1

This is a question from GMAT sentence correction section.

\begin{question}

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

(A) which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing

(B) which was determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and which differed

(C) which were determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing

(D) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differed

(E) determined by when the sun reached the observer’s meridian and differing

\end{question}

see original posting here.

The correct answer is (E) but my native language experience tells me (D) is much better, because "was differing" makes far less sense. Why is it that parallelism cannot happen between "was" and "differed" here, but has to happen between "determined" and "differed"? Are there any explicit rules in established grammar reference that forbids conjunction between active and passive voice? What about a casual sentence like "I got up and was greeted by my dog"?

EDIT: Peter has pointed out the real issue here is that "determined" is used as a modifier rather than a verb here. So clearly D is ruled out since "differ" can only be used in an active voice sense here.

  • Ah you are right. Apologize for my careless reading. Please feel free to downvote. – John Jiang Oct 24 '15 at 23:53
2

(A) and (B) are incorrect because you should say local times were and not local times was.

(C) is incorrect because were determined is not parallel to differing.

In (D) and (E), determined is not a verb but an adjective. You can't use differed because that's generally not used as an adjective in English (one uses different instead); however, differing can function as an adjective.

In my opinion, the best way of phrasing this sentence would be to take (B) and change was to were. But that's not one of the options.

0

E is correct because of the tense of differ. It is present tense and will always be present tense. Local meridian time was not a thing of the past, it still happens.

Use of local times may be in the past, but the meridian times differing from city to city remains today.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.