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Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest

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Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest ecosystem, aiding in the dispersal of cashew, date, and fig seeds; pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly help produce tequila by pollinating agave plants.

(a) pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly help produce
(b) pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly helping to produce
(c) pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and they indirectly help to produce
(d) they pollinate banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly help producing
(e) they pollinate banana, breadfruit, and mango trees: indirectly helping the producing of

OG2018 SC#692

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I chose (d).
I thought when semicolon is used, an independent clause should be followed after. Thus, (a), (b), (c) were excluded from the list per my thought.

I guess a semicolon can be used to list certain items to make a sentence parallel. Am I right?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Last edited by broall on 20 Sep 2017, 18:04, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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Hi All,

Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest ecosystem, aiding in the dispersal of cashew, date, and fig seeds; pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly help produce tequila by pollinating agave plants.

(a) as it is from the above
(b) pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly helping to produce
(c) pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and they indirectly help to produce
(d) they pollinate banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly help producing
(e) they pollinate banana, breadfruit, and mango trees: indirectly helping the producing of

The confusion regarding the use of semicolon in this sentence is very valid. So far, we have seen construction in which semicolons are always followed by independent clauses. However, here we have phrases that are connected through semicolon. In fact, in this sentence semicolons have been used as comma to separate various entities in a parallel. This does not mean that semicolon will not perform the earlier function anymore.

In this sentence, we have too many commas because every entity in the parallel list has three examples. If there were commas all across the sentence, it would be little cumbersome to identify the entities in the parallel list. then Hence, use of semicolon becomes imperative here to distinguish between the examples of a particular entity and the next entity in the parallel list.

Needless to say that option B is the correct answer because this is the only choice with all parallel entities in the list – aiding…; pollinating…; and helping….

Now use of colon in choice E is not correct because after the first entity there is a semicolon and this must be maintained throughout.

Hope this helps.
Shraddha
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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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This is a new usage of semi-colon validated in OG13. Checkout http://www.beatthegmat.com/pollination- ... tml#468947
A minor use of the semicolon is to separate items that themselves contain commas

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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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Hi
Let me take a dig on it.

Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest ecosystem, aiding in the dispersal of cashew, date, and fig seeds; pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly help produce tequila by pollinating agave plants.

(a) as it is from the above
(b) pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly helping to produce
(c) pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and they indirectly help to produce
(d) they pollinate banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly help producing
(e) they pollinate banana, breadfruit, and mango trees: indirectly helping the producing of

First of all gauge the meaning of the sentence. Let the meaning guide you the errors.

The sentence talks about the roles that Tropical bat plays. i.e it is a list of roles. Remember List must be parallel. Also, check the word "And" before the phrase" indirectly help produc[/u]e tequila by pollinating agave plants." This should also give you an indicator about some parallelism issue. Check for it

As per sentence,What are the roles that bat plays -
aiding in the....[ing form}
pollinating banana..{ing form}
AND
and indirectly help produce {verb}
Hence the list is not parallel. Check for the options now
Clearly B is the answer

Now, you said D - You thought that D is answer since semi colon introduces Independent clause. However, check for the last part of sentence, it also have semicolon(below sentence) before the bold part. But, No independent clause follows it. Hence, option D is also Incorrect.
they pollinate banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly help producing


First of all look for major errors in sentence and then go for sentence structure.
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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest ecosystem, aiding in the dispersal of cashew, date, and fig seeds; pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly help produce tequila by pollinating agave plants

A. pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly help produce
B. pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly helping to produce
C pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and they indirectly help to produce
D they pollinate banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly help producing
E they pollinate banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; indirectly helping the producing of

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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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This is pertaining to the use of semi-colon to separate lists, and the maintenance of symmetrical present participle parallelism – aiding, pollinating and helping. These two functions are neatly done in B
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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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The answer to your question lies in your explanation only.
Since colon is used to explain something further
Hence in the below sentence -

they pollinate banana, breadfruit, and mango trees: indirectly helping the producing of

the phrase "indirectly helping the producing of " is explaining WHAT ??? As per this option, this is explaining the pollination of banana, which is non the intended meaning. See my previous post about the intended meaning. The sentence should talk about the 3 outcomes of the main clause -
Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest ecosystem

See, you are correct as per sentence structure, however the issue here is not sentence structure but the intended meaning. You are losing on the intended meaning per se..therefore you are going wrong.

Moreover,Please see the rules of colon. The colon should tell you something about the previous clause and should follow a list of items.

Such as -

Three factors affect the GMAT performance: Study, Time Pressure and Luck.

Here the usage of colon is correct. Also, one more check for colon, You can insert namely or that is after the colon, if that makes sense the usage of colon is correct else INCORRECT.

See whether the above check in your sentence makes sense. IT will NOT.

Let me know if something remains unclear. Happy to Help.

BDSunDevil wrote:
How about E. It uses colon after semicolon. and colon can be used to explain something further. and the clause preceding colon ["they pollinate banana, breadfruit, and mango trees"] can stand alone.

