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# Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form

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Senior Manager
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Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form  [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2013, 11:53
2
9
00:00

Difficulty:

35% (medium)

Question Stats:

56% (00:45) correct 44% (00:55) wrong based on 401 sessions

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Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys formulated a compelling case that, in their opinion, detailed the events of the night in question; the press
speculated that a "guilty" verdict was likely.

A. Based on accounts of several witnesses
B. Basing it on several witnesses' accounts
C. With accounts of several witnesses used for a basis
D. By the accounts of several witnesses they used
E. Using accounts of various witnesses
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Re: Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form  [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2013, 14:52
6
5
avohden wrote:
Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting
attorneys formulated a compelling case that, in their opinion,
detailed the events of the night in question; the press
speculated that a "guilty" verdict was likely.

A. Based on accounts of several witnesses
B. Basing it on several witnesses' accounts
C With accounts of several witnesses used for a basis
D. By the accounts of several witnesses they used
E. Using accounts of various witnesses

OE to follow

Leading modifiers can be very tricky. You have to make sure that your modifier makes sense.

A - This is modifying the attorneys directly. The prosecuting attorneys were based on accounts of witnesses? Illogical.
B - Basing it? What are the attorneys basing? Unclear.
C - This is also modifying the attorneys directly. The accounts of the witnesses is the basis of the case, but this states that the accounts are the basis of the attorneys.
D - Starting with "by" makes this modifier indirect and unclear. What are the accounts doing?
E - Very clear leading modifier showing that the prosecuting attorneys used the accounts of various witnesses to formulate a compelling case. - CORRECT

KW
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Re: Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form  [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2013, 12:51
2
avohden wrote:
Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting
attorneys formulated a compelling case that, in their opinion,
detailed the events of the night in question; the press
speculated that a "guilty" verdict was likely.

A. Based on accounts of several witnesses
B. Basing it on several witnesses' accounts
C With accounts of several witnesses used for a basis
D. By the accounts of several witnesses they used
E. Using accounts of various witnesses

OE to follow

Easy E: prosecuting attorneys formulated the case using accounts of various witnesses.
Rest of the options are ambiguous
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Re: Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form  [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2013, 10:41
1
Official Explanation

The sentence contains a misplaced modifier. The phrase "based on accounts of several witnesses" modifies "a compelling case", but from its placement, it appears to modify "prosecuting attorneys". Hence we eliminate choice (A). Look for an answer choice that fixes this problem, either by moving the modifier next to "a compelling case" or by changing the modifier so that it modifies "prosecuting attorneys".

(B), (D) and (E) all attempt to fix the problem by changing the modifier so that it modifies "prosecuting attorneys". (C) changes the modifier but the modifier still modifies "a compelling case" and is not moved, so (C) is incorrect.

(B) is awkward and wordy. It is awkward because the pronoun "it" appears well before its antecedent "case". Note that it is not necessarily incorrect for a pronoun to appear before its antecedent, but it is rarely preferred.

(D) is also awkward and wordy. (E) conveys the same information more economically and is therefore superior.
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Re: Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form  [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2013, 08:58
KyleWiddison wrote:
avohden wrote:
Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting
attorneys formulated a compelling case that, in their opinion,
detailed the events of the night in question; the press
speculated that a "guilty" verdict was likely.

A. Based on accounts of several witnesses
B. Basing it on several witnesses' accounts
C With accounts of several witnesses used for a basis
D. By the accounts of several witnesses they used
E. Using accounts of various witnesses

OE to follow

Leading modifiers can be very tricky. You have to make sure that your modifier makes sense.

A - This is modifying the attorneys directly. The prosecuting attorneys were based on accounts of witnesses? Illogical.
B - Basing it? What are the attorneys basing? Unclear.
C - This is also modifying the attorneys directly. The accounts of the witnesses is the basis of the case, but this states that the accounts are the basis of the attorneys.
D - Starting with "by" makes this modifier indirect and unclear. What are the accounts doing?
E - Very clear leading modifier showing that the prosecuting attorneys used the accounts of various witnesses to formulate a compelling case. - CORRECT

KW

Can you explain why A is wrong? I understand why B,C and D are wrong...

But between A and E I cannot make the difference...

Thank you!
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Re: Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form  [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2013, 07:33
2
Quote:
Can you explain why A is wrong? I understand why B,C and D are wrong...

But between A and E I cannot make the difference...

Thank you!

Paris75 - The underlined portion of the sentence is acting as participle phrase. Participle phrases are the most common modifier to misplace or dangle. In clear, logical sentences, you will find modifiers right next to the words they describe.

Shouting with happiness, William celebrated his chance to interview at SunTrust.

Notice that the participle phrase sits right in front of William, the one doing the shouting. If too much distance separates a modifier and its target, the modifier is misplaced.

Draped neatly on a hanger, William borrowed Grandpa's old suit to wear to the interview.

The suit, not William, is on the hanger! The modifier must come closer to the word it is meant to describe. For the interview, William borrowed Grandpa's old suit, which was draped neatly on a hanger.

