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In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Au

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In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Au  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 16 Sep 2018, 07:54
1
27
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A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  65% (hard)

Question Stats:

47% (00:49) correct 53% (01:09) wrong based on 820 sessions

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The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 10th Edition, 2003