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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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First, let us be clear whether it is “bats” or “a bat”. While the given transcription talks of bats, some people see it as a bat and hence the plural they cannot refer to singular bat. The subject is the plural bats So I do not think, the SV mismatch is applicable here.

Certain important aspects about the use of semicolon and the nature of list- parallelism have to be kept in mind. When you list several things parallelly, the chief punctuation to separate them is the comma and not a semicolon. B is using a semicolon to separate parallel items. What follows each of the semicolon is a present participle modifier and not an independent clause, as is required grammatically. You cannot sacrifice grammar to satisfy parallelism. B is wrong on that count

Now what will you check for parallelism, Is it the verb-parallellismor modifier -parallelism. ?

(d) they pollinate banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly help producing

In D, the parallelism is perfect. The subject is ‘bats’ and the verbs are 1.play 2. Pollinate – and 3. help, all verbs in present plural form. In addition, in the third arm, the subject they although not stated is understood and not repeated for the sake brevity, which is perfectly acceptable grammatically. The ‘ing’ parallelism here is a pseudo parallelism. .

A colon should explain some thing that goes before it. In E, what follows colon is an entirely different factor of indirectly helping tequila by pollinating agaves plants. In addition, the participial helping flours the parallelism of help and pollinate

I feel D rules.
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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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There are two uses of semi-colon:
1) If two independent clauses are closely related, then in such a case we use semi-colon to separate the two clauses and not period.
2) If there is a list and if in that list again there are entities separated by comma, then it would be quite difficult to separate the items of list and entities. For such cases, usage of semi-colon becomes a necessity.

Apart from these two cases, there is no other usage of semi-colon.
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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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hfbamafan wrote:
BDSunDevil wrote:
how can we have a dependent clause after semicolon?



Semicolons can be used to give to give ideas the same rank


But, MGMAT SC Pg 191

"semicolon connects two closely related statements. Each statement MUST be able to stand alone as an independent sentence."

I guess there are exceptions then.

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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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This SC has puzzled me... I thought that semicolon can be used ONLY if both the clauses before and after the semicolon are independent, that means that they MUST have a subject and a verb. Here "pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees" has neither the subject (which is conveyed in the first clause) nor the verb (that should be pollinate) so how can it supports semicolon?!

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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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I chose E and believe that for semicolon containing parts it is more important to stay independent rathet than to be parallel. Parallelism kills independency. Write, if I'm wrong

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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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vingmat001 wrote:
Also, I hear that GMAT does not test punctuation. Is that true?
Punctuation does give good hints on the structure of a sentence. But just like wordiness, punctuation is an elimination of last resort on the GMAT.


Yes, I have not seen any question on GMAT that is wrong solely because of wrong punctuation. Generally there are other mistakes in a wrong choice.

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ameyaprabhu wrote:
Thanks, my understanding was that if there is an adjective in one element, then all others also need adjectives


This is not mandatory in determining the parallel structures. It should not happen that you are comparing nouns with verbs or gerunds with verbs. But having adjectives in some and not in others is fine.

I hope that makes sense.
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Please explain use of semicolon in the answer choices

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hi Saumya2403,

The semi colon in the sentence will separate the sentences that talks about various things in a long sentence. For eg.

A group contains - AA, AB, AC
B group contains - BA, BB, BC
C group contains - CA, CB, CC

If I were to use all these groups along with their sub-group members in one sentence, then semi colon will help separate different groups.

The sentence will be: There are various products in groups such as AA, AB and AC; BA, BB and BC; and CA, CB and CC. Not to forget the last and will be a correct usage.
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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2012, 23:39
uledssul wrote:
Hi all,

I'm having a trouble understanding the following problem.

Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest ecosystem, aiding in the dispersal of cashew, date, and fig seeds; pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly help produce tequila by pollinating agave plants.

(a) as it is from the above
(b) pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly helping to produce
(c) pollinating banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and they indirectly help to produce
(d) they pollinate banana, breadfruit, and mango trees; and indirectly help producing
(e) they pollinate banana, breadfruit, and mango trees: indirectly helping the producing of

I chose (d).
I thought when semicolon is used, an independent clause should be followed after. Thus, (a), (b), (c) were excluded from the list per my thought.

I guess a semicolon can be used to list certain items to make a sentence parallel. Am I right?


D and E have modifier problems, they can not modify singular bats, which is more important than the grammar problem.

C can not be right because because They can not modify anything really.
so narrowing it down between A & B it has to be B because helping keeps things parallel
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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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New post 28 Apr 2012, 00:59
how can we have a dependent clause after semicolon?

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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest [#permalink]

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New post 28 Apr 2012, 01:07
BDSunDevil wrote:
how can we have a dependent clause after semicolon?



Semicolons can be used to give ideas the same rank
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Last edited by hfbamafan on 28 Apr 2012, 01:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tropical bats play important roles in the rain forest   [#permalink] 28 Apr 2012, 01:07

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