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At a time when Queen Anne was so ill that she had to be

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At a time when Queen Anne was so ill that she had to be [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2012, 04:41
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  45% (medium)

Question Stats:

56% (03:09) correct 44% (01:31) wrong based on 111 sessions
At a time when Queen Anne was so ill that she had to be hoisted up between floors of her palace, the Whigs had seized upon their best gambit in the war between the parties and, hovering nervously, Defoe was between upholding the ministry's commitment to the Protestant succession and his own sense of how vital such a commitment must be.
(A) their best gambit in the war between the parties and, hovering nervously, Defoe was between
(B) its best gambit in the war between the parties, and nervously, Defoe hovered either
(C) their best gambit in the war between the parties and Defoe, nervously, hovered between
(D) its best gambit in the war between the parties and Defoe hovered nervously on
(E) their best gambit in the war between the parties, and Defoe hovered nervously between

[Reveal] Spoiler: OE
Answer: E
There's a lot going on in this sentence. First, recognize that the pronoun "their" in the beginning of the underlined passage is correct, as it refers to the plural noun "the Whigs." That eliminates (B) and (D).

Next, zero in on the comma. In the underlined passage, you should be able to read around the phrase "hovering nervously," meaning there is no comma separating the clauses "the Whigs had seized upon..." and "Defoe was between upholding...." Since the latter is a complete sentence, a comma should be present. Not only does this eliminate (A), it also knocks out (C) and (D). While both (C) contains commas around the word "nervously," they serve the same purpose as the commas around "hovering nervously" in (A). Choice (E) is the only one remaining, and it is correct.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: At a time when Queen Anne was so ill that she had to be hois [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2012, 05:24
E is the right answer.

Simply take out A, B, D, because they are incoherent and wordy. E has two complete sentences; therefore, a comma before "and".

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Re: At a time when Queen Anne was so ill that she had to be hois [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2012, 06:00
Expert's post
Whigs is plural; Hence we need their; B D are gone; B and D also use unidiomatic either and on after hovered.

Among A,C and E

A uses was hovering when a simple past tense would do; not a concise choice. The comma after and is incorrect; it should be before and.

C there is no comma before and; there is no need for commas before and after nervously

E, is the best choice
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Re: At a time when Queen Anne was so ill that she had to be [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2013, 07:38
This appears to be a GMAT Hack question of the day. The official explanation from the website is as follows:

Answer: E There's a lot going on in this sentence. First, recognize that the pronoun "their" in the beginning of the underlined passage is correct, as it refers to the plural noun "the Whigs." That eliminates (B) and (D). Next, zero in on the comma. In the underlined passage, you should be able to read around the phrase "hovering nervously," meaning there is no comma separating the clauses "the Whigs had seized upon..." and "Defoe was between upholding...." Since the latter is a complete sentence, a comma should be present. Not only does this eliminate (A), it also knocks out (C) and (D). While both (C) contains commas around the word "nervously," they serve the same purpose as the commas around "hovering nervously" in (A). Choice (E) is the only one remaining, and it is correct.
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Re: At a time when Queen Anne was so ill that she had to be   [#permalink] 06 Oct 2013, 07:38
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