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Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her

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Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2008, 04:36
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Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her to write several mystery novels; travelers to Egypt can still stay at the Old Cataract Hotel, the model for the hotel in one of Christie's most famous books.


(A) Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her to write several mystery novels

(B) Agatha Christie used her travels with her archaeologist husband to inspire several mystery novels

(C) Because her husband was an archaeologist, Agatha Christie was able to use their travels as inspiration for several of her mystery novels

(D) Together with her archaeologist husband, Agatha Christie was inspired to incorporate their travel into several of her mystery novels

(E) Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband served as inspiration for several of her mystery novels


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Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2015, 23:32
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OFFICIAL EXPLANATION:



This sentence has a pronoun agreement error. Subject and object pronouns cannot refer back to possessive nouns; they must refer only to subject and object nouns. The subject in this sentence is "Agatha Christie's travels," not Agatha Christie herself. The first instance of "her" is correct because this pronoun is used as a possessive: "her [Agatha Christie's] archaeologist husband." However, the second instance of "her," an object pronoun, is incorrect: "inspired her [Agatha Christie, who is not an object in this sentence] to write..."


(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.

(B) This choice illogically states that the travels inspired the novels themselves, rather than inspiring Christie to write the novels.

(C) This choice introduces a false cause-effect statement. The original meaning indicates that Christie traveled because her husband was an archaeologist. According to this choice, however, Christie used their travels as inspiration because her husband was an archaeologist, which is clearly illogical.

(D) This choice seems to indicate that Christie and her husband were inspired to write the novels together. This cannot be the case because this choice also clearly states
that they are "her mystery novels," not both of theirs.

(E) CORRECT. This choice corrects the original pronoun agreement error by moving the second instance of "her" in front of "mystery novels," which changes it from an object pronoun to a possessive pronoun: "Agatha Christie's travels...her [Agatha Christie's] mystery novels..."
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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2009, 03:00
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Well, here is the information from Manhattan SC
Possessive nouns are particularly dangerous on GMAT.
e.g.
Jose's room is so messy that his mother calls him a pig.
The possessive noun in the sentence is Jose's. Possessive pronouns can refer to back possessive nouns, such as, possessive pronoun "his" here refers back to possessive noun Jose's. However, subject and object pronouns may not refer to back to possessive nouns.Therefore the object pronoun "him" is used incorrectly, because it may not refer to back to Jose's. "Him" would be only accurate if it refered back to the word Jose.

I think we have the same situation in the question posted by sudeep. Second "her" here may refer to Agatha Christie's travels, which is possessive noun and thus violates rhe rule explained above.
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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2008, 06:08
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aaron22197 wrote:
Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her to write several mystery novels; travelers to Egypt can still stay at the Old Cataract Hotel, the model for the hotel in one of Christie's most famous books.

A) Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her to write several mystery novels


I remember this one form one of MGMAT CAT and explanation that second "her" in A incorrectly refers to "Agatha Christie's" and that first "her" as possessive pronoun is correct.
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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2015, 03:15
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Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her to write several mystery novels; travelers to Egypt can still stay at the Old Cataract Hotel, the model for the hotel in one of Christie's most famous books.

• Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her to write several mystery novels close 2nd choice... however ,The antecedents of the last 'her' is not clear..

• Agatha Christie used her travels with her archaeologist husband to inspire several mystery novels
changes the meaning

• Because her husband was an archaeologist, Agatha Christie was able to use their travels as inspiration for several of her mystery novels changes the meaning..the inspiring novels were not because husband was an archaeologist

• Together with her archaeologist husband, Agatha Christie was inspired to incorporate their travel into several of her mystery novels
changes the meaning..the inspiring novels were notwritten by both

• Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband served as inspiration for several of her mystery novels
corrects the last 'her' by changing into her novels

a good question souvik..
ans E..
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Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2015, 06:46
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E is wrong because it is an indirect way of saying A. Remember, in the gmat verbs -inspired, are preferred to nouns 'inspiration'
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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2015, 15:46
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Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her to write several mystery novels; travelers to Egypt can still stay at the Old Cataract Hotel, the model for the hotel in one of Christie's most famous books.

• Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her to write several mystery novels
Correct.
• Agatha Christie used her travels with her archaeologist husband to inspire several mystery novels
Incorrect. Novels cannot be "inspired".
• Because her husband was an archaeologist, Agatha Christie was able to use their travels as inspiration for several of her mystery novels
Incorrect. "their" has no antecedent.
• Together with her archaeologist husband, Agatha Christie was inspired to incorporate their travel into several of her mystery novels
Incorrect. "their" has no antecedent.
• Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband served as inspiration for several of her mystery novels
Incorrect. Novels cannot be "inspired".

