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A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic

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A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), which Henry Adams thought was his masterpiece, has been neglected, and therefore, ironically, it is not as popular as his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, which he intended as a small publication for friends and which, after his death, went on to win numerous accolades, such as the Pulitzer Prize.

(A) A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), which Henry Adams thought was his masterpiece, has been neglected, and therefore, ironically, it is not as popular as his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, which he merely intended as a private publication for friends and which, after his death, went on to win numerous accolades, such as the Pulitzer Prize

(B) Henry Adams intended that his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, would be merely a private publication for friends, but it became a classic after his death, winning numerous accolades including a Pulitzer Prize; however, his ironic masterpiece, The History of the United States (1801-1817), was neglected

(C) Ultimately much more popular, winning numerous accolades including a Pulitzer Prize, the classic The Education of Henry Adams, the memoir published by Henry Adams and intended merely as a private publication for friends, as ironically compared to his neglected masterpiece, The History of the United States (1801-1817)

(D) Winning numerous accolades including a Pulitzer Prize, the classic The Education of Henry Adams, which he intended as a mere private publication for friends, was much more popular after his death then his masterpiece The History of the United States (1801-1817), which despite its merits was neglected with irony

(E) Henry Adams thought that his The History of the United States (1801-1817) was his masterpiece, but despite its many merits, this work has been neglected; ironically, his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, intended merely as a private publication for friends, became a classic after his death, winning numerous accolades including a Pulitzer Prize


This is a very complicated comparison question. For a discussion of hard comparisons on the GMAT, as well as for the OE for this question, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2016/challengin ... -the-gmat/

Mike :-)
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2016, 00:49
this is hard question.
but this is typical of gmat questions.

we need grammar knowlege to understand a sentence on sc. But remember, the focus of sc is meaning/logic test. using grammar knowlege we realize m moficiation between the mofifier and the modified.

modification=modifer + modified.

gmat will make that modification meaningless or illogic.

so, at first we realize the modification , and latter, we realize to meaninglessness by focusing on meaning.

in this question, let grammar rules makes you realize the modification relation and you focus on meaning to realize something illogic.
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A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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robu wrote:
what is the problem with A?

Dear robu,

I'm happy to respond. :-) In writing this question, I was striving to model the kinds of splits we see in official SC question. In some harder questions, there are incorrect choices similar to (A) here---choices that technically are 100% grammatically correct, but a bit long-winded, a bit awkward, a bit less than rhetorically ideal.

You see, the SC is not merely about grammar. As thangvietnam indicated above, logic is also important. I would say that rhetoric is also important. Rhetoric is a very hard aspect of language to appreciate: how effectively is an action conveyed? How forceful and interest-catching is this particular phrasing?

Consider option (A). It is 100% grammatically correct: grammar is not the issue at all.
(A) A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), which Henry Adams thought was his masterpiece, has been neglected, and therefore, ironically, it is not as popular as his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, which he merely intended as a private publication for friends and which, after his death, went on to win numerous accolades, such as the Pulitzer Prize.

Think about the core sentence without the modifiers:
The History of the United States (1801-1817) has been neglected, and therefore, ironically, it is not as popular as his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams.
The subject, the "actor" of the sentence is the book. It makes sense for a book to be the subject of a sentence if we are not talking about the author at all, or if the author has a relatively passive role in the sentence. Here, the sentence is telling us a great deal about what the author, Henry Adams, thought and intended, but all this action of the author is curiously relegated to the modifying clauses, while the main clause is this passive yarn about the book itself. All the exciting and noteworthy information is relegated to the clauses, and the boring factual stuff is made the focus of the sentence: why do that? Also, the "and therefore" is not the best way to present the contrast that the sentence wants to create. This version is somewhat awkward, somewhat indirect, not a way of saying the information that packs a wallop. If there were no better answer, perhaps this could pass as a correct answer, but we really hope to find something better.

