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In most social systems, minority groups eventually demand

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In most social systems, minority groups eventually demand [#permalink] New post 16 Apr 2013, 09:41
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Question Stats:

40% (01:47) correct 60% (00:58) wrong based on 132 sessions
In most social systems, minority groups eventually demand from the people in power that they have the right to practice their particular religion without restriction.

A.from the people in power that they have the right to practice

B.that the people in power give them the right of practicing

C.to have the right, from the ones in power, to practice

D.the right, from those in power, of practicing

E.from those in power the right to practice
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: In most social systems, minority groups eventually demand fr [#permalink] New post 16 Apr 2013, 11:13
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rajatr wrote:
In most social systems, minority groups eventually demand from the people in power that they have the right to practice their particular religion without restriction.
A. from the people in power that they have the right to practice
B. that the people in power give them the right of practicing
C. to have the right, from the ones in power, to practice
D. the right, from those in power, of practicing
E. from those in power the right to practice

Dear rajatr,
I'm happy to help with this. :-) This is a good question.

The prompt is a pronoun trainwreck ---- "that they have" --- the pronoun "they" is supposed to refer to the "minority groups", but it's closer to "the people in power" --- tension between what the grammar implies and what the intended meaning is. (A) is out.

The correct idiom is "right to practice" --- the wording "right of practicing" is awkward and unidiomatic --- (B) & (D) are out.

Since the whole end of the sentence, after the underlined phrase, describes modifies the right for which the minorities are asking, it is more elegant to have the "from" preposition right after the verb, rather than have it come between the "right" and the clause that modifiers this noun. (C) has this problem, and (C) is just a flaccid wordy nightmare of an answer.

(E) is sleek and elegant. It is grammatically correct, and finds a remarkably direct and concise way to express the idea. (E) is by far the best answer here.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Last edited by mikemcgarry on 17 Apr 2013, 17:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In most social systems, minority groups eventually demand [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2013, 17:08
IMO: E

In most social systems, minority groups eventually demand from the people in power that they have the right to practice their particular religion without restriction.

A.from the people in power that they have the right to practice
Wrong. "They" is not clear, we may understand that "they" is "the people"

B.that the people in power give them the right of practicing
Wrong. "the right of practicing" is not good, it should be "the right to practice"

C.to have the right, from the ones in power, to practice
Wrong. "demand to have" is incorrect idiom.

D.the right, from those in power, of practicing
Wrong. "of practicing" is wrong.

E.from those in power the right to practice
I picked E because E is the best, however I'm not convinced by E because the right idiom should be "demand something from someone". But in this question the idiom is "demand from someone something".

Experts please help.
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Re: In most social systems, minority groups eventually demand [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2013, 17:43
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pqhai wrote:
E.from those in power the right to practice
I picked E because E is the best, however I'm not convinced by E because the right idiom should be "demand something from someone". But in this question the idiom is "demand from someone something".

Experts please help.

Dear pqhai,
In this idiom, use of the preposition "from" is crucial to the idiom --- for example, the idiom would be incorrectly constructed with another preposition. But word order is not crucial. The placement of a prepositional phrase in a sentence often has some wiggle room. Admittedly, it might sound awkward if the order were just changed for no reason whatsoever (e.g. "The child demands from his mother attention." Hmmm. Awkward.) Here, though, we have a compelling reason. The structure "demand something from someone" would be inappropriate because the "something" is a noun, the right, with a long modifier, to practice their particular religion without restriction. It would make no sense to have the structure

demand something [long long long long modifier] from someone

This sentence, simply in moving the preposition for a good reason (a perfectly legal move), works around this problem:

demand from someone something [long long long long modifier]

This is an elegant solution.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: In most social systems, minority groups eventually demand [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2013, 18:13
mikemcgarry wrote:
pqhai wrote:
E.from those in power the right to practice
I picked E because E is the best, however I'm not convinced by E because the right idiom should be "demand something from someone". But in this question the idiom is "demand from someone something".

Experts please help.

Dear pqhai,
In this idiom, use of the preposition "from" is crucial to the idiom --- for example, the idiom would be incorrectly constructed with another preposition. But word order is not crucial. The placement of a prepositional phrase in a sentence often has some wiggle room. Admittedly, it might sound awkward if the order were just changed for no reason whatsoever (e.g. "The child demands from his mother attention." Hmmm. Awkward.) Here, though, we have a compelling reason. The structure "demand something from someone" would be inappropriate because the "something" is a noun, the right, with a long modifier, to practice their particular religion without restriction. It would make no sense to have the structure

demand something [long long long long modifier] from someone

This sentence, simply in moving the preposition for a good reason (a perfectly legal move), works around this problem:

demand from someone something [long long long long modifier]

This is an elegant solution.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)


@Mike.
Thanks so much. You're genius!!! I got your point.
Regards.
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Chris Bangle - Former BMV Chief of Design.

