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In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish

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In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated due to an ambush by the Basque army, an event made famous in La Chanson de Roland.

(A) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated due to an ambush by the Basque army, an event made famous in La Chanson de Roland

(B) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the Basque army ambushed the Frankish army, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated, and the event was made famous in La Chanson de Roland

(C) La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration, due to an ambush by the Basque army, of the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778

(D) In La Chanson de Roland, the Basque army ambushed the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, and obliterated them, and this event was famous at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778

(E) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, ambushed and obliterated by the Basque army, an event made famous in La Chanson de Roland


This question discusses the legendary Battle of Roncevaux Pass, one of the only defeats of Charlemagne's long career, and it mentions that gorgeously beautiful medieval French poem, La Chanson de Roland.

This question, among other things, explores the "due to" structure. When is this structure correct or incorrect? You can see a full discussion of this point, as well as the OE for this difficult question, at this blog:
GMAT Sentence Correction: the “Due To” Mistake

Mike :-)
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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[quote="mikemcgarry"]In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated due to an ambush by the Basque army, an event made famous in La Chanson de Roland.

(A) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated due to an ambush by the Basque army, an event made famous in La Chanson de Roland - Passive form

(B) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the Basque army ambushed the Frankish army, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated, and the event was made famous in La Chanson de Roland - - Passive form

(C) La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration, due to an ambush by the Basque army, of the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778 - due to is incorrect.

(D) In La Chanson de Roland, the Basque army ambushed the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, and obliterated them, and this event was famous at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778 - correct

(E) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, ambushed and obliterated by the Basque army, an event made famous in La Chanson de Roland - Passive and non sensical.

IMO option D...Please let me know the correct answer in case if I missed anything.

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In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2016, 13:45
msk0657 wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated due to an ambush by the Basque army, an event made famous in La Chanson de Roland.

(A) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated due to an ambush by the Basque army, an event made famous in La Chanson de Roland - Passive form

(B) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the Basque army ambushed the Frankish army, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated, and the event was made famous in La Chanson de Roland - - Passive form

(C) La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration, due to an ambush by the Basque army, of the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778 - due to is incorrect.

(D) In La Chanson de Roland, the Basque army ambushed the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, and obliterated them, and this event was famous at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778 - correct

(E) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, ambushed and obliterated by the Basque army, an event made famous in La Chanson de Roland - Passive and non sensical.

IMO option D...Please let me know the correct answer in case if I missed anything.



'Them' in option D doesn't seem to have an antecedent. Hence, it cant be correct.

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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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mikemcgarry wrote:
Choice (B) commits the mistake of false parallelism: it mechanically puts all the information into parallel, with no regard for logic.  Choice (B) is incorrect.
Mike :-)


Hi mike,
Do you mean that there should be "and" before "was obliterated" ?
correcting(B)
In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the Basque army ambushed the Frankish army, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, AND was obliterated, and the event was made famous in La Chanson de Roland

after adding "and", verb "ambushed" is parallel to verb "was obliterated"

waiting for your confirmation

have a nice day
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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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zoezhuyan wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
Choice (B) commits the mistake of false parallelism: it mechanically puts all the information into parallel, with no regard for logic.  Choice (B) is incorrect.
Mike :-)


Hi mike,
Do you mean that there should be "and" before "was obliterated" ?
correcting(B)
In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the Basque army ambushed the Frankish army, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, AND was obliterated, and the event was made famous in La Chanson de Roland

after adding "and", verb "ambushed" is parallel to verb "was obliterated"

waiting for your confirmation

have a nice day
>_~

Dear zoezhuyan,

My friend, how are you? I am happy to respond. :-)

No, my friend, that is NOT what I mean at all. First of all, adding an "and" right there is 100% grammatically incorrect. More importantly, you missed the bigger idea. False parallelism is the mistake of ignoring all the logical relationships and blindly putting every action in the sentence in parallel.
Consider this correct sentence:
Because A did X, B was able to do Y, allowing C to do Z.
In this hypothetical sentence, there are clear connections of logic and causality. All of this is lost when the sentence is re-written with false parallelism.
A did X, B was able to do Y, and C did Z.
Superficially, that looks like correct parallelism. It executes the mechanics of parallelism flawlessly. The trouble is: all the logical relationships have been lost. This is 100% grammatically correct and a logical train wreck. People who pay attention to the grammar of parallelism and ignore the logical of parallelism often make this mistake.

