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TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING

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TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING [#permalink]

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12 Dec 2012, 14:09
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‘TO VERB’ VS ‘FOR VERB-ING’

Hi folks,
Let the title of the article not confuse you. Read the following two sentences:

1. Joe wrote a book to share his experiences with others.
2. Joe got acclaims for writing the book.

These are very easy simple sentences and so the usage of the highlighted phrases does not bother us. Fair enough. Now let’s reverse these phrase in the above two statements.

1. Joe wrote a book for sharing his experiences with others.
2. Joe got acclaims to write the book.

Now these sentences certainly strike you. You immediately tell yourself, “Hey, these don’t sound right.” Right? Don’t only trust your ears or instincts. Read on to know why they don’t get grammatical approval.

REASON OUT

We must understand the usage of “to verb” and “for verb” to be able to distinguish between the contexts where these phrases can be used correctly.

Use of “to verb" – This phrase is used when we need to present the purpose or the intention of an action. This phrase is actually a shorter way of “writing” “in order to verb”. Let’s take the simple sentences with this phrase we mentioned in the beginning of the article.

1. Joe wrote a book to share his experiences with others.: This sentence correctly uses “to share” because it presents the purpose why Joe wrote the book. It is explicit from the context that Joe wrote the book because he wanted to share his experience with others.

2. Joe got acclaims to write the book.: This sentence does not use “to write” correctly because writing the book is certainly not the purpose of Joe getting acclaims.

Use of “for verb-ing” – Since “for” is a preposition, it can modify either a noun or a verb. Prepositional phrase “for verb-ing” can modify the verb or the noun in that it denotes some relation to the entity it modifies. Let’s understand this through the previously mentioned simple sentences.

1. Joe got acclaims for writing the book.: This sentence correctly uses “for writing” because this prepositional phrase logically modifies the verb “got”. Here, there is no question of presenting any purpose. The sentence rather explains “what for” Joe got acclaims. Hence, use of “for writing” is correct.

2. Joe wrote a book for sharing his experiences with others.: This sentence incorrectly uses “for sharing” to denote Joe’s intention of writing the book.

So, when the intention is explicit from the context of the sentence, then we must choose “to verb” over “for verb-ing”. Let’s see and evaluate the usages of these phrases in official examples.

OFFICIAL EXAMPLES – TO VERB

EXAMPLE 1

Although this is not a heavily tested concept on GMAT, this is certainly one of those concepts that confuse a lot of test takers. In such questions, generally we can narrow down our selection to two choices – one having “to verb” and the other “for verb-ing”. For example:

Warning that computers in the United States are not secure, the National Academy of Sciences has urged the nation to revamp computer security procedures, institute new emergency response teams, creating a special nongovernment organization to take charge of computer security planning.

A. creating a special nongovernment organization to take
B. creating a special nongovernment organization that takes
C. creating a special nongovernment organization for taking
D. and create a special nongovernment organization for taking
E. and create a special nongovernment organization to take

MEANING ANALYSIS:

The NAS has warned that the US computers are not secure. Hence, they have urged the nation to do a few things.

PoE:

We are not doing the Error Analysis here because those errors do not encompass the topic of discussion of this write-up. After error analysis, we can narrow our choices to D and E. The only difference between these two choices is “for taking” and “to take”. So let’s analyze these choices:

D. and create a special nongovernment organization for taking: From meaning analysis we know that the NAS has asked the US government to do a few things to secure its computers. One of these tasks is to create a special nongovernment organization.

Now, per the context of the sentence, it is clear that taking charge of computer security planning is the purpose for creating this special nongovernment organization. Hence, purpose is explicit from the context. So this choice stands incorrect as it uses “for creating” instead of “to create”.

E. and create a special nongovernment organization to take: This choice correctly expresses the purpose by using the correct phrase “to create”, and hence is the correct answer.

EXAMPLE 2

The same usage can be seen in OG13#76.

Combining enormous physical strength with higher intelligence, the Neanderthals appear as equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path, but their relatively sudden disappearance during the Paleolithic era indicates that an inability to adapt to some environmental change led to their extinction.

