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# Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems,

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Intern
Joined: 21 Apr 2012
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GRE 1: 1140 Q670 V370
Re: Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2012, 07:13
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A it is and here is why:

(A) each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its

(B) all the characters {awkward} a miniature calligraphic composition inside their{Wrong pronoun should be its}

(C) all the characters {awkward} a miniature calligraphic composition inside its

(D) every character a miniature calligraphic composition inside their{Wrong pronoun should be its}

(E) each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside their{Wrong pronoun should be its}

Consider a kudos if you like the way I explain

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Re: Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2012, 07:57
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Hi All,
Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, consists of tens of thousands of ideographic characters, each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its own square frame.

The meaning of this sentence is easy to understand. Chinese is the most ancient of living writing systems. It consists of tens and thousands of ideographic characters. Each character is a miniature calligraphic composition inside its own square frame.

Usage of “each” is correct in this sentence. It denotes every individual character of tens and thousands of characters that the writing system has. Singular pronoun “its” also agrees in number with “each” and also the phrase “a miniature calligraphic composition”, which is singular in number, agrees in number with “each”. Hence this sentence is correct as is.

POE

Choice A: Correct for above mentioned reasons.

Choice B: all the characters a miniature calligraphic composition inside their. Incorrect. Singular phrase “a miniature calligraphic composition” has been used to refer to plural “all characters”. Again, plural pronoun “their” does not agree in number with singular “composition”.

Choice C: all the characters a miniature calligraphic composition inside its. Incorrect. This choice repeats the first mistake of choice B. Singular phrase “a miniature calligraphic composition” has been used to refer to plural “all characters”.

Choice D: every character a miniature calligraphic composition inside their. Incorrect. Plural pronoun “their” agrees in number neither with its antecedent “every” nor with singular “composition”.

Choice E: each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside their. Incorrect. Plural pronoun “their” agrees in number neither with its antecedent “each” nor with singular “composition”.

1. “All” is used for plural entities.
2. “Each” and “every” are always singular.
3. Pronouns must agree in number with their antecedents.

PS: “Each” denotes every individual entity in the collective group while “every” refers to the all the entities in that group. In this sentence, if there were a choice that read: every character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its, then also this choice would be correct as it conveys the same meaning.
Hope this helps.

Thanks.
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Re: Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2012, 09:42
nick_sun wrote:
Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, consists of tens of thousands of ideographic characters, each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its own square frame.

(A) each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its
(B) all the characters a miniature calligraphic composition inside their
(C) all the characters a miniature calligraphic composition inside its
(D) every character a miniature calligraphic composition inside their
(E) each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside their

(A) each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its
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Re: Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, [#permalink]

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01 Dec 2012, 06:09
egmat wrote:
Hi All,
Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, consists of tens of thousands of ideographic characters, each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its own square frame.

The meaning of this sentence is easy to understand. Chinese is the most ancient of living writing systems. It consists of tens and thousands of ideographic characters. Each character is a miniature calligraphic composition inside its own square frame.

Usage of “each” is correct in this sentence. It denotes every individual character of tens and thousands of characters that the writing system has. Singular pronoun “its” also agrees in number with “each” and also the phrase “a miniature calligraphic composition”, which is singular in number, agrees in number with “each”. Hence this sentence is correct as is.

POE

Choice A: Correct for above mentioned reasons.

Choice B: all the characters a miniature calligraphic composition inside their. Incorrect. Singular phrase “a miniature calligraphic composition” has been used to refer to plural “all characters”. Again, plural pronoun “their” does not agree in number with singular “composition”.

Choice C: all the characters a miniature calligraphic composition inside its. Incorrect. This choice repeats the first mistake of choice B. Singular phrase “a miniature calligraphic composition” has been used to refer to plural “all characters”.

Choice D: every character a miniature calligraphic composition inside their. Incorrect. Plural pronoun “their” agrees in number neither with its antecedent “every” nor with singular “composition”.

Choice E: each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside their. Incorrect. Plural pronoun “their” agrees in number neither with its antecedent “each” nor with singular “composition”.

1. “All” is used for plural entities.
2. “Each” and “every” are always singular.
3. Pronouns must agree in number with their antecedents.

PS: “Each” denotes every individual entity in the collective group while “every” refers to the all the entities in that group. In this sentence, if there were a choice that read: every character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its, then also this choice would be correct as it conveys the same meaning.
Hope this helps.

Thanks.

Amazing..

Had there been choices which are as follows, would it have been correct? ( Is this sentence grammatically correct ? )

all the characters miniature calligraphic compositions inside their own

all the characters being miniature calligraphic compositions inside their own

Regards,
Sach
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Re: Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2013, 20:07
Friends,
In choice A, do not we need "is" between "each character" and "a miniature"?
Thanks for the explanation
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Posts: 2459
Re: Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2013, 04:22
Hi there,

Since this is a noun + noun modifier, we don't need the verb 'is'. Adding 'is' will make the part after the comma an independent clause, and two independent clauses cannot be separated by just a comma. We would need to change the comma into a semicolon, or add a connecting word.

