Cacao cultivation

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Cacao cultivation

by Sent » Fri May 13, 2016 3:05 pm
Although the cacao plant probably originated in the upper Amazon region, its first cultivation for seeds and pulp was apparently begun in Mexico and Central America.

A. its first cultivation for seeds and pulp was apparently begun
B. apparently it was cultivated for its seeds and pulp beginning
C. it was apparently first cultivated for its seeds and pulp
D. the beginning of its cultivation for seeds and pulp appears to be
E. the first cultivation for its seeds and pulp appears to have begun

OA C

I narrowed this down to C and E, and chose E. What was wrong with this? Is it an issue with began vs. begun?

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by [email protected] » Fri May 13, 2016 8:06 pm
Sent wrote:I narrowed this down to C and E, and chose E. What was wrong with this? Is it an issue with began vs. begun?
In E there are a few issues.

One is that the its in for its seeds and pulp seems to possibly refer to cultivation. I realize that meaning dictates that its refers to the cacao plant, but still somehow the construction is awkward.

Also, first and begun are somewhat redundant. Naturally if something begins it is happening for the first time. Maybe in some situations using both first and begun would make sense, but in this situation using both does not make sense.

Finally, I am not sure that saying that the cultivation appears to have begun really makes sense. People began cultivating. The cultivating did not begin itself.

C has none of these issues. In C, its clearly refers to the cacao plant, there is no begun to be redundant with first, and the plant was cultivated rather than the cultivation beginning itself.
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by GMATGuruNY » Tue May 24, 2016 9:02 am
Sent wrote:Although the cacao plant probably originated in the upper Amazon region, its first cultivation for seeds and pulp was apparently begun in Mexico and Central America.

A. its first cultivation for seeds and pulp was apparently begun
B. apparently it was cultivated for its seeds and pulp beginning
C. it was apparently first cultivated for its seeds and pulp
D. the beginning of its cultivation for seeds and pulp appears to be
E. the first cultivation for its seeds and pulp appears to have begun

OA C

I narrowed this down to C and E, and chose E. What was wrong with this? Is it an issue with began vs. begun?
I received a PM requesting that I comment.

E: The first cultivation appears to have begun in Mexico and Central America.
Conveyed meaning:
The first cultivation BEGAN in Mexico and Central America, implying that it CONCLUDED ELSEWHERE.
Not the intended meaning.
Eliminate E.

The intended meaning is that the ENTIRE PROCESS of cultivating the cacao plant took place in Mexico and Central America, as conveyed by the OA:
The cacao plant...was apparently first cultivated in Mexico and Central America.
Here, the usage of first cultivated conveys that -- until its cultivation in Mexico and Central America -- the cacao plant had never been cultivated.
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by Mo2men » Wed May 25, 2016 5:48 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
Sent wrote:Although the cacao plant probably originated in the upper Amazon region, its first cultivation for seeds and pulp was apparently begun in Mexico and Central America.

A. its first cultivation for seeds and pulp was apparently begun
B. apparently it was cultivated for its seeds and pulp beginning
C. it was apparently first cultivated for its seeds and pulp
D. the beginning of its cultivation for seeds and pulp appears to be
E. the first cultivation for its seeds and pulp appears to have begun

OA C

I narrowed this down to C and E, and chose E. What was wrong with this? Is it an issue with began vs. begun?
I received a PM requesting that I comment.

E: The first cultivation appears to have begun in Mexico and Central America.
Conveyed meaning:
The first cultivation BEGAN in Mexico and Central America, implying that it CONCLUDED ELSEWHERE.
Not the intended meaning.
Eliminate E.

The intended meaning is that the ENTIRE PROCESS of cultivating the cacao plant took place in Mexico and Central America, as conveyed by the OA:
The cacao plant...was apparently first cultivated in Mexico and Central America.
Here, the usage of first cultivated conveys that -- until its cultivation in Mexico and Central America -- the cacao plant had never been cultivated.

Why D is wrong? it gives same meaning.

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by GMATGuruNY » Wed May 25, 2016 6:43 am
Mo2men wrote:Why D is wrong? it gives same meaning.
Mary appears to be in charge.
Conveyed meaning:
It seems that Mary IS in charge RIGHT NOW.

D: The beginning of its cultivation...appears to be in Mexico.
Conveyed meaning:
It seems that the beginning IS in Mexico RIGHT NOW.
Not the intended meaning.
Eliminate D.

As expressed by the OA, the cacao plant was first cultivated IN THE PAST.
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by thuyduong91vnu » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:44 am
Hi,

Could someone help to explain why B is wrong? Is the use of "beginning" considered wrong in this choice? If so, please help to give me some insights for this one, as I am not very clear about the correct usage of "beginning".

