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# 1000 SC_3

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Manager
Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 193
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V38
GPA: 3.6
WE: Project Management (Computer Software)

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16 Jul 2011, 05:05
This is one of those questions where people are just posting their votes for all the options...A,B,C,D,E.

I think there is no best answer among either of the options. What we can find is the one better answer than other four options.

So we need to understand which one is the more severe problem among
Error# 1 : "Wrong modifier", (A, B, C)
Error# 2 : "Passive Voice sentences", (D, E)
Error# 3 : "Use of 'As If' in the sentence" (D)
Error# 4 : "Possibility of 'they' referring either to travellers or inspectors" (D) or
Error# 5 : "Lack of Parallelism between 'Not like' and 'but'" (E)

Now I think, Error# 1 is the most severe, so should also be avoided.
Error# 5 is second most severe error, so should be avoided over others.

And that's why I also think 'D' as the better answer than others.
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Manager
Joined: 10 Jan 2011
Posts: 237
Location: India
GMAT Date: 07-16-2012
GPA: 3.4
WE: Consulting (Consulting)

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07 Aug 2011, 11:03
I think the question has some problems:

A B and C are wrong because of modifier issues.

D is wrong because of tense

E is not parallel

IMO D is Okay answer from the given options
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Director
Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 537
Location: United States
GPA: 3.86
WE: Accounting (Commercial Banking)

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14 Aug 2011, 01:52
Its A ,when two nouns are compared Like should be used
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Director
Joined: 03 May 2007
Posts: 872
Schools: University of Chicago, Wharton School

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15 Aug 2011, 12:32
brothers wrote:
No matter how patiently they explain their reasons for confiscating certain items, travelers often treat customs inspectors like wanton poachers rather than government employees.

(A) travelers often treat customs inspectors like wanton poachers rather than government employees
(B) travelers often treat customs inspectors as wanton poachers instead of government employees
(C) travelers often treat customs inspectors as if they were not government employees but wanton poachers
(D) customs inspectors are often treated by travelers as if they were wanton poachers rather than government employees
(E) customs inspectors are often treated not like government employees but wanton poachers by travelers

It's a modifier problem.

In the question "they" is given and it should be modified by the logical noun.

* Who confiscate certain items - travelers or customs inspectors? customs inspectors.
* Who are required to explain their reasons for confiscating certain items - travelers or customs inspectors? customs inspectors.

If so, then it eliminates A, B and C. However they are not perfect and ideal, but remain D and E for possible answer. D has problem with "as if ....than", which is wrong idiom.

That said, remains E.
Manager
Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 128
Concentration: General Management, Technology

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15 Aug 2011, 15:42

A - C are out as the sentences all incorrectly modify travelers instead of customs inspectors. With choice D, there is some confusion as to what "they" modifies. I'm going to copy Ron Purewal's response from Manhattan GMAT as to why "they" can be used and why ambiguous pronouns should be one of the last rules you use to invalidate a sentence.

_____________________
quote: Ron Purewal

from a purely technical standpoint one could regard this pronoun as ambiguous, but remember that many technically ambiguous pronouns are actually acceptable on the gmat.

for the precise conditions under which ambiguous pronouns are most commonly acceptable, see the following two posts:

----- READ THESE POSTS FIRST -----

post30203.html#p30203
post35036.html#p35036

----- ONCE YOU'VE READ THOSE POSTS -----

note that these conditions also apply in the current sentence.

1) clear context: if you understand what the sentence is trying to say, it's clear that "they" is intended to stand for customs inspectors, not travelers.

2) parallelism/nonparallelism:
"they" is the SUBJECT of its clause
"customs inspectors" is the SUBJECT of its clause
"travelers" is not the subject of its clause (it's the object of a preposition)

since both sets of conditions are satisfied, this is an example of a technically ambiguous pronoun that is still perfectly acceptable.
Senior Manager
Joined: 22 Dec 2009
Posts: 359

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26 Aug 2011, 07:28
ms wrote:
jeeteshsingh,
In the first part of the sentence - "No matter how patiently they explain their reasons for confiscating certain items"

What is they referring to ?

Thanks

ms

they is referring to custom inspectors
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Senior Manager
Joined: 13 Aug 2010
Posts: 292

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04 Jan 2012, 23:09
'No matter how patiently they explain their reasons for confiscating certain items', this modifier should modify customs officer, so D and E left.

D is the best option.
Intern
Status: On fire!!!
Joined: 05 Sep 2011
Posts: 17
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
GMAT Date: 05-09-2012

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07 Mar 2012, 07:30
the best option seems to be D, but isn't it too wordy, which makes it sound incorrect?
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Intern
Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 2

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21 Feb 2013, 12:50
"by travelers" should be nearer to treated.

