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Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1

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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2013, 00:46
egmat wrote:

2. In three months, biologist Glauco Machado gathered enough information about large numbers of a relatively unstudied order of arachnids to persuade an ant specialist at the university to advise him and to publish his first scientific paper.

Hi Shraddha,

Isn't 'his' ambiguous in the above example ?

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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2013, 08:57
Hi Shraddha,
I have a doubt in the below question (OG 13 #97)
Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in the world's people is the result of a "population bottleneck"—at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event, greatly reducing their numbers and thus our genetic variation.

In the underlined part of the above sentence, “greatly reducing ….numbers” seems to present the result of the preceding clause “…ancestors suffered an event”. But the subject of the clause “ancestors” does not do the action of reducing, the action is caused by the “event”. So the subject does not make sense with the verb-ing modifier here. Thus the sentence is wrong. Can you please tell me whether my thinking is in the right direction as far as modifiers are concerned?

Also, can you please give the rule set for the punctuation dash(-).

Thanks,

Sarmistha

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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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sarmisthadatta wrote:
Hi Shraddha,
I have a doubt in the below question (OG 13 #97)
Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in the world's people is the result of a "population bottleneck"—at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event, greatly reducing their numbers and thus our genetic variation.

In the underlined part of the above sentence, “greatly reducing ….numbers” seems to present the result of the preceding clause “…ancestors suffered an event”. But the subject of the clause “ancestors” does not do the action of reducing, the action is caused by the “event”. So the subject does not make sense with the verb-ing modifier here. Thus the sentence is wrong. Can you please tell me whether my thinking is in the right direction as far as modifiers are concerned?

Also, can you please give the rule set for the punctuation dash(-).

Thanks,

Sarmistha


Image


Hi Sarmistha,

Yes, your analysis of this sentence is absolutely correct. The verb-ing modifier "resulting" does not make sense with the subject of the modified the clause "our ancestors". This is the reason why choice A is incorrect.

Now, use of "dash" is a bit different in this sentence than its usual usage. Generally, on GMAT "dash" connects two Independent Clauses. But in this sentence, we do not see that construction. So here I would say that "dash" has been used in a little different way than it is generally used.

Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2013, 08:35
Beatrix Potter, in her book illustrations, carefully coordinating them with her narratives, capitalized on her keen observation and love of the natural world.
(A) Beatrix Potter, in her book illustrations, carefully coordinating them with her narratives,
(B) In her book illustrations, carefully coordinating them with her narratives, Beatrix Potter
(C) In her book illustrations, which she carefully coordinated with her narratives, Beatrix Potter
(D) Carefully coordinated with her narratives, Beatrix Potter, in her book illustrations
(E) Beatrix Potter, in her book illustrations, carefully coordinated them with her narratives and

OA:C (Source-OG)

I have a doubt regarding the use of "comma + co-ordinating" in this sentence.
From grammatical point of view, ", carefully coordinating them with her narratives" functions as an adverbial modifier (comma+present participle). Thus "coordinating" should make sense with the subject "Beatrix Potter" and it does make sense (Beatrix Potter is coordinating...).

But I have seen few explanations in which "coordinating" is said to modify "illustrations". This doesn't make sense as "coordinating" is in the form of "comma+verb-ing" and not only "verb-ing". I am confused how to go ahead with this question. OG explanation is not satisfactory. Any help is appreciated.

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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2013, 08:43
Hi there,

Please go though my response in the following thread:

beatrix-potter-in-her-book-illustrations-carefully-119216.html?hilit=Beatrix%20Potter

If you still have doubt about this question, do let me know.

Thanks. :-)
Shraddha
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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2013, 00:11
egmat wrote:
Hi there,

Please go though my response in the following thread:

beatrix-potter-in-her-book-illustrations-carefully-119216.html?hilit=Beatrix%20Potter

If you still have doubt about this question, do let me know.

Thanks. :-)
Shraddha


Hi Shraddha, thanks for the link.
I have gone through your reply. But still I have a query.

I have read that "comma+verb-ing" can have 3 positions in a sentence. These positions are as follows:

a) After the modified clause eg. Clause, verb-ing
b) Before the modified clause eg. Verb-ing, clause
c) Subject, verb-ing, verb+predicate

I don't remember an example which fits in the third category but I am sure I have seen one.
Could you please clarify whether the third option (c) is correct. I got confused because I have seen an example wherein this type of formation is accepted.

Awaiting your reply.

