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# Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against

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Re: Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against  [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2017, 08:26
chesstitans wrote:
AjiteshArun wrote:
Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors was common knowledge and unlikely to upset his supporters, the politician decided to press charges against his opponent.

(A) Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors was common knowledge and unlikely to upset his supporters

(B) Notwithstanding his commonly known predilection for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors, which was unlikely to upset his supporters

(C) His predilection for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors common knowledge and unlikely to upset his supporters

(D) Despite his commonly known predilection, which was unlikely to upset his supporters, for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors

(E) Because his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors that was common knowledge was unlikely to upset his supporters

This question wants to test the absolute phrase.
Do you think this question is a gmat-like in an actual exam? It is because the source if self-made.

Yes, in my view this is a very good question - determining between A and C may be quite challenging for some since A is a gramatically correct sentence.
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Re: Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against  [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2017, 08:52
sayantanc2k wrote:

Yes, in my view this is a very good question - determining between A and C may be quite challenging for some since A is a gramatically correct sentence.

Hi ,

Would you please explain C in detail? I am having trouble with the highlighted part, though I have understood about the application of absolute phrase in the first part-"his predilection ...."
(C) His predilection for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors common knowledge and unlikely to upset his supporters
Thanks!
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Re: Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against  [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2017, 09:32
mikemcgarry, sayantanc2k,

Also can someone explain the difference between detractors was common knowledge (in A) and detractors common knowledge (in B)

In C, what I am failing to understand is

His predilection (linking) for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors common knowledge. Doesn't this mean he will initiate legal proceeding against his critics common knowledge rather than against his detractors ?
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Re: Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against  [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2017, 18:14
2
1
Turkish wrote:
mikemcgarry, sayantanc2k,

Also can someone explain the difference between detractors was common knowledge (in A) and detractors common knowledge (in B)

In C, what I am failing to understand is

His predilection (linking) for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors common knowledge. Doesn't this mean he will initiate legal proceeding against his critics common knowledge rather than against his detractors ?

Dear Turkish,

I'm happy to respond.

My friend, you can't take 3-4 words out of context and ask about their meaning. The context of the whole sentence is always important. From context, we get meaning, and meaning is the very point of all language and communication.

(A)
Even though = subordinate conjunction
his predilection = subject of clause
for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors = noun-modifying phrase, modifying the subject
was = main verb of the clause
//common knowledge = description of subject, first branch of parallelism
and
//unlikely to upset his supporters = description of subject, second branch of parallelism
This is 100% grammatically correct, but logically flawed.

Choice (B) has a completely different grammatically structure
(B)
Notwithstanding = preposition
his commonly known predilection = object of preposition
for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors, = noun-modifying phrase, modifies "predilection"
which was unlikely to upset his supporters= noun-modifying clause, attempting to modify the gerund "initiating"
The modification of the "which" clause is iffy, not clearly wrong, but this choice is logically wrong.

Choice (C) has yet another grammatical structure. The wide grammatical variation is one of the features I like about this question. In (C), the entire underlined portion is replaced by an absolute phrase. This sophisticated grammatical structure is 100% correct and it typically is quite befuddling for non-native speakers.
an absolute phrase = [noun] + [noun modifier]
In (C)
[noun] = "His predilection for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors"
Here, the noun comes attached to a series of modifying phrases--logically, these function as a unit.
This is a very complex absolute phrase, in that it has two noun modifiers in parallel for the second half:
//common knowledge
and
//unlikely to upset his supporters

Choice (C) is a brilliantly elegant version of the question, the clear OA.

Read that linked blog about absolute phrases, and let me know if you still have questions after that.

Mike
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Re: Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against  [#permalink]

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12 Dec 2017, 06:15
TaN1213 wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:

Yes, in my view this is a very good question - determining between A and C may be quite challenging for some since A is a gramatically correct sentence.

Hi ,

Would you please explain C in detail? I am having trouble with the highlighted part, though I have understood about the application of absolute phrase in the first part-"his predilection ...."
(C) His predilection for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors common knowledge and unlikely to upset his supporters
Thanks!

