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Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Tr

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Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Tr [#permalink]

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Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life in the acclaimed tome, Truman.

(A) Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life in the acclaimed tome, Truman
(B) In the acclaimed tome Truman, biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life
(C) Biographer David McCullough, writing in the acclaimed tome Truman, presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, leadership during his 8 years in office, and returning to private life
(D) An in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life is presented by biographer David McCullough in the acclaimed tome Truman
(E) An in-depth study of Harry S. Truman, presented by biographer David McCullough, covers his rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life in the acclaimed tome, Truman
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Tr [#permalink]

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sharmasneha wrote:
Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life in the acclaimed tome, Truman.

(A) Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life in the acclaimed tome, Truman
(B) In the acclaimed tome Truman, biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life
(C) Biographer David McCullough, writing in the acclaimed tome Truman, presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, leadership during his 8 years in office, and returning to private life
(D) An in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life is presented by biographer David McCullough in the acclaimed tome Truman
(E) An in-depth study of Harry S. Truman, presented by biographer David McCullough, covers his rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life in the acclaimed tome, Truman

Dear sharmasneha,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

In all honesty, I don't think this is a very good SC question. Ultimately, it is not GMAT-like in its crispness. A good GMAT SC has one answer that is unambiguously right, and four that are unambiguously wrong. This question doesn't meet this standard.

Choices (C) - (E) are clearly wrong. That's good. Choice (C) is redundant, telling us that the biographer was writing in his book --- the "writing" and "presented" are redundant. Choices (D) & (E) each have a main verb without a main subject. Those three are unambiguously wrong.

The problem is the split between (A) & (B). Choice (B), what they intend as the OA, is perfectly clear. In (A), one perhaps could argue that with the final phrase, "in the acclaimed tome, Truman," it might be unclear whether all three elements in parallel, or just the last element, are presented in the tome. Maybe one could argue that, but it's a stretch. Choice (A) could be 100% correct on the GMAT if (B) were not there. It is far too close to correct to be a wrong answer. That is the big problem with this question. If you were confused between (A) and (B), that's not a failing on your part: that was a failing on the part of the author of the question.

You may find these blogs revealing:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/kaplan-new ... ok-review/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/kaplan-gma ... ok-review/

Here's a high quality GMAT SC practice question:
http://gmat.magoosh.com/questions/3604

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Tr [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2014, 15:27
How can 'his' refer back to possessive Truman's ?
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Re: Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Tr [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2014, 15:34
gmataroram wrote:
How can 'his' refer back to possessive Truman's ?

Dear gmataroram,
Under most conditions, the antecedent of a pronoun cannot be in the possessive, but the one exception is that possessive pronoun can have a possessive antecedent. See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-pronoun-traps/
Mike :-)
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Re: Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Tr [#permalink]

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New post 14 Oct 2014, 23:43
mikemcgarry wrote:
sharmasneha wrote:
Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life in the acclaimed tome, Truman.

(A) Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life in the acclaimed tome, Truman
(B) In the acclaimed tome Truman, biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life
(C) Biographer David McCullough, writing in the acclaimed tome Truman, presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, leadership during his 8 years in office, and returning to private life
(D) An in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life is presented by biographer David McCullough in the acclaimed tome Truman
(E) An in-depth study of Harry S. Truman, presented by biographer David McCullough, covers his rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life in the acclaimed tome, Truman

Dear sharmasneha,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

In all honesty, I don't think this is a very good SC question. Ultimately, it is not GMAT-like in its crispness. A good GMAT SC has one answer that is unambiguously right, and four that are unambiguously wrong. This question doesn't meet this standard.

Choices (C) - (E) are clearly wrong. That's good. Choice (C) is redundant, telling us that the biographer was writing in his book --- the "writing" and "presented" are redundant. Choices (D) & (E) each have a main verb without a main subject. Those three are unambiguously wrong.

The problem is the split between (A) & (B). Choice (B), what they intend as the OA, is perfectly clear. In (A), one perhaps could argue that with the final phrase, "in the acclaimed tome, Truman," it might be unclear whether all three elements in parallel, or just the last element, are presented in the tome. Maybe one could argue that, but it's a stretch. Choice (A) could be 100% correct on the GMAT if (B) were not there. It is far too close to correct to be a wrong answer. That is the big problem with this question. If you were confused between (A) and (B), that's not a failing on your part: that was a failing on the part of the author of the question.

