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An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where

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Re: An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Feb 2020, 11:34
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Hello Everyone!

Let's tackle this question, one thing at a time, and narrow down our options quickly so we know how to answer questions like this when they pop up on the GMAT! To begin, let's take a quick look at the question and highlight any major differences between the options in orange:

An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including 7 intact statues.

(A) what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including
(B) what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures and
(C) the site of a possible workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures and
(D) the site of a possible workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including
(E) the site of a possible workshop where statues might have been reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including

After a quick glance over the options, there are a few key differences we can focus on:

1. what might have been a workshop / the site of a possible workshop
2. were / might have been
3. and / , including


These are all "either/or" splits, which is great - any one of these issues will eliminate wrong options quickly. Let's start with #1 in our list: "what might have been a workshop" versus "the site of a possible workshop." The problem here lies with "possible workshop." As it's been mentioned in the forum already, there is no such thing as a "possible workshop." It makes a lot more sense to say "what might have been a workshop" because it clearly puts the workshop in the past tense and makes logical sense to readers. Let's eliminate any options that talk about a "possible workshop."

(A) what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including
(B) what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures and
(C) the site of a possible workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures and
(D) the site of a possible workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including
(E) the site of a possible workshop where statues might have been reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including

We can eliminate options C, D, & E because they use the nonsensical phrase "possible workshop." Now that we have it narrowed down to only 2 options, let's tackle the rest of our list. To make mistakes easier to spot, let's add back in the non-underlined parts:

(A) An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including 7 intact statues.

This is INCORRECT because the 7 intact statues are NOT fragments - they're intact. Using the word "including" makes it sound like the intact statues are part of the pile of fragments, which doesn't make sense.

(B) An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures and 7 intact statues.

This is CORRECT! By using "and," it's clear to readers that the archaeologists found BOTH a pile of fragments AND 7 intact statues, which makes much more sense.


There you have it - option B is our choice!


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Re: An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2020, 16:47
An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including 7 intact statues.

(A) what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including
(B) what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures and
(C) the site of a possible workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures and
(D) the site of a possible workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including
(E) the site of a possible workshop where statues might have been reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including

A, D, E: Fragments cannot "include" intact statues. Must be "and".
C, D, E: Only events/outcomes can be possible. "The workshop is possible" doesn't work, but "the existence of the workshop is possible" works.
B: The only one that works, IMO.
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An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2020, 23:11
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hazelnut wrote:
An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including 7 intact statues.

(A) what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including
(B) what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures and
(C) the site of a possible workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures and
(D) the site of a possible workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including
(E) the site of a possible workshop where statues might have been reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including


SC24561.01


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Responding to a pm:

Between (B) and (C), (C) is incorrect.

When we say "possible workshop", possible is modifying workshop, not the possible role played by the workshop. This doesn't make sense. These aren't different kind of workshops - possible and impossible. You can't have a possible apple or a possible table. The object could possibly be a table. Possible cannot be the modifier of a concrete object.

Option (B) clarifies that is might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced.
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Re: An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2020, 06:23
I have understood the flaws in other incorrect options. But I still have a problem in differentiating between (B) with "and" after human figures, and in (D), which has a modifier "including" after comma. How come these two things make a difference to the meaning?
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An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2020, 07:10
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lakshya14 wrote:
I have understood the flaws in other incorrect options. But I still have a problem in differentiating between (B) with "and" after human figures, and in (D), which has a modifier "including" after comma. How come these two things make a difference to the meaning?


"Fragments" and "intact statues" are mutually exclusive groups. Fragments are not composed of intact statues. Therefore, "intact statues" cannot be "included" within "fragments". You can immediately remove all answer choices that include "include" :)
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Re: An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2020, 04:49
hazelnut wrote:
An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including 7 intact statues.

(A) what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including
(B) what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures and
(C) the site of a possible workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures and
(D) the site of a possible workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including
(E) the site of a possible workshop where statues might have been reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including


SC24561.01


The sentence says that the fragments were yielded including intact statues. This is incorrect, as the fragments cannot include any intact statue.
So A, D, and E are eliminated.

C - " the site of a possible workshop where statues were reproduced..." - makes the workshop a part of a prepositional phrase and the emphasis is laid on the site rather than the place of workshop.

So B is correct answer.
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Re: An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where   [#permalink] 28 Mar 2020, 04:49

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