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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2013, 14:15
Hi eGMAT,

Can you please explain the difference between choices B and E in OG12 94? Given that B is grammatically correct and is reproduction of original sentence (correcting the error). The correct answer seems to change the meaning. B has one meaning and E has another, given the fact that the author wanted to convey the meaning given in original sentence choice B should be the correct choice not E which changes the meaning.

OG12#94
The recent surge in the number of airplane flights has clogged the nation's air-traffic control system, to lead to 55 percent more delays at airports, and prompts fears among some officials that safety is being compromised.
(A) to lead to 55 percent more delays at airports, and prompts
(B) leading to 55 percent more delay at airports and prompting
(C) to lead to a 55 percent increase in delay at airports and prompt
(D) to lead to an increase of 55 percent in delays at airports, and prompted
(E) leading to a 55-percent increase in delays at airports and prompting

EA: no purpose is to be stated here, so "to lead" construction is wrong. now, both B and E are grramatically correct. Which one to choose ?

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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2014, 01:43
Hi Shraddha & E-GMAT Team,

Mine query is related to OG-12, #38, Please find the question below.

In 1850 Lucretia Mott published her Discourse on Women, arguing in a treatise for women to have equal political and legal rights and for changes in the married women’s property laws.

A. arguing in a treatise for women to have equal political and legal rights
B. arguing in a treatise for equal political and legal rights for women
C. a treatise that advocates women’s equal political and legal rights
D. a treatise advocating women’s equal political and legal rights
E. a treatise that argued for equal political and legal rights for women

Between A & E, there is only a change in a modifier, could you please elaborate why B is wrong,
i think publishing a book and then the modifier "arguing" can be treated as one of the outcomes or the motive behind publication. Please correct me if i'm wrong?

Thanks

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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2014, 14:37
drebellion wrote:
Hi eGMAT,

Can you please explain the difference between choices B and E in OG12 94? Given that B is grammatically correct and is reproduction of original sentence (correcting the error). The correct answer seems to change the meaning. B has one meaning and E has another, given the fact that the author wanted to convey the meaning given in original sentence choice B should be the correct choice not E which changes the meaning.

OG12#94
The recent surge in the number of airplane flights has clogged the nation's air-traffic control system, to lead to 55 percent more delays at airports, and prompts fears among some officials that safety is being compromised.
(A) to lead to 55 percent more delays at airports, and prompts
(B) leading to 55 percent more delay at airports and prompting
(C) to lead to a 55 percent increase in delay at airports and prompt
(D) to lead to an increase of 55 percent in delays at airports, and prompted
(E) leading to a 55-percent increase in delays at airports and prompting

EA: no purpose is to be stated here, so "to lead" construction is wrong. now, both B and E are grramatically correct. Which one to choose ?



Hi drebellion,

Let me first apologize to you for getting back on this after so ling. I don't know if you still have any confusion regarding this question, but let me still post a reply so that others can benefit.

The only difference between choices B and E is that the former says "55% more delay" and the latter says "a 55% increase in delays".

In Choice B, it is really ambiguous what "55% more delay" actually wants to refer to. Increase in delay is not correct because the sentence talks about the increase in the number of delays. So we should say "delays" instead of "delay". Choice E clarifies that ambiguity.

Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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Nitinaka19 wrote:
Hi Shraddha & E-GMAT Team,

Mine query is related to OG-12, #38, Please find the question below.

In 1850 Lucretia Mott published her Discourse on Women, arguing in a treatise for women to have equal political and legal rights and for changes in the married women’s property laws.

A. arguing in a treatise for women to have equal political and legal rights
B. arguing in a treatise for equal political and legal rights for women
C. a treatise that advocates women’s equal political and legal rights
D. a treatise advocating women’s equal political and legal rights
E. a treatise that argued for equal political and legal rights for women

Between A & E, there is only a change in a modifier, could you please elaborate why B is wrong,
i think publishing a book and then the modifier "arguing" can be treated as one of the outcomes or the motive behind publication. Please correct me if i'm wrong?

Thanks


Hi Nitinaka19,

Analysis of Choice A: The sentence tells us that Lucretia Mott published "Discourse on Women". Then we have a Comma + Verb-ing "arguing..." that modifies the preceding action. Now Comma + Verb-ing modifiers perform two functions:

1. presents the "HOW" aspect of the preceding action - In this scenario it does not make sense to say that Mott published "Discourse on Women" by arguing... for women...".
2. presents the "RESULT" of the preceding action - Even this function doe snot make sense because "arguing for women rights" was not the result of publishing "Discourse on Women".

