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# Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2012, 16:33
1
1
We can quickly eliminate (A), (C), and (E). Each attributes the 'attributing' to the perpetrators. However, it is the defense attorneys who do the 'attributing.' You attribute something 'to'. Just like that we arrive at answer (B).

(A) in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy
(B) if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food
(C) in attributing behavior that is criminal or delinquent to an allergy to some food
(D) if some food allergy is attributed as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior
(E) in attributing a food allergy as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2012, 07:28
No. It will not be. There is no difference between ‘in attributing’ and ‘by attributing’. Both are prepositional phrases and do neither alter the structure nor the logic. As long as the modified noun is not underlined, then we have to the change the modifier to suit the perpetrators.
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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17 Sep 2013, 01:01
1
nelz007 wrote:
Defense attorneys have occasionally argued
that their clients' misconduct stemmed from reaction to something ingested,
but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy,
the perpetrators are in effect told
that they are not responsible for their actions.

The ing modifer is incorrect since its modifying perpetuators. I have a question regarding comma + but in option B its playing a role of DC?

Hi Nelson,

Yes. You are absolutely right that the Verb-ing modifier is incorrect in modifying “perpetrators” and so is incorrect in the original sentence.

I understand your query regarding Option B (the Correct Option). Let me write the whole sentence using Option B.

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued
o that their clients' misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but
if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food,
o the perpetrators are in effect told
 that they are not responsible for their actions.

Now as you have observed, “if criminal….to some food” is indeed a DC.

However you need to observe that this DC is properly connected to an IC (the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.)

This is similar to the way you considered the entire clause before the “Comma+But” as an IC.

(You didn’t say “that their clients…” is a DC, did you? You observed the IC “Defense attorneys…” before it, observed the connection (that) between them and concluded that the whole entity is an IC).

Remember that when proper connection is made, an IC + DC combination gives rise to a big IC.

So “If criminal…, the perpetrators…actions” is in fact an IC.

So there is nothing incorrect with the usage of “Comma + But” in Option B.

Hope this helps!

Regards,
Krishna
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2014, 13:12
egmat wrote:
Hi Shikhar,

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

In the underlined portion of the sentence, the verb-ing modifier “in attributing…” is modifying the subject of the following clause which is “the perpetrators”. This suggests that the perpetrators perform the action of “attributing” which is illogical.
Let’s take simple examples to see how this modifier is functioning.

Reading from the red book, grandmother put the children to sleep.

Here, the verb-ing modifier is “reading”. So, who did the action of reading? Grandmother. Since “grandmother” is the subject of the following clause, modifier “reading” is correctly modifying “grandmother”.

Reading the book, the children were out to sleep by grandmother.

This sentence is not correct because the subject of the clause is now “the children” and they certainly did not do the action of “reading”.

In the same way, “perpetrators” did not do the action of “attributing” the criminal behavior. They are the ones who showed criminal behavior. Now, the “perpetrators” falls in the non-underlined portion of the sentence. Hence we must choose an answer choice that correctly refers to perpetrators. Choices A, C, and E can be eliminated alone on the modifier basis. Choice D has the idiom issue. Choice B correctly and clearly conveys the logical intended meaning of the sentence.

Hope this helps.
Thanks

Thanks for the explanation although I'm still a little confused.

You're saying that the modifier modifies the subject and not the object - correct? If that's the case, then your sentence that states "Reading the book, the children were out to sleep by grandmother." - The grandmother PUTS the children to sleep. In this case, isn't the grandmother the subject because she is DOING the action? If so, doesn't that means that the modifier "reading" is correctly related to the grandmother?

Also, why is "is attributed to" no longer modifying the perpetrators?

Thanks!
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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12 Jun 2014, 08:45
russ9 wrote:

Thanks for the explanation although I'm still a little confused.

