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SC : Comma usage
by suman ranjan - Friday, 15 January 2010, 09:21 PM
 

1. Trying to keep her balance on the icy surface, the last competitor's ski-tip caught the pole and somersaulted into the soft snow.

A. the last competitor's ski-tip caught the pole and somersaulted into the soft snow.
B. the ski-tip of the last competitor caught the pole and somersaulted in the soft snow.
C. the last competitor caught the pole with the tip of her ski, and somersaulted into the soft snow.
D. the last competitor caught the pole with her ski-tip, which made her somersault into the soft snow.
E. the last competitor somersaulted into the soft snow when the tip of her ski was caught by the pole.

Above Q belongs to the site - http://www.majortests.com/gmat/sentence_correction_test01. The answer is posted as C, but I have a doubt here.

In C, 'caught' and 'somersaulted' have the same subject  the last competitor.

As per comma rule, ' Do not use a comma before and to separate two verbs that have the same subject'.So, C is faulty.

Option E looks fine to me. Pls someone comment on this.


Re: SC : Comma usage
by Dagny Taggart - Saturday, 16 January 2010, 07:00 PM
  Hi Suman,

You are correct.
Re: SC : Comma usage
by suman ranjan - Saturday, 16 January 2010, 08:57 PM
  Thanks Dagny..
Re: SC : Comma usage
by Manu Pathania - Wednesday, 27 January 2010, 02:28 PM
 

Hi Suman,

I feel the answer should be C, and I got it right in the first try.

Explaination:

C is correct because a comma is required as the two things (i.e. 1. caught the pole with the tip of her ski, 2. somersaulted into the soft snow) happened one after the other. Please read the complete sentence with option C. You would notice that the events are sequentially mentioned. Also, the comma is required becuase the two events have to be seperated as they are not two different things representing something but two events happening one after the other.

Coming to option e, if you would read the entire sentence with option e, you would notice that the meaning of the sentence sounds like the last competitor tried maintaining her balance and in that process she somersaulted into the soft snow.

Thanks,

Manu

Re: SC : Comma usage
by suman ranjan - Friday, 29 January 2010, 08:51 AM
  So, your point is, if two events take place one after the other, comma usage is correct ?? Is there a grammar rule for it ?

As I have already posted that comma is not used before AND to separate two verbs that have the same subject. Let me explain with examples,

Earl walked to school, AND later ate his lunch - Wrong
Earl walked to school AND later ate his lunch  - Right
Earl walked to school, AND HE later ate his lunch - Right

Also, a comma by itself cannot connect two complete sentences(main clauses)

Earl walked to school, he later ate his lunch.
(note - all example above are from Manhattan SC book)

hope it clears the doubt !!
Re: SC : Comma usage
by pankaj eklarkar - Sunday, 31 January 2010, 04:21 PM
  One doubt though, the option E suggest that the pole is doing the action, doesnt it?
Re: SC : Comma usage
by suman ranjan - Tuesday, 2 February 2010, 08:53 PM
  You are correct, but that should be ok I guess.
We sometimes use 'caught ' with inanimate objects also like 'caught by the light'