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Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju

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Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju [#permalink]

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Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, did something that was beyond what the Roman people were willing to accept, even though their motives might have been noble in doing so.

(A) Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, did something that was beyond what the Roman people were willing to accept, even though their motives might have been noble in doing so

(B) For Brutus and Cassius to participate in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, however noble their motives might have been, was beyond what the Roman people were willing to accept

(C) By participating in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, although their motives might have been noble, did something beyond what was acceptable to the Roman people

(D) With possibly noble motives, Brutus’ and Cassius’ participation in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar was what was beyond the Roman people’s willingness to accept

(E) Julius Caesar was brutally assassinated, and by their participation in this, Brutus and Cassius went beyond what was acceptable for the Roman people, and their motives might have been noble in doing so.


This long challenging SC question explores, among other things, the issue of phrases as subjects. For a discussion of this issue, as well as the OE for this particular question, see:
GMAT SC Grammar: Phrases as Subjects

Mike :-)
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2016, 19:49
My Phone Is Messed Up And Capiltlizes The First Letter Of Each Word.

A: Their could Refer To Brutus And Cassius Or RomaN people
B: 'however Noble. . . . ' Is Far From Brutus And Cassius
D: Participation Cannot Have Motives
E: Awkward And Same Issue As A

I Choose C

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Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2016, 21:35
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Argh!! Another tough Question. Lol.

My 2 Cents:

In A and E, the antecedent of 'their' could be either people or B and C. Ambiguity.

In D:

With possibly noble motives, Brutus’ and Cassius’ participation --> It should be B and C & not B's and C's participation.


Boils (or simmers) down to Options B and C.

(B) For Brutus and Cassius to participate in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, however noble their motives might have been, was beyond what the Roman people were willing to accept

(C) By participating in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, although their motives might have been noble, did something beyond what was acceptable to the Roman people

I would prefer B over C since the intended meaning is that participating in the assassination was something which the people would not accept. However, Option C states that participating in the assassination, Br and Ca did something else too - and that something was not acceptable to people.

B conveys it correctly

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Re: Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2016, 18:09
I was able to get it down to B and C. I ended up choosing B over C because "although" in C sounded awkward.

Thanks for a good question :)

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Re: Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2016, 09:42
mikemcgarry wrote:
Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, did something that was beyond what the Roman people were willing to accept, even though their motives might have been noble in doing so.

(A) Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, did something that was beyond what the Roman people were willing to accept, even though their motives might have been noble in doing so

(B) For Brutus and Cassius to participate in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, however noble their motives might have been, was beyond what the Roman people were willing to accept

(C) By participating in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, although their motives might have been noble, did something beyond what was acceptable to the Roman people

(D) With possibly noble motives, Brutus’ and Cassius’ participation in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar was what was beyond the Roman people’s willingness to accept

(E) Julius Caesar was brutally assassinated, and by their participation in this, Brutus and Cassius went beyond what was acceptable for the Roman people, and their motives might have been noble in doing so.


This long challenging SC question explores, among other things, the issue of phrases as subjects. For a discussion of this issue, as well as the OE for this particular question, see:
GMAT SC Grammar: Phrases as Subjects

Mike :-)




Hi Mike,

Request you to please provide the OE as well

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Re: Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju [#permalink]

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warriorguy wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
This long challenging SC question explores, among other things, the issue of phrases as subjects. For a discussion of this issue, as well as the OE for this particular question, see:
GMAT SC Grammar: Phrases as Subjects

Mike :-)

Hi Mike,

Request you to please provide the OE as well

Dear warriorguy,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, you will notice that the location of the OE was already posted with the question itself, including what you quoted. What impresses both people on adcom and folks in the business world are the individuals who know how to go to the resources they have available and find the answer they need for themselves. Such initiative is rewarded at every level.

Let me know if you have any questions about the OE posted there.

Mike :-)
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Re: Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jan 2017, 23:01
isn't the description 'however noble their motives might have been' which is intended to describe Brutus and Cassius to far from them to be correct?

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Re: Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju [#permalink]

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mdacosta wrote:
isn't the description 'however noble their motives might have been' which is intended to describe Brutus and Cassius to far from them to be correct?

Dear mdacosta,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

I would draw the following distinction: the pronoun "their" certainly refers to "Brutus and Cassius," but in the pronoun-antecedent relationship, there's no requirement of proximity, as long as the intended antecedent is unambiguous, as it is here.