Structure of an absolute phrase is as follows:
Noun (phrase) + Noun modifier(s)

Here,
Noun phrase = His predilection for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors
Noun modifiers = common knowledge and unlikely to upset his supporters
(Note that two modifiers, "common knowledge" and "unlikely to upset his supporters", are joined by a conjunction.)
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Re: Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against  [#permalink]

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17 Jan 2018, 20:51
AjiteshArun wrote:
daagh wrote:
Grammatically, one doubt about the correct choice C is whether it displays correct parallelism around the conjunction ' and' with a noun on one side and another infinitive phrase on the other.

Logically, the irony of his own supporters being unlikely to be upset about his penchant for the legal action raises doubts whether they are his supporters at all.

Structurally, is there anything amiss in the introductory modifier in C? There is a noun 'predilection' in the main modifier and another noun 'common knowledge' standing aloof and nested with it.
The elements joined by the and may not appear parallel, but they are. It may be that we are not applying parallelism the same way. For example, would you consider the following not parallel?

... the fight, each of the last three rounds five minutes long and requiring more energy than either fighter appeared to have.

Hi AjiteshArun,
Kindly help on the below
His predilection for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors- noun phrase
(was) common knowledge and (was) unlikely to upset his supporters- noun modifier. Was is omitted

Now, in the OA, option C, we have the structure - noun phrase + noun modifier, clause. Now, is the omitted verb was maintaining parallelism?
You have mentioned once that- Remember not to mark an option that leaves the was for the noun in the absolute. It will never be correct. Can you kindly explain this with an example?
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Re: Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against  [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2018, 03:17
1
sunny91 wrote:
Hi AjiteshArun,
Kindly help on the below
His predilection for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors- noun phrase
(was) common knowledge and (was) unlikely to upset his supporters- noun modifier. Was is omitted

Now, in the OA, option C, we have the structure - noun phrase + noun modifier, clause. Now, is the omitted verb was maintaining parallelism?
You have mentioned once that- Remember not to mark an option that leaves the was for the noun in the absolute. It will never be correct. Can you kindly explain this with an example?
Sure. One example of the [absolute, clause] structure is:

His voice a sharp instrument, Mr. O'Connor is Gauguin.

The part before the comma is the absolute, and the part after the comma is the clause. Now, keep two things in mind:

1. There must be at least one independent clause in the sentence.
2. If the sentence has more than one clause, those clauses must be joined to each other somehow (for example, we could use a conjunction or a semicolon).

If we put a verb in what would otherwise have been an absolute phrase, we will end up with something like:

His voice is a sharp instrument, Mr. O'Connor is Gauguin.

Here we have two clauses, joined by only a comma. A comma is, on its own, not capable of joining clauses. We'll end up with something called a comma splice. Because a comma splice can never be correct on the GMAT, we will not pick this option as the correct answer.
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Re: Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against  [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2018, 07:51
AjiteshArun wrote:
sunny91 wrote:
Hi AjiteshArun,
Kindly help on the below
His predilection for initiating legal proceedings against his detractors- noun phrase
(was) common knowledge and (was) unlikely to upset his supporters- noun modifier. Was is omitted

Now, in the OA, option C, we have the structure - noun phrase + noun modifier, clause. Now, is the omitted verb was maintaining parallelism?
You have mentioned once that- Remember not to mark an option that leaves the was for the noun in the absolute. It will never be correct. Can you kindly explain this with an example?
Sure. One example of the [absolute, clause] structure is:

His voice a sharp instrument, Mr. O'Connor is Gauguin.

The part before the comma is the absolute, and the part after the comma is the clause. Now, keep two things in mind:

1. There must be at least one independent clause in the sentence.
2. If the sentence has more than one clause, those clauses must be joined to each other somehow (for example, we could use a conjunction or a semicolon).

If we put a verb in what would otherwise have been an absolute phrase, we will end up with something like:

His voice is a sharp instrument, Mr. O'Connor is Gauguin.

Here we have two clauses, joined by only a comma. A comma is, on its own, not capable of joining clauses. We'll end up with something called a comma splice. Because a comma splice can never be correct on the GMAT, we will not pick this option as the correct answer.

I found the below definitions/examples of Absolute phrase in the Magoosh blog.
One type of modifier modifies not an individual word but the entire independent clause: these are called absolute phrases.
An absolute phrase has the form [noun] + [noun modifier]. It stands apart from the main clause of a sentence and modifies this main clause in some way.

