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# This picture of Beethoven was sketched by a close friend of

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08 Dec 2011, 11:35
esledge wrote:
Scrat wrote:
I go for E too but you should probably also look at "by memory" vs "from memory" as well. 'by memory" is not correct here so A and D are out. C completely changes the meaning of the sentence. for B, "from memory" position in the sentence is amiguous so E is the only one that makes sense.

This picture of Beethoven was sketched by a close friend of his by memory a few weeks after his death.
A. was sketched by a close friend of his by memory a few weeks after his death
B. was sketched by his close friend from memory a few weeks after his death
C. on his death bed, was sketched by a close friend of his from memory a few weeks later
D. was sketched by a close friend a few weeks after his death by memory
E. was sketched from memory a few weeks after his death by a close friend of his

I agree that by memory/from memory is useful. However, I disagree that "from memory" placement is ambiguous in B. A prepositional phrase can be either a noun modifier or adverbial modifier:

(1) Adverbial modifiers don't have to touch the modified verb/whatever. So if we mean "sketched by memory," then "sketched by his close friend from memory" is acceptable, especially since "by his close friend" also modifies "sketched," so it's understandable that the modifiers can't both touch "sketched."

(2) If "from memory" is interpreted as a noun modifier, then it must modify "friend." But this is far less reasonable than the interpretation in (1) above. And in any case, (E) has a similar issue: "death by a close friend" is a more common turn of phrase than "friend from memory," and is a more concerning ambiguity (logically). Also, (E) has greater distance between its troublesome modifier and "sketched" than (B) does!

In summary: I'm willing to concede that E may be OK, but I do not agree that B is wrong. In my view, B is somewhat preferable to E. I think we must conclude that this question has two acceptable answers and is therefore flawed.

Very nice explanation. I also confused between B and E. Based on your points, I was really convinced B is the correct one. Thanks.
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Re: This picture of Beethoven was sketched by a close friend of [#permalink]

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09 Dec 2011, 07:57
+1for E.... after some very good explanations
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Re: This picture of Beethoven was sketched by a close friend of [#permalink]

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05 Jun 2012, 08:48
E can just not be correct, considering the distortion of meaning it lends itself to.

E. was sketched from memory a few weeks after his death by a close friend of his

E erroneously points out the possibility that Beethoven’s death itself occurred by a close friend of his. How funny!
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Re: This picture of Beethoven was sketched by a close friend of [#permalink]

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05 Jun 2012, 09:48
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Woah.. after reading.. the replies.. i am terribly confused. I Went with B though1
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Re: This picture of Beethoven was sketched by a close friend of [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2013, 09:36
Bumping for review and further discussion*.

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This picture of Beethoven was sketched by a close friend of [#permalink]

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03 Feb 2015, 08:56
Woah.. after reading.. the replies.. i am terribly confused. I Went with B though1

... And after a few years later ... my choices came down to B and E, too.

In the end, as both these questions have their own flaws ... E is just too ambiguous for my taste: " ... after his death by a close friend of his" is definitely not clear.

Choice B, for me...no qualms about the prepositional phrase placement --

This isn't a very a good question for practice, but a good question for learning!
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Re: This picture of Beethoven was sketched by a close friend of [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2015, 07:59
E is correct as it implies the meaning...
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This picture of Beethoven was sketched by a close friend of [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2015, 11:42
Another B here. E reads like his friend killed Bethooven to me. Since we have to pick the least worst choice, I'd pick B.
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Re: This picture of Beethoven was sketched by a close friend of [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2015, 16:44
lionslion wrote:
This picture of Beethoven was sketched by a close friend of his by memory a few weeks after his death.

A. was sketched by a close friend of his by memory a few weeks after his death
B. was sketched by his close friend from memory a few weeks after his death
C. on his death bed, was sketched by a close friend of his from memory a few weeks later
D. was sketched by a close friend a few weeks after his death by memory
E. was sketched from memory a few weeks after his death by a close friend of his

Tricky question and good attempts at explaining the rationale behind the various answers. I think B and E are both grammatically correct, but B is more elegant where as E is somewhat awkward and wordy. There is no pronoun problem with B....both 'his' can only refer to Beethoven for two reasons. One, the antecedent of the first his is well established and the second his must have the same antecedent. If we DID NOT want this to be the case, we'd have to reword the sentence. The second reason is that the friend cannot paint after his own death, so the second his can only refer to the person who has died.
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Re: This picture of Beethoven was sketched by a close friend of [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2016, 00:32
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).

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Re: This picture of Beethoven was sketched by a close friend of   [#permalink] 21 Jul 2016, 00:32

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