You're saying that the modifier modifies the subject and not the object - correct? If that's the case, then your sentence that states "Reading the book, the children were out to sleep by grandmother." - The grandmother PUTS the children to sleep. In this case, isn't the grandmother the subject because she is DOING the action? If so, doesn't that means that the modifier "reading" is correctly related to the grandmother?

Also, why is "is attributed to" no longer modifying the perpetrators?

Thanks!

Hi russ9,

Thank you for the post.

As we know, when we change the voice of a sentence from active to passive, the subject of the sentence is also changed. Also, the subject of a sentence should always make sense with the verb.

ACTIVE VOICE
He bought this book. (Subject- He; Object- this book)
Who bought this book?- He did.

PASSIVE VOICE
This book was bought by him. (Subject- This book; Object- him)
What was bought by him?- This book was bought by him.

Similarly, in the given sentences:
Reading from the red book, grandmother put the children to sleep.
Who put the children to sleep?- Grandmother did.
So, the subject for this sentence is ‘grandmother’. The modifier ‘reading from the red book’ modifies the subject correctly.

Reading from the red book, the children were put to sleep by grandmother.
Who were put to sleep?- The children were put to sleep.
So, the subject for this sentence is ‘the children’. In this sentence, the modifier ‘reading from the red book’ incorrectly modifies ‘the children’.

Now, coming to the next question, ‘is attributed to’ is not modifying ‘the perpetrators’ since it is not a modifier now. It acts as a verb for the subject ‘criminal or delinquent behavior’ in option B.
In the original sentence, “in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy” is a modifying phrase and the verb-ing modifier modifies the subject of the following clause while in option B “if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food” is a clause in which ‘criminal or delinquent behavior’ is the subject and ‘is attributed’ is the verb.

Hope this helps!
Deepak
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2014, 10:31
1
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Defence attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients' misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

(A) in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy
(B) if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food
(C) in attributing behavior that is criminal or delinquent to an allergy to some food
(D) if some food allergy is attributed as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior
(E) in attributing a food allergy as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior

How can (B) be the answer?
In MGMAT SC it is written that "use only one connector at a time".
In (B) there are two connectors placed together: 'but' and 'if'.

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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2015, 06:29
1
This is one of the good Questions that i have came across.
We have a coordinating conjunction "but" here.
A modifier after 'but' implies modifier is working on second part of the sentence.
From the first part it is clear that Defense Attorneys are attributing something.
But from the underlined modifier "in attributing.............. , the perpetrators ............. " , the modifier is referring to perpetrators .
Hence A,C,E ----wrong
Correct idiom is "attribute X to Y"
Hence B;
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2015, 11:03
1
cg0588 wrote:
How is the modifier in A and C modifying perpetrators? IMO, it seems to modify attorney...

Hi cg0588,
the modifier "in attributing ... ", is modifying the subject of the clause it is modifying. Notice that there are two independent clause here in the form "A, but B" as follows:

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested
, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

The independent clauses are marked and there are joined using independent clause marker comma+but. The modifier "in attributing ..." cannot jump over comma+but and modify the previous clause.

Hope it is clear.
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2016, 21:38
2
1
You could think of the question as a dangling modifier question. “...in attributing…., “ the perpetrators…”. Do the perpetrators do the attributing? No. Eliminate A, C and E. “Attributed as” in D is incorrect. Only B remains. There is no problem with placing the words “but” and “if” next to each other in a sentence. It may have been more difficult to see the question as involving a dangling modifier, as the “ing” form does not start the sentence. However, using the dangling modifier rule saves you time.
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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18 Aug 2016, 08:47
Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

