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vishalsuri wrote:
At the time of the Mexican agrarian revolution, the most radical faction, that of Zapata and his followers, proposed a return to communal ownership of land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards.
(A) land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards
(B) land, a form of ownership of the pre-Columbians and respected by the Spaniards
(C) land, respected by the Spaniards and a pre-Columbian form of ownership
(D) land in which a pre-Columbian form of ownership was respected by the Spaniards
(E) land that had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards


ANALYZE THE QUESTION:

"Propose X to Y" is correct idiom in which X and Y should match.

The non-underlined part says: ....proposed a return to communal ownership of land......... Can you propose "a return" to "a communal ownership"? No, because "a return" and "communal ownership" do not match in meaning. Thus, "a return to communal ownership of land" is only a NOUN PHRASE.

The intended meaning is: the faction of Zapata and his followers proposed [a return to communal ownership of land], to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards.

Note: there is no problem with the comma before "to". A comma may be used to separate two elements in a sentence. (Please refer to Manhattan Gmat sentence correction - page 195).

ANALYZE EACH ANSWER:

(A) land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards
Correct. As stated above.

(B) land, a form of ownership of the pre-Columbians and respected by the Spaniards
Wrong.
- "a form of ownership of...." is the appositive modifier which modifies "communal ownership of land". Actually, you're comparing "a return" with "communal ownership of land". Does that make sense? No. As analyzed above, "a return" and "communal ownership of land" do not match each other.
- Change intended meaning: what Zapata and his followers want is "the change to what had been....", not "a communal ownership of land".

(C) land, respected by the Spaniards and a pre-Columbian form of ownership
Wrong.
- "respected by...." is Verb-ed modifier which modifies preceding noun phrase "communal ownership of land" ==> You repeat the same error in B. You're comparing "a return" with "communal ownership of land". Does not make sense.
- Change meaning: as in B.

(D) land in which a pre-Columbian form of ownership was respected by the Spaniards
Wrong.
- Same as B and C. "in which....." modifies "communal ownership of land" ==> You're comparing "a return" with "communal ownership of land". Does not make sense.
- Change meaning: as in B and C.

(E) land that had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards
Wrong.
- Because of preposition "of" (ownership of land), so that may modify "communal ownership of land". You repeat the same error in B, C, D. You're comparing "a return" with "communal ownership of land". Does not make sense.
- Change meaning: as in B, C, and D.

Hope it helps.
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Dear Friends,

Here is a detailed explanation to this question-
vishalsuri wrote:
At the time of the Mexican agrarian revolution, the most radical faction, that of Zapata and his followers, proposed a return to communal ownership of land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards.


(A) land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards

(B) land, a form of ownership of the pre-Columbians and respected by the Spaniards

(C) land, respected by the Spaniards and a pre-Columbian form of ownership

(D) land in which a pre-Columbian form of ownership was respected by the Spaniards

(E) land that had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards


Meaning is crucial to solving this problem:
Understanding the intended meaning of this sentence is key to solving this question; the intended core meaning of this sentence is that the most radical faction proposed a return to communal ownership of land, meaning a return to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards.

Concepts tested here: Meaning + Modifiers

• In a “noun + comma + phrase” construction, the phrase must correctly modify the noun; this is one of the most frequently tested concepts on GMAT sentence correction.

A: Correct. This answer choice correctly modifies “return to communal ownership of land” with “to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards”, conveying the intended meaning – that the proposed return is to communal ownership of land, which had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards.

B: This answer choice incorrectly modifies “a return to communal ownership of land” with “a form of ownership of the pre-Columbians and respected by the Spaniards”, illogically implying that the proposed return to communal ownership of land was a pre-Columbian form of ownership and respected by the Spaniards; the intended meaning is that the proposed return is to communal ownership of land, and this ownership had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards; please remember, in a “noun + comma + phrase” construction, the phrase must correctly modify the noun.

C: This answer choice incorrectly modifies “a return to communal ownership of land” with “respected by the Spaniards and a pre-Columbian form of ownership”, illogically implying that the proposed return to communal ownership of land was a pre-Columbian form of ownership and respected by the Spaniards; the intended meaning is that the proposed return to communal ownership of land was a pre-Columbian form of ownership and respected by the Spaniards; please remember, in a “noun + comma + phrase” construction, the phrase must correctly modify the noun. Moreover, Option C further alters the meaning of the sentence through the phrase “and a pre-Columbian form of ownership”; the construction of this phrase incorrectly implies that communal ownership of land was respected by a pre-Columbian form of ownership; the intended meaning is that the communal ownership of land had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership.

