It is currently 17 Dec 2017, 19:03

### GMAT Club Daily Prep

#### Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

# Events & Promotions

###### Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

# Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were

Author Message
TAGS:

### Hide Tags

Manager
Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 131

Kudos [?]: 982 [23], given: 0

Location: Corea
Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

23 Sep 2004, 15:54
23
KUDOS
165
This post was
BOOKMARKED
Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.

(A) Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering

(B) Dickinson were written over a period that begins a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ended shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber

(C) Dickinson, written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and that ends shortly before Emily’s death in 1886 and outnumbering

(D) Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother, ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, and outnumbering

(E) Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber

Kudos [?]: 982 [23], given: 0

Intern
Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 14

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 9

Schools: ISB - Class of 2016
Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

14 Feb 2014, 22:21
marine wrote:
Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.

(A) Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering
(B) Dickinson were written over a period that begins a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ended shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber
(C) Dickinson, written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and that ends shortly before Emily’s death in 1886 and outnumbering
(D) Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother, ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, and outnumbering
(E) Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber

pl review my analysis.

Q. Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington
Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few
years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and
ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886,
outnumbering her letters to anyone else

Meaning
ED wrote letters to SH over a period of time
Started before Susan marriage and ended before Emily`s death

Error Analysis
1) Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington
Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few
years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and
ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886,
outnumbering her letters to anyone else

The sentence has only one clause.
S-V is correct
V is correctly placed in past tense (passive voice-simple past)
Parallelism is correct.... beginning and ending
Pronoun...her refers correctly to Emily
Meaning is clear
idioms...none
modifiers...beginning and ending correctly modifies period
....outnumbering also correctly adds information to the preceding clause

POE
A is correct
B & C parallelism issue
D fragment
E placement of which is not next to letters

I was confused b/w A & E, but for the stated reason selected A.

I don`t find any grammatical error in A.

Pl clarify

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 9

e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2385

Kudos [?]: 9453 [3], given: 348

Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

18 Feb 2014, 09:12
3
KUDOS
Expert's post
4
This post was
BOOKMARKED
jrashish wrote:
marine wrote:
Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.

(A) Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering
(B) Dickinson were written over a period that begins a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ended shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber
(C) Dickinson, written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and that ends shortly before Emily’s death in 1886 and outnumbering
(D) Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother, ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, and outnumbering
(E) Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber

pl review my analysis.

Q. Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington
Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few
years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and
ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886,
outnumbering her letters to anyone else

Meaning
ED wrote letters to SH over a period of time
Started before Susan marriage and ended before Emily`s death

Error Analysis
1) Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington
Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few
years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and
ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886,
outnumbering her letters to anyone else

The sentence has only one clause.
S-V is correct
V is correctly placed in past tense (passive voice-simple past)
Parallelism is correct.... beginning and ending
Pronoun...her refers correctly to Emily
Meaning is clear
idioms...none
modifiers...beginning and ending correctly modifies period
....outnumbering also correctly adds information to the preceding clause

POE
A is correct
B & C parallelism issue
D fragment
E placement of which is not next to letters

I was confused b/w A & E, but for the stated reason selected A.

I don`t find any grammatical error in A.

Pl clarify

Dear Ashish,

First, let's address the reason that you eliminated option E. Logically, "which" can only refer to "letters" here, and not to "Susan Huntington Dickinson" (since she's a person and "which" can't refer to people). Since the logical antecedent is clear, "which" doesn't need to be placed right next to "letters".

Second, option A can be eliminated in two ways: from the standpoint of meaning, and from that of grammar. The first is the explanation given in the OG. If I were to summarize the main point of this sentence, I'd say: "Emily Dickinson wrote more letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson than she wrote to anyone else." The period in which the letters were written is secondary to the main point of the sentence. In option A, "outnumber" is not even a verb: it's a verb-ing modifier. It doesn't make much sense to say that the main point of the sentence is to tell us when the letters were written.