By contrast, here's the OA:
(E) Henry Adams thought that his The History of the United States (1801-1817) was his masterpiece, but despite its many merits, this work has been neglected; ironically, his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, intended merely as a private publication for friends, became a classic after his death, winning numerous accolades including a Pulitzer Prize.
The first clause start out with author Henry Adams as the actor, which makes more sense: he had the brains behind these books! The semicolon neatly divides the sentence into two separate and contrasting clauses, so that the strong grammatical break reflects the strong logical break. Also—and this is extremely subtle—for the part in which Henry Adams was living, he was presented as subject and actor, but for the information after he had died, his book was the subject of a passive verb—the verb voice mirroring the events of history (i.e. when people are living, they are actors; when they are dead, their words and memories receive passively receive the judgments of others). Again, that's an extremely subtle point, but these are the kinds of things on which writers focus to create rhetorical effects: a deep coherence between the grammatical structures, the logic, and the meaning. This version has that coherence in spades, while version (A) is an incoherence mess at that sophisticated level of analysis.

You see, we have to bring several different levels of analysis to GMAT SC. The GMAT punishes too literal a reading precisely because those who can read between the lines suffer loss after loss in the business world. Like the business world itself, the GMAT SC demands many many levels of intelligence to succeed.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2016, 00:09
mikemcgarry wrote:
robu wrote:
what is the problem with A?

Dear robu,

I'm happy to respond. :-) In writing this question, I was striving to model the kinds of splits we see in official SC question. In some harder questions, there are incorrect choices similar to (A) here---choices that technically are 100% grammatically correct, but a bit long-winded, a bit awkward, a bit less than rhetorically ideal.

You see, the SC is not merely about grammar. As thangvietnam indicated above, logic is also important. I would say that rhetoric is also important. Rhetoric is a very hard aspect of language to appreciate: how effectively is an action conveyed? How forceful and interest-catching is this particular phrasing?

Consider option (A). It is 100% grammatically correct: grammar is not the issue at all.
(A) A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), which Henry Adams thought was his masterpiece, has been neglected, and therefore, ironically, it is not as popular as his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, which he merely intended as a private publication for friends and which, after his death, went on to win numerous accolades, such as the Pulitzer Prize.

Think about the core sentence without the modifiers:
The History of the United States (1801-1817) has been neglected, and therefore, ironically, it is not as popular as his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams.
The subject, the "actor" of the sentence is the book. It makes sense for a book to be the subject of a sentence if we are talking about the author at all, or if the author has a relatively passive role in the sentence. Here, the sentence is telling us a great deal about what the author, Henry Adams, thought and intended, but all this action of the author is curiously relegated to the modifying clauses, while the main clause is this passive yarn about the book itself. All the exciting and noteworthy information is relegated to the clauses, and the boring factual stuff is made the focus of the sentence: why do that? Also, the "and therefore" is not the best way to present the contrast that the sentence wants to create. This version is somewhat awkward, somewhat indirect, not a way of saying the information that packs a wallop. If there were no better answer, perhaps this could pass as a correct answer, but we really hope to find something better.

By contrast, here's the OA:
(E) Henry Adams thought that his The History of the United States (1801-1817) was his masterpiece, but despite its many merits, this work has been neglected; ironically, his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, intended merely as a private publication for friends, became a classic after his death, winning numerous accolades including a Pulitzer Prize.
The first clause start out with author Henry Adams as the actor, which makes more sense: he had the brains behind these books! The semicolon neatly divides the sentence into two separate and contrasting clauses, so that the strong grammatical break reflects the strong logical break. Also---and this is extremely subtle---for the part in which Henry Adams was living, he was presented as subject and actor, but for the information after he had died, his book was the subject of a passive verb---the verb voice mirroring the events of history (i.e. when people are living, they are actors; when they are dead, their words and memories receive passively receive the judgments of others). Again, that's an extremely subtle point, but these are the kinds of things on which writers focus to create rhetorical effects: a deep coherence between the grammatical structures, the logic, and the meaning. This version has that coherence in spades, while version (A) is an incoherence mess at that sophisticated level of analysis.

You see, we have to bring several different levels of analysis to GMAT SC. The GMAT punishes too literal a reading precisely because those who can read between the lines suffer loss after loss in the business world. Like the business world itself, the GMAT SC demands many many levels of intelligence to succeed.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)



This makes all sense and a big thanks to you.

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Re: A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2017, 13:11
mikemcgarry wrote:
robu wrote:
what is the problem with A?