Similarly, the grammar of the parallelism is (B) is 100% correct:
In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the Basque army ambushed the Frankish army, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated, and the event was made famous in La Chanson de Roland
Three individual actions are correct linked in parallel:
1) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the Basque army ambushed the Frankish army,
2) the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated,
and

3) the event was made famous in La Chanson de Roland
Whenever we have three items in parallel, we only need the word "and" before the last of the three. This version is 100% grammatically correct and a complete disaster logically. Stating the three facts in side-by-side parallelism makes them seem like three interchangeable items. They are presented as if there are no important logical relationships between them. In this sense, (B) changes the meaning from the prompt, because the prompt, thought incorrect, makes clear that there are important logical connections between these events.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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mikemcgarry wrote:
zoezhuyan wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
Choice (B) commits the mistake of false parallelism: it mechanically puts all the information into parallel, with no regard for logic.  Choice (B) is incorrect.
Mike :-)


Hi mike,
Do you mean that there should be "and" before "was obliterated" ?
correcting(B)
In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the Basque army ambushed the Frankish army, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, AND was obliterated, and the event was made famous in La Chanson de Roland

after adding "and", verb "ambushed" is parallel to verb "was obliterated"

waiting for your confirmation

have a nice day
>_~

Dear zoezhuyan,

My friend, how are you? I am happy to respond. :-)

No, my friend, that is NOT what I mean at all. First of all, adding an "and" right there is 100% grammatically incorrect. More importantly, you missed the bigger idea. False parallelism is the mistake of ignoring all the logical relationships and blindly putting every action in the sentence in parallel.
Consider this correct sentence:
Because A did X, B was able to do Y, allowing C to do Z.
In this hypothetical sentence, there are clear connections of logic and causality. All of this is lost when the sentence is re-written with false parallelism.
A did X, B was able to do Y, and C did Z.
Superficially, that looks like correct parallelism. It executes the mechanics of parallelism flawlessly. The trouble is: all the logical relationships have been lost. This is 100% grammatically correct and a logical train wreck. People who pay attention to the grammar of parallelism and ignore the logical of parallelism often make this mistake.

Similarly, the grammar of the parallelism is (B) is 100% correct:
In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the Basque army ambushed the Frankish army, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated, and the event was made famous in La Chanson de Roland
Three individual actions are correct linked in parallel:
1) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the Basque army ambushed the Frankish army,
2) the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated,
and

3) the event was made famous in La Chanson de Roland
Whenever we have three items in parallel, we only need the word "and" before the last of the three. This version is 100% grammatically correct and a complete disaster logically. Stating the three facts in side-by-side parallelism makes them seem like three interchangeable items. They are presented as if there are no important logical relationships between them. In this sense, (B) changes the meaning from the prompt, because the prompt, thought incorrect, makes clear that there are important logical connections between these events.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


Thanks mike,
I got the main idea of false parallelism this time and where I made mistakes.

thanks so much

have a nice day
>_~

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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated due to an ambush by the Basque army, an event made famous in La Chanson de Roland.

(A) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated due to an ambush by the Basque army, an event made famous in La Chanson de Roland
: we can't use "due to" to modify obliterated as obliterated is the action verb of rearguard, to modify action verb we need because not due to

(B) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the Basque army ambushed the Frankish army, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated, and the event was made famous in La Chanson de Roland
: option B is a run on sentence. Basque army was ambushed, the rearguard was obliterated.

