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As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over

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As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2019, 10:16
3
11
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A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  25% (medium)

Question Stats:

71% (01:17) correct 29% (01:32) wrong based on 612 sessions

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Project SC Butler: Day 78 Sentence Correction (SC1)


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As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time where land was barren and homes had been seized in foreclosure moved further westward in search of food and employment.

(A) where land was barren and homes

(B) where their land was barren and their homes

(C) with more barren land and homes that

(D) whose land was barren and whose homes

(E) having barren land and homes that

The best or excellent answers get kudos, which will be awarded after the answer is revealed.
More than one award of kudos is possible.

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Re: As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2019, 01:20
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warrior1991 wrote:
Quote:
(D) whose land was barren and whose homes

settlers-->plural therefore was is incorrect. S-V agreement error.


Hello warrior1991, how are you?

please see the sentence structure of (D)
all subject-verb pairs are in place and agree in number, "and" //ism marker, both side of it should be //.
hence whose land was barren is // to whose homeshad been seized
so be careful with verbs next time, otherwise it'll cost you high in real test. ;)

Attachment:
D.JPG
D.JPG [ 37.58 KiB | Viewed 3528 times ]


hope this helps ;)
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As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2019, 11:03
Quote:
As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time where land was barren and homes had been seized in foreclosure moved further westward in search of food and employment.


Quote:
(A) where land was barren and homes
(B) where their land was barren and their homes

where denotes place. It is incorrectly referring to time. Incorrect

Quote:
(D) whose land was barren and whose homes

settlers-->plural therefore was is incorrect. S-V agreement error.

Quote:
(C) with more barren land and homes that
(E) having barren land and homes that


IMO E is correct.

Rejecting C because of with more barren land .

There is nothing as such more barren land. The land is barren means barren. What does more barren mean? Illogical.

This is not the intended meaning.
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Re: As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2019, 11:42
[quote="generis"]

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As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time where land was barren and homes had been seized in foreclosure moved further westward in search of food and employment.

(A) where land was barren and homes

(B) where their land was barren and their homes

(C) with more barren land and homes that

(D) whose land was barren and whose homes

(E) having barren land and homes that

IMO Option D is correct.
Options A, B, and C all incorrectly modify time. "time where....time when...."
We are trying to describe the settlers themselves that ended up moving westward. Option D states that the land and homes were owned by the settlers.
Also "where" should only modify a place, not a time period.
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Re: As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2019, 21:55
As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time where land was barren and homes had been seized in foreclosure moved further westward in search of food and employment.

The sentence explain that some settlers moved further westward to escape the drought, the seizures and the barren land. This already makes A and B senseless, because "where" can not refer to people.
C is senseless also, if the have more barren land and homes that had been seized, why should they move away? And also this does not express any kind of point in the sentence, but simply modifies settlers describing their properties.
E si similar to C: it describes the properties of settlers but do not offer any kind of contrast. If E was included between two points, it coulb be accetable, as it would become an indipendent clause, but as it is, is not acceptable
In my opinion D is the correct one

(D) whose land was barren and whose homes

D explains that the lands of the settlers and their homes were unusable, and so they have been forced to move away, Moreover, as choice, it expresses parallelism between
Whose X and Whose Y.

I'm not sure to be right, but in my opinion C D E are grammatically correct, but they express the meaning in different ways, and so it is a little bit hard to explain clearly the different shades of meaning.

If I'm wrong, please, teach me :P
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Re: As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2019, 21:58
warrior1991 wrote:
Quote:
As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time where land was barren and homes had been seized in foreclosure moved further westward in search of food and employment.


Quote:
(A) where land was barren and homes
(B) where their land was barren and their homes

where denotes place. It is incorrectly referring to time. Incorrect

Quote:
(D) whose land was barren and whose homes

settlers-->plural therefore was is incorrect. S-V agreement error.

Quote:
(C) with more barren land and homes that
(E) having barren land and homes that


IMO E is correct.

Rejecting C because of with more barren land .

There is nothing as such more barren land. The land is barren means barren. What does more barren mean? Illogical.

This is not the intended meaning.


In my opinion you're committing a mistake on D. "Whose land was barren" is correct, because the subject of this clause is land, not settlers! You can infer it easily simply eliminating the rest of the sentence:
The land was barren, for example, is correct.
Hope you agree :)
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As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 24 Jan 2019, 19:35
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generis wrote:

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As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time where land was barren and homes had been seized in foreclosure moved further westward in search of food and employment.


