Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar,

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Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2009, 10:42
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Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco was also of interest to the French throughout the first half of the twentieth century because they assumed that if they did not hold it, their grip on Algeria was always insecure.

(A) if they did not hold it, their grip on Algeria was always insecure
(B) without it their grip on Algeria would never be secure
(C) their grip on Algeria was not ever secure if they did not hold it
(D) without that, they could never be secure about their grip on Algeria
(E) never would their grip on Algeria be secure if they did not hold it
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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09 Jul 2009, 10:51
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C. "it" refers to grip clearly.
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10 Jul 2009, 00:01
Yup B.
C is gramatically correct, but doesnt not make sense in this context. I was zonking..
It shud refer to "strategic proximity" and not grip.

Economist wrote:
C. "it" refers to grip clearly.
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10 Jul 2009, 07:50
Economist wrote:
Yup B.
C is gramatically correct, but doesnt not make sense in this context. I was zonking..
It shud refer to "strategic proximity" and not grip.

Economist wrote:
C. "it" refers to grip clearly.

i guess 'it' shud refer to refer to 'Strait of Gibraltor' and not strategic proximity.

they dont hold the 'proximity', they hold the 'Strait'//
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22 Jul 2009, 10:39
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Economist wrote:
Yup B.
C is gramatically correct, but doesnt not make sense in this context. I was zonking..
It shud refer to "strategic proximity" and not grip.

Economist wrote:
C. "it" refers to grip clearly.

C is grammatically correct!? The "it" isn't clear if it refers to Algeria or Morocco.
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22 Jul 2009, 11:47
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This question was hard to me as well:

A "if they did not hold it," is too wordy
B CORRECT without it, it is Marroco. They were trying to hold Marroco.
C "if they did not hold it," is too wordy
D "without that" has no reference
E "if they did not hold it," is too wordy
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23 Jul 2009, 04:46
I think D is the ans.What is the OA.
in rest of the choices 'it' has no referent.
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24 Jul 2009, 16:03
Ans :B
This question was tough . I searched the forum and saw that this was already discussed

1000-sc-strait-of-gibraltar-47233.html

very good explanations provided

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14 Jul 2010, 05:35
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I went with "B" on the basis of tense. "Would never be secure" is correct since this is something referencing a past belief about the future.
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14 Jul 2010, 12:25
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WhyabloodyMBA wrote:
Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco was also of interest to the French throughout the first half of the twentieth century because they assumed that if they did not hold it, their grip on Algeria was always insecure.

(A) if they did not hold it, their grip on Algeria was always insecure tense problem
(B) without it their grip on Algeria would never be secure tense is correct and conditional tense is used
(C) their grip on Algeria was not ever secure if they did not hold it tense problem
(D) without that, they could never be secure about their grip on Algeria that cannot be used in the place of a pronoun/antecedent
(E) never would their grip on Algeria be secure if they did not hold it
awkward and logical sequence is disturbed

my explanation in red
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30 Aug 2011, 00:32
C,E) 'it' is ambiguous and could refer to algeria or morocco.
D) 'assumed that without that' is awkward.

so it really is between A and B. 'insecure' could mean 'lacking confidence'.

B is clear and the best ans.
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30 Aug 2011, 01:32
B uses conditional tense, hence the right choice!
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22 Sep 2011, 07:01
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Multiple issues:
1. This construction implies a conditional. Check the if constrcution.
Also note that, not every conditional requires an if.Also, then can be correctly omitted from If-then constructions.
One more rule. was cannot be used in conditional's mail clause. Conditional calls for would
We have a split between if and non-if clauses. Both splits are correct, because the non-if clause still correctly indicates the meaning of a conditional. subject assumed that without something, something would happen - A clear conditional.
Choice A uses was in place of would - incorrect
Choice B correct use of would
Choice C - again, incorrect was
Choice D - could - an acceptable conditional but changes the meaning
choice E - would - correct

Other issues
A - wordy, awkward
B - correct
C - not ever: wordy ; what does pronoun it refer to? Morocco, Algeria or grip?
D - that - incorrect pronoun, could: changes meaning.
E - Correct verb, correct tense. but - the inversion? Only in poems, not on the gmat. and the pronoun it again.
(Note however that I have seen many OG problems whose correct choices have a pronoun with multiple possible antecedents. I would suggest that one doesn't eliminate such choices right away only on this basis)
One more issue: Secure about theri grip in C has different meaning than intended; intended meaning is a secure grip.
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Re: Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2012, 02:18
WhyabloodyMBA wrote:
Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco was also of interest to the French throughout the first half of the twentieth century because they assumed that if they did not hold it, their grip on Algeria was always insecure.

