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Thread: GMAT Sentence Correction: The growth of the railroads led to the abolition...

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    Question Hard GMAT Question: The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times

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    The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times, which was determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differing from city to city, and to the establishment of regional times.

    (A) which was determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differing
    (B) which was determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and which differed
    (C) which were determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differing
    (D) determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differed
    (E) determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differing



    The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times, "which were determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian and differing".

    The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times, "determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian and differed"

    whats the difference between using ...which were determined... and ...determined...

    is it that - when "which were determined" is used - that it applies to local times ?

    what is similar explanation for the usage of "determined..."

    This will be a great help.

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    Ankylosaurus Forum Admin Erin's Avatar
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    Arrow

    This is essentially a parallel structure question. It's a hard one, what I call "advanced parallel structure."

    Let's take a look...

    The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times, which was determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differing from city to city, and to the establishment of regional times.

    (A) which was determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differing
    (B) which was determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and which differed
    (C) which were determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differing
    (D) determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differed
    (E) determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differing

    The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local
    times, "which were determined by when the sun reached the observer's
    meridian and differing"

    The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local
    times, "determined by when the sun reached the observer's meridian
    and differed"

    whats the difference between using ...which were determined...
    and ...determined...

    is it that - when "which were determined" is used - that
    it applies to local times ?
    what is similar explanation for the usage of "determined..."

    This will be a great help.
    A couple of important grammar points here. Let's start with the "original" (without ellipsis, reduction, etc.) sentence:

    The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times, which were determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and which differed from city to city, and [the growth [of the railroads [also] led] to the establishment of regional times.

    This is what the "original" sentence would look like. You will notice that:

    which were determined

    is parallel with

    which differed

    These two parts are adjective clauses and can be "reduced" such that they become adjective phrases (or participial phrases in this particular case):

    determined

    is still parallel with

    differing

    Okay, that's the first point.

    The second point is this:

    The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times, which was ==> were determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differing from city to city, and to the establishment of regional times.

    because "were" is the verb for the relative pronoun "which," which replaces the head noun "times."

    And I think these two rules should give you answer choice (E).

    HTH!!
    ☼ Waiting for Godot

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    Erin,

    Could you please explain to us why which differed can be short to differing, why not to differed

    Thanks.

    She Lee

    <edit>Erin,

    Never mind. I think I know now.

    Since "local times" is the subject of the verb "differ", we should not use passive voice "v+ed".</edit>

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    Ankylosaurus Forum Admin Erin's Avatar
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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful. Good post? Yes | No

    Arrow

    This one's easy to explain, but unfortunately, it's also easy to miss!

    I read your explanation, and I think that you are essentially right, but I just want to make sure.

    (Now I'm going to copy some information from another post.)

    5. The architecture exhibited in the Empire State Building and conveyed us an idea of the prevailing attitudes of the day is important for the historical and cultural value it represents.
    It's a bit tricky to answer these questions sometimes, but the main idea behind whether to choose the -ing form or the -ed form this:

    When we reduce a verb to its -ing or -ed form, we must look at one and only one thing: whether the noun that it will modify is the subject or object of that verb.

    The -ing form is used for DOING the action, which means SUBJECT, which means ACTIVE voice.

    The -ed form is used for RECEIVING the action, which means OBJECT, which means PASSIVE voice.

    Before I go further, let me offer two examples that will make things clearer as we go along:
    • speaking person (the -ing form)
    • spoken words (the -ed form)
    In this type of question, we always have two elements:

    • a particple, which is either in the -ing or -ed form
    • a noun that is modified by this participle
    So, using the previous examples, speaking modifies person and spoken modifies words.

    The next step is to realize that these participles all come from verbs--speaking and spoken both come from the verb speak.

    Now, using these examples, and applying them to the rules I mentioned at the beginning, we will notice that if we made a sentence, person would be the subject of the verb speak and words would be the object of the verb speak. Using this procedure, we can figure out whether should use the -ing or -ed form of a participle that modifies a noun. And that's it!!

    Of course, this is easy when the vocab is easy, and we often get confused when we are using difficult vocab because we sometimes don't know whether something is the subject or the object of the verb, but this procedure that I have explained is the only sure way to get the right answer.

    In our sentence here, which replaces times, and times is the object of determined, but it is the subject of differed.

    In other words, we have something like this:

    ...somebody determined times...

    but

    times differed...

    I know some of you have learned that we should only use the -ing form only for actions that are ongoing/in progress in the present, but that's simply not true. We do occasionally use them correctly for past actions that were ongoing/in progress.

    Finally, everybody gets confused simply because the -ed form appears in the second one, making people think the -ed form should appear again when it's reduced. We need to realize that there is truly no connection (for our purposes here in GMATland, anyway !!!!) between the two; it's pure coincidence that each has the -ed form in it!!!

    If you stick to the rules that I just wrote, you'll be okay.
    ☼ Waiting for Godot

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    Woha...what an explaination! Thanks, Erin. That was very informative. I was wondering if you could comment on my another post, titled "Quant. Words". Although, I know some of 'em but I am sure that your explaination will give me a better insight. Thanks in advace.


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    I am simply amazed ! I have taken the GMAT date but after reading some posts here, I am thinking of postponing it to buy some more time to exhaust such great insights !

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    Re: Hard GMAT Question: The growth of the railroads led to the a

    Hello folks,
    I just joined the forum and very much a beginner with things GMAT related. I hit upon this superb post by my getting carried away with my excitement about testmagicforums.

    My question is..

    Iam still not clear why answer choice E instead of C. In other words whats wrong with the "which were". If this is a very basic question just as a beginning novice would ask and you cant bother to answer in detail could you atleast direct me to a thread that has already discussed the role of "which" in gmatland.

    thanks
    rsr80

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    growth of the railroads

    1. The growth of the railroads led to the abolition of local times, which was determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differing from city to city, and to the establishment of regional times.

    (A) which was determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differing

    (B) which was determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and which differed

    (C) which were determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differing

    (D) determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differed

    (E) determined by when the sun reached the observerís meridian and differing

    I know this question has been discussed exhaustively in the past. Still, I don't understand why D is incorrect. OA is E.

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    Re: growth of the railroads

    Thanks Erin!!!
    That was a brilliant explanation. I am so glad I found testmagic!

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    Re: growth of the railroads

    This is the part I don't understand. Can someone explain? How is determined parallel with differing? Also the local times are now abolished so why will we use present tense?

    "which were determined

    is parallel with

    which differed

    These two parts are adjective clauses and can be "reduced" such that they become adjective phrases (or participial phrases in this particular case):

    determined

    is still parallel with

    differing"

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