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For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 45: Sentence Correction


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For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to personify devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that has decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

A. devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that has decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere
B. devastation and enslavement in the name of progress by which native peoples of the Western Hemisphere decimated
C. devastating and enslaving in the name of progress those native peoples of the Western Hemisphere which in the name of progress are decimated.
D. devastating and enslaving those native peoples of the western Hemisphere which in the name of progress are decimated.
E. the devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that have decimated the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

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Re: For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers [#permalink]

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This question is an irritating exception to the so-called “touch rule” for noun modifiers.

We also covered this example during our YouTube live chat, so if you prefer to get your SC via video, click here. And we also discussed “that” and the “touch rule” in our recent Topic of the Week on “that.”

Full disclosure: I fell asleep at the wheel and totally missed this question the first time I saw it a few years ago. So please be smarter than I was. :D

Quote:
A. devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that has decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere

This sounds great! “… progress that has decimated native peoples…” Yeah!

Oh, wait. That doesn’t actually make sense. It wasn’t the progress that decimated native peoples – the “devastation and enslavement in the name of progress” was the thing that decimated native peoples. Oops.

Notice that this is a plausible exception to the “touch rule”: the only things separating “that” from “devastation and enslavement” are a pair of prepositional phrases, and it would be awfully tough to separate them from “devastation and enslavement.” So sure, “that has decimated native peoples” could refer back to “devastation and enslavement.”

But there’s a new problem: “devastation and enslavement… has decimated.” Subject-verb error. Eliminate (A).

Quote:
B. devastation and enslavement in the name of progress by which native peoples of the Western Hemisphere decimated

This one just doesn’t make any sense. The native peoples were decimated; the way (B) is written, it sounds like they decimated somebody else, but we don’t know who. And that doesn’t make sense. Eliminate (B).

Quote:
C. devastating and enslaving in the name of progress those native peoples of the Western Hemisphere which in the name of progress are decimated

Lots of messy issues here. It’s not ideal to use the gerunds “devastating and enslaving” when we could use the noun forms “devastation and enslavement.” That’s not necessarily an absolute rule, but it’s one strike against (C).

(Also, “in the name of progress” is repeated… but I think that’s a GMAT Club typo, and that error doesn’t appear in the actual question. Oops.)

“Which” is a problem here, too. If the phrase beginning with “which” modifies “Western Hemisphere,” then it’s illogical; if it reaches back to “native peoples of the Western Hemisphere”, then it’s still wrong, because “which” can’t modify people – only things. (C) is gone.

Quote:
D. devastating and enslaving those native peoples of the western Hemisphere which in the name of progress are decimated.

Basically, all of the errors in (C) are repeated in (D). So (D) is out, too.

Quote:
E. the devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that have decimated the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

Almost everything we said about (A) applies here too: this looks like a classic exception to the “touch rule.”

The only difference? “Has” in (A) has been changed to “have” in (E). “Devastation and enslavement… have decimated the native peoples.”

So (E) is the best answer, even if you think (A) might sound better. :)

And if anybody is still curious about the article "the" at the beginning of (E): I don't think it's a big deal, but adding "the" helps clarify that Columbus personifies the specific devastation and enslavement that decimated the native peoples, rather than devastation and enslavement in general. But again: that's not a major issue, and not something that should worry you too much.
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Re: For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2017, 13:58
My take is E, since we need "devastation and enslavement" after infinite "to personify" which eliminates C and D
by which, sounds awkward, so eliminate B

Real competition sounds between A and E
"progress" can't be cause of decimation of native people, so eliminate A
Hence we are left with E
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Re: For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers [#permalink]

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Ok! This was a tricky one. I was torn between Choices (A) and (E) but finally picked Choice (E).

For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to personify devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that has decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

Understanding the meaning: For many RH, CC has come to personify something. What has he come to personify? 1. Devastation 2. Enslavement in the name of progress. These two things have decimated native peoples of the WH.

Errors: The presence of 'that' is quite ambiguous. Is 'that' modifying progress or Is 'that' modifying the two things CC has come to personify. Let's consider that 'that' was referring to progress. It would mean 'progress has decimated native peoples of the WH' which makes no sense at all. How can progress destroy people? Let's consider that 'that' was referring to devastation and enslavement. Now, this makes sense since devastation can destroy people. For example, the devastation caused by the earthquake killed thousands of people and damaged city property. Makes sense. The tense for 'that' doesn't agree in number with the antecedent so there's a SV number error.

A. devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that has decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.
B. devastation and enslavement in the name of progress by which native peoples of the Western Hemisphere decimated.
C. devastating and enslaving in the name of progress those native peoples of the Western Hemisphere which in the name of progress are decimated.
verb-ing modifier implies that CC devastated and enslaved native peoples. 'those' is a demonstrative pronoun and is unnecessary here.
'which' illogically modifies WH. This choice is a total snoozefest.