Also, if you're unable to decide what the main point of the sentence is, you can apply the rules about verb-ing modifiers to this question. A verb-ing modifier placed after a comma either describes the preceding action or presents a result of the preceding action. The latter option is clearly ruled out in this case, so we're left with the former. Does "outnumbering" describe "were written"? It doesn't. The fact that the letters were written during a specific period isn't logically related to the fact that the letters outnumber Dickinson's letters to anyone else. So, the verb-ing modifier "outnumbering" doesn't make sense here. We clearly need the verb "outnumber" in the correct answer.

I hope this helps to clarify your doubt.

Regards,
Meghna
_________________

| '4 out of Top 5' Instructors on gmatclub | 70 point improvement guarantee | www.e-gmat.com

Kudos [?]: 9453 [3], given: 348

Senior Manager
Joined: 15 Aug 2013
Posts: 298

Kudos [?]: 84 [0], given: 23

Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 May 2014, 07:47
egmat wrote:
Choice A is incorrect because of modifier error.
"outnumbering her letters to anyone else" should modify the letters but its placement is such that it appears to modify the preceding clause.

Notice that comma + verb-ing modify the preceding clause. And this modification does not make sense here. This is because it was not because the letters were written in the specified period that these letters outnumbered the other set of letters. In fact these two actions - were written and outnumber are really two different characteristics of the letters.

Lets consider an example sentence:
The film was shot in a small town of Guthernberg, exceeding expectations of the producers.
This sentence is incorrect since the verb-ing modifier appears to modify preceding clause and in this sentence this modification does not make sense. The fact that the film was shot in a small town did not really lead to exceeding the expectations of the producers.

The correct sentence is:
The film, shot in a small town of Guthernberg, exceeded the expectations of the producers.

The sentence simply states a fact that this film exceeded the expectations. It does not provide any reasoning for the same.

The film received significant critical acclaim, exceeding the expectations of the producers.
This sentence is correct. In this sentence, the verb-ing modifier makes complete sense with the preceding clause. The expectations of the producers were exceeded by virtue of the film receiving significant critical acclaim.

Hope this helps

Hello Egmat,

Couldn't you argue that in your example - "The film was shot in a small town of Guthernberg, exceeding expectations of the producers." -- doesn't this fit the "cause-effect" explanation of the comma -ing modifier? What I mean is, can't this be read as the following -- the film was shot and because of that it exceeded expectations? If I understand correctly, the part AFTER the ,-ing modifier is the result of the part before?

Kudos [?]: 84 [0], given: 23

Intern
Joined: 09 May 2014
Posts: 15

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0

Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 May 2014, 20:19
I think there's been a bit of overanalysis on this question. Let's say that we simplify the sentence:

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period of twenty years, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.

If this were the original sentence, then it would be just fine IMO. It is not true that a concluding participial phrase must modify the entire preceding clause--it can also modify an individual noun in the clause instead. I think the main problem with the original sentence is that outnumbering could be construed as modifying period (so that it is parallel to beginning and ending) instead of letters. That's why simplifying the sentence as I did above can eliminate the problem. Hope this helps.

As for the "focus" of the sentence, that's subjective. How do we know for sure that the time frame in which the letters were written was not meant to be the actual focus? Just from looking at the original sentence, we really don't.

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0

Current Student
Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 13

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 17

GMAT 1: 720 Q50 V38
Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

01 Jul 2014, 02:54
(A) Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering
the usage of 'outnumbering' is incorrect. It implies a continuity of some sort . 'Outnumber' conveys the intended meaning .We should avoid using the more complex tenses (continuous ,perfect) if a simple tense can do the job.

(B) Dickinson were written over a period that begins a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ended shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber
that begins and ended - not parallel to the structure of the remaining sentence .

(C) Dickinson, written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and that ends shortly before Emily’s death in 1886 and outnumbering

beginning and that ends- same as above

(D) Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother, ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, and outnumbering

outnumbering - as in A
(E) Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 17

Intern
Joined: 10 Mar 2013
Posts: 14

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 78

Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

31 Jul 2014, 20:21
Hi All,

In the original sentence, following is the main clause:

Emily Dickinson’s letters (SUBJECT) to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written (VERB) over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886

However in answer choice E, the following is the main clause:

Emily Dickinson’s letters (SUBJECT) outnumber(VERB) her letters to anyone else.