Meaning analysis:
Attachment:
timeline.JPG
timeline.JPG [ 64.54 KiB | Viewed 3335 times ]


The prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming. Many settlers who lived at that time moved further westward in search of food and employment. There was two reasons for that: 1. their homes had been seized in foreclosure 2. their land was barren.

Error analysis:

Attachment:
A.JPG
A.JPG [ 61.54 KiB | Viewed 3534 times ]


"where" has to refer to place no to time, to me only one error in original sentence.

POE
(A) and (B) can be aliminated because of "where"

(A) where land was barren and homes
(B) where their land was barren and their homes

(C) with more barren land and homes that
("with" seems modifing "time" but it has to modify "settlers", even if "of the time" cannot be placed anywhere else in the sentence without distoring the intended meaning, better to use comma before "with" then it will clearly refer to setlers, but this is not the solid point to eliminate this answer choice, the big pint is //, "homes that had been seized in foreclosure" noun+modifier is not // to "more barren land" adj+noun, hence (C) out)

(E) having barren land and homes that
(same //ism issure here, and "having barren" is incorrect becouse all events happened in the past)

(D) whose land was barren and whose homes

Attachment:
D.JPG
D.JPG [ 44.42 KiB | Viewed 3537 times ]


----
My thoughts out loud:
"As" here presents two simultaneous actions in the past.
Usage of past perfect in non-underlined part seems not so critical and can be replaced with simple past tense.
But I think the aouthor wanted to say that despite the homes of settlers had been seized in foreclosure, settlers could live and do farming, but both "seized homes" and "barren land" was tto much, and settlers decided to moved further westward in search of food and employment.
generis what do you think? Does this make sense?

----

D is the answer
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Originally posted by GKomoku on 24 Jan 2019, 01:01.
Last edited by GKomoku on 24 Jan 2019, 19:35, edited 1 time in total.
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As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2019, 16:52
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Project SC Butler: Day 78 Sentence Correction (SC1)


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As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time where land was barren and homes had been seized in foreclosure moved further westward in search of food and employment.

(A) where land was barren and homes
(B) where their land was barren and their homes
(C) with more barren land and homes that
(D) whose land was barren and whose homes
(E) having barren land and homes that

OFFICIAL EXPLANATION
My substitutions and annotations are in blue typeface.

• The first issue in this sentence is whether to use where, with, or whose

The word where refers to settlers of the time, and because settlers are not a place , it is inappropriate to use where
Eliminate A and B

• Choice C uses the term more barren, but because no comparison exists [more barren than which other land?], this term is inappropriate.
Eliminate C

• Choice E creates a modifying phrase [having barren land and homes] that would need to be set off by commas.
I discuss this issue in my comments, below.

• The correct answer is D

COMMENTS

This OE was hard to write because I did not have my typical instinct about what caused the most misunderstanding in Option E.

I am thrilled to see that "having" was not rejected automatically, even though "having" is not part of the correct answer.

I do not have my typical sense about what forum members do not understand—about why D was not appealing.
Consequently, what I thought would be a relatively easy OE to write has not been. The stats threw me.

At the moment the stats for answerers of respective options A through E are 5%; 11%; 9%; 54%; 22%

If you still have questions after reading this OE, tag me, but before you do so please
(1) read the whole thread; and
(2) frame your question very specifically. :cool: :)

Meaning?

GKomoku 's rendition of meaning is good:
Quote:
The prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming.
Many settlers who lived [there] at that time moved farther westward in search of food and employment.
There were two reasons that the settlers moved: 1. their homes had been seized in foreclosure and 2. their land was barren.

"Reasons" imply causality.

Option D or E?

After eliminating A, B, and C for the reasons stated in the OE above, between D and E,
pick the option that best captures cause and effect.

Option E analysis

Option E tests a structure that GMAT tests frequently: verbING modifiers (participial phrases)

• If we have a verbING modifier without commas?
Then the verbING modifies the immediately preceding noun
Time did not have barren land and [seized] homes

• If we have comma + verbing?
On the GMAT, that structure is often—not always—used to express cause and effect.

That is, participial phrases set off by commas frequently are the cause or effect of some other part of the sentence.

Option E without commas

As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time having barren land and homes that had been seized in foreclosure moved further westward in search of food and employment.

