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# Use of THE after Verb-ing ?

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Use of THE after Verb-ing ? [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2013, 23:34
This question taken from MGMAT Sentence Correction book.

a)She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every day watering the more than 50
plants in her yard.

b)She is the most dedicated gardener on the block,every day watering more than the 50 plants in her yard

In the above sentence (a), why is "the" used after watering . Wont the sentence be correct even without using the, say
?
She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every dav watering more than 50 plants in her yard" ?
If you have any questions
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Re: Use of THE after Verb-ing ? [#permalink]

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04 Jun 2013, 01:14
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divdaisyhill1 wrote:
This question taken from MGMAT Sentence Correction book.

a)She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every day watering the more than 50
plants in her yard.

b)She is the most dedicated gardener on the block,every day watering more than the 50 plants in her yard

In the above sentence (a), why is "the" used after watering . Wont the sentence be correct even without using the, say
?
She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every dav watering more than 50 plants in her yard" ?

In the first sentence, the phrase "more than 50" acts as a modifier for the object "plants". When you remove this modifier the sentence would be -
She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, everyday watering the plants in her yard. --> which still makes sense.

Consider now that "the" is removed from the sentence -
She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, everyday watering plants in her yard.

This sentence is awkward enough to be GMAT wrong.
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Re: Use of THE after Verb-ing ? [#permalink]

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04 Jun 2013, 05:23
divdaisyhill1 wrote:
This question taken from MGMAT Sentence Correction book.

a)She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every day watering the more than 50
plants in her yard.

b)She is the most dedicated gardener on the block,every day watering more than the 50 plants in her yard

In the above sentence (a), why is "the" used after watering . Wont the sentence be correct even without using the, say
?
She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every dav watering more than 50 plants in her yard" ?

If you read the sentence (b) it seems like there is some comparison being made incorrectly - "watering more than the..." more than what? That's the error . It might have made sense if there was another part of the sentence, something like
"Watering more than the 50 plants assigned to her daily..."or something.

Hope it helps.
Regards,
Vishnu
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Re: Use of THE after Verb-ing ? [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2013, 23:30
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Expert's post
divdaisyhill1 wrote:
This question taken from MGMAT Sentence Correction book.

a)She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every day watering the more than 50
plants in her yard.

b)She is the most dedicated gardener on the block,every day watering more than the 50 plants in her yard

In the above sentence (a), why is "the" used after watering . Wont the sentence be correct even without using the, say
?
She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every dav watering more than 50 plants in her yard" ?

This is not a matter of correct or incorrect, it's an issue of meaning. When you say "watering the more than 50 plants" you are stating that she watered her plants and there happens to be more than 50 (agreeing with koolpraps modifier comment above). When you remove "the" and say "watering more than 50 plants" the meaning is changed significantly. Now you don't have a real sense of how many plants she has (perhaps thousands?) and so you don't know if she watered them all - you just know she watered more than 50.

With the GMAT getting more focused on meaning questions, make yourself aware of how the inclusion/placement of little words ('the' in this case) can impact the meaning of a sentence.

KW
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Re: Use of THE after Verb-ing ? [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2014, 22:10
I have a doubt.

I have understood the use of 'the' in the first sentence.
I can see a different error in the sentence : misplaced modifier.

According to the sentence,
She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every dav watering the more than 50
plants in her yard.

Doesn't the above sentence imply that the 'block' is performing the action of 'watering' ?

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thank you
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Re: Use of THE after Verb-ing ? [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2014, 12:08
parul1591 wrote:
I have a doubt.

I have understood the use of 'the' in the first sentence.
I can see a different error in the sentence : misplaced modifier.

According to the sentence,
She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every dav watering the more than 50
plants in her yard.

Doesn't the above sentence imply that the 'block' is performing the action of 'watering' ?

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thank you

No block is not the subject here. It is fairly clear.
To make the sentence slightly better, I would frame it like:

She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, watering the more than 50 plants in her yard every day.

The noun modifier can be slightly far away from the noun, and that's okay.

Here is a great article by the folks at e-GMAT
noun-noun-modifiers-the-most-versatile-modifier-137292.html
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Re: Use of THE after Verb-ing ? [#permalink]

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01 Apr 2017, 12:58
I would appreciate if someone could explain to me how "the" changes the meaning here, perhaps with another example.

"She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every day watering the more than 50 plants in her yard".
"She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every day watering more than 50 plants in her yard".
"She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every day watering more than the 50 plants in her yard".

I understand that the third one means that she is watering not only those 50 plants but more.

But 1st vs 2nd puzzles me, look very close, except "the more than 50 plans" sound awkward.

KyleWiddison wrote:
This is not a matter of correct or incorrect, it's an issue of meaning. When you say "watering the more than 50 plants" you are stating that she watered her plants and there happens to be more than 50 (agreeing with koolpraps modifier comment above). When you remove "the" and say "watering more than 50 plants" the meaning is changed significantly. Now you don't have a real sense of how many plants she has (perhaps thousands?) and so you don't know if she watered them all - you just know she watered more than 50.
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Re: Use of THE after Verb-ing ? [#permalink]

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12 Apr 2017, 12:25
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Expert's post
amikityuk wrote:
I would appreciate if someone could explain to me how "the" changes the meaning here, perhaps with another example.

"She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every day watering the more than 50 plants in her yard".
"She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every day watering more than 50 plants in her yard".
"She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every day watering more than the 50 plants in her yard".

I understand that the third one means that she is watering not only those 50 plants but more.

But 1st vs 2nd puzzles me, look very close, except "the more than 50 plans" sound awkward.

KyleWiddison wrote:
This is not a matter of correct or incorrect, it's an issue of meaning. When you say "watering the more than 50 plants" you are stating that she watered her plants and there happens to be more than 50 (agreeing with koolpraps modifier comment above). When you remove "the" and say "watering more than 50 plants" the meaning is changed significantly. Now you don't have a real sense of how many plants she has (perhaps thousands?) and so you don't know if she watered them all - you just know she watered more than 50.
KW

We're going a bit beyond GMAT territory here, but I'll give it a shot. I'll also use a different example sentence to make it a bit clearer. I'm going to swap out 'more than 50' for the word 'many'. These words serve exactly the same purpose, but I think it's easier to 'hear' the difference when you use a shorter, more common word rather than an awkward-sounding phrase like 'more than 50'.

1. My daughter invited the many students in her kindergarten class to her birthday party.

2. My daughter invited many students in her kindergarten class to her birthday party.

In the first sentence, she invited all of the students in her class. In the second sentence, she invited many of them, but maybe not all of them. 'The' is a definite article; definite articles are used for a lot of different things in English, but one reason they're used is to express this particular distinction. 'The many students' means that you're talking about all of the students; 'many students' means you're talking about a lot of students, but it might not be all of the students in the room.

Similarly, 'the more than 50 plants' means you're talking about all of the plants; 'more than 50 plants' means you're talking about a particular number of plants, but it might not be all of them.
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Re: Use of THE after Verb-ing ?   [#permalink] 12 Apr 2017, 12:25
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