ERROR ANALYIS

One of the errors in the sentence is the use of “for facing”. The context of the sentence tells us that the Neanderthals were equipped with the purpose of doing something. And what is this purpose? The purpose was facing any environmental obstacle. Since the purpose is explicit here, we should use “to face” and not “for facing”

Following is the sentence with correct answer choice:

Combining enormous physical strength with higher intelligence, the Neanderthals appear to have been equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their path, but their relatively sudden disappearance during the Paleolithic era indicates that an inability to adapt to some environmental change led to their extinction.

This choice corrects that error and changes “for facing” to “to face” to correctly express the explicit purpose in the sentence.

OFFICIAL EXAMPLES – FOR VERB-ING

EXAMPLE 1

New genetic evidence - together with recent studies of elephants’ skeletons, tusks, and other anatomical features - provide compelling support for classifying Africa’s forest elephants and its savanna elephants as separate species.

A. provide compelling support for classifying
B. provide compelling support for the classification of
C. provides compelling support to the classification of
D. provides compelling support for classifying
E. provides compelling support to classify

MEANING ANALYSIS:

The sentence says that New genetic evidence together with some other things provide compelling support. Support for what? Support for classifying Africa’s forest elephants and savanna elephants as separate species.

PoE:

Again, the error analysis helps us eliminate the first three choices for errors we are not discussing here. Again the only difference between D and E is “for classifying” and “to classify”.

D. provides compelling support for classifying: Per the meaning, new genetic evidence provides support. Most certainly, the new genetic evidence does not have any purpose for providing such support. Rather we can ask what is this support for? This support is for doing something else. Hence this choice correctly uses “for classifying”.
E. provides compelling support to classify: This choice is clearly incorrect because there cannot be any purpose here per the context of this sentence.

P.S: Also, this sentence involves usage of correct idiom. “provide support or help” is always followed a preposition + Noun. Hence, choice E is incorrect idiomatically as well.

EXAMPLE 2

There are many official problems in OG the study of which can be useful to understand the usage of “for verb-ing”. Although, the sentences that I’m going to talk about in this section do not necessarily test this usage, they are useful for understanding the correct usage of the phrase.

Let’s take a look at OG12#40:

This is the sentence with the correct answer choice as the topic of discussion is not tested in this question:

Dr. Tonegawa won the Nobel Prize for discovering how the body can constantly change its genes to fashion a seemingly unlimited number of antibodies, each targeted specifically at an invading microbe or foreign substance.
This sentence correctly uses “for discovering” because Dr. Tonegawa won the Nobel prize for something. If we change “for discovering” to “to discover”, the meaning will be distorted. There is no purpose involved in this sentence and hence “for discovering…” clearly answer what for Dr. Tonegawa won the Nobel Prize.

OG QUESTIONS YOU CAN STUDY FOR CORRECT USAGE

Apply these rule sets to the following OG questions.

OG 12# 51, 106
OG Verbal Review 2# 5, 8,

EXERCISE QUESTION

While some propose to combat widespread illegal copying of computer programs by attempting to change people's attitudes toward pirating, others by suggesting reducing software prices to decrease the incentive for pirating, and still others by calling for the prosecution of those who copy software illegally. (OG 10)

A) by suggesting reducing software prices to decrease the incentive for pirating, and still others by calling

B) by suggesting the reduction of software prices to decrease the incentive for pirating, and still others call

C) suggest the reduction of software prices for decreasing the incentive for pirating, and still others call

D) suggest the reduction of software prices to decrease the incentive for pirating, and still others by calling

E) suggest reducing software prices to decrease the incentive for pirating, and still others are calling

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Last edited by egmat on 31 Jul 2013, 14:06, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 'To verb' Vs 'For verb-ing' [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2012, 13:10
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A PDF version if someone wants to study it off line, several times like me

great input by the way
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TO VERB’ VS ‘FOR VERB-ING’.pdf [392.22 KiB]

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Re: TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2012, 13:45
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Hi All,

While some propose to combat widespread illegal copying of computer programs by attempting to change people's attitudes toward pirating, others by suggesting reducing software prices to decrease the incentive for pirating, and still others by calling for the prosecution of those who copy software illegally.

Meaning Analysis:

Different people have different views for combating widespread illegal copying of computer programs. Some propose to do so by attempting to change people’s attitude toward pirating; others suggest to do so by reducing software prices to decrease the incentive for piracy. Some others suggest to do the same by calling for the prosecution of those who copy software illegally.

