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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] New post 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 Dickinson [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2010, 23:19
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Let us appreciate, that the gist of the passage is that Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan outnumber Emily’s letters to any one else (even today-so we use the present tense verb - outnumber) and the writing of the letters over some period is just an incidental factor to the main action. If you remove the parenthetical and inessential content, then the main purpose will pop up. This will facilitate dropping all the choices containing – outnumbering i.e A ,C and D

Between B and E, B is awful with out a conjunction to connect the verb - outnumber -with the first part of the passage, turning the sentence into a run-on. E is the choice.
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Re: Emily Dickinson [#permalink] New post 05 Nov 2010, 07:41
daagh wrote:
Let us appreciate, that the gist of the passage is that Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan outnumber Emily’s letters to any one else (even today-so we use the present tense verb - outnumber) and the writing of the letters over some period is just an incidental factor to the main action. If you remove the parenthetical and inessential content, then the main purpose will pop up. This will facilitate dropping all the choices containing – outnumbering i.e A ,C and D

Between B and E, B is awful with out a conjunction to connect the verb - outnumber -with the first part of the passage, turning the sentence into a run-on. E is the choice.


This is a nice trick for long sentences like this one.
I guess I was misled by lack of commas (which are always very helpful for dropping unnecessary parts of the clause). Thus, I though that "were" was the main verb of the clause, while "outnumbering" is the consequence.
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Re: emily [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2011, 14:32
why is "outnumbering " wrong in A


kissthegmat wrote:
amolsk11 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 beginsa 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 1886and 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



Answer is E definitely!

I solved it in different manner, I didn't bothered much about "Which". As "outnumbering" doesn't make sense we are left with only B and E option.

In Option B check out the highlighted portion above, the portion which makes this choice wrong. The highlighted portions needs to be in same tense. So we are left with only choice E.

Also, I think this questions is from OGs as this questions seems familiar!
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Re: emily [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2011, 01:10
OA is E...for A, outnumbering can't be the result of "were written over a period...", so here it's a logic problem, rather than a grammatical problem...

But I dont understand why in E we can use "outnumber", which is a present tense...should we use past tense here because "were written" appears in this sentence? Thx!
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Re: emily [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2011, 10:59
got the 'which' part. so both A and E are grammatically correct.
So the issue now remains that of meaning.
Choice A emphasizes on the period during which the letters were written.
Choice E emphasizes on the fact that the letters outnumber her letters to anyone else.

Usually if there is nothing wrong with the meaning in A, we stick to it assuming that it is the author's intended meaning.

Why do we switch to the meaning in E here?


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Re: Emily Dickinson's Letters [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2011, 03:41
So both A and E are grammatically correct.
However, according to me meaning in A is correct.
also A seems more concise than E which adds a 'which' modifier unnecessarily. A clearly says ..were written.

Any specific views?
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Re: Emily Dickinson's Letters [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2011, 05:09
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The switch in the focus of the meaning in E is necessitated because, the important thing here is not that the letters were written over some period, but the fact that in terms of sheer quantity, they are unprecedented even as of today and perhaps for ever after these days of digital and electronic revolution, some kind of unbreakable world record. That is the reason that these letters are valued. This is also the reason for using a present tense verb outnumber rather than outnumbered


I agree A and E are grammatically correct but haven't we accepted that GMAT is beyond just grammar
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Re: Emily Dickinson's Letters [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2011, 11:00
Thanks daagh.

I agree that Sentence correction is more than the grammar rules.

I totally understand how E is correct.

I am more concerned about why A is incorrect. Can you explain more clearly what is wrong with A's meaning. To me, A's meaning totally makes sense. So why not stick to the meaning in the original sentence? How do you know that the intended focus is the one in E? :-( I had initially eliminated E for the which modifier issue discussed above. Am clear with that but stuck on the meaning part now.

I find nothing wrong with A's meaning. How do we know that the focus is meant to be on the letters and not the period?
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Re: Emily Dickinson's Letters [#permalink] New post 23 Aug 2011, 04:33
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IMO, when you focus on writing the letters or the period during which they were written that is no great matter. That they outnumber others’ letter is something that the passage tries to impress. This is an inference; but this perception may vary from person to person and there is bound to be a difference of opinion
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Re: Emily Dickinson's Letters [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2011, 03:01
there is also a grammar issue in A. 'outnumbering' acts as a modifier of the clause that precedes it. it implies that the 'outnumbering of letters' is either a direct consuquence of the clause or simultaneously occurs with the clause. Neither makes sense. so the choice is incorrect grammatically.
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Re: Emily Dickinson's Letters [#permalink] New post 02 Sep 2011, 10:18
Nice explanations papillon86...

Think kissthegmat way is also a better one, avoids the conflicts...

+1 to both of you...
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Re: Emily Dickinson's Letters [#permalink] New post 02 Sep 2011, 10:52
E.

Letter is the subject here. X outnumber Y.
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Emily Dickinson s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2012, 17:08
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

Can Someone break down Each Answer Choice.
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Re: Emily Dickinson SC Question [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2012, 20:45
I thought the usage of which is wrong in E...Please clarify?
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Re: Emily Dickinson SC Question [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2012, 09:49
wsage of which is wrong in E. I will go with A
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Re: Emily Dickinson SC Question [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2012, 10:22
kindly go to this link...already covered in detail...
emily-dickinsons-letters-to-susan-huntington-dickinson-were-53522.html?fl=similar
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Re: Emily Dickinson SC Question [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2012, 11:20
I understand what the other posts are saying on the other thread. It can be summarized as follows: As long as the which clearly refers to the subject of the sentence, not the object of the preposition, the use of which is absolutely correct.

Does anyone have anymore questions like this???

What better way to learn then to practice on similar questions.
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Re: Emily Dickinson SC Question [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2012, 05:15
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. Distorts the meaning.
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. This sentence does not has a main Verb. It is a fragment.
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......Correct.

What this sentence is saying is, Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington outnumber her letters to anyone else.
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Re: Emily Dickinson SC Question [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2012, 06:12
A looks fair but i think E would be apt ..

the begginning of sentence would only make sense that way...
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Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2012, 10:22
This was definitely a tough question.

The answer I picked was E:

A. The verb-ing modifier "outnumbering" was the reason I did not pick this answer. This modifier should be modifying the entire clause. However, it doesn't seem to do that. Rather, outnumbering seems to be like an afterthought of the main clause.

B. The word "begins" is in the wrong tense - it should be "began" which is in the simple past tense. Also, there are parallelism issues here - "that begins" is not parallel to "ended."

C. The modifier starting with "written" modifies the noun phrase "Emily Dickinson's..." but there is no main verb to finish off the sentence. Therefore, this sentence is fragment and cannot be the correct answer. Also, there is a parallelism issue here with "beginning" and "that ends."

D. This sentence seems to put equal emphasis on beginning, ending and outnumbering. Although it appears to be parallel, this is superficial parallelism. We are talking about when the letters were written - beginning before the marriage and ending shortly before Emily's death. So, outnumbering should not be part of the parallel elements because it doesn't logically make sense. Also, the main clause does not have main verb, so this is a sentence fragment.

E. This sentence maintains parallelism and there is good SV agreement. At first I thought "which" modifies Susan Huntington Dickinson, but upon careful analysis, I know that it doesn't make sense. My reason was because the "to Susan..." phrase can't be clearly placed anywhere else without causing confusion. For example, if we put that phrase after the giant modifier, the sentence becomes confusing.
Re: Emily Dickinsons letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were   [#permalink] 08 Mar 2012, 10:22
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