Also, this choice fails to establish that actually "Discourse on Women" is the treatise that Mott published. The phrase "in a treatise" suggests that Mott argued for women rights in some treatise other than "Discourse on Women".

Analysis of Choice E: This choice employs Noun + Noun Modifier that can refer to any entity in the preceding clause. Here, "a treatise" = Noun and "that argued for..." = Noun Modifier. Together this Noun + Noun Modifier modifies "Discourse on Women". It gives more information about this entity. So "Discourse on Women" is a treatise that did something. This Choice CLEARLY communicates the meaning of the sentence. Hence, Choice E is the correct answer.

Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2014, 03:18
Hello E-GMAT Team,

I have a query regarding the usage of verb-ing modifier and I am using the below OG-13 question to represent it.

A surge in new home sales and a drop in weekly unemployment claims suggest that the economy might not be as weak as some analysts previously thought.

A. claims suggest that the economy might not be as weak as some analysts previously thought
B. claims suggests that the economy might not be so weak as some analysts have previously thought
C. claims suggest that the economy might not be as weak as have been previously thought by some analysts
D. claims, suggesting about the economy that it might not be so weak as previously thought by some analysts
E. claims, suggesting the economy might not be as weak as previously thought to be by some analysts

My doubt is about option D and E. I understand that the verb-ing modifier preceded by a comma modifies the previous clause. But considering option D/E, "A surge in new home sales and a drop in weekly unemployment claims" is not a clause since is doesn't have a verb and hence the usage of "suggesting" as a verb-ing modifier would be wrong.

But if I change option E to something like this :- A surge in new home sales and a drop in weekly unemployment claims give hope to the nation, suggesting the economy might not be as weak as previously thought to be by some analysts.

Would the above be correct as the part before the comma has a verb "give" and so is a clause now?

Also, can we change the position of the verb "give" and make the sentence like this :- A surge in new home sales and a drop in weekly unemployment claims, suggesting the economy might not be as weak as previously thought to be by some analysts, give hope to the nation.

I think the non-restrictive clause beginning with the verb-ing modifier can be done away with and the remaining sentence "A surge in new home sales and a drop in weekly unemployment claims give hope to the nation" would still make perfect sense even if the part before the comma doesn't have a verb. I am not sure about this though.

Your inputs will be very helpfull.
Many Thanks. :)

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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2015, 12:19
@e-Gmat - Great article!

However, I am unable to find the Rule #2 article linked on this post.
Can you please do that. It would be of immense help.
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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2015, 05:57
Hi egmat

Great Article.

Can you please help me in understanding how this concept can be applied in to-map-earth-s-interior-geologists-use-a-network-of-seismometers-to-206347.html#p1586962

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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 10 Feb 2017, 00:21
egmat wrote:
pavanpuneet wrote:
Based on POE, given that the sentence says them, it should modify plural subject, and are producing in other choice seemed inferior so went for E. However, I am not convinced how structure of the sentence plays the role in this. Can you explain this as well. Thanks.


Hi Pavan,
For the farmer who takes care to keep them cool, providing them with high energy feed and milking them regularly, Holstein cows are producing an average of 2275 gallons of milk each year.

Since the meaning of this sentence is not too difficult to understand, let us get to error analysis. I would just like to add here that this question pertains more to parallelism and verb-tense rather than verb-ing modifiers.

1. Verb-ing modifiers do not make sense in this sentence because the farmers do not provide the cows with high energy feed and milk them to keep them cool. These verb-ing modifiers do not make sense to present additional information. Also, they cannot provide the results of the preceding clause. Doing so will make the sentence illogical. So use of verb-ing modifiers is incorrect here.

2. This part is very unusual of official questions, but we have this one off-beat parallel list here. The farmers takes care:
a. To keep them cool
b. To keep them provided with high energy feed, and
c. To keep them milked regularly.

This list could be made simple by saying farmers take care to keep them cool, provide them with high energy feed, and milk them regularly. But the author has decided to make it complicated so let’s keep it that way.
So certainly, the entities in the list are not parallel.

3. Usage of present continuous “are producing” is incorrect here.

Now let’s do the POE:

    A. providing them with high energy feed and milking them regularly, Holstein cows are producing: Incorrect for the reasons stated above.

    B. providing them with high energy feed , and milked regularly, the Holstein cow produces: Incorrect.
    1. Verb-ing “providing” makes the list non-parallel.
    2. Singular “cow” cannot refer to plural pronoun “them”.
    3. The sentence is talking about general Holstein cows and not a particular Holstein cow. So “the Holstein cow” is incorrect and subsequently the verb used for this subject too.