Meaning problems
-- We can probably figure out that the settlers "had" [were faced with, underwent, were subjected to] [the burdens of] barren land and [seized] homes.

-- But are we talking about a particular group of settlers, a group "of the time," that is,
IN or DURING some time that was characterized by settlers' having barren land and [seized] homes?

-- Or are we talking about ALL settlers?

-- Cause and effect is murky at best.
In order to express cause and effect, this verbING phrase needs to be set off by commas. (see below)
The cause is the having phrase.
The effect? The settlers moved.

If I write the sentence in the way that causality should work, the verbING as the cause is a little more clear.
Rewrite, correct and now, edit, stylistically correct:
Having land that had become barren and homes that had been seized in foreclosure, many settlers moved farther westward in search of food and employment.

Because the settlers were faced with barren land and seized homes, the settlers moved.
Causation is clear.
But my rewritten sentence and what E would be are not the same.

Grammar issues

A verbING without commas modifies the nearest noun.
In that case, the verbING is a noun modifier, which should be as close as possible to its noun, especially in a complex sentence.
By contrast, a comma + verbING is an adverbial modifier, which does not necessarily have to be as close as possible to whatever it modifies.

Without a comma, the verbING cannot "jump" over the prepositional phrase.
With a comma, the verbING can "jump" over the prepositional phrase.

The phrase in E, without commas, seems to modify time.
Worse, there is no comma in the non-underlined portion in the place needed. See immediately below.

• Option E with commas that should be inserted per the suggestion in the official explanation above (by Princeton author)
Note that I had to insert the second offset comma in part of the non-underlined portion,
and note, edit, that the objects of having are not rendered in parallel form:

As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time, having barren land and homes that had been seized in foreclosure, moved further westward in search of food and employment.

This construction is grammatically correct, not stylistically parallel, and—not available.

Takeaway: Participial modifiers, comma + verbING, are used frequently to express cause and effect.
If cause and effect are at issue but the verbING is not comma + verbING, and another option establishes clear causality, pick the other option.

When we see verbING phrases, we should look for cause and effect.
(1) verbING as cause
-- The verbING phrase can come in the first part of the sentence, as in this sentence, and can express the cause.
The effect will follow in the second part of the sentence.

(2) verbING as result
-- Alternatively, the cause can come in the first part of the sentence, and a comma + verbing phrase can express the effect or result of the preceding clause.
-- Example: At dusk, the water of the lake refracted the sleepy light of sunset, flooding the sky with colors of fire—sangria, fuchsia, tangerine, and amethyst.

Because the water of the lake refracted light, the sky was flooded with fiery colors.

Flooding expresses the effect of the water's refraction of light.

Eliminate option E.
-- The having modifier seems to refer inaccurately to time.
-- The having modifier seems to point to some specific group of settlers in some specific time period (a time period "having" = characterized by people with barren land and seized homes).
-- The having modifier expresses the reason that the settlers moved. The phrase is a cause. To signal that the phrase is a cause,
the phrase needs to be set off by commas—and the second of those commas would have to be placed in the non-underlined portion of the sentence.

Option D is the answer.

• Finally, compare D and E.
I would not spend time trying to deconstruct option E. I immediately compared E to D. No contest. D wins.

In D, whose land and whose homes are restrictive and clear.
Whose refers logically and clearly to the settlers. Time does not have land or homes.
We cannot remove those phrases. We cannot place them elsewhere.
We have two restrictive modifiers after settlers: of the time, and whose land and whose homes . . . .

It is clear that both modifiers in italics refer to settlers.

No guessing is involved.

The logical sequence is clear.
Settlers whose land was barren land and whose homes had been seized — moved farther westward.

Option D is best.

GKomoku , whose graphics I admire, wrote a superb and the best answer. Kudos!
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As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2019, 16:52
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GKomoku wrote:
generis wrote:
[textarea]

Project SC Butler: Day 78 Sentence Correction (SC1)


Quote:
My thoughts out loud:
"As" here presents two simultaneous actions in the past.
Usage of past perfect in non-underlined part seems not so critical and can be replaced with simple past tense.
But I think the aouthor wanted to say that despite the homes of settlers had been seized in foreclosure, settlers could live and do farming, but both "seized homes" and "barren land" was tto much, and settlers decided to moved further westward in search of food and employment.
generis what do you think? Does this make sense?