(C) La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration, due to an ambush by the Basque army, of the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778
here due to is modifying the noun obliteration which is correct, though I have doubt on the usage of modifier "of the rearguard"

(D) In La Chanson de Roland, the Basque army ambushed the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, and obliterated them, and this event was famous at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778
:This option has a meaning issue. The last clause this event was famous at the battle of Y makes it an event which happens at every battle and this one is particularly famous at the battle of Roncevaux.
Also the pronoun them has no clear antecedent as army is a singular subject.


(E) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, ambushed and obliterated by the Basque army, an event made famous in La Chanson de Roland
This one is totally nonsensical as the veb ambushed needs a direct object . Frankish army ambushed or was ambushed and obliterated by Basque army?
The meaning is not clear as Which army ambushed which one?


mikemcgarry - Could you please confirm my understanding here? and also please shed some light on the " of modifier" in option C

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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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divyaverma wrote:
In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated due to an ambush by the Basque army, an event made famous in La Chanson de Roland.

(A) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated due to an ambush by the Basque army, an event made famous in La Chanson de Roland
: we can't use "due to" to modify obliterated as obliterated is the action verb of rearguard, to modify action verb we need because not due to

(B) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the Basque army ambushed the Frankish army, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated, and the event was made famous in La Chanson de Roland
: option B is a run on sentence. Basque army was ambushed, the rearguard was obliterated.

(C) La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration, due to an ambush by the Basque army, of the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778
here due to is modifying the noun obliteration which is correct, though I have doubt on the usage of modifier "of the rearguard"

(D) In La Chanson de Roland, the Basque army ambushed the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, and obliterated them, and this event was famous at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778
:This option has a meaning issue. The last clause this event was famous at the battle of Y makes it an event which happens at every battle and this one is particularly famous at the battle of Roncevaux.
Also the pronoun them has no clear antecedent as army is a singular subject.


(E) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, ambushed and obliterated by the Basque army, an event made famous in La Chanson de Roland
This one is totally nonsensical as the veb ambushed needs a direct object . Frankish army ambushed or was ambushed and obliterated by Basque army?
The meaning is not clear as Which army ambushed which one?


mikemcgarry - Could you please confirm my understanding here? and also please shed some light on the " of modifier" in option C

Dear divyaverma,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

What you say in (A) & (D) is perfectly correct.

I wouldn't call (B) a run-on: instead, I would say that it has parallelism issues. It puts two verbs in parallel, following a subject--that much is correct, but the third element is an independent clause. The structure is
[subject][verb #1], [verb #2], and [independent clause]
That's not a run-on. That's a parallelism trainwreck.

In (C), the section set off in commas, "due to an ambush by the Basque army," functions as an aside. An "aside" is term from theater, something a character says out of hearing of the other characters but two the audience: it's a way for the playwright to let us know what the character is thinking. In grammar, an "aside" is any element that is a freestanding interruption, and the grammar simply flows around it. Most often, a true aside would be set off by a pair of em-dashes, but since this aside, "due to an ambush by the Basque army," is connected grammatically to a word outside the aside, it's set off only by a pair of commas. The grammar of the sentence flows around it, as a river might flow around a rock. Thus, it's clear that "obliteration ... of the rearguard of the Frankish army" all work together. You have to interpret the grammar as if the aside weren't there.

Actually, in (E), I would say that choice commits the famous missing verb mistake. There is no absolutely full verb in this version. Here, "ambushed and obliterated" are participles: this is clear because they are followed by a "by" preposition, which indicates that they are passive: as past tense verbs, "ambushed and obliterated" would be active; they only way in which they could be passive is if they were participles. Nothing is ambiguous here: it's a flat-out missing verb mistake.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2017, 06:07
Thanks a ton mike for the explanation. Information on "aside" was new to me. Thanks for putting up here.

However I have few doubts which need confirmation.

