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# Babylon was the largest city in the world for hundreds of years until

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Babylon was the largest city in the world for hundreds of years until  [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2019, 11:33
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79% (01:26) correct 21% (01:39) wrong based on 372 sessions

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Project SC Butler: Day 60 Sentence Correction (SC1)

Babylon was the largest city in the world for hundreds of years, until 32 B.C. when it was conquered by Cyrus the Great, then king of Persia, who, diverting the waters of the Euphrates, marched his invading army in the city on dry ground like the river had never existed.

A) who, diverting the waters of the Euphrates, marched his invading army in the city on dry ground like

B) who, when the waters were diverted, marched his invading army in on dry ground like

C) who had diverted the waters of the Euphrates, marching his invading army in on ground dried to be as if

D) who diverted the waters of the Euphrates and then marched his invading army into the city on dry ground as if

E) diverting the waters of the Euphrates and marching his invading army in on ground dried as if

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Re: Babylon was the largest city in the world for hundreds of years until  [#permalink]

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06 Jan 2019, 09:25
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Babylon was the largest city in the world for hundreds of years, until 32 B.C. when it was conquered by Cyrus the Great, then king of Persia, who, diverting the waters of the Euphrates, marched his invading army in the city on dry ground like the river had never existed.

Meaning analysis: Let see events in timeline
1. Babylon was the largest city in the world for years
2. 32 B.C it was conquered by king of Persia
- The king did so by: diverting the waters of the Euphrates and

Error analysis: “diverting” and “marched are modifiers, “who” doesn’t have a verb.
“like” is followed by a clause – incorrect, in spoken English this will be fine, but not in GMAT. Moreover meaning of the sentence conveys some presence of hypothetical situation.

A) who, diverting the waters of the Euphrates, marched his invading army in the city on dry ground like

B) who, when the waters were diverted, marched his invading army in on dry ground like
(distorts intended meaning, now we don't know who diverted the waters, we don't have here "the city"- now totally a mess)

C) who had diverted the waters of the Euphrates, marching his invading army in on ground dried to be as if
("had"- ? we don't need sequencing of the verb tenses here, beacause all the events happened in the past, and when we describe multiple events in the past "past simple" is enough, unless the meaning of the sentence requires otherwise. "marching" now shows the result of the king diverted the water, so to me it's fine. missing "the city" we still can understan that the place was Babylone, but better to have "the city". "as if" perfectly suitable for intended meaning)

D) who diverted the waters of the Euphrates and then marched his invading army into the city on dry ground as if
("who" has 2 verbs "diverted" and "marched" ideally // to each other, we have our "the city" back, "as if" - I'm happy )

E) diverting the waters of the Euphrates and marching his invading army in on ground dried as if
("diverting" and "marching" are now // and present "how aspect" or "result" of the verb "was conquered" - this is illigical and distorts intended meaing, we missing our "the city")

D is a winner
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Re: Babylon was the largest city in the world for hundreds of years until  [#permalink]

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06 Jan 2019, 08:58
1
"like" the river had never existed is wrong. It should be "as". So A and B are out.

A) who, diverting the waters of the Euphrates, marched his invading army in the city on dry ground like
In addition to the "like" error. "who, diverted [...], marched [...]" incorrectly modifies Cyrus the Great. It should be "who diverted [...] and marched [...]"

B) who, when the waters were diverted, marched his invading army in on dry ground like
In addition to the "like" error. "when the waters were diverted" seems ambiguous. Not sure about the structure "marched his invading army in on dry ground"

C) who had diverted the waters of the Euphrates, marching his invading army in on ground dried to be as if
"marching his invading army incorrectly modifies the Euphrates (a river)

D) who diverted the waters of the Euphrates and then marched his invading army into the city on dry ground as if
This uses "as if" and is also parallel: diverted and then marched: CORRECT

E) diverting the waters of the Euphrates and marching his invading army in on ground dried as if
IMO marching his invading army "in on" is not correct. Also, "ground dried" is awkward.
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Babylon was the largest city in the world for hundreds of years until  [#permalink]

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06 Jan 2019, 16:55
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Project SC Butler: Day 60 Sentence Correction (SC1)

Babylon was the largest city in the world for hundreds of years, until 32 B.C. when it was conquered by Cyrus the Great, then king of Persia, who, diverting the waters of the Euphrates, marched his invading army in the city on dry ground like the river had never existed.

