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In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania

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In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania, and when canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, there were substantial supplies of coal that was exported to the nation’s growing mills, forges, factories, and railways.

A. when canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, there were substantial supplies of coal that was
B. once canals and eventually railroads reaching into the region, there were substantial supplies of coal having been
C. with canals and eventually railroads reaching into the region, there had been substantial supplies of coal
D. canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, with substantial supplies of coal being
E. as canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, substantial supplies of coal were

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Originally posted by ykaiim on 16 Jun 2010, 05:45.
Last edited by Bunuel on 01 May 2019, 03:09, edited 2 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2013, 01:04
whats wrong with A folks..

is the presence of 'was' instead of 'were' an issue?
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2013, 10:45
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Sachin9 wrote:
whats wrong with A folks..

is the presence of 'was' instead of 'were' an issue?


out of the 2 constructions:

A.) "there were substantial supplies of coal that was"
AND
E.) "substantial supplies of coal were"

the second construction is much better; says the same thing in fewer words.
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2013, 13:48
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Sachin9 wrote:
whats wrong with A folks..

is the presence of 'was' instead of 'were' an issue?


Yes singular verb 'was' contradicts with plural noun "supplies of coal".

Also (A) uses wordier construction than (E)
(A) Wordier: there were substantial supplies of coal that was
(E) Concise: substantial supplies of coal were
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2013, 22:52
I believe (A) is the answer, even though (A) is wordier than (E)


"substantial supplies of coal were exported" or "the coal was exported" ? Obviously the coal was exported not the supplies ...

What is the OA?
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2013, 23:39
Practicegmat wrote:
I believe (A) is the answer, even though (A) is wordier than (E)


"substantial supplies of coal were exported" or "the coal was exported" ? Obviously the coal was exported not the supplies ...

What is the OA?

Just coal can mean anything i.e. in small quantity as well as in large quantity. The logic of the sentence asks for the coal in large quantity. Also, in A "that" modifies "substantial supplies of coal" and not "coal".
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Feb 2013, 09:52
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In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania, and when canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, there were substantial supplies of coal that was exported to the nation’s growing mills, forges, factories, and railways.

A. when canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, there were
substantial supplies of coal that was
B. once canals and eventually railroads reaching into the region, there were
substantial supplies of coal having been
C. with canals and eventually railroads reaching into the region, there had been
substantial supplies of coal
D. canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, with substantial supplies
of coal being
E. as canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, substantial supplies of
coal were

the focus of meaning in A is changed. A is considered the distorted meaning.

when the canale reached, there were something

is the focus of meaning in A.

in E,

comma+with phrase is absolute structure which provide the context for main clause, in this case, "coalfield open and canal reached" . E means
in the context that the export rises, coalfield opened. This is not logic.

E is typical wrong answer which is grammatical but contains meaning problem. absolute phrase modifying wrongly the main clause is the favorite of gmat. this situation happen often in og and gmatprep.

gmat distort the logic meaning relation into the distorted meaning relation to test out ability to convey the intended meaning or the right focus of meaning.
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2014, 01:29
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E is answer, as in A (S-V error )

there were substantial supplies of coal that was -should be were
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Nov 2018, 06:18
In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania, and when canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, there were substantial supplies of coal that was exported to the nation’s growing mills, forges, factories, and railways.

A. when canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, there were substantial supplies of coal that was - subject verb agreement issue - supplies of coal needs was
B. once canals and eventually railroads reaching into the region, there were substantial supplies of coal having been - usage of having been
C. with canals and eventually railroads reaching into the region, there had been substantial supplies of coal - usage of past perfect
D. canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, with substantial supplies of coal being - usage of being
E. as canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, substantial supplies of coal were - Correct

Answer E
1. In case of option A, how do we determine whether THAT refers to coal or supplies of coal? Because both of them make sense to me.

2. Also, if change A to "when canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, there were substantial supplies of coal that were", even then it will be inferior to option E?

3. Also, can you highlight the difference between when and as here?


AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , GMATGuruNY , VeritasKarishma , ChiranjeevSingh , VeritasPrepBrian , MartyMurray , daagh , ccooley , other experts - please enlighten
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Nov 2018, 07:12
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Skywalker18 wrote:
In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania, and when canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, there were substantial supplies of coal that was exported to the nation’s growing mills, forges, factories, and railways.