Can I define the sentence as below :
(B) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778,
the Basque army ambushed the Frankish army, the rear-guard of the Frankish army, (Noun Modifier)
under the command of Roland, (Prepositional Modifier, modifying the Verb action ambushed)
was obliterated, (Verb without any subject)
and the event was made famous in La Chanson de Roland ( Independent Clause)

C) La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration, <due to an ambush by the Basque army>,( working as aside )
of the rearguard of the Frankish army,
under the command of Roland, at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778

Can C be written as below -
Due to an ambush by the Basque army, La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration of the rearguard of the Frankish army,under the command of Roland,at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778.
What is the role of comma here? can we omit comma from the whole sentence, will it still stand alike?

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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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divyaverma wrote:
Thanks a ton mike for the explanation. Information on "aside" was new to me. Thanks for putting up here.

However I have few doubts which need confirmation.

Can I define the sentence as below :
(B) In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778,
he Basque army ambushed the Frankish army, the rear-guard of the Frankish army, (Noun Modifier)
under the command of Roland, (Prepositional Modifier, modifying the Verb action ambushed)
was obliterated, (Verb without any subject)
and the event was made famous in La Chanson de Roland ( Independent Clause)

C) La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration, <due to an ambush by the Basque army>,( working as aside )
of the rearguard of the Frankish army,
under the command of Roland, at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778

Can C be written as below -
Due to an ambush by the Basque army, La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration of the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland,at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778.
What is the role of comma here? can we omit comma from the whole sentence, will it still stand alike?

Dear divyaverma,

I'm happy to respond. :-) Your analysis of (B) is fine.

Your rewrite of (C) makes a big mistake, the "due to" mistake, which was the point of this practice SC.

You see, the word "due" is an adjective, and as such, it must modify a noun. Any "due to" phrase is a noun-modifying phrase. In the original version of (C), the OA, the word "due" modifies the noun "obliteration." This is perfectly correct. But in your rewrite, the noun modifying phrase "due to an ambush by the Basque army" is now touching the noun "La Chanson de Roland." Of course, "La Chanson de Roland" is an absolutely gorgeous piece of literature, but this poem is not "due to an ambush by the Basque army." People often make this kind of mistake because people erroneously think that "due to" and "because of" are interchangeable. They are not: a phrase beginning with "due to" is a noun-modifying phrase, whereas a phrase beginning with "because of" is a verb-modifying or clause-modifying phrase.

If we change "due to" to "because of" in your sentence, we get the following:
(C3) Because of an ambush by the Basque army, La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration of the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778.
This is 100% grammatically correct but logically flawed. The fact that the poem made something famous was not caused by an ambush. The obliteration was caused by the ambush, but not the act of something becoming famous.

Here's an alternate version that is correct and probably superior to the OA of this question:
(C4) Because of an ambush by the Basque army, the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, was obliterated at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, an event made famous by La Chanson de Roland.
This version takes the noun "obliteration" and changes it into a verb "was obliterated." In many ways, this is the central action of the sentence, so rhetorically it's good to make this the main verb of the sentence. The verb-modifying "because of" phrase correctly modifies this verb.

This is probably the version I would write if I wanted to communicate this information. When I wrote this SC question, I deliberately created an OA that was error-free but less than ideal. I did this precisely because the GMAT does this all the time.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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New post 05 Jan 2017, 11:29
Thanks mike , thats perfectly make sense.

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In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jan 2017, 05:49
mikemcgarry wrote:
(C) La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration, due to an ambush by the Basque army, of the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778




Dear Mike,

which one is rhetorically better:

La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration.

OR

La Chanson de Roland made the obliteration famous.

I prefer the second. The construction that I read it in many articles is 'Noun + make + Noun+ adjective'.

thanks

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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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Mo2men wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
(C) La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration, due to an ambush by the Basque army, of the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778


Dear Mike,

which one is rhetorically better:

La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration.

OR

La Chanson de Roland made the obliteration famous.

I prefer the second. The construction that I read it in many articles is 'Noun + make + Noun+ adjective'.

thanks

Dear Mo2men,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Both constructions are fine and perfectly acceptable. The first might be a little more sophisticated, but we can't really say that one is preferable to the other in the abstract.

