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At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a

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At the end of the 1930's, Duke Ellington was looking for a [#permalink]

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At the end of the 1930's, Duke Ellington was looking for a composer to assist him-someone not only who could arrange music for his successful band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish the many pieces he had started but never completed.

A someone not only who could arrange music for his successful band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish
B someone who could not only arrange music for his successful band, but also mirror his eccentric writing style in order to finish
C someone who not only could arrange music for his successful band, but also to mirror his eccentric style in writing
D that being someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style for finishing
E being someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirror his eccentric writing style as well, finishing
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Re: At the end of the 1930's, Duke Ellington was looking for a c [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2012, 01:43
B it is

A - 'someone not only who' is awkward and grammatically incorrect
B - CORRECT.
C - 'but also to mirror' is grammatically incorrect
D - 'that being someone' is wrong - what does 'that' refer to?
E - 'being' is misplaced, unnecessary, and awkward
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Re: At the end of the 1930's, Duke Ellington was looking for a c [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2012, 03:07
The main issue is about the parallelism of the coordinate conjunction pair -not only …… but also -.
In the given case, choice A, D and E do not follow up not only with but also and therefore can be dropped at first sight.
Between B and C, in C not only could ---- but also to mirror --- does not maintain symmetrical parallelism.
B survives with the parallel -not only arrange … but also mirror – structure
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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking [#permalink]

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betterscore wrote:
At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a composer to assist him-someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish the many pieces he had started but never completed.

(A) someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish
(B) someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but also mirror his eccentric writing style in order to finish
(C) someone who not only could arrange music for his successful big band, but also to mirror his eccentric writing style in finishing
(D) that being someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style for finishing
(E) being someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirror his eccentric writing style as well, finishing


Hi, there. I'm happy to help with this one. :-)

This is OG13 SC #4, a new question that does not appear in OG12.

The BIG IDEA of this question is the "not only .... but also" idiom. The "not only" phrase appears in all five answer choices, and on the GMAT, every "not only" has to be followed by a "but only."

Right away, that eliminates (A) & (D) & (E), leaving only (B) and (C).

Now we have to look at parallelism, because in the construction "not only X but also Y", X and Y must be in parallel.

In (B) we have
= could not only arrange music
= but also mirror
verb "arrange" correctly parallel with verb "mirror"

In (C) we have
= not only could arrange music
= but also to mirror
One is a verb and the other is an infinitive, so this is a failure of parallelism. Also, notice the common word "could" either needs to be totally outside ---- "could not only X but also Y" --- or it need to appear in both terms ---- "not only could X but also could Y". See this blog for more on that mistake:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/common-par ... orrection/

For a variety of reasons, (C) is incorrect, so we are left with (B) as the best answer.

Does all this make sense? Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Mike :-)
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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking [#permalink]

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(B) someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but also mirror his eccentric writing style in order to finish

not only...but also
arrange(verb) parallel with mirror(verb;to copy)
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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking [#permalink]

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betterscore wrote:
At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a composer to assist him-someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish the many pieces he had started but never completed.

(A) someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish

(B) someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but also mirror his eccentric writing style in order to finish

(C) someone who not only could arrange music for his successful big band, but also to mirror his eccentric writing style in finishing

(D) that being someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style for finishing

(E) being someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirror his eccentric writing style as well, finishing


The meaning of the sentence:
Duke Ellington looking for a composer to do two things:
1) arrange music for his successful big band
2) mirror his eccentric writing style
not only X but also Y issue here in this sentence. Both parts need to be parallel and make sense. To fix the original sentence and the idiom, the underline portion should be changed to:
someone who couldX(1), but also Y(2).
Hence, B is the correct answer.
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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking [#permalink]

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badribaba1984 wrote:
Hi .. Is that correct to use not only could do X but also ??? is the presence of Could , should etc come after not only clause or before .


Dear badribaba1984,

Suppose you have a correlative conjunction (e.g. "not only ... but also", "both ... and", "either ... or", etc.) linking two terms, X and Y, and you have some common words (here, the common word is "could") --- there are two grammatically correct options.
1) have the common word appear once before the first conjunction:
...could not only X but also Y.
or
2) repeat the common word after each part of the conjunction:
...not only could X but also could Y.

The classic mistake, wrong 100% of the time on the GMAT SC, is to have the common word appear once after the first part of the conjunction and not appear after the second conjunction:
...not only could X but also Y. = ALWAYS INCORRECT

See this blog for more:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/common-par ... orrection/

Does all that make sense? Let me know if you have any more questions.

Mike :-)
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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2012, 18:26
(B) someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but also mirror his eccentric writing style in order to finish

'not only' a... 'but' b..
hence, B should be the correct answer.
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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a [#permalink]

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targetdec31 wrote:
betterscore wrote:
At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a composer to assist him-someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish the many pieces he had started but never completed.


