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# Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond

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

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18 Apr 2014, 14:12
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, 09:45
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!
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2014, 11:31
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'.

Thanks
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26 Aug 2014, 21:23
qwerty12321 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

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'.

Thanks

There is a reason we tell you that you cannot do SC using "rules" - language is not Math. Depending on the structure of the sentence, rules change.

Note here that only 'but' is the connector (coordinating conjunction) that connects first part of the sentence with the second equal part of the sentence.
'If' is a subordinating conjunction connecting two unequal parts of the second part of the sentence.

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued 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, 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, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions
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27 Aug 2014, 12:19
Hi Karishma

i have 3 doubts.

1. Are subordinating conjunctions connectors?
2. Can we use although and yet together in a sentence?
3. In this sentence is if functioning as a subordinating conjunction?

Thanks.
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28 Aug 2014, 12:04
qwerty12321 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

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'.

Thanks

Dear qwerty12321,
I'm happy to help. What MGMAT was talking about, in that passage was --- don't use more than one connector for the same clause, for the same purpose. For example, if I have a contrast word to emphasis some contrast, that's fine, but don't use two different contrast words for the same contrast.

This is very very different from the case of nesting one clause inside another. In this second case, two connecting words can appear right next to each other and be the connecting words for two different clauses. That's precisely what is happening in choice (B).

In choice (B), the first independent clause has a subordinate clause ("that their clients' ...") inside of it. The "but" joins the two independent clauses in the sentence, and the second independent clause begins immediate with a subordinate clause ("if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food"); that second independent clause also contains another subordinate clause at the end ("that they are not responsible for their actions"). This is one of the hardest things about GMAT SC sentences --- the different clauses and other structures can be stacked one inside the other like Russian dolls. See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/nested-gra ... orrection/
Thus, in choice (B), the "but" joins the two independent clauses and the word "if" introduces a subordinate clause that happens to be nested inside the second independent clause. By chance, these two connecting words with two completely different roles just happen to be located next to each other. That's perfectly fine, and it's absolutely not what the MGMAT book was discussing in that passage.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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01 Sep 2014, 03:31
qwerty12321 wrote:
Hi Karishma

i have 3 doubts.

1. Are subordinating conjunctions connectors?
2. Can we use although and yet together in a sentence?
3. In this sentence is if functioning as a subordinating conjunction?

Thanks.

1. Are subordinating conjunctions connectors?

Yes, they connect two parts of a sentence.

2. Can we use although and yet together in a sentence?
Actually, its use is frowned upon because you are already giving the contrast with one of although and yet but sometimes yet can reinforce. Its acceptability is declining.

3. In this sentence is if functioning as a subordinating conjunction?
Yes, it is. It connects "criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food" with "the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions"
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2015, 07:29
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, 12:03
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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21 Mar 2016, 19:56
qwerty12321 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

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'.

Thanks

The short answer to your question is that there is no rule on the GMAT that a sentence cannot have the words “but” and “if” placed next to each other. This question is a form of dangling modifier question. Notice the part of the sentence beginning with “in attributing”. Ask yourself: “Who is doing the attributing?” It isn’t the perpetrators. Eliminate A, C and E. The idiomatic expression is “attributed to”. It is not “attributed as”. Eliminate D. B is correct.
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2016, 22:38
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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, 09:47
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, 02:00
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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, 08:41
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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17 Sep 2017, 12:34
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, 05:38
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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, 22:51
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, 04:46
GMATNinja - Any other way to eliminate D? Instead of idioms approach?
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2019, 03:14
A C and E can be taken out. They have a modifier issue thanks to which they say that the perpetrators are ‘attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy’. D is not idiomatically correct, so the only correct option is B.
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond  [#permalink]

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16 Apr 2019, 12:37
Cases of verb+ing modifier where it modifies the noun that appears before it :

1)Amy skipped school, giving an excuse of headache to her mother. (Giving modifies Amy not Mother)
2)The startup closed its operations, citing political instability as a primary reason to the minister. (Citing modifies the Startup not the Minister)

Why can't in option A, "in attributing.." participle phrase not modify the Defense Attorney but as said by every
one modify the Perpetrators.
Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ miscond   [#permalink] 16 Apr 2019, 12:37

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