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# The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal

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The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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18 Jul 2009, 00:57
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The Official Guide for GMAT Review 10th Edition, 2003
Practice Question
Question No.: SC 22
Page: 656

The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly from previous works.

(A) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly

(B) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

(C) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly

(D) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but had slowly evolved

(E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but they were slowly evolved
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by souvik101990 on 18 Oct 2017, 15:52, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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25 Jun 2012, 13:34
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This question tests parallelism. Indeed most of the wrong answers can be eliminated simply because of lack of parallelism (see below).

The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly from previous works.

(A) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly

'Not in a Noun Phrase but in a Noun Phrase' is violated by the use of the verb 'evolved.'

(B) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

Same problem as in (A), but this time because of 'were slowly evolved.'

(C) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly

'Did not 'Verb Phrase + Prepositional Phrase but 'Verb Phrase + PP' is maintained here. The Answer.

(D) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but had slowly evolved

The use of past perfect, 'had...evolved' is unnecessary.

(E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

Use of the passive construction, 'were slowly evolved' invalidates this answer choice.

Hope that helps
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2012, 10:11
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"srikirs007"]But if we need to maintain parallelism, spring is just in base form where as evolved is past tense . Can someone please explain this?

(C) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly

Notice that "did" appears before "spring". Hence we cannot write "sprang" because we cannot write two past tenses in same sentence. Note that "did not spring" = "sprang" which is parallel to past tense "evolved". The structure of the sentence is such that "spring" and "evolved" cannot be identically parallel. But both the verb tenses are in simple past tense. And that is why they are parallel.

Hence, it is not always necessary that all the entities in a list must be identically parallel. They should be made identically parallel only when it is possible to do so. In an e-gmat course concept namely Parallelism - Helpful Tips, we discuss how far entities can be parallel in the list.

Hope this helps.

Thanks.

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Last edited by egmat on 06 Aug 2012, 07:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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24 Jun 2012, 11:34
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In D, the use of past perfect 'had evolved' to describe the nature of a phenomenon is erroneous. The springing and evolving are concurrent happenings and so there is no need to sequence them as one before the other. That is why D loses
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2012, 08:45
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Expert's post
Hi Sachin,

In the construction “not X but Y”, X and Y should be parallel, but it is not necessary for the voices to be the same if the context demands so. For example:

The beggars did not get any money but were helped in other ways.

In this sentence, “did not get” is in active voice but “were helped” is in passive. It is so because here both the entities cannot be identically parallel. If we make both the voice active, the meaning will be violated.

However, this is not the case with the OG question. Choice E reads:

E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

In this choice we can make both the entities identically parallel without violating the meaning of the sentence. We can easily say:

Did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but slowly evolved…

The takeaway is that we must keep the entities as parallel as possible. When we can have identically parallel entities to convey the intended logical meaning, we must keep them that way. The list can be made non-identical only if the logical meaning cannot be conveyed by making the entities absolutely parallel.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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18 Jul 2009, 10:12
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skim wrote:
The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly from previous works.
(A) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(B) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved
(C) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(D) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but had slowly evolved
(E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

C for me. Not spring...but evolved is idiomatic. In A, Not in a flash of inspiration...but evolved is not parallel.

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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2009, 05:59
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After search I found that choices are different in the question:

original wrote:
The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly from previous works

A) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
B) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved
C) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
D) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but had slowly evolved
E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but they were slowly evolved

still the OA is C.
sc-og-verbal-review-27469.html#p184319
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Last edited by sudeep on 22 Jul 2009, 06:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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12 Jun 2010, 09:16
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hasham222 wrote:
skim wrote:
The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly from previous works.
(A) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(B) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved
(C) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(D) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but had slowly evolved
(E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

A

use of idiom....'Not X... but Y'

A is not para||. not in flash .... but <in missing>
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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25 Nov 2012, 02:30
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ChrisLele wrote:
This question tests parallelism. Indeed most of the wrong answers can be eliminated simply because of lack of parallelism (see below).

The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly from previous works.

(A) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly

'Not in a Noun Phrase but in a Noun Phrase' is violated by the use of the verb 'evolved.'

(B) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

Same problem as in (A), but this time because of 'were slowly evolved.'

(C) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly

'Did not 'Verb Phrase + Prepositional Phrase but 'Verb Phrase + PP' is maintained here. The Answer.

(D) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but had slowly evolved

The use of past perfect, 'had...evolved' is unnecessary.

(E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

Use of the passive construction, 'were slowly evolved' invalidates this answer choice.

Hope that helps

(E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

Use of the passive construction, 'were slowly evolved' invalidates this answer choice.

Hi Chris,
You mention the above as the reason why E is wrong.
So, Do we need the voices ( passive/active ) to be parallel in a x but y structure?

