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shankar245
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Re: Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species

by shankar245 Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:09 pm

Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species of moth, the male whistling moths of Numbing, Australia, call female moths to them by the use of acoustical signals, but not olfactory ones, and they attract their mates during the day, rather than at night.


Hi Ron,

I have read your "stern" warnings about questioning official answers, but a small clarification here
The core is this :

The moths call female to them
Subject - moths
Should it not be the moths call female moths to themselves?

I remember from one of your analogies.
You should stop looking at you in the mirror - incorrect.
You should stop looking at yourself in the mirror - correct.

Kindly bear with me for asking such trivial stuff!!!
Thanks
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Re: Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species

by jlucero Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:49 pm

supratim7 wrote:
RonPurewal wrote:
ugenderr wrote:Ron,

I guess my concept is wrong here; can you please explain a bit more ..

I thought 'by the use of ..', an adverbial prep phrase in choices A, B, and C, modifies either the subject(the male whistling ..) or the verb (call), so just based on this concept, I eliminated D and E (and again participial phrase without comma modifies the preceding noun (here that noun is 'them')), making unwanted meaning?

I am not questioning official answer's validity, but I am trying to understand this concept a bit deeper.

so 'using acoustical signals' is modifying what? ( based on the official answer, it is probably modifying the verb call) ..

when/how you decide a participial phrase without comma modifies the verb? (or subject)? instead of preceding noun?

Thanks.


this is a very good point -- this observation actually contradicts what we've seen so far from the gmat regarding the use of "no comma + -ing" modifiers.

we'll have to look for more examples; i certainly haven't seen any others that i remember.


Any final word on this? Can we say that "No comma + -ing modifier" can modify both the preceding action and the preceding noun/pronoun/noun phrase?

Many thanks | Supratim


I haven't seen other examples like this, but I'll add that the GMAT is always about clear meaning and I don't think that there's any ambiguity in the sentence about what "using acoustical signals" is referring to.

If the sentence were:
The cat ran away from the dog sprinting as fast as it could.

Then we'd need some extra punctuation or rearrangement to clearly express the meaning of the sentence.

Like always, the lesson is to look for the major issues in any sentence and understand that the English language is an awful one filled with many acceptable exceptions.
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Re: Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species

by jlucero Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:01 pm

shankar245 wrote:
Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species of moth, the male whistling moths of Numbing, Australia, call female moths to them by the use of acoustical signals, but not olfactory ones, and they attract their mates during the day, rather than at night.


Hi Ron,

I have read your "stern" warnings about questioning official answers, but a small clarification here
The core is this :

The moths call female to them
Subject - moths
Should it not be the moths call female moths to themselves?

I remember from one of your analogies.
You should stop looking at you in the mirror - incorrect.
You should stop looking at yourself in the mirror - correct.

Kindly bear with me for asking such trivial stuff!!!
Thanks


It's a tricky point, so I'm brining in the definition of a reflexive pronoun (myself, yourself, herself, etc.):

A reflexive pronoun is a special kind of pronoun that is usually used when the object of a sentence is the same as the subject.


Use this when you can substitute the same noun as the subject and object:
Joe should stop looking at Joe in the mirror.

But in this sentence, the males aren't calling themselves. They are calling the females in the males direction:
Males call females towards the males.
Joe Lucero
Manhattan GMAT Instructor
messi10
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Re: Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species

by messi10 Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:08 am

Hello,

I got this question down to A and D as well, but chose D on the basis of meaning.

Doesn't choice D actually imply that the male moth chooses to use acoustical signals over olfactory ones i.e. doesn't the use of 'rather than' show that he is making a choice between the two signals? Just as its been used in the second part to show that they do so during the day rather than night.

The male moths call female moths to them using acoustical signals, rather than olfactory ones, and attract their mates during the day, rather than at night.

Choice A, on the other hand sounds like its a built in behavior:

The male moths call female moths to them by the use of acoustical signals, but not olfactory ones, and they attract their mates during the day, rather than at night.

Thanks
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Re: Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species

by RonPurewal Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:57 am

messi10 wrote:Hello,

I got this question down to A and D as well, but chose D on the basis of meaning.

Doesn't choice D actually imply that the male moth chooses to use acoustical signals over olfactory ones i.e. doesn't the use of 'rather than' show that he is making a choice between the two signals? Just as its been used in the second part to show that they do so during the day rather than night.


so, the usual first response --
OFFICIALLY CORRECT ANSWERS ARE CORRECT!
do not question officially correct answers!

far too many students on this forum make the mistake of questioning the correct answers; please note that doing so is a complete waste of your time and effort. i.e., exactly 0% of the time that you spend posting "isn't this official answer wrong?" is productive, and exactly 100% of that time is wasted.

"is this correct?" is NEVER a productive question to ask about one of GMAC's correct answers -- the answer is always yes.
"is this wrong?" / "is this X type of error?" is NEVER a productive question to ask about one of GMAC's correct answers -- the answer is always no.

instead, the questions you should be asking about correct official answers, if you don't understand them, are:
"why is this correct?"
"how does this work?"
"what understanding am i lacking that i need to understand this choice?"

this is a small, but hugely significant, change to your way of thinking -- you will suddenly find it much easier to understand the format, style, and conventions of the official problems if you dispose of the idea that they might be wrong.

