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# According to anthropologists, early religious beliefs were probably no

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According to anthropologists, early religious beliefs were probably no [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2017, 23:30
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Difficulty:

95% (hard)

Question Stats:

27% (00:59) correct 73% (01:09) wrong based on 127 sessions

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According to anthropologists, early religious beliefs were probably not borne of a desire to seek comfort after death but was more likely to begin as a way to explain the mysterious phenomenon of the natural world.
A. was more likely to begin as a way
B. were more likely a way
C. began most likely as a way
D. were more likely to have begun as a way
E. began, more than likely, as a way

Source: McGraw Hill GMAT

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Re: According to anthropologists, early religious beliefs were probably no [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2017, 01:57
Can verbal expert explain why D is wrong? Also, please explain why B is better than the other choices?
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Re: According to anthropologists, early religious beliefs were probably no [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2017, 04:59
daagh

Sir can you explain what is wrong with option D?
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According to anthropologists, early religious beliefs were probably no [#permalink]

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Updated on: 29 Mar 2017, 09:29
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Top Contributor
Here is a wrong comparison between an 'extant' or linking verb 'were' with an action verb 'began' in C and E. In the same vein, "were to have begun, in D and 'likely to begin' in A also denote an attempted action. In addition, A has the subject verb problem. All the four are out.
B is the reminder and we are force to select it more by chance than by choice. Because B as I see has a parallelism issue in not sticking to the tenets of correlative parallelism. "Not… but" is a correlative conjunction and whatever part of speech appears after 'not' must also appear after 'but'. In B what appears after "not" is a participial adjective phrase while what appears after 'but' is a full - fledged clause. IMO, the correct B would have been:
According to anthropologists, early religious beliefs probably were not borne of a desire to seek comfort after death but drawn more likely by a way to explain the mysterious phenomenon of the natural world.
The OE should be able to clear the haze.
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Originally posted by daagh on 27 Mar 2017, 06:42.
Last edited by daagh on 29 Mar 2017, 09:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: According to anthropologists, early religious beliefs were probably no [#permalink]

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29 Mar 2017, 08:34
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My usual disclaimer applies here: this is an unofficial question, so it's inevitably imperfect (at the very least, "phenomenon" should be plural!), and I'd caution against overanalyzing it. Spoiler alert: the same is true of the questions that I write.

In this case, the parallelism and subject-verb agreement lead us to eliminate everything besides (B) and (D), as daagh and others have explained.

But what's wrong with (D)? Well, I'm not sure that it's grammatically wrong, exactly -- it's just that there's no good reason to include the phase "to have begun." The meaning of the sentence is clearer without that phrase, so (B) wins.

To be fair, you could argue that the author is trying to emphasize the origins of the beliefs, and that argument would support (B). But again, I wouldn't read too much into this: an "official" version of the question wouldn't leave much reasonable space for argument.
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Re: According to anthropologists, early religious beliefs were probably no   [#permalink] 29 Mar 2017, 08:34
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