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Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to

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Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to  [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2019, 11:10
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Difficulty:

75% (hard)

Question Stats:

45% (01:42) correct 55% (01:51) wrong based on 301 sessions

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Project SC Butler: Day 102 Sentence Correction (SC2)

Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to this day, based primarily on a complex hierarchical system, much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages.

A) Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to this day, based primarily on a complex hierarchical system, much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

B) Still baffling students of the law year after year, the complex hierarchical system that is still the primary basis of property rights had been developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

C) Property rights, baffling students of the law year after year, were primarily based, to this day, on a complex hierarchical system developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

D) Baffling students of the law year after year, Europe is where the complex hierarchical system of property rights that still forms their basis today was developed, during the Middle Ages

E) The complex hierarchical system on which property rights are still primarily based was developed in Europe in the Middle Ages, baffling students of the law year after year

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Re: Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to  [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2019, 11:40
3
Error Analysis:-

A) Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to this day, based primarily on a complex hierarchical system, much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

Modifier Error.

Baffling Students, Property rights are based.

B) Still baffling students of the law year after year, the complex hierarchical system that is still the primary basis of property rights had been developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

Still baffling, X had been developed - illogical

C) Property rights, baffling students of the law year after year, were primarily based, to this day, on a complex hierarchical system developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

rights were based, to this day, -- ungrammatic

D) Baffling students of the law year after year, Europe is where the complex hierarchical system of property rights that still forms their basis today was developed, during the Middle Ages

Baffling Students, Europer is where - modifier error .

E) The complex hierarchical system on which property rights are still primarily based was developed in Europe in the Middle Ages, baffling students of the law year after year

Error Free.

Independent Clause, Verbing modifier
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Re: Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to  [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2019, 06:04
1
IMO E

Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to this day, based primarily on a complex hierarchical system, much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages.

A) Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to this day, based primarily on a complex hierarchical system, much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages
''Much'' is used to denote uncountables

B) Still baffling students of the law year after year, the complex hierarchical system that is still the primary basis of property rights had been developed in Europe during the Middle Ages
''Had been developed'' is past perfect but there is no simple past tense in the sentence
C) Property rights, baffling students of the law year after year, were primarily based, to this day, on a complex hierarchical system developed in Europe during the Middle Ages
''property rights were based, to this day'' distorts meaning
D) Baffling students of the law year after year, Europe is where the complex hierarchical system of property rights that still forms their basis today was developed, during the Middle Ages
Wrong modifier, baffling students modifies Europe

E) The complex hierarchical system on which property rights are still primarily based was developed in Europe in the Middle Ages, baffling students of the law year after year
Correct
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Re: Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to  [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2019, 06:17
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1
Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to this day, based primarily on a complex hierarchical system, much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

A) Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to this day, based primarily on a complex hierarchical system, much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages
Correct

B) Still baffling students of the law year after year, the complex hierarchical system that is still the primary basis of property rights had been developed in Europe during the Middle Ages.
Use of past perfect is incorrect. There is no other past action.

C) Property rights, baffling students of the law year after year, were primarily based, to this day, on a complex hierarchical system developed in Europe during the Middle Ages.
Property rights are still based on a complex hierarchical system, so the use of 'were' is incorrect.

D) Baffling students of the law year after year, Europe is where the complex hierarchical system of property rights that still forms their basis today was developed, during the Middle Ages
Europe cannot baffle students

E) The complex hierarchical system on which property rights are still primarily based was developed in Europe in the Middle Ages, baffling students of the law year after year.
The complex hierarchical system on which property rights are still primarily based was developed in Europe in the Middle Ages, baffling students of the law year after year.
This doesn't make sense. The development of hierarchical system did not baffle the students.
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Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to  [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2019, 18:31
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2

Project SC Butler: Day 102 Sentence Correction (SC2)

Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to this day, based primarily on a complex hierarchical system, much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages.

A) Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to this day, based primarily on a complex hierarchical system, much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

B) Still baffling students of the law year after year, the complex hierarchical system that is still the primary basis of property rights had been developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

C) Property rights, baffling students of the law year after year, were primarily based, to this day, on a complex hierarchical system developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

D) Baffling students of the law year after year, Europe is where the complex hierarchical system of property rights that still forms their basis today was developed, during the Middle Ages

E) The complex hierarchical system on which property rights are still primarily based was developed in Europe in the Middle Ages , baffling students of the law year after year

MY EXPLANATION

The official explanation from the source is in a footnote below.*

Sidebar, in case anyone decides to go to law school: if ever you see a question about the Rule Against Perpetuities (and it will only be on a multiple choice test unless your professor is a sadist),
mark C and move on. (Of all the rules in property, that one made me the craziest.) Just sayin'.

Baffling means confusing.

• Strip the sentence to figure out meaning.
(Contrary to what the OE seems to imply, there is nothing special about Option A. The answer that is correct displays the intended meaning.)

Baffling students of the law year after year [continuously], property rights are, [to this day??], based primarily on a complex hierarchical system, much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

Baffling students continuously, property rights are based on a complex system, much of which was developed during the Middle Ages.
Meaning?
Property rights:
1) are a subject taught to (law school) students
2) are based on a complex system that was mostly developed during the Middle Ages; and
3) are continuously or perpetually baffling to students
-- in my abridgement of (A), I wrote [to this day??] in that way because I do not know whether the phrase will matter.

Looking at the options, the subject may be the complex system upon which property rights are based.
I will keep the possibility open. In terms of meaning, we have made sense.

• Some notes on option A

-- Baffling is a participial modifier (verbING) that in this option comes at the beginning of the sentence.
Baffling has a direct object: students.
(Whom does this baffling thing baffle? Answer: students of the law)

-- Introductory verbING phrases modify the immediately following subject (property rights) or the whole subsequent clause.
In this context, baffling modifies property rights. The rest of the sentence describes property rights.

What thing/noun is baffling? Property rights.
Subject: property rights
Verb: are based
Object: a complex system
Modifier of Object: much of which was developed during the Middle Ages.

It may be tempting to dismiss "much." But much of which, some of which, part of which, none of which, and similar phrases are common in written English.

Much of what? The relative pronoun which in much of which refers to what was just mentioned, namely, a complex system.
Substitute the noun for the pronoun to check for sensibility.
Much of the complex system was developed during the Middle Ages. That substitution works.

In sentences that are this long, if possible, find the easiest errors.
Noticing a "split" does not necessarily equal finding the easiest errors.

I will move from "easiest error to catch" to what I think is the most difficult error to catch.
Quote:
C) Property rights, baffling students of the law year after year, were primarily based, to this day, on a complex hierarchical system developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

-- "to this day" is idiomatic and literal: up to now, even now.
Now is present tense. Property rights ARE based right now [to this day] on . . .
not WERE based to this day . . .
Eliminate C

Quote:
D) Baffling students of the law year after year, Europe is where the complex hierarchical system of property rights that still forms their basis today was developed, during the Middle Ages

Baffling, a participial (verbING) introductory phrase, modifies the immediately following noun (or clause).
What baffles the students year after year?
NOT Europe.* Eliminate D. Move on.

Quote:
B) Still baffling students of the law year after year, the complex hierarchical system that is still the primary basis of property rights had been developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

Ignore whether the modified noun should be the complex hierarchical system or property rights. A clear and easier issue exists.
Had been developed is past perfect in the passive voice, which is constructed this way
("been" makes it passive)
The passive voice is fine.
We use past perfect for the past of the past and only when we need that construction.
We can use past perfect only if there is at least one other event in simple past.
Example: The computer crashed [simple past verb], but fortunately my document had been saved automatically (past perfect, okay).
In option B, we cannot use past perfect. There is no simple past event. Eliminate B.

Quote:
E) The complex hierarchical system on which property rights are still primarily based was developed in Europe in the Middle Ages, baffling students of the law year after year

In option E, the participial (verbING) modifier comes at the end of the sentence and is preceded by a comma.
comma + verbING modifies the whole previous clause or a preceding noun.
The problem is logical.

What is baffling about the mere fact that a complex system developed during a particular time period in Europe?
Nothing. A system developed. The end.

Strip this sentence if in doubt.
The complex system [of XYZ] was developed in Europe in the Middle Ages, baffling students of the law year after year.