--

::deep breath::

ok. now that we've gotten that out of the way:
no, "rather than..." does not imply that; it just implies a difference in the way two things work. it can be used to represent a conscious choice (I wore a blazer and jeans rather than a suit), but it can also be used for things where there is clearly no matter of choice (Deep-sea autotrophs use chemicals in the ocean floor, rather than sunlight, to manufacture food).

in fact, it's "but..." that's problematic here.

see, "but" implies a contrast. if X but not Y has a contrast, then that would imply that X and Y usually go together.
E.g., At the event, I saw Jake but not his wife. --> This sentence only makes sense if I would normally expect to see Jake's wife by his side.
In this sentence, there's no reason to expect that acoustic signals would be accompanied by olfactory ones"”in fact, we would probably expect the opposite, that there would just be one or the other"”so "but" doesn't really make sense.
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Re: Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species

by messi10 Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:42 pm

Thanks for the clarification

Sorry I think the wording of my post was a bit misleading. I wasn't questioning the correct answer. I was just asking if the reason that I chose it was correct
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Re: Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species

by RonPurewal Thu May 02, 2013 10:30 pm

messi10 wrote:Thanks for the clarification

Sorry I think the wording of my post was a bit misleading. I wasn't questioning the correct answer. I was just asking if the reason that I chose it was correct


Ok.
Well, a little reinforcement of that idea never hurts "”I am always astonished by how much time people waste trying to impugn the correctness of the correct answers.

Hopefully, the last paragraph of that post answers your actual question, yes?
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Re: Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species

by messi10 Thu May 02, 2013 10:39 pm

RonPurewal wrote:Hopefully, the last paragraph of that post answers your actual question, yes?


Absolutely, thank you!
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Re: Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species

by jlucero Sat May 04, 2013 5:03 pm

Glad that it helped.
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Re: Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species

by adityavik Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:56 am

I have read all the explanations and understood how the answer was reached.Some of the explanations were immensely helpful & offered fresh insights.

However I have a fundamental question to ask

The questions tells us two distinct characteristics of the Male whistling moths

1) call 2) Attract

& proceeds on this assumption to reach the answer



However , What stops us from assuming that the Male moths of Numbing call the female moths

1)by acoustic signals 2) by attracting them at day rather than at night

If we assume the second, the two activities become subservient to the Main activity of Calling & require paralleling

Following this line of thought, in option (c) he is trying to parallel prepositional phrases and in option (e) ,he is trying to parallel participial phrases respectively


How do we rule this interpretation out ?

Is it by finding some other errors in option(c) and (e) that we rule this interpretation out ?

Of course (c) is clearly wrong because of 'not using olfactory ones'

but (e) seems right when one considers this line of reasoning

Structure of (e)

ie. Subject (whistling Moth) -Verb (call), modifier/present participle phrase (using) and Modifier/present participle phrase (attracting)


Thanks
Aditya
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Re: Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species

by tim Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:22 am

There is nothing wrong with the structural parallelism of either C or E. The problem with both of those is that the parallelism set up is illogical. You don't call someone by attracting them. Attraction is the effect of calling in this sentence.
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Re: Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species

by WhiteZ807 Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:55 am

Hi, Ron. sorry for bumping this thread.
I am confused that why "using" is used rather than "by using"?
Thank u!
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Re: Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species

by RonPurewal Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:55 am

WhiteZ807 wrote:Hi, Ron. sorry for bumping this thread.
I am confused that why "using" is used rather than "by using"?
Thank u!


Either would be fine.

Note that "using" is more flexible than other __ing words.
In fact, it's best to think of "using" as belonging to two different categories of words:
1/ It's an __ing word (= it can be used like other __ing words);
2/ It's a preposition, with a meaning largely similar to that of "with".

This is usage #2.
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Re: Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species

by RonPurewal Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:58 am

By the way, this distinction is immaterial here, because choice C (= the only choice with "by using") contains blatant non-parallelism.

Takeaways:

— Parallelism is the #1 error in SC. DO NOT think about other things before thinking about parallelism!

— If you're thinking about a small, nit-picky issue, STOP and ask yourself, "Am I being distracted from a larger issue?"
Here, "using"/"by using" is a distraction meant to take your eyes off of the parallelism. Looks like they got you.
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Re: Scientists believe that unlike the males of most species

by WhiteZ807 Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:44 am

RonPurewal wrote:By the way, this distinction is immaterial here, because choice C (= the only choice with "by using") contains blatant non-parallelism.

Takeaways:

— Parallelism is the #1 error in SC. DO NOT think about other things before thinking about parallelism!

— If you're thinking about a small, nit-picky issue, STOP and ask yourself, "Am I being distracted from a larger issue?"
Here, "using"/"by using" is a distraction meant to take your eyes off of the parallelism. Looks like they got you.

Got it, thanks Ron!