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Re: Sentence construction qeuestion [#permalink]
feruz77 wrote:
A recent academic survey by Thomas Green attempted to identify the earliest references to King Arthur so as to legitimize the legendary hero’s questionable existence.

(A) so as to legitimize the legendary hero’s previously questionable existence.
(B) and so legitimize the legendary hero’s questionable existence.
(C) to legitimize the legendary hero’s questionable existence.
(D) so that he could legitimize the legendary hero’s questionable existence.
(E) in order that he would legitimize the legendary hero’s questionable existence.


The current statement means that the Survey tried to legitimize the King Arthur's questionable existance. But the essence of the sentence is that Thomas Green did this Survey to legitimize the existence of King Arthur.
Hence we need to bring in the Subject as Thomas Grren for verb legitimize here so as to convey the intented meaning.
option (D) fulfills this along with best sentence construction.
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Re: Sentence construction qeuestion [#permalink]
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I am afraid not. One takes a survey to find out the truth and not to establish what he thinks is the truth. The person taking the survey is just a tool and it is the survey that ultimately legitimizes something. Assigning such deep meaning many not be helpful in a GMAT exercise. Yes. it is acceptable if the choice says - so that it could legitimize the legendary hero’s questionable existence.

If you want to bring in Thomas Green as the subject, the sentence should straight away start in a dynamic way as – Thomas Green in a recent survey attempted to blah, blah
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Re: Sentence construction qeuestion [#permalink]
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I answered C.

I agree with Daagh's point of view, but I think D may be the best answer here.

A) 'so as to' just means 'to'. 'Previously' is not needed here.

B) and so legitimize. Parallelism issue and awkward.

C) When I read the answer choice C, it sounded fine. I was actually looking for an answer choice that started with 'to' instead of 'so as to.'
Only reason why I would cross C out is the over-use of 'to.'
Attempted 'to' identify A 'to' B 'to' verb.
I would have preferred 'Attempt A to verb' structure.
I still think the answer choice flows fine when you read 'attempted to identify references to King Arthur to legitimize,' but 'attempt to verb to verb' doesn't seem right.


D) 'so that he could legitimize the legendary hero’s questionable existence.'
At first, I thought 'he' was ambiguous, but the answer choice makes it clear that 'he' refers to Thomas Green by inserting 'the legendary hero's questionable existence.'
Thomas Green is the one performing the survey, so he can not be the legendary hero.
This answer choice avoids using 'to' too many times


E) wordy and awkward.
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Re: Sentence construction qeuestion [#permalink]
daagh wrote:
I am afraid not. One takes a survey to find out the truth and not to establish what he thinks is the truth. The person taking the survey is just a tool and it is the survey that ultimately legitimizes something. Assigning such deep meaning many not be helpful in a GMAT exercise. Yes. it is acceptable if the choice says - so that it could legitimize the legendary hero’s questionable existence.

If you want to bring in Thomas Green as the subject, the sentence should straight away start in a dynamic way as – Thomas Green in a recent survey attempted to blah, blah


I might be wrong here but my understanding is that surveys never conclude to a result. They are just ways to collect the data and that data can be used further to conclude different results. It means that same data can be used to conclude completely different sets of results.
So here in question - the survey attempted to find out the earliest reference of King Arthur and then using that -Thomas Green legitimizes the existence.

I also agree that assigning such meanings can be really dangerous in GMAT exercise.
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Re: Sentence construction qeuestion [#permalink]
I selected D, attempted to..... (past tense) + conditional tense (could, would) hence we are left with D, E. E is idiomatically wrong in order that should be in order to...

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Re: Sentence construction qeuestion [#permalink]
Here, The sentence is discussing the "general ability of Thomas Green" .So "D" is perfectly suitable.

In discussing past general ability "could" is prefered
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Re: Sentence construction qeuestion [#permalink]
daagh wrote:
D has a questionable antecedent. -]Will - he - refer to Green or Arthur. A right choice should not leave such a dilemma.
The correct answer should reflect the infinitive -to legitimize -in order to match the - to attempt -in the first part. Probably A is good enough( assuming the underlined part is verbatim repeated ) although the idiom - so as to - isn't a very accepted idiom in GMAT.


I agree with daagh. "He" could refer to Green or Arthur. I don't think D is the best.
What is the source?
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A recent academic survey by Thomas Green attempted to [#permalink]
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Ultimately, we have to go the rationale of the author and accept D; but a word for feruz77. How do you have an eye for such hair- rising passages? Good job and kudos to you

Here is something interesting

Arguments over grammar and style are often as fierce as those over IBM versus Mac, and as fruitless as Coke versus Pepsi and boxers versus briefs. --Jack Lynch

Originally posted by daagh on 04 Nov 2010, 04:14.
Last edited by daagh on 21 Jul 2019, 07:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A recent academic survey by Thomas Green attempted to [#permalink]
Poor q in my opinion. If someone is seeking to "legitimize" someone's "questionable existence," are they not trying to confirm that that person did not exist? "Previously" thus doesn't seem as redundant here as others have suggested. Have a look at it again.
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Re: A recent academic survey by Thomas Green attempted to [#permalink]
Huh? It is the survey that tried to legitimise, not Thomas Green. Which means that "he" can only refer to Arthur King, thereby making the sentence wrong.

What am I missing?
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Re: A recent academic survey by Thomas Green attempted to [#permalink]
I think C is the right answer, Daagh's point about D seems correct regarding the ambiguity of the pronoun he, can someone help out ??
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A recent academic survey by Thomas Green attempted to [#permalink]
IMO C is the right answer.

A recent academic survey by Thomas Green attempted to identify the earliest references to King Arthur so as to legitimize the legendary hero’s questionable existence.

(C) to legitimize the legendary hero’s questionable existence.

The sentence is in passive voice in which the doer of the action is not the subject of the sentence. Hence the subject here is "A recent survey" and "by Thomas Green" is a prepositional clause.
The sentence mentions that the report attempted "to identify"

For the sentence to logically conclude we need to match the infinites "attempted to identify ......... to legitimize" (As mentioned by daagh earlier)

Reaching out to GMATNinja and other experts to shed some light on this post to enlighten us on the correct answer choice :)

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Re: A recent academic survey by Thomas Green attempted to [#permalink]
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Re: A recent academic survey by Thomas Green attempted to [#permalink]
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