1. The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, other nations, such as China and Japan, holding stores of US dollars that increase each year. -- here nations such as China and Japan hold stores of US dollars whereas US has the largest trade deficit

2. Virginia Woolf refused to publish the novel Ulysses through her own Hogarth Press, a slight that Joyce never forgave. -- here I assume slight means an insult that resulted from Virginia Woolf's refusal to publish

3. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of the castle-church in Wittenburg, this flashpoint igniting a Reformation that would transform religion in the Western World.

4.His voice a sharp instrument, Mr. O'Connor is Gauguin. --- Can you please explain how is modification taking place here?

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , mikemcgarry , egmat , sayantanc2k, RonPurewal , DmitryFarber , MagooshExpert , ccooley , mcelroytutoring , daagh , other experts -- please explain how is the absolute phrase works in the above 4 examples .
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Re: Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against  [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2018, 15:33
Skywalker18 wrote:
AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , mikemcgarry , egmat , sayantanc2k, RonPurewal , DmitryFarber , MagooshExpert , ccooley , mcelroytutoring , daagh , other experts -- please explain how is the absolute phrase works in the above 4 examples .

Hi Skywalker18!

Happy to help

Skywalker18 wrote:
I found the below definitions/examples of Absolute phrase in the Magoosh blog.
One type of modifier modifies not an individual word but the entire independent clause: these are called absolute phrases.
An absolute phrase has the form [noun] + [noun modifier]. It stands apart from the main clause of a sentence and modifies this main clause in some way.

1. The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, other nations, such as China and Japan, holding stores of US dollars that increase each year. -- here nations such as China and Japan hold stores of US dollars whereas US has the largest trade deficit

For reference, here's the link to that blog post: Absolute Phrases on the GMAT

The absolute phrase here is "other nations holding stores of US dollars" ([noun]: "other nations", [noun modifier]: "holding stores..."), which is modifying the clause: "The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth".

Skywalker18 wrote:
2. Virginia Woolf refused to publish the novel Ulysses through her own Hogarth Press, a slight that Joyce never forgave. -- here I assume slight means an insult that resulted from Virginia Woolf's refusal to publish

You are correct A "slight" is an insult. The absolute phrase here is "a slight that Joyce never forgave" ([noun]: "a slight", [noun modifier]: "that Joyce never forgave"), which is modifying the clause: "Virginia Woolf refused to publish the novel Ulysses through her own Hogarth Press".

Skywalker18 wrote:
3. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of the castle-church in Wittenburg, this flashpoint igniting a Reformation that would transform religion in the Western World.

The absolute phrase is "this flashpoint igniting a Reformation that would transform religion in the Western World" ([noun]: "this flashpoint", [noun modifier]: "igniting a Reformation..."), which is modifying the clause "Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of the castle-church in Wittenburg".

Skywalker18 wrote:
4.His voice a sharp instrument, Mr. O'Connor is Gauguin. --- Can you please explain how is modification taking place here?

The absolute phrase is "his voice a sharp instrument" ([noun]: "his voice", [noun modifier]: "a sharp instrument"), modifying the clause "Mr. O'Connor is Gauguin".

I hope that helps!
-Carolyn
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Re: Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against  [#permalink]

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04 Jun 2018, 05:09
MagooshExpert wrote:
Skywalker18 wrote:
AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , mikemcgarry , egmat , sayantanc2k, RonPurewal , DmitryFarber , MagooshExpert , ccooley , mcelroytutoring , daagh , other experts -- please explain how is the absolute phrase works in the above 4 examples .

Hi Skywalker18!

Happy to help

Skywalker18 wrote:
I found the below definitions/examples of Absolute phrase in the Magoosh blog.
One type of modifier modifies not an individual word but the entire independent clause: these are called absolute phrases.
An absolute phrase has the form [noun] + [noun modifier]. It stands apart from the main clause of a sentence and modifies this main clause in some way.

1. The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, other nations, such as China and Japan, holding stores of US dollars that increase each year. -- here nations such as China and Japan hold stores of US dollars whereas US has the largest trade deficit

For reference, here's the link to that blog post: Absolute Phrases on the GMAT

The absolute phrase here is "other nations holding stores of US dollars" ([noun]: "other nations", [noun modifier]: "holding stores..."), which is modifying the clause: "The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth".

