to eliminate the 5 answer choices, I would love to see what is being compared. I can only eliminate "C" b/c of the "although" in the front creates an awkward comparison. Was I wrong?

Hi Russ,

I think you should consider reading my post from the first page:

mmagyar wrote:
2.) We see "like" and "as" in the beginning, so comparisons are being tested. "like" needs to be followed by a noun. "as" can be followed by a noun or a subject/verb, but it is NOT a comparison if it is followed by a noun - it is describing function. Because we are comparing how the stars are in motion to how the planets are in motion, "as" needs to be followed by a subject/verb if it is used.

Don't worry so much about the meaning when deciding between like and as; instead, consider the pure structure that follows. I suggest reading this e-GMAT post: as-vs-like-correct-and-incorrect-usages-133950.html

egmat wrote:
Both ‘like’ and ‘as’ are used to state comparisons. For example:
• Amy takes care of the children in the day care like a mother. 
• Amy takes care of the children in the day care as a mother does.
Both sentences are correct. Both the sentences above convey the meaning that Amy takes care of the children “in the same way” as a mother takes care of her children.
But notice the usage here – ‘like’ is followed by a noun and ‘as’ is followed by a clause. This grammatical construction should be kept in mind.

---
In this question, all of the choices are grammatically correct for like/as. There are other meaning issues (modifiers, "although," etc.), but the meaning of the comparison matches for ABCE, so we cannot eliminate them for comparison reasons. D, however, has a comparison problem.

In D, "as" is followed by a noun, so it is telling us that the stars are filling the function of (i.e. becoming) planets when those stars are in motion. What do we mean by function? Consider:

"The student acts like a teacher" - comparison to show that the student is not a teacher, but is acting in a SIMILAR manner
"The student acts as a teacher does" - comparison to show that the student is not a teacher, but is acting in a SIMILAR manner
"The student acts as a teacher" - telling us that the student is filling the role of a teacher (not in a way that is SIMILAR to a teacher, but that the student has actually BECOME a teacher, even if temporarily)

Also, in general, the GMAT seems to like to test the meaning of a comparison much more than the actual grammatical structure. Don't worry so much about like/as and focus more on the meanings that are generated by changing the order of the words.

Hope that helps
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New post 29 Jan 2016, 02:28
Hi chetan2u / mikemcgarry

Can you please explain why there is no pronoun ambiguity in B.
B) Like the planets, the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, but they are

THEY can also refer to planets.

I am facing a lot of issue in pronoun ambiguity issues and hence I am not confident in eliminating options on the basis of pronoun ambiguity.

Please assist how can I comprehend this topic.
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New post 29 Jan 2016, 05:36
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RAHKARP27071989 wrote:
Hi chetan2u / mikemcgarry

Can you please explain why there is no pronoun ambiguity in B.
B) Like the planets, the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, but they are

THEY can also refer to planets.

I am facing a lot of issue in pronoun ambiguity issues and hence I am not confident in eliminating options on the basis of pronoun ambiguity.

Please assist how can I comprehend this topic.


First and foremost, pronoun ambiguity has low priority. Many correct answers actually have some level of ambiguity. Only consider it when you have exhausted everything else. (Ambiguity means uncertain, not wrong. It is much worse to be wrong than uncertain.)

Second, a parallelism rule tells us the following:

When two clauses are joined by a conjunction and the second clause begins with a pronoun as the subject, that pronoun should refer to the subject of the first clause.

Here, we have the following structure:

[Modifier], [Subject] [Verb], but [Pronoun] [Verb]

As a result, we have two clauses joined by a conjunction, so the pronoun subject of the second clause ("they") must refer to the subject of the first clause ("stars"). Because "planets" is in a modifier, it is irrelevant to the parallel consideration because it is not the subject of the main clause.

[Edited to make it easier to understand.]
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Re: The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2016, 13:48
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A primer on subgroup modifiers:

Six different forms of subgroup modifiers are frequently observed. These forms are illustrated using the example above - the first 3 forms are correct and the last three wrong.

1. The stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds,.... Correct

2. The stars are in motion, some at tremendous speeds,.... Correct

3. The stars are in motion, some of which are at tremendous speeds,... Correct

4. The stars are in motion, of which some are at tremendous speeds,... Wrong

5. The stars are in motion, some of which at tremendous speeds,... Wrong

6. The stars are in motion, some of them which are at tremendous speeds,... Wrong
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Re: The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2016, 16:12
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sayantanc2k wrote:
A primer on subgroup modifiers:

Six different forms of subgroup modifiers are frequently observed. These forms are illustrated using the example above - the first 3 forms are correct and the last three wrong.

1. The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds,.... Correct

2. The stars, some at tremendous speeds,.... Correct

3. The stars, some of which are at tremendous speeds,... Correct

4. The stars, of which some are at tremendous speeds,... Wrong

5. The stars, some of which at tremendous speeds,... Wrong

6. The stars, some of them which are at tremendous speeds,... Wrong



I disagree with this usage because it has an incorrect meaning. When the modifier says "at tremendous speeds", it is referring the stars being "in motion", not to an inherent characteristic of "the stars". Thus, the following is incorrect:

  • The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion - implies that the "tremendous speeds" is a characteristic of stars separate from their motion

To fix this, we need to keep the speeds about the motion. The following are correct:

  • The stars, some of them moving at tremendous speeds, are in motion - awkward because we repeat the idea of motion, but not incorrect
  • The stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, - much better

In other words, we have to be careful that the modifier both is grammatically correct and has the correct relationship to that which it modifies in terms of meaning. The difference in meaning in this example is subtle, but it is an important one for the GMAT.
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The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Feb 2016, 03:38
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mmagyar wrote:


I disagree with this usage because it has an incorrect meaning. When the modifier says "at tremendous speeds", it is referring the stars being "in motion", not to an inherent characteristic of "the stars". Thus, the following is incorrect:

  • The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion - implies that the "tremendous speeds" is a characteristic of stars separate from their motion

To fix this, we need to keep the speeds about the motion. The following are correct:

  • The stars, some of them moving at tremendous speeds, are in motion - awkward because we repeat the idea of motion, but not incorrect
  • The stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, - much better

In other words, we have to be careful that the modifier both is grammatically correct and has the correct relationship to that which it modifies in terms of meaning. The difference in meaning in this example is subtle, but it is an important one for the GMAT.


Excellent observation, thank you for the post! :) I see your point and do agree with you. It is better to place the subgroup modifier after motion. Nevertheless, my intent for the post was to highlight the various possible uses, some of them correct and some wrong, of subgroup modifiers. :-D
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New post 14 Jun 2016, 04:05
I chose B.

A was the second-best option.

A) The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion just as the planets are, yet being

The improvable aspects that I found were:

- "some of them at tremendous speeds" should have been after "in motion", not before.
- It is unclear what subject does the verb "yet being" refers to. Does it refer to stars or to planets?

Hence, discarded. However, it was a good runner-up.

What do you think about the 2 reasons mentioned above?

However, I think that, in option B, it is not totally clear what does "they" refer to.
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Re: The stars, some of them at tremendous speeds, are in motion &nbs [#permalink] 14 Jun 2016, 04:05

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