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Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm the work of William Faulkner

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Re: Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm the work of William Faulkner  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2019, 01:58
RamSep wrote:
Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the work of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbuster, overpoweringly complicated novels,, remains among the most revered in the American literary canon.

Meaning: Work of WF (comprised of some stories and blockbusters) lacked enthusiasm, but remains respected in literature.
The sentence displays a bunch of modifiers which need to be reviewed before jump into the answer choices.
First, the sentence clearly and neatly mentions that this is work of WF which lacks enthusiasm (an uncountable noun).
Second, "comprised of a series... and a number of...." undoubtedly modifies the work, although it is not immediately before the comma. Notice that "of WF" is a prepositional phrase that can not be written anywhere else in this structure.
Third, the whole "overpoweringly complicated novels" phrase is a simple verb-ed modifier which gives extra info about the blockbusters.
and eventually only after these long modifiers we see the main verb, remains, which is non-underlined. so what was the subject? let's look back and get rid of all those modifiers:
Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the work of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbuster, overpoweringly complicated novels, remains
That's great. so let's go over the answer choices:


shouldn't it be a number of blockbusters, instead of a number of blockbuster?


A) Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the work of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbuster, overpoweringly complicated novels, Correct as stated above

B) Despite some initial lack of enthusiasms, the works of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbusters, overpoweringly complicated novels, Two things to consider, 1."enthusiasm" is uncountable! & 2.Sobject-verb agreement error: works (plural) don't match remains (singular)

C) Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the works of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbuster, overpoweringly complicated novels, subject-verb agreement error as choice B.

D) Despite some initial lack of enthusiasms, the work of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbusters, overpoweringly complicated novels, "enthusiasm" is uncountable!

E) Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the works of William Faulkner are comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbuster, overpoweringly complicated novels, subject-verb agreement error as choice B.
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Re: Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm the work of William Faulkner  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2019, 01:56
My two cents:

'enthusiasm' is an abstract uncountable noun therefore should be singular. e.g. Idea is also abstract but is used as either countable or uncountable.

Also, 'blockbusters', a plural noun does not serve well as a noun-adjective. Although, the usage in option D -- '....blockbusters, overpoweringly complicated novels,...' -- can considered a '....noun, appositive,....' construction, which I believe is fine.
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Re: Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm the work of William Faulkner  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2019, 02:23
KanishkM wrote:
generis wrote:

Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the work of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbuster, overpoweringly complicated novels,, remains among the most revered in the American literary canon.

A) Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the work of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbuster, overpoweringly complicated novels,

B) Despite some initial lack of enthusiasms, the works of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbusters, overpoweringly complicated novels,

C) Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the works of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbuster, overpoweringly complicated novels,

D) Despite some initial lack of enthusiasms, the work of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbusters, overpoweringly complicated novels,

E) Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the works of William Faulkner are comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbuster, overpoweringly complicated novels,



IMO A

Generally works is used in the sense of construction, and Since we are talking about a writer, I removed B, C and E.

Out of A and D
lack of enthusiasms vs lack of enthusiasm, I will go with the latter, Because after the underlined portion there is a plural noun remains and we need a plural verb.


There is one more difference between choice A & D"

a number of blockbuster (option A) Vs a number of blockbusters (option D)

Please explore whether this is also leading to an error in the sentence.
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Re: Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm the work of William Faulkner  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2019, 07:55
Higeneris,

Could you please explain me the role of a modifier considered.
As per the GMAT rules comma+ Verb-ed modifier modifies the preceding noun.
In option A Considered seems to modify that Faulkner which seems to be Incorrect. Ideally it should modify work.

Could you please explain this.
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Re: Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm the work of William Faulkner  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2019, 11:39
vishumangal wrote:
Higeneris,

Could you please explain me the role of a modifier considered.
As per the GMAT rules comma+ Verb-ed modifier modifies the preceding noun.
In option A Considered seems to modify that Faulkner which seems to be Incorrect. Ideally it should modify work.

Could you please explain this.


