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Nail the Absolute Phrases

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Nail the Absolute Phrases [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2012, 23:08
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NAIL THE ABSOLUTE PHRASES

#
With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit, Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life, and with 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom.

(A) Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life, and with

(B) Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life, its

(C) Europa has long been considered as far too cold to support life and has

(D) Europa, long considered as far too cold to support life, and its

(E) Europa, long considered to be far too cold to support life, and to have

This is many of those questions, which urge us to say "what does the author wants to convey?".
GMATTERS this is an example of the Absolute Phrase question. The sentences involving this concept generally introduce two clauses of which one modifies the entire idea of the preceding clause.

Most of the GMATTERS may be able to nail the question, under 2 mins, just posted above. But I am pretty sure that they must have neglected the concept of Absolute Phrases. There are/can be several mistakes in such questions which can easily help us to find the correct answer.

Anyways the answer to the question just posted above is
[Reveal] Spoiler:
B
.
In order to tackle such questions, I developed a technique and found it pretty useful.

Whenever you see such question, break the sentence into clauses, the basic step in SC questions. This blue portion is itself the Absolute Phrase which modifies the entire idea of the preceding clause.
Anyways, break the entire sentence into clauses.
i)With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit.
ii)Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life.
iii)and with 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom.

Notice that the third clause is NOT the independent clause.

The method is Stop youself at the end of the clause after which the following clause is not independent and RAISE THE QUESTION HOW?. If the forecoming clauses answers your question in exactly in its own words, then that clause is the Absolute Phrase and is the correct choice.

With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit, Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life, and with 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom.

(A) Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life, and with
With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit, Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life, HOW?and with 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom. Does it answers HOW in its own words? NO! Eliminate it.

(B) Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life, its
With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit, Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life,HOW? its 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom. Does it answers HOW in its own words? YES!

(C) Europa has long been considered as far too cold to support life and has
With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit, Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life and has 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom. All clauses are independent. No Absolute Phrase.

(D) Europa, long considered as far too cold to support life, and its
With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit, Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life,HOW? and its 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom. Does it answers HOW in its own words? NO!


(E) Europa, long considered to be far too cold to support life, and to have
Disaster. eliminate it at once.

Other examples are:

#Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.
1)same as underlined
2)prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by
3) its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by
4) its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of
5) preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by

#Margaret Courtney-Clarke has traveled to remote dwellings in the Transvaal to photograph the art of Ndebele women, whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries embellished with old and new iconography and in a style that varies from woman to woman and house to house.
(A) whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries embellished with old and new iconography and in a style that varies from woman to woman and house to house
(B) whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries are embellished with old and new iconography, and their style is varying among women and houses
(C) whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries are embellished with old and new iconography, and they are in styles that vary from woman to woman and house to house
(D) with murals brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries embellished with old and new iconography, and their style varies among women and houses
(E) with murals that are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries.

Hope all the above stuff helps to beat the Absolute Phrase.
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Last edited by Marcab on 30 Nov 2012, 01:02, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The technique to nail the Absolute Phrase questions. [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2012, 00:35
Marcab wrote:
#
With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit, Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life, and with 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom.

(A) Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life, and with

(B) Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life, its

(C) Europa has long been considered as far too cold to support life and has

(D) Europa, long considered as far too cold to support life, and its

(E) Europa, long considered to be far too cold to support life, and to have

This is many of those questions, which urge us to say "what does the author wants to convey?".
GMATTERS this is an example of the Absolute Phrase question. The sentences involving this concept generally introduce two clauses of which one modifies the entire idea of the preceding clause.

Most of the GMATTERS may be able to nail the question, under 2 mins, just posted above. But I am pretty sure that they must have neglected the concept of Absolute Phrases. There are/can be several mistakes in such questions which can easily help us to find the correct answer.

Anyways the answer to the question just posted above is
[Reveal] Spoiler:
B
.
In order to tackle such questions, I developed a technique and found it pretty useful.

Whenever you see such question, break the sentence into clauses, the basic step in SC questions. This blue portion is itself the Absolute Phrase which modifies the entire idea of the preceding clause.
Anyways, break the entire sentence into clauses.
i)With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit.
ii)Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life.
iii)and with 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom.

Notice that the third clause is NOT the independent clause.

The method is Stop youself at the end of the clause after which the following clause is not independent and RAISE THE QUESTION HOW?. If the forecoming clauses answers your question in exactly in its own words, then that clause is the Absolute Phrase and is the correct choice.

