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Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary

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Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills, in reality these gregarious creatures live in stable groups that occupy the same territory for long periods.

(A) films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills

(B) in films about the American West coyotes are depicted to be solitary animals that howl mournfully on the tops of distant hills

(C) coyotes are depicted as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills in films about the American West

(D) films about the American West depict coyotes as if they were solitary, mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills

(E) films about the American West depict coyotes to be solitary and mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills

Project SC Butler: Day 28 Sentence Correction (SC2)

Originally posted by jitgoel on 05 Sep 2012, 05:16.
Last edited by Bunuel on 07 Aug 2019, 08:41, edited 1 time in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2018, 10:27
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By analyzing each statement:

(A) films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills
This option seems ok.

(B) in films about the American West coyotes are depicted to be solitary animals that howl mournfully on the tops of distant hills

'Although' should be followed by a noun, not a preposition 'in'; or there should be a comma (Although, in films about the American West, coyotes ... )
'depicted to be' is not idiomatic. It should be 'depicted as'.
Passive voice 'depicted' is unnecessarily used instead of the active voice.

(C) coyotes are depicted as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills in films about the American West

'hills in films' has different meaning as if talking about certain hills in the films, not hills in general.
Passive voice 'depicted' is unnecessarily used instead of the active voice.

(D) films about the American West depict coyotes as if they were solitary, mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills
unnecessary comma which lead to misunderstanding as if 'mournfully howling animals' is modifying 'solitary' not the 'coyotes'

(E) films about the American West depict coyotes to be solitary and mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills
'depict coyotes to be' is not idiomatic. It should be 'depict coyotes as' as in the original statement A.

so The answer could be A
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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07 Sep 2012, 15:54
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I was asked in a PM to take on just this question, which everyone here seems to have answered incorrectly:

Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills, in reality these gregarious creatures live in stable groups that occupy the same territory for long periods.

(A) films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills

(B) in films about the American West coyotes are depicted to be solitary animals that howl mournfully on the tops of distant hills
PROBLEM: "Depict to be" is incorrect, even though "in films" and "in reality" are very nicely paralleled.

(C) coyotes are depicted as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills in films about the American West
PROBLEM: This totally wrecks the meaning. Most of you seemed to interpret this correctly (using logic from previous answer choices). One possible meaning is that "coyotes are depicted as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills WHEN THEY ARE in films about the American West". But the way this reads is that "coyotes are depicted (BY SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE, SOMETIME) as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills in films about the American West". See? It's as if they're depicted elsewhere as if they were in films. The modifiers here are modifying all the wrong stuff.

(D) films about the American West depict coyotes as if they were solitary, mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills
PROBLEM: Depict "as if" is also incorrect. Also reversing "mournfully howling" is awkward (though probably not grammatically incorrect).

(E) films about the American West depict coyotes to be solitary and mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills
PROBLEM: Depict "to be" is wrong.

Voila!

-tommy
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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24 Sep 2018, 03:26
Hi Experts,
In this question , i am confused with option C. Can you please tell me why my reasoning is wrong,
In second IC , we have "these gregarious creature as a subject" so in first clause we should have " coyotes " as the subject but instead we have films as the subject
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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24 Sep 2018, 11:25
guptakashish02 wrote:
Hi Experts,
In this question , i am confused with option C. Can you please tell me why my reasoning is wrong,
In second IC , we have "these gregarious creature as a subject" so in first clause we should have " coyotes " as the subject but instead we have films as the subject

I'm not quite sure that I understand your question, but I'll give it a shot!

Are you suggesting that in a sentence with two clauses, the subjects of the two clauses must match? If so, that certainly isn't true. There's absolutely nothing with having two different subjects of two different clauses in the same sentence.

As others have mentioned above, there are all sorts of other problems with (C). For starters, the phrase "coyotes are depicted as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills in films..." seems to be saying that the coyotes actually howl in the films themselves. And that's not the point: the sentence is trying to say that the films depict the coyotes as howling mournfully in general -- not that the coyotes actually howl in the films. And there's no good reason to use passive voice in (C) when there's a better, more active alternative in (A).

I hope this helps!
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2018, 10:16
Picked A first, then changed to C. Need a logical comparison. Coyotes as X in films and coyotes as Y in reality.
Although coyotes are depicted as X in films..... in reality, coyotes are Y... For A to work, the second part of the sentence needs to add a different type of movie to make the compare/contrast appropriate. Just my thinking!
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2018, 10:55
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Here's my take:

generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 28 Sentence Correction (SC2)

Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills, in reality these gregarious creatures live in stable groups that occupy the same territory for long periods.