Dear robu,

I'm happy to respond. :-) In writing this question, I was striving to model the kinds of splits we see in official SC question. In some harder questions, there are incorrect choices similar to (A) here---choices that technically are 100% grammatically correct, but a bit long-winded, a bit awkward, a bit less than rhetorically ideal.

You see, the SC is not merely about grammar. As thangvietnam indicated above, logic is also important. I would say that rhetoric is also important. Rhetoric is a very hard aspect of language to appreciate: how effectively is an action conveyed? How forceful and interest-catching is this particular phrasing?

Consider option (A). It is 100% grammatically correct: grammar is not the issue at all.
(A) A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), which Henry Adams thought was his masterpiece, has been neglected, and therefore, ironically, it is not as popular as his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, which he merely intended as a private publication for friends and which, after his death, went on to win numerous accolades, such as the Pulitzer Prize.

Think about the core sentence without the modifiers:
The History of the United States (1801-1817) has been neglected, and therefore, ironically, it is not as popular as his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams.
The subject, the "actor" of the sentence is the book. It makes sense for a book to be the subject of a sentence if we are talking about the author at all, or if the author has a relatively passive role in the sentence. Here, the sentence is telling us a great deal about what the author, Henry Adams, thought and intended, but all this action of the author is curiously relegated to the modifying clauses, while the main clause is this passive yarn about the book itself. All the exciting and noteworthy information is relegated to the clauses, and the boring factual stuff is made the focus of the sentence: why do that? Also, the "and therefore" is not the best way to present the contrast that the sentence wants to create. This version is somewhat awkward, somewhat indirect, not a way of saying the information that packs a wallop. If there were no better answer, perhaps this could pass as a correct answer, but we really hope to find something better.

By contrast, here's the OA:
(E) Henry Adams thought that his The History of the United States (1801-1817) was his masterpiece, but despite its many merits, this work has been neglected; ironically, his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, intended merely as a private publication for friends, became a classic after his death, winning numerous accolades including a Pulitzer Prize.
The first clause start out with author Henry Adams as the actor, which makes more sense: he had the brains behind these books! The semicolon neatly divides the sentence into two separate and contrasting clauses, so that the strong grammatical break reflects the strong logical break. Also---and this is extremely subtle---for the part in which Henry Adams was living, he was presented as subject and actor, but for the information after he had died, his book was the subject of a passive verb---the verb voice mirroring the events of history (i.e. when people are living, they are actors; when they are dead, their words and memories receive passively receive the judgments of others). Again, that's an extremely subtle point, but these are the kinds of things on which writers focus to create rhetorical effects: a deep coherence between the grammatical structures, the logic, and the meaning. This version has that coherence in spades, while version (A) is an incoherence mess at that sophisticated level of analysis.

You see, we have to bring several different levels of analysis to GMAT SC. The GMAT punishes too literal a reading precisely because those who can read between the lines suffer loss after loss in the business world. Like the business world itself, the GMAT SC demands many many levels of intelligence to succeed.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


mikemcgarry

Dear friend, Mike

Thanks for your nice explanation.

However, I have a question in my mind. What is ironical?

Henry's masterpiece is not as popular as his memoirs
or
The fact that Henry's memoirs became a classic and win numerous accolades including a Pulitzer Prize.

I think first one is ironical, whereas the OA tells us the second one is ironical.

Am I wrong?
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Re: A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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Mahmud6 wrote:
mikemcgarry

Dear friend, Mike

Thanks for your nice explanation.

However, I have a question in my mind. What is ironical?

Henry's masterpiece is not as popular as his memoirs
or
The fact that Henry's memoirs became a classic and win numerous accolades including a Pulitzer Prize.

I think first one is ironical, whereas the OA tells us the second one is ironical.

Am I wrong?

Dear Mahmud6,

My friend, the first, of course, the comparison between the two books, is what is ironical, and that's precisely what the OA says. It's hard to get meaning from an atomistic reading of sentences. Meaning is very essentially holistic in its nature.

In English, this is a very common structure:
[clause #1]; ironically, [clause #2].
In that structure, it's very clear that the irony lies in the comparison of the two clauses, not in the content of clause #2.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2017, 20:08
This is a beautifully written question.