With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit, Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life, and with 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom.

(A) Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life, and with
With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit, Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life, HOW?and with 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom. Does it answers HOW in its own words? NO! Eliminate it.

(B) Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life, its
With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit, Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life,HOW? its 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom. Does it answers HOW in its own words? YES!

(C) Europa has long been considered as far too cold to support life and has
With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit, Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life and has 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom. All clauses are independent. No Absolute Phrase.

(D) Europa, long considered as far too cold to support life, and its
With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit, Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life,HOW? and its 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom. Does it answers HOW in its own words? NO!


(E) Europa, long considered to be far too cold to support life, and to have
Disaster. eliminate it at once.

Other examples are:

#Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.
1)same as underlined
2)prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by
3) its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by
4) its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of
5) preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by

#Margaret Courtney-Clarke has traveled to remote dwellings in the Transvaal to photograph the art of Ndebele women, whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries embellished with old and new iconography and in a style that varies from woman to woman and house to house.
(A) whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries embellished with old and new iconography and in a style that varies from woman to woman and house to house
(B) whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries are embellished with old and new iconography, and their style is varying among women and houses
(C) whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries are embellished with old and new iconography, and they are in styles that vary from woman to woman and house to house
(D) with murals brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries embellished with old and new iconography, and their style varies among women and houses
(E) with murals that are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries.

Hope all the above stuff helps to beat the Absolute Phrase.



Thanks Marcab...
Useful tip....

I selected B.

#Margaret Courtney-Clarke has traveled to remote dwellings in the Transvaal to photograph the art of Ndebele women, whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries are embellished with old and new iconography, and their style is varying among women and houses

ya as u said about Absolute phrase, i felt this difficult... :?
I eliminated with Parallelism error.. :)
Please correct me if i'm wrong...
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Re: The technique to nail the Absolute Phrase questions. [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2012, 01:20
Expert's post
B is incorrect in that it consists of the independent clauses existing together without a conjunction.
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Re: The technique to nail the Absolute Phrase questions. [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2012, 01:26
Other examples are:

#Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.
1)same as underlined
2)prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by
3)its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by
4) its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of
5) preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by

I think this question is testing idiom but it could be testing absolute phrase too based on the idiom I could narrow it down to A and C pick C cos its less wordy and placed correctly according to sentence structure.

#Margaret Courtney-Clarke has traveled to remote dwellings in the Transvaal to photograph the art of Ndebele women, whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries embellished with old and new iconography and in a style that varies from woman to woman and house to house.
(A) whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries embellished with old and new iconography and in a style that varies from woman to woman and house to house
(B) whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries are embellished with old and new iconography, and their style is varying among women and houses
(C) whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries are embellished with old and new iconography, and they are in styles that vary from woman to woman and house to house
(D) with murals brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries embellished with old and new iconography, and their style varies among women and houses
(E) with murals that are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries.

I used parallelism / incorrect use of among for this one and eliminated most answer choices and was left with D,C and A. picked A cos of consistency.

whats the OA?

Last edited by nelz007 on 28 Nov 2012, 02:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The technique to nail the Absolute Phrase questions. [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2012, 02:08
Expert's post
nelz007 wrote:
Other examples are:

#Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, prevented from dissipating its acoustic energy as a result of boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.
1)same as underlined
2)prevented from having its acoustic energy dissipated by
3)its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by
4) its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of
5) preventing its acoustic energy from dissipating by

I think this question is testing idiom but it could be testing absolute phrase too based on the idiom I could narrow it down to A and C pick C cos its less wordy and placed correctly according to sentence structure.

#Margaret Courtney-Clarke has traveled to remote dwellings in the Transvaal to photograph the art of Ndebele women, whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries embellished with old and new iconography and in a style that varies from woman to woman and house to house.
(A) whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries embellished with old and new iconography and in a style that varies from woman to woman and house to house
(B) whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries are embellished with old and new iconography, and their style is varying among women and houses
(C) whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries are embellished with old and new iconography, and they are in styles that vary from woman to woman and house to house
(D) with murals brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries embellished with old and new iconography, and their style varies among women and houses
(E) with murals that are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries.

I used parallelism / incorrect use of among for this one and eliminated most answer choices and was left with D,C and A. picked A cos of idiom.

whats the OA?


