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Thread: SC QUESTIONS REGARDING PARALLELISM

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    SC QUESTIONS REGARDING PARALLELISM

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    Influenced by Western individualism and they studied European women of Renaissance, the anthropologist defined a peculiar form of personhood as an innately bounded unit
    (A)
    (B) individualism, anthropologists have defined a peculiar form of personhood to be an innately bounded unit, studying European women of Renaissance
    (C) individualism, a peculiar form of personhood is defined as an innately bounded unit by the anthropologist, studying European women of Renaissance
    (D) individualism and studying European women of Renaissance, anthropologists define a peculiar form of personhood as an innately bounded unit
    (E) individualism, the anthropologist who has studied European women of Renaissance has defined a peculiar form of personhood to be an innately bounded unit







    the book says the answer is D.

    What I do not understand is this: how can the different forms (~ed / ~ing) can be used with "AND"?

    Or, is there any problem with the question, maybe?

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    Howdy! I think that I might be able to help with this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by 90830 View Post
    Influenced by Western (D) individualism and studying European women of Renaissance, anthropologists define a peculiar form of personhood as an innately bounded unit

    What I do not understand is this: how can the different forms (~ed / ~ing) can be used with "AND"?

    Or, is there any problem with the question, maybe?
    Now this does seem strange. One verb ends with "-ed" and the other ends in "-ing." Strange indeed! How can these be parallel? I thought that the question might be flawed. (I'd be able to answer if it is flawed if I knew the source of the question).

    But with a closer inspection I noticed something. We have to look at the larger structure of the sentence to see what is going on. We have two phrases that are describing the anthropologists. "...studying..." is a present participle phrase and "Influenced by..." is a past participle phrase. So actually this question is a little more complex than I originally thought.

    Here is some info about different participle phrases:

    "The -ing ending is added to the root of a verb to create a present participle (e.g., play becomes playing). Its function, explained below, is to form the progressive tense or to act as a verbal (a verb used as a noun or adjective). The -ed (sometimes -en) ending is added to the root of a verb to create a past participle (e.g., play becomes played). Its function is to form the simple past tense (e.g., played), the perfect tense (have, had, or will have played) or to act as a verbal."

    Here is where I found the info:
    http://writingcenter.tamu.edu/2006/composing-process/grammar-composing-process/participles-%E2%80%9C-ing%E2%80%9D-and-%E2%80%9C-ed%E2%80%9D-endings/

    Thanks for the question! It was a good one!

    Best of luck with your studies!

    Kevin Rocci, GMAT Expert at Magoosh | https://gmat.magoosh.com/

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    Re: SC QUESTIONS REGARDING PARALLELISM

    There is certainly a problem in the given sentence, though it is not one that you need to take into account, because it appears in every option. The phrase 'women of Renaissance' should be either 'Renaissance women' or 'women of the Renaissance'. If you have correctly transcribed the question, it is defective at this point.

    In regard to the parallelism issue that you raise, there is no problem. The two participles 'influenced' and 'studying' are not quite parallel, but they are as parallel as the meaning of the sentence will allow. Remember that parallel structure is not an end in itself: it is subordinate to clarity of meaning. In this sentence, 'influenced' is used in the passive voice, as it must be here: the anthropologists WERE influenced by Western individualism. In other words, something influenced them. It would make no sense to go on then and say that the anthropologists 'were studied': this would mean that somebody studied them. So the participle must be the active one: 'studying': the anthropologists WERE studying European women.
    Thus, 'influenced ... and studying' is a not perfectly parallel sequence, but it is a perfectly logical one, and this is what is required here.

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    Re: SC QUESTIONS REGARDING PARALLELISM


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