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e-GMAT query

by arora007 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:02 am
I came across a some free material over a new website e-GMAT.
It went beyond the basics that GMAT requires, to address basics what non-natives should know.

for example how many of us knew it as a rule

WORD-ing for is a verb only if
is/was/were/are WORD-ing or BE WORD-ing

or

To "verb like word" is never a verb, eg: "to suggest"

or

Phrases used as a subject always is Singular.

however apart from the takeaways, I have something on top of my mind.

Its this example: I somehow am not able to digest it from the point of view of GMAT.

In the accident, the car hit the tree but the owner did not need to go to the garage since it was not damaged.

pronoun ="it" has a clear antecedent. -CAR
Since one goes to the garage to fix the car and not the tree.
Understanding the meaning of the sentence is CRITICAL to determine the LOGICAL antecedent of the pronoun.
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by e-GMAT » Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:02 am
Hi arora007,

Thanks for reviewing the content at e-GMAT and putting in a good word. :)

Our goal is to help people excel in GMAT SC and our course is so designed to enable people achieve this aim. Through our extensive research over the past 18 months, we have found that good foundation is key to high score in the test. That is why all our concepts focus on the basics that a student must know in order to answer GMAT questions.

Referring to your query about the example from "pronouns" concept, could you please specify clearly what your question is. This will enable us to address your concern appropriately.

Thanks,

Payal

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by arora007 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:35 am
In the accident, the car hit the tree but the owner did not need to go to the garage since it was not damaged.

pronoun ="it" has a clear antecedent. -CAR
Since one goes to the garage to fix the car and not the tree.
Understanding the meaning of the sentence is CRITICAL to determine the LOGICAL antecedent of the pronoun.


Although e-GMAT says that "it" has a clear antecedent the CAR, one can misinterpret it to refer to the GARAGE, rite?



Also my second question. as per GMAT , would it be safe to assume meanings...?like the one above... could it not have been... the "TREE" needed to be at the garage, say some mechanical tree in some amusement park...
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by e-GMAT » Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:04 am
Hi Arora007,

Thanks for specifying your query.

Understanding the meaning of the sentence is the most important step in solving sentence correction questions. The essence of SC questions is to gauge how well one can use English language to express the intended meaning of the sentence. And to be able to do this, one must be able to understand the meaning of the original sentence. This is clearly expressed in OG12. Please refer to Page 656, section 9.4 - Step 1. OG emphasizes on reading the sentence and understanding the relationships or ideas that the sentence should express. Thus, 'meaning' is the key part of SC questions. This is why if you would notice, e-GMAT process Step 1 is 'understanding the meaning of the sentence'.

Now I will address your question about reasonable assumption. You are correct in saying that if the sentence meant a 'mechanical tree', then the pronoun "it" could refer to "tree" as well and hence result in ambiguity in the meaning. However, GMAT is very precise when it comes to writing statements. If GMAT wanted to refer to the tree as mechanical tree, then the sentence would be written explicitly as "mechanical tree" or there would have been something else in the sentence to indicate that the 'tree' is not a tree that we know of, but a special 'mechanical tree'.

At this point, let us look at some OG12 questions:

Q #128
"ABC have found evidence to suggest that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal and that its trunk originally evolved as a kind of snorkel."
In this sentence, from the meaning of the sentence and from our general knowledge about animals, it is clear that the trunk belongs to an elephant and not to an aquatic animal.

Q #124
"The sloth hangs from trees by its long rubbery limbs, sleeping..."
In this sentence, from the meaning of the sentence and from our general knowledge about trees, we know that the limbs belong to sloth and not the trees.

Q #129
"Cajuns speak a dialect brought to town ABC by the 4000 Acadians who migrated there in 1755; their language is basically 17th century French...."
In this sentence, the pronoun "their" could refer to Cajuns or Acadians. But it does not make sense for the second clause - their language...to talk about Acadians. It is justified for this pronoun to refer to Cajuns only since Cajuns are the focus of the first clause.

I hope this clarifies your concern. Let me know if you have any further questions about this. �

For the sake of those who have not reviewed the 'Pronouns' concept at e-gmat.com, this concept along with 4 other concepts is available free of charge to registered users of e-gmat.com.

For your benefit, here is a brief background about this concept. In this concept, we discuss a few rules pertaining to the usage of pronouns. One of them is that pronouns must have a clear antecedent. I have listed three example sentences from this concept. In example 1, the pronoun 'it' does not have a clear antecedent, whereas in examples 2 and 3, the pronoun 'it' has a clear antecedent.

Example 1: In the accident, the car hit the tree but it was not damaged. - INCORRECT
Pronoun - "it" does not have a clear antecedent, since it can either refer to car or to tree.

Example 2: In the accident, the car hit the tree but its engine was not damaged.- CORRECT
Pronoun - "it" has a clear antecedent. - CAR, since "tree" does not have an engine.

Example 3: In the accident, the car hit the tree but the owner did not need to go to the garage since it was not damaged. - CORRECT
Pronoun - "it" has a clear antecedent. - CAR, since one goes to the garage to fix the car and not the tree.

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by arora007 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:41 am
Hmmm... you have cited the examples from the Bible (read OG), I cannot agree less...

As far as this basic concept is concerned, I perhaps was not clear until now...

and many of the e-GMAT users would agree that trying this material is really worth it!
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