I already said in the post that the question may be done by using other methods as well.
May I know which Idiom are you talking about in the above questions. I always kept myself miles away from Idioms.
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Re: The technique to nail the Absolute Phrase questions. [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2012, 02:19
Marcab wrote:
I already said in the post that the question may be done by using other methods as well.
May I know which Idiom are you talking about in the above questions. I always kept myself miles away from Idioms.


I don't know idioms either but there are some common ones which show up more often. The first one is prevent from. I must have made a typo in the second one wanted to say consistency and said idiom instead :P

The idiom list so massive and don't think anyone should waste time memorizing them. BTW great post.

zeke has compiled a list here..

http://www.gmatpill.com/the-gmat-pill-m ... diom-list/

Last edited by nelz007 on 28 Nov 2012, 05:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The technique to nail the Absolute Phrase questions. [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2012, 03:47
Marcab wrote:
B is incorrect in that it consists of the independent clauses existing together without a conjunction.



Sorry Marcab....

......whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries are embellished with old and new iconography, and their style is varying among women and houses

Two Independent clauses are connected with and ?

Can you use Absolute phrase in ur way in this sentence !
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Re: The technique to nail the Absolute Phrase questions. [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2012, 23:07
Expert's post
shanmugamgsn wrote:
Marcab wrote:
B is incorrect in that it consists of the independent clauses existing together without a conjunction.



Sorry Marcab....

......whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries are embellished with old and new iconography, and their style is varying among women and houses

Two Independent clauses are connected with and ?

Can you use Absolute phrase in ur way in this sentence !

......whose murals are brilliantly colored, their geometrical symmetries embellished with old and new iconography and and in a style that varies from women to women and house to house.

Hope that helps
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Re: Nail the Absolute Phrases [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2012, 08:13
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@Marcab;
Although I must be honest in admitting that, I haven’t gone through you note as yet, as I am hard - pressed these days for time due to some assignments, as my first reaction, I must appreciate your stupendous effort.

This, I aver, is initiative, involvement and enterprise. A big kudo to you.
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Re: Nail the Absolute Phrases [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2012, 09:47
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daagh wrote:
@Marcab;
Although I must be honest in admitting that, I haven’t gone through you note as yet, as I am hard - pressed these days for time due to some assignments, as my first reaction, I must appreciate your stupendous effort.

This, I aver, is initiative, involvement and enterprise. A big kudo to you.


Thanks daagh.
A kudo from people like you encourages me a lot.
I just hope, GMAC KUDOes me by providing a solid score.
Thnx again.
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Re: Nail the Absolute Phrases [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2013, 07:05
Marcab wrote:
daagh wrote:
@Marcab;
Although I must be honest in admitting that, I haven’t gone through you note as yet, as I am hard - pressed these days for time due to some assignments, as my first reaction, I must appreciate your stupendous effort.

This, I aver, is initiative, involvement and enterprise. A big kudo to you.


Thanks daagh.
A kudo from people like you encourages me a lot.
I just hope, GMAC KUDOes me by providing a solid score.
Thnx again.


Hi Marcab,

How would you apply your HOW rule to the following Question?

Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus
that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and root-like tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some
10,000 years ago and extendingfor more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.

A. extending
B. extends
C. extended
D. it extended
E. is extending

Your erudite help will be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Nail the Absolute Phrases [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2013, 07:16
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Sinner1706 wrote:
Marcab wrote:
daagh wrote:
@Marcab;
Although I must be honest in admitting that, I haven’t gone through you note as yet, as I am hard - pressed these days for time due to some assignments, as my first reaction, I must appreciate your stupendous effort.

This, I aver, is initiative, involvement and enterprise. A big kudo to you.


Thanks daagh.
A kudo from people like you encourages me a lot.
I just hope, GMAC KUDOes me by providing a solid score.
Thnx again.


Hi Marcab,

How would you apply your HOW rule to the following Question?

Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus
that is an interwoven filigree of mushrooms and root-like tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some
10,000 years ago and extendingfor more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.

A. extending
B. extends
C. extended
D. it extended
E. is extending

Your erudite help will be greatly appreciated.


