Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on

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Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2012, 10:11
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95% (hard)

Question Stats:

19% (01:44) correct 81% (00:46) wrong based on 552 sessions

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Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on if Freud was to be allowed to leave Vienna.

a)

b) if Freud were allowed

c) should Freud be allowed

d) if they will allow Freud

e) should allowance be made for Freud

What's wrong with b?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Re: PT #9 SC 21 [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2012, 11:51
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Hi, there. I'm happy to give my 2¢ on this issue.

This is a very tricky use of the subjunctive.

... if Freud was to be allowed to leave Vienna.

This has the verb "was" in the ordinary past tense. It was factual and determined: Freud was going to be allowed leave Vienna --- as long as somebody greased some Nazi palms, then there was absolutely no doubt about this possibility.

... if Freud were to be allowed to leave Vienna.

This has the verb "were" in the subjunctive, which in an "if" clause suggests a situation contrary to fact. This would say that, in fact, Freud was not going to be allowed to leave Vienna, that it was not a realistic possibility, but we could imagine some other, hypothetical set of circumstances in which that would be a possibility.

The relationship here calls for the factual statement. When Maria Bonaparte put up the money, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that Freud would be allowed to go. Yes, it was a shady deal, but nonetheless as cause-and-effect factual as going to the store to buy groceries.

After I pay for my groceries, I take them home. Factual and clear.

After I pay for my groceries, I would take them home. That's a strange incomplete thought, because it implies that for some reason I can't take the groceries home, and we are left wondering: why can't he take them home?

That's why (B) is wrong. Does this make sense? Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Mike
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Re: Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on [#permalink]

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05 Nov 2013, 11:24
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2013, 22:10
eybrj2 wrote:
Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on if Freud was to be allowed to leave Vienna.

a)

b) if Freud were allowed

c) should Freud be allowed

d) if they will allow Freud

e) should allowance be made for Freud

What's wrong with b?

The OA not provided can anyone please provide the OA with OE.

would be thankful

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Re: Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2013, 11:48
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rango wrote:
The OA not provided can anyone please provide the OA with OE.

would be thankful

Dear Rango,
I'm happy to respond. The OA is (A), as indicated at the top. Here is a full explanation. First of all, the question stem again.

Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on if Freud was to be allowed to leave Vienna.
(A) if Freud was to be allowed
This choice has no grammatical flaw. It is concise and perfectly correct. This is a promising choice.

(B) if Freud were allowed
(C) should Freud be allowed
Both of these are in the subjunctive, so they are hypothetical. Nothing about this historical event and situation was hypothetical. See
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... ive-tense/
In this situation, the Nazis said: give us the money, and Freud can leave. Very factual. The hypothetical language of these two choices is completely inappropriate, and it changes the meaning from the prompt. Both of these are incorrect.

(D) if they will allow Freud
We are talking about an event more than half a century in the past, so the future verb tense, "will allow", is completely wrong here.

(E) should allowance be made for Freud
If we ran a contest for the longest, most indirect, and most awkward way to rephrase the underlined portion, this choice might be the winner of that contest. There is absolutely no way this could be the correct answer.

The only possible answer is (A).

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2013, 16:54
mikemcgarry wrote:
rango wrote:
The OA not provided can anyone please provide the OA with OE.

would be thankful

Dear Rango,
I'm happy to respond. The OA is (A), as indicated at the top. Here is a full explanation. First of all, the question stem again.

Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on if Freud was to be allowed to leave Vienna.
(A) if Freud was to be allowed
This choice has no grammatical flaw. It is concise and perfectly correct. This is a promising choice.

(B) if Freud were allowed
(C) should Freud be allowed
Both of these are in the subjunctive, so they are hypothetical. Nothing about this historical event and situation was hypothetical. See
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... ive-tense/
In this situation, the Nazis said: give us the money, and Freud can leave. Very factual. The hypothetical language of these two choices is completely inappropriate, and it changes the meaning from the prompt. Both of these are incorrect.

(D) if they will allow Freud
We are talking about an event more than half a century in the past, so the future verb tense, "will allow", is completely wrong here.

(E) should allowance be made for Freud
If we ran a contest for the longest, most indirect, and most awkward way to rephrase the underlined portion, this choice might be the winner of that contest. There is absolutely no way this could be the correct answer.

The only possible answer is (A).

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Thanks mike; appreciated

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Re: Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2013, 20:55
Wow was totally confused between A and B. Wonder what is the source of this question though because I have never seen the subjunctive being used in this manner on any official question.
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Re: Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2013, 06:23
Ajax1 wrote:
Wow was totally confused between A and B. Wonder what is the source of this question though because I have never seen the subjunctive being used in this manner on any official question.

I agree, really strange one..; The usage here is one that I have never saw... even tough, the explanations were good!
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Re: Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2015, 02:09
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
Re: Maria Bonaparte put up the ransom that the Nazis insisted on   [#permalink] 16 Sep 2015, 02:09
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