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In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Illiad, a work th

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Re: QOTD: In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Illiad, a  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2017, 03:58
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In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Illiad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language.

A. his translation of the Illiad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced
1. Not a complete sentence 2. taking should be parallel to pronounced

B. his translation of the Illiad, a work that took him seven years to complete and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced
Correct

C. his translation of the Illiad, a work that had taken seven years to complete and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced it is
1. past perfect is not required 2."pronounced it is" --> it is not required (breaks parallelism)

D. translating the Illiad, a work that took seven years until completion and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced it as
1. "pronounced it is" --> it is not required (breaks parallelism) 2. I am not really sure about the usage of until completion; it is making the sentence convoluted unnecessarily

E. translating the Illiad, a work that had taken seven years to complete and literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced it
1. past perfect is not required 2."pronounced it" --> it is not required (breaks parallelism)
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Re: In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Illiad, a work th  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2018, 11:06
Hello Everyone!

This is an incredibly difficult GMAT question, so let's figure out the best way to attack it. To get started, we'll take a quick look over the original question and highlight any major differences between the options in orange:

In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Illiad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language.

A. his translation of the Illiad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced
B. his translation of the Illiad, a work that took him seven years to complete and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced
C. his translation of the Illiad, a work that had taken seven years to complete and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced it is
D. translating the Illiad, a work that took seven years until completion and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced it as
E. translating the Illiad, a work that had taken seven years to complete and literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced it

After a quick glance over the options, we have a LOT of things we can focus on:

1. "his translation of" vs. "translating"
2. "taking" / "took" / "had taken"
3. "until completion" / "to complete"
4. "pronounced" / "pronounced it is" / "pronounced it as" / "pronounced it"


Whenever we have this many things to focus on, it's best to start with things that are "either A or B" situations because they will likely remove 2-3 options right away.

Let's start with #1 on our list: "his translation of" vs. "translating" because no matter which one we choose, it will eliminate a lot of choices!

While it may seem like both phrases are interchangeable, they do mean slightly different things:

In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad... = His translation isn't the first one. It also suggests he took a different approach to his translation than others who translated it before.

In 1713, Alexander Pope began translating the Iliad... = His translation may or may not be the first one. It also doesn't clearly show that his translation is any different than others who translated it before.

Since the focus of the sentence is that Samuel Johnson pronounced it the best translation ever done, it makes more sense to also clearly show that Pope's translation was different or unique. Therefore, using the phrase "his translation of" is the better choice here. We can eliminate options D & E because the word "translating" doesn't provide the same clarity and emphasis as "his translation of."

There you go - 2 options down! Now, let's take a look at #2 on the list: taking / took / had taken.

A. his translation of the Illiad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced

This option is INCORRECT because changing the phrase into an -ing modifier doesn't really work here. First off, it's not necessary - you can just say "took" and it's much easier to understand. Second, it's not clear what parts of this mess of modifiers actually refers back to the Iliad. The only thing we have to go off of is "a work that." A work that what??? When using modifiers, it's best to include all the information you want to attach to the antecedent (the Iliad) directly before or after it. In this case, it's just too confusing.

B. his translation of the Illiad, a work that took him seven years to complete and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced

This is CORRECT! The past tense "took" makes sense here because we're talking about past tense events that happened at the same time. It's also clear what information is modifying the Iliad, and it's not confusing at all for readers to follow.

C. his translation of the Illiad, a work that had taken seven years to complete and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced it is

This is INCORRECT because it uses the past perfect "had taken" to say that Pope translated the Iliad in seven years BEFORE he began translating it. Doesn't really make sense, does it? How did he finish the translation before he began? This is the wrong verb tense to use here, so let's toss it out. There is also an issue with the phrase "pronounced it is" because the pronoun "it" is vague - is "it" referring to the Iliad or the translation? I know you could INFER that it's the Iliad, but it's not 100% clear - and if a pronoun is not 100% clear on the GMAT, it's likely wrong.

There you have it - option B is the correct choice! It's clear, to the point, and uses the right verb tenses throughout!


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Re: In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Illiad, a work th  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2019, 09:21
Hi,

I did not understood 50% of sentence but reached till OA using POE, can any one help em to understand meaning of sentence and is there any method to reach OA other than POE if one can not crack what author is trying to state.

Thanks !
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Re: In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Illiad, a work th  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2019, 17:33
Gmatprep550 wrote:
Hi,

I did not understood 50% of sentence but reached till OA using POE, can any one help em to understand meaning of sentence and is there any method to reach OA other than POE if one can not crack what author is trying to state.

Thanks !
This sentence tells us that:

1. In 1713, AP began his translation of another work, the Iliad.
2. This translation took AP 7 years to complete.
3. SJ, who was a literary critic and a contemporary of (living at the same time as) AP, called AP's translation of the Iliad "the greatest translation in any language".

How did you get to the correct option?
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In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Illiad, a work th  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2019, 00:09
AjiteshArun wrote:
Gmatprep550 wrote:
Hi,

I did not understood 50% of sentence but reached till OA using POE, can any one help em to understand meaning of sentence and is there any method to reach OA other than POE if one can not crack what author is trying to state.

Thanks !
This sentence tells us that:

1. In 1713, AP began his translation of another work, the Iliad.
2. This translation took AP 7 years to complete.
3. SJ, who was a literary critic and a contemporary of (living at the same time as) AP, called AP's translation of the Iliad "the greatest translation in any language".

How did you get to the correct option?



First I eliminated C, D, and E for marked reason then was confused bett A and B and highlighted part in A doesn't sound right to me and B looked better, hence selected B.

A. his translation of the Illiad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced

B. his translation of the Illiad, a work that took him seven years to complete and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced

C. his translation of the Illiad, a work that had taken seven years to complete and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced it is

D. translating the Illiad, a work that took seven years until completion and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced it as

E. translating the Illiad, a work that had taken seven years to complete and literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced it
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In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Illiad, a work th  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2019, 00:23
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Gmatprep550 wrote:
First I eliminated C, D, and E for marked reason then was confused bett A and B and highlighted part in A doesn't sound right to me and B looked better, hence selected B.
It's good that you were able to take three of the four incorrect options out. From there, it's just one more (small) step to remove option A:

... a work
that, taking him seven years until completion,
and
that literary critic Samuel Johnson pronounced...

There are two thats joined by an and, but after the first that, we have... nothing, as taking is not a verb. For example, these phrases are possible:
something that took a lot of time
something that was taking a lot of time
something that has been taking a lot of time


However, this one is not possible:
something that taking a lot of time
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In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Illiad, a work th   [#permalink] 30 Mar 2019, 00:23

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