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Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially

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Re: WANTED TO KNOW WHY option B is wrong over here [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2012, 00:43
Marcab wrote:
Hii NonYankee.
Can you elaborate on one issue here?
"Contruction of the Roman Colosseum" intoduces a prepositional phrase here-"the Roman Colosseum". Since the prepositional phrase can't contain the subject, then how can "which" refer to "Roman Colosseum"?
Thanks in advance .


Hi Marcab,

First, I don't know why you said that the prepositional phrase can't contain the subject. Is that a rule?

Second, the prepositional phrase doesn't contain the subject. The (simple) subject is construction.

Third, why wouldn't which be allowed to refer to Roman Colosseum?

Consider the following sentences:
She's a friend of my brother Rudolph.
She's a friend of my brother, whom you've met.

Both have as a subject She. Both have as a prepositional object brother. One follows the prepositional object with an appositive; one follows the prepositional object with a non-restrictive relative clause. Both sentences apply modifyers to the object of the preposition, and both are grammatically correct.

You might find these pages worth reading:
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/phrases.htm
http://www2.gsu.edu/~eslhpb/grammar/lec ... ative.html
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Re: WANTED TO KNOW WHY option B is wrong over here [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2012, 00:51
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Marcab wrote:
Hii NonYankee.
Can you elaborate on one issue here?
"Contruction of the Roman Colosseum" intoduces a prepositional phrase here-"the Roman Colosseum". Since the prepositional phrase can't contain the subject, then how can "which" refer to "Roman Colosseum"?
Thanks in advance .

Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, was completed a decade later, during the reign of Titus, who opened the Colosseum with a one-hundred-day cycle of religious pageants, gladiatorial games, and spectacles.

a) which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian,
b) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
c)which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
d) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater and begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian it
e) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, which was begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and

1. which modifies Colosseum and not construction.
2. subject of the main verbs in the sentence, however, is construction and not the Colosseum.
Is that what you are talking about Marcab?
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Re: WANTED TO KNOW WHY option B is wrong over here [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2012, 00:55
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In an other case if you are referring to the "which touches the preceding noun" rule and its exception, remember that the rule is flexible. This is difference between SC and Quant in that grammar is not as hardcore as algebra is.

I sent letters to my dad, which got lost in the post office.
Which modifies letters and "to my dad" is a small prepositional phrase.

I sent letters to the post office, which failed to deliver them to my dad.
Here, which modifies the post office.

hope this helps!
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Re: WANTED TO KNOW WHY option B is wrong over here [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2012, 01:10
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NonYankee wrote:
Marcab wrote:
Hii NonYankee.
Can you elaborate on one issue here?
"Contruction of the Roman Colosseum" intoduces a prepositional phrase here-"the Roman Colosseum". Since the prepositional phrase can't contain the subject, then how can "which" refer to "Roman Colosseum"?
Thanks in advance .


Hi Marcab,

First, I don't know why you said that the prepositional phrase can't contain the subject. Is that a rule?

Second, the prepositional phrase doesn't contain the subject. The (simple) subject is construction.

Third, why wouldn't which be allowed to refer to Roman Colosseum?

Consider the following sentences:
She's a friend of my brother Rudolph.
She's a friend of my brother, whom you've met.

Both have as a subject She. Both have as a prepositional object brother. One follows the prepositional object with an appositive; one follows the prepositional object with a non-restrictive relative clause. Both sentences apply modifyers to the object of the preposition, and both are grammatically correct.

You might find these pages worth reading:
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/phrases.htm
http://www2.gsu.edu/~eslhpb/grammar/lec ... ative.html


consider these sentences:
1)Angela, along with the other leaders of EU, wants Spain to get a bailout.
Here "along with the other leaders of EU" is a part of prepositional phrase.

2) The box of nails, which was kept upon the table, was black in color.
Here we are referring to box.

Since "construction of the Roman Colosseum" also introduces a prepositional phrase, thats why I was confused.

1) http://www.ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar/f ... subjpp.htm
As per this link, the prepositional phrases as subjects typically refer to only time and space.

2)www.chompchomp.com/terms/prepositionalphrase.htm
As per this link, the prepositional phrases never act as subjects.
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Re: WANTED TO KNOW WHY option B is wrong over here [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2012, 01:47
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souvik101990 wrote:
Marcab wrote:
Hii NonYankee.
Can you elaborate on one issue here?
"Contruction of the Roman Colosseum" intoduces a prepositional phrase here-"the Roman Colosseum". Since the prepositional phrase can't contain the subject, then how can "which" refer to "Roman Colosseum"?
Thanks in advance .

Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, was completed a decade later, during the reign of Titus, who opened the Colosseum with a one-hundred-day cycle of religious pageants, gladiatorial games, and spectacles.

a) which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian,
b) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
c)which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
d) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater and begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian it
e) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, which was begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and

1. which modifies Colosseum and not construction.
2. subject of the main verbs in the sentence, however, is construction and not the Colosseum.
Is that what you are talking about Marcab?


Hii Souvik.
Can you please elaborate on the blue part?
Also consider this sentence:
Neither of these cookbooks contains the recipe for Manhattan-style squid eyeball stew.

In BDE, what is "officially known as....." modifying? Is it Construction or the Colosseum.
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Re: WANTED TO KNOW WHY option B is wrong over here [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2012, 01:52
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which modifies Colosseum and not construction.

It is NOT the case that, just because there is a prepositional phrase after a noun, the first noun is automatically the modified noun.

Rather, IF there is a noun followed by an essential description (typically accomplished via a short prepositional phrase), then it is POSSIBLE for that first noun to be the main noun to which the following noun modifier applies. But this does not have to be the case - it could still be the case that the noun right before the comma (that is, the noun in the prepositional phrase) is the modified noun.

The presence of a short, essential descriptor simply makes the sentence more flexible. The default is to assume that the immediately preceding noun is the modified noun, unless that flexibility exists, in which case the main noun could be the modified noun. This is an exception - it does not happen that often.

-excerpt from Stacey Koprince on this issue.
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Re: WANTED TO KNOW WHY option B is wrong over here [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2012, 02:25
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So in simple words, what she means to say is Follow the rule but be flexible.
Am i right?
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Re: WANTED TO KNOW WHY option B is wrong over here [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2012, 02:30
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Marcab wrote:
So in simple words, what she means to say is Follow the rule but be flexible.
Am i right?


Yes. Exactly.
However, I do want to emphasis that the RULE is that "which touches the noun preceding it". But it sometime is violated for some hard GMAT question such as this.

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.
A. Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering
B. Dickinson were written over a period that begins a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ended shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber
C. Dickinson, written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and that ends shortly before Emily’s death in 1886 and outnumbering
D. Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother, ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, and outnumbering
E. Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber

[Reveal] Spoiler:
OA is E

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Re: WANTED TO KNOW WHY option B is wrong over here [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2012, 03:40
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souvik101990 wrote:
Marcab wrote:
So in simple words, what she means to say is Follow the rule but be flexible.
Am i right?


Yes. Exactly.
However, I do want to emphasis that the RULE is that "which touches the noun preceding it". But it sometime is violated for some hard GMAT question such as this.

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.
A. Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering
B. Dickinson were written over a period that begins a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ended shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber
C. Dickinson, written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and that ends shortly before Emily’s death in 1886 and outnumbering
D. Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother, ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, and outnumbering
E. Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber

[Reveal] Spoiler:
OA is E


Thats the question which showcases my point.
"which" will modify the noun preceding it but in case if the noun before "which" is a part of "prepositional phrase", then it will modify the "noun before the prepositional phrase".
Answer choice
[Reveal] Spoiler:
E
does exactly the same.

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, which were...bla bla.
Now It will be great if you or anyone explain me when to apply the "touch rule" and when its "exception".

Moreover what does the "officially known as the ....." modify? Is it "construction" or is it "colosseum"?
How to move further with the correct split i.e. "which was officially known as" vs "officially known as"?
Thanks in advance
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Re: WANTED TO KNOW WHY option B is wrong over here [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2012, 04:06
Great discussions going on!!!
I want to add this article here. It might help you to clarify your doubts.
noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html
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Re: WANTED TO KNOW WHY option B is wrong over here [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2012, 04:16
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Marcab wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
Marcab wrote:
So in simple words, what she means to say is Follow the rule but be flexible.
Am i right?


Yes. Exactly.
However, I do want to emphasis that the RULE is that "which touches the noun preceding it". But it sometime is violated for some hard GMAT question such as this.

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.
A. Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering
B. Dickinson were written over a period that begins a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ended shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber
C. Dickinson, written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and that ends shortly before Emily’s death in 1886 and outnumbering
D. Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother, ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, and outnumbering
E. Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber

[Reveal] Spoiler:
OA is E


Thats the question which showcases my point.
"which" will modify the noun preceding it but in case if the noun before "which" is a part of "prepositional phrase", then it will modify the "noun before the prepositional phrase".
Answer choice
[Reveal] Spoiler:
E
does exactly the same.

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, which were...bla bla.
Now It will be great if you or anyone explain me when to apply the "touch rule" and when its "exception".

Moreover what does the "officially known as the ....." modify? Is it "construction" or is it "colosseum"?
How to move further with the correct split i.e. "which was officially known as" vs "officially known as"?
Thanks in advance



Marcab,
There are 2 VERY important things that you have to know here:
1. Grammar is flexible. You can't assign very stringent rules and that makes them more painful/interesting. Modifiers are most important to things that they modify and that changes with logic and meaning.
Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.

