Habits : GMAT Verbal Section
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# Habits

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Director
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28 Dec 2004, 15:23

Many writers of modern English have acquired care less habits that damage the clarity of their prose, but these habits can be broken if they are willing to take the necessary trouble

B. but these habits are breakable

C. but they can break these habits

D. which can be broken

E. Except that can be broken
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Praveen

Last edited by praveen_rao7 on 31 Dec 2004, 17:37, edited 2 times in total.
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28 Dec 2004, 15:48
Hi!
I think I will go for A.

Reason "X will Happen IF Y happens"

So as we see the X structure should be in Future tense. I am sure you are stuck between A/B because even I was but somehow decided on A because it "SOUNDS" better to me and moreover "can be broken" gives better idea about "future uncertainity"

Thanks
Saurabh Malpani
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28 Dec 2004, 22:43
nice.... same as saurabh

A makes sense to me, gives the idea of future conditional... i also stuck between A and B, but now is clear..

Director
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29 Dec 2004, 06:02
guys OA is not A. Lets discuss this some more before I give out OA
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Praveen

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29 Dec 2004, 06:07
B seems probable..
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30 Dec 2004, 10:51
did not see the question. please re-post
Director
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30 Dec 2004, 12:03
patrickpui,
check it out now
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Praveen

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30 Dec 2004, 12:33
I would pick C since A is passive voice with "broken"and C is active voice. GMAT always prefers Active voice.

Will wait for OA...
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30 Dec 2004, 17:30
Well I am sorry I don't see anything wrong with A.

I will still stick to A. For me the SENTENCE wording itself is stupid how can you relate "habbits" and "break" . Habbits are changed, eradicated, or overcome.

Saurabh Malpani
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30 Dec 2004, 18:56
umasudha wrote:
I would pick C since A is passive voice with "broken"and C is active voice. GMAT always prefers Active voice.

Will wait for OA...

You are right, OA is C.

But the real question is.. is it better to have a sentence in a convoluted active voice over a defined passive voice as in choice A. I guess, Gods at GMAC can decide whichever way they want. Any body with a better explanation?. Paul, Praet?
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Praveen

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30 Dec 2004, 21:38
I think both A and C are acceptable answer.

besides the active and passive voice issue, it is a choice between "they" or "these habits". Leading the second clause with "they", which refers back to "many writers" might make the whole sentence a bit clearer...
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30 Dec 2004, 22:30
I can try.

Its common knowledge that active voice is preferable to passive voice. Remember , A is not grammatically incorrect, but the use of passive voice rules it out when compared to choice C.

I dont think there is any problem with picking choice C. Remember the passive voice error in A is much more serious. I dont see a grammatical error in C.

I dont know if it helps, but lets turn the sentence around.

look at C : If they are willing to take the necessary trouble, they can break these habits

look at B : If they are willing to take the necessary trouble, these habits can be broken.

Does it help to see that C's construction is not as awkward as it seems?

I hope i did ok.

You have the right idea praveen. this is the way we should tear apart SC's.

Praetorian
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31 Dec 2004, 13:48
Hmmm, there are many typos here in this question but I agree with what patrickpui and Praet said. There are 2 problems with A:
1- passive voice
2- ambiguous, improper pronoun reference

Let's tear down A:
1st ind. clause: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits that damage the clarity of their prose
conjunction: but
2nd ind. clause: these habits can be broken
conjunction: if
3rd ind. clause: they are willing to take the necessary trouble

The subject of the 1st ind. clause is many writers. The subject of the second ind. clause is habits. The subject of the third clause is they. As you can see, only the third ind. clause has a pronoun instead of a noun as subject. What does that pronoun "they" refer to? It usually refers to the subject of the previous ind. clause and in this case, it is "habits". As you can see, the referent cannot be habits. Therefore, not only is A passive but it also creates an improper pronoun reference for the third ind. clause. C on the other hand properly uses "they" twice to refer to "many writers". Although it may sound repetitive to use "they" in 2 consecutive ind. clauses, the use of "they" is better because it makes the sentence unambiguous. Added to that is the fact that the sentence is in active voice. Clearly C is best.
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Best Regards,

Paul

Last edited by Paul on 02 Jan 2005, 19:24, edited 2 times in total.
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31 Dec 2004, 17:35
That was wonderful. Thanks all.
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Praveen

31 Dec 2004, 17:35
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