----

GKomoku , I think you just asked a terrific question.

With respect to the usage of past perfect, you raise a question to which I do not think there is a definitive answer,

The implication of past perfect is "the past of the past."
First the settlers' homes were foreclosed.
Then the land became utterly barren.

Your interpretation is good: Settlers whose homes had been seized might or might not have stayed,
but when the lands were [became completely] barren, that additional fact made their situation unlivable, thus the settlers moved westward.

I agree that the structure implies what you write, although we do have to speculate about
at least two other logical possibilities.

--------
Another logical interpretation . . . .
The author missed the boat. (The author did not need to use "had" in the non-underlined part, or the author should have been consistent in verb tense usage.)

Let's check.

If the author had used consistent TO BE verbs for the nouns land and homes, she or he would have written:

As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time whose land was barren and whose homes were seized in foreclosure moved further westward in search of food and employment.

If the author had used consistent past perfect verb construction with those same nouns:

As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time whose land had become barren and whose homes had been seized in foreclosure moved further westward in search of food and employment.

Maybe the author missed the boat. :-D
---------

The third logical possibility has to do with style, and at this level GMAC will not test the issue.
Sometimes sentences are better when items that should be parallel (in a very strict approach) are and the sentence is better.

Note: Unless you're stuck with a not-parallel construction on the GMAT, make everything parallel.

Typically, on the GMAT and in writing generally, we want to use past perfect only if we need it.

In this instance, we don't need past perfect if we limit ourselves strictly to grammar, and even so, for both the land and the houses we have
whose + noun + verb phrase.

Rhetorical effect is better if we know that bad events happened for a long time.

Later in time, simple past: The lands were (finally became totally) barren.

Things had been bad for a long time: before lands were (totally) barren, the lands must not have produced much. The settlers could not pay for their houses. By the time lands were totally barren, their houses [past perfect] had been foreclosed.

The simple past "was" and "were" construction above is correct, but not as effective.

"whose land was barren" and "homes that had been seized" are not identical in structure, but
(1) the structure of both is a whose clause about a noun and what happened to the noun
(2) we are dealing with linking verbs that result in adjectives (barren and foreclosed)

The construction "had been seized," oddly enough, puts the emphasis on seized because its construction is passive.

Passive construction makes the agents [who foreclosed] recede [be non-existent!], and makes the effect of the action stand out,
in part because there is no doer, and in part because "seized" is at the end of the phrase.
(Such emphasis is precisely why passive voice is often just fine on the GMAT.)

I don't know how to explain this next part exactly because the issue
involves
-- syntax and emphasis;
-- complicated functions of subject complements about which
GMAT takers absolutely do not need to know; and
-- writer's instinct.

The phrase "whose lands were barren" is more effective than
"whose lands had become barren."
We want barren to be emphasized. The word is harsh and suggests an inescapable cause.

Because barren is an inert adjective, in contrast to the verbED "seized,"
we can emphasize barren better if something IS barren.
"had become" is too passive.
----

I can defend any of these three positions.
We could posit a couple more explanations.

Multiple explanations are okay and often are the good news.

Language does not quite live and breathe, but it comes very close.
Exactitude is required up to a point.
Past that point, language is art—built, no doubt, on the shoulders of and in tandem with logical and grammatical structure—but still, language is art, for which there are many interpretations.

Nice work.
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Re: As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2019, 19:02
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GiuPao94 wrote:
warrior1991 wrote:
Quote:
As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time where land was barren and homes had been seized in foreclosure moved further westward in search of food and employment.


Quote:
(A) where land was barren and homes
(B) where their land was barren and their homes

where denotes place. It is incorrectly referring to time. Incorrect

Quote:
(D) whose land was barren and whose homes

settlers-->plural therefore was is incorrect. S-V agreement error.

Quote:
(C) with more barren land and homes that
(E) having barren land and homes that


IMO E is correct.

Rejecting C because of with more barren land .

There is nothing as such more barren land. The land is barren means barren. What does more barren mean? Illogical.

This is not the intended meaning.


In my opinion you're committing a mistake on D. "Whose land was barren" is correct, because the subject of this clause is land, not settlers! You can infer it easily simply eliminating the rest of the sentence:
The land was barren, for example, is correct.
Hope you agree :)



Thank you for correcting me !! I think I analysed it wrongly.
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Re: As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2019, 19:04
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GKomoku wrote:
warrior1991 wrote:
Quote:
(D) whose land was barren and whose homes

settlers-->plural therefore was is incorrect. S-V agreement error.