A. when canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, there were substantial supplies of coal that was - subject verb agreement issue - supplies of coal needs was
B. once canals and eventually railroads reaching into the region, there were substantial supplies of coal having been - usage of having been
C. with canals and eventually railroads reaching into the region, there had been substantial supplies of coal - usage of past perfect
D. canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, with substantial supplies of coal being - usage of being
E. as canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, substantial supplies of coal were - Correct

Answer E
1. In case of option A, how do we determine whether THAT refers to coal or supplies of coal? Because both of them make sense to me.

Since "that" is placed directly after "coal", it seems likely that "that" refers to "coal." Then, the fact that the singular verb "was" agrees with the singular "coal" and not with the plural "supplies" serves to confirm that "that" refers to coal rather than to "supplies."

2. Also, if change A to "when canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, there were substantial supplies of coal that were", even then it will be inferior to option E?

Even with that change, (A) would be awkward and would not express a logical meaning. It does not make sense to say that "there were" supplies of coal "when" canals and railroads reached into the region. Those supplies were there before the canals and railroads reached the region. So, the focus of (A) is off, as (A) is focused on the fact that the supplies were there, when what would make sense is to focus on the fact that, once canals and railroads reached the region, the supplies were exported.

3. Also, can you highlight the difference between when and as here?

While using "when" is not clearly incorrect, perhaps "as" is a better choice. "When" tends to refer to a specific point in time. So, "when the canals and railroads reached into the region, supplies were exported" seems to convey that, at the moment when canals and railroads reached into the region, the supplies were exported. In contrast, the expression "as canals and eventually railroads reached into the region" more accurately reflects what seems likely to have occurred, that during the period of time over which the canals and railroads reached into the region, supplies of coal were exported.


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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Nov 2018, 09:23
MartyMurray wrote:
1. In case of option A, how do we determine whether THAT refers to coal or supplies of coal? Because both of them make sense to me.

Since "that" is placed directly after "coal", it seems likely that "that" refers to "coal." Then, the fact that the singular verb "was" agrees with the singular "coal" and not with the plural "supplies" serves to confirm that "that" refers to coal rather than to "supplies."


Hi MartyMurray,
Thank you for your prompt response. So can we generalize as "whenever the verb that follows modifier THAT(or which) makes sense with both the preceding noun(supplies here) and the object of the prepositional phrase(coal here), then it MUST refer to the noun in the prepositional phrase because of its proximity?

..... X of Y that Z or ..... X of Y, which Z (where Z is the verb) --> If Z makes sense with both X and Y, then it must refer to Y.

Then, the fact that the singular verb "was" agrees with the singular noun "coal" and not with the plural "supplies" serves to confirm that "that" refers to coal rather than to "supplies. --> If the verb (was in this case) was not a part of the underlined portion of the sentence, then I understand we can infer that subject must match with the verb, but here the verb too is in the underlined part.

So, can we use the subject-verb agreement to confirm our assumption that "coal" is the subject of THAT clause?


I understand that the structure in A "there were substantial supplies..." is awkward and indirect. So this was the ONLY reason you chose it over E?
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Nov 2018, 12:32
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Skywalker18 wrote:
MartyMurray wrote:
1. In case of option A, how do we determine whether THAT refers to coal or supplies of coal? Because both of them make sense to me.

Since "that" is placed directly after "coal", it seems likely that "that" refers to "coal." Then, the fact that the singular verb "was" agrees with the singular "coal" and not with the plural "supplies" serves to confirm that "that" refers to coal rather than to "supplies."


Hi MartyMurray,
Thank you for your prompt response. So can we generalize as "whenever the verb that follows modifier THAT(or which) makes sense with both the preceding noun(supplies here) and the object of the prepositional phrase(coal here), then it MUST refer to the noun in the prepositional phrase because of its proximity?

..... X of Y that Z or ..... X of Y, which Z (where Z is the verb) --> If Z makes sense with both X and Y, then it must refer to Y.

You probably shouldn't make that generalization. Answering SC questions tends to be about making judgement calls. So, while, yes, it is likely that what you said would work most of the time, I would not codify it and consider it some kind of "rule." Why even bother?

Do what is logical, and make judgement calls AS APPROPRIATE FOR EACH SITUATION.


Then, the fact that the singular verb "was" agrees with the singular noun "coal" and not with the plural "supplies" serves to confirm that "that" refers to coal rather than to "supplies. --> If the verb (was in this case) was not a part of the underlined portion of the sentence, then I understand we can infer that subject must match with the verb, but here the verb too is in the underlined part.

So, can we use the subject-verb agreement to confirm our assumption that "coal" is the subject of THAT clause?


