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Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than

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Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than they had in their previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.

(A) they had in their previous campaigns
(B) their previous campaigns had had
(C) they had for any previous campaign
(D) in their previous campaigns
(E) for any previous campaign

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 248: Sentence Correction


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Originally posted by AugiTh on 03 Jul 2007, 12:52.
Last edited by Bunuel on 05 Dec 2019, 07:31, edited 11 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2018, 03:44
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Quote:
(A) they had in their previous campaigns

The key is in the non-underlined portion of the sentence: “Napoleon’s army” is singular, and that means that the plural pronouns “they” and “their” have no logical referents. That’s not cool. (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) their previous campaigns had had

Well, (B) has exactly the same problem as (A): “their” is a plural pronoun that logically needs to refer to “Napoleon’s army”, but “army” is singular. That’s still not cool.

But in case you’re wondering: “had had” can actually be OK. It’s just the past perfect tense version of “had.” Consider the following:

  • The army had sufficient food supplies. --> No problem. This is just simple past tense, right?
  • The army had had sufficient supplies until some guy named Charlie at them all. –-> “had had” is past perfect tense, and like any action in past perfect tense, it has to precede some other action LATER in the past. And we’re all good here: the army had sufficient food supplies first, and then later on, some guy named Charlie ate them all.

So don’t get distracted by “had had”: it’s just a nice, normal action in past perfect tense. And it’s fine here: the previous campaigns occurred before the invasion of Russia, so it’s fine to use past perfect to describe those earlier campaigns.

But the pronoun thing is still a big problem. (B) is out.

Quote:
(C) they had for any previous campaign

It’s nice that the different answer choices rearrange stuff, but (C) still has the same problem as (A) and (B): “they” logically needs to refer to “Napoleon’s army”, but “army” is singular.

So (C) is gone, too.

Quote:
(D) in their previous campaigns

And this is getting boring: “their” still can’t refer to “Napoleon’s army.”

(D) is out, and I hope we like (E).

Quote:
(E) for any previous campaign

By default, this is our winner, because it’s the only option that doesn’t contain an egregious pronoun error.

But my bet is that some of you don’t really love the comparison. Maybe you’d prefer this version?

    “…Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than it had for its previous campaigns…”

That version would be crystal-clear, but the only thing that’s different in (E) is that the phrase “it had” is missing from (E). I don’t think it’s completely crazy to give the GMAT the benefit of the doubt here: “it had” really isn’t necessary for us to understand the meaning of the sentence. Of course Napoleon’s army was the thing that “had” the supplies; there’s no real need to include the phrase “it had.”

So the comparison is acceptable in (E). And more importantly, the absence of pronoun errors is wonderful. So (E) is our winner.
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2007, 19:37
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AugiTh wrote:
(A) they had in their previous campaigns - Plural pronoun they is incorrect
(B) their previous campaigns had had - same pronoun error as A
(C) they had for any previous campaign - same pronoun error as A
(D) in their previous campaigns - same pronoun error as A
(E) for any previous campaign - Correct

Please explain your ans!!!


key here 'army' is singular subject
'it had' correctly specifies this.

so only E is the correct answer choice.
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Nov 2012, 02:10
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This is the modified version of the OG topic, given below.

Although Napoleon's army entered Russia with far more supplies than they had in their previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.

(A) they had in their previous campaigns
(B) their previous campaigns had had
(C) they had for any previous campaign
(D) in their previous campaigns
(E) for any previous campaign

The correct answer for the above original version is E, which is indisputable, because it is OG’s OA.

In the new version all the plural pronouns have been changed to singular pronouns. But still the OG’s correct answer namely E remains, since both choices are verbatim the same. The other choices are null and void, since no GMAT questions will have two correct answers.


But to go deep into the topic, this is a question of comparisons. More supplies are being compared with the army in A and C, campaigns in B. The comparison should be from campaign to campaign. It cannot be between the Russian campaign on one hand and all the campaigns put together on the other hand. This is like saying Simla apple has more nutrients than in other apples, an unequal comparison.So, D is gone. This leaves us with E, where campaign to campaign is compared.
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2012, 07:24
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Hi there,

Let’s stick to the official question that reads:

Although Napoleon's army entered Russia with far more supplies than they had in their previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.