D: This answer choice alters the meaning of the sentence through the phrase “land in which a...by the Spaniards”; the construction of this phrase incorrectly suggests that within communal land ownership a pre-Columbian form of ownership was respected by the Spaniards; the intended meaning is that the communal land ownership was a pre-Columbian form of ownership was respected by the Spaniards.

E: This answer choice alters the meaning of the sentence through the phrase “that had been a...Spaniards”; the construction of this phrase incorrectly implies that there were multiple types of communal land ownership, of which one was a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards; the intended meaning is that the singular communal land ownership, in question, was a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards.

Hence, A is the best answer choice.

To understand the concept of "Phrase Comma Subject" and "Subject Comma Phrase" on GMAT, you may want to watch the following video (~1minute):



All the best!
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It took me a very long time to understand the sentence...

I will try explaining the reason between A and E.

If we break the sentence in parts....

At the time of the ........, the most radical faction,...., proposed a return to communal ownership of....., to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by Spaniards

In E, the sentence reads

At the time of the Mexican agrarian revolution, the most radical faction,...., proposed a return to communal ownership of land, that had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards. ==> In this sentence the word "that" seems to be modifying "land" which is not the intent of the sentence.

The sentence says....

The proposal is to return to communal ownership to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership

153. At the time of the Mexican agrarian revolution, the most radical faction, that of Zapata and his followers, proposed a return to communal ownership of land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards.

(A) land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards
(B) land, a form of ownership of the pre-Columbians and respected by the Spaniards - awkward
(C) land, respected by the Spaniards and a pre-Columbian form of ownership - awkward
(D) land in which a pre-Columbian form of ownership was respected by the Spaniards
(E) land that had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards
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At the time of the Mexican agrarian revolution, the most radical faction, that of Zapata and his followers, proposed a return to communal ownership of land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards.

Ok I will try. Others, let me know if I am wrong.

I picked A mainly because all other options change the meaning of the sentence. According to the initial sentence, Zapata and his followers proposed return to communal ownership of land which was to REPLACE the then used pre-Columbian form respected by Spaniards.

So communal ownership is a different form than the one being practiced then i.e pre-Columbian form.

"to what had been" is what conveys this.

Apart from option A, all other sentences alter the meaning.
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Original SC:
At the time of the Mexican agrarian revolution, the most radical faction, that of Zapata and his followers, proposed a return to communal ownership of land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards.

Let us simplify it :
At the time of the Mexican agrarian revolution, the most radical faction, proposed a return to X, to what had been Y.

Meaning:
The radical faction proposed to replace Y with X.
Type of ownership during the Agarian revolution - Y
What type of ownership did the radical faction want ? - X
They wanted to move to X by replacing Y with X.


This is actually a modifier and IIlism type SC.

Modifier because "to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards" modifies "communal ownership of land"

IIlism because -
return to X, to what had been Y.

At the time of the Mexican agrarian revolution, the most radical faction, that of Zapata and his followers, proposed a return to communal ownership of land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards.
A. land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards
>>>Correct

B. land, a form of ownership of the pre-Columbians and respected by the Spaniards
>>> Changes the meaning of the SC. It means the radical faction wants to move to "communal ownership of land" which was respected by spaniards. Wrong
Another flaw - Pre-columbians used "communal ownership of land". This is out of scope. The scope of the SC is limited to the radical faction vs Spaniards and Communcal ownership vs pre-Columbian form of ownership

C. land, respected by the Spaniards and a pre-Columbian form of ownership
>>>Changes the meaning of the SC. It means the spaniards respected "communal ownership of land" . Wrong

D. land in which a pre-Columbian form of ownership was respected by the Spaniards
>>> Changes the meaning of the SC.
It looks like the SC is trying to say " pre-Columbian form of ownership" is a subset of "Communal ownership"

E. land that had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards

>>> Changes the meaning of the SC.
It looks like the SC is trying to say "Communal ownership" was " pre-Columbian form of ownership"
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At the time of the Mexican agrarian revolution, the most radical faction, that of Zapata and his followers, proposed a return to communal ownership of land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards.

(A) land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards
(B) land, a form of ownership of the pre-Columbians and respected by the Spaniards
(C) land, respected by the Spaniards and a pre-Columbian form of ownership
(D) land in which a pre-Columbian form of ownership was respected by the Spaniards
(E) land that had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards


OK, so the structure of this sentence is:
"... proposed a return to [X], to [further description X]..."