So essentially, the emphasis in the sentence is changed from writing of the letters to outnumbering of other letters. Can someone please explain how this change in emphasis is justified in choice E ??

Thanks.

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 78

Intern
Joined: 10 Mar 2013
Posts: 14

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 78

Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

02 Aug 2014, 14:45
Hi Deepak,

I totally get that there is a meaning error in A - the verb-ing, separated by comma, in no way presents result or in any way describes the preceding clause. However, what I am trying to figure is how the main clause in question becomes the modifier (which is usually an fyi thingy) in the correct answer E, while the modifier becomes the main clause?

I think meghna mentioned, in the link that you redirected to, that the idea 'SD's letters to ED outnumbered her letters to anyone else' is the main idea and the time frame during which she wrote the letters is just an additional info. However, the construction of the original question says otherwise.

Can you please help me understand why the time frame during which the letter were written is not the main idea of the sentence? For example, if the sentence were in a history text book and time frame was critical to make sense then it would be totally justified as the main clause, and the fact that those letters outnumbered any other be a modifier or a subordinate clause.

Thanks,

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 78

e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2385

Kudos [?]: 9453 [0], given: 348

Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 Sep 2014, 01:53
Hi Deepak,

I totally get that there is a meaning error in A - the verb-ing, separated by comma, in no way presents result or in any way describes the preceding clause. However, what I am trying to figure is how the main clause in question becomes the modifier (which is usually an fyi thingy) in the correct answer E, while the modifier becomes the main clause?

I think meghna mentioned, in the link that you redirected to, that the idea 'SD's letters to ED outnumbered her letters to anyone else' is the main idea and the time frame during which she wrote the letters is just an additional info. However, the construction of the original question says otherwise.

Can you please help me understand why the time frame during which the letter were written is not the main idea of the sentence? For example, if the sentence were in a history text book and time frame was critical to make sense then it would be totally justified as the main clause, and the fact that those letters outnumbered any other be a modifier or a subordinate clause.

Thanks,

Thank you for posting your query here.

In the given sentence we have a concrete grammatical error in option A as you have already understood. So, we can reject choice A based on this error only. Also, if we consider the two pieces of information conveyed by the sentence:

1. ED wrote letters to SHD over a period beginning a few years before SHD's marriage to ED's brother and ending shortly before ED's death in 1886.
2. The letters written by ED to SHD outnumber her letters to anyone else.

So, the subject of the discussion here is ED's letters to SHD. Since the action of writing these letters is not a historical event we know that the main point of the sentence is the second one. Also as stated in OG, choice A overemphasizes on the period in which these letters were written. Note that, when there is an option available that conveys the intended meaning of the sentence better than the original sentence, then we can select the option even if there seems to be a change in meaning.

Hope this helps!
Regards,
Deepak
_________________

| '4 out of Top 5' Instructors on gmatclub | 70 point improvement guarantee | www.e-gmat.com

Kudos [?]: 9453 [0], given: 348

Current Student
Joined: 02 Jul 2012
Posts: 212

Kudos [?]: 297 [0], given: 84

Location: India
Schools: IIMC (A)
GMAT 1: 720 Q50 V38
GPA: 2.6
WE: Information Technology (Consulting)
Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

20 Sep 2014, 00:18
marine wrote:
Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.

(A) Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering
(B) Dickinson were written over a period that begins a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ended shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber
(C) Dickinson, written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and that ends shortly before Emily’s death in 1886 and outnumbering
(D) Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother, ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, and outnumbering
(E) Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber

I solved this using the following reasoning

Outnumbering is incorrect, since it implies that the process is in continuation. That eliminates A, C and D.

Moreover, there's a parallelism error in B (that begins - ended) and C (beginning - ends )

That leaves with choice E, which can even be read as Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington outnumber her letters to anyone else. Plus the parallelism has been maintained for the clause between the commas.

Please correct me if my reasoning is flawed.
_________________

Give KUDOS if the post helps you...

