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 Post subject: The spectacular disintegration of a comet last year in full
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:45 pm 
The spectacular disintegration of a comet last year in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes provided new insights into how comets form and thus may force a rethinking of the role of comets in the delivery of organic compounds to the evolving earth.

A. The spectacular disintegration of a comet last year in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes provided new insights into how comets form and thus may force

B. The spectacular disintegration of a comet last year in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes, provided new insights into how comets form and thus possibly forcing

C. When a comet's spectacular disintegration occured in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes last year, it provided new insights into how comets form and thus possibly forcing

D. Last year, in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes, a comet's spectacular disintegration provided new insights into how comets form and thus possibly forcing

E. Last year, in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes, the spectacular disintegration of a comet has provided new insights into how comets form and may thus force


I was confused btw A and E . finally decided to go with E , a i thought the insights ( has) continue till today . also e seemed to be better organized with commas etc . A was on staraight leanghty sentence .

plz help


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 Post subject: Re: The spectacular disintegration of a comet last year in f
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:46 pm 
dukeofwizard wrote:
The spectacular disintegration of a comet last year in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes provided new insights into how comets form and thus may force a rethinking of the role of comets in the delivery of organic compounds to the evolving earth.

A. The spectacular disintegration of a comet last year in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes provided new insights into how comets form and thus may force

B. The spectacular disintegration of a comet last year in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes, provided new insights into how comets form and thus possibly forcing

C. When a comet's spectacular disintegration occured in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes last year, it provided new insights into how comets form and thus possibly forcing

D. Last year, in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes, a comet's spectacular disintegration provided new insights into how comets form and thus possibly forcing

E. Last year, in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes, the spectacular disintegration of a comet has provided new insights into how comets form and may thus force


I was confused btw A and E . finally decided to go with E , a i thought the insights ( has) continue till today . also e seemed to be better organized with commas etc . A was on staraight leanghty sentence .

plz help


What is the OA? i went with E. A seemed to imply that that telescopes were also responsible.


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:56 pm 
the answer is (A)


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 1:32 am 
Offline
ManhattanGMAT Staff


Posts: 12726
Answer choice A puts the events in proper perspective:
* The comet disintegrated last year; this was a one-time event.
* It provided new insights. Since it was a one-time event, it's appropriate to say 'provided' (simple past tense), unless the same event has CONTINUOUSLY provided newer and newer insights, in which case 'has provided new insights' would be better. But there's no indication of the latter in this sentence.
* The 'forcing' is a possible future event.

According to choice E:
* The comet's disintegration produced new insights last year.
And, more absurdly,
* The disintegration produced those insights in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes!


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:47 pm 
Ron Purewal,

your explanantion is excellent!

I am not notice the modify error in E.

(E) Last year, in full view of ground- as well as space-based telescopes, the spectacular disintegration of a comet has provided new insights into how comets form and may thus force

"in full view of ground- as well as space-based telescopes" modify the subject of the sentence "the spectacular disintegration ", thus will lead to false logical meaning.


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:45 pm 
Offline
ManhattanGMAT Staff


Posts: 12726
lawrence wrote:
"in full view of ground- as well as space-based telescopes" modify the subject of the sentence "the spectacular disintegration ", thus will lead to false logical meaning.


not quite.
that's an adverbial modifier (as are most prepositional-phrase modifiers); if you're telling where something happened, then that modifies the action, not the subject. therefore, it modifies the action of the clause: "...has provided..."
and that's the source of the problem. if the modifier just modified the subject ("disintegration"), then there'd be no problem at all, because the disintegration did occur in full view of the telescopes. the problem, though, is that it didn't provide blah blah blah in full view of those telescopes, which is the implication of the modifier.


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 Post subject: Re:
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:26 pm 
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Posts: 11
RonPurewal wrote:
lawrence wrote:
"in full view of ground- as well as space-based telescopes" modify the subject of the sentence "the spectacular disintegration ", thus will lead to false logical meaning.


not quite.
that's an adverbial modifier (as are most prepositional-phrase modifiers); if you're telling where something happened, then that modifies the action, not the subject. therefore, it modifies the action of the clause: "...has provided..."
and that's the source of the problem. if the modifier just modified the subject ("disintegration"), then there'd be no problem at all, because the disintegration did occur in full view of the telescopes. the problem, though, is that it didn't provide blah blah blah in full view of those telescopes, which is the implication of the modifier.

Hi Ron,
I still have a quesiton. Why in A, the prepositional phrase "in full view of ground.." does not modify the action? 
Thanks a lot~


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 Post subject: Re: The spectacular disintegration of a comet last year in full
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:38 pm 
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Posts: 11
Hi Ron,
I noticed that A breaks the parallelism rule, since the part before and does not have the same grammantial form as that after.


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 Post subject: Re: The spectacular disintegration of a comet last year in full
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:06 pm 
Offline
Course Students


Posts: 21
Hi Ron, Nice explanations.

I have a quick question -
A) ....thus may force
E).......may thus force

Are both OK in this context? I guess thus may force is more meaningful in this context.

Thanks,
Champ


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 Post subject: Re: The spectacular disintegration of a comet last year in full
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:45 am 
Offline
ManhattanGMAT Staff


Posts: 12726
zchampz wrote:
Hi Ron, Nice explanations.

I have a quick question -
A) ....thus may force
E).......may thus force

Are both OK in this context? I guess thus may force is more meaningful in this context.

