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# Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were

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Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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23 Sep 2004, 15:54
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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
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2012, 23:09
The following examples will help.
1. I sent letters to my dad, which contained my travel descriptions (correct)
2. The computers by Apple, which were bought from amazon were not as per apple standards. (correct)
You are right when you say that which should modify the immediately preceding noun but NOT always. A small preposition phrase which modifies the noun often comes in between and this official question is a proof that the GMAT does not consider the "which touch" rule to be iron clad.
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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15 Nov 2012, 04:02
buffaloboy wrote:
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

Please explain the use of which if u got ur ans right....since we know that which modify the noun immediately preceding ..

this is one of the trickier question I have encouter during my prepration but at the same time one of the most dumb

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington.........................outnumber her letters to anyone else

that's it. The rest is only filler

Hope is clear
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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15 Nov 2012, 13:26
Hi @buffaloboy,

Use of "which" is absolutely correct in the correct answer choice. To know the reason why, please read the article by clicking on the following link:
noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html

If you have question regarding the article or this official question, then do post it here.
Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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17 Nov 2012, 09:06
buffaloboy wrote:
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

Please explain the use of which if u got ur ans right....since we know that which modify the noun immediately preceding ..

According to Manhattan GMAT, in general, a noun modifier should touch their nouns, however there are 4 exceptions to this case:
1. A "mission critical" modifier falls in between
2. A very short predicate falls between, shifting a very long modifier back
3. A short non-essential phrase intervenes and is set of by commas
4. The modifier is part of a series of parallel modifiers, one of which touches the noun

In this case, the modifier "to Susan Huntington" is critical for the meaning -> case 1
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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21 Nov 2012, 23:14
I get the right answer but do not understand why A is wrong.

is A not logic?
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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22 Nov 2012, 06:02
thangvietnam wrote:
I get the right answer but do not understand why A is wrong.

is A not logic?

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.

This is wrong.
, ING modifier modifies the entire preceding clause which cannot be the case here.

Cosider the following examples,

I bought the lottery tickets, hoping to win the lottery. CORRECT
here hoping.... modifies the preceding clause i.e it provides reason as to why I bought the lottery.

The teacher was mad at me, asking to come to the principal's office. WRONG
Here asking to me ..... cannot modify the clause "the teacher was mad at me", but rather the ING clause only provides additional information.

Does that help?
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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22 Nov 2012, 18:58
A said

the letter were writen, outnumbering other letters

why this sentence is not logic? comma doing can modify the previous clause.
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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22 Nov 2012, 19:00
Yes it can, and modifying the preceding clause is NOT working in the sense of meaning. Please read the example sentences above.
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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02 Apr 2013, 10:02
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

i picked a.why a is wrong
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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02 Apr 2013, 10:24
I too picked A. Cant see a reason why A wrong and E is correct.
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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02 Apr 2013, 12:07
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Choice A is incorrect because of modifier error.
"outnumbering her letters to anyone else" should modify the letters but its placement is such that it appears to modify the preceding clause.

Notice that comma + verb-ing modify the preceding clause. And this modification does not make sense here. This is because it was not because the letters were written in the specified period that these letters outnumbered the other set of letters. In fact these two actions - were written and outnumber are really two different characteristics of the letters.

Lets consider an example sentence:
The film was shot in a small town of Guthernberg, exceeding expectations of the producers.
This sentence is incorrect since the verb-ing modifier appears to modify preceding clause and in this sentence this modification does not make sense. The fact that the film was shot in a small town did not really lead to exceeding the expectations of the producers.

The correct sentence is:
The film, shot in a small town of Guthernberg, exceeded the expectations of the producers.

The sentence simply states a fact that this film exceeded the expectations. It does not provide any reasoning for the same.

The film received significant critical acclaim, exceeding the expectations of the producers.
This sentence is correct. In this sentence, the verb-ing modifier makes complete sense with the preceding clause. The expectations of the producers were exceeded by virtue of the film receiving significant critical acclaim.

Hope this helps
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2013, 19:10
All duplicate threads on this topic have been merged.

Please check and follow the Guidelines for Posting in Verbal GMAT forum before posting anything.
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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07 May 2013, 06:27
Is outnumber parallel with written please explain the difference between D and E
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2013, 03:09
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egmat wrote:
Hi @buffaloboy,

Use of "which" is absolutely correct in the correct answer choice. To know the reason why, please read the article by clicking on the following link:
noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html

If you have question regarding the article or this official question, then do post it here.
Hope this helps.
Thanks.

I have following reason to eliminate option 'A'.
please correct me if my line of reasoning is wrong.

In option 'A' "outnumbering" "-ing modifier" takes tense from the clause it is modifying.
In option "A' tense is past,which would not be correct.
because emily dickinson letter to susan still outnumber her letter to anyone else i.e. a facts,so simple present is correct,while the tense of a clause is past tense.

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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2013, 09:48
WarriorGmat wrote:
egmat wrote:
Hi @buffaloboy,

Use of "which" is absolutely correct in the correct answer choice. To know the reason why, please read the article by clicking on the following link:
noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html

If you have question regarding the article or this official question, then do post it here.
Hope this helps.
Thanks.

I have following reason to eliminate option 'A'.
please correct me if my line of reasoning is wrong.

In option 'A' "outnumbering" "-ing modifier" takes tense from the clause it is modifying.
In option "A' tense is past,which would not be correct.
because emily dickinson letter to susan still outnumber her letter to anyone else i.e. a facts,so simple present is correct,while the tense of a clause is past tense.

Bingo!!
Outnumbering should not be used here ... precisely for the reason you have stated
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2013, 02:21
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ankurgupta03 wrote:
WarriorGmat wrote:
egmat wrote:
Hi @buffaloboy,

Use of "which" is absolutely correct in the correct answer choice. To know the reason why, please read the article by clicking on the following link:
noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html

If you have question regarding the article or this official question, then do post it here.
Hope this helps.
Thanks.

I have following reason to eliminate option 'A'.
please correct me if my line of reasoning is wrong.

In option 'A' "outnumbering" "-ing modifier" takes tense from the clause it is modifying.
In option "A' tense is past,which would not be correct.
because emily dickinson letter to susan still outnumber her letter to anyone else i.e. a facts,so simple present is correct,while the tense of a clause is past tense.

Bingo!!
Outnumbering should not be used here ... precisely for the reason you have stated

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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2013, 12:45
is the participle is A, modifying 1886? that is my 1st question. Someone please answer who is sure of it
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2013, 21:20
WaterFlowsUp wrote:
is the participle is A, modifying 1886? that is my 1st question. Someone please answer who is sure of it

Definitely not "1886" (and I am sure about it:)). In this case, it is modifying the entire clause, but the meaning is not making sense. The fact that letters "over a period of time", is not in anyway related to the fact that those letters outnumbered Emily Dickinson’s letters to anyone else.
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2013, 21:58
1. Participle does modify the attached noun, isn't it? So in this case if we try to assume that it is modifying 1886 thus providing a time frame how would that be wrong??
2. participle can also modify subject/verb/clause , it has the flexibility. correct? then can we say it is modifying letters?
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2013, 22:02
Ashish, Outnumber is a verb. In that case it can only modifiy another verb. so does it modify "letters were written" ?
if yes, can we say verb modifies the letters aptly so that we can rule out options with 'outnumbering'?
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were   [#permalink] 23 Jul 2013, 22:02

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