Many thanks! :)

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by [email protected] » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:30 am
thuyduong91vnu wrote:Hi,

Could someone help to explain why B is wrong? Is the use of "beginning" considered wrong in this choice? If so, please help to give me some insights for this one, as I am not very clear about the correct usage of "beginning".

Many thanks! :)
Getting SC questions right often takes looking at a sentence end to end.

Here's the version created using choice B.

Although the cacao plant probably originated in the upper Amazon region, apparently it was cultivated for its seeds and pulp beginning in Mexico and Central America.

First, the contrast is flawed.

The version above conveys the contrast, although the cacao plant probably originated in the upper Amazon region, it was cultivated for its seeds and pulp.

Then, technically speaking, without a comma between pulp and beginning, beginning modifies the preceding noun, pulp, conveying, nonsensically, that the pulp is beginning in Mexico and Central America.

Even if you were to ignore the comma issue, taking the view that the participle, beginning, modifies the entire clause, it was cultivated for its seeds and pulp, you would get the following meaning, which is not what the sentence is meant to convey.

Although the cacao plant probably originated in the upper Amazon region, it was cultivated, beginning in Mexico and Central America.

Now, another issue becomes apparent. When a participle modifies a clause, the subject of the clause is the agent of the participle, and the relationship between the agent and the participle is similar to that between a subject and a predicate verb.

In the sentence created using choice B, if we ignore the comma issue, the agent of the participle, beginning, is it, which refers to the cacao plant.

The cacoa plant was cultivated, beginning in Mexico.

So, if we ignore the comma issue, the conveyed nonsensical meaning of the version created using choice B is that the cacao plant was beginning something in Mexico.

For contrast, consider the following sentence.

John traveled the entire country, beginning on the west coast and finishing in Boston.

John is the agent of beginning, which relationship makes sense.
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by thuyduong91vnu » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:10 am
Hi Marty,

Thanks for your response. So as I understand, "beginning" is the V-ing form of the verb "begin", and therefore need to refer to a subject, right? I previously thought of "beginning" as a preposition which means "first", so I assumed that "Beginning in Mexico and Central America" could act as adverb modifier modifying the whole clause "it was cultivated for its seeds and pulp" (by pointing out the place where the cultivation first occurred). This understanding is wrong, isn't it?

Thanks for helping me! :)

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by [email protected] » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:25 am
thuyduong91vnu wrote:Hi Marty,

Thanks for your response. So as I understand, "beginning" is the V-ing form of the verb "begin", and therefore need to refer to a subject, right? I previously thought of "beginning" as a preposition which means "first", so I assumed that "Beginning in Mexico and Central America" could act as adverb modifier modifying the whole clause "it was cultivated for its seeds and pulp" (by pointing out the place where the cultivation first occurred). This understanding is wrong, isn't it?

Thanks for helping me! :)
Exactly.

Replace beginning with initially, and you would have something that makes sense.

Non Restrictive: Cacao was cultivated, initially in Mexico and Central America.

or

Restrictive: Cacao was cultivated initially in Mexico and Central America.
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by oldest » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:50 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
Sent wrote:Although the cacao plant probably originated in the upper Amazon region, its first cultivation for seeds and pulp was apparently begun in Mexico and Central America.

A. its first cultivation for seeds and pulp was apparently begun
B. apparently it was cultivated for its seeds and pulp beginning
C. it was apparently first cultivated for its seeds and pulp
D. the beginning of its cultivation for seeds and pulp appears to be
E. the first cultivation for its seeds and pulp appears to have begun

OA C

I narrowed this down to C and E, and chose E. What was wrong with this? Is it an issue with began vs. begun?
I received a PM requesting that I comment.

E: The first cultivation appears to have begun in Mexico and Central America.
Conveyed meaning:
The first cultivation BEGAN in Mexico and Central America, implying that it CONCLUDED ELSEWHERE.
Not the intended meaning.
Eliminate E.

The intended meaning is that the ENTIRE PROCESS of cultivating the cacao plant took place in Mexico and Central America, as conveyed by the OA:
The cacao plant...was apparently first cultivated in Mexico and Central America.
Here, the usage of first cultivated conveys that -- until its cultivation in Mexico and Central America -- the cacao plant had never been cultivated.
Do you think that "first" and "begun/begin" somehow are redundant when occurring in 1 clause?

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by GMATGuruNY » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:10 am
oldest wrote:Do you think that "first" and "begun/begin" somehow are redundant when occurring in 1 clause?
Not necessarily.
The following sentence seems logically sound:
The first cultivation began in Europe; the second began in Asia.
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