Error Analysis:

1. Plural pronoun “they” does not agree in number with singular “army”.
2. This sentence compares “supplies” with “army”. This is not logical.

PoE:

(A) they had in their previous campaigns: Incorrect for the reasons stated above.

(B) their previous campaigns had had: Incorrect.
1. Repeats the pronoun error of choice A.
2. “supplies” has been compared with “their previous campaigns”.

(C) they had for any previous campaign: Incorrect. Repeats all the errors of choice A.

(D) in their previous campaigns: Incorrect. Plural pronoun “their” does not agree in number with singular “army”.

(E) for any previous campaign: Correct. The structure here is: …far more supplies than (supplies) for any previous campaign…

Hope this helps. :)
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2014, 01:35
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Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than they had in their previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.

(A) they had in their previous campaigns
Army is a collective noun thus its referent has to be singular.
(B) their previous campaigns had had
Same error here
(C) they had for any previous campaign
Same error here
(D) in their previous campaigns
Same error here
(E) for any previous campaign
Looking good.
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2014, 11:50
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Basically every option that includes plural is wrong because "Army" is a collective noun so it is singular.
In "D." their has no antecedent .

Option "E" is perfectly correct and is parallel as it uses "for ...."

Hope it is clear ;)
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2014, 18:57
abid1986 wrote:
tejal777 wrote:
Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than they had in their previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.
(A) they had in their previous campaigns
(B) their previous campaigns had had
(C) they had for any previous campaign
(D) in their previous campaigns
(E) for any previous campaign

Army is singular so eliminate a,b,c.Why is the answer e?Is'nt "d " better?



what is the usage of For over here ?
OG Says. "In the context of supplies for a campaign, the preposition for is preferable to the preposition in"
Please explain in detail with few examples .


Dear Abid,

Thank you for your query. :)

We can surely discuss the use of "for" in the correct sentence. However, before we do so, I would like to request you to kindly me send your meaning and error analysis of the original sentence. If, while solving the question, you marked some other choice as the correct answer, then I would like to request you to kindly post your analysis of that choice as well. Your analyses will provide me with an opportunity to understand your thought process and guide the discussion accordingly. Hope you'll appreciate the same.

Also, I would like to recommend that you go through the full-length video solution to this question. It is available on our blog here:https://e-gmat.com/blogs/?cat=45&paged=4

:)

Thanks,

Neeti.
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2014, 01:03
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umeshpatil wrote:
Hello eGMAT,

Nice explanation in the video. I bit more elaboration on the preposition 'in Vs for'. Can you provide couple of more examples that shows correct usage of both 'in' and 'for' ?


Hi umeshpatil,
Thank you for the post. :-)


Let’s first discuss try to understand the usage of ‘in’ and ‘for’ with a few simple examples:
Tom lives in Delhi. (Place)
Ron completed his graduation in 2008. (Point of time)

He will leave for London tonight. (Purpose)
She loves her job, for it is challenging. (Reason)
I have been preparing for GMAT for the last 6 months. (Time duration)

Let’s now discuss an official question to make your understanding more clear regarding the usage of the prepositions ‘in’ and ‘for’.

OFFICIAL QUESTION

• Along the major rivers that traverse the deserts of northeast Africa, the Middle East, and northwest India, the combination of a reliable supply of water and good growing conditions both encouraged farming traditions that, in places, endure in at least 6,000 years.

A. good growing conditions both encouraged farming traditions that, in places, endure in
B. good growing conditions encouraged farming traditions that have, in places, endured for
C. of good growing conditions have encouraged farming traditions that, in places, endured for
D. of good growing conditions both encouraged farming traditions that have, in places, endured
E. of good growing conditions encouraged farming traditions that have, in places, been enduring for


SENTENCE STRUCTURE
• Along the major rivers
o that traverse the deserts of northeast Africa, the Middle East, and northwest India,
• the combination of a reliable supply of water and good growing conditions both encouraged farming traditions
o that, in places, endure in at least 6,000 years.


MEANING ANALYSIS
• This sentence tells us about the area along the major rivers that flow through the deserts of northeast Africa, the Middle East, and northwest India.
• It says that in this area the combination of reliable water supply and good growing conditions promoted farming traditions.
o In some places, these farming traditions have endured over the last 6,000 years.