Kudos [?]: 297 [0], given: 84

Senior Manager
Joined: 01 Nov 2013
Posts: 340

Kudos [?]: 239 [0], given: 403

GMAT 1: 690 Q45 V39
WE: General Management (Energy and Utilities)
Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

02 Mar 2015, 02:59
1
This post was
BOOKMARKED
This is one of those sentences that seems to be right for all the right reasons but turns out to be wrong.

I think that we are so attuned to the folly of blindly following the usage of verb+ ing modifier that we just can not understand why A is wrong when it all the time it seems to be right.

Choice A looks correct because the verb+ ing usage that we know of has been correctly used.
When a clause is followed by Verb+ ing modifier, the verb+ing modifier must achieve the following-

1A. It either describes the preceding clause i.e. describes the preceding action OR
1B- It highlights the result of the verb in the preceding clause i.e. presents a result of the preceding action AND
2. It should make sense with the noun of the preceding clause.(This one is tricky )

Out of the above 1A and 1B requirements choice A satisfies 1B. The act of writing many letters can result in outnumbering letters to anyone else.
Option A even satisfies requirement 2 .

But still it is not the correct choice.

It is not correct because requirement 2 is not absolute but it is confusing.

The OE clearly states "it is unclear what outnumbering refers to".
The OG also puts this question as one of the parallelism questions.- beginning, ending, outnumbering.
So essentially 'outnumbering' may refer to the noun -PERIOD but actually it should refer to the ED letters to SH.

Hence, we must always make sure that whenever we see clause+ verb-ing modifier we msut check whether there is any other noun that the verb+ing may erroneously make sense with.

Let us discuss OG 13 SC Q- 41-http://gmatclub.com/forum/in-1850-lucretia-mott-published-her-discourse-on-women-59328.html

In 1850 Lucretia Mott published her Discourse on Women, arguing in a treatise for
women to have equal political and legal rights and for changes in the married women’s
property laws.

A. arguing in a treatise for women to have equal political and legal rights
B. arguing in a treatise for equal political and legal rights for women
C. a treatise that advocates women’s equal political and legal rights
D. a treatise advocating women’s equal political and legal rights
E. a treatise that argued for equal political and legal rights for women

The above question is also about the usage of verb+ing modifier and parallelism.

The OA is E.

In the original sentence again we see that arguing may refer to two items- Lucerita or her discourse on Women.
Ironically, arguing would make sense with both.

Option A and B are wrong because of this error besides redundancy.

Coming back to ED to SH question, we can only eliminate similar verb+ing "SUBJECT ANTECEDENT" ambiguity ( if at all we can name such error so !!!) by choosing option E.
If we choose A , outnumbering may still refer back to period or ED letters to SH.

Experts please comment , if you agree with above.!!!!!!

Kudos if you like the post.....
_________________

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.

I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.-Mohammad Ali

Kudos [?]: 239 [0], given: 403

Senior Manager
Joined: 03 Aug 2011
Posts: 296

Kudos [?]: 73 [0], given: 916

Concentration: Strategy, Finance
GMAT 1: 640 Q44 V34
GMAT 2: 700 Q42 V44
GMAT 3: 680 Q44 V39
GMAT 4: 740 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.7
WE: Project Management (Energy and Utilities)
Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

10 Jun 2015, 06:34
IMO, both (A) and (E) are grammatically correct.

In (A) "outnumbering" with a comma, clearly refers to the subject of the sentence, namely "Emily Dickinson's letters", which is correct meaningwise.
In (E) the entire which clause also relates to letters. The clue IMO is that (E) is much easier to read. Relating to what is written in the OG, in (A) "outnumbering" just comes after a very long clause and is difficult to be related to the sentence's subject.
_________________

Thank you very much for reading this post till the end! Kudos?

Kudos [?]: 73 [0], given: 916

VP
Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 1387

Kudos [?]: 173 [0], given: 916

Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

17 Jun 2015, 01:08
in the pattern
main clause+comma+ doing

doing of course, modifies the main clause. but what is the meaning relation between doing and the main clause. gmat never declare this relation so we find hard to justify comma +doing

in general grammar books, and in newspapers, this relation is never easy to realized.

gmat has its own standard and so, has its own this meaning relation.

honestly, I find it hard to solve the questions concerning comma+doing.

