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A question for SC experts

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A question for SC experts [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2017, 23:25
Hi,

I need some help in understanding the usage of "which". Though which is used to refer to the nearest noun or a not so far away noun. I want to know in this sentence can which refer to English kingdom since it is the nearest noun or will it only refer to scandivian assault and danish conquest? Please share your insights.

The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the early eleventh century with the Danish conquest of the English Kingdom,which other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat,unsuccessfully,later in the same century.

Thanks

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Re: A question for SC experts [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2017, 02:30
lonepassenger wrote:
Hi,

I need some help in understanding the usage of "which". Though which is used to refer to the nearest noun or a not so far away noun. I want to know in this sentence can which refer to English kingdom since it is the nearest noun or will it only refer to scandivian assault and danish conquest? Please share your insights.

The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the early eleventh century with the Danish conquest of the English Kingdom,which other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat,unsuccessfully,later in the same century.

Thanks


I think "which" in this sentence refers to "English Kingdom", or in some case "which" could refer to "the Danish conquest of the English Kingdom". I'm sure that "which" will never refer to "The Scandinavian assault" because this noun is too far away from "which".
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Kudos [?]: 885 [0], given: 54

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Re: A question for SC experts [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2017, 03:40
Hi,

I need some help in understanding the usage of "which". Though which is used to refer to the nearest noun or a not so far away noun. I want to know in this sentence can which refer to English kingdom since it is the nearest noun or will it only refer to scandivian assault and danish conquest? Please share your insights.

The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the early eleventh century with the Danish conquest of the English Kingdom,which other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat,unsuccessfully,later in the same century.

Thanks

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Re: A question for SC experts [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2017, 21:38
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The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the early eleventh century with the Danish conquest of the English Kingdom, which other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat, unsuccessfully, later in the same century.


I think this is a case that blurs the line between the strict application of a rule and the question of what actually makes the most sense.

Technically, yes, the noun preceding "which" is "English Kingdom," but the English Kingdom is probably not something other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat.

A much more logical interpretation of the sentence is that the Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat the Danish conquest of the English kingdom. "Conquest" indicates an action, which can be repeated. In contrast, "English Kingdom" can only refer to a place, which cannot really be repeated.

If the sentence is understood this way, then "English Kingdom" is merely part of the longer noun phrase "conquest of the English kingdom."

The literal antecedent is of "which" is "Danish conquest," but the complete antecedent is "Danish conquest of the English kingdom."

So even though "which" is technically separated from the antecedent "Danish conquest," in practice, the entire noun phrase acts as the antecedent.

The literal separation of "Danish conquest" and "which" is acceptable because from a logical standpoint, there really isn't any ambiguity.

Hope that helps.

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Re: A question for SC experts [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2017, 06:43
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A much more logical interpretation of the sentence is that the Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat the Danish conquest of the English kingdom. "Conquest" indicates an action, which can be repeated. In contrast, "English Kingdom" can only refer to a place, which cannot really be repeated.


Well said by thecriticalreader1... logically, it makes sense that the adjective clause introduced by “which” is trying to modify “conquest”; however, because of its placement, the clause seems to modify “kingdom”. The same issue occurs in this sentence: “Pinot Noir can be made from grapes from California and Oregon, which are harvested in the fall.” What is harvested in the fall? Obviously the grapes, not “California and Oregon”; however, the placement of the clause creates ambiguity, and the GMAT would not like that sentence! The sentence in the original post would be incorrect for the same reason.

Make sure to post future sentence correction questions to the SC subforum and include the answer choices and OA, as per the Verbal Forum rules.
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Re: A question for SC experts   [#permalink] 29 Mar 2017, 06:43
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A question for SC experts

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