You may find these blogs revealing:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/kaplan-new ... ok-review/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/kaplan-gma ... ok-review/

Here's a high quality GMAT SC practice question:
http://gmat.magoosh.com/questions/3604

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)



Hello,

I do not quite understand the problem with choice "D":

(D) An in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life is presented by biographer David McCullough in the acclaimed tome Truman
"his" here always clearly refers to Harry S.Truman

In choice (B) however, "his" can also refer to the biographer, right?

What is wrong with the main subject - main verb in choice (D) ?

"An in-depth study ... is presented.."

Kind regards,
Lax
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Re: Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Tr [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2014, 11:14
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LaxAvenger wrote:
Hello,

I do not quite understand the problem with choice "D":

(D) An in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life is presented by biographer David McCullough in the acclaimed tome Truman
"his" here always clearly refers to Harry S.Truman

In choice (B) however, "his" can also refer to the biographer, right?

What is wrong with the main subject - main verb in choice (D) ?

"An in-depth study ... is presented.."

Kind regards,
Lax

Dear Lax,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

First of all, when a possessive pronoun is used, and one previous noun is possessive and the other is not, then in the vast majority of cases, it's clear that the antecedent is the noun that, like the pronoun, is in the possessive. That's why "his" in (B) can't refer to "biographer." It must refer to good old Harry S.

About (D), I misspoke. Upon re-reading it, I see it doesn't lack a main verb. It does phrase everything in the passive, which is undesirable, and it also has SVA problems. The subject is
(1) An in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, (2) his leadership during his 8 years in office, and (3) his return to private life ....
That's a compound subject demanding a plural verb, but the verb is the singular "is presented." The passive construction might be enough to make this wrong, but the egregious SVA mistake is entirely unacceptable. That's why (D) is wrong. Along with Mr. Harry S. Truman, I can truly say: "The buck stops here." :-)

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Tr [#permalink]

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mikemcgarry wrote:
LaxAvenger wrote:
Hello,

I do not quite understand the problem with choice "D":

(D) An in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life is presented by biographer David McCullough in the acclaimed tome Truman
"his" here always clearly refers to Harry S.Truman

In choice (B) however, "his" can also refer to the biographer, right?

What is wrong with the main subject - main verb in choice (D) ?

"An in-depth study ... is presented.."

Kind regards,
Lax

Dear Lax,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

First of all, when a possessive pronoun is used, and one previous noun is possessive and the other is not, then in the vast majority of cases, it's clear that the antecedent is the noun that, like the pronoun, is in the possessive. That's why "his" in (B) can't refer to "biographer." It must refer to good old Harry S.

About (D), I misspoke. Upon re-reading it, I see it doesn't lack a main verb. It does phrase everything in the passive, which is undesirable, and it also has SVA problems. The subject is
(1) An in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, (2) his leadership during his 8 years in office, and (3) his return to private life ....
That's a compound subject demanding a plural verb, but the verb is the singular "is presented." The passive construction might be enough to make this wrong, but the egregious SVA mistake is entirely unacceptable. That's why (D) is wrong. Along with Mr. Harry S. Truman, I can truly say: "The buck stops here." :-)

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


Dear Mike,

yes, I get your points. Thank you !

Good Day,
Lax
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Re: Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Tr [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2014, 13:23
Interesting – did puzzle me but here’s my thought process on how I got to B….
Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life in the acclaimed tome, Truman.

(A) Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life in the acclaimed tome, Truman – this seems to refer to David’s study of Truman’s rise to presidency, as well as mistakingly David’s own leadership as the head of the US for 8 years which is obviously wrong.

(B) In the acclaimed tome Truman, biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life – The sentence is restructured – David presented an in depth study of (1) rise (2) leadership, blah, blah blah. Sounds good, keep this.

(C) Biographer David McCullough, writing in the acclaimed tome Truman, presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, leadership during his 8 years in office, and returning to private life: - the tense is wrong here. In depth study of Harry S Truman’s rise, HIS leadership during his 8 years & HIS return…… the HIS is missing so that’s out

(D) An in-depth study of Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life is presented by biographer David McCullough in the acclaimed tome Truman – Now in this one, his return to private life is presented sits uneasy.cant quite explain why its wrong but feels wrong. Out.