I post to follow this topic.
_________________

visit my facebook to help me.
on facebook, my name is: thang thang thang

Kudos [?]: 173 [0], given: 916

Intern
Joined: 18 Apr 2015
Posts: 29

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 5

Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

23 Jun 2015, 09:04
Hi Folks,

For the confusion of "which" , i have a few points:

1) which is a relative pronoun and would refer to the noun.NOT NECESSARILY the closes noun.

Example.:

We will bring a cake ,which is sweet.
We will bring a cake advertised on the board ,which is sweet.

The first sentence refers to the closest noun "cake"

The second also refers to "cake"

Conclusion.: Which can refer to far away nouns if:
1)Structure : Noun + (modifier of the noun) + which
2)modifier cannot not be placed anywhere else
3) modification by which shouldn’t be ambiguous

Hope this helps!

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 5

Joined: 25 Feb 2014
Posts: 236

Kudos [?]: 94 [0], given: 147

GMAT 1: 720 Q50 V38
Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

03 Sep 2015, 11:34
kirtivardhan wrote:
can somebody explain me the outnumbering usage as an Verb+Ing modifier in the question ?

kirtivardhan

comma+outnumbering modifier as is used in option is basically modifying previous clause. "Letters were written"

Comma+verbing should modify the previous clause. So it should either explain the clause i.e. "Why letters were written" or it should either present the result of the previous clause.

here none of the usages make sense.
_________________

Consider KUDOS if my post helped

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
'Cause I am a champion and you're gonna hear me roar

Kudos [?]: 94 [0], given: 147

Director
Joined: 27 Mar 2010
Posts: 747

Kudos [?]: 332 [0], given: 14

Location: Bangalore, India
Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

03 Sep 2015, 20:29
kirtivardhan wrote:
Example.:

We will bring a cake ,which is sweet.
We will bring a cake advertised on the board ,which is sweet.

The first sentence refers to the closest noun "cake"

The second also refers to "cake"

Hi Kirti, basically which always refers to the nearest grammatically eligible word.

So, actually in the second case, which would refer to board. So basically, it's an incorrect sentence.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses usage of which, its application and examples in significant detail. If someone is interested, PM me your email-id, I can mail the corresponding section.
_________________

Thanks,
Ashish (GMAT Faculty @ EducationAisle)
http://www.EducationAisle.com

Sentence Correction Nirvana available at Amazon.in and Flipkart

Now! Preview the entire Grammar Section of Sentence Correction Nirvana at pothi.com

Kudos [?]: 332 [0], given: 14

Intern
Joined: 13 Mar 2015
Posts: 3

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0

Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

19 Sep 2015, 10:49
Pls experts or e-gmat help.
how to understand when the original meaning is distorted.

EX1 Neuroscientists,having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood, are now drawing solid conclusions about the human brain grows and how babies acquire language.

A)Neuroscientists,having amassed a wealth of knowledge over the past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood, are

B)Neuroscientists,having amassed a wealth of knowledge about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood over the past twenty years,and are

C)Neuroscientists amassing a wealth of knowledge about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood over the past twenty years,and are

D)Neuroscientists have amassed a wealth of knowledge over past twenty years about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood,

E) Neuroscientists have amassed, over the past twenty years, a wealth of knowledge about the brain and its development from birth to adulthood ,

here the mail point is Neuro somebody are drawing conclusion and having amassed is additional info. I agree . all is clear . D and E distort the meaning, changing the main and additional info.