A) who, diverting the waters of the Euphrates, marched his invading army in the city on dry ground like
B) who, when the waters were diverted, marched his invading army in on dry ground like
C) who had diverted the waters of the Euphrates, marching his invading army in on ground dried to be as if
D) who diverted the waters of the Euphrates and then marched his invading army into the city on dry ground as if
E) diverting the waters of the Euphrates and marching his invading army in on ground dried as if

• The first thing to recognize is that the king of Persia did all of these things in the past.

• Eliminate A for the word "diverting," which is present tense

• Eliminate E for repeating the mistake in A

• Next, at the end of the underlined portion is like or as if.
Since what follows is a clause, like is incorrect (like is a preposition [that is] followed only by nouns]
Eliminate B

• Choice C changes both underlined verbs to wrong verb tenses—had diverted is past perfect, and marching is present participle.
Eliminate C

Hmm. That OE is not very well-organized.

Let's try splits, from easiest error to spot to hardest issue to resolve.

Split #1: LIKE vs. AS
At the end of A and B is the word like.

The word like can never be followed by a clause (look for a working verb) or a prepositional phrase.

Options A and B incorrectly state: . . . like the river had never existed.
-- had never existed is a verb

Eliminate A and B

Split #2: The word "ground" and its modifiers

C) . . . his invading army in on ground dried to be as if
D) . . . his invading army [into the city] on dry ground as if
E) . . . his invading army in on ground dried as if

Options C and E are rhetorical and logical disasters.
Logic: After Cyrus diverted the Euphrates River, the ground was dry.
Syntax: Cyrus and his army marched into the city on dry ground, [so dry that it seemed] as if the river had never existed.

C) ground . . . "dried TO BE as if"
-- incorrectly implies intention.
dried to be implies that the ground was intentionally dried. By whom? Weather cannot have intention or purpose.
-- "dried" is a fairly verb-like past participle, an intentional act. We need an agent that dried the ground OR a that-clause
-- TO BE also suggests purpose or intention.

Not all infinitives express purpose! This one does. Infinitives can be used to describe result or effect.
Example-
We provide you with a weather alert: high winds will combine with heavy rains to produce flash floods and dangerous traveling conditions.

-- a better construction, still not as good as D: . . . on ground that had dried as if the river had never existed.
By inserting "had," we correctly highlight "dried" while we also get away with not having an agent.

E) ground . . . "dried as if"
-- Repeats the "dried" error in C, and like C, not as good or effective as construction in D
-- Better construction, not as good as D, exactly the same as rewrite in C: . . . on ground that had dried as if the river had never existed.

Omit C and E.

Other issues:

• verbING modifiers - "participial modifiers"
Careful.

1) "marched" can certainly modify the relative pronoun WHO.
B was conquered by Cyrus the great . . . who marched his army into the city on dry ground as if the river had never existed.

2) although diverting is a present participle, the problem lies the tense suggestion (or lack thereof), not in the modification
He diverted the river before he marched.
"diverting" makes it sound as if he simultaneously diverted and marched.

Look at C. Who diverted the river? Cyrus.

Rewrite of A
Correct, because the who clause describes Cyrus the Great:
Babylon was conquered by Cyrus the great, then king of Persia,
who, having diverted the waters of the Euphrates, marched his invading army into the city on dry ground as if the river had never existed.

"Having diverted" is called a perfect participle, which is excellent for conveying completed action near in time to some other event.
no further than the linguist and grammarian John Lawler.

• marched INTO the city vs. marched IN on

--marched INTO the city ON dry ground is better than marched IN ON ground dried.

marched INTO . . .
-- INTO, a preposition, has an object: the city
-- ON, another preposition, has an object: dry ground

marched in on ground dried
-- marched IN (to) where?
-- preposition IN + preposition ON
I would not eliminate an answer on the basis of preposition + preposition alone,
but I would be wary.

All of these answers contain at least some excellent analysis.

