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Ask Manhattan Review - Entirely Underlined Sentences

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Ask Manhattan Review - Entirely Underlined Sentences [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2007, 17:33
I love this forum's breadth and depth! Here is a question I need some guidance on. Could one of senior instructors share insights with me?

Q: What kind of strategies should I use when dealing with SC problems with entirely underlined sentences, not partially underlined? How do these strategies different from those for partially underlined SC problems?

Thanks a bundle in advance. I also have a few questions on CR and RC. Will post later after I practice a bit more.
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Re: Ask Manhattan Review - Entirely Underlined Sentences [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2007, 08:14
sammie21 wrote:
I love this forum's breadth and depth! Here is a question I need some guidance on. Could one of senior instructors share insights with me?

Q: What kind of strategies should I use when dealing with SC problems with entirely underlined sentences, not partially underlined? How do these strategies different from those for partially underlined SC problems?

Thanks a bundle in advance. I also have a few questions on CR and RC. Will post later after I practice a bit more.


There are two main differences between fully underlined SC questions and only partially underlined ones:

    It's harder to focus on relevant issues in fully underlined sentences.

    More reading is involved, because answer choices are significantly longer.

These factors actually make strategic approaches to fully underlined sentences even more important. Your goal should be to eliminate answer choices as quickly as possible: this will cut down on the reading you have to do and make confusion and lack of focus less of an issue.

Look at this example:

In assessing the problems faced by rural migrant workers, the question of whether they are better off materially than the urban working poor is irrelevant.
(A) In assessing the problems faced by rural migrant workers, the question of whether they are better off materially than the urban working poor is irrelevant.
(B) The question of whether the rural migrant worker is better off materially than the urban working poor is irrelevant in assessing the problems that they face.
(C) A question that is irrelevant in assessing the problems that rural migrant workers face is whether they are better off materially than the urban working poor.
(D) In an assessment of the problems faced by rural migrant workers, the question of whether they are better off materially than the urban working poor is irrelevant.
(E) The question of whether the rural migrant worker is better off materially than the urban working poor is irrelevant in an assessment of the problems that they face.[/list]

Reading the first sentence, nothing immediately pops out as incorrect. But that pronoun they should send up a red flag. It's used correctly in this sentence, but this might be a way to eliminate some answer choices.

Indeed it is. Choices C and E illegitimately pair "they" with the singular "the migrant worker." Get rid of them immediately.

With three choices left, you can then compare choices point by point to see which one is both correct and effective. C can go: it places undue emphasis on the question itself--the main idea of the sentence is the assessment.

A and D differ on the issue of "in assessing" vs. "in an assessment of." Now it becomes clear that the correct choice is D. "In assessing" should only be used to modify the agent carrying out the assessment. The "question" doesn't do that, although it might appear "in an assessment of" the problems.
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2007, 09:36
Thanks for the detailed and clear explanation.

Quote:
Indeed it is. Choices C and E illegitimately pair "they" with the singular "the migrant worker." Get rid of them immediately.


I think you meant Choices B and E. In C, it is still plural.

My way of eliminatation is A out first, due to the inconsistency between subject "the question" and the leading clause "in...". Then B and E. Then it is hard to tell between C and D.

The change in focus of the sentence is something I struggle with. I tend to just select the sentence which flows the best to me, regardless of the shifted emphasis.

This is very helpful. Thanks a bundle.
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2007, 09:48
Right--that's a typo. It should be B and E.
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2007, 11:18
Also, sentences that are completely underlined tend to be long- Long sentences often have modifying phrases,relative clauses and elements that need parallel structure. If you know the rules regarding these, you can eliminate many choices quickly. Be wary of choices that contain lots of commas and seem to go on forever- you may need a semi-colon to seperate complete sentences
  [#permalink] 02 Oct 2007, 11:18
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