Difference Between Modals

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Difference Between Modals

by itudor13 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:23 pm
Just before the test began, Alexander asked his classmate if he might be borrowing an extra sheet of paper.

a) ...
b) if he would be borrowing an extra sheet of paper
c) if he might be able to borrow an extra sheet of paper
d) if an extra sheet of paper might be borrowed
e) perhaps if he could borrow an additional piece of paper

I was between C and E, and I chose the latter of the two. Is the only difference between these two answer choices conciseness? I want to make sure I fully understand modals before I move on.

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by theCodeToGMAT » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:27 pm
Between [spoiler]{C}[/spoiler] & [spoiler]{E}[/spoiler], [spoiler]{E}[/spoiler] is incorrect because "an additional piece of paper" mean any paper whether complete sheet or a small portion of paper .. where as {C} clearly says "an extra sheet of paper" - thus meaning issue.

Also, what is the source? On GMAT, "if" is used for conditional cases.. i.e. "if..then.." construct..
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by guptas » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:04 pm
In E, perhaps and if has the same meaning so redundancy.

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by [email protected] » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:22 pm
Hi itudor13,

One of the "style" rules that you have to be on the look out for is "redundancy" - you don't want to use redundant language.

For example, the phrase "combined together" is redundant because the two words mean the same thing.

Another example would be "new initiative"; the word "initiative" means "new", so you wouldn't need both words.

In this SC, answer E uses the words "perhaps" and "if" which mean the same thing. Thus, it's a redundant (and incorrect) answer.

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