In this example the "which must touch the preceding noun" is violated just to establish the fact that grammar is not always mechanical.
But that does not mean that the touch rule is completely invalid for prepositional phrases. It still has its weight.
But there is a bigger picture here
ALMOST ALL SENTENCE CORRECTION ANSWER CHOICES ARE WRONG BECAUSE OF MULTIPLE REASONS
If you see the above example "outnumbering" does not apply AT ALL as an ING modifier will always modify the entire preceding clause and that distorts the meaning. So we go with a better "outnumber".

As to your second question:
both "officially known as" and "which is known has" have nothing inherently wrong with them and both refer to the Colosseum not because there are specific rules but simply because "which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater" or " officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater" CAN NOT refer to "construction". So just because the Colosseum is wrapped in a prep phrase does not make it too impotent to be modified.

But then Colosseum, however is still not the subject. Remember that modifiers can modify nouns. These nouns CAN or CAN NOT be the main subject of the sentence. In this particular sentence the main verbs "was began" and "was completed" can only make sense if the subject is construction.

So bottom line is, Rules do not make subjects/verbs/tenses. Logic and meaning does.
Does this help?
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Re: WANTED TO KNOW WHY option B is wrong over here [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2012, 04:19
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SOURH7WK wrote:
Great discussions going on!!!
I want to add this article here. It might help you to clarify your doubts.
noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html


Yeah the point I am trying to make is that they CAN does not mean they ALWAYS WILL.
And more often than not, noun modifiers will touch.
If they do not, pat yourself on the back because you just got a hard question and that always means good doesnt it? :D
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Re: Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2012, 12:08
My take on the above question...
it is 30 seconds question.

Begun cannot be used without has, have or had. Hence C,D and E are out.
We need to connect two ideas which are pointing towards a common topic by a parallel indicator. hence and should be used in between "Began, during the reign.....and Was completed" to show that they are parallel.

Hence A is out and C remains
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Re: Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2013, 16:42
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C is correct.
Bugun cannot be used alone. It can be used only with had/has/have
and is required at the end to connect the two clauses.
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Re: Roman Colosseum [#permalink] New post 07 Apr 2013, 20:41
for B) can the sentence begun in A.D. 69 refer to the Construction of the Roman Colosseum ?

Construction of the Roman Colosseum, begun in A.D. 69,.....
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Re: Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially [#permalink] New post 09 May 2013, 01:45
All duplicate threads on this topic have been merged.

Please read and follow the Guidelines for Posting in Verbal GMAT forum before posting anything.
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Re: Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2013, 22:41
KC wrote:
Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, was completed a decade later, during the reign of Titus, who opened the Colosseum with a one-hundred-day cycle of religious pageants, gladiatorial games, and spectacles.

A. which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian,
B. officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
C. which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
D. officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater and begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian it
E. officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, which was begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and



(1) "Begin" is intransitive verb which does not require more elements to make it complete meaning. ==> E is out
(2) We need "and" to connect two parts of the sentence ==> A, D are out.

Between B and C, B is wrong because of "begun" which is not correct past tense of "begin"

Only C is correct.

Hope it helps.
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Re: relative pronoun problem !!!! [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2013, 00:01
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zuberahmed wrote:
Relative pronouns such as which, that, who etc. should always touch the noun they are modifying. This is called the relative pronoun touch rule.

Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was: in this sentence the pronoun 'which' is modifying The Roman Colosseum. This is correct and should be the intented meaning of the sentence.

Construction of the Roman Colosseum, offi cially known : In this sentence the ...officially known.. phrase modifies the subject of the main clause i.e. Construction of the Roamn Colesseum. This is wrong.


I beg to differ on the point made about Relative pronouns. In some cases relative pronouns can modify a far off noun. Fro e.g.

The committee chose Mr. Smith of Left Block, who was the most experienced member, to lead all the management-related operations.

This sentence is correct, even though the relative pronoun "Who" is not placed next to the Noun "Mr. Smith" that it modifies. Since Mr.Smith is followed by "of Left Block" which is a prepositional phrase , "Mr.Smith of Left Block" becomes a noun phrase. In this case who correctly modifies this noun phrase.
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Re: Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2013, 04:19
Got cleared. Thanks a ton for sharing.
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Re: Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2013, 01:18
hello all,

I did this question from OG, and am having a doubt here. I was confused in C and E

The explanation of OG says that both the verb forms, began and was constructed should be in same form, and i am unable to grasp this fact. Could some one please highlight why both verb forms should be in same tense ??

Thanx in advance!! :) :)
Re: Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially   [#permalink] 03 Jul 2013, 01:18
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