Error Analysis:

The intended list in the sentences should consist “propose”, “suggest” and “call”.
The list per the original sentence is “by attempting…”, “by suggesting…”, and “by calling”. This is certainly the wrong list.

PoE:

A) by suggesting reducing software prices to decrease the incentive for pirating, and still others by calling: Incorrect for the reason stated above.

B) by suggesting the reduction of software prices to decrease the incentive for pirating, and still others call: Incorrect. “by suggesting” is not parallel to “propose” and “call”.

C) suggest the reduction of software prices for decreasing the incentive for pirating, and still others call: Incorrect. Use of “for decreasing” to denote the purpose of reducing the software prices is incorrect.

D) suggest the reduction of software prices to decrease the incentive for pirating, and still others by calling: Incorrect. “by calling” is not parallel to “propose” and “suggest”.

E) suggest reducing software prices to decrease the incentive for pirating, and still others are calling: Correct. Even if "are calling” is in present continuous tense, it is still a verb in present tense that is parallel to the other present tense verbs.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: 'To verb' Vs 'For verb-ing' [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2012, 12:55
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Hi Soumen,

Thanks for all your praises. And the suggestion as well. Underlined the question.
Well, yeah. We will make hullabaloo about thsi article soon.

Thanks.
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Re: TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2012, 09:47
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egmat wrote:

While some propose to combat widespread illegal copying of computer programs by attempting to change people's attitudes toward pirating, others by suggesting reducing software prices to decrease the incentive for pirating, and still others by calling for the prosecution of those who copy software illegally. (OG 10)

A) by suggesting reducing software prices to decrease the incentive for pirating, and still others by calling

B) by suggesting the reduction of software prices to decrease the incentive for pirating, and still others call

C) suggest the reduction of software pricesfor decreasingthe incentive for pirating, and still others call

D) suggest the reduction of software prices to decrease the incentive for pirating, and still others by calling

E) suggest reducing software prices to decrease the incentive for pirating, and still others are calling

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

'for decreasing' is wrong in choice C , since we need to show the purpose or intent we will use 'to decrease' .
IMO the answer should be E as it takes care of the parallellism issue
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Re: TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING [#permalink]

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03 Feb 2013, 13:48
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Hi everyone,

Thanks for posting your analysis of this question. Here is the detailed solution for this one.

Scientists claim that the discovery of the first authenticated mammal bones in amber could provide important clues of determining, in addition to how, when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies.

Meaning Analysis:

The sentence talks about a scientific discovery. Scientists found the first authenticated mammals bones in amber that could provide clues that would help in determining:
A. How mammals colonized the islands of West Indies, and
B. when they did so

Error Analysis:

1. "clues of determining" is an incorrect expression. Per the context of the sentence, the correct expression should be "clues for determining".

2. "in addition to how, when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies" is very awkward. It fails to communicate the intended meaning in a prices and clear manner.

PoE:

A: of determining, in addition to how, when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies: Incorrect for the reasons stated above.

B: in the determination of how and when the islands of the West Indies were colonized by mammals: Incorrect.
1. "In the determination" is not what we need here.
2. The passive voice construction makes the choice wordy.

C: to determine how mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies and when they did: Incorrect.
1. "To determine" is incorrect because it was not the intention of the clues to determine how and when mammals colonized West Indies.
2. This choice is not written in the most concise manner.

D: for determining when the islands of the West Indies were colonized by mammals and how they were: Incorrect.
1. The passive voice construction makes the choice wordy.
2. Use if "were" is incorrect. It should be "did". However, even after that, the construction would not have been precise.

E: for determining how and when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies: Correct.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2013, 07:04
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Hi everyone,

He comes the explanation for this question.

Scientists claim that the discovery of the first authenticated mammal bones in amber could provide important clues of determining, in addition to how, when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies.

Since the meaning is easy to understand, let’s move to Error Analysis.

ERROR ANALYSIS:
1. With “provide”, we use the preposition “for”. Use of “of determining” is incorrect.
2. The discovery of bones provide clues for determining two things:
a. How the mammals colonized the islands of West Indies
b. When the mammals colonized the islands of West Indies
So we have a list here, and the entities in this list must be joined by a marker. This marker should be “and” which is missing in the sentence.

PoE:

A: of determining, in addition to how, when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies: Incorrect for the reasons stated above.