D. devastating and enslaving those native peoples of the western Hemisphere which in the name of progress are decimated.
E. the devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that have decimated the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.
'have' agrees in number with its antecedent 'devastation and enslavement'. This is by far the best choice. The article before devastation implies definite devastation rather than general devastation. the second article is understood and is removed because of ellipsis.

IMHO - the sentence might be better off without the article before devastation.
For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to personify devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that have decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

Looking forward to @GMATNinja's explanation.

Last edited by swapnak on 01 Jul 2017, 07:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2017, 20:52
swapnak wrote:
Ok! This was a tricky one. I was torn between Choices (A) and (E) but finally picked Choice (E).

For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to personify devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that has decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

Understanding the meaning: For many RH, CC has come to personify something. What has he come to personify? 1. Devastation 2. Enslavement in the name of progress. These two things have decimated native peoples of the WH.

Errors: The presence of 'that' is quite ambiguous. Is 'that' modifying progress or Is 'that' modifying the two things CC has come to personify. Let's consider that 'that' was referring to progress. It would mean 'progress has decimated native peoples of the WH' which makes no sense at all. How can progress destroy people? Let's consider that 'that' was referring to devastation and enslavement. Now, this makes sense since devastation can destroy people. For example, the devastation caused by the earthquake killed thousands of people and damaged city property. Makes sense. The tense for 'that' doesn't agree in number with the antecedent so there's a SV number error.

A. devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that has decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.
B. devastation and enslavement in the name of progress by which native peoples of the Western Hemisphere decimated.
C. devastating and enslaving in the name of progress those native peoples of the Western Hemisphere which in the name of progress are decimated.
verb-ing modifier implies that CC devastated and enslaved native peoples. 'those' is a demonstrative pronoun and is unnecessary here.
'which' illogically modifies WH. This choice is a total snoozefest.

D. devastating and enslaving those native peoples of the western Hemisphere which in the name of progress are decimated.
E. the devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that have decimated the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.
'have' agrees in number with its antecedent 'devastation and enslavement'. not sure why there's an article before 'devastation' and why there's no article before 'enslavement', but this is by far the best choice. it's possible that the second article is understood and is removed because of ellipsis.

IMHO - the sentence might be better off without the article before devastation.
For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to personify devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that have decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

Looking forward to @GMATNinja's explanation.


E for me as well.. Still confused about "The" in E
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For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to personify devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that has decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

a) devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that has decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere
b) devastation and enslavement in the name of progress by which native peoples of the Western Hemisphere have been decimated
c) devastating and enslaving in the name of progress those native peoples of the Western Hemisphere that have been decimated
d) devastating and enslaving those native peoples of the Western Hemisphere which in the name of progress are decimated

Quote:
e) the devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that have decimated the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere


1. It is not the general devastation and (the) enslavement that this topic is talking about. It is the specific aftermaths of the Columbian Occupation that it is referring to. The use of the definite article in 'the devastation' and '(the) enslavement' is justifiable.

2. The prepositional phrase 'in the name of progress' is modifying just enslavement. Therefore, we now have two fallouts namely 1. 'the devastation and 2. (the) enslavement in the name of progress', rendering the whole phrase a compounded plural. Therefore, you may see that the plural verb 'have decimated' stands well.
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Re: For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2017, 23:43
daagh wrote:
For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to personify devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that has decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

a) devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that has decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere
b) devastation and enslavement in the name of progress by which native peoples of the Western Hemisphere have been decimated
c) devastating and enslaving in the name of progress those native peoples of the Western Hemisphere that have been decimated
d) devastating and enslaving those native peoples of the Western Hemisphere which in the name of progress are decimated

Quote:
e) the devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that have decimated the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere


1. It is not the general devastation and (the) enslavement that this topic is talking about. It is the specific aftermaths of the Columbian Occupation that it is referring to. The use of the definite article in 'the devastation' and '(the) enslavement' is justifiable.

2. The prepositional phrase 'in the name of progress' is modifying just enslavement. Therefore, we now have two fallouts namely 1. 'the devastation and 2. (the) enslavement in the name of progress', rendering the whole phrase a compounded plural. Therefore, you may see that the plural verb 'have decimated' stands well.



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Re: For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2017, 04:15
Imo E
We need the before the devastation because it points to a particular characteristic that Christopher Columbus has come to personify.
The subject is plural so we need plural verb so E is the answer
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Re: For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers [#permalink]

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Merged topics. Please, search before posting questions!
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Re: For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers [#permalink]

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Hi. This seems a really difficult question and no answer on the forum seems to completely explain this.
Could you please help? This question is from GMAT Prep software. I would otherwise not waste your time. But this is an official question.