Skywalker18 wrote:
2. Virginia Woolf refused to publish the novel Ulysses through her own Hogarth Press, a slight that Joyce never forgave. -- here I assume slight means an insult that resulted from Virginia Woolf's refusal to publish

You are correct A "slight" is an insult. The absolute phrase here is "a slight that Joyce never forgave" ([noun]: "a slight", [noun modifier]: "that Joyce never forgave"), which is modifying the clause: "Virginia Woolf refused to publish the novel Ulysses through her own Hogarth Press".

Skywalker18 wrote:
3. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of the castle-church in Wittenburg, this flashpoint igniting a Reformation that would transform religion in the Western World.

The absolute phrase is "this flashpoint igniting a Reformation that would transform religion in the Western World" ([noun]: "this flashpoint", [noun modifier]: "igniting a Reformation..."), which is modifying the clause "Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of the castle-church in Wittenburg".

Skywalker18 wrote:
4.His voice a sharp instrument, Mr. O'Connor is Gauguin. --- Can you please explain how is modification taking place here?

The absolute phrase is "his voice a sharp instrument" ([noun]: "his voice", [noun modifier]: "a sharp instrument"), modifying the clause "Mr. O'Connor is Gauguin".

I hope that helps!
-Carolyn

His voice a sharp instrument, Mr. O'Connor is Gauguin. -- what does the term Gauguin mean here ?
Though i understand that Mr O'Connor is Gauguin is an independent clause and his voice a sharp instrument an absolute phrase, how does the absolute phrase modify the independent clause here?

Also, in some scenarios, is it possible to create an absolute phrase by removing a conjunction joining to independent clauses and then removing the verb from one the Independent clauses?

1The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, whereas other nations, such as China and Japan, hold stores of US dollars that increase each year.

2.The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, other nations, such as China and Japan, holding stores of US dollars that increase each year.

I hope both the above sentence convey the same meaning .

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , mikemcgarry , egmat , sayantanc2k, RonPurewal , DmitryFarber , MagooshExpert , ccooley ,daagh , others-- please enlighten
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Re: Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against  [#permalink]

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04 Jun 2018, 19:20
Skywalker18 wrote:
His voice a sharp instrument, Mr. O'Connor is Gauguin. -- what does the term Gauguin mean here ?
Though i understand that Mr O'Connor is Gauguin is an independent clause and his voice a sharp instrument an absolute phrase, how does the absolute phrase modify the independent clause here?
Gauguin refers to a person (in this case, a character in a play about Gauguin). The sentence is trying to tell us that the actor (O'Connor) does a very good job of playing the character (Gauguin). Take a look at the article here for more context.

Quote:
As Gauguin, Miss Erdman has cast one of our most powerful, intense young actors. Eyes blazing with possibility, his voice a sharp instrument, Mr. O'Connor is Gauguin. But from the very first, the words (credited to John FitzGibbon, who is also an actor in the company) let him down. Would Gauguin really have ingenuously announced his aims and dreams, as in, “I plan to become the first painter of the tropics"?

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Re: Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against  [#permalink]

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05 Jun 2018, 22:39
Skywalker18 wrote:
His voice a sharp instrument, Mr. O'Connor is Gauguin. -- what does the term Gauguin mean here ?
Though i understand that Mr O'Connor is Gauguin is an independent clause and his voice a sharp instrument an absolute phrase, how does the absolute phrase modify the independent clause here?

Also, in some scenarios, is it possible to create an absolute phrase by removing a conjunction joining to independent clauses and then removing the verb from one the Independent clauses?

1The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, whereas other nations, such as China and Japan, hold stores of US dollars that increase each year.

2.The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, other nations, such as China and Japan, holding stores of US dollars that increase each year.

I hope both the above sentence convey the same meaning .

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , mikemcgarry , egmat , sayantanc2k, RonPurewal , DmitryFarber , MagooshExpert , ccooley ,daagh , others-- please enlighten

Hi Skywalker18,

"Gauguin" is the name of the artist Paul Gauguin. This sentence is saying that Mr. O'Connor's voice is acting as an instrument, allowing him to play the character of Gauguin. Although we don't necessarily know the context of this sentence, we can assume that Mr. O'Connor is an actor, playing the role of Gauguin, using his voice as a metaphorical "instrument".

