In feudal Europe, urban areas developed from clusters of : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# In feudal Europe, urban areas developed from clusters of

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In feudal Europe, urban areas developed from clusters of [#permalink]

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17 Sep 2004, 19:50
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In feudal Europe, urban areas developed from clusters of houses where peasants lived and from which they commuted to farmlands in the countryside, but in the American West homesteading policies required residency on the land itself in order to obtain eventual ownership.

This is the OA but do you think there is something missing here? I have a thought about this but want to get a second opinion. Thanks
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Paul

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17 Sep 2004, 20:14
Paul - seems like a really tricky question. I think however that it's ok.

In feudal Europe, urban areas developed from clusters of houses where peasants lived and from which they commuted to farmlands in the countryside, but in the American West homesteading policies required residency on the land itself in order to obtain eventual ownership.

Are you objecting to the use of "which" above in the RED font?. If so, my take is that that "which" modifies "clusters of houses", which establishes a reference point for the farmers from where they traveled into the country side.

It also helps avoid ambiguity as far as WHAT caused the urban areas to develop

for instance replacing that which by where - it suggests that the urban areas developed FROM both the clusters of houses as well as FROM where they commuted to the farmlands

In feudal Europe, urban areas developed from clusters of houses where peasants lived and from WHERE they commuted to farmlands in the countryside, but in the American West homesteading policies required residency on the land itself in order to obtain eventual ownership.
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17 Sep 2004, 20:51
Paul - I apologise. I recant my earlier explanation.

In feudal Europe, urban areas developed from clusters of houses where peasants lived and from WHICH they commuted to farmlands in the countryside, but in the American West homesteading policies required residency on the land itself in order to obtain eventual ownership.

I believe the WHICH is causing the type of ambiguity, I, in my earlier post said the use of WHERE would cause. Actually, I am inclined to believe that it should have been WHERE instead of WHICH - so the correct sentence would read

In feudal Europe, urban areas developed from clusters of houses where peasants lived and from WHERE they commuted to farmlands in the countryside, but in the American West homesteading policies required residency on the land itself in order to obtain eventual ownership.
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17 Sep 2004, 21:03
Hi dwivedys, before you go on in further analysis, my query was much more simple

Use of relative pronoun "which" properly refers to "clusters of houses". All I am questioning is the presence, or the lack thereof, of a comma.

In feudal Europe, urban areas developed from clusters of houses where peasants lived and from which they commuted to farmlands in the countryside, but in the American West, homesteading policies required residency on the land itself in order to obtain eventual ownership.

Should there not be a comma where I indicated? I ignored this answer because of the lack of a comma which would properly set the contrasting contexts:

In feudal Europe, urban areas..., but in the American West, homesteading...

What do you think?
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17 Sep 2004, 21:06
a comma before homesteading would be appropriate not after. 'homesteading policies' should be together.
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17 Sep 2004, 21:08
Noted that u have made the correction. Yes, a comma is nearly a must.
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17 Sep 2004, 21:11
Thanks guys - I guess I have been awake for too long!!
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17 Sep 2004, 21:21
Paul wrote:
Should there not be a comma where I indicated? I ignored this answer because of the lack of a comma which would properly set the contrasting contexts:

In feudal Europe, urban areas..., but in the American West, homesteading...

What do you think?

I learnt somewhere that ETS is vague in using punctuations (particularly commas) and that you have to assume any missing commas, before you consider an answer choice.
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17 Sep 2004, 21:28
I can second hardworker on that. ETS doesn't really test punctuation.
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17 Sep 2004, 21:46
dwivedys wrote:
Thanks guys - I guess I have been awake for too long!!

I am with you. I was thinking, "Oh God! if Paul needs an opinion, then it really should be a hi-fi tester". I read the question too many a times before breaking head on which-where.
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18 Sep 2004, 04:49
Thank you for your replies. I have actually seen a few questions in paper tests (at least 2 so far including this one) where commas are missing. It is confusing to pick the right answer when one sees a long convoluted sentence where a comma should have been present.
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18 Sep 2004, 04:49
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