(A) films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills

(B) in films about the American West coyotes are depicted to be solitary animals that howl mournfully on the tops of distant hills

(C) coyotes are depicted as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills in films about the American West

(D) films about the American West depict coyotes as if they were solitary, mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills

(E) films about the American West depict coyotes to be solitary and mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills

Meaning Analysis

In films about American West, coyotes are shown as solitary animals who howl mournfully on the tops of distant hills. But in reality, they live in stable groups that occupy the same territory for long periods.

Correct Idiom

Depict "X" as "Y".

Eliminate B and E as it uses incorrect idiom ("Depicted" X "to be" Y)
Eliminate D because of tense error. The non-underlined portion is in simple present tense. Option D says "as if they WERE" (simple past tense).
Also there are only 2 thoughts in option D (coyotes are solitary and mournfully howling animals) and therefore, no comma required.

Option C sounds enticing but there are 2 reasons why I am eliminating it --> 1) coyotes....on tops of distant hills in films about the American West. The "in films" seems to modify "distant hills". We want "films" to modify the entire clause from "coyotes" to "distant hills", and not just "distant hills".
2) The non-underlined part is in active voice, whereas option C seems to be passive voice. I reckon I'll need some expert insights here though. Is option C correct if we consider "voice"?

IMO, option A is the right answer because "on the tops of distant hills" correctly modifies the "solitary animals", and the idiomatic usage of "Depict X as Y" is correct.

Some thoughts on Option C would be nice.
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2018, 11:34
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gmatconqueror2018 wrote:
Picked A first, then changed to C. Need a logical comparison. Coyotes as X in films and coyotes as Y in reality.
Although coyotes are depicted as X in films..... in reality, coyotes are Y... For A to work, the second part of the sentence needs to add a different type of movie to make the compare/contrast appropriate. Just my thinking!
Posted from my mobile device

I would go with A on this one as C makes it sound like the coyotes howl something like;

"auuuuuuu Who shot the sheriff?"

Regards,
Chris
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2018, 12:07
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gmatconqueror2018 wrote:
Picked A first, then changed to C. Need a logical comparison. Coyotes as X in films and coyotes as Y in reality.
Although coyotes are depicted as X in films..... in reality, coyotes are Y... For A to work, the second part of the sentence needs to add a different type of movie to make the compare/contrast appropriate. Just my thinking!
Posted from my mobile device

gmatconqueror2018
why you want different type of movie? first part states that cayotes are X, but in reality they are X. thats it What type of movie would you like to compare with

this is how i understand this sentence:

Although films about the American Wild Wild West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills, but in reality these creatues are party animals, and they are howling to join some party.

(A) films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills

this option looks totally fine:) here you emphasize that films DO depict coyotes as solitary animals, whereas option C

changes the meaning. In C it sounds as if coyotes are on the top of distant hills in films .... (but the "films" are the doers/ executors )

(C) coyotes are depicted as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills in films about the American West
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2018, 12:30
generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 28 Sentence Correction (SC2)

Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills, in reality these gregarious creatures live in stable groups that occupy the same territory for long periods.

(A) films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills

(B) in films about the American West coyotes are depicted to be solitary animals that howl mournfully on the tops of distant hills

(C) coyotes are depicted as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills in films about the American West

(D) films about the American West depict coyotes as if they were solitary, mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills

(E) films about the American West depict coyotes to be solitary and mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills

The best or excellent answers get kudos, which will be awarded after the answer is revealed.

(A) films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills.Clear meaning and correctly used "as" and "howling mournfully" correctly modifies solitary animals.CORRECT
(B) in films about the American West coyotes are depicted to be solitary animals that howl mournfully on the tops of distant hills

(C) coyotes are depicted as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills in films about the American West .modifier error

(D) films about the American West depict coyotes as if they were solitary, mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills . meaning changed

(E) films about the American West depict coyotes to be solitary and mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills. meaning changed.it implies "coyotes are different sort of species ,depicted as solitary and mournfully howling animals living on tops of distant hills" but the original intent is they houl on top of hills.INCORRECT

Ans A
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2018, 12:55
I see why it's A now. Have to stop second guessing myself. The modifier error with C is still quite subtle. The question isn't hard but rather choosing between A and C is the biggest challenge!
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2018, 12:52
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Arro44 wrote:
as C makes it sound like the coyotes howl something like;

"auuuuuuu Who shot the sheriff?"

Regards,
Chris

Arro44 ,
Well, whoever shot the sheriff did not shoot the deputy.
Thanks for the laugh.

These SC threads are exactly the kind that help people learn.
No kidding. Studies I have cited elsewhere demonstrate that humor is a potent catalyst of learning.

Among other tidbits, my threads include

-- drunken snails whose intoxication regrettably slows them down

-- and coyotes who howl iconic Bob Marley [reggae] songs, an image that
becomes irreverently funnier every time I think about Marley's voice.

