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Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built

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Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 11 Jan 2019, 03:37
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Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built by the Maya without benefit of the wheel or animal transport.


(A) huge palace and temple clusters were built by the Maya without benefit of the wheel or animal transport

(B) without the benefits of animal transport or the wheel, huge palace and temple clusters were built by the Maya

(C) the Maya built huge palace and temple clusters without the benefit of animal transport or the wheel

(D) there were built, without the benefit of the wheel or animal transport, huge palace and temple clusters by the Maya

(E) were the Maya who, without the benefit of the wheel or animal transport, built huge palace and temple clusters


Verbal :: Sentence correction:: 07631

https://www.nytimes.com/1985/04/26/arts/art-maya-treasures-the-tiny-and-the-vast.html

FROM evidence dug up so far, it appears that the cleverest, hardest-working and most cultivated people of pre-Columbian America were the Mayas, described by the archeologist Sylvanus G. Morley as ''the Greeks of the New World.'' Architects and stonemasons, they built huge palace and temple clusters without benefit of the wheel or animal transport.

Originally posted by jitendra on 21 Jan 2010, 19:48.
Last edited by Bunuel on 11 Jan 2019, 03:37, edited 1 time in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jan 2010, 23:05
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HI jitendra,

Whenever a phrase at the beginning of a sentence is set off by commas, it usually represents a modifying or descriptive phrase. The rule for modifying and descriptive phrases is that they must be as close as possible to the thing that they modify or describe.

So, someone or something in this sentence is described as 'Architects and Stonemasons'. Who or what in this sentence could logically be described that way? The Maya! So since the Maya are architects and stonemasons, the next word after the phrase 'Architects and stonemasons' must be 'the Maya.' That makes (C) the only possible answer.
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Re: Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2013, 19:06
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rouzbehd wrote:
Would some one explain why E is the wrong choice?


If you notice, the phrase "Architects and stonemasons" acts as a modifier in the original sentence but in E "Architects and stonemasons" is the subject. In the original sentence, the subject is The Maya. So both sentences do not have the same meaning.

To me E sounds like - There were lot of different groups within the Maya. All architects and stonemasons were one such group in the Maya population and they build huge palace and temple clusters. Not the whole Maya population.

But the intended meaning is - The Maya population had the talent of architects and stonemasons and they (the population as a whole) built huge palace and temple clusters without the benefit of animal transport or the wheel.
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Re: Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built  [#permalink]

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New post 27 May 2010, 09:44
Hello KapTeacherEli,

But then what is problem in E?
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New post 27 May 2010, 13:13
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Remember, when a modifying phrase is set off from the rest of the sentence by commas, the rest of the sentence must read correctly if that descriptive phrase is ignored. Ignoring both of the parts of the sentence isolated by commas, and reading (E) into the sentence, we get "...were the Maya who... built huge palace and temple structures." This is clearly grammatically incorrect.
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New post 08 Mar 2012, 01:47
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While E is certainly awkward in structure, there is also a grammatical reason why E is not correct. . Normally between an appositive modifier and its noun, no intrusion is allowed. Here the verb were is superfluous. The phrase Architects and masons looks as if It is the subject of the verb were, rendering the entire apposition meaningless.
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New post 11 May 2012, 11:34
Would some one explain why E is the wrong choice?
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Re: Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2012, 00:04
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Vineetk wrote:
Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built by Maya without benefit of wheel or animal transport.

A. huge palace and temple clusters were built by Maya without benefit of wheel or animal transport.
B. without the benefits of animal transport or the wheel, huge palace and temple clusters were built by the Maya.
C. the Maya built huge palace and temple clusters without the benefit of animal transport or the wheel.
D. there were built, without the benefit of the wheel or animal transport, huge palace and temple clusters by the Maya.
E. were the Maya who, without the benefit of the wheel or animal transport, built huge palace and temple clusters.

OA after discussion.

senetence starts with an appositive modifier "Architects and stonemasons" what could it modify? only "the maya" in the entire sentence. only Ans C starts with "the maya", without even looking at anyother choice for any other error we can pick C.

Ans C it is.
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Re: Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2015, 01:47
This article by mgmat explains the appositive modifiers very well. It even talked about this question. https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/arti ... itives.cfm

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Re: Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2016, 04:28
Good question. Only contenders are C and E. But C is correct since E changes the meaning,saying that "architects and stonemasons were the Maya". Do you mean all architects and stonemasons?)))
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New post 08 Feb 2016, 01:10
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In this case, the Architects and Stonemasons act as appositive modifiers for the subject the Maya. Appositives have to touch their nouns without fail.
Even a small deviation such as the intrusion of a verb ‘were’ is not permitted between the modifier and the modified.
It may be also seen the in the case of E, the real subject ‘the Maya’ is relegated to an object case because of the verb ‘were’, the appositive Architects and Stonemasons themselves becoming the subject, changing the intended meaning.

C therefore
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Re: Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2017, 10:16
Architects ans stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built by the Maya without benefit of the wheel or animal transport.

