Two-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Two-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan,

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Two-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, [#permalink]

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02 May 2013, 11:24
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Two-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, known to oppose evolution on religious grounds, became the star witness for the prosecution in the Scopes Trials.
(A) known to oppose evolution on religious grounds
(B) known as an opponent of evolution on religious grounds
(C) known for his religiously based opposition with evolution
(D) a person who, it is known, religiously opposed evolution
(E) who, it is known, opposed evolution on religious grounds

On the GMAT, how do you talk about something that someone thinks or knows? For a full discussion of these idioms, as well as a solution to this question, see this blog:
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Mike
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Two-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan [#permalink]

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02 May 2013, 13:27
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(A) known to oppose evolution on religious grounds...Correct
(B) known as an opponent of evolution on religious grounds..means he is an opponent of evolution..Incorrect
(C) known for his religiously based opposition with evolution..opposition with evolution..incorrect
(D) a person who, it is known, religiously opposed evolution..clearly wrong..sentence fragment
(E) who, it is known, opposed evolution on religious grounds...who, it is known..incorrect use..
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Re: Two-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan [#permalink]

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02 May 2013, 21:52
anish123ster wrote:

(A) known to oppose evolution on religious grounds...Correct
(B) known as an opponent of evolution on religious grounds..means he is an opponent of evolution..Incorrect

Isn't he an opponent of evolution? Isn't it what follows from A)?
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Re: Two-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan [#permalink]

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02 May 2013, 23:17
What is the critical difference between - known to oppose evolution - and opponent of evolution? known to oppose may be slightly better because it shorter; But are they both differenced otherwise?
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Re: Two-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan [#permalink]

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03 May 2013, 10:35
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HumptyDumpty wrote:
anish123ster wrote:
(A) known to oppose evolution on religious grounds...Correct
(B) known as an opponent of evolution on religious grounds..means he is an opponent of evolution..Incorrect

Isn't he an opponent of evolution? Isn't it what follows from A)?

Dear HumptyDumpty,
I don't know that this is what anish123ster is getting at, but the phrase "known to oppose evolution on religious grounds" contains a potential ambiguity --- is Bryan's opposition on religious grounds? or is his opposition known to the rest of us on religious grounds? ---- In other words, the adverbial phrase "on religious grounds" could modify either of the verbs, and this ambiguity is potentially problematic.

daagh wrote:
What is the critical difference between - known to oppose evolution - and opponent of evolution? known to oppose may be slightly better because it shorter; But are they both difference otherwise?

They are quite similar --- the only major difference is that the phrase "an opponent of evolution" does not explicitly include the idea of the rest of us knowing about it. It's quite possible for a public figure to be an opponent of something without the general public knowing about his opposition. If we want to include the idea of everyone else knowing about it, the phrase becomes: "known to be an opponent of evolution" ---- that's awkward, clunky, floppy, and indirect --- the phrase "known to oppose evolution" is much more sleek and direct. As a general rule, if there's a split between the noun form (e.g. "opposition") and the verb form ("oppose") of the same word, using the verb form will generally lead to a more concise, more powerful, and more active sentence.
Here's a video lesson in which I discuss this latter idea:
http://gmat.magoosh.com/lessons/917-ver ... e-language

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Two-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan [#permalink]

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04 May 2013, 03:10
mikemcgarry wrote:
HumptyDumpty wrote:
anish123ster wrote:
(A) known to oppose evolution on religious grounds...Correct
(B) known as an opponent of evolution on religious grounds..means he is an opponent of evolution..Incorrect

Isn't he an opponent of evolution? Isn't it what follows from A)?

Dear HumptyDumpty,
I don't know that this is what anish123ster is getting at, but the phrase "known to oppose evolution on religious grounds" contains a potential ambiguity --- is Bryan's opposition on religious grounds? or is his opposition known to the rest of us on religious grounds? ---- In other words, the adverbial phrase "on religious grounds" could modify either of the verbs, and this ambiguity is potentially problematic.

Why then is the ambiguous AC the right AC? Does B: "known as an opponent of evolution on religious grounds" NOT contain the same ambiguity? If it does, is B out because it is wordier than A, but anyway both A and B are ambiguous?
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Re: Two-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan [#permalink]

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04 May 2013, 18:55
IMO "an opponent of evolution" is wordy and hence incorrect for GMAT.
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Re: Two-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan [#permalink]

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06 May 2013, 12:12
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HumptyDumpty wrote:
Why then is the ambiguous AC the right AC? Does B: "known as an opponent of evolution on religious grounds" NOT contain the same ambiguity? If it does, is B out because it is wordier than A, but anyway both A and B are ambiguous?

Dear HumptyDumpty,
The phrase "on religious grounds" is an adverbial phrase, a phrase that most naturally modifies a verb or verb form. See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... d-clauses/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... d-clauses/
In (A), the OA, the adverbial phrase modifies the closest verb form, the infinitive "to oppose". Very clear.
In (B), grammatically, the adverbial phrase should modify the verb form, the participle "known". Logically, that doesn't work. People say someone is "an opponent on such-and-such grounds", and I suppose we could say in that instance the prepositional is acting as an adjectival phrase, but I would call that construction suspect. It's not as clean, not a clear. Combine this with the active form "to oppose" vs. the static & wordy "an opponent of", and (B) is clearly wrong.
Does this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Two-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan [#permalink]

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06 May 2013, 12:19
mikemcgarry wrote:
HumptyDumpty wrote:
Why then is the ambiguous AC the right AC? Does B: "known as an opponent of evolution on religious grounds" NOT contain the same ambiguity? If it does, is B out because it is wordier than A, but anyway both A and B are ambiguous?

Dear HumptyDumpty,
The phrase "on religious grounds" is an adverbial phrase, a phrase that most naturally modifies a verb or verb form. See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... d-clauses/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... d-clauses/
In (A), the OA, the adverbial phrase modifies the closest verb form, the infinitive "to oppose". Very clear.
In (B), grammatically, the adverbial phrase should modify the verb form, the participle "known". Logically, that doesn't work. People say someone is "an opponent on such-and-such grounds", and I suppose we could say in that instance the prepositional is acting as an adjectival phrase, but I would call that construction suspect. It's not as clean, not a clear. Combine this with the active form "to oppose" vs. the static & wordy "an opponent of", and (B) is clearly wrong.
Does this make sense?
Mike

Yup! Thanks for the links too !
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Re: Two-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, [#permalink]

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18 Sep 2014, 09:13
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Re: Two-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, [#permalink]

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14 Oct 2015, 19:26
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: Two-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan,   [#permalink] 14 Oct 2015, 19:26
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