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# Changing meaning of original sentence

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Intern
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Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2010, 00:13
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(N/A)

Question Stats:

58% (00:31) correct 42% (00:36) wrong based on 136 sessions

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In cases where there are answer choices with slightly varied meanings, does the original sentence default as the intended meaning even if its not grammatically correct? So if there was an answer choice that was grammatically correct yet slightly altered the meaning of the original sentence it should be rejected in favor of one that adhered to the meaning of the original sentence, right?

Here's an example from one of the MGMAT tests:

The administration has increased the number of fines for mining safety violations as part of their campaign to protect miners.
A has increased the number of fines for mining safety violations as part of their
B have increased the number of fines for mining safety violations as part of their
C has increased the number of fines for mining safety violations as part of its
D has increased the amount of fines for mining safety violations as part of its
E have increased the amount of fines for mining safety violations as part of their

The correct answer is C, and the explanation they gave is that "amount" is used for uncountable items, whereas "number" is used for countable items (which is true). But I put D, thinking that they were meaning to say that the actual amount of individual fines was increasing, rather than the overall number of them. I wasn't sure if I could trust the meaning of the original sentence, since it had grammatical errors.

Here's another example:

According to Italy's top anti-Mafia prosecutor, the ailing mobster came to take refuge in Corleone, a town famous because of the “The Godfather” and near to those he most trusted.
A. the ailing mobster came to take refuge in Corleone, a town famous because of “The Godfather” and near to those he most trusted
B. famous because of “The Godfather,” the ailing mobster came to take refuge in Corleone, a town near to those he most trusted
C. the ailing mobster, famous because of “The Godfather,” came to take refuge in Corleone, a town near to those he most trusted
D. near to those he most trusted, the ailing mobster came to take refuge in Corleone, a town famous because of “The Godfather”
E. Corleone, famous because of “The Godfather,” was the town that the ailing mobster came to take refuge in because it was near to those he most trusted

In this case A, the original sentence is actually the correct answer. But I put C, which they explained was wrong because "famous because of 'The Godfather'" incorrectly modifies the mobster. You can see how C could be perceived as the correct answer since it's grammatically correct as a standalone. If anything, the meaning of the whole sentence is unclear from the beginning because it doesn't say who the ailing mobster is.
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Posts: 242
Re: Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2010, 04:34
1
imkabob wrote:
In cases where there are answer choices with slightly varied meanings, does the original sentence default as the intended meaning even if its not grammatically correct? So if there was an answer choice that was grammatically correct yet slightly altered the meaning of the original sentence it should be rejected in favor of one that adhered to the meaning of the original sentence, right?

Here's an example from one of the MGMAT tests:

The administration has increased the number of fines for mining safety violations as part of their campaign to protect miners.
A has increased the number of fines for mining safety violations as part of their
B have increased the number of fines for mining safety violations as part of their
C has increased the number of fines for mining safety violations as part of its
D has increased the amount of fines for mining safety violations as part of its
E have increased the amount of fines for mining safety violations as part of their

The correct answer is C, and the explanation they gave is that "amount" is used for uncountable items, whereas "number" is used for countable items (which is true). But I put D, thinking that they were meaning to say that the actual amount of individual fines was increasing, rather than the overall number of them. I wasn't sure if I could trust the meaning of the original sentence, since it had grammatical errors.

Here's another example:

According to Italy's top anti-Mafia prosecutor, the ailing mobster came to take refuge in Corleone, a town famous because of the “The Godfather” and near to those he most trusted.
A. the ailing mobster came to take refuge in Corleone, a town famous because of “The Godfather” and near to those he most trusted
B. famous because of “The Godfather,” the ailing mobster came to take refuge in Corleone, a town near to those he most trusted
C. the ailing mobster, famous because of “The Godfather,” came to take refuge in Corleone, a town near to those he most trusted
D. near to those he most trusted, the ailing mobster came to take refuge in Corleone, a town famous because of “The Godfather”
E. Corleone, famous because of “The Godfather,” was the town that the ailing mobster came to take refuge in because it was near to those he most trusted

In this case A, the original sentence is actually the correct answer. But I put C, which they explained was wrong because "famous because of 'The Godfather'" incorrectly modifies the mobster. You can see how C could be perceived as the correct answer since it's grammatically correct as a standalone. If anything, the meaning of the whole sentence is unclear from the beginning because it doesn't say who the ailing mobster is.

In the first sentence, i would have agreed with D, if option D have used "amounts of Fines", because then you are increasing the amount(monetary value) of each fine..!!

In second second sentence, i must say that option A is poorly constructed. But i think it's still better than C.

a) According to Italy's top anti-Mafia prosecutor, the ailing mobster came to take refuge in Corleone, a town famous because of “The Godfather” and near to those he most trusted

c) According to Italy's top anti-Mafia prosecutor, the ailing mobster, famous because of “The Godfather,” came to take refuge in Corleone, a town near to those he most trusted

I think the way comma has been used in C, and usage of modifier is not gud.
Intern
Joined: 21 Apr 2010
Posts: 26
Re: Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2010, 10:37
Interesting point about the pluralizing of "amount." That helps, thanks! And thanks for agreeing that the second sentence is poorly constructed.