I may have to start awarding kudos for hilarity. Laughter is good.
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2018, 12:52
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generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 28 Sentence Correction (SC2)

Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills, in reality these gregarious creatures live in stable groups that occupy the same territory for long periods.

(A) films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills
(B) in films about the American West coyotes are depicted to be solitary animals that howl mournfully on the tops of distant hills
(C) coyotes are depicted as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills in films about the American West
(D) films about the American West depict coyotes as if they were solitary, mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills
(E) films about the American West depict coyotes to be solitary and mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills

OFFICIAL EXPLANATION
My comments are in blue typeface. Or red.

• Choice A is best

• In choice B, depicted to be is unidiomatic.
The correct idiom is depicted as.
In visual mediums, to depict means to portray, to illustrate, or to represent.
In written mediums, to depict means to describe or to portray.
All of those verbs take "as," not "to be."

• The phrase in films about the American West is misplaced in choice C
so that one cannot tell whether it indicates where the distant hills are,
where the animals howl, or where coyotes are depicted as solitary creatures;
the phrase should appear next to the word it is meant to modify.
That word is coyote.

• Choice D is wordy and awkward

• Choice E contains the faulty and unidiomatic construction depict . . . to be
Welcome to GMAT Club, gmatconqueror2018 , Mahmoudfawzy83 , and Darshi04

The official explanation for option (C) is excellent.
In general, look for splits; in particular, look for different placement of a prepositional phrase such as that in (A) and (C)
(in films about the American West)
GMAC is moving the prepositional phrase around for a reason. That reason almost always
is connected to correct placement of a modifier and its modified word.

If ever someone has the urge to eliminate an answer immediately because it seems "awkward" or "wordy" or both,
I urge that this someone resist that urge.
Find another error, or keep the option until there are only two answers that remain.

(D) creates meaning issues and a lot of confusion
... coyotes as if they were solitary, mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills

We put commas between "coordinate adjectives."
Are "solitary" and "[mournfully] howling" coordinate adjectives?

"Mournfully" modifies "howling." Occasionally we are allowed to insert a comma in such a case IF
we can put an "and" between the descriptors without a meaning change.
... depict coyotes as if they were solitary and mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills (Not great. Not horrible.)
... coyotes as if they were mournfully howling and solitary animals on the tops of distant hills (Are they the ONLY animals on the tops of the hills?)

(D) is awkward. If we want to call something "awkward," however, we had better be able to explain why.
The string solitary, mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills creates
a halting effect.
Nor is that phrase as clear or concise as that in (A) solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills.

One more item to notice about (D)
We can use "as if they were" in the present tense.
Using "as if they were" emphasizes the counterfactual or hyperbolic aspect of a film's inaccurate depiction of coyotes.

The use is similar to the idiom:
Not only X but also Y
The "also" adds emphasis to the thrust of the logic.
The phrase "as if they were" is similar.
Takeaway: Do not automatically choose "depict as" over "depict as if they were." Give the two options some thought.
(We do not have to think in this case. The other part of the sentence is stylistically and rhetorically inferior to other options.)

Mahmoudfawzy83 has very good analysis but fails to write the meaning of the sentence.
Darshi04 has one error in otherwise very clear analysis but lays out the meaning of the sentence.

It's a tie. Kudos to both.
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2018, 03:09
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Thanks generis , your highlight on the coordinate adjectives was so new and beneficial to me, and the article your referred to had an excellent explanation.
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2018, 05:03
generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 28 Sentence Correction (SC2)

Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills, in reality these gregarious creatures live in stable groups that occupy the same territory for long periods.

(A) films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills

(B) in films about the American West coyotes are depicted to be solitary animals that howl mournfully on the tops of distant hills

(C) coyotes are depicted as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills in films about the American West

(D) films about the American West depict coyotes as if they were solitary, mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills

(E) films about the American West depict coyotes to be solitary and mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills

The best or excellent answers get kudos, which will be awarded after the answer is revealed.

Though i understand why A is incorrect,but i have one query.In case of comparisons,say when we use like /unlike etc, we have to compare two similar entities,is it true for case of Although too.
See in case of C we are correctly comparing coyotes but in A
is it comparison of Films vs reality
or comparison of Coyotes.
Is this comparison necessary in Although,
If yes,then how is A correct?
If it is comparison of films vs reality so isn't in films required?
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2018, 07:56
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@vanam

Quote:
Though i understand why A is incorrect, but i have one query. In case of comparisons, say when we use like /unlike etc, we have to compare two similar entities, is it true for case of Although too.

See in case of C we are correctly comparing coyotes but in A

is it comparison of Films vs reality
or comparison of Coyotes.
Is this comparison necessary in Although,
If yes, then how is A correct?
If it is comparison of films vs reality

so isn't in films required?