Here [X] = "a return to communal ownership of land"
[further description of X] = "what had been a pre-Columbian nform of ownership respected by the Spaniards."

(D) suggests a different sentence structure--an attempt to define "communal ownership of land"---but it defines it as a particular kind of ownership that was respected by the Spaniards.

Yikes! I sense some political problems here. (D) almost suggests that other kinds of ownership were NOT respected by Spaniards but this one does.

Clearly, any GMAT question would never suggest something that cold be interpreted as offensive to any one culture. Furthermore, (D) changes the original meaning of the sentence since the original form does not suggest what (D) suggests.

(A) is fine in that it follows the structure mentioned above.
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THis is a curve ball.

In past a radical faction proposed a return to communal ownership, which used to be pre-Columbian form of ownership in futher past.
So I hope that we all see the timeline issue - Past and past perfect.

This leaves us with A and E.


153. At the time of the Mexican agrarian revolution, the most radical faction, that of Zapata and his followers, proposed a return to communal ownership of land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards.
(A) land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards
Perfect.

(E) land that had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards
It sounds as if the land itself was pre Columbian form of ownership - so incorrect.

Let me rewrite the E again.
In past, a radical faction proposed a return to communal ownership of land that had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards
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Re: At the time of the Mexican agrarian revolution, the most radical facti [#permalink]
What is the role of 'that of Zapata and his followers' in this sentence?
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@gmatter

'That of Zapata and his followers' is a modifier phrase that appositively modifies the ‘faction’. I do not think there is a problem about that. Going strictly by grammar, between A and E, E falls by the wayside because the relative pronoun that can only be used to refer to the touching noun before ‘that’.
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Re: At the time of the Mexican agrarian revolution, the most radical facti [#permalink]
I think the answer is "B", because after "land" the modifier should be referring to the proposal and not the land and that is what "B" does.
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robu

B’s problem is the phrase, “a form of ownership of the pre-Columbians”. This means absurdly that the Pre -Columbians, the people before Columbus were owned and not the lands
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souvik101990 wrote:
At the time of the Mexican agrarian revolution, the most radical faction, that of Zapata and his followers, proposed a return to communal ownership of land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards.

A. land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards

B. land, a form of ownership of the pre-Columbians and respected by the Spaniards

C. land, respected by the Spaniards and a pre-Columbian form of ownership

D. land in which a pre-Columbian form of ownership was respected by the Spaniards

E. land that had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards


lets first eliminate the straight wrong choices...
1)
D. land in which a pre-Columbian form of ownership was respected by the Spaniards
E. land that had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards

both the choices wrongly modify land in the second clause where form of ownership is to be modified..

2)
C. land, respected by the Spaniards and a pre-Columbian form of ownership..
changes the meaning .. what is being respected by the spaniards..

3) in the remaining two, B is better constructed but changes the meaning by use of 'and'.....
in the original, spaniards respect a pre-Columbian form of ownership but B has made the two parts parallel..

the answer is A, although the construction is slightly complicated
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ynk wrote:
Can anyone please explain why 'E' is wrong here ?


At the time of the Mexican agrarian revolution, the most radical faction, that of Zapata and his followers, proposed a return to communal ownership of land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards.

B,C and D can eliminated easily.

A. land, to what had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards
vs.
E. land that had been a pre-Columbian form of ownership respected by the Spaniards

option A and E are both grammatically correct, however there is slight difference in intended meaning between A and E

A. says zapata and his followers proposed a communal ownership of land, and the concept of such ownership was pre-columbian and was respected by spaniards
E says zapata and his followers proposed a communal ownership of land, and this land specifically had pre-columbian form of ownership which was respected by spaniards

since we want to stay as close as possible to original question A would be better answer.

I hope this helps
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RonPurewal kindly explain all the choices.
Also in E , some people are writing that modifies land, however i saw someone's post in which it was written "in fact "THAT" is a beautiful word and it has a capacity to refer to FAR FLUNG nouns (this has been told by RON many times) .in fact if you are eliminating E for that reason then u might land up eliminating many good choices in official questions ." Its Aditya's post by the way.

Kindly explain all choices , and what is 'THAT" modifying ?? in E.
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sahilvijay wrote:
RonPurewal kindly explain all the choices.
Also in E , some people are writing that modifies land, however i saw someone's post in which it was written "in fact "THAT" is a beautiful word and it has a capacity to refer to FAR FLUNG nouns (this has been told by RON many times) .in fact if you are eliminating E for that reason then u might land up eliminating many good choices in official questions ." Its Aditya's post by the way.

