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# Based on the customs of countries such as Mexico and an analysis of an

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Intern
Joined: 22 Jul 2016
Posts: 19
Based on the customs of countries such as Mexico and an analysis of an  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 09 Oct 2018, 02:36
15
00:00

Difficulty:

55% (hard)

Question Stats:

55% (01:08) correct 45% (01:17) wrong based on 411 sessions

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Based on the customs of countries such as Mexico and an analysis of ancient records, historians have inferred that the Aztecs fed prisoners sumptuous meals before using the prisoners as human sacrifices.

(A) Based on the customs of countries such as

(B) On the basis of the customs of countries such as

(C) Based on the customs of countries like

(D) On the basis of the customs of countries, like those of

(E) Based on such customs as those of countries like

Originally posted by prajaktt on 16 Jan 2017, 10:50.
Last edited by Bunuel on 09 Oct 2018, 02:36, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4472
Re: Based on the customs of countries such as Mexico and an analysis of an  [#permalink]

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16 Jan 2017, 17:55
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6
prajaktt wrote:
Based on the customs of countries such as Mexico and an analysis of ancient records, historians have inferred that the Aztecs fed prisoners sumptuous meals before using the prisoners as human sacrifices.

(A) Based on the customs of countries such as
(B) On the basis of the customs of countries such as
(C) Based on the customs of countries like
(D) On the basis of the customs of countries, like those of
(E) Based on such customs as those of countries like

Dear prajaktt,

I'm happy to respond. MGMAT always has good questions. This one is particularly tricky.

First of all, for listing examples on the GMAT, we need to used "such as" (e.g. "countries such as Mexico"). It is entirely incorrect to use "like" (e.g. "countries like Mexico"). We can reject (C), (D), and (E).

This leaves us with the sophisticated split between (A) & (B). What is "based" on what? Literally, the "base" of something is its bottom: for example, a building is "based" on its foundation. GMAT uses this term metaphorically, to indicate the logical basis of of something. Thus, an idea or a conclusion or an inference can be "based" on some evidence.

Also, as a participle, "based" is a noun-modifier, and begins a phrase that goes all the way up to the comma. The noun this phrase touches, right after the comma, is the target noun. In (A), the sentence says that the "historians" themselves are "based on the customs." That's pure nonsense. People cannot be based on ideas.

Instead, the action of the historians, their inferring, is based on something. For this, we need a verb-modifying phrase. Using a prepositional phrase solves this problem, because "on the basis" can be a verb-modifying phrase, modifying the action, "have inferred." Indeed, this inference was "based" on the "customs." The answer has to be (B).

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)
##### General Discussion
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Re: Based on the customs of countries such as Mexico and an analysis of an  [#permalink]

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09 Oct 2018, 02:27
I will go with B
*Based on* is wrong so is the use of *like*

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Based on the customs of countries such as Mexico and an analysis of an  [#permalink]

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09 Oct 2018, 02:38
prajaktt wrote:
Based on the customs of countries such as Mexico and an analysis of ancient records, historians have inferred that the Aztecs fed prisoners sumptuous meals before using the prisoners as human sacrifices.

(A) Based on the customs of countries such as

(B) On the basis of the customs of countries such as

(C) Based on the customs of countries like

(D) On the basis of the customs of countries, like those of

(E) Based on such customs as those of countries like

MANHATTAN REVIEW OFFICIAL EXPLANATION:

The first thing you have to consider in this question is whether to use ‘based on’ or ‘on the basis of’. This is a question of a dangling modifier. The historians are not based on the customs. Eliminate A, C and E. That leaves us with choices B and D. B is shorter and more efficient than D. Choice B is the correct answer.
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Re: Based on the customs of countries such as Mexico and an analysis of an   [#permalink] 09 Oct 2018, 02:38
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