B: in the determination of how and when the islands of the West Indies were colonized by mammals: Incorrect.
1. Use of “in” with provide is incorrect.
2. Passive voice makes the choice wordy.

C: to determine how mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies and when they did: Incorrect.
1. Use of “to” is incorrect.
2. The entities in the list can be written in more concise manner.

D: for determining when the islands of the West Indies were colonized by mammals and how they were: Incorrect. Passive voice makes the choice wordy.

E: for determining how and when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies: Correct.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: 'To verb' Vs 'For verb-ing' [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2012, 09:22
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Wonderful Article!!! Kudos !! Unfortunately I can give only one.

I was contemplating between D and E, but figured out E has no parallelism error.

I bet I was confused in the usage in 3-4 official questions and chose what "sounded right to the ear".

Do you have any more titbits like this, which addresses sore points of usage in GMAT? My GMAT is drawing near.

BTW I just bumped into this article by chance. There was no announcement too. Do you like to work in the dark???..

Thanks
Soumen

PS: I guess you missed to underline text in the practice Question.
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Re: 'To verb' Vs 'For verb-ing' [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2012, 13:10
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imhimanshu wrote:
Thanks for the wonderful article. However, could you please justify the usage of to + verb in the following correct sentence -

Australian embryologists have found evidence to suggest that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal.

I think, the correct idiom should be evidence+ that.

I believe, the above sentence means that embryologists was specifically seeking for an evidence to prove that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal. However, per meaning analysis it is the result of evidence that suggests that elephant is descended from aquatic. I mean, cause effect relationship gets changed. Isnt it?

Hi Himanshu,

You do make a point here. However, the only grammatically correct choice here is choice E that uses the idiom “to suggest”. The deal is to find the most ideal answer choices from the given options.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2012, 01:49
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egmat wrote:
1. Joe wrote a book to share his experiences with others.: This sentence correctly uses “to share” because it presents the purpose why Joe wrote the book.

egmat wrote:
2. Joe wrote a book for sharing his experiences with others.: This sentence incorrectly uses “for sharing” to denote Joe’s intention of writing the book.

The above quotes imply that sharing was the purpose of writing the book but not intention. I am confused. Isn't the purpose also the intention?
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Re: TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2013, 12:03
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Hi folks,

Found an interesting question that tests the knowledge of this topic here. Try it out and post your analysis.

Scientists claim that the discovery of the first authenticated mammal bones in amber could provide important clues of determining, in addition to how, when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies.

A: of determining, in addition to how, when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies

B: in the determination of how and when the islands of the West Indies were colonized by mammals

C: to determine how mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies and when they did

D: for determining when the islands of the West Indies were colonized by mammals and how they were

E: for determining how and when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies
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Re: TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2013, 20:25
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egmat wrote:
Hi folks,

Found an interesting question that tests the knowledge of this topic here. Try it out and post your analysis.

Scientists claim that the discovery of the first authenticated mammal bones in amber could provide important clues of determining, in addition to how, when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies.

A: of determining, in addition to how, when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies

B: in the determination of how and when the islands of the West Indies were colonized by mammals

C: to determine how mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies and when they did

D: for determining when the islands of the West Indies were colonized by mammals and how they were

E: for determining how and when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies

good question..!

IMO OA :E
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Re: TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING [#permalink]

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24 Jan 2013, 06:37
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Meaning :- scientists claim that a discovery provides clues which can help in determining
a. how mamals colonized WI
b. when mamals colonized WI

Error Analysis :- 'Clues of determining' is not the correct idiom. Correct idiom should be 'Clues for' (what are the clue for? Clues are for determining )

POE
A. explained
B. Clues in the determination of....not correct
C. Clues to determine...the intention of the clues was not to determine
D. The tense of the sentence is not correct. Since the action completed in the past we can use simple past tense.
E. Correct, uses for and simple past tense.

IMO :- E
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Re: TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING [#permalink]

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25 Jan 2013, 06:59
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tcsing wrote:
I am a little confused by 1 OG question though: OG 13 Q128.

