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SC: "Unlike frogs that metamorphose..."

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SC: "Unlike frogs that metamorphose..."

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This is an official practice exam question with correct choice E. Really not sure why it is correct over B?

Unlike frogs that metamorphose from tadpoles into adults within a one-year period, it takes three to four years for the mountain yellow-legged frog of the Sierra Nevada to reach adulthood, and so they are restricted to deeper bodies of water that do not dry up in summer or freeze solid in winter.

a/ it takes three to four years for the mountain yellow-legged frog of the Sierra Nevada to reach adulthood, and so they are

b/ it takes the mountain yellow-legged frog of the Sierra Nevada three to four years until it reaches adulthood, and therefore it is

c/ in the Sierra Nevada, mountain yellow-legged tree frogs take three to four years to reach adulthood, thus being

d/ mountain yellow-legged frogs of the Sierra Nevada take three to four years until they reach adulthood, thus

e/ mountain yellow-legged frogs of the Sierra Nevada take three to four years to reach adulthood, with the result that they are

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melanie.espeland wrote:
In D, restricted is now an adjective of what?
On the GMAT, COMMA + VERBed -- or COMMA + adverb + VERBed -- generally serves to modify the immediately preceding noun or noun phrase.
In D, COMMA + thus restricted seems to refer to adulthood (the immediately preceding noun), implying that ADULTHOOD is thus restricted to deeper bodies of water.
Not the intended meaning.
Eliminate D.

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melanie.espeland wrote:
This is an official practice exam question with correct choice E. Really not sure why it is correct over B?

Unlike frogs that metamorphose from tadpoles into adults within a one-year period, it takes three to four years for the mountain yellow-legged frog of the Sierra Nevada to reach adulthood, and so they are restricted to deeper bodies of water that do not dry up in summer or freeze solid in winter.

a/ it takes three to four years for the mountain yellow-legged frog of the Sierra Nevada to reach adulthood, and so they are

b/ it takes the mountain yellow-legged frog of the Sierra Nevada three to four years until it reaches adulthood, and therefore it is

c/ in the Sierra Nevada, mountain yellow-legged tree frogs take three to four years to reach adulthood, thus being

d/ mountain yellow-legged frogs of the Sierra Nevada take three to four years until they reach adulthood, thus

e/ mountain yellow-legged frogs of the Sierra Nevada take three to four years to reach adulthood, with the result that they are
Look at B. What is the subject of the sentence? To what does the it, the first word of the answer choice, refer?

Anything?

You can shorten choice B to Unlike frogs, it takes three to four years, and therefore it is restricted to deeper bodies of water.

Huh?

I suspect you get it now.

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Hi melanie.espeland,

The word "unlike" (at the beginning of the sentence) is a common GMAT "trigger" word that tells us that this SC involves a comparison (which also means that we must use parallelism rules).

The opening phrase "unlike frogs...." means that we need another noun that is comparable to a frog to follow the comma - in this case, "mountain yellow-legged frogs" is a perfect match. Eliminate A, B and C.

In the remaining two answers, only answer E parallels the first phrase (the word "to" parallels "into") and uses a conclusion phrase that makes sense (the word "thus" in Answer D doesn't properly line up with the verb "restricted").

Final Answer: E

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So my only question after reading the explanation is why is the word "thus" incorrectly used in answer D? Thus indicates a conclusion, so why is this problematic?

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melanie.espeland wrote:
This is an official practice exam question with correct choice E. Really not sure why it is correct over B?

Unlike frogs that metamorphose from tadpoles into adults within a one-year period, it takes three to four years for the mountain yellow-legged frog of the Sierra Nevada to reach adulthood, and so they are restricted to deeper bodies of water that do not dry up in summer or freeze solid in winter.

a/ it takes three to four years for the mountain yellow-legged frog of the Sierra Nevada to reach adulthood, and so they are

b/ it takes the mountain yellow-legged frog of the Sierra Nevada three to four years until it reaches adulthood, and therefore it is

c/ in the Sierra Nevada, mountain yellow-legged tree frogs take three to four years to reach adulthood, thus being

d/ mountain yellow-legged frogs of the Sierra Nevada take three to four years until they reach adulthood, thus

e/ mountain yellow-legged frogs of the Sierra Nevada take three to four years to reach adulthood, with the result that they are
Important: When a sentence begins with "unlike/like" we know we have a comparison. When we get to the comma we should and STOP ask the question that the first part raises.

So, once we read, Unlike frogs (that metamorphose from tadpoles into adults within a one-year period), we should stop and ask . . . "What is unlike frogs?"

Aside: I placed "that metamorphose from tadpoles into adults within a one-year period" in brackets because it just modifies (tells us more about) the frog. So, we can essentially ignore this part.

If the sentence is properly constructed, the part that immediately follows the comma will answer the question in a logical manner.

Reading on we get...

a/ it takes... So, "it takes" is unlike frogs?
Makes no sense. ELIMINATE A

b/ it takes... So, "it takes" is unlike frogs?
Makes no sense. ELIMINATE B

c/ in the Sierra Nevada... So, "in the Sierra Nevada" is unlike frogs?
Makes no sense. ELIMINATE C

d/ mountain yellow-legged frogs... Good. We're told that mountain yellow-legged frogs are unlike the first kind of frogs mentioned. KEEP D for now.

e/ mountain yellow-legged frogs... Good. We're told that mountain yellow-legged frogs are unlike the first kind of frogs mentioned. KEEP E for now.