ERROR ANALYSIS
There are three errors in the given sentence.
1) Verb tense: ‘endure’ does not represent the longevity of the farming traditions. The farming traditions have been in existence for 6,000 years. This can’t be represented using the simple present tense.

2) Idiom: ‘in at least 6,000 years’ is incorrect idiomatic usage in this context. Let’s consider two examples:
I started working at e-GMAT in 2012. (To refer to a point of time)
I have worked at e-GMAT for 2 years. (To show a time duration)

3) Redundancy: In this sentence, ‘both’ is redundant since the word ‘combination’ conveys the intended meaning.


Let’s now analyze the correct option, i.e. option B.
OPTION B

• Along the major rivers
o that traverse the deserts of northeast Africa, the Middle East, and northwest India,
• the combination of a reliable supply of water and good growing conditions encouraged farming traditions
o that have, in places, endured for at least 6,000 years.


In this option, both ‘in’ and ‘for’ are correctly used.

Hope the above discussion helps! :-)

Regards,

Deepak
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jun 2017, 11:38
Hi Experts,

I understand why E is correct because of the pronoun issue. I have a comparison question for choice D:

If I re-write choice D as (pronoun issue fixed):
Although Napoleon's army entered Russia with far more supplies than in its previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.

Would this be correct? Based on my understanding we can infer choice D as follows:

Although Napoleon's army entered Russia with far more supplies than (supplies it had) in its previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.

I am trying to understand if there is any other error in D apart from the pronoun issue.

Thanks for your help!
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2017, 12:26
yt770 wrote:
Hi Experts,

I understand why E is correct because of the pronoun issue. I have a comparison question for choice D:

If I re-write choice D as (pronoun issue fixed):
Although Napoleon's army entered Russia with far more supplies than in its previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.

Would this be correct? Based on my understanding we can infer choice D as follows:

Although Napoleon's army entered Russia with far more supplies than (supplies it had) in its previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.

I am trying to understand if there is any other error in D apart from the pronoun issue.

Thanks for your help!


I could be wrong, but I don't have a problem with your revised version of the sentence. I suppose we could argue that the "for its previous campaigns" would be a little bit more direct: "supplies for its previous campaigns" seems cleaner than "supplies [it had] in its previous campaigns," but I don't think that your version is explicitly wrong. And it's hard for me to imagine that another official question would torture you over the difference between "for its previous campaigns" and "in its previous campaigns."

I hope this helps!
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Dec 2017, 06:50
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Hi eGmat Team,

Could you explain why "It" in question stimulus can not refer to Russia.
In my opinion sentences make sense.

Russia had provisions for only twenty-four days.
Army had provisions for only twenty-four days.


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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2017, 04:55
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ammuseeru wrote:

Hi eGmat Team,

Could you explain why "It" in question stimulus can not refer to Russia.
In my opinion sentences make sense.

Russia had provisions for only twenty-four days.
Army had provisions for only twenty-four days.


Regards,


If a pronoun that is the subject of a clause has two possible antecedents, of which one is the subject of another clause in the sentence, then by virtue of parallelsim the subject pronoun would unambigously refer to the subject antecedent.

Here you would observe that "it" and "army" are both subjects ("Russia" is not a subject), and hence "it" must refer to "army".
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2018, 20:25
i want to dicuss the use of "had" in choice a, b and c.
"had" is incorrect, i think.

the army have entered into Russia better than it had
this is correct.
if the latter part contain helping verb, the first part must contain the same helping verb , possibly in a different tense.

this is a rule from Ron of Manhanttan.

am I correct? pls, speak out.
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2018, 21:40
It is important to understand the sequence of events here. If you look at the subordinate clause starting with Although, It talks about napoleon's army entrance into Russia in the past. Now, when you compare it with another past event, it has got to be in the past perfect tense and hence the usage of 'had' is correct.

Remember : if you are talking about 2 past events, then the most recent past event is usually represented with a past tense and the other past event is represented by a past perfect.