The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, whereas other nations, such as China and Japan, hold stores of US dollars that increase each year.

This sentence is grammatically correct, but "hold stores..." is not an absolute phrase (it does not follow the structure of [noun] + [noun modifier]). "Hold" here is just a regular verb (referring to "other nations").

The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, other nations, such as China and Japan, holding stores of US dollars that increase each year.

This sentence is not grammatically correct -- "other nations ... holding..." is not an independent clause (and would need to be properly joined with the first clause). There needs to be a verb associated with "other nations" ("holding" is a modifier here).

I hope that helps
-Carolyn
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Re: Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against  [#permalink]

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05 Jun 2018, 22:52
MagooshExpert wrote:
Skywalker18 wrote:
His voice a sharp instrument, Mr. O'Connor is Gauguin. -- what does the term Gauguin mean here ?
Though i understand that Mr O'Connor is Gauguin is an independent clause and his voice a sharp instrument an absolute phrase, how does the absolute phrase modify the independent clause here?

Also, in some scenarios, is it possible to create an absolute phrase by removing a conjunction joining to independent clauses and then removing the verb from one the Independent clauses?

1The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, whereas other nations, such as China and Japan, hold stores of US dollars that increase each year.

2.The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, other nations, such as China and Japan, holding stores of US dollars that increase each year.

I hope both the above sentence convey the same meaning .

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , mikemcgarry , egmat , sayantanc2k, RonPurewal , DmitryFarber , MagooshExpert , ccooley ,daagh , others-- please enlighten

Hi Skywalker18,

"Gauguin" is the name of the artist Paul Gauguin. This sentence is saying that Mr. O'Connor's voice is acting as an instrument, allowing him to play the character of Gauguin. Although we don't necessarily know the context of this sentence, we can assume that Mr. O'Connor is an actor, playing the role of Gauguin, using his voice as a metaphorical "instrument".

The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, whereas other nations, such as China and Japan, hold stores of US dollars that increase each year.

This sentence is grammatically correct, but "hold stores..." is not an absolute phrase (it does not follow the structure of [noun] + [noun modifier]). "Hold" here is just a regular verb (referring to "other nations").

The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, other nations, such as China and Japan, holding stores of US dollars that increase each year.

This sentence is not grammatically correct -- "other nations ... holding..." is not an independent clause (and would need to be properly joined with the first clause). There needs to be a verb associated with "other nations" ("holding" is a modifier here).

I hope that helps
-Carolyn

Hi Carolyn MagooshExpert ,

The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, other nations, such as China and Japan, holding stores of US dollars that increase each year. -- If I am not wrong, this sentence is the first example from the Magoosh blog on Absolute phrase.
I think this sentence would have been incorrect if this sentence had a conjunction that followed the first independent clause - "The United States.... on Earth" .

Can you please check? Also , if both the sentences stated in my previous post are correct , do they mean the same ?
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Re: Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against  [#permalink]

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07 Jun 2018, 22:43
Skywalker18 wrote:
Hi Carolyn MagooshExpert ,

The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, other nations, such as China and Japan, holding stores of US dollars that increase each year. -- If I am not wrong, this sentence is the first example from the Magoosh blog on Absolute phrase.
I think this sentence would have been incorrect if this sentence had a conjunction that followed the first independent clause - "The United States.... on Earth" .

Can you please check? Also , if both the sentences stated in my previous post are correct , do they mean the same ?

Hi Skywalker18,

Sorry about the confusion here! You are correct, I accidentally switched them around. This is the correct version (with "other nations...holding" as the absolute phrase):

The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, other nations, such as China and Japan, holding stores of US dollars that increase each year.

The other sentence is only correct if we have a conjunction between the two clauses, as you put in:

The United States has the largest trade deficit of any country on Earth, whereas other nations, such as China and Japan, hold stores of US dollars that increase each year.

This sentence is correct as well

Sorry for the misunderstanding! I hope it's clear now
-Carolyn
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Re: Even though his predilection for initiating legal proceedings against &nbs [#permalink] 07 Jun 2018, 22:43

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