But the same logic can be applied to this EX2

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.

we can say that the mail point is that the letters were written and outnumber is additional fact. Ok i agree -ing form is incorrect , but we can use another construction to add that fact, such as NOUN MOD CONSTRUCTION. But in gmat review it is stated that the main point is letters outnumber and were written is additional info. my question is how to understand what is the intended menaing?

thank you for you help

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0

VP
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 1170

Kudos [?]: 287 [0], given: 6

Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: 339 Q170 V169
Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

19 Sep 2015, 11:02
alesiasid wrote:
my question is how to understand that?
That's the thing about meaning calls. There is no process everyone can follow to arrive at the same conclusion. You should be able to identify differences in meaning. That's the first step. The second step (the one where you seem to be stuck) is to actually go ahead (and have the confidence to go ahead) and take a call between (let's go with two, but it's entirely possible that each and every one of the five options carries a different meaning) the two possibilities in front of us.
_________________

Kudos [?]: 287 [0], given: 6

Joined: 25 Feb 2014
Posts: 236

Kudos [?]: 94 [0], given: 147

GMAT 1: 720 Q50 V38
Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

10 Oct 2015, 04:02
Shreks1190 wrote:
Can someone explain what which refers to and how it refers to it ? I removed E since i felt which was used improperly in E

Shreks1190

The sentence with option E is as follows:

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber her letters to anyone else.

Here which refers to letters. How? Look at the verb after relative pronoun which. Here 'were' is a plural verb so it requires a plural subject. So relative pronoun which must refer to plural noun. The only plural noun before which is letters. the prepositional phrase "to Susan Huntington" is an essential modifier modifying letters and its placement is fine as there is no ambiguity here regarding the subject verb agreement. verb 'were' can only refer to noun letters. Further, this essential modifier cannot be placed anywhere else. For instance if you place it at the end of the sentence then the sentence will be unreadable.

Hope it helps.
_________________

Consider KUDOS if my post helped

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
'Cause I am a champion and you're gonna hear me roar

Kudos [?]: 94 [0], given: 147

Retired Moderator
Status: worked for Kaplan's associates, but now on my own, free and flying
Joined: 19 Feb 2007
Posts: 4321

Kudos [?]: 8363 [0], given: 366

Location: India
WE: Education (Education)
Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

12 Jan 2016, 15:20
In a verb+ ing modifier preceded by a comma, there may not be always a cause and effect phenomenon. It may be just as coincidental happening. See for instance,
Tom went all out to help the community, taking care of his own family’s welfare at the same time. – Here one cannot pick a cause and effect relationship, as the second action is coincidental and not a result.
Therefore, your statement that ED wrote letters, outnumbering her letters to anyone else, may be acceptable as an indicative statement.
However, in the case of the original topic, I feel the setting is different. Ed did not write those letters, because she wanted to win a letter-writing contest nor because she wanted to create a record for herself. It is in this context, that one can realize import of the modifier, “written over a period of … before ED’s death in 1886”. We can appreciate that the letters outnumbered her letters to anyone else, because here letters to SHD were written over a long period.
Therefore, your example “Ed wrote letters to SHD, outnumbering’ is technically ok;

But, in the original topic writing is not the core action. The main intent of the passage is the outnumbering. That is the reason why, the writing is relegated to a modifier and the correct choice takes ‘outnumber’ as the main verb.
_________________

Can you solve at least some SC questions without delving into the initial statement?

Narendran 98845 44509

Kudos [?]: 8363 [0], given: 366

Manager
Status: In the realms of Chaos & Night
Joined: 13 Sep 2015
Posts: 171

Kudos [?]: 101 [0], given: 94

Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 Jul 2016, 11:42
Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.

(A) Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering
The sentence say that the purpose of writing the letters was to outnumber her letters to anyone else.
(B) Dickinson were written over a period that begins a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ended shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber

(C) Dickinson, written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and that ends shortly before Emily’s death in 1886 and outnumbering

(D) Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother, ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, and outnumbering

(E) Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber - Correct
_________________

Good luck
=========================================================================================
"If a street performer makes you stop walking, you owe him a buck"
"If this post helps you on your GMAT journey, drop a +1 Kudo "

"Thursdays with Ron - Consolidated Verbal Master List - Updated"

Kudos [?]: 101 [0], given: 94

Re: Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were   [#permalink] 15 Jul 2016, 11:42

Go to page   Previous    1   2   3   4   5    Next  [ 92 posts ]

Display posts from previous: Sort by