My two cents:
The comma+verb-ed modifier here - '....work of Faulkner, comprised...' modifies 'work' and to be precise noun-phrase 'work of Faulkner'. The lack of a more appropriate placement for the preposition phrase 'of Faulkner' leads to such a construction wherein the modifier is postponed.
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Re: Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm the work of William Faulkner  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2019, 17:08
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vishumangal wrote:
Higeneris,

Could you please explain me the role of a modifier considered.
As per the GMAT rules comma+ Verb-ed modifier modifies the preceding noun.
In option A Considered seems to modify that Faulkner which seems to be Incorrect. Ideally it should modify work.

Could you please explain this.

Hi vishumangal , I am answering your tag.
I think you mean "comprised"? :)

The original sentence:
Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the work of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbuster, overpoweringly complicated novels, remains among the most revered in the American literary canon.

Comprised is a past participle (a verbED).
On the GMAT, almost always, comma + past participle modifies the immediately preceding noun or noun phrase.

In this case, comprised modifies the main noun, WORK, in the noun phrase work of William Faulkner. **

Because the past participle comprised modifies the noun work, comprised is an adjective— participial adjective, in jargon.
Comprised of .... gives additional information about Faulkner's work.

Comprised tells us about one aspect of his "work": what kind of work it was. His writing was made up of two kinds of prose: short stories and novels.

-- participial adjectives can seem a little strange. HERE is a challenging but very good article about participial adjectives.
Comprised means "consisting of" or "made up of" or "including" or "constituted by."
Comprised tells us the type or kind (or even content) of Faulkner's work.

This structure (comma + verbED) is not tested as frequently as comma + present participle (verbING).
One official question that tests the comma + past participle construction can be found here. (Alice Walker question)
SPOILER ALERT: The answer to an official question is revealed if you look under the spoiler
In that question, published is an adjective that modifies the book The Color Purple.


Comprised is an adjective that modifies the noun work.

Hope that helps.



**Why can comprised "reach over" the phrase of William Faulkner to get to its target noun, work?
As is the case with almost all modifiers (I cannot think of an exception), if a noun is followed by a prepositional phrase, the prepositional phrase is essential, cannot be placed elsewhere, but is NOT the main noun.
So we allow modifiers such as comprised to "reach back" to the main noun in the noun phrase.
That main noun is work.

We can do the same thing with modifiers such as which.

Example: Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the work of William Faulkner, which consisted of short stories and novels, became revered.

For these two modifiers (comprised and which), an essential modifier trumps a nonessential modifier.
That is, if a nonessential modifier such as comprised or which is separated from its noun by an essential modifier, that fact is just fine because essential trumps nonessential but both "of William Faulkner" and "comprised" modify work.

(Even that can reach back. Correct: Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the work of William Faulkner that is exemplified by his novels became revered.)

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Re: Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm the work of William Faulkner  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2019, 06:24
EducationAisle

I chose D because of "number of blockbusters". Is that incorrect? Why so? Why is number of blockbuster is correct? Blockbuster is singular and "number" is depicted that we choose a number from a plural. It is wrong to say number of + singular noun
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Re: Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm the work of William Faulkner  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2019, 10:07
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Brego wrote:
EducationAisle

I chose D because of "number of blockbusters". Is that incorrect? Why so? Why is number of blockbuster is correct? Blockbuster is singular and "number" is depicted that we choose a number from a plural. It is wrong to say number of + singular noun

Hi! enthusiasms is incorrect in D.

The structure of A is:

...a number of [(blockbuster), (overpoweringly complicated) novels]....

blockbuster is used as an adjective for novels, and is not used as a noun; it's like blockbuster movies.
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Re: Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm the work of William Faulkner  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2019, 07:49
"A number of" should be followed by a plural subject but in option A it is followed by a singular subject. Is the usage right?

generis wrote:

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Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the work of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbuster, overpoweringly complicated novels,, remains among the most revered in the American literary canon.

A) Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the work of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbuster, overpoweringly complicated novels,

B) Despite some initial lack of enthusiasms, the works of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbusters, overpoweringly complicated novels,

C) Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the works of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbuster, overpoweringly complicated novels,

D) Despite some initial lack of enthusiasms, the work of William Faulkner, comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbusters, overpoweringly complicated novels,

E) Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm, the works of William Faulkner are comprised of a series of elegant short stories and a number of blockbuster, overpoweringly complicated novels,

The official explanation is HERE

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Re: Despite some initial lack of enthusiasm the work of William Faulkner   [#permalink] 15 Aug 2019, 07:49

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