I hope this helps!

Regards,
Meghna
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Re: Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, [#permalink]

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04 Apr 2015, 22:40
IMO,
C,D and E can be eliminated based on pronoun agreement mismatch.

Difference between A & B boils down to Each character vs all the character. From what I have understood, when noun is match with another noun then the nouns should be in agreement. Here Each character is matched with Composition. Both singular.

All the characters ( plural noun) is matched with Composition ( singular noun). Hence wrong.
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Re: Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, [#permalink]

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10 Jun 2015, 02:41
Can anybody explain the structure of the words after comma:each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its ...

I can think of two options: subgroup modifier or absolute phrase (noun + noun modifier)

If the latter is the answer, then how such a construction is allowed?!

We have a noun phrase each character but without any relative pronouns or participle it is modified with another noun, a miniature calligraphic ...

How is this possible? Normally for modifying a noun we use relative pronouns or participles, but here a noun immediately has come to modify the preceding noun. Also notice that this is not an appositive.

A bit strange structure that indeed quite makes sense!
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Joined: 20 Oct 2015
Posts: 45
Re: Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, [#permalink]

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04 Jul 2016, 01:56
[quote="nick_sun"]Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, consists of tens of thousands of ideographic characters, each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its own square frame.

(A) each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its
(B) all the characters a miniature calligraphic composition inside their
(C) all the characters a miniature calligraphic composition inside its
(D) every character a miniature calligraphic composition inside their
(E) each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside their

eliminate E D each every.......their!!!!!
eliminate c all......its!!!!!
between A and B
go with A
why? it make more sense I guess!
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Re: Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2017, 22:30
Hi Experts,

I had a quick doubt on the portion after comma in this sentence. Can you please tell me what type of construction is this - "each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its own square frame" ? I read on the forums that it is a NOUN + Noun Modifier. But if that is the case, why is there no relative pronoun to start the noun modifier? Also, the phrase a miniature calligraphic composition has to agree with the Noun number? Is this construction sort of an exception? Any advice on how to identify noun + noun modifier usage without a relative pronoun? Thanks for your help.

YT
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Re: Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2017, 23:10
Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, consists of tens of thousands of ideographic characters, each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its own square frame.

First Round of Elimination:

(A) each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its
Pronoun agreement - correct singular with singular
(B) all the characters a miniature calligraphic composition inside their
Pronoun agreement - correct plural with plural
(C) all the characters a miniature calligraphic composition inside its
Pronoun disagreement - Plural with singular
(D) every character a miniature calligraphic composition inside their
Pronoun disagreement - Singular with plural
(E) each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside their
Pronoun disagreement - singular with plural

Second round of elimination

Character - in its own frame ( singular) non-underlined part. So cross the plural B

(A) each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its
(B) all the characters a miniature calligraphic composition inside their
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Re: Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2017, 07:37
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I'm not 100% sure that I'm interpreting your question correctly, yt770. But I'll take a shot, anyway!

You definitely don't always need a relative pronoun (such as "that" or "which" or "who") to start a noun modifier. Consider the following:

Donald Trump, an orange-haired politician, likes taco salads.

No problem, right? The noun "an orange-haired politician" just modifies the noun "Donald Trump." And we can make it more complicated, but it's still OK to have a noun directly modify a noun, without using a relative pronoun:

Dr. Boiko voted for Donald Trump, an orange-haired politician obsessed with his hand size and approval ratings.

Or try this one:

Dr. Boiko voted for two Republicans, each an orange-haired politician obsessed with his hand size and approval ratings.

This is still fine: the last part of the sentence is still just a noun modifying a noun. Sure, "two Republicans" is plural, but the second part of the sentence is just a modifier that gives us extra information about each of them. By using the singular "each", it becomes OK to use the singular pronoun "his."

The original question in this thread isn't terribly different:

Chinese... consists of tens of thousands of ideographic characters, each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its own square frame.

The last half of the sentence is just a noun phrase that modifies the noun "characters." It might not sound like normal speech, but it's not all that different from using any other noun to modify a noun. No relative pronoun is necessary in any of these examples.

I'm not sure if I answered your questions, but I hope this helps!
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Re: Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2017, 20:05
this is how i eliminated the options.Can someone let me know if my method is correct?
Now since the verb consists is singular we have to use the singular verb throughout.So B /D /E are incorrect because these option use their. Now between A and C ,C has Subject verb agreement error characters is plural and it is followed by singular its.
Re: Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems,   [#permalink] 19 Nov 2017, 20:05

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