The OA is clearly A.
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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2015, 01:30
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The confusion is between A & E in this case. There is a major meaning issue with the choice A.

Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her to write several mystery novels; travelers to Egypt can still stay at the Old Cataract Hotel, the model for the hotel in one of Christie's most famous books.

The subject of the sentence is - Agatha Christie's travels. The main question to answer is -Did her travels inspire her to write "several" mystery novels or Did her travels worked as a source of inspiration for several mystery novels written by her
Choice A suggests that because of her travels she wrote (several) mystery novels, i.e. if her husband was not an archaeologist and she would not have travelled with him, then, she would not have written several mystery novels.

Choice E corrects the meaning error. It clearly says that her travels with her husband worked as a source of inspiration in several mystery novels written by her, i.e. her writing of several novels may not have contained a lot of places that she travelled with her husband if her husband was not an archaeologist & she was just a normal woman who did not travel to mysterious places such as archaeological sites and hotels visited during the archaeological site visits. However, she still would have written several novels based on her creativity.
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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2016, 08:03
chetan2u wrote:
Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her to write several mystery novels; travelers to Egypt can still stay at the Old Cataract Hotel, the model for the hotel in one of Christie's most famous books.

• Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her to write several mystery novels close 2nd choice... however ,The antecedents of the last 'her' is not clear..

• Agatha Christie used her travels with her archaeologist husband to inspire several mystery novels
changes the meaning

• Because her husband was an archaeologist, Agatha Christie was able to use their travels as inspiration for several of her mystery novels changes the meaning..the inspiring novels were not because husband was an archaeologist

• Together with her archaeologist husband, Agatha Christie was inspired to incorporate their travel into several of her mystery novels
changes the meaning..the inspiring novels were notwritten by both


• Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband served as inspiration for several of her mystery novels
corrects the last 'her' by changing into her novels

a good question souvik..
ans E..

Hi Chetan2u!
Good question i agree. The only contenders are A and E. Could please explain what could be antecedent of the last "her" in option A? I see only one antecedent - Agatha Christie itself. Thanks!
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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2016, 08:20
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Konstantin1983 wrote:
chetan2u wrote:
Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her to write several mystery novels; travelers to Egypt can still stay at the Old Cataract Hotel, the model for the hotel in one of Christie's most famous books.

• Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her to write several mystery novels close 2nd choice... however ,The antecedents of the last 'her' is not clear..

• Agatha Christie used her travels with her archaeologist husband to inspire several mystery novels
changes the meaning

• Because her husband was an archaeologist, Agatha Christie was able to use their travels as inspiration for several of her mystery novels changes the meaning..the inspiring novels were not because husband was an archaeologist

• Together with her archaeologist husband, Agatha Christie was inspired to incorporate their travel into several of her mystery novels
changes the meaning..the inspiring novels were notwritten by both


• Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband served as inspiration for several of her mystery novels
corrects the last 'her' by changing into her novels

a good question souvik..
ans E..

Hi Chetan2u!
Good question i agree. The only contenders are A and E. Could please explain what could be antecedent of the last "her" in option A? I see only one antecedent - Agatha Christie itself. Thanks!


Hi,
In A lets see the nouns and pronouns which we have..

1)Agatha's- this is possessive form..

2)her husband- again possessive form.. Correctly refers back to Agatha's husband..

3) her- this is object. there is no subject in the sentence to which it can refer to.. It cannot refer to possessive Agastha's..


this is changed in E by using her novel- possessive form again and correctly refering to Agastha's..
Hope it helped

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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2016, 12:54
Confusing this question is..
Everywhere we read that pronoun can refer to only subject or object but not the possessive nouns.
Can someone point out the official question if there be any such to confirm our belief that it actually can.
egmat some insight into this.
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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2016, 14:09
goforgmat wrote:
Confusing this question is..
Everywhere we read that pronoun can refer to only subject or object but not the possessive nouns.
Can someone point out the official question if there be any such to confirm our belief that it actually can.
egmat some insight into this.


First, possessive pronouns should not be confused with possessive adjectives:

This car is his: possessive pronoun.
This is his car: possessive adjective.

Second, Possessive nouns are used as adjectives. Therefore the following rules of thumb could be useful to remember:

1. Personal pronoun must refer to a noun, not an adjective. Hence a possessive noun cannot be an antecedent of a personal pronoun. ( John's... he: wrong)
2. Possessive adjective may refer to a possessive noun - both act as adjectives. (John's.. his: acceptable)
3. Possessive adjective though may refer to a noun. (John.... his: acceptable)
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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2016, 20:55
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chetan2u wrote:
3) her- this is object. there is no subject in the sentence to which it can refer to.. It cannot refer to possessive Agastha's..