Hi All,
I understand the correct answer . What I want to know is why past perfect tense is used towards the end of the sentence " he had started but never completed "
Is " never completed " is the 2nd action ??

Dear targetdec31,
In general, the past perfect is used to show one past action happened before another. The main verb in this sentence is the "was looking". Think about the sequence of action ----
(a) Duke Ellington started composing some pieces
(b) Then, he realized, gee, I'm not going to have time to finish them
(c) Then, having realized that, he starts looking for someone to help him.

Thus, the "starting", way back at step (a), is well before (c), the action of the main verb of the sentence. That's why the (a)-action has to be in the past perfect.

My friend, always think about logic. People think SC is only about grammar, but the logic underlies the grammar and determines it.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2013, 00:21
mikemcgarry wrote:
targetdec31 wrote:
betterscore wrote:
At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a composer to assist him-someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish the many pieces he had started but never completed.


Hi All,
I understand the correct answer . What I want to know is why past perfect tense is used towards the end of the sentence " he had started but never completed "
Is " never completed " is the 2nd action ??

Dear targetdec31,
In general, the past perfect is used to show one past action happened before another. The main verb in this sentence is the "was looking". Think about the sequence of action ----
(a) Duke Ellington started composing some pieces
(b) Then, he realized, gee, I'm not going to have time to finish them
(c) Then, having realized that, he starts looking for someone to help him.

Thus, the "starting", way back at step (a), is well before (c), the action of the main verb of the sentence. That's why the (a)-action has to be in the past perfect.

My friend, always think about logic. People think SC is only about grammar, but the logic underlies the grammar and determines it.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


Dear Mike ,
Thanks for the prompt reply . Yes the sequence makes sense and is now clear to me .
But I had this misconception that if past perfect represents first action than 2nd action is in simple past .
Here 2nd action i.e. the main action is " was looking "and is in past continuous .
So the 2nd action can be in both Simple past and past continuous . Is my takeaway correct ?
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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2013, 10:48
targetdec31 wrote:
Dear Mike ,
Thanks for the prompt reply . Yes the sequence makes sense and is now clear to me .
But I had this misconception that if past perfect represents first action than 2nd action is in simple past .
Here 2nd action i.e. the main action is " was looking "and is in past continuous .
So the 2nd action can be in both Simple past and past continuous . Is my takeaway correct ?

Dear targetdec31,
The past progressive is the formal name for what you are calling the "past continuous". See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-verbs ... ive-tense/
Yes, the progressive transformation of verbs changes whether the object was continuously happening, but it doesn't change the time sequence. Thus, if Past Action #1 happens before Past Action #2, then
Past Action #1 could be in the past perfect (had visited) or past perfect progressive (had been visiting)
Past Action #2 could be in the simple past (returned) or in the past progressive (was returning)
We can mix and match --- either #1 or #2 or both could be progressive, depending on the action. Whether either verb takes the progressive form or not does not change at all the fundamental relation of perfect-to-past.
Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2014, 23:42
construction not only ... but also.... In this construction the clauses need to be parallel for example, not only subject verb, but also subject verb.
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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a [#permalink]

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honchos wrote:
Hey Mike Lets suppose all are using the Not Only...but also correctly. Now do you think that in D and E that being someone and being someone correctly used.

Dear honchos,
I'm happy to respond. :-) In (D) and (E), the uses of the phrase "being someone" are pure trainwrecks. They are not just wrong: they are so bad that they deserve to be taken out back and shot. They are atrociously wrong. They are inexcusable and uncompromisingly irredeemable. There is nothing remotely good about them.

The correct structure is an appositive phrase, for which see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... e-phrases/
For this structure, the word "being" is entirely superfluous. The word "being" is most often incorrect when it appears on the GMAT SC. Its correct appearances are few and far between. Always be deeply suspicious of the word "being" when it appears.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2014, 10:39
mikemcgarry wrote:
honchos wrote:
Hey Mike Lets suppose all are using the Not Only...but also correctly. Now do you think that in D and E that being someone and being someone correctly used.

Dear honchos,
I'm happy to respond. :-) In (D) and (E), the uses of the phrase "being someone" are pure trainwrecks. They are not just wrong: they are so bad that they deserve to be taken out back and shot. They are atrociously wrong. They are inexcusable and uncompromisingly irredeemable. There is nothing remotely good about them.

The correct structure is an appositive phrase, for which see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... e-phrases/
For this structure, the word "being" is entirely superfluous. The word "being" is most often incorrect when it appears on the GMAT SC. Its correct appearances are few and far between. Always be deeply suspicious of the word "being" when it appears.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)



Yes boss infact the magoosh approach is very realistic and practical, I found e-gmat approach very theoretical and impractical for GMAT, which is a highly time sensitive exam.
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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2015, 04:16
Happy to help on this , sentence is introduced to identify idiom uses not only 'X' but also 'y'

Only B has it ...:)
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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2015, 04:26
mikemcgarry wrote:
betterscore wrote:
At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a composer to assist him-someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish the many pieces he had started but never completed.