A participle phrase will begin with a present or past participle. If the participle is present, it will dependably end in ing. Likewise, a regular past participle will end in a consistent ed. Irregular past participles, unfortunately, conclude in all kinds of ways. Since all phrases require two or more words, a participle phrase will often include objects and/or modifiers that complete the thought. Here are some examples:

Crunching caramel corn for the entire movie

Washed with soap and water

Stuck in the back of the closet behind the obsolete computer

Back to the sentence under question.

In choice A, if you flip the order of the participle phrase it may be easier to see that its illogical.

The prosecuting attorneys Based on accounts of several witnesses formulated a compelling case

Look what happens when you flip the order to choice E.

The prosecuting attorneys used accounts of various witnesses to formulate a compelling case

http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/participlephrase.htm
http://wps.ablongman.com/long_faigley_penguinhb_1/7/1976/506050.cw/index.html
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Re: Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form  [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2013, 07:58
avohden wrote:
Quote:
Can you explain why A is wrong? I understand why B,C and D are wrong...

But between A and E I cannot make the difference...

Thank you!

Paris75 - The underlined portion of the sentence is acting as participle phrase. Participle phrases are the most common modifier to misplace or dangle. In clear, logical sentences, you will find modifiers right next to the words they describe.

Shouting with happiness, William celebrated his chance to interview at SunTrust.

Notice that the participle phrase sits right in front of William, the one doing the shouting. If too much distance separates a modifier and its target, the modifier is misplaced.

Draped neatly on a hanger, William borrowed Grandpa's old suit to wear to the interview.

The suit, not William, is on the hanger! The modifier must come closer to the word it is meant to describe. For the interview, William borrowed Grandpa's old suit, which was draped neatly on a hanger.

A participle phrase will begin with a present or past participle. If the participle is present, it will dependably end in ing. Likewise, a regular past participle will end in a consistent ed. Irregular past participles, unfortunately, conclude in all kinds of ways. Since all phrases require two or more words, a participle phrase will often include objects and/or modifiers that complete the thought. Here are some examples:

Crunching caramel corn for the entire movie

Washed with soap and water

Stuck in the back of the closet behind the obsolete computer

Back to the sentence under question.

In choice A, if you flip the order of the participle phrase it may be easier to see that its illogical.

The prosecuting attorneys Based on accounts of several witnesses formulated a compelling case

Look what happens when you flip the order to choice E.

The prosecuting attorneys used accounts of various witnesses to formulate a compelling case

http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/participlephrase.htm
http://wps.ablongman.com/long_faigley_penguinhb_1/7/1976/506050.cw/index.html

Thx a lot for the demonstration! But I think you made a small mistake: Answer E is using not used

Therefore, you have: The prosecuting attorneys using accounts of various witnesses formulated a compelling case

And i think it is clear answer E now! Thank you for the method!
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Re: Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form  [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2013, 08:10
Not to belabor the point but I think you can also see the difference between A & E when you look at the definition and usage of the words "base" and "use".

Base can defined 2 ways:
1. have as the foundation for (something); use as a point from which (something) can develop.
"the film is based on a novel by Pat Conroy"
2. situate as the center of operations.
"a research program based at the University of Arizona"

In choice A, the word based is being used as a foundation for something. I think the keyword here is something. When you go back to the sentence the phrase is modifying "the prosecuting attorneys" which are people. So the usage is not grammatical. However, for the sentence to make sense using the choice A, you can rewrite as, "Based on accounts of several witnesses, a compelling case was formulated by the prosecuting attorneys that, in their opinion, detailed the events of the night in question; the press speculated that a "guilty" verdict was likely."

Now, there are several ways to define use but the way it was used in this sentence was "the act or practice of employing something". So something is employing something.

In choice E, the word using helps to describe how the prosecuting attorneys are employing the accounts of the witnesses.
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Re: Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form  [#permalink]

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14 Sep 2014, 02:00
It is very confusing to me when A is illogical while in Magoosh Idom book, this sentence is correct:
[img]6) Based on 25 years of research in the field, the doctor had a hunch that the new medicine would be successful.
Here, the participial phrase “based on 25 years of research in the field” modifies the noun it touches, the noun “doctor” — the doctor, in his capacity as a medical problem-solver, is supported by his years of research. This is perfectly correct.
- See more at: http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-prepo ... npvOU.dpuf[/img]
Can anyone explain for me the difference? Thank you very much.

KyleWiddison wrote:
avohden wrote:
Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting
attorneys formulated a compelling case that, in their opinion,
detailed the events of the night in question; the press
speculated that a "guilty" verdict was likely.

A. Based on accounts of several witnesses
B. Basing it on several witnesses' accounts
C With accounts of several witnesses used for a basis
D. By the accounts of several witnesses they used
E. Using accounts of various witnesses

OE to follow

Leading modifiers can be very tricky. You have to make sure that your modifier makes sense.