I got stuck between B and E because of the word "intended".In E intended is used as a participle but intended by whom?
where as in B it was clear that the the book was intended by the author himself to be a private publication.

Mike can you please shed some light on the error of answer choice B.

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Re: A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2017, 08:41
techiesam wrote:
This is a beautifully written question.

I got stuck between B and E because of the word "intended".In E intended is used as a participle but intended by whom?
where as in B it was clear that the the book was intended by the author himself to be a private publication.Dear

Mike can you please shed some light on the error of answer choice B.

Dear techiesam,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, with all due respect, you are being too literalistic, too atomistic, in your reading of SC sentences. With the participle "intended," it's 100% obvious that when it modifies a book or a work of art or anything created, the "intending" was done by the person who created it. This is so obvious that it doesn't need to be specified explicitly. This is the natural assumption of all native speakers who would read this grammatical structure.

Choice (B) is a disaster. The opening is very awkward "Henry Adams intended that his memoirs . . . would be . . . " Not totally wrong, but somehow off, stilted, not quite right. The big mistake is the adjective/adverb split. The irony arises from the larger situation, the comparison between the two works. It is 100% wrong to refer to the history book as "ironic." Neither individual books is ironic, only the comparison between their respective receptions.

To repeat what I said in an earlier post, remember that there is a profoundly holistic aspect to meaning. William Wordsworth said, "We murder to dissect." Much in the same way, if you dissect a sentence too much, you will miss the natural connections holding it together as an organic unity.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2017, 10:33
this is a very hard question. kudos mike for such a nice explanation.

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Re: A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2017, 08:13
Hi mikemcGarry,

In the answer option E "has been neglected", is this the correct tense, as the entire thing is an event of the past, including the book winning accolades.

I was stuck with this option but was some how confused with "HAS" in the option. Could you please clarify the same.

Thanks
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Re: A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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arijitchaudhury0505 wrote:
Hi mikemcGarry,

In the answer option E "has been neglected", is this the correct tense, as the entire thing is an event of the past, including the book winning accolades.

I was stuck with this option but was some how confused with "HAS" in the option. Could you please clarify the same.

Thanks
Arijit Chaudhury

Dear arijitchaudhury0505,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, the verb "has been neglected" is a verb in the present perfect tense. This is the tense used for an action that was begun in the past and continues in the present.
The planet Earth has revolved around the Sun for more than 4.5 billion years.
The Trans-Siberian Railway has connected Moscow to the east coast of Russia since 1916.

Both the Earth's revolutions around the sun, causing the cycle of the year, and the Trans-Siberian Railway's operations are in effect even as I write this and you read this. These are actions that began in the past and continue in the present.
In (E), the "neglecting" of Adams' history book started in the past and is still happening, so the present perfect tense is not only a possible correct choice but the only possible correct tense choice for this situation.

The present perfect tense is funny, because it certainly is used when the action itself continues into the present, but it is also used when the action ended but its effects continue in the present. Consider these two sentences, both perfectly correct.
1) I read the novel Moby-Dick.
2) I have read the novel Moby-Dick.
Both are 100% grammatically correct, but they have slightly different connotations. In #1, I am saying that I read it in the past and that's it. Been there, done that. Game over. It is a past event in my history with no significant ramifications in the present. By contrast #2 is very different: it suggests that even thought the reading happened long ago, in some way, the book is still part of me, still influencing me in some way. BTW, personally, I would say #2, not #1, because that book is one of my favorite novels!

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2017, 22:37
Henry Adams thought that his The History of the United States (1801-1817) was his masterpiece

Isnt His been repeated?
By repeating "His", isnt the meaning changing?
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Re: A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2017, 12:03
fitzpratik wrote:
Henry Adams thought that his The History of the United States (1801-1817) was his masterpiece

Isnt His been repeated?
By repeating "His", isnt the meaning changing?

Dear fitzpratik,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My sense is that the repeated possessive pronoun simply introduces more clarity and the GMAT SC OAs are often notable for their clarity. My friend, what different meaning do you think is implied?