(A) someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish
(B) someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but also mirror his eccentric writing style in order to finish
(C) someone who not only could arrange music for his successful big band, but also to mirror his eccentric writing style in finishing
(D) that being someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style for finishing
(E) being someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirror his eccentric writing style as well, finishing


Hi, there. I'm happy to help with this one. :-)

This is OG13 SC #4, a new question that does not appear in OG12.

The BIG IDEA of this question is the "not only .... but also" idiom. The "not only" phrase appears in all five answer choices, and on the GMAT, every "not only" has to be followed by a "but only."

Right away, that eliminates (A) & (D) & (E), leaving only (B) and (C).

Now we have to look at parallelism, because in the construction "not only X but also Y", X and Y must be in parallel.

In (B) we have
= could not only arrange music
= but also mirror
verb "arrange" correctly parallel with verb "mirror"

In (C) we have
= not only could arrange music
= but also to mirror
One is a verb and the other is an infinitive, so this is a failure of parallelism. Also, notice the common word "could" either needs to be totally outside ---- "could not only X but also Y" --- or it need to appear in both terms ---- "not only could X but also could Y". See this blog for more on that mistake:


For a variety of reasons, (C) is incorrect, so we are left with (B) as the best answer.

Does all this make sense? Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Mike :-)



Hi Mike , This is good explanation !!

There is a typo in your post ; please change this :

[color=#ffff00]The "not only" phrase appears in all five answer choices, and on the GMAT, every "not only" has to be followed by a "[color=#ff0000]but only." [/color][/color]

but only-----> but also

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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2016, 10:50
At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a composer to assist him-someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish the many pieces he had started but never completed.

Analysis: Qualities of SOMEONE are defined in the later half of the sentence and these qualities have to be parallel; Not only..but also is a clear indication for such parallelism
(A) someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish--not parallel

(B) someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but also mirror his eccentric writing style in order to finish--ok

(C) someone who not only could arrange music for his successful big band, but also to mirror his eccentric writing style in finishing--not only VERB but also INFINITIVE is not parallel construction; in order to finish is correct

(D) that being someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style for finishing- not parallel; THAT BEING SOMEONE is strange and awkward

(E) being someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirror his eccentric writing style as well, finishing--not parallel
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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a [#permalink]

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New post 21 Oct 2016, 03:45
At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a composer to assist him-someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish the many pieces he had started but never completed.

(A) someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish

(B) someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but also mirror his eccentric writing style in order to finish

(C) someone who not only could arrange music for his successful big band, but also to mirror his eccentric writing style in finishing

(D) that being someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style for finishing

(E) being someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirror his eccentric writing style as well, finishing


Option D and E have 'being', which is highly avoidable, so keep these choices aside

NOTE: not only ....,but also is the preferred construction but 'not only....,but.....' as well as 'not only .....,also....' are also correct

A: not only who....., but mirroring..... Not Parallel
B: not only arrange........., but also mirror...... Parallel
C. not only could........., but also to........... Not Parallel

So, B is the correct choice

D and E , apart from carrying 'being', D and E are not even parallel
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At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a [#permalink]

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At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a composer to assist him-someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish the many pieces he had started but never completed.

(A) someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish
(B) someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but also mirror his eccentric writing style in order to finish
(C) someone who not only could arrange music for his successful big band, but also to mirror his eccentric writing style in finishing
(D) that being someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style for finishing
(E) being someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirror his eccentric writing style as well, finishing


Parallel Structure 101.

A) The "not only A, ..." idiomatic construction requires a subsequent "but also" or "but...as well", "but...in addition, etc.", despite the fact that this "additional" word is often omitted in everyday speech.
B) correct
C) "arrange" vs "to mirror" = not parallel
D) "not only" requires "also" or some variation thereof afterward. Wordy and passive ("being")
E) "Being" makes the sentence wordy and passive. Also notice the contrast between "finishing" (vague) and "to finish" (much better): the infinitive form of the verb more clearly states the purpose of Duke Ellington's search.
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Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2017, 21:48
betterscore wrote:
At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a composer to assist him-someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish the many pieces he had started but never completed.

(A) someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style as well in order to finish

(B) someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but also mirror his eccentric writing style in order to finish

(C) someone who not only could arrange music for his successful big band, but also to mirror his eccentric writing style in finishing

(D) that being someone who could not only arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric writing style for finishing

(E) being someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirror his eccentric writing style as well, finishing


A "Not only... but also" parallel marker is missing here.
B Correct
C Infinitive "to mirror" is not parallel with the modal auxiliary verb "could"
D "That being" is redundant and unnecessary. "Not only... but also" parallel marker is missing.
E "Not only... but also" parallel marker is missing.
Re: At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a   [#permalink] 12 May 2017, 21:48

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