Kindly explain all choices , and what is 'THAT" modifying ?? in E.


sahilvijay

Dear friend ,you have raised a very interesting issue here and here are my two cents.But before that I would like to inform you that Ron doesn't post answers on the questions written by other prep companies.And now a days he only writes in official manhattan forum.So tagging the great ron will not help much I guess.

Now coming back to the simplified version of your question is that if we have "Noun1 + preposition + Noun2 + that modifier," can the modifier modify the first noun? Or is it that it always modifies the second noun?
A relative pronoun (like "that" and "which") can be used to modify the noun immediately before it, but it can also be used to modify a noun further away if the pronoun and the noun being described are separated by a prepositional phrase. To figure out which one is being modified, we have to understand the rest of the sentence.
You see in option E, that modifies only land or only communal ownership does not make sense So even if E is grammatically correct, it does not convey the intended meaning as does A.
I'm very happy to post an official question(Diagnostic test OG 13 Problem 50. ) and the analysis by Manhattan forum moderator.

https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/foru ... 21976.html
Any correction of my post or any information by the original author will be great.
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techiesam wrote:
sahilvijay wrote:
RonPurewal kindly explain all the choices.
Also in E , some people are writing that modifies land, however i saw someone's post in which it was written "in fact "THAT" is a beautiful word and it has a capacity to refer to FAR FLUNG nouns (this has been told by RON many times) .in fact if you are eliminating E for that reason then u might land up eliminating many good choices in official questions ." Its Aditya's post by the way.

Kindly explain all choices , and what is 'THAT" modifying ?? in E.


sahilvijay

Dear friend ,you have raised a very interesting issue here and here are my two cents.But before that I would like to inform you that Ron doesn't post answers on the questions written by other prep companies.And now a days he only writes in official manhattan forum.So tagging the great ron will not help much I guess.

Now coming back to the simplified version of your question is that if we have "Noun1 + preposition + Noun2 + that modifier," can the modifier modify the first noun? Or is it that it always modifies the second noun?
A relative pronoun (like "that" and "which") can be used to modify the noun immediately before it, but it can also be used to modify a noun further away if the pronoun and the noun being described are separated by a prepositional phrase. To figure out which one is being modified, we have to understand the rest of the sentence.
You see in option E, that modifies only land or only communal ownership does not make sense So even if E is grammatically correct, it does not convey the intended meaning as does A.
I'm very happy to post an official question(Diagnostic test OG 13 Problem 50. ) and the analysis by Manhattan forum moderator.

https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/foru ... 21976.html
Any correction of my post or any information by the original author will be great.


Bumping in for further discussion. In this official question, "that" is modifying neutrinos defying the touch rule:

As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was bombarded on February 23, 1987, by about 100 billion neutrinos; fortunately, neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that interact very weakly with matter.

(A) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that

(B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

(C) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

(D) these harmless elementary particles are produced in nuclear reactions, and neutrinos

(E) these elementary particles, harmless products of nuclear reactions, are neutrinos that


The usage of "that" is getting extremely confusing. Can "that" refer to the noun it touches or can it go back to the noun in prepositional phrase? Is the "touch rule" an absolute one? Because if it is not, then it cannot be used for elimination of the answer choice E in the discussed question. Can anyone please help?

Thanks in advance!
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urvashis09 wrote:

Bumping in for further discussion. In this official question, "that" is modifying neutrinos defying the touch rule:

As a result of a supernova explosion, every human being on Earth was bombarded on February 23, 1987, by about 100 billion neutrinos; fortunately, neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that interact very weakly with matter.

(A) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions and that

(B) neutrinos, which are harmless, are elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

(C) neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions and which

(D) these harmless elementary particles are produced in nuclear reactions, and neutrinos

(E) these elementary particles, harmless products of nuclear reactions, are neutrinos that


The usage of "that" is getting extremely confusing. Can "that" refer to the noun it touches or can it go back to the noun in prepositional phrase? Is the "touch rule" an absolute one? Because if it is not, then it cannot be used for elimination of the answer choice E in the discussed question. Can anyone please help?

Thanks in advance!

A full discussion of the supernova question can be found here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/qotd-as-a-re ... l#p1899686

Bakshi, I'm not sure whether you were asking about the supernova question in urvashis09 's post, or the original question at the beginning of this thread. But I'll just say that the original question in this thread isn't from an official source, and I'd recommend spending your energy on official questions wherever possible -- especially when it comes to something as nuanced as the so-called "touch rule" (also addressed in this video and this post). Hopefully those links will answer your questions!
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Re: At the time of the Mexican agrarian revolution, the most radical facti [#permalink]
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