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The food of Brazil, like its people, is heterogeneous

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The food of Brazil, like its people, is heterogeneous [#permalink] New post 17 Oct 2013, 12:22
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The food of Brazil, like its people, is heterogeneous; it is a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian, with some indigenous influences.

A.The food of Brazil, like its people, is heterogeneous; it is a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian, with some indigenous influences.
B.The food of Brazil is as heterogeneous as its people; it is a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian, and contains some indigenous influences.
C.The food of Brazil is as heterogeneous as the country’s people: a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian, with some indigenous influences.
D.The food of Brazil is as heterogeneous as its people: a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian and contains some indigenous influences.
E.The food of Brazil is as heterogeneous as the country’s people with a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian, and some indigenous influences.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: The food of Brazil, like its people, is heterogeneous [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2013, 01:29
A.The food of Brazil, like its people, is heterogeneous; it is a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian, with some indigenous influences.---- Incorrect, I feel the use of As would be better.
B.The food of Brazil is as heterogeneous as its people; it is a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian, and contains some indigenous influences.--- The first its is confusing, We do not know if it refers to food or Brazil. The second it could again refer to food or people
C.The food of Brazil is as heterogeneous as the country’s people: a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian, with some indigenous influences.--- CORRECT
D.The food of Brazil is as heterogeneous as its people: a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian and contains some indigenous influences.--- Its again could refer to food or Brazil. Also people cannot contain indigenous influences. This sentence is illogical.
E.The food of Brazil is as heterogeneous as the country’s people with a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian, and some indigenous influences.--- I think this sentence changes meaning. It is trying to say that the food of brazil is as heterogeneous as the country's people with a cross mostly between ....
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Re: The food of Brazil, like its people, is heterogeneous [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2013, 11:24
akashb106 wrote:
A.The food of Brazil, like its people, is heterogeneous; it is a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian, with some indigenous influences.---- Incorrect, I feel the use of As would be better.
B.The food of Brazil is as heterogeneous as its people; it is a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian, and contains some indigenous influences.--- The first its is confusing, We do not know if it refers to food or Brazil. The second it could again refer to food or people
C.The food of Brazil is as heterogeneous as the country’s people: a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian, with some indigenous influences.--- CORRECT
D.The food of Brazil is as heterogeneous as its people: a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian and contains some indigenous influences.--- Its again could refer to food or Brazil. Also people cannot contain indigenous influences. This sentence is illogical.
E.The food of Brazil is as heterogeneous as the country’s people with a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian, and some indigenous influences.--- I think this sentence changes meaning. It is trying to say that the food of brazil is as heterogeneous as the country's people with a cross mostly between ....



can someone help me explain the use of "with"

a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian, with some indigenous influences.

Here the statement after comma followed by word "with" is correct.

However, I saw GMAT sentences that marked such statements as incorrect.

Any experts can help me explain why some statements with " "comma" followed by the word "with" is correct and why some are not.
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Re: The food of Brazil, like its people, is heterogeneous [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2013, 05:02
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First point to note is that the comma denotes an element of non- essentiality; when accompanied with comma,the prepositional modifier is just an addition and no more.

Ex: Tom and Dick played the lead roles, with Harry as the cameo – Here -with Harry plays small role –If you are concerned about the roles of Tom and Dick principally, then this use is correct'.

Now consider the other side: Tom and Dick played the lead roles with Harry as the cameo; Here there is a subtle meaning change; Now all the three are essential to the play, no less than the others. So it is the context that ultimately decides.

Preceded by a comma, ‘with’ clears certain misconceptions.

The food of Brazil is as heterogeneous as the country’s people with a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian; here the prepositional modifier straightway modifies people leading to absurd meaning. So in such cases, we do have to use ‘with, accompanied by a comma before.

The take-away therefore is that evaluating context is a vital requirement of the use of ‘with’
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Re: The food of Brazil, like its people, is heterogeneous [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2013, 12:07
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One really subtle but totally-GMAT flaw with choice A (and that took me forever to see) is that word "its" in "like its people". Your mind is conditioned to just *know* that it means Brazil, but the subject of the sentence *is* "the food", so you're definitely dealing with two singular nouns in the first four words, so "its" has an unclear referent.