A) in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy
If we use "in attributing", it seems as if the perpetrators were attributing the behaviour to something, while it is someone else who is attributing the behaviour to something.
B) if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food
C) in attributing behavior that is criminal or delinquent to an allergy to some food
If we use "in attributing", it seems as if the perpetrators were attributing the behaviour to something, while it is someone else who is attributing the behaviour to something.
D) if some food allergy is attributed as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior
"attributed as the cause of" is redundant. This idea can be expressed more succintly by using the expression "attribute X to Y".
E) in attributing a food allergy as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior
If we use "in attributing", it seems as if the perpetrators were attributing the behaviour to something, while it is someone else who is attributing the behaviour to something.
"attributed as the cause of" is redundant. This idea can be expressed more succintly by using the expression "attribute X to Y".
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2017, 01:00
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The catch in this question is that the non-underlined modified noun is the 'perpetrators' and they do not, however, attibute but the advocates. Therefore we have to find a head that suits the cap. That is the reason that choices A, C, and E are instantly out.
Now between B and D: 'attribute' always takes 'to' as a matter of idioms. D, using 'attributed as' is unidiomatic. B is the choice.
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2017, 07:41
rocko911 wrote:
I always thought BUT and IF can not be used together , maybe redundant

Hi rocko911, these are different words and not redundant. but establishes contrast, while if is a conditional construct.

Quote:
and if we are using BUT then a Independent clause would be coming next

A better way to remember this concept would be that there should be an Independent clause after but. Here, we do have an Independent clause after but:

the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses Dependent and Independent clauses, its application and examples in significant detail. If someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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14 Sep 2017, 19:42
Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

(A) in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy
- "in attributing" = illogical modifier. does not show us a CAUSE for the upcoming EFFECT.

(B) if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food
- correct as is. properly sets up CAUSAL argument: IF this, (THEN) that ...

(C) in attributing behavior that is criminal or delinquent to an allergy to some food
- same as "A"

(D) if some food allergy is attributed as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior
- opposite correlation. we want behavior to food allergy, not the other way around...

(E) in attributing a food allergy as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior
- same as "A" & "D"

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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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17 Sep 2017, 11:34
Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

(A) in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy

==> prepositional phrase "in attributing" is modifying the subject "perpetrators" which is incorrect, hence out

(B) if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food

==> CORRECT

(C) in attributing behavior that is criminal or delinquent to an allergy to some food

==> prepositional phrase "in attributing" is modifying the subject "perpetrators" which is incorrect, hence out

(D) if some food allergy is attributed as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior

==> "attributed as the cause of" is incorrect IDIOM, the correct IDIOM is "attributed to"

(E) in attributing a food allergy as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior

==> prepositional phrase "in attributing" is modifying the subject "perpetrators" which is incorrect, hence out
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2017, 04:38
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bigtooth81 wrote:
Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

Though I did this question wrong initially, as the intended meaning was NOT clear to me. Let me try to help. Understanding the intended meaning is the key to solve this question correctly.

Defense attorneys are attributing their clients' indigestion (or food poisoning/alergy) to their misbehavior (criminal or delinquent behavior). However, this attribution is leading to a conclusion that the culprits are not responsible for their actions.

Now coming to the options,

(A) in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy
wrong modification, it is modifying the perpetrators. Therefore, incorrect.

(B) if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food
attribute X to Y is the idiomatic usage.

(C) in attributing behavior that is criminal or delinquent to an allergy to some food
wrong modification, it is modifying the perpetrators. Therefore, incorrect.

(D) if some food allergy is attributed as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior
attributed as is not the idiomatic usage. Wordy choice as compared to B.

(E) in attributing a food allergy as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior
wrong modification, it is modifying the perpetrators. Therefore, incorrect.
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2018, 21:51
bigtooth81 wrote:
Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

(A) in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy

(B) if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food

(C) in attributing behavior that is criminal or delinquent to an allergy to some food

(D) if some food allergy is attributed as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior

(E) in attributing a food allergy as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior

If we reverse the parts of the second IC, it will be much easier to find the correct answer.

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions, if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food.

So the correct answer is C.
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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08 Feb 2019, 03:46
GMATNinja - Any other way to eliminate D? Instead of idioms approach?
Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond   [#permalink] 08 Feb 2019, 03:46

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