Here's the thing: after "made," we have, in some order, a noun and an adjective. If either one of those has a cartload of modifiers attach to it, it would make sense to put that one second.

La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration, due to an ambush by the Basque army, of the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland. . . (big modifier attached to the noun "obliteration.")

La Chanson de Roland made the Roland's obliteration famous, not only in medieval literature and mythology, but also ... (big modifier attached to the adjective "famous.)

This structure is adjustable in word order, to accommodate other structures in the sentence. That is part of rhetoric, arranging each individual structure so that the entire sentence has the clearest logical flow.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2017, 04:31
I just feel like C cannot be the answer as it changes the meaning of the sentence. C is putting more emphasis on the poem rather than on the event, which option A seems to be doing. Woulnd't a high end difficulty question put emphasis on maintaining the meaning of the sentence?

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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2017, 09:59
vmelgargalan wrote:
I just feel like C cannot be the answer as it changes the meaning of the sentence. C is putting more emphasis on the poem rather than on the event, which option A seems to be doing. Woulnd't a high end difficulty question put emphasis on maintaining the meaning of the sentence?

Dear vmelgargalan,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Choice (C) contains exactly the same factual information that the prompt contains. All the information is there--it's just in a different order. My friend, don't be fooled when the same basic pieces are moved around.
P is in a class that Q is teaching.
Q teaches the class that P is taking.

Same information, simply in a different order. Simply rearranging doesn't change the meaning.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2017, 17:51
Hi Mike,
As usual your posts are great.
Can you please tell me the "due to" is modifying the previous clause's "made famous" , won't this change the entire meaning in the question in which "due to",an adjective, is modifying "was obliterated". Am sorry because i am non-native i don't know much about that war.
That's the main reason why i chose A.

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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2017, 09:17
Nightmare007 wrote:
Hi Mike,
As usual your posts are great.
Can you please tell me the "due to" is modifying the previous clause's "made famous" , won't this change the entire meaning in the question in which "due to",an adjective, is modifying "was obliterated". Am sorry because i am non-native i don't know much about that war.
That's the main reason why i chose A.

Dear Nightmare007,

My friend, I'm happy to respond, but I am sorry to say that I am having trouble telling exactly what your question is.

Here's what I'll say. Here's (C), the OA.
La Chanson de Roland made famous the obliteration, due to an ambush by the Basque army, of the rearguard of the Frankish army, under the command of Roland, at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778.
The "due to" phrase in this sentence correctly modifies the noun "obliteration." Yes, we could drop the "due to" phrase, and the remaining sentence would still make sense.

The word "due" is an adjective, and it is grammatically incorrect for any adjective to modify a verb. Using "due to" to modify verbs, actions, is an extremely common mistake in American English.

I am not sure whether I have answered your question. Please feel free to ask again if there's more you want to know.

Mike :-)
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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2017, 21:05
Idiomatically, isn't "in the battle" correct as opposed to "at the battle"? I did some googling and found hits on both the phrases. Could someone differentiate their usage?

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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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manhasnoname wrote:
Idiomatically, isn't "in the battle" correct as opposed to "at the battle"? I did some googling and found hits on both the phrases. Could someone differentiate their usage?

Dear manhasnoname,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Actually, both "in the battle" and "at the battle" are correct. They have extremely subtly different emphases--"in the battle" highlights the human experience of being there, while "at the battle" frames the battle more as a particular place & time. In a very person account of a soldier, it would be more likely to find "in the battle," where as in historical discussions of battles, especially ancient battles, "at the battle" is a little more common. The GMAT will NOT expect you to be familiar with such subtle distinctions. Just know that both are correct.

Does this make sense?

Mike :-)
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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2017, 02:41
So we can all agree that D is the correct choice?
Mike can you clear my doubt regarding option D. I'm just worried about "them" and it not having an antecedent.

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Re: In the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, the rearguard of the Frankish   [#permalink] 26 Jul 2017, 02:41

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