So choice D

But if travelers is near treated that will mean travelers are treated and that will change meaning of sentence. Choice D also appears to be passive (To be+ past participle indicated by 'by' in the end)
Intern
Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 2

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31 May 2013, 13:34
D is the correct option. A cannot be correct because the usage of "they" should refer to the customs authorities and not the travellers. It is the customs authorities who confiscate items and hence have to explain the reasons to travellers.

Only in option D, we see "they" is referring to the authorities.
Verbal Forum Moderator
Joined: 16 Jun 2012
Posts: 1127
Location: United States

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08 Jun 2013, 16:24
brothers wrote:
No matter how patiently they explain their reasons for confiscating certain items, travelers often treat customs inspectors like wanton poachers rather than government employees.
(A) travelers often treat customs inspectors like wanton poachers rather than government employees
(B) travelers often treat customs inspectors as wanton poachers instead of government employees
(C) travelers often treat customs inspectors as if they were not government employees but wanton poachers
(D) customs inspectors are often treated by travelers as if they were wanton poachers rather than government employees
(E) customs inspectors are often treated not like government employees but wanton poachers by travelers

IMO, D is correct.

A, B and C have misplaced modifier problem.
The non-underlined part is "No matter how patiently they explain their reasons for confiscating certain items......." ==> Because of "they", we need "custom inspectors" after the comma to make the sentence sensible.

Between D and E, E has parallelism problem: "custom inspector are often treated NOT LIKE X BUT Y by travelers". The correct structure should be "NOT LIKE X BUT LIKE Y"

D is correct, "they" refers to custom inspectors. "Rather than" is correct idiom.

Hope it helps.
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Intern
Joined: 10 Feb 2014
Posts: 5

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10 Apr 2014, 23:37
ms wrote:
jeeteshsingh,
In the first part of the sentence - "No matter how patiently they explain their reasons for confiscating certain items"

What is they referring to ?

Thanks

ms

"They" is referring to "custom inspectors"
Intern
Joined: 07 Apr 2014
Posts: 7

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12 May 2014, 23:39
brothers wrote:
No matter how patiently they explain their reasons for confiscating certain items, travelers often treat customs inspectors like wanton poachers rather than government employees.
(A) travelers often treat customs inspectors like wanton poachers rather than government employees
(B) travelers often treat customs inspectors as wanton poachers instead of government employees
(C) travelers often treat customs inspectors as if they were not government employees but wanton poachers
(D) customs inspectors are often treated by travelers as if they were wanton poachers rather than government employees
(E) customs inspectors are often treated not like government employees but wanton poachers by travelers

underline should include "travelers"
Manager
Joined: 17 Mar 2014
Posts: 167
Location: United States
GPA: 3.97

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26 Aug 2014, 06:44
brothers wrote:
No matter how patiently they explain their reasons for confiscating certain items, travelers often treat customs inspectors like wanton poachers rather than government employees.
(A) travelers often treat customs inspectors like wanton poachers rather than government employees
(B) travelers often treat customs inspectors as wanton poachers instead of government employees
(C) travelers often treat customs inspectors as if they were not government employees but wanton poachers
(D) customs inspectors are often treated by travelers as if they were wanton poachers rather than government employees
(E) customs inspectors are often treated not like government employees but wanton poachers by travelers

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Manager
Joined: 17 Mar 2014
Posts: 167
Location: United States
GPA: 3.97

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26 Aug 2014, 07:25
The non - underlined portion has two pronouns - they and their. We want to make sure we are associating these with correct subject.
Plus - the first sentence is modifying "customs officers" because they are the one who do the explaining.
Thus, right after the modifying clause, the subjecdt its modifying should appear.
Only D and E has that. D - just because it is in passive voice, does not make it incorrect.
D - structure of D is hypothetical subjunctive. D is the correct choice.
E - not like ..should have parallelism - not like...but like...
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GMAT Club Legend
Joined: 01 Oct 2013
Posts: 10149

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17 Jan 2016, 16:45
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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Intern
Joined: 28 Mar 2016
Posts: 17
Location: India
GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V42

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22 May 2016, 04:11
Isn't "They" in D ambiguous? It can refer to both travelers and custom officers.
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Thanks.
Ankit Bansal

Verbal Forum Moderator
Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 4571

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22 May 2016, 06:46
Ankit73 wrote:
Isn't "They" in D ambiguous? It can refer to both travelers and custom officers.

Hi,

No matter how patiently they explain their reasons for confiscating certain items, customs inspectors are often treated by travelers as if they were wanton poachers rather than government employees...

If you look at the onon-underlined portion, 'they' has been used and it also refers to custom officers....
Custom officers is the SUBJECT and all subject pronoun will refer to the SUBJECT noun..
they is also used as subject pronoun here in underlined portion
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Combination of similar and dissimilar things : http://gmatclub.com/forum/topic215915.html

Re: 1000 SC_3   [#permalink] 22 May 2016, 06:46

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