Now compare D and E

d/ mountain yellow-legged frogs of the Sierra Nevada take three to four years until they reach adulthood, thus restricted
Thus restricted?
Two things:
1) Without a "helping verb" (are), "restricted" is now an adjective. Makes no sense.
2) Also, there's an idiomatic issue with until
The correct idiomatic usage here is it takes some length of time to VERB
ELIMINATE D

So, although it seems a little clunky, answer choice E is the best answer.

Cheers,
Brent

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Hi Brent,

Thank you for the post. I'm still not clear on comparing choices D and E. In D, restricted is now an adjective of what? If it is an adjective of the frogs, why is this nonsensical?

As for the idiom "until...", I cannot find this in any of my books and am an native English speaker. What exactly is the idiom, can you explain this further?

Thank you

Melanie

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melanie.espeland wrote:
Hi Brent,

Thank you for the post. I'm still not clear on comparing choices D and E. In D, restricted is now an adjective of what? If it is an adjective of the frogs, why is this nonsensical?

As for the idiom "until...", I cannot find this in any of my books and am an native English speaker. What exactly is the idiom, can you explain this further?

Thank you

Melanie
Regarding until, the issue is not that there is some until idiom that is being misused. The issue is that putting until there is not idiomatic. The until is superfluous and putting it there is not really right. The idiomatic way to say it is, "frogs take three to four years to reach adulthood."

Regarding thus, the problem is that it just says thus restricted. It might be ok if it said thus they are restricted, although then I believe the one sentence would need to be two sentences. Anyway, this issue becomes more obvious when we simplify things by chopping out part of the sentence. Check this out.

Mountain yellow-legged frogs of the Sierra Nevada take three to four years to reach adulthood, thus restricted to deeper bodies of water that do not dry up in summer.

Thus what is restricted? Doesn't say. For it to be correct, it would have to go something like this.

Mountain yellow-legged frogs of the Sierra Nevada take three to four years to reach adulthood. Thus they are restricted to deeper bodies of water that do not dry up in summer.

Have to be careful on the GMAT because they add stuff to flawed sentences to confuse readers into believing that the sentences somehow work.

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Thanks Marty that was very helpful

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Hi Mitch,

How does ",with ..." works?

My understanding is that it modifies the entire clause and makes sense with the subject of the clause.

Please correct my understanding, if wrong.

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shobhitk wrote:
Hi Mitch,

How does ",with ..." works?

My understanding is that it modifies the entire clause and makes sense with the subject of the clause.

Please correct my understanding, if wrong.
Hi Mitch,

Could you please respond to my note above?

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shobhitk wrote:
shobhitk wrote:
Hi Mitch,

How does ",with ..." works?

My understanding is that it modifies the entire clause and makes sense with the subject of the clause.

Please correct my understanding, if wrong.
Hi Mitch,

Could you please respond to my note above?
Check my post here:
http://www.beatthegmat.com/use-of-with-gmatprep-questions-t89592.html

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Hi Mitch,

Could you help to clarify this one:
So as I understand, on the GMAT, there are 2 cases in which "Clause + Comma" are used, and their differences are as below:

1. Clause + Comma + V-ing: "V-ing" is used to modify the whole preceding clause or the subject of the preceding clause. It cannot modify the nearest noun of the preceding clause.

2. Clause + Comma + V-ed: vice versa. The "V-ed" part can modify only the nearest noun, and can not modify the whole preceding clause or the subject of the preceding clause.

Please help to correct my understandings.

Thanks for your help!

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Hi Mitch,

Could you help to clarify this one:
So as I understand, on the GMAT, there are 2 cases in which "Clause + Comma" are used, and their differences are as below:

1. Clause + Comma + V-ing: "V-ing" is used to modify the whole preceding clause or the subject of the preceding clause. It cannot modify the nearest noun of the preceding clause.

2. Clause + Comma + V-ed: vice versa. The "V-ed" part can modify only the nearest noun, and can not modify the whole preceding clause or the subject of the preceding clause.

Please help to correct my understandings.

Thanks for your help!

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thuyduong91vnu wrote:
Hi Mitch,

Could you help to clarify this one:
So as I understand, on the GMAT, there are 2 cases in which "Clause + Comma" are used, and their differences are as below:

1. Clause + Comma + V-ing: "V-ing" is used to modify the whole preceding clause or the subject of the preceding clause. It cannot modify the nearest noun of the preceding clause.

2. Clause + Comma + V-ed: vice versa. The "V-ed" part can modify only the nearest noun, and can not modify the whole preceding clause or the subject of the preceding clause.


Please help to correct my understandings.

Thanks for your help!
The statements in blue are correct.
COMMA + VERBing serves to modify the preceding subject and verb (and thus can be said to modify the preceding clause).
COMMA + VERBed serves to modify the preceding noun.

But there are other types of modifiers that may also follow CLAUSE + COMMA -- too many to discuss in this post.

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