Thanks,
Champ

i don't think either of these constructions is wrong, but (e) is a little bit more awkward, because it unnecessarily splits up the construction "may force". however, this is definitely not the sort of thing on which you should base eliminations.

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 Post subject: Re: The spectacular disintegration of a comet last year in full
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:25 pm 
Offline
Students


Posts: 21
i eliminated E because I think E makes "in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes," a non restricted clause changing the meaning of original sentence

The original sentence refers to "spectacular disintegration of a comet last year" which were " in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes provided new insights " rather than any generic comets


also in the three Cs' (correctness, clarity and conciseness) since A and E are correct, so clarity is tie breaker

is this reasoning correct to arrive at A as the right answer?


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 Post subject: Re:
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:33 pm 
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Students


Posts: 21
RonPurewal wrote:
Answer choice A puts the events in proper perspective:
* The comet disintegrated last year; this was a one-time event.
* It provided new insights. Since it was a one-time event, it's appropriate to say 'provided' (simple past tense), unless the same event has CONTINUOUSLY provided newer and newer insights, in which case 'has provided new insights' would be better. But there's no indication of the latter in this sentence.
* The 'forcing' is a possible future event.

According to choice E:
* The comet's disintegration produced new insights last year.
And, more absurdly,
* The disintegration produced those insights in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes!


Please help me understand a contradiction that I am noticing

I found that the above explanation by Ron for usage of simple past contradicts explanation on this page by Ron for usage of present perfect in similar circumstances

ozone-reaches-high-concentrations-twelve-miles-t3584.html


What is the difference between both the questions?

Both are point events , both happen in the past and both do not continue into the present, then why does one use present perfect and another use past tense

one explanation may be that in this question the tense is not so much of an issue

please advise


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 Post subject: Re: The spectacular disintegration of a comet last year in full
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:13 am 
Offline
ManhattanGMAT Staff


Posts: 12726
jessie-cn2007 wrote:
Hi Ron,
I noticed that A breaks the parallelism rule, since the part before and does not have the same grammantial form as that after.


sure, it's parallel.

provided ... and (thus) may force
notice that you can ignore "thus", since that's just an adverb; therefore, the parallel structure is
VERB ... and VERB ...

notice that parallel structure DOES NOT require verbs to have the same tense; it just requires that verbs be parallel to other verbs.
the tense of verbs is solely an issue of meaning, and is unaffected by mechanical considerations.

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 Post subject: Re: The spectacular disintegration of a comet last year in full
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:17 am 
Offline
ManhattanGMAT Staff


Posts: 12726
pradeepchandy wrote:
i eliminated E because I think E makes "in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes," a non restricted clause changing the meaning of original sentence

The original sentence refers to "spectacular disintegration of a comet last year" which were " in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes provided new insights " rather than any generic comets


you're on the right track, but, not quite.

there is a modifier error in choice (e), but it's a different modifier error than what you are seeing.
when a prepositional phrase modifier is set off by comma(s), it is adverbial (modifying the entire clause to which it is attached).
this is what doesn't make sense here: the prepositional phrase "in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes" is now modifying the idea that the comet's disintegration has provided new insights. this is illogical; the only thing here that could reasonably have been in full view of telescopes is the disintegration itself.

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 Post subject: Re: Re:
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:20 am 
Offline
ManhattanGMAT Staff


Posts: 12726
pradeepchandy wrote:
RonPurewal wrote:
Answer choice A puts the events in proper perspective:
* The comet disintegrated last year; this was a one-time event.
* It provided new insights. Since it was a one-time event, it's appropriate to say 'provided' (simple past tense), unless the same event has CONTINUOUSLY provided newer and newer insights, in which case 'has provided new insights' would be better. But there's no indication of the latter in this sentence.
* The 'forcing' is a possible future event.

According to choice E:
* The comet's disintegration produced new insights last year.
And, more absurdly,
* The disintegration produced those insights in full view of ground- and space-based telescopes!


Please help me understand a contradiction that I am noticing

I found that the above explanation by Ron for usage of simple past contradicts explanation on this page by Ron for usage of present perfect in similar circumstances

ozone-reaches-high-concentrations-twelve-miles-t3584.html


What is the difference between both the questions?

Both are point events , both happen in the past and both do not continue into the present, then why does one use present perfect and another use past tense

one explanation may be that in this question the tense is not so much of an issue

please advise


the difference is one of context.

PAST TENSE vs. PRESENT PERFECT TENSE

--

The PAST tense is used for:
* HISTORICAL ACTIONS
Ex: Mexico achieved independence in 1810.

* POINT ACTIONS that do not have a direct bearing on the current situation
Ex: Thomas, who is the president of First National Bank, won two Olympic medals in track
and field.

* ENDURING ACTIONS/STATES that are FINISHED
Andrea was the president of First National Bank from 1990 to 1994.

--

The PRESENT PERFECT is used for:
* POINT ACTIONS that DO have a direct bearing on the current situation
EX: Thomas, who is the fastest sprinter in his country’s history, has won two Olympic medals
in track and field.

* ENDURING ACTIONS/STATES that are STILL ONGOING
Carlos has been the president of First National Bank since 2001.

Note that, in some cases, the same point action could be described either by the past tense or by the present perfect tense!
(See the two examples with "Thomas" above.)

--

in this case, the insights are still relevant to the present, so the present perfect makes more sense.

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