(E) An in-depth study of Harry S. Truman, presented by biographer David McCullough, covers his rise to the presidency, his leadership during his 8 years in office, and his return to private life in the acclaimed tome, Truman – Tempting. The problem? Seems that Truman is returning to private life in the book Truman.
Hence answer is B – sort of challenging! Did have me bouncing between B & E.
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Re: Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Tr [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2014, 09:04
Hi Mike
In option D, doesn't study of A,B and c act as a single group ?
E.g. "A Study of Qualifications and Occupations in Thirteen Countries discusses results of a comparative analysis of 13 countries"
In such a case doesn't D becomes more suitable candidate than B, in which we have slight pronoun ambiguity ?
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Re: Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Tr [#permalink]

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click2abhishek wrote:
Hi Mike
In option D, doesn't study of A,B and c act as a single group ?
E.g. "A Study of Qualifications and Occupations in Thirteen Countries discusses results of a comparative analysis of 13 countries"
In such a case doesn't D becomes more suitable candidate than B, in which we have slight pronoun ambiguity ?

Dear click2abhishek
I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, do you realize how confusing your question is if you use the letters {A, B, C} for grammatical units rather than for answer choices. If you are going to use algebraic notation to discuss the grammar of a GMAT SC question, please do not use the same letters as are used for the five answer choices.

Yes, if we wanted to be as sympathetic to (D) as possible, we could interpret the three parallel elements as all objects of the study:
An in-depth study of
// Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency,
//his leadership during his 8 years in office,

and
//his return to private life
is presented ....
Yes, this interpretation would remove any SVA problem.

Nevertheless, (D) contains a weak, flaccid, passive construction ---- indirect, lily-livered, and indecisive.
An in-depth study of Truman is presented by biographer David McCullough in the acclaimed tome Truman.
Yawn! This is completely punchless --- this is what we would say if we were trying to convince folks that this is the most boring and useless book on the planet. The GMAT despises language of this sort. Language of this sort is doomed to failure in the business world.

Even if (D) is 100% grammatically correct, it is fatally flawed and cannot possibly be the correct answer.

By contrast, for anyone who understands all the subtleties of pronoun reference, choice (B) is 100% correct and 100% unambiguous.
In the acclaimed tome Truman, biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of
//Harry S. Truman's rise to the presidency,
//his leadership during his 8 years in office,

and
//his return to private life
Remember that parallelism is not primarily a grammatical structure: it is first and foremost a logical structure. As such, the logical organization of the parallelism makes clear beyond any possible doubt that the possessive nouns & pronouns at the start of each branch of the parallelism all have the same target.

Unlike (D), this is direct & active & vital. This makes absolutely no apology for what it is communicating. This is precisely the tone that the GMAT loves.

Does all this make sense?
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Re: Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Tr [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2014, 10:45
Thanks Mike... really helpful explanation.
And apologies for a,b,c... gmat options make you describe everything in terms of a-e ;)
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Re: Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Tr [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2016, 14:22
Hi Mike ,

In the example of the sentence you cited "What the eye sees, if it is at all different from what the brain visually perceives, then this distinction is, for practice purposes, meaningless."

the correct option you have cited , "The distinction of what the eye sees from what the brain visually perceives is, for all practical purposes, meaningless." , does this not change the meaning of the sentence ?
The original sentence says that as a possibility , uses if , the correct answer choice makes it evident. I have doubt regarding this ?
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Re: Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Tr [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2016, 22:05
nehajain1234 wrote:
Hi Mike ,

In the example of the sentence you cited "What the eye sees, if it is at all different from what the brain visually perceives, then this distinction is, for practice purposes, meaningless."

the correct option you have cited , "The distinction of what the eye sees from what the brain visually perceives is, for all practical purposes, meaningless." , does this not change the meaning of the sentence ?
The original sentence says that as a possibility , uses if , the correct answer choice makes it evident. I have doubt regarding this ?

Dear nehajain1234,

My friend, it's unclear to me why you asked about a completely different question here. This is not really the appropriate place for the discussion of the question about what the eye sees. I answered your question here.

As a general rule, it makes the most sense to make new inquiries about a SC question in a thread already devoted to the discussion of that SC question.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Biographer David McCullough presented an in-depth study of Harry S. Tr   [#permalink] 13 Nov 2016, 22:05
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