Regards,
Sach
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2012, 17:35
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egmat wrote:
Hi Sachin,

In the construction “not X but Y”, X and Y should be parallel, but it is not necessary for the voices to be the same if the context demands so. For example:

The beggars did not get any money but were helped in other ways.

In this sentence, “did not get” is in active voice but “were helped” is in passive. It is so because here both the entities cannot be identically parallel. If we make both the voice active, the meaning will be violated.

However, this is not the case with the OG question. Choice E reads:

E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

In this choice we can make both the entities identically parallel without violating the meaning of the sentence. We can easily say:

Did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but slowly evolved…

The takeaway is that we must keep the entities as parallel as possible. When we can have identically parallel entities to convey the intended logical meaning, we must keep them that way. The list can be made non-identical only if the logical meaning cannot be conveyed by making the entities absolutely parallel.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

Amazing.. Thanks a ton..

Is it also because usage of evolve mandates that? since evolution happens and not done by somebody?
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2016, 15:28
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Expert's post
282552 wrote:
WaterFlowsUp wrote:
on all these discussions i observe that no one has considered the subtle difference between "solwly evolved" and "evolvedv slowly" , just by using these concept 3 options choices can be chucked off. Leaving us with A and C. Now 1 step ll-ism concept will lead us to A.
Here the concept tested is ll-ism in noun phrases. In A one side has a prepositional phrase while at the other a verb phrase.

Can you explain what is the subtle difference between slowly evolved and evolved slowly ??

I do not see any difference in the meanings between slowly evolved and evolved slowly. Placing the adverb before or after the verb does not really seem to change the meaning of the sentence in this particular case.

However in some cases the placement of adverb before or after the verb changes the meaning, e.g., when the verb is followed by a verbal form (such as present participle)

I slowly went scratching my head.
I went slowly scratching my head.

In the first sentence the adverb slowly refers to the verb went, whereas in the second sentence it may as well refer to the verbal form scratching.

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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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18 Jul 2009, 09:18
skim wrote:
The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly from previous works.
(A) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(B) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved
(C) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(D) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but had slowly evolved
(E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

A

use of idiom....'Not X... but Y'

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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2009, 03:59
C. Other options are not maintaining parallelism.
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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18 Aug 2009, 23:06
Not X but Y,
X and Y should be parallel

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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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12 Jun 2010, 11:13
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hey SudiptoGmat
I like the way you nailed it.

C best answer did not spring (simple past) .....but evolved (simple past) .

SudiptoGmat wrote:
hasham222 wrote:
skim wrote:
The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly from previous works.
(A) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(B) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved
(C) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(D) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but had slowly evolved
(E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved

A

use of idiom....'Not X... but Y'

A is not para||. not in flash .... but <in missing>

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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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12 Jun 2010, 14:46
C is correct...

lesson to be learnt.....refresh refresh...idioms need to maintain parallel structures...

'Not in X but in Y'

Thanks

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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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21 Jun 2010, 07:39
I struggled between A and C but luckily remebered the idiom and picked C.

C for me.

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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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21 Jun 2010, 09:26
seekmba wrote:
I struggled between A and C but luckily remebered the idiom and picked C.

C for me.

I go with C ..
[Reveal] Spoiler:

just checking howto use spoiler
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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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15 May 2011, 11:24
The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal that his inventions typically sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly from previous works.

(A) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(B) sprang to life not in a flash of inspiration but were slowly evolved
(C) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but evolved slowly
(D) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but had slowly evolved
(E) did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration but they were slowly evolved

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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal [#permalink]

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12 Mar 2012, 20:29
I picked C for this question:

The most important concept in this question is parallelism. The parallelism begins after the relative pronoun "that."

A. In this answer choice, parallelism is broken because we are comparing a prepositional phrase to a verb phrase.

The parallelism for this answer choice looks like this:

That his inventions typically spring to life not:
-in a flash of inspiration
BUT:
-evolved slowly from previous works

From the above split, you can see why these 2 are not parallel. The first part is a prepositional phrase and the second is a verb phrase.

B. Again, parallelism is broken here. "Were slowly evolved" makes no sense.

C. This is the correct answer.

The parallelism for this answer choice looks like this:

That his inventions typically:
-did not spring to life in a flash of inspiration
BUT:
-evolved slowly from previous works

From the above split, you can see why these 2 are parallel. The first part is a verb followed by a prepositional phrase and the same can be said for the second part.

D. The past perfect verb tense is incorrect.

E. We are comparing a verb+prepositional phrase to a clause. Therefore, parallelism is broken.

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Re: The voluminous personal papers of Thomas Alva Edison reveal   [#permalink] 12 Mar 2012, 20:29

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