That method works for determining what the underlined portion indicates in this case. However, if the non-underlined portion is in disagreement with what the underlined portion indicates, as it is to a degree in this case,then the sentence is in disagreement with itself, and therefore flawed. Once again, you have to determine whether the whole sentence works, rather than look at a little piece of it and attempt to apply some rule that you have heard about or come up with.

Rocking Sentence Correction is not a robotic, rules based activity. The question writers constantly come up with new twists. You have to make judgement calls on a case by case basis. Yes, some rules matter, but attempting to codify every little thing is not your best move.

You seem to have a good sense of what makes sense. To learn to rock SC, you could develop your skill in applying your sense of logic to answering SC questions.


I understand that the structure in A "there were substantial supplies..." is awkward and indirect. So this was the ONLY reason you chose it over E?

(E) is better than (A) because of what you just said, because "as" is a little better than "when", and because "supplies ... were exported" makes much more sense than does "supplies of coal that was exported". What does that last phrase even mean? Think about it. "There were supplies of coal that was exported." What??? So, the supplies are of exported coal only? It's a nonsensical string of words.

Responses in green above.
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2019, 06:07
MartyTargetTestPrep AjiteshArun
Can you please brief about and in the question I cannot relate the parallelism here
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2019, 09:09
Hi Can anyone explain the flaws in option C ?
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2019, 09:27
abhishek31 wrote:
Hi Can anyone explain the flaws in option C ?

Hi Abhishek, option C uses past perfect tense (had been).

Past perfect tense is used when two events happen one after the other, in which case, the earlier of the two events is expressed as past perfect.

In this sentence however, past perfect construct is not justified.
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2019, 19:21
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teaserbae wrote:
MartyTargetTestPrep AjiteshArun
Can you please brief about and in the question I cannot relate the parallelism here
Sure. Firstly, the intended meaning of the sentence: coalfields opened in X in the 1820s, and as "connectivity" (canals and railroads) was established, lots of coal was sent from X (exported) to different places.

Now let's take a look at what the correct option gives us:

In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania, and as canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, substantial supplies of coal were exported to the nation’s A, B, C, and D.

The as canals and eventually railroads... bit is positioned well, as it is meant to modify the second clause (substantial supplies...), but you could move it to the end of the sentence if you want:

In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania, and substantial supplies of coal were exported to the nation’s A, B, C, and D as canals and eventually railroads reached into the region.
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2019, 05:06
AjiteshArun
I thought that won't be parallel since the first part of and contain verbed modifier opened so how's that parallel ?
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2019, 07:04
teaserbae wrote:
AjiteshArun
I thought that won't be parallel since the first part of and contain verbed modifier opened so how's that parallel ?
Let's take a look at all the -eds in the sentence:

In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania, and as canals and eventually railroads reached into the region, substantial supplies of coal were exported to the nation’s A, B, C, and D.

1. coalfields opened...
Opened is the verb for coalfields.

2. canals and railroads reached...
Reached is the verb for canals and railroads.

3. supplies were exported...
Were exported is the verb for supplies.

So in a quick example like the restaurant opened last night and invitations were sent to X, Y, and Z, the and joins two clauses.
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2019, 07:24
AjiteshArun
How can we differentiate whether -eds in the sentence is verb or verbed ?
I just check whether coalfields is the doer of the action opened so I considered opened verbed modifier.
I thought was opened will be appropriate to consider it as verb.
Same in the restaurant e.g the restaurant is not doing the action of opening so I would have made the mistake of considering it verbed
Please tell me how should I check whether ed is verb or modifier .
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2019, 08:48
teaserbae wrote:
AjiteshArun
How can we differentiate whether -eds in the sentence is verb or verbed ?
I just check whether coalfields is the doer of the action opened so I considered opened verbed modifier.
I thought was opened will be appropriate to consider it as verb.
Same in the restaurant e.g the restaurant is not doing the action of opening so I would have made the mistake of considering it verbed
Please tell me how should I check whether ed is verb or modifier .
You're on the right track. It's just that we need to account for this (other) meaning (#1 under intransitive verb) of the verb open in this case. When open is used with an object, it could mean that thing was opened, was you pointed out. However, it can also be used without an object, in which case it just means that something like a company or institution started.

He opened a restaurant.
Opened is the verb for he.

A restaurant opened in our neighborhood.
It's possible to use opened this way as well.
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Re: In the 1820’s, anthracite coalfields opened in eastern Pennsylvania   [#permalink] 04 Apr 2019, 08:48

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