To me one of the biggest takeaways from this question is "make all the decisions you're great at first" - if it's a pronoun, a modifier, or a verb (either tense or agreement), you have an excellent chance of making the right decision. With strange modifiers and idiomatic expressions - including things like "is it okay to use like here?" and "what's the proper usage of comma-with" - we all struggle from time to time, and often the GMAT is just setting a "smokescreen" to distract you from a much more concrete, binary error. I'll admit - on this one I was trying to figure out some strange-usage decisions in the back half of the sentence until the author of the question laughed and said "I knew you'd overlook that pronoun its".

Word to the wise - whenever there's a common decision to be made (and I'm big on MVP first - Modifiers, Verbs, Pronouns) - see if you can make that decision first before you get too deep in a much trickier application of grammar.
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Re: The food of Brazil, like its people, is heterogeneous [#permalink] New post 21 Apr 2014, 10:40
I am bit confused here, who is cross between Portuguese and Italian? is it food or people.
Original sentence says food is a cross between Portuguese and Italian.

In option C. country's people are placed right before explanation after colon and here it changing the meaning, is it right ?
the country’s people: a cross mostly between Portuguese and Italian, with some indigenous influences.
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Re: The food of Brazil, like its people, is heterogeneous [#permalink] New post 21 Apr 2014, 12:05
VeritasPrepBrian wrote:
One really subtle but totally-GMAT flaw with choice A (and that took me forever to see) is that word "its" in "like its people". Your mind is conditioned to just *know* that it means Brazil, but the subject of the sentence *is* "the food", so you're definitely dealing with two singular nouns in the first four words, so "its" has an unclear referent.

To me one of the biggest takeaways from this question is "make all the decisions you're great at first" - if it's a pronoun, a modifier, or a verb (either tense or agreement), you have an excellent chance of making the right decision. With strange modifiers and idiomatic expressions - including things like "is it okay to use like here?" and "what's the proper usage of comma-with" - we all struggle from time to time, and often the GMAT is just setting a "smokescreen" to distract you from a much more concrete, binary error. I'll admit - on this one I was trying to figure out some strange-usage decisions in the back half of the sentence until the author of the question laughed and said "I knew you'd overlook that pronoun its".

Word to the wise - whenever there's a common decision to be made (and I'm big on MVP first - Modifiers, Verbs, Pronouns) - see if you can make that decision first before you get too deep in a much trickier application of grammar.


I see only one logical referent for Its...can you elaborate on how is it ambiguous?
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Re: The food of Brazil, like its people, is heterogeneous [#permalink] New post 21 Apr 2014, 13:08
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"Its" is probably more "dead wrong" than ambiguous, actually. Because the subject of the sentence is "the food", with "of Brazil" as a prepositional phrase telling us more about "which food", then "its" refers to "the food". But food doesn't have people that a country does! My point with even mentioning the "unclear" reference there is that your mind almost naturally processes it as "Brazil's people" because "the food's people" is so illogical. But when you look at what the sentence really says, "its" means "the food's".
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Re: The food of Brazil, like its people, is heterogeneous [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2014, 11:20
VeritasPrepBrian wrote:
"Its" is probably more "dead wrong" than ambiguous, actually. Because the subject of the sentence is "the food", with "of Brazil" as a prepositional phrase telling us more about "which food", then "its" refers to "the food". But food doesn't have people that a country does! My point with even mentioning the "unclear" reference there is that your mind almost naturally processes it as "Brazil's people" because "the food's people" is so illogical. But when you look at what the sentence really says, "its" means "the food's".


Ohh..this was a tough one..I doubt If I will be able to spot such errors on the GMAT even after practicing this or more similar ones...it is just too small for the naked eye I can say.. :-D
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Re: The food of Brazil, like its people, is heterogeneous   [#permalink] 22 Apr 2014, 11:20
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