    C. provided with high energy feed, and milking them regularly, Holstein cows are producing: Incorrect.
    1. Verb-ing “milking” makes the list non-parallel.
    2. Present continuous “are producing” is incorrect.

    D. provided with high energy feed, and milked regularly, the Holstein cow produces: Incorrect. Same pronoun-antecedent number agreement error as in choice B.

    E. provided with high energy feed ,and milked regularly, Holstein cows will produce: Correct. Notice that this sentence is in “if… then…” construction, and hence use of “will produce” is correct.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
Shraddha


egmat
Hi Shraddha,

I read this thread in detail, but I am stuck in grasping the meaning of this particular sentence as explained by you.
'The Farmer Takes Care', He takes care with the intention To Keep Them Cool. How does he take care? - (Additional information) By Providing feed and By Milking them regularly.
I inferred the meaning in above aspect and marked answer choice A.

I couldn't understand why it is illogical. I just went by the word.

I often infer such meaning by interpreting the meaning in above manner.
Is it that Option A is grammatically correct? But the meaning is not proper?
If that is the case, then in difficult Qs, even on Scholaranium I am facing this problem of not grasping the meaning and ticking the option that is grammatically correct, but conveying wrong meaning.

Or, is the Question based on the Serial Comma thing over here? I realised it later.
Still the problem of Meaning persists.

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Re: Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2017, 11:08
Hi egmat,

I purchased egmat course some timeback; however, it got expired now. Hence I can't ask my doubt on the official site.
I have just one doubt in one concept; please clarify it. I am interpreting something in a wrong way. Please help !

• Joe became the CFO of the company, increasing his pay significantly.

The above sentence is incorrect because "increasing" does not make sense with the subject.

For the below sentence from OG,(https://e-gmat.com/blogs/ogvr-1637/) I read the explanation(for this ques) given on the official page of egmat, but it does not explicitly discuss the problem I am facing


As a result of record low temperatures, the water pipes on the third floor froze, which caused the heads of the sprinkler system to burst, which released torrents of water into offices on the second floor.

the correct answer is -- causing heads of the sprinkler system to burst and release torrents of water

causing +--- should make the sense with water pipes(subject of the previous clause), but it does not make sense to me.


How can water pipe cause the heads of the sprinkler system to burst?

An excerpt from Egmat page on choice D of this ques, but still I don't understand how can water pipe cause the heads of sprinkle system to burst

This choice employs the comma + verb-ing modifiers causing… and …then releasing…. Use of the first comma + verb-ing modifier …causing… is correct because it correctly modifies the action of the preceding clause and also makes sense with the subject of the modified clause the water pipes on the third floor. Per this modification, the water pipes on a certain floor froze, and this action caused the heads of the sprinkler to burst.

Please help!

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Usage of Verb-ing Modifiers - Part 1 [#permalink]

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Hi There,

Thank you for your query. :) And I apologize for the delay in responding to you.

The problem that you are facing is quite common. Many a times, it does appear to us that the comma + verb-ing modifier does not make sense with the doer of the modified action. The confusion takes place because we try to associate the doer of the modified action with the action denoted by the modifier independently. In a way, we turn the comma + verb-ing modifier in a verb for the doer of the action and apply the SV makes sense rule on the pair. This approach is incorrect.

We must always bear it in our mind that the action denoted by the comma + verb-ing modifier factors in the action that it modifies. While presenting additional information about the action it modifies, the modifier associates with the doer of the modified action.

The question that we should ask while evaluating the correct usage of the comma + verb-ing modifier is who or whose action is responsible for the action denoted by the verb-ing modifier. If the answer is yes, then the sentence uses the comma + verb-ing modifier correctly.

Let’s put this test into action. Let’s first apply this test on the “Joe” sentence. Following is the sentence:
• Joe became the CFO of the company, increasing his pay significantly.
The question we ask:
o Did the action done by Joe increase his pay? No.
Hence, in the above-mentioned sentence, usage of comma + verb-ing modifier is incorrect.

Now let’s apply this test on the official question you have doubt about.
• As a result of record low temperatures, the water pipes on the third floor froze, which caused the heads of the sprinkler system to burst, which released torrents of water into offices on the second floor.
The question we ask:
o Did the action done by the water pipes caused the heads of the sprinklers to burst? Yes.

Hence, in the above-mentioned sentence, usage of comma + verb-ing modifier is correct.

Hope this helps. :)
Thanks,
Shraddha
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