A discussion of our nation’s foreign policy must begin with the fact of there being an independent Western Europe which now thinks of itself in trans-nationalist terms.
(A) A discussion of our nation’s foreign policy must begin with the fact of there being
(B) Beginning any discussion of our nation’s foreign policy must be the fact of there being
(C) Any discussion of our nation’s foreign policy must begin with the fact that there is
(D) Any discussion of our nation’s foreign policy must begin by acknowledging the existence of
(E) To begin discussing our nation’s foreign policy there must be an acknowledgment of the fact that
Please give explanations for your choice. Also, I read in some notes the fact that is most likely incorrect for GMAT. Is that correct?
D. Agree with you that "In most cases "with" and "the fact that"are most likely to be incorrect in GMAT.
therefore, D should be fine over C.
I couldn't help but notice the way the test makers create traps in the choices - especially from a non-native speaker's point of view
Quite a few GMAT questions lay simple traps - The test makers know that when we read sentences - our mind tries to process the MEANING first before it processes the Grammar technicalities involved. In most cases, if a particular arrangement of words conveys the meaning properly we look no further and choose that arrangement as our choice. This question is a typical example of that very arrangement of words that makes us believe its authenticity even though the arrangement is flawed grammatically.
The usual GMAT suspects which are incorrect invariably -
1) Look sharp and crisp
2) Naturally appear correct to non-native speakers because that's what they typically learn in the non-native english speaking backgrounds.
It's a fact that the sentence is trying to convey a simple fact - Any discussion of the nation's foreign policy must consider the existence
(EXISTENCE is a thousand times better than saying "of there being a european superpower") of a european superpower etc.
C very aptly (and of course erroneously) sums it up - Any discussion of our nation’s foreign policy must begin with the fact that there is
To a non-native speaker - begin with the fact that there is doesn't sound grammatically offending at all; in fact it comes in the manner of speaking and so wouldn't raise any alarm bells.
It's conveying the SENSE of the sentence completely - and this is where most students with weak fundamentals of the language will trip - the test makers have very craftily removed acknowledge
and have mentioned - begin with the fact that there is
instead of saying begin by acknowledging the existence
which to a non-native speaker perhaps would appear a bit wordy.