Australian embryologists have found evidence that suggests that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal, and its trunk originally evolved as a kind of snorkel.
A. that suggests that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal, and its trunk originally evolved
B. that has suggested the elephant descended from an aquatic animal, its trunk originally evolving
C. suggesting that the elephant had descended from an aquatic animal with its trunk originally evolving
D. to suggest that the elephant had descended from an aquatic animal and its trunk originally evolved
E. to suggest that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal and that its trunk originally evolved

I chose C but the OA is E. Wouldn't "to suggest" in E imply that the intent of finding the evidence is to suggest that the elephant is etc etc? And the intention is not implicit in the original sentence?

Thank you!

Hi there,

The basis of your confudion is very valid. It is not clear from the original sentence that the embryologists found the evidence with the intent or purpose of suggesting something. What is clear from the sentence is that the evidence suggests that elephant has descended from an aquatic animal and that its trunk evolved as a kind of snorkel.

Choice C: suggesting that the elephant had descended from an aquatic animal with its trunk originally evolving: Incorrect.
1. Use of past perfect tense "had evolved" is incorrect. Elephants still are descendants of aquatic animal. The original sentence is presenting a general fact.
2. Per this choice, elephant descended "with its trunk" that was evolving as a snorkel. This distorts the intended meaning.

Choice E: to suggest that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal and that its trunk originally evolved: Correct. This sentence is grammatically and logically correct. Parallelism is maintained here, and the verb tense is also correct. Now that we get our correct sentence with et correct answer choice, it kind of makes sense to say that embryologists have found evidence "to suggest" because they probably had an idea that this was a possibility. So they did some research in the firled and purpposely came up with the evidence to substantiate the possibility.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING [#permalink]

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27 Jan 2013, 04:08
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A very nice discussion folks,
I have collected all the questions and answers together. Find the post below.
ten-practice-questions-on-to-verb-vs-for-verb-ing-146392.html

consider +kudo if you like this post
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Re: TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2013, 12:41
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egmat wrote:
Hi folks,

Found an interesting question that tests the knowledge of this topic here. Try it out and post your analysis.

Scientists claim that the discovery of the first authenticated mammal bones in amber could provide important clues of determining, in addition to how, when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies.

A: of determining, in addition to how, when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies

B: in the determination of how and when the islands of the West Indies were colonized by mammals

C: to determine how mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies and when they did

D: for determining when the islands of the West Indies were colonized by mammals and how they were

E: for determining how and when mammals colonized the islands of the West Indies

I think the answer is E.
Could you please tell the OA?
Thanx. G8 article...
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Re: TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2013, 09:14
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TO DO is used to show the purpose of subject+verb, the subject must perform TO DO

FOR DOING is used to show the purpose of a previous verb, . the subject of the previous clause do not perform FOR DOING. other agent performs the FOR DOING

I learn gmat to take MBA. "I" perform "to take"

evidence provides support for classifying the terms. (from og)

the chambers were closed for cleaning and repair. (from og)

if we think this way, it is more easy to use to do/for doing
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Re: 'To verb' Vs 'For verb-ing' [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2012, 08:13
Thanks for the wonderful article. However, could you please justify the usage of to + verb in the following correct sentence -

Australian embryologists have found evidence to suggest that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal.

I think, the correct idiom should be evidence+ that.

I believe, the above sentence means that embryologists was specifically seeking for an evidence to prove that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal. However, per meaning analysis it is the result of evidence that suggests that elephant is descended from aquatic. I mean, cause effect relationship gets changed. Isnt it?
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Re: TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2012, 02:57
Great Article. One of the haunting topics for differentiating the choices. I often use to see reasons of discarding choices as 'ing' not preferred by GMAT. Of course that is not the case.

On a different note, Can I access somehow all the articles that e-gmat has published at one page?

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Re: 'To verb' Vs 'For verb-ing' [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2012, 03:24
imhimanshu wrote:
Thanks for the wonderful article. However, could you please justify the usage of to + verb in the following correct sentence -

Australian embryologists have found evidence to suggest that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal.

I think, the correct idiom should be evidence+ that.

I believe, the above sentence means that embryologists was specifically seeking for an evidence to prove that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal. However, per meaning analysis it is the result of evidence that suggests that elephant is descended from aquatic. I mean, cause effect relationship gets changed. Isnt it?

About the question asked above, can it be evidence suggesting that ? in this case verb-ing modifier will modify the evidence and will convey the intended meaning. Am I right?
Re: 'To verb' Vs 'For verb-ing'   [#permalink] 19 Dec 2012, 03:24

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TO VERB VS FOR VERB-ING

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