Thanks !
Please consider pressing kudos if my response helped you in any way !

thangvietnam wrote:
i want to dicuss the use of "had" in choice a, b and c.
"had" is incorrect, i think.

the army have entered into Russia better than it had
this is correct.
if the latter part contain helping verb, the first part must contain the same helping verb , possibly in a different tense.

this is a rule from Ron of Manhanttan.

am I correct? pls, speak out.
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2018, 23:03
Hi Shubham, had in options A and C is used as simple past tense verb and not as past perfect.

had had in option B depicts past perfect.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses had had, its application and examples in significant detail. If someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 21 May 2019, 05:47
Doesn't E need s for any campaign's'?
I have learned it must be plural noun with any...
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 21 May 2019, 06:05
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Dodododo wrote:
Doesn't E need s for any campaign's'?
I have learned it must be plural noun with any...

"Any" can be followed by a singular noun in certain contexts.

In this case, the comparison being made is between the supplies associated with this campaign and the supplies associated with any other (or previous) campaign, meaning that, no matter which single previous campaign we choose, there would be more supplies associated with the Russian campaign than were associated with that "previous campaign."

Now here's a context in which "any" has to be followed by a plural noun.

They looked all over but didn't see any wolves.

This, of course, would also be correct.

I was very thirsty, but there wasn't any water left.
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jul 2019, 21:34
Completely slipped the last "their" - thanks for your explanation, Charles.

I think a lot of people can be lured by "in" if they forget that "for" also acts as a preposition. Though, obviously you could eliminate D for simpler SV Agreement issues.

Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than they had in their previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.

(A) they had in their previous campaigns
(B) their previous campaigns had had
(C) they had for any previous campaign
(D) in their previous campaigns
(E) for any previous campaign


Army is obviously singular. The other thing to note is you cannot refer to the subject of a possessive.

For example: "Jack's painting is so great that he won an award". This is incorrect
Corrected: Jack's painting is so great that Jack won and award"
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Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2019, 02:22
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
(A) they had in their previous campaigns

The key is in the non-underlined portion of the sentence: “Napoleon’s army” is singular, and that means that the plural pronouns “they” and “their” have no logical referents. That’s not cool. (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) their previous campaigns had had

Well, (B) has exactly the same problem as (A): “their” is a plural pronoun that logically needs to refer to “Napoleon’s army”, but “army” is singular. That’s still not cool.

But in case you’re wondering: “had had” can actually be OK. It’s just the past perfect tense version of “had.” Consider the following:

  • The army had sufficient food supplies. --> No problem. This is just simple past tense, right?
  • The army had had sufficient supplies until some guy named Charlie at them all. –-> “had had” is past perfect tense, and like any action in past perfect tense, it has to precede some other action LATER in the past. And we’re all good here: the army had sufficient food supplies first, and then later on, some guy named Charlie ate them all.

So don’t get distracted by “had had”: it’s just a nice, normal action in past perfect tense. And it’s fine here: the previous campaigns occurred before the invasion of Russia, so it’s fine to use past perfect to describe those earlier campaigns.

But the pronoun thing is still a big problem. (B) is out.

Quote:
(C) they had for any previous campaign

It’s nice that the different answer choices rearrange stuff, but (C) still has the same problem as (A) and (B): “they” logically needs to refer to “Napoleon’s army”, but “army” is singular.

So (C) is gone, too.

Quote:
(D) in their previous campaigns

And this is getting boring: “their” still can’t refer to “Napoleon’s army.”

(D) is out, and I hope we like (E).

Quote:
(E) for any previous campaign

By default, this is our winner, because it’s the only option that doesn’t contain an egregious pronoun error.

But my bet is that some of you don’t really love the comparison. Maybe you’d prefer this version?

    “…Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than it had for its previous campaigns…”

That version would be crystal-clear, but the only thing that’s different in (E) is that the phrase “it had” is missing from (E). I don’t think it’s completely crazy to give the GMAT the benefit of the doubt here: “it had” really isn’t necessary for us to understand the meaning of the sentence. Of course Napoleon’s army was the thing that “had” the supplies; there’s no real need to include the phrase “it had.”

So the comparison is acceptable in (E). And more importantly, the absence of pronoun errors is wonderful. So (E) is our winner.

GMATNinja
But "Army" is also used as "plural" in grammar. So, why don't we consider "Army" as "Plural" in this SC? I appreciate your help sir.
Thanks__
GMAT Club Bot
Re: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than   [#permalink] 25 Sep 2019, 02:22

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Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than

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