In the minds of many people living in England, before : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# In the minds of many people living in England, before

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In the minds of many people living in England, before [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2009, 21:29
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In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.
(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes
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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2009, 21:46
A
original sentence is grammatically CORRECT
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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2009, 03:24
nitya34 wrote:
A
original sentence is grammatically CORRECT

Nitya ,Do you mind to eloborate what is incorrect in the other answer choices?
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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2009, 03:46
Australia cant be "the opposite pole to civilization"-->hence C OUT
E-out due to past perfect tense--WRONG
B-changes MEANING -->as if ANTIPODES came up before AUSTRALIA etc
D--also does not make much sense..others may add further

kaushik04 wrote:
In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.
(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes

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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2009, 00:52
nitya34 wrote:
Australia cant be "the opposite pole to civilization"-->hence C OUT
E-out due to past perfect tense--WRONG
B-changes MEANING -->as if ANTIPODES came up before AUSTRALIA etc
D--also does not make much sense..others may add further

kaushik04 wrote:
In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.
(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes

I don't understand what the SC is trying to convey. Why Australia cant be "the opposite pole to civilization"?
Are you rejecting C for logical reasons?
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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2009, 01:41
Modifier issue
...that was Australia,the opposite pole to..
check the right side of underlined portion
YogaGirl wrote:
nitya34 wrote:
Australia cant be "the opposite pole to civilization"-->hence C OUT
E-out due to past perfect tense--WRONG
B-changes MEANING -->as if ANTIPODES came up before AUSTRALIA etc
D--also does not make much sense..others may add further

kaushik04 wrote:
In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.
(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes

I don't understand what the SC is trying to convey. Why Australia cant be "the opposite pole to civilization"?
Are you rejecting C for logical reasons?

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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2009, 19:05
What is the Source..

This SC sound little awkward to me. None of the choices looks great..
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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2009, 23:10
A is the best choice.
I concur with Nitya in explanations
kaushik04 wrote:
In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.
(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes
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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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12 Mar 2009, 00:15
x2suresh wrote:
What is the Source..

This SC sound little awkward to me. None of the choices looks great..

Suresh, I have seen this SC in the GMAT verbal book. The explanations given by Nitya are similar to the explanations given in the book.
But Iam still not contented with the explanations
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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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18 Mar 2009, 10:49
I think this sentence has pronoun errors...

In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.
(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
- IMO - atleast "it" has reference "Australia" - verb is ok - so ostensibly good
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
- "there" means where? Reference issue
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
- May be "it" is referring to England (which is actually wrong) but "that" has no reference
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
- what was antipodes?? What has no clear reference
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes
- "had been" - past perfect+passive!!
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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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05 Jun 2010, 10:25
Why is the Past Perfect wrong in E?

"Australia was what had been known as the antipodes" seems right because the antipodes started in the past and continued to some point in the past (when named Australia).
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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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05 Jun 2010, 10:46
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In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.
(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes

Background : Australia was discovered after a very long time on Earth and England used to refer Australia as the opposite pole to civilization - i.e. opposite to North Pole. Antipodes means the opposite pole i.e. South Pole. Australia was considered obscure, unimaginable place and end of the world.

Now back to SC.

B : "there" is considered passive in gmat. OUT
C : antipodes was not Australia. There is a meaning change. antipodes and Australia are not interchangeable. OUT
D : what is an awkward way to refer to Australia. OUT
E : what is an awkward way to refer to Australia. OUT

A : means that before Australia was known, it was called the antipodes. Bulls eye.

Hence A
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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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05 Jun 2010, 23:47
What does 'it' refer tooo?

Regards
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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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05 Jun 2010, 23:52
Which it are you talking about? Pls explain.
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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2010, 00:54
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You've done a good job working out the intended meaning! Now, let's get comfortable with the grammatical issues in play:

In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.
(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes

A. "before Australia was Australia," means, "before the land mass was a country." "it was the antipodes" means, "Australia was the antipodes."

B. "before there was Australia" means that, at one time, there was no such place. But the place has always existed; it has just been considered something different, namely, the end of the world.

C. There are no grammatical issues here-- only the meaning is incorrect. "It was the antipodes that was Australia" is a structure that creates emphasis. For example, "It polluters, not consumers, that are the problem." "It is price levels, rather than supply and demand, that reflect consumer attitudes." But this sentence did not intend to emphasize that it was the antipodes (as opposed to something else) that was Australia.

D. Again, just he meaning is wrong. "Australia was what was the antipodes" means that Australia was something that the antipodes once was as well. (Sound like gibberish? That's because it is gibberish!)

E. "Australia was what had been known as the antipodes" indicates that Australia is no longer the thing that had previously been thought to be the antipodes. The past simple ('was') indicates that the action is over. But Australia still is the land that once was thought to be the antipodes.

Certainly one of the more challenging questions!

-Sarai

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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2010, 01:07
Hi SaraiGMAXonline

Please clarify if this understanding is correct

1. I think B and D have the same problem - Australia = antipode and vice-versa. Making the terms interchangeable. OUT

2. Between A and C. C is OUT since it does not have a "contradiction" right??

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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2010, 01:26
Sarai

Can you clarify what does the 'if' in red refer to?

In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.

Can you please discuss some approach for finding the antecedents for the pronouns?
I used to be confident about these errors but not any more.

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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2010, 03:26
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Hi nusmavrik-- yes, although i'm not sure what you mean by "contradiction", you seem to have understood the problem with B and D.

Regarding C, I forgot to mention one more grammatical note! Always, when the words after the underlined portion are descriptive, whatever those words describe must be the last word in your answer. Thus, only an answer ending with "antipodes" can be correct.

papillon86 wrote:
papillon86

Hi papillon86, your question plagues many GMAT students! The"it" in red refers to Australia.

There are two ways to use "it".

1) "It" can be used a general subject that only acts as a place-holder and does not refer to anything.

Ex. It is raining. / It is cold outside. / It was nice of you to come. / It is the red pen, not the black pen, that I want.

Compare those sentences to the following: "If you read every day, it will help you on the exam." This sentence is INCORRECT. Can you tell why? When you say, "It will help you," you mean that there is SOMETHING that will help you. The 'something' is the referent that must appear in the sentence for the sentence to be correct. In the sentence, "it is raining," there is no THING that is raining. "It" here is just holding the place of subject since English demands that every verb have a subject.

So you just have to ask yourself whether there is a THING that does the verb whose subject is "it". If there is no THING, then you don't need a referent.

Let me know if this is still confusing to you.

Best,
Sarai

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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2010, 03:30
One more GMAX tip for pronoun reference: ALWAYS REPLACE THE PRONOUN WITH THE WORD YOU THINK IT MEANS AS YOU READ.

In this way you can 'hear' whether your "it" is trying to refer to something. This is also how you check for singular/plural/and presence of a referent as you go.
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Re: SC Australia [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2010, 04:30
Hi Sarai

You rock. thanks a lot for the useful tips.

Can I say that C is inference in the reverse direction??? - when it should emphasize that Australia was antipodes before the island was country.

Regarding C, I forgot to mention one more grammatical note! Always, when the words after the underlined portion are descriptive, whatever those words describe must be the last word in your answer. Thus, only an answer ending with "antipodes" can be correct.
If i get this point correct then -

The sentence is describing antipodes, so it has to be the last word in the answer. Am I correct??

Thanks
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Re: SC Australia   [#permalink] 06 Jun 2010, 04:30

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