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# Although they were both employed by the Federal Writers’ Project in th

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Manager
Joined: 25 Nov 2011
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Although they were both employed by the Federal Writers’ Project in th  [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2012, 06:30
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Although they were both employed by the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s, unlike Ralph Ellison in New York and Massachusetts, Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote almost exclusively in the South.

A. unlike Ralph Ellison in New York and Massachusetts, Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote almost exclusively in the American South.

B. unlike Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote almost exclusively in the South.

C. Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote almost exclusively in the South, unlike Ralph Ellison in New York and Massachusetts.

D. Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote almost exclusively in the South, whereas Ralph Ellison worked in New York and Massachusetts.

E. Zora Neale Hurston did not live and write in New York and Massachusetts, like Ralph Ellison, but rather was in the South.

Now, I understand that if we want to use 'unlike', we should use it at the beginning of the statement and 'whereas' can be used in the middle of the sentence. Can someone confirm this?
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Re: Although they were both employed by the Federal Writers’ Project in th  [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2012, 09:23
Chembeti wrote:
Although they were both employed by the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s, unlike Ralph Ellison in New York and Massachusetts, Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote almost exclusively in the South.

A. unlike Ralph Ellison in New York and Massachusetts, Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote almost exclusively in the American South.

B. unlike Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote almost exclusively in the South.

C. Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote almost exclusively in the South, unlike Ralph Ellison in New York and Massachusetts.

D. Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote almost exclusively in the South, whereas Ralph Ellison worked in New York and Massachusetts.

E. Zora Neale Hurston did not live and write in New York and Massachusetts, like Ralph Ellison, but rather was in the South.

Now, I understand that if we want to use 'unlike', we should use it at the beginning of the statement and 'whereas' can be used in the middle of the sentence. Can someone confirm this?

Not really. In principle, either one is acceptable.

The thing is, "unlike" is a preposition and introduces a modifying phrase. "Whereas" is a conjunction and introduces a subordinate clause.

In this sentence, we open with a subordinate clause: "Although they were both employed by the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s..." The use of the plural pronoun "they" means that we need two nouns serving the same grammatical and logical function. Only D does this correctly, using both "Zora Neale Hurston" and "Ralph Ellison" as subjects (albeit in different clauses). The other four choices all use "Zora Neale Hurston" as a subject but "Ralph Ellison" as the object of a preposition, making it impossible to join the two together into one unit to encapsulate within one plural pronoun reference.
Manager
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Re: Although they were both employed by the Federal Writers’ Project in th  [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2012, 11:12
2
Chembeti wrote:
rustypolymath wrote:
Chembeti wrote:
Although they were both employed by the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s, unlike Ralph Ellison in New York and Massachusetts, Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote almost exclusively in the South.

A. unlike Ralph Ellison in New York and Massachusetts, Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote almost exclusively in the American South.

B. unlike Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote almost exclusively in the South.

C. Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote almost exclusively in the South, unlike Ralph Ellison in New York and Massachusetts.

D. Zora Neale Hurston lived and wrote almost exclusively in the South, whereas Ralph Ellison worked in New York and Massachusetts.

E. Zora Neale Hurston did not live and write in New York and Massachusetts, like Ralph Ellison, but rather was in the South.

Now, I understand that if we want to use 'unlike', we should use it at the beginning of the statement and 'whereas' can be used in the middle of the sentence. Can someone confirm this?

Not really. In principle, either one is acceptable.

The thing is, "unlike" is a preposition and introduces a modifying phrase. "Whereas" is a conjunction and introduces a subordinate clause.

In this sentence, we open with a subordinate clause: "Although they were both employed by the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s..." The use of the plural pronoun "they" means that we need two nouns serving the same grammatical and logical function. Only D does this correctly, using both "Zora Neale Hurston" and "Ralph Ellison" as subjects (albeit in different clauses). The other four choices all use "Zora Neale Hurston" as a subject but "Ralph Ellison" as the object of a preposition, making it impossible to join the two together into one unit to encapsulate within one plural pronoun reference.

got it...but bit complicated

Think of it this way: an ordinary singular pronoun has to refer to a single item, while an ordinary plural pronoun has to refer to several items that can be logically lumped together. Normally, this would be a plural subject or a plural object.

You could have two singular parallel subjects be lumped together for an ordinary plural pronoun; this is the case here. At the outer limit you could have one singular subject and its own direct object lumped together but one singular subject and an indirect object is just too much of a stretch. Semantically they become very difficult to use as an integral entity.

What is important on GMAT Sentence Corrections is not so much, "I use this word in this place and that word in that place," but, "What is the sentence trying to say? What does this thing point to? Why does it fail to say what it wants?"
Manager
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Posts: 145
Location: India
Concentration: Technology, General Management
GPA: 3.95
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Re: Although they were both employed by the Federal Writers’ Project in th  [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2012, 16:17
rustypolymath wrote:

What is important on GMAT Sentence Corrections is not so much, "I use this word in this place and that word in that place," but, "What is the sentence trying to say? What does this thing point to? Why does it fail to say what it wants?"

Being a non-native speaker, it is difficult to remember these kinds of rules. But as you said, I should try thinking "What is the sentence trying to say? What does this thing point to? Why does it fail to say what it wants?"

Thanks
Manager
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Location: Paris, FRANCE
Re: Although they were both employed by the Federal Writers’ Project in th  [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2012, 16:52
1
Chembeti wrote:
rustypolymath wrote:

What is important on GMAT Sentence Corrections is not so much, "I use this word in this place and that word in that place," but, "What is the sentence trying to say? What does this thing point to? Why does it fail to say what it wants?"

Being a non-native speaker, it is difficult to remember these kinds of rules. But as you said, I should try thinking "What is the sentence trying to say? What does this thing point to? Why does it fail to say what it wants?"

Thanks

No problem. But that's exactly the point. Memorizing a list of rules is not going to get you anywhere if all you end up doing is looking for mistakes when there are none. Sentences are written to communicate ideas. Bad sentences fail to communicate well, either because they don't use the correct syntax (conjugation, tense, forms, completeness of structure) or they don't employ the appropriate semantic references (pronoun reference/choice, modifiers). A language is a logic for codifying ideas, and the images our brains form when we read about something are very similar to the output a computer program compiler makes out of the codes we write with computer languages.
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Re: Although they were both employed by the Federal Writers’ Project in th  [#permalink]

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06 Apr 2019, 19:55
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Re: Although they were both employed by the Federal Writers’ Project in th   [#permalink] 06 Apr 2019, 19:55
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