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Re: For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers [#permalink]

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E for me as well.. Still confused about "The" in E

Added some comments on "the" in the explanation above. Just let me know if you still have doubts!
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For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to [#permalink]

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For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to personify devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that has decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

A) devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that has decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere
B) devastation and enslavement in the name of progress by which native peoples of the Western Hemisphere have been decimated
C) devastating and enslaving in the name of progress those native peoples of the Western Hemisphere that have been decimated
D) devastating and enslaving those native peoples of the Western Hemisphere which in the name of progress are decimated
E) the devastation and enslavement in the name of progress that have decimated the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere

Anybody to explain the answer choice please ?

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For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to [#permalink]

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Hi bbb789

almost all official questions have already been discussed in relevant forums. kindly search the questions for detailed discussions. I am sure your doubts will be cleared if you read through the discussions.

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Re: For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2017, 20:58
GMATNinja wrote:
mynamegoeson wrote:
E for me as well.. Still confused about "The" in E

Added some comments on "the" in the explanation above. Just let me know if you still have doubts!


What does ''that'' refer to in option E.

If ''that'' refers to ''progress'' shouldn't the verb ''has'' be used.

can ''that'' (singular) refer to ''devastation & enslavement''(plural).

Kindly explain where i am going wrong..

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Ashokshiva wrote:

What does ''that'' refer to in option E.

If ''that'' refers to ''progress'' shouldn't the verb ''has'' be used.

can ''that'' (singular) refer to ''devastation & enslavement''(plural).

Kindly explain where i am going wrong..

Thanks

Please see the explanation of answer choices A & E above: https://gmatclub.com/forum/for-many-rev ... l#p1879769
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Re: For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2017, 23:48
GMATNinja wrote:
Ashokshiva wrote:

What does ''that'' refer to in option E.

If ''that'' refers to ''progress'' shouldn't the verb ''has'' be used.

can ''that'' (singular) refer to ''devastation & enslavement''(plural).

Kindly explain where i am going wrong..

Thanks

Please see the explanation of answer choices A & E above: https://gmatclub.com/forum/for-many-rev ... l#p1879769


Hey GMATNinja

Apologies, but in your explanation above, I can't find where you have written about the usage of that(singular) referring to plural noun. Can you please shed some light on this? According to me, that is singular so it should refer back to a singular subject, but in this sentence it is referring to a plural subject

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For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2017, 01:02
Ashokshiva pikolo2510

I am not an expert, but let me add my two cents.

Quote:
What does ''that'' refer to in option E.


That refers to two nouns devastation and enslavement.

I hope you are aware usage of THAT as a relative pronoun modifer.
A relative pronoun will always start a dependent clause. The relative pronoun may
or may not be the subject of the DC that it starts.

The reason why you might be confused is due to presence of prepositional phrase -
in the name of progress - which modifies above two nouns. It is
perfectly valid for a modifier (that) to jump over a prepositional phrase to
refer back to both above nouns as subject and make sense with plural
verb - have decimated.

As yourself: Is it progress or evastation and enslavement
that has decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

Here is complete sentence structure for you:

For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to personify devastation and enslavement in the name of progress

that have decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

Subject - Verb pairs are as highlighted

Hope this helps.
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Re: For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2017, 04:27
adkikani wrote:
Ashokshiva pikolo2510

I am not an expert, but let me add my two cents.

Quote:
What does ''that'' refer to in option E.


That refers to two nouns devastation and enslavement.

I hope you are aware usage of THAT as a relative pronoun modifer.
A relative pronoun will always start a dependent clause. The relative pronoun may
or may not be the subject of the DC that it starts.

The reason why you might be confused is due to presence of prepositional phrase -
in the name of progress - which modifies above two nouns. It is
perfectly valid for a modifier (that) to jump over a prepositional phrase to
refer back to both above nouns as subject and make sense with plural
verb - have decimated.

As yourself: Is it progress or evastation and enslavement
that has decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

Here is complete sentence structure for you:

For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to personify devastation and enslavement in the name of progress

that have decimated native peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

Subject - Verb pairs are as highlighted

Hope this helps.


Hey

Thanks for your feedback
I do understand "that" is modifying devastation and enslavement, but my question is?

Can "that" modify a plural subject i.e. "devastation and enslavement" ? Till now I thought that only modifies "singular" subjects. Please correct me if I am wrong

GMATNinja please help :-)

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Re: For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2017, 05:47
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pikolo2510

Quote:
Can "that" modify a plural subject i.e. "devastation and enslavement" ? Till now I thought that only modifies "singular" subjects. Please correct me if I am wrong


Try this question and
let me know what is subject for verb - orbit and what does THAT refer to?

Your answer will reply to your queries. :-)
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Re: For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2017, 10:10
adkikani wrote:
pikolo2510

Quote:
Can "that" modify a plural subject i.e. "devastation and enslavement" ? Till now I thought that only modifies "singular" subjects. Please correct me if I am wrong


Try this question and
let me know what is subject for verb - orbit and what does THAT refer to?

Your answer will reply to your queries. :-)


Thanks a ton buddy!

+1

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Re: For many revisionist historians, Christopher Columbus has come to pers   [#permalink] 29 Sep 2017, 10:10

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