A. huge palace and temple clusters were built by the Maya without benefit of the wheel or animal transport.
B. without the benefits of animal transport or the wheel, huge palace and temple clusters were built by the Maya.
C. the Maya built huge palace and temple clusters without the benefit of animal transport or the wheel.
D. there were built, without the benefit of the wheel or animal transport, huge palace and temple clusters by the Maya.
E. were the Maya who, without the benefit of the wheel or animal transport, built huge palace and temple transport.



The correct answer is C. But it looks like a fragment to me. Could any one please help me explain this?
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Re: Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2017, 12:42
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First thing is that I do not doubt that any of the GMAT questions may be problematic and that OA may be incorrect.
For all that, this is a beautiful question of appositives. Answer C says that architects and masons, the appositives are modifying the noun The Maya, the tribal who were great builders. This principle of appositive modification is being tested in GMAT time and again, and it will be worthwhile to understand it thoroughly.
The takeaway: Trust GMAT Prep and OG. Even for a joke, they will never be wrong.
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Re: Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2017, 08:30
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C is the best of the worst. But, frankly speaking, do not like any of these answers.

A. huge palace and temple clusters were built by the Maya without the benifit of the wheel or animal transport.
This sounds good independetly, but not with "Architects and stonemasons" - does not make sense
B. without the benefits of animal transport or wheel, huge palace and temple clusters were built by the Maya
Analagous to A there is no logicaland gramtaical sense
C. the Maya built huge palace and temple clusters without the beneifts of sanimal transport or the wheel
As it was said - the best of the worst
But I would like it better if:
C1. the Maya, built huge palace and temple clusters without the beneifts of sanimal transport or the wheel
or
C2. The Maya architects and stonemasons built ...
D. there were built, without the benefit of the wheel or animal transport, huge palace and temple clusters by the Maya
there were built - bad
E. were the Maya, who without the benefit of the wheel or animal
transport, built huge palace and temple clusters.
architexts and stonemasons - they are not only Maya, so there is no sense

2Naina1:
the Maya who built huge palace and temple clusters without the benefits of animal transport or the wheel.

in your case there is no verb predicate in this sentence (you eliminate it by inserting "who"), so it does not pass
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New post 16 Aug 2017, 09:42
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Architects and masons are appositive modifiers that define or describe the Maya tribe.
Appositives are nouns or noun phrases that stand aloof and hence are liable to be mistaken for comma splices.
Appositives do not tolerate a verb between them and their nouns, as we see in choice E.
Appositives describe their nouns most precisely and nail them forthrightly.
C is a perfectly legal sentence.
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New post 16 Aug 2017, 12:10
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Well in simple terms Architects and Stonemasons were who?? This is a Modifier question and here it is referring to the Maya and therefore C is the best .

Go by meaning .Sentence Correction on GMAT is a lot about meaning. Three main topics erstwhile are tested:- Modifiers,Subject verb agreement and parallelism.


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Re: Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2018, 05:46
Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built by the Maya without benefit of the wheel or animal transport.

(A) huge palace and temple clusters were built by the Maya without benefit of the wheel or animal transport

(B) without the benefits of animal transport or the wheel, huge palace and temple clusters were built by the Maya

(C) the Maya built huge palace and temple clusters without the benefit of animal transport or the wheel

(D) there were built, without the benefit of the wheel or animal transport, huge palace and temple clusters by the Maya

(E) were the Maya who, without the benefit of the wheel or animal transport, built huge palace and temple clusters


Official Explanation

Architects and stonemasons are people, not things. This introductory element cannot logically modify huge palace and temple clusters. Revising the sentence so that the Maya immediately follows architects and stonemasons not only corrects the error in modification, it also transforms the sentence from the passive voice (were built) to the preferred active voice (built).

A Architects and stonemasons illogically modifies huge palace and temple clusters
B Moving the prepositional phrase (without… ) does not correct the modification error
C Correct. In this sentence, architects and stonemasons describes the Maya, and the active voice built replaces the passive voice were built.
D Introduction of there were does not correct the modification error; wordy and awkward passive construction
E Architects and masons, were the Maya is not a grammatical construction

The correct answer is C.
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Re: Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2019, 01:01
Only a noun can follow the modifier “Architects and stonemasons”. Hence, A, B, and D can be eliminated.
E is wordy and awkward.
C is the best choice.
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Re: Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2019, 22:35
KapTeacherEli wrote:
Remember, when a modifying phrase is set off from the rest of the sentence by commas, the rest of the sentence must read correctly if that descriptive phrase is ignored. Ignoring both of the parts of the sentence isolated by commas, and reading (E) into the sentence, we get "...were the Maya who... built huge palace and temple structures." This is clearly grammatically incorrect.

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We could have ignored were the Maya who in that case the sentence would have made sense Architects and Stonemasons, built....
Is there a reason of not ignoring the second part?

Kindly, provide your insights.
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Re: Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2019, 23:46
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MAnkur The part in question begins with a verb, so it's not a modifier. We generally only skip over modifying text. If it said "who were . . . ," then it would be a modifier.
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Re: Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built   [#permalink] 31 Jul 2019, 23:46

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