(A) if they did not hold it, their grip on Algeria was always insecure
(B) without it their grip on Algeria would never be secure
(C) their grip on Algeria was not ever secure if they did not hold it
(D) without that, they could never be secure about their grip on Algeria
(E) never would their grip on Algeria be secure if they did not hold it

i would go for B. i have a wild question why E is wrong just because it is wordy on there is anything else technical??
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Re: Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2012, 03:31
My understanding :

A : If ( didn't hold )................. WAS = eliminated
C : Was .............. if they didn't hold = eliminated
D : assumed THAT........ without THAT = eliminated

of E n B :

E : ...............if they didnt hold IT = Morocco is not a thing to hold = eliminated
B : ............... without IT ie without Morocco = logical form
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Re: Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2012, 19:35
in option there is 'if...then construction' and hence the second statement should be using 'would'. check MGMAT SC for tenses
in option e and c 'it' seems to refer to algeria.
in option d the whole statement reads 'that without that' which is awkward
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Re: Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2012, 10:36
Came down to choosing between A and B for me.

B has the correct setup of "it" correctly referring Morocco and also would never be secure sounded the best option among the alternatives.
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Re: Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2012, 00:38
A, B and D were contenders. But B was the only one accurate in construction and meaning. C gets a bit ambiguous and changes the meaning.

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Re: Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2012, 09:30
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WhyabloodyMBA wrote:
Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco was also of interest to the French throughout the first half of the twentieth century because they assumed that if they did not hold it, their grip on Algeria was always insecure.

(A) if they did not hold it, their grip on Algeria was always insecure
(B) without it their grip on Algeria would never be secure
(C) their grip on Algeria was not ever secure if they did not hold it
(D) without that, they could never be secure about their grip on Algeria
(E) never would their grip on Algeria be secure if they did not hold it

Let's try to solve this with the e-GMAT process.

Meaning:
The sentence is telling us that Morocco was of interest to the French throughout (for the entire time) of the first half of the 20th century (so 1900-1950 approximately) for two reasons:
- It (referring to Morocco) was close to the Strait of Gibraltar and;
- It (referring to Morocco) was needed to keep a strong grip on Algeria, and without Morocco, this grip on Algeria would not last

Error analysis:
Clause 1: Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco was also of interest to the French throughout the first half of the twentieth century
Clause 2: because they assumed
Clause 3: that if they did not hold it, their grip on Algeria was always insecure.

Clause 1 has correct subject verb agreement as well as correct placement of modifier "affording strategic..." clearly modifying "Morocco." Correct tense. No errors here.
Clause 2: correct subject verb agreement, correct tense. No errors here.
Clause 3: "they" and "their" refers to "the French" which is correct. Therefore, there is no pronoun error. However, there is tense error with the second part of clause 3 "their grip on Alberia was always insecure." It cannot be that the French always had an insecure grip on Algeria since the conditional statement is setting up a hypothetical situation. Therefore the word "would" be more appropriate here resulting in: their grip on Algeria would always be insecure.

A: wrong for reason mentioned above
C: their grip on Algeria was not ever secure if they did not hold it. Repeats the same error as choice a. Also uses "not ever secure" which is needlessly wordy and awkward. The "it" in this choice can refer to "grip on Algeria" or "Algeria" or "Morocco". Leads to confusion. Incorrect.
D: What is "that" referring to? It's not the right pronoun to refer to Morocco; a simple "it" is enough. Incorrect.
E: repeats pronoun error from choice c.

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Re: Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2013, 06:13
I go with B since it is better structured between the two sentences which use would. However, OG's explanation to why E is wrong is confusing. OG says Choice is awkward( Agreed) and the pronoun it could refer to either Morocco or Algeria.

But the same goes with their correct answer B. Both of them use their grip on Algeria.
Re: Affording strategic proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar,   [#permalink] 13 Jun 2013, 06:13

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