Actually GMAT is quite flexible on this front.

So, it is not be a good idea to eliminate answer choices based on this.
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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2016, 21:45
Just two points on your Observations
chetan2u wrote:
her- this is object. there is no subject in the sentence to which it can refer to.. It cannot refer to possessive Agastha's..

Quote:
Actually GMAT is quite flexible on this front.

Could you please substantiate this point with some real OG Qs

Quote:
So, it is not be a good idea to eliminate answer choices based on this.


would you kindly give us a reason to eliminate the choice

Looking forward to hear from you
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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2016, 22:04
EducationAisle wrote:
chetan2u wrote:
3) her- this is object. there is no subject in the sentence to which it can refer to.. It cannot refer to possessive Agastha's..

Actually GMAT is quite flexible on this front.

So, it is not be a good idea to eliminate answer choices based on this.


Purely from grammar perspective, it is not acceptable to use a personal pronoun (subject or object) to refer to a possessive noun because a possessive noun acts as an adjective - a personal pronoun can replace only a noun, not an adjective. Therefore I definitely see a valid reasoning that chetan2u eliminated the choice. Nonetheless it would be interesting to see whether GMAT test writers ever deviated from this rule.
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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2016, 22:09
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Hi Chetan, you can refer to #109 in OG13 (Among the objects found...), where object pronoun is referring back to possessive noun.

Since this seems to be an unofficial question, I would be interested in knowing the OE. Theoretically, it can be argued that the travels did not inspire her to write; it was the experience she gained because of her travels that gave her the content for her novels.

However, as I mentioned, it's not an official question and so, one would be distinctly unfortunate, if one has to choose between A and E on the actual exam:).

p.s. This fact (object pronouns can refer to subject nouns) has been known for quite some time (at least since OG13, if not earlier); however, many people continued to believe that the subject pronoun can still not refer to possessive pronoun. An example in OG16 (can't remember off the top of my head, but can look it up) busted that myth as well!
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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2016, 22:51
EducationAisle wrote:
Hi Chetan, you can refer to #109 in OG13 (Among the objects found...), where object pronoun is referring back to possessive noun.

Since this seems to be an unofficial question, I would be interested in knowing the OE. Theoretically, it can be argued that the travels did not inspire her to write; it was the experience she gained because of her travels that gave her the content for her novels.

However, as I mentioned, it's not an official question and so, one would be distinctly unfortunate, if one has to choose between A and E on the actual exam:).

p.s. This fact (object pronouns can refer to subject nouns) has been known for quite some time (at least since OG13, if not earlier); however, many people continued to believe that the subject pronoun can still not refer to possessive pronoun. An example in OG16 (can't remember off the top of my head, but can look it up) busted that myth as well!


Hi Ashish,
thanks for the prompt reply..
1) I agree with you the Q is not an official Q and from a source.
2) I did go through the example from OG and felt that the meaning could be conveying that her is refering back to the goddess
Quote:
109) Among the objects found in the excavated temple were small terra-cotta effigies left by supplicants who were either asking the godess Bona Dea's aid in healing physical and mental ills or thanking her for such help.

here the portion after EITHER tells us that people are asking the godess BONA DEA's aid in... and after OR, thanking HER for SUCH help..
so first portion talks of the help asked and second portion talks of thanking for that help. It UNAMBIGUOUSLY refers to the SAME help. so logically HER should be standing for the godess..

But thats not the case in the sentence in the question..
A's travels with her husband inspired her to write several mystery novels..
this HER could be Agatha or Mrs X, Mrs Y, who have been inspired by A's travels..

3) ( I may be slightly biased in my thinking), But may I request you to give some more examples if you come across, where the object is not literally related to the possessive noun as in this case.

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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2016, 23:06
Hi Chetan, as you've rightly mentioned, in the official question, her is referring back to the goddess (though technically goddess is not present in the sentence in the subject form). Hence my suggestion earlier that absence of subject noun antecedent should not be a criterion for dismissing the usage of an object pronoun (or a subject pronoun).

As for pronoun ambiguity, GMAT has had a rather liberal view on this, and hence the general recommendation that pronoun ambiguity should not be the first reason for us to eliminate an answer choice.

In view of this, and since the question on this thread is an unofficial question, it's bit of a moot point taking this question as the basis of discussing pronoun ambiguity.

p.s. Yeah sure, if I come across any other official question, would highlight it here.
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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2016, 14:34
getting confused between choices a and e still inclined more towards choice a
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Re: Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her   [#permalink] 03 Mar 2016, 14:34

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