First thing is that 'although' is not a comparison marker; it is only a contrast marker. The question is not asking us to compare the coyotes of now with the coyotes of the past nor compare the perception of the films vs. the reality. The question only wants to emphasize that we are sometimes wrong in our judgment.

Therefore, in A, there is no need to use 'in films and maintain parallelism in line with 'in reality'. It may be also seen that if we insert the preposition 'in' for the sake of apparent parallelism, then the whole structure of the clause turns a fragment without a legal subject. If there is no subject then it is no more a clause. By the insertion of a preposition, we will be burning the house for the sake of killing a bug.

The observation that choice C correctly compares may not be true.

(C) Although coyotes are depicted as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills in films about the American West, in reality, these gregarious creatures live in stable groups that occupy the same territory for long periods

Can we say for sure, who is comparing the coyotes with what? There is no answer.

In addition, one clause is in passive voice and the other is in the active voice. In other words, can we justify the use of passive voice for the subordinate clause? Are there no other genuine means of rewriting that clause in a more forthright and dynamic active voice? This shift of voice is a grave error as far as parallelism goes.
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 06 Dec 2018, 22:53
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Quote:
D)films about the American West depict coyotes as if they were solitary, mournfully howling animals on the tops of distant hills

Let me delve into two aspects of this choice.

Point 1.
Please note that the use of "as they were" is not just a past tense. This is a special kind of past subjunctive, using the past tense verb 'were' instead of the normal 'are'.

Subjunctive mood sentences are special types of sentences, which violate the normal rules that apply to the subject-verb agreement in number and tense but are still considered grammatical. In the case of the past subjunctive, the grammatical form of the verb will be - I were, you were, he were, and they were- instead of the - I was, you were, he was or they were - forms.
Correct Examples:
The HOD thinks as if the staff were his errand boys
Some peons behave as though they were the GMs of the company.
Kusela spends as if he were Bill Gates.

We can note the differential but grammatically correct use of the present tense and the past tense within the same clause. , thanks to the past subjunctive mood.

Co-ordinate adjectives are so called because they are parallel elements. Each of the coordinate adjectives modifies the common noun with equal weight. They can be seamlessly either separated by a comma between them or joined with a coordinate conjunction such as 'and'. In addition, one can exchange the order of the adjectives without loss of meaning.

Even if we say -- solitary, mournfully howling animals -- as --mournfully howling, solitary animals -- the meaning stays the same. Therefore, the takeaway is that one doesn't have to split hears whether there has to be an 'and' between these adjectives, and rest assured that a comma between the coordinate adjectives is good enough, a rare case of where a comma equals a coordinate conjunction

This not an opportune time to go into another diametrical contrast concept known as cumulative adjectives which are far more meaning-based. Good Luck
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Originally posted by daagh on 06 Dec 2018, 09:32.
Last edited by daagh on 06 Dec 2018, 22:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2018, 09:44
daagh wrote:
@vanam

Quote:
Though i understand why A is incorrect, but i have one query. In case of comparisons, say when we use like /unlike etc, we have to compare two similar entities, is it true for case of Although too.

See in case of C we are correctly comparing coyotes but in A

is it comparison of Films vs reality
or comparison of Coyotes.
Is this comparison necessary in Although,
If yes, then how is A correct?
If it is comparison of films vs reality

so isn't in films required?

First thing is that 'although' is not a comparison marker; it is only a contrast marker. The question is not asking us to compare the coyotes of now with the coyotes of the past nor compare the perception of the films vs. the reality. The question only wants to emphasize that we are sometimes wrong in our judgment.

Therefore, in A, there is no need to use 'in films and maintain parallelism in line with 'in reality'. It may be also seen that if we insert the preposition 'in' for the sake of apparent parallelism, then the whole structure of the clause turns a fragment without a legal subject. If there is no subject then it is no more a clause. By the insertion of a preposition, we will be burning the house for the sake of killing a bug.

The observation that choice C correctly compares may not be true.

(C) Although coyotes are depicted as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills in films about the American West, in reality, these gregarious creatures live in stable groups that occupy the same territory for long periods

Can we say for sure, who is comparing the coyotes with what? There is no answer.

In addition, one clause is in passive voice and the other is in the active voice. In other words, can we justify the use of passive voice for the subordinate clause? Are there no other genuine means of rewriting that clause in a more forthright and dynamic active voice? This shift of voice is a grave error as far as parallelism goes.

Thanks a lot sir ,you are always there for help:) much appreciated
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as solitary  [#permalink]

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09 Dec 2018, 03:47
(C) coyotes are depicted as solitary animals howling mournfully on the tops of distant hills in films about the American West

(C) is incorrect because "in the films about the American West" is misplaced. It seems like the "distant hills" are in films about the American West. This is illogical meaning.

Ans: (A)
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05 Dec 2019, 08:22
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Re: Although films about the American West depict coyotes as   [#permalink] 05 Dec 2019, 08:22