Mike :-)
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Re: A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2017, 19:43
mikemcgarry wrote:
fitzpratik wrote:
Henry Adams thought that his The History of the United States (1801-1817) was his masterpiece

Isnt His been repeated?
By repeating "His", isnt the meaning changing?

Dear fitzpratik,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My sense is that the repeated possessive pronoun simply introduces more clarity and the GMAT SC OAs are often notable for their clarity. My friend, what different meaning do you think is implied?

Mike :-)


I just thought that instead of repeating his, ideal statement should have been " Henry Adams thought that his history of US was a masterpiece."
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Re: A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2017, 22:06
very good question,,narrowed down to A and E

Kudos to mike

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A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2017, 12:02
mikemcgarry wrote:
A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), which Henry Adams thought was his masterpiece, has been neglected, and therefore, ironically, it is not as popular as his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, which he intended as a small publication for friends and which, after his death, went on to win numerous accolades, such as the Pulitzer Prize.

(A) A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), which Henry Adams thought was his masterpiece, has been neglected, and therefore, ironically, it is not as popular as his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, which he merely intended as a private publication for friends and which, after his death, went on to win numerous accolades, such as the Pulitzer Prize

(B) Henry Adams intended that his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, would be merely a private publication for friends, but it became a classic after his death, winning numerous accolades including a Pulitzer Prize; however, his ironic masterpiece, The History of the United States (1801-1817), was neglected

(C) Ultimately much more popular, winning numerous accolades including a Pulitzer Prize, the classic The Education of Henry Adams, the memoir published by Henry Adams and intended merely as a private publication for friends, as ironically compared to his neglected masterpiece, The History of the United States (1801-1817)

(D) Winning numerous accolades including a Pulitzer Prize, the classic The Education of Henry Adams, which he intended as a mere private publication for friends, was much more popular after his death then his masterpiece The History of the United States (1801-1817), which despite its merits was neglected with irony

(E) Henry Adams thought that his The History of the United States (1801-1817) was his masterpiece, but despite its many merits, this work has been neglected; ironically, his memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, intended merely as a private publication for friends, became a classic after his death, winning numerous accolades including a Pulitzer Prize


This is a very complicated comparison question. For a discussion of hard comparisons on the GMAT, as well as for the OE for this question, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2016/challengin ... -the-gmat/

Mike :-)


Imo E
It is clear and all the modifiers are placed correctly .

A use of therefore is wrong
B The masterpiece was not ironic rather it was not famous that was ironic .
C We can not ironically compare
D Neglected with irony is wrong
E correct
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Re: A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2017, 09:52
Hello Mike.
Beautiful question I just could'nt understand your explanation regarding the difference between answer choices (A) and (E). Could explain why (E) is correct even though (A)is grammatically sound?

Thanks,
Sameer.

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Re: A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2017, 10:35
sameerkamath21 wrote:
Hello Mike.
Beautiful question I just could'nt understand your explanation regarding the difference between answer choices (A) and (E). Could explain why (E) is correct even though (A)is grammatically sound?

Thanks,
Sameer.

Dear sameerkamath21,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, I am going to chide you for asking what is not a high quality question. Any question of the form "I don't understand: make me understand" is not a powerful question. Asking questions of this sort is not going to move your understanding forward. The only way you can achieve an excellent performance on the GMAT is by pursuing the habits of excellence, and one of these is asking excellent questions. See
Asking Excellent Questions

Here's my challenge to you. First of all, read that blog article carefully and take it to heart. Then, come back here and read my post from Mar 15, 2016, in which I specifically explain the difference between (A) and (E). Force yourself to articulate in great detail exactly what you do and don't understand about each aspect of what I say in that post. Demonstrate where you follow my logic and where it eludes you. If you do all this, it will be an excellent question. It may be that, in this process, you will answer your own question, and doing so would be fine, but if you still have a question after all of this, I would be happy to answer it.

My friend, simply stating what you don't understand, or what you can't do, is a very helpless and powerless stance. Stand in your power. Take full responsibility for your own learning. The business world grinds people down and subjugates them when these people present themselves as powerless. To succeed as a leader, you must claim your own power with courage and conviction—you must have the heart of a lion.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: A work with merits, The History of the United States (1801-1817), whic   [#permalink] 09 Aug 2017, 10:35
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