A - This is modifying the attorneys directly. The prosecuting attorneys were based on accounts of witnesses? Illogical.
B - Basing it? What are the attorneys basing? Unclear.
C - This is also modifying the attorneys directly. The accounts of the witnesses is the basis of the case, but this states that the accounts are the basis of the attorneys.
D - Starting with "by" makes this modifier indirect and unclear. What are the accounts doing?
E - Very clear leading modifier showing that the prosecuting attorneys used the accounts of various witnesses to formulate a compelling case. - CORRECT

KW
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Posts: 787
Re: Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form  [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2014, 07:54
1
1
thuylinh wrote:
It is very confusing to me when A is illogical while in Magoosh Idom book, this sentence is correct:
[img]6) Based on 25 years of research in the field, the doctor had a hunch that the new medicine would be successful.
Here, the participial phrase “based on 25 years of research in the field” modifies the noun it touches, the noun “doctor” — the doctor, in his capacity as a medical problem-solver, is supported by his years of research. This is perfectly correct.
- See more at: http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-prepo ... npvOU.dpuf[/img]
Can anyone explain for me the difference? Thank you very much.

KyleWiddison wrote:
avohden wrote:
Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting
attorneys formulated a compelling case that, in their opinion,
detailed the events of the night in question; the press
speculated that a "guilty" verdict was likely.

A. Based on accounts of several witnesses
B. Basing it on several witnesses' accounts
C With accounts of several witnesses used for a basis
D. By the accounts of several witnesses they used
E. Using accounts of various witnesses

OE to follow

Leading modifiers can be very tricky. You have to make sure that your modifier makes sense.

A - This is modifying the attorneys directly. The prosecuting attorneys were based on accounts of witnesses? Illogical.
B - Basing it? What are the attorneys basing? Unclear.
C - This is also modifying the attorneys directly. The accounts of the witnesses is the basis of the case, but this states that the accounts are the basis of the attorneys.
D - Starting with "by" makes this modifier indirect and unclear. What are the accounts doing?
E - Very clear leading modifier showing that the prosecuting attorneys used the accounts of various witnesses to formulate a compelling case. - CORRECT

KW

Fantastic question here. This type of setup does lead to some confusion. There is a very subtle but key difference between your example and Option A of this problem.

"Based on 25 years of research in the field, the doctor had a hunch that the new medicine would be successful."

Option A:
"Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys formulated a compelling case that, in their opinion, detailed the events of the night in question."

In your example, the years of research can appropriately describe the doctor because the doctor had completed the 25 years of research. [BTW, you could also successful argue that the research should be modifying the hunch.]

In the sentence, the accounts of several witnesses cannot modify the attorneys because they are not the attorneys' accounts. The CASE is based on the accounts of several witnesses, so this modifier is misplaced by modifying the attorneys.

KW
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Re: Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form  [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2014, 00:38
Thank you very much, Kyle.

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Re: Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2014, 00:15
avohden wrote:
Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting
attorneys formulated a compelling case that, in their opinion,
detailed the events of the night in question; the press
speculated that a "guilty" verdict was likely.

A. Based on accounts of several witnesses
B. Basing it on several witnesses' accounts
C With accounts of several witnesses used for a basis
D. By the accounts of several witnesses they used
E. Using accounts of various witnesses

OE to follow

E !!!

Shortcut for correct usage of idiom based is - always check whether based in followed by noun .

Also till now it has been observed that Based on. ..... , X (Structure never goes right), I eliminate A/B in next 5 seconds after reading Sentence ,
Then checked & found E best...thus solved it in 38 sec - hope I will keep this momentum on D day too

Regards
LS
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Re: Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form  [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2016, 01:54
Excellent explanation by Kyle,
I would just like to add the following for reenforcing the concept :-

(1) Placement of modifiers is more important at the beginning of the sentence. These kind of modifiers (leading modifiers)usually modify the word immediately following the modifier.

(2) Leading modifiers can have functions beyond modifying the subject or the whole sentence (as many of them do).
Some of them legitimately modify the subject and give the the reader information before the reader reaches to the main clause.

So whenever you see a leading modifier make sure it logically and meaning-wise modifies the word immediately coming after it.

KyleWiddison wrote:
avohden wrote:
Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting
attorneys formulated a compelling case that, in their opinion,
detailed the events of the night in question; the press
speculated that a "guilty" verdict was likely.

A. Based on accounts of several witnesses
B. Basing it on several witnesses' accounts
C With accounts of several witnesses used for a basis
D. By the accounts of several witnesses they used
E. Using accounts of various witnesses

OE to follow

Leading modifiers can be very tricky. You have to make sure that your modifier makes sense.

A - This is modifying the attorneys directly. The prosecuting attorneys were based on accounts of witnesses? Illogical.
B - Basing it? What are the attorneys basing? Unclear.
C - This is also modifying the attorneys directly. The accounts of the witnesses is the basis of the case, but this states that the accounts are the basis of the attorneys.
D - Starting with "by" makes this modifier indirect and unclear. What are the accounts doing?
E - Very clear leading modifier showing that the prosecuting attorneys used the accounts of various witnesses to formulate a compelling case. - CORRECT

KW

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Re: Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form  [#permalink]

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Re: Based on accounts of several witnesses, the prosecuting attorneys form   [#permalink] 06 Mar 2019, 12:22
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