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A letter by Mark Twain, written in the same year as The

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A letter by Mark Twain, written in the same year as The [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2012, 13:13
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11. A letter by Mark Twain, written in the same year as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were published, reveals that Twain provided financial assistance to one of the first Black students at Yale Law School.
(A) A letter by Mark Twain, written in the same year as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were published,
(B) A letter by Mark Twain, written in the same year of publication as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,
(C) A letter by Mark Twain, written in the same year that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published,
(D) Mark Twain wrote a letter in the same year as he published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that
(E) Mark Twain wrote a letter in the same year of publication as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that

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C
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Re: Mark Twain [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2012, 14:28
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GMATtaker777 wrote:
11. A letter by Mark Twain, written in the same year as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were published, reveals that Twain provided financial assistance to one of the first Black students at Yale Law School.
(A) A letter by Mark Twain, written in the same year as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were published,
(B) A letter by Mark Twain, written in the same year of publication as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,
(C) A letter by Mark Twain, written in the same year that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published,
(D) Mark Twain wrote a letter in the same year as he published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that
(E) Mark Twain wrote a letter in the same year of publication as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that

I'm happy to help with this. :-)

The first split --- how should the sentence begin? "A letter" vs. "Mark Twain"?
The structure "A letter by Mark Twain ..... reveals" is very clear and direct.
The structure "Mark Twain wrote a letter .... that reveals" is wordier and less efficient. Right away, we are not disposed toward (D) & (E). These two also completely flub the comparison, so they are out.

The other split revolves around how the comparison is constructed. (The GMAT loves comparisons!)
The phrasing in (A) ... in the same year as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were published ... will sound colloquially correct --- this is what many folks would say in ordinary conversation -- but technically, it is 100% illogical. What follows the words "the same year as" should be a year. Here, we would have to say:
...in the same year as the year when The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were published... (correct, but a little wordy)
...in the same year as that in which The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were published... (correct in a way the GMAT would like)
Those are both correct, but (A) is wrong.

The comparison in (B) is completely ungrammatical and wrong.

Only (C) has a grammatically correct version of the comparison. Here, we have a subordinate clause modifying the word "year." This is a perfectly acceptable solution to the comparison, and arguably, the most concise way to express the idea. This is by far the best answer.

Does all this make sense?

Mike :-)
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Re: Mark Twain [#permalink] New post 10 Dec 2012, 17:14
mikemcgarry wrote:
GMATtaker777 wrote:
11. A letter by Mark Twain, written in the same year as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were published, reveals that Twain provided financial assistance to one of the first Black students at Yale Law School.
(A) A letter by Mark Twain, written in the same year as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were published,
(B) A letter by Mark Twain, written in the same year of publication as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,
(C) A letter by Mark Twain, written in the same year that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published,
(D) Mark Twain wrote a letter in the same year as he published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that
(E) Mark Twain wrote a letter in the same year of publication as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that

I'm happy to help with this. :-)

The first split --- how should the sentence begin? "A letter" vs. "Mark Twain"?
The structure "A letter by Mark Twain ..... reveals" is very clear and direct.
The structure "Mark Twain wrote a letter .... that reveals" is wordier and less efficient. Right away, we are not disposed toward (D) & (E). These two also completely flub the comparison, so they are out.

The other split revolves around how the comparison is constructed. (The GMAT loves comparisons!)
The phrasing in (A) ... in the same year as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were published ... will sound colloquially correct --- this is what many folks would say in ordinary conversation -- but technically, it is 100% illogical. What follows the words "the same year as" should be a year. Here, we would have to say:
...in the same year as the year when The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were published... (correct, but a little wordy)
...in the same year as that in which The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were published... (correct in a way the GMAT would like)
Those are both correct, but (A) is wrong.

The comparison in (B) is completely ungrammatical and wrong.

Only (C) has a grammatically correct version of the comparison. Here, we have a subordinate clause modifying the word "year." This is a perfectly acceptable solution to the comparison, and arguably, the most concise way to express the idea. This is by far the best answer.

Does all this make sense?

Mike :-)


Hi Mike,

Doesn't this appear to be passive voice? " A letter by Mark Twain"
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Re: Mark Twain [#permalink] New post 10 Dec 2012, 18:33
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shanmugamgsn wrote:
Hi Mike,
Doesn't this appear to be passive voice? " A letter by Mark Twain"

No. Passive voice is a quality of verbs, and there's no verb here.

If we wrote, "A letter was written by Mark Twain, and the letter said XYZ." ---- that passive construction is a horrible wordy monstrosity.
Consider the same information in active form:
"Mark Twain wrote a letter that said XYZ." --- much more direct, much more powerful.

The BIG idea, though, is you need a verb to have passive voice. The phrase "A letter by Mark Twain" has no verb, so by itself, it is not passive. In fact, there's no more concise way to express that information --- re-arranging it would introduce a verb where there is now no verb, and that would make it wordier.

Here'a blog on the passive voice:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/active-vs- ... -the-gmat/

Does all this make sense?

Mike :-)
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Re: Mark Twain [#permalink] New post 10 Dec 2012, 19:38
I am convinced why other options are wrong. Can you please elaborate only the answer choice:
I require little explanation on the below lines.

Quote:
we have a subordinate clause modifying the word "year."


Simplifying the sentence "A letter written in the same year that X was published reveals". The part in bold part is a subject of the sentence- "A letter reveals..."

So, "written in the same year that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published " is modifier of "A letter by Mark Twain". Correct ?

Coming to my doubt, "Year that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published"

Is the usage of that correct ? As per me modifier should one that indicates the point of time. like "time when X was published"

As you said, I perfectly agree with below usages,
"in the same year as the year when X was published"
"in the same year as that in which X was published"
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Re: Mark Twain [#permalink] New post 11 Dec 2012, 11:21
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umeshpatil wrote:
I am convinced why other options are wrong. Can you please elaborate only the answer choice:
I require little explanation on the below lines.
Quote:
we have a subordinate clause modifying the word "year."

Simplifying the sentence "A letter written in the same year that X was published reveals". The part in bold part is a subject of the sentence- "A letter reveals..."

So, "written in the same year that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published " is modifier of "A letter by Mark Twain". Correct?

Coming to my doubt, "Year that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published" Is the usage of that correct ? As per me modifier should one that indicates the point of time. like "time when X was published"

Dear Umeshpatil,

Great questions. I'm happy to help.

Yes, the subject is "A letter", and yes, the clause "written in the same year that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published" is a long clause that modifies the subject.

As for the "that" clause ---
Whenever we use the word "same" --- the "same man", the "same book", the "same country" --- we have to specify --- the same as what? One way to do this is to with an "as" clause
I am reading the same book as the one he read in a single sitting last week.
Another perfectly correct way to express this is with a modifier clause that, by modifying the noun, identifies it. (This is called a restrictive clause, and must begin with the word "that" instead of the word "which" when modifying an object.)
I am reading the same book that he read in a single sitting last week.
I want to travel to the same country that just liberated Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest.
I want to talk the same person who interviewed the politician yesterday.
He graduated from high school the same year that Nixon was elected President.

All of those are perfectly correct. This is the grammatical structure the clause is following --- " ... the same year that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published."

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Mark Twain   [#permalink] 11 Dec 2012, 11:21
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