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Re: In most social systems, minority groups eventually demand [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2013, 08:48
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pqhai wrote:
@Mike.
Thanks so much. You're genius!!! I got your point.
Regards.

Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad I could be of help.
Mike :-)
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In most social systems, minority groups eventually demand [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2014, 08:00
mikemcgarry wrote:
pqhai wrote:
E.from those in power the right to practice
I picked E because E is the best, however I'm not convinced by E because the right idiom should be "demand something from someone". But in this question the idiom is "demand from someone something".

Experts please help.

Dear pqhai,
In this idiom, use of the preposition "from" is crucial to the idiom --- for example, the idiom would be incorrectly constructed with another preposition. But word order is not crucial. The placement of a prepositional phrase in a sentence often has some wiggle room. Admittedly, it might sound awkward if the order were just changed for no reason whatsoever (e.g. "The child demands from his mother attention." Hmmm. Awkward.) Here, though, we have a compelling reason. The structure "demand something from someone" would be inappropriate because the "something" is a noun, the right, with a long modifier, to practice their particular religion without restriction. It would make no sense to have the structure

demand something [long long long long modifier] from someone

This sentence, simply in moving the preposition for a good reason (a perfectly legal move), works around this problem:

demand from someone something [long long long long modifier]

This is an elegant solution.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)


Mike,

'Those' is a demonstrative pronoun. So doesn't it have to have an antecedent? I ruled out E because of the usage of 'those'. It cannot refer back to either the 'social systems' or the 'minority groups'.

My inability to judge on issues like these always costs me a lot. I'm never able to figure out there subtleties in the GMAT SC questions, because of which i'm always struggling to get questions right.
Please advise.
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Re: In most social systems, minority groups eventually demand [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2014, 10:36
Expert's post
gauravkaushik8591 wrote:
Mike,

'Those' is a demonstrative pronoun. So doesn't it have to have an antecedent? I ruled out E because of the usage of 'those'. It cannot refer back to either the 'social systems' or the 'minority groups'.

My inability to judge on issues like these always costs me a lot. I'm never able to figure out there subtleties in the GMAT SC questions, because of which i'm always struggling to get questions right.
Please advise.

Dear gauravkaushik8591,
My friend, I am happy to respond. :-) With all due respect, your thinking is too black & white. Of course demonstrative pronouns have antecedents. ALL pronouns have antecedents: otherwise, we wouldn't know to what they refer!! Here's the important distinction: demonstrative pronouns have a different relationship with their antecedents than do personal pronouns.
Personal pronouns are ABSOLUTE IDENTICAL to their antecedents. The "him" or "her" or "it" or "them" later in a sentence must be the identical self-same person or group mentioned earlier in the sentence.
Demonstrative pronouns allow for more flexibility, and can accommodate what we might call a relationship by analogy. A demonstrative pronoun does not have to refer to the exact same thing: it could refer to a different item or set with an analogous role to one mentioned earlier in the sentence.
Thus, this sentence is logically incorrect:
The fence around my house is higher than it is around Kevin's house.
That sentence is a trainwreck. Obviously, the same fence is not around both my house and Kevin's house. We are obviously trying to compare two different fences, but the personal pronoun forces us to identify the second fence with the first: grammar in full defiance of logic! This is precisely why we need a demonstrative pronoun:
The fence around my house is higher than that around Kevin's house.
That's perfectly correct. The pronoun "that" has an antecedent in the word "fence." The word "that" refers to a fence, but not the SAME fence. It refers to another fence, a second fence, the one that is in the analogous position around Kevin's house. All this allows for the proper comparison of two different fences.

Now, here is (E), the OA of this sentence:
In most social systems, minority groups eventually demand from those in power the right to practice their particular religion without restriction.
This one is very tricky. The sentence mentions "minority groups" in a "social system" -- by implication, we are talking about "some people in a social system." The "those" curiously has "minority groups" as an antecedent, not referring to those exact people, but referring by analogy to other people in the same social system, namely, those people in the same social system that wield power. Think about it: for any given minority group, we would know exactly to whom the "those" refers, even though these exact people have not been mentioned explicitly at all. That is the magic of demonstrative pronouns.

The pronoun-antecedent relationship for personal pronouns is extremely clear and easy to understand. It's much more subtle for demonstrative pronouns, and involves sophisticated analogical thinking. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that the relationship personal pronouns have with their antecedents is the only relationship that any pronoun can have with its antecedent. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that grammar is black & white like mathematics: it's much more subtle, involving the full capacities of the human mind for implication, imagination, and creativity. If a human being can think an idea, then there's a way to say it in a grammatically correct manner: that's how much grammar has to encompass.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: In most social systems, minority groups eventually demand   [#permalink] 11 Sep 2014, 10:36
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