Honorable mention (smiley face) goes to eswarchethu135

The two best are those by martinoco and GKomoku - both get kudos for excellent answer. Well done!
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Re: Babylon was the largest city in the world for hundreds of years until  [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2019, 12:17
Imo D

who, diverting the waters of the Euphrates, marched his invading army in the city on dry ground like ---I incorrect , wrong usage of like

B) who, when the waters were diverted, marched his invading army in on dry ground like ---incorrect , wrong usage of like and when

C) who had diverted the waters of the Euphrates, marching his invading army in on ground dried to be as if---incorrect ,meaning change

D) who diverted the waters of the Euphrates and then marched his invading army into the city on dry ground as if---correct and sequence s correct

E) diverting the waters of the Euphrates and marching his invading army in on ground dried as if---no verb

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Re: Babylon was the largest city in the world for hundreds of years until  [#permalink]

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06 Jan 2019, 09:46
1
Quote:
Babylon was the largest city in the world for hundreds of years, until 32 B.C. when it was conquered by Cyrus the Great, then king of Persia, who, diverting the waters of the Euphrates, marched his invading army in the city on dry ground like the river had never existed.

The statement can be re-written to the shortest form for a better understanding.

Babylon was the largest city in the world until 32 B.C. when it was conquered by Cyrus, then King of Persia, who, diverting the rivers, marched his invading army on dry ground like the river had never existed.

Quote:
A) who, diverting the waters of the Euphrates, marched his invading army in the city on dry ground like

The intended meaning is the king first diverted the rivers and then marched his army on dry ground. This choice conveys another meaning. ELIMINATED.
Quote:
B) who, when the waters were diverted, marched his invading army in on dry ground like

The meaning of this sentence is "the waters were diverted by some other person but not by the king and then he with his army marched on dry ground". This is a mess. ELIMINATED.
Quote:
C) who had diverted the waters of the Euphrates, marching his invading army in on ground dried to be as if

This statement conveys that "the kind diverted the water by simultaneously marching his army. This is also a mess. ELIMINATED.
Quote:
D) who diverted the waters of the Euphrates and then marched his invading army into the city on dry ground as if

This is the best choice to convey the intended meaning. This is the correct option.
Quote:
E) diverting the waters of the Euphrates and marching his invading army in on ground dried as if

This statement preserves the parallelism structure within it but distorts the intended meaning. ELIMINATED.

OPTION: D
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Babylon was the largest city in the world for hundreds of years until  [#permalink]

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06 Jan 2019, 11:12
Quote:
Babylon was the largest city in the world for hundreds of years, until 32 B.C. when it was conquered by Cyrus the Great, then king of Persia, who, diverting the waters of the Euphrates, marched his invading army in the city on dry ground like the river had never existed.

Meaning:
The sentence presents a few facts about Babylon.
Babylon was the largest city in the world for hundreds of years, until 32 B.C.
During the same time, it was conquered by Cyrus the Great, then king of Persia
The king performed below actions:
• diverted the waters of the Euphrates,
• marched his invading army in the city on dry ground as if the river had never existed.

Quote:
A) who, diverting the waters of the Euphrates, marched his invading army in the city on dry ground like

Coma+verb-ing modifier denotes either HOW or RESULT of the preceding clause. The usage of same is incorrect.
Also like cannot be used to show examples.

Quote:
B) who, when the waters were diverted, marched his invading army in on dry ground like

when must refer to a time frame, here it incorrectly modifies the king.

Quote:
C) who had diverted the waters of the Euphrates, marching his invading army in on ground dried to be as if

coma+marching is incorrect usage of HOW/RESULT of the preceding clause.

Quote:
D) who diverted the waters of the Euphrates and then marched his invading army into the city on dry ground as if

CORRECT, who refers back to king, we have two simple past tense verbs connected by AND.
Like is replaced by AS IF.

Quote:
E) diverting the waters of the Euphrates and marching his invading army in on ground dried as if

coma+diverting and coma+marching are incorrect usages of coma+verb-ing modifier.
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Babylon was the largest city in the world for hundreds of years until   [#permalink] 06 Jan 2019, 11:12
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