The pronoun refers to "Brutus and Cassius" but the entire clause beginning with the word "however" is a verb-modifying clause and it modifies the action of the verb "participated." Thus, this verb-modifying clause appopriately comes immediately after the verb and its predicate.

My friend, do you understand how the word "however" is being used here? You may find this helpful:
The Word “However” on the GMAT

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2017, 16:27
mikemcgarry wrote:
Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, did something that was beyond what the Roman people were willing to accept, even though their motives might have been noble in doing so.

(A) Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, did something that was beyond what the Roman people were willing to accept, even though their motives might have been noble in doing so

(B) For Brutus and Cassius to participate in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, however noble their motives might have been, was beyond what the Roman people were willing to accept

(C) By participating in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, although their motives might have been noble, did something beyond what was acceptable to the Roman people

(D) With possibly noble motives, Brutus’ and Cassius’ participation in the brutal assassination of Julius Caesar was what was beyond the Roman people’s willingness to accept

(E) Julius Caesar was brutally assassinated, and by their participation in this, Brutus and Cassius went beyond what was acceptable for the Roman people, and their motives might have been noble in doing so.


This long challenging SC question explores, among other things, the issue of phrases as subjects. For a discussion of this issue, as well as the OE for this particular question, see:
GMAT SC Grammar: Phrases as Subjects

Mike :-)


Dear Mike,

I quote the following after reading your article:

You mentioned in the article that there are two kinds of phrases that can act as the subject of a sentence: infinitive phrases and gerund phrases. But the OA is not one of those kinds. However, I continued reading the following

"The hardest part of these is recognizing where this phrase and all its nested structure end and where the main verb of the sentence begins. As always, the GMAT loves to put one structure inside another to concoct gigantic complex sentences."

I could not how the structure of that question in light of the 2 kinds of phrases?

In the same time the OA has prepositional phrase as subject, but I read in some places that prepositional phrase can't be a subject. There is a lot of debate. Some people reject the idea of prep phrase as subject and others see the function limited to space or time.


What do you think. I hope you can help with this confusion.

Thanks

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Mo2men wrote:

Dear Mike,

I quote the following after reading your article:

You mentioned in the article that there are two kinds of phrases that can act as the subject of a sentence: infinitive phrases and gerund phrases. But the OA is not one of those kinds. However, I continued reading the following

"The hardest part of these is recognizing where this phrase and all its nested structure end and where the main verb of the sentence begins. As always, the GMAT loves to put one structure inside another to concoct gigantic complex sentences."

I could not how the structure of that question in light of the 2 kinds of phrases?

In the same time the OA has prepositional phrase as subject, but I read in some places that prepositional phrase can't be a subject. There is a lot of debate. Some people reject the idea of prep phrase as subject and others see the function limited to space or time.


What do you think. I hope you can help with this confusion.

Thanks

Dear Mo2men,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Fact #1: a prepositional phrase, by itself, NEVER can be the subject of a sentence. NEVER.

Fact #2: in this practice SC problem, the subject of (B), the OA, is an infinitive

Fact #3: when any infinitive has a subject, the subject of the infinitive follows the proposition "for." Thus, the structure "for A to do X" is understood primarily as an infinitive structure. We could say that the "for A" prepositional phrase is part of the infinitive, or we could say that it is modifying the infinitive. Either way, the main structure here is the infinitive, and the propositional phrase is merely an ancillary role.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2017, 17:40
mikemcgarry wrote:
Dear Mo2men,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Fact #1: a prepositional phrase, by itself, NEVER can be the subject of a sentence. NEVER.

Fact #2: in this practice SC problem, the subject of (B), the OA, is an infinitive

Fact #3: when any infinitive has a subject, the subject of the infinitive follows the proposition "for." Thus, the structure "for A to do X" is understood primarily as an infinitive structure. We could say that the "for A" prepositional phrase is part of the infinitive, or we could say that it is modifying the infinitive. Either way, the main structure here is the infinitive, and the propositional phrase is merely an ancillary role.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


It now makes a lot of sense. It is really complex one. It is not not easy at all.

Thanks Mike for your help and support

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Re: Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2017, 15:27
Isn't (B) changing the meaning of the original sentence?