What I have learnt so far, I can share with you.
First thing that you may notice in absolute phrases is that it doesn't contains a verb. So the question as status quo doesn't involves an absolute phrase.
Now in this question, the idea that is being tested is "parallelism". What is parallel? The two characteristics of root like tentacles-spawned and extending both modify "tentacles".
Let me know if anything remains unclear.
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Re: Nail the Absolute Phrases [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2013, 15:19
This is really helpful thank you .. but how do we identify an absolute phrase question ???? In other words , which split tells us this is an absolute phrase question?
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Re: Nail the Absolute Phrases [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2013, 15:30
REally great analysis. You must be an expert in Sentence Correction. how do you learn to separate the sentence into smaller sentences
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Re: Nail the Absolute Phrases [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2014, 15:52
Whenever you see such question, break the sentence into clauses, the basic step in SC questions. This blue portion is itself the Absolute Phrase which modifies the entire idea of the preceding clause.
Anyways, break the entire sentence into clauses.
i)With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit.
ii)Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life.
iii)and with 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom.

Notice that the third clause is NOT the independent clause.

Can anyone please explain it to me. I thought the above sentence has just one clause: Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered, rest all are modifiers....

With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit(verb-ed modifier), Jupiter's moon Europa(Subject) has long been considered(verb) far too cold to support life and with 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom(verb-ed modifier).
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Re: Nail the Absolute Phrases [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2014, 00:43
piyushjj wrote:
Whenever you see such question, break the sentence into clauses, the basic step in SC questions. This blue portion is itself the Absolute Phrase which modifies the entire idea of the preceding clause.
Anyways, break the entire sentence into clauses.
i)With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit.
ii)Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life.
iii)and with 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom.

Notice that the third clause is NOT the independent clause.


Can anyone please explain it to me. I thought the above sentence has just one clause: Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered, rest all are modifiers....

With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit(verb-ed modifier), Jupiter's moon Europa(Subject) has long been considered(verb) far too cold to support life and with 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom(verb-ed modifier).


I partially agree with you, in that 'estimated' is a verb-ed modifier (and the entire phrase is not a verb-modifier) and not an action done by the subject (in option (i)) and so, it cannot be a clause.
According to the definition of a clause (to the best of my knowledge), a clause should contain a subject, which is actively doing an action (in other words-a verb).

Hence, (i) cannot be a clause. Possibly a prepositional phrase (since it begins with the preposition 'with' and followed by a noun)

But again, I shouldn't worry about the structure of a wrong sentence. In addition to being wrong in terms of meaning and logic, a wrong sentence/stem can (most probably, will) be wrong in terms of structure - having dangling modifiers, wrongly placed prepositional phrases etc.

What I can ensure is, whether the option I choose has a correct structure.
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Re: Nail the Absolute Phrases [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2014, 01:25
sivasanjeev wrote:
piyushjj wrote:
Whenever you see such question, break the sentence into clauses, the basic step in SC questions. This blue portion is itself the Absolute Phrase which modifies the entire idea of the preceding clause.
Anyways, break the entire sentence into clauses.
i)With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit.
ii)Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered far too cold to support life.
iii)and with 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom.

Notice that the third clause is NOT the independent clause.


Can anyone please explain it to me. I thought the above sentence has just one clause: Jupiter's moon Europa has long been considered, rest all are modifiers....

With surface temperatures estimated at minus 230 degrees Fahrenheit(verb-ed modifier), Jupiter's moon Europa(Subject) has long been considered(verb) far too cold to support life and with 60 square miles of water thought to be frozen from top to bottom(verb-ed modifier).


I partially agree with you, in that 'estimated' is a verb-ed modifier (and the entire phrase is not a verb-modifier) and not an action done by the subject (in option (i)) and so, it cannot be a clause.
According to the definition of a clause (to the best of my knowledge), a clause should contain a subject, which is actively doing an action (in other words-a verb).

Hence, (i) cannot be a clause. Possibly a prepositional phrase (since it begins with the preposition 'with' and followed by a noun)

But again, I shouldn't worry about the structure of a wrong sentence. In addition to being wrong in terms of meaning and logic, a wrong sentence/stem can (most probably, will) be wrong in terms of structure - having dangling modifiers, wrongly placed prepositional phrases etc.

What I can ensure is, whether the option I choose has a correct structure.


Thanks SivaSanjeev for your reply. I totally agree with what you are saying. I just wanted to confirm that my understanding of sentence structure/clauses is right, as this post was written by a GMAT verbal expert... :-D :-D
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Re: Nail the Absolute Phrases   [#permalink] 06 Jan 2014, 01:25
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