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SC question: combining enormous physical strength

This topic has 2 expert replies and 3 member replies

SC question: combining enormous physical strength

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Hi,
I have a problem in SC, the question is from GMAT OG.
Combining enormous physical strength with higher intelligence, the Neanderthals appear as equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path, but their relatively sudden disappearance during the Paleolithic era indicates that an inability to adapt to some environmental change led to their extinction.
(A) appear as equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path,
(B) appear to have been equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their path,
(C) appear as equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their paths,
(D) appeared as equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their paths,
(E) appeared to have been equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path,

The question says ... but their relatively sudden disappearance during the Paleolithic era indicates that an inability to adapt to some environmental change led to their extinction. So, what is wanted in the first part of sentence is already happened and it should be in past tense. So, I pick option 'D.' But, Correct answer is given as B. Can someone explain what's wrong in my logic and why 'appear to have been equipped' construction is right ? Thanks in advance.

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aolas14 wrote:
Combining enormous physical strength with higher intelligence, the Neanderthals appear as equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path, but their relatively sudden disappearance during the Paleolithic era indicates that an inability to adapt to some environmental change led to their extinction.

(A) appear as equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path,
(B) appear to have been equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their path,
(C) appear as equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their paths,
(D) appeared as equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their paths,
(E) appeared to have been equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path,
In English, we have two infinitive tenses: the present infinitive (TO + VERB) and the perfect infinitive (TO + HAVE + PAST PARTICIPLE).

The present infinitive expresses CONTEMPORANEOUS action (an action happening AT THE SAME TIME as the main action):
John IS proud TO BE president.
Here, John IS proud (in the present) TO BE president (also in the present).

The perfect infinitive expresses PRIOR action (an action that happened PRIOR to the main action):
John IS proud TO HAVE BEEN president.
Here, John IS proud (in the present) TO HAVE BEEN president (in the past).

One definition of to appear is to seem.
The intention of the SC above is to discuss WHAT SEEMS TO BE TRUE about the Neanderthals.
The Neanderthals appear to have been equipped to face any obstacle..
Here, the Neanderthals APPEAR (in other words, they SEEM -- right now, in the present) TO HAVE BEEN EQUIPPED (in the past).

Only B offers the needed construction.

The correct answer is B.

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Actually "appear" is used in the sense of "it looks like".

For example:

From the recent excavations, it looks like (appears) that human beings discovered fire 2000 years ago.

Or..

Human beings appear to have discovered fire 2000 years ago.

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This is a very common concern about this problem, and it points out how tricky the GMAT can be! You were correct in your assessment that their extinction already happened, so we need to match the past tense. It's perfectly logical then to eliminate A, B, and C which are all present tense. But that's how the GMAT is trying to trick you!

The problem, as Mitch and EducationAisle have pointed out, is less about grammar than it is about meaning. If the Neanderthals are appearing, it's implied that they're appearing to someone. So, whom are they appearing to? If it's not stated, then it can be assumed that they're appearing to us - people, generally, in the present. The idea that needs to be in the past tense is the "being equipped," not the "appearing."

D and E both have idiom issues: "appeared as equipped" and "equipped for facing" are both non-idiomatic forms.

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GMATGuruNY wrote:
aolas14 wrote:
Combining enormous physical strength with higher intelligence, the Neanderthals appear as equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path, but their relatively sudden disappearance during the Paleolithic era indicates that an inability to adapt to some environmental change led to their extinction.

(A) appear as equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path,
(B) appear to have been equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their path,
(C) appear as equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their paths,
(D) appeared as equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their paths,
(E) appeared to have been equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path,
In English, we have two infinitive tenses: the present infinitive (TO + VERB) and the perfect infinitive (TO + HAVE + PAST PARTICIPLE).

The present infinitive expresses CONTEMPORANEOUS action (an action happening AT THE SAME TIME as the main action):
John IS proud TO BE president.
Here, John IS proud (in the present) TO BE president (also in the present).

The perfect infinitive expresses PRIOR action (an action that happened PRIOR to the main action):
John IS proud TO HAVE BEEN president.
Here, John IS proud (in the present) TO HAVE BEEN president (in the past).

One definition of to appear is to seem.
The intention of the SC above is to discuss WHAT SEEMS TO BE TRUE about the Neanderthals.
The Neanderthals appear to have been equipped to face any obstacle..
Here, the Neanderthals APPEAR (in other words, they SEEM -- right now, in the present) TO HAVE BEEN EQUIPPED (in the past).

Only B offers the needed construction.

The correct answer is B.
HI Mitch,

Just couple of questions -

1. Why does "As equipped" indicates present tense? (explanation in OG)
2.In Option (c) and (d), why "paths" needs to be singular? Is it something to do with idom/expression?

Thanks,

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aolas14 wrote:
Hi,
I have a problem in SC, the question is from GMAT OG.
Combining enormous physical strength with higher intelligence, the Neanderthals appear as equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path, but their relatively sudden disappearance during the Paleolithic era indicates that an inability to adapt to some environmental change led to their extinction.
(A) appear as equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path,
(B) appear to have been equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their path,
(C) appear as equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their paths,
(D) appeared as equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their paths,
(E) appeared to have been equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path,

The question says ... but their relatively sudden disappearance during the Paleolithic era indicates that an inability to adapt to some environmental change led to their extinction. So, what is wanted in the first part of sentence is already happened and it should be in past tense. So, I pick option 'D.' But, Correct answer is given as B. Can someone explain what's wrong in my logic and why 'appear to have been equipped' construction is right ? Thanks in advance.
Here is my approach/LEARNING:
Main issue

1.MEANING:

We are talking about Neanderthals in the present about how they appeared in the past.
For this the correct construction with Verb form is

APPEAR TO + HAVE + EQUIPPED(talking in present timeframe about how it appeared in the past)
APPEAR TO + BE +EQUIPPED(--how it appeared in the past(Not talking in present time frame)


2.Idiom issue

equipped to is prefrred over
equipped for

appear as--
appear as cannot follow a VERB..since as is a prepostion and verb should follow..also appear as means visible as or similiar something
appear to be --
means seems to (intended meaning here)

So clearly B wins and we have all the above takeaways for any new OG probs we crash into Smile Smile

Hope it helps!!

_________________
If you want to fly,you have to give up the things that weighs you down!

PS

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