Again, what is baffling about the mere fact that a system developed in a place and during a time? Nothing.

Some people are taught that comma + verbING presents
-- either the result of the previous clause
-- or more information with respect to the HOW of the previous clause
[Add, though not at issue here: verbING can modify a preceding noun, including the immediately preceding noun]

"Result" test: Are the students baffled because the complex system was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages? No.
"How" test: Does "baffling students" tell us how the complex system was developed? No.

Finally, if you are still not sure, compare Option E to Option A.

E) The complex hierarchical system on which property rights are still primarily based was developed in Europe in the Middle Ages, baffling students of the law year after year

A) Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to this day, based primarily on a complex hierarchical system, much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

Option A is correct.

manishcmu , welcome!

This question is not easy. Ashokshiva and gvvsnraju@12 : very close!

manishcmu wrote a superb answer. Kudos. Well done.

*OFFICIAL EXPLANATION (i.e., from the source) My comments are in italics.
• There is a descriptive phrase followed by a comma and a noun, so check for a misplaced modifier
• In Option A, the noun given is indeed the one being modified.
• Choices B and D keep the format but change the noun, making the sentence incorrect. Eliminate them.
• Choices C and E change the format, though E still has a modifier error, so eliminate both C and E.
I think the author is mistaken. It does not matter that C and E change the format of A.
Option A does not determine the original meaning or the format that underlies the original meaning.

I also think the author is mistaken at times about modifier issues.
-- We have no idea whether the complex system baffles students. It certainly could.
-- The format of C and E do not make those answers incorrect. Other errors do.

*Whether verbING modifies the immediately following noun or the whole phrase is a matter of context. We don't need to worry about the rest of this clause, though. "IS" is a linking verb, sometimes called a copula. Whatever is on the right hand side of a linking verb tells us about the subject, Europe. (Europe IS ...) Where the complex system developed is not confusing.
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Re: Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to  [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2019, 22:43
1
generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 102 Sentence Correction (SC2)

Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to this day, based primarily on a complex hierarchical system, much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages.

A) Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to this day, based primarily on a complex hierarchical system, much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

B) Still baffling students of the law year after year, the complex hierarchical system that is still the primary basis of property rights had been developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

C) Property rights, baffling students of the law year after year, were primarily based, to this day, on a complex hierarchical system developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

D) Baffling students of the law year after year, Europe is where the complex hierarchical system of property rights that still forms their basis today was developed, during the Middle Ages

E) The complex hierarchical system on which property rights are still primarily based was developed in Europe in the Middle Ages , baffling students of the law year after year

MY EXPLANATION

The official explanation from the source is in a footnote below.*

Sidebar: in case anyone decides to go to law school: if ever you see a question about the Rule Against Perpetuities,
mark C and move on. (Of all the rules in property, that one made me the craziest.) Just sayin.

• Strip the sentence to figure out meaning.
(Contrary to what I think the OE in the footnote implies, there is nothing special
about Option A. The answer that displays the intended meaning is the correct one.)

Baffling students of the law year after year [continuously], property rights are, [to this day??], based primarily on a complex hierarchical system, much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

Baffling students continuously, property rights are based on a complex system, much of which was developed during the Middle Ages.
Meaning?
Property rights:
1) are a subject taught to (law school) students
2) are based on a complex system that was mostly developed during the Middle Ages; and
3) are continuously or perpetually baffling to students

Looking at options, the subject may be the complex system upon which property rights are based.
I will keep the possibility open. In terms of meaning, we have made sense.

• Some notes on option A

-- Baffling is a participial modifier (verbING) that in this option comes at the beginning of the sentence.
Baffling has a direct object: students
(whom does this baffling thing baffle? Answer: students of the law)

-- Introductory verbING phrases modify the immediately following subject, property rights, or the whole subsequent clause.
In this context, baffling modifies property rights

What thing/noun is baffling? Property rights.
Subject: property rights
Verb: are based
Object: a complex system
Modifier of Object: much of which was developed during the Middle Ages

The "of which" in much of which refers to what was just mentioned, namely, a complex system.
Substitute the noun for the pronoun to check for sensibility.
Much of the complex system was developed during the Middle Ages. That works.