Hello warrior1991, how are you?

please see the sentence structure of (D)
all subject-verb pairs are in place and agree in number, "and" //ism marker, both side of it should be //.
hence whose land was barren is // to whose homeshad been seized
so be careful with verbs next time, otherwise it'll cost you high in real test. ;)

Attachment:
D.JPG


hope this helps ;)



I am doing good. I hope you are doing good as well.
Thank you for explanation. I was wrong in analyzing this choice.
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Re: As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2019, 20:22
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Hello generis, thank you for your time and amazing explanations
I've one question:

generis wrote:
As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time, having barren land and homes that had been seized in foreclosure. moved further westward in search of food and employment.


exactly in this sentence barren land and homes that had been seized // ?
barren land -- adj + noun
homes that had been seized -- noun + modifier
can be // ? :roll:
modifying part after the noun can be omitted for //ism, but I didn't know that adj before noun also...

generis wrote:
As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time whose land had become barren and whose homes had been seized in foreclosure moved further westward in search of food and employment.

After reading the sentence I was exactly searching for the answer choice that contains "whose land had become barren" to be // to second part of and, but faced epic fail :lol:

I think the author missed the boat :-D

generis wrote:
Language does not quite live and breathe, but it comes very close.
Exactitude is required up to a point.
Past that point, language is art—built, no doubt, on the shoulders of and in tandem with logical and grammatical structure—but still, language is art, for which there are many interpretations.


I'm going to cite this expression :inlove:
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Re: As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2019, 22:15
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GKomoku wrote:
Hello generis, thank you for your time and amazing explanations
I've one question:

generis wrote:
As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time, having barren land and homes that had been seized in foreclosure, moved further westward in search of food and employment.


exactly in this sentence barren land and homes that had been seized // ?
barren land -- adj + noun
homes that had been seized -- noun + modifier
can be // ? :roll:
modifying part after the noun can be omitted for //ism, but I didn't know that adj before noun also...

Why on earth did I think to myself, "Mmm, no one will catch the fact that the direct objects of having are nouns whose modifiers
are in different order . . . I didn't write this #%#!! option or this sentence . . . "?

I plead guilty to Momentary Delusion. :lol: :lol: I am surrounded by eagle-eyed people.

You did well in catching the lack of parallelism. +1

Yes, the better sentence would be the one immediately below in which the direct objects are in the form
noun + that + past perfect.

The non-underlined portion uses had been seized in foreclosure.
In option E, homes is followed by that.

We are stuck with the modifier construction attached to homes.
-- Land must be parallel to homes. Both are nouns, but their modifiers must be identically arranged.
-- Land must be followed by that + past perfect + subject complement/adjective
There is no such word as "barrened." That's okay. Both barren and seized are adjectivial modifiers.

As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over-farming, many settlers of the time, having land that had become barren and homes that had been seized in foreclosure, moved further westward in search of food and employment.

OR land that had been rendered barren

The second "barren" phrase is probably better.

In any event, both are better than the original

having
barren land = adjective + noun
homes that had been seized = noun + that + past perfect

Your mastery increases exponentially. Whatever you are doing, do not stop.

Excellent catch. Back I go to insert a disclaimer into my OE. Thank you.

And thank you for the compliment about my musings on language. :)
I will pay it forward.
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Re: As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over  [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2019, 20:43
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generis

Just to confirm, so WHOSE can reach over prepositional phrases to "settlers", just as similar rule as for WHICH? Am I correct?

As long as it makes sense, then WHOSE, WHICH can always reach over prepositional phrases to the most logical noun they modify?

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Re: As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over  [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2019, 22:51
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duybachhpvn wrote:
generis

Just to confirm, so WHOSE can reach over prepositional phrases to "settlers", just as similar rule as for WHICH? Am I correct?

As long as it makes sense, then WHOSE, WHICH can always reach over prepositional phrases to the most logical noun they modify?

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duybachhpvn - yes, good analogy. WHOSE and WHICH are both relative pronouns, and both can "reach back" over prepositional phrases or other essential modifiers to reach the nouns that WHOSE and WHICH modify.

Nicely done.
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Re: As the prairies of the Midwest dried up because of drought and over   [#permalink] 10 May 2019, 22:51
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