Original sentence implies - by participating in the assassination, they did something that was not acceptable to the Roman people.

(B) implies - participation itself is not acceptable.

Could some experts clarify this?

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Re: Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2017, 15:52
manhasnoname wrote:
Isn't (B) changing the meaning of the original sentence?

Original sentence implies - by participating in the assassination, they did something that was not acceptable to the Roman people.

(B) implies - participation itself is not acceptable.

Could some experts clarify this?

Dear manhasnoname,

I'm happy to respond. :-) As you may know, I am the author of this question.

I think you are taking a too-literalistic interpretation of an English idiom. In the idiom used in (A), it is understand that the "something" that Brutus and Cassius did was the participation itself. It is idiomatically understood as an intensifier, not as a separate action.

For example,
When Actor X appeared in a silly commercial for Product Q, he did something that eliminated any respect I had for him.
In this idiom, it's understood that we are not talking about a second action. We are not talking about "appearing in the commercial" and also some other, unspecified action. Instead, this is a type of intensification, creating emphasis on the single action and its consequences. The "something" was no other than "appearing in the commercial": we are merely intensifying our focus on this action. He did this one thing, and doing this one thing had these consequences.

This is a relatively casual, colloquial idiom, so it is not a likely one to appear in a correct answer on the GMAT. A slightly more formal way to convey this would be as follows:
Actor X appeared in a silly commercial for Product Q: in doing so, he eliminated any respect I had for him.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2017, 12:08
mikemcgarry wrote:
mdacosta wrote:
isn't the description 'however noble their motives might have been' which is intended to describe Brutus and Cassius to far from them to be correct?

Dear mdacosta,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

I would draw the following distinction: the pronoun "their" certainly refers to "Brutus and Cassius," but in the pronoun-antecedent relationship, there's no requirement of proximity, as long as the intended antecedent is unambiguous, as it is here.

The pronoun refers to "Brutus and Cassius" but the entire clause beginning with the word "however" is a verb-modifying clause and it modifies the action of the verb "participated." Thus, this verb-modifying clause appopriately comes immediately after the verb and its predicate.

My friend, do you understand how the word "however" is being used here? You may find this helpful:
The Word “However” on the GMAT

Does all this make sense?


Thank you mike for such a wonderful explanation otherwise it would not clear to me.Before read your explanation i chose C.

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Re: Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2017, 18:39
Hi Mike,

I have gone through the OE before writing this to you.
Option C, as explained is grammatically correct but far from ideal.
I chose C and unfortunately it was a wrong answer choice.

Could you please inform how often or why should such a question be tested on GMAT in which option is grammatically correct and intended meaning is conveyed, still it is wrong as it is not ideal.

Thanks.

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Re: Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2017, 09:32
SAHILJPR wrote:
Hi Mike,

I have gone through the OE before writing this to you.
Option C, as explained is grammatically correct but far from ideal.
I chose C and unfortunately it was a wrong answer choice.

Could you please inform how often or why should such a question be tested on GMAT in which option is grammatically correct and intended meaning is conveyed, still it is wrong as it is not ideal.

Thanks.

Dear SAHILJPR,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, students naively think the GMAT SC is only a test of grammar. In fact, grammar and logic and rhetoric are all tested--on a well written sentence, these three strands come together coherently to produce an unambiguous meaning. Focusing on grammar for the GMAT SC and ignoring logic and rhetoric is like focusing on integer properties for the Quant and ignoring Geometry and Algebra. On harder questions, the GMAT loves to create incorrect answers that are 100% grammatically correct but rhetorically awful: such answers are traps for students who focus only on grammar. In this sentence, (C) was such a trap.

Grammar can be explained for the most part with rules, and logic has some clear rules also. Rhetoric is the hardest part of language for a non-native speaker to appreciate: it's less a matter of rules and more a matter of intuition, the "feel" of the language. Is the sentence concise? Is it focused? Is it powerful and direct? Is the central idea of the sentence at the front & center grammatically? Do all parts of the sentence work together and support each other? Those are some of the questions that rhetoric addresses. The very best way for a non-native speaker to develop a sense of rhetoric is to develop a habit of reading. See:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Brutus and Cassius, in participating in the brutal assassination of Ju   [#permalink] 27 Nov 2017, 09:32
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