In sentences that are this long, if possible, find the easiest errors.
Noticing a "split" does not necessarily equal finding the easiest errors.

I will move from "easiest error to catch" to what I think is the most difficult error to catch.
Quote:
C) Property rights, baffling students of the law year after year, were primarily based, to this day, on a complex hierarchical system developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

-- "to this day" is a somewhat idiomatic phrase. It is literal: up to now, even now.
Now is present tense. Property rights ARE based right now [to this day] on . . . , not WERE based to this day. . . .
Eliminate C

Quote:
D) Baffling students of the law year after year, Europe is where the complex hierarchical system of property rights that still forms their basis today was developed, during the Middle Ages

Baffling, a participial (verbING) introductory phrase, modifies the immediately following noun (or clause).
What baffles the students year after year?
NOT Europe. Stop reading. Eliminate D. Move on.

Quote:
B) Still baffling students of the law year after year, the complex hierarchical system that is still the primary basis of property rights had been developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

Ignore whether the modified noun should be the complex hierarchical system or property rights.
Had been developed is past perfect in the passive voice.
We use past perfect for the past of the past, and only when we need that construction.
We can use past perfect only if there is at least one event in simple past.
Example: The computer crashed, but fortunately I had saved my document.
In option B, we cannot use past perfect. There is no simple past event. Eliminate B.

Quote:
E) The complex hierarchical system on which property rights are still primarily based was developed in Europe in the Middle Ages, baffling students of the law year after year

In option E, the participial (verbING) modifier comes at the end of the sentence and is preceded by a comma.
comma + verbING modifies the whole previous clause.
The problem is logical.

What is baffling about the mere fact that a complex system was developed during a particular time period?
Nothing.

Strip this sentence if in doubt.
The complex system . . . was developed in Europe in the Middle Ages, baffling students of the law year after year

Again, what is baffling about the mere fact that the complex system was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages?
Nothing.

Some people are taught that comma + verbING presents
-- either the result of the previous clause
-- or more information with respect to the HOW of the previous clause

Result test: Are the students baffled because the complex system was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages? No.
How test: Does "baffling students" tell us how the complex system was developed? No.

Finally, if you are still not sure, compare Option E to Option A.

E) The complex hierarchical system on which property rights are still primarily based was developed in Europe in the Middle Ages, baffling students of the law year after year

A) Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to this day, based primarily on a complex hierarchical system, much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages

Option A is correct.

manishcmu , welcome!

This question is not easy. Ashokshiva and gvvsnraju@12 : very close!

manishcmu wrote a superb answer. Kudos. Well done.

*OFFICIAL EXPLANATION (i.e., from the source)

• There is a descriptive phrase followed by a comma and a noun, so check for a misplaced modifier
• In Option A, the noun given is indeed the one being modified.
• Choices B and D keep the format but change the noun, making the sentence incorrect. Eliminate them.
• Choices C and E change the format, though E still has a modifier error, so eliminate both C and E.
I think the author is mistaken; it does not matter that C and E change the format of A.
Option A does not determine the original meaning or format underlying the original meaning.

I think the author is mistaken about modifier issues at times.
-- We have no idea whether the complex system baffles students. It certainly could.
-- The format of C and E do not make those answers incorrect. Other errors do.

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14ea0332478ac62da38b05c5b77e5e4a.gif [ 323.25 KiB | Viewed 1576 times ]

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Re: Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to  [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2019, 23:02
IMO A

A) The first part of the sentence 'Baffling students of the law year after year' correctly modifies 'property rights'. the verb 'are' represents the correct tense - oresent tense - in line with the phrase ' to this day'. The last clause - 'much of which was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages' - correctly modifies ' hierarchical system'. - Correct.

B) represents incorrect meaning. - Incorrect.

C) 'were primarily based' distorts the meaning/tense of the sentence.- Incorrect.

D) As per this sentence, 'Europe' is baffling the students. - Incorrect.

E) As per this system, the development baffles the students. - Incorrect.

Re: Baffling students of the law year after year, property rights are, to   [#permalink] 17 Feb 2019, 23:02
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