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# By the mid-seventeenth century, Amsterdam had built a new

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By the mid-seventeenth century, Amsterdam had built a new town hall so  [#permalink]

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14 Mar 2010, 23:26
1
8
00:00

Difficulty:

55% (hard)

Question Stats:

49% (01:11) correct 51% (01:28) wrong based on 1580 sessions

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By the mid-seventeenth century, Amsterdam had built a new town hall so large that only St. Peter’s in Rome, the Escorial in Spain, and the Palazza Ducale in Venice could rival it for scale or magnificence.

(A) could rival it for

(B) were the rivals of it in their

(C) were its rival as to

(D) could be its rivals in their

(E) were rivaling its
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Re: By the mid-seventeenth century, Amsterdam had built a new town hall so  [#permalink]

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23 May 2010, 11:21
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Hey All,

Seems like people are clear on the answer here, and for what it's worth, it's pretty much an idiom issue.

By the mid-seventeenth century, Amsterdam had built a new town hall so large that only St. Peter’s in Rome, the Escorial in Spain, and the Palazza Ducale in Venice could rival it for scale or magnificence.
(A) could rival it for

(B) were the rivals of it in their
PROBLEM: The idiom is "X rivals Y". It's wordy and unclear to say "X is the rival of Y", because typically that would signify some kind of animosity or active competition. The idiom "X rivals Y" just means that X was as impressive as Y (or awful, or wonderful...whatever adjective you prefer). Also, using the possessive pronoun is weird, because it isn't really THEIR scale and magnificence, but the general concepts of scale and magnificence.

(C) were its rival as to
PROBLEM: Same B, but without the pronoun issue.

(D) could be its rivals in their
PROBLEM: Same as B. "Could be its rivals" is no better than "were the rivals".

(E) were rivaling its
PROBLEM: Same As B, though the possessive pronoun is singular now instead of plural.

Hope that helps!

-tommy
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Updated on: 26 Apr 2016, 09:23
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192. By the mid-seventeenth century, Amsterdam had built a new town hall so large that only St. Peter’s in Rome, the Escorial in Spain, and the Palazza Ducale in Venice could rival it for scale or magnificence.

(A) could rival it for
(B) were the rivals of it in their
(C) were its rival as to
(D) could be its rivals in their
(E) were rivaling its

p.s: plz provide an explanation too
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Originally posted by maybeam on 08 Jul 2012, 04:03.
Last edited by Abhishek009 on 26 Apr 2016, 09:23, edited 1 time in total.
Underlined relevant part
##### General Discussion
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Re: By the mid-seventeenth century, Amsterdam had built a new town hall so  [#permalink]

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23 May 2010, 06:57
RaviChandra wrote:
By the mid-seventeenth century, Amsterdam had built a new town hall so large that only St. Peter’s in Rome, the Escorial in Spain, and the Palazza Ducale in Venice could rival it for scale or magnificence.
(A) could rival it for
(B) were the rivals of it in their
(C) were its rival as to
(D) could be its rivals in their
(E) were rivaling its

Please Explain Y Could is required !

rival is a verb here. So A is absolutely fine.
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09 Jul 2012, 03:44
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maybeam wrote:
192. By the mid-seventeenth century, Amsterdam had built a new town hall so large that only St. Peter’s in Rome, the Escorial in Spain, and the Palazza Ducale in Venice could rival it for scale or magnificence.
(A) could rival it for
(B) were the rivals of it in their
(C) were its rival as to
(D) could be its rivals in their
(E) were rivaling its

p.s: plz provide an explanation too

By <a time in the past>, A. had built an X so large that only A, B, and C...

First, there's an idiom. A, B, and C rival X for <some attributes>. If you want to use rival in verb form, you just put the X right after (or a pronoun referring to X, as in this case) and you use the preposition "for" to introduce what the attributes are.

E tries to use the verb form. But "were rivaling its" sounds like A, B, and C are rivaling "scale and magnificence." That doesn't make sense - A, B, and C are buildings and they should be rivaling some other building or buildings. Think of this as a comparison almost - you actually have to mention the two things you're comparing on either side of the comparison language.

So E is gone.

D changes the form of the word rival - now it's a noun. A, B, and C could be X's rivals in their scale and magnificence. Again, idiom issue. You could say that A, B, and C are the primary rivals of X, but you wouldn't present the attributes by which they rival X with the preposition "in." You'd say something like "A, B, and C are the primary rivals of X based upon <some attributes>." (Note: there are other words you could use besides "based upon" - eg, "due to." But not "in.")

Also, introducing the word "be" after "could" now makes it sound like someone's speculating - "hmmm, could A, B, and C rival X?" But that's not the original meaning - the original meaning is essentially saying that these guys (A, B, and C) really are the only possible rivals, not that they might be but the author's not sure.

Detailed Discussion : http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/by- ... t3595.html
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26 Apr 2016, 08:07
Still i have confusion between A and D.

Can someone explain?
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26 Apr 2016, 09:31
sa18 wrote:
Still i have confusion between A and D.

Can someone explain?

Refer MGMAT SC , chapter on Pronouns ,it states -

 Be careful with their, which is often used in everyday speech to refer to singular subjects.The most common pronoun mistakes involve Third Person Personal Pronouns— the singular it and its, together with the plural they, them, and their. Whenever you see one of these five pronouns,find the antecedent and check its viabilityevery they, them, and their must refer to the same plural antecedent.

Here their has not clear Antecedent , hence (D) can be rejected.
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27 Apr 2016, 08:56
Abhishek009 wrote:
sa18 wrote:
Still i have confusion between A and D.

Can someone explain?

Refer MGMAT SC , chapter on Pronouns ,it states -

 Be careful with their, which is often used in everyday speech to refer to singular subjects.The most common pronoun mistakes involve Third Person Personal Pronouns— the singular it and its, together with the plural they, them, and their. Whenever you see one of these five pronouns,find the antecedent and check its viabilityevery they, them, and their must refer to the same plural antecedent.

Here their has not clear Antecedent , hence (D) can be rejected.

But i dont see any ambiguity either.
'Their' modifies the three places if i am not wrong?
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28 Apr 2016, 01:22
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"Their" is not ambiguous; it clearly refers to the three landmarks. There are two major problems with B and D:

1) The language is just not idiomatic. "Could rival it" is a specific form that is often used, and "could be its rivals" in D doesn't work the same way. The buildings can't really be rivals, but one can rival the other in scale. Meanwhile, B uses a backward and unnecessarily complex structure. It's cute when kids say "You're not the boss of me," but it's not correct English usage. We can just say "You're not my boss." (Or, to use "it," we'd say "Here is my phone and here is its charger," not "Here is my phone and here is the charger of it.")

2) The use of "their" ruins the comparison. We want the 3 places to rival the town hall in scale and magnificence. We don't want them to rival the town hall in their scale and magnificence. That would be like saying "My house is better than yours in its size or comfort."
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Re: By the mid-seventeenth century, Amsterdam had built a new town hall so  [#permalink]

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22 May 2018, 06:44
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Re: By the mid-seventeenth century, Amsterdam had built a new town hall so &nbs [#permalink] 22 May 2018, 06:44
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