Quote:
According to Italy's top anti-Mafia prosecutor, the ailing mobster came to take refuge in Corleone, a town famous because of the “The Godfather” and near to those he most trusted.
A. the ailing mobster came to take refuge in Corleone, a town famous because of “The Godfather” and near to those he most trusted
B. famous because of “The Godfather,” the ailing mobster came to take refuge in Corleone, a town near to those he most trusted
C. the ailing mobster, famous because of “The Godfather,” came to take refuge in Corleone, a town near to those he most trusted
D. near to those he most trusted, the ailing mobster came to take refuge in Corleone, a town famous because of “The Godfather”
E. Corleone, famous because of “The Godfather,” was the town that the ailing mobster came to take refuge in because it was near to those he most trusted

Yeah, I mean both and A and C are poorly constructed, but the reason given for C being incorrect is that "famous because of 'The Godfather' incorrectly modifies the ailing mobster. The incorrectness (is that a word??) of this hinges on the meaning of the original sentence being the correct meaning.

Can we infer, then, that any answer choice that makes structural changes that change/tweak the meaning of the original sentence, that it is wrong, regardless of how grammatically correct it is? I mean, I'm not necessarily saying that C is grammatically ideal, but it alsmost seems that if you take out the factor of changing the meaning that it is just as ok as answer A. Well, maybe A is a bit clear. I'll concede that. But any thoughts about my question, nonetheless?
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Joined: 17 Feb 2010
Posts: 1056
Re: Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2010, 10:44
I would have picked (D) in the first question and
(A) in the second question.

option (C) in second question is wrong because "famous because of "The Godfather," incorrectly modifies the "ailing mobster"
Intern
Joined: 21 Apr 2010
Posts: 26
Re: Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2010, 12:25
Quote:
option (C) in second question is wrong because "famous because of "The Godfather," incorrectly modifies the "ailing mobster"

See, I thought it was correctly modifying it because with no context given, I thought maybe the mobster was the one that was famous because of "The Godfather." Do you see how that is kinda unclear? That's why I'm wondering if I could have eliminated that because it doesn't adhere to the exact meaning of the original sentence.

So just to restate the original question, is it always the case that the meaning of the original sentence defaults as correct, regardless of whether it is the correct answer?
Manager
Joined: 09 Apr 2010
Posts: 57
Re: Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2010, 23:26
i would hav picked D too ..but im convinced with the explanation that it should have been "amounts"
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Re: Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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03 May 2010, 07:37
Even I thought for the correct C and A but as per the meaning of the sentences , I marked D and C and fell for both of them .

What a carelessness.

Well, thanks for bring us these 2 SCs.
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Re: Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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19 May 2010, 22:38
Referring to th Corleone post:
The GMAT would never ask such a poorly constructed SC question.
It is only these training institutes that would display such adept capabilities
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Intern
Joined: 10 May 2010
Posts: 9
Re: Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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20 May 2010, 08:36
in the first question leaving apart the explanation that is given C would still be correct since if we want to use 'amount' that fragment would read "amount for all fines" or "amount of fine"..but "amount of fines" is incorrect. Since all the options have the word "fines" we have to use the word 'number' instead of 'amount'.
Manager
Joined: 15 Apr 2010
Posts: 114
Re: Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2010, 01:24
I too picked D on the MGMAT test but till date couldn't figure out the actual reason for not using "amount". I assumed that since the original sentence had used "number" so one shouldn't really tamper with such infomration when looking for the correct answer. But the explanation about using "amounts" instead is very good. Thanks
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Joined: 09 Nov 2013
Posts: 70
Re: Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2013, 16:35
Hi All,

for the first one the correct answer is C. Well in such constructions like " the amount/number of.." never use amounts/numbers.

For the other one, C is the correct answer. First, in option A, "he" In "near to those he..." is ambiguous : between god father and mobster. Second, the word "near" refers to the person who came and is also modifying the noun mobster. Option C breaks the ambiguity. try to give a peek to option C
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Posts: 5
Re: Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2017, 11:55
Hello!

Just ran into this same problem and I was wondering if we could get an expert to comment!

Thanks!
Intern
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Posts: 5
Re: Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2017, 12:23
I ran into the same question and was wondering, if the meaning of the question seems ambiguous, which answer should we select?
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Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2017, 22:44
1
Top Contributor
IMO:

it must be noted that SC is a part of the verbal reasoning; logic and grammar are central to the veracity of the issue before.
If the original is faulty either in grammar or in logic, then dump it in the dust bin and go for a more sensible and error-free alternative.

I couldn't be more forthright.
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Re: Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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17 Jul 2017, 10:59
1
scz4 wrote:
I ran into the same question and was wondering, if the meaning of the question seems ambiguous, which answer should we select?

I think this (long-winded) article might help: https://gmatclub.com/forum/ultimate-sc- ... 44623.html.

The short version: eliminate any answer choices with DEFINITE violations of grammar rules first. Then, compare the meaning in the remaining answer choices. You will NEVER see an official question that leaves the correct meaning ambiguous between two grammatically correct answer choices: one answer choice will clearly be more logical and error-free than the others, as daagh suggested above.

And for whatever it's worth, there's nothing special about answer choice (A) -- it may or may not convey the correct meaning of the sentence. If two answer choices seem indistinguishable on an official SC question, I can promise that you're missing some fine detail of grammar or (more likely!) meaning.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Changing meaning of original sentence  [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2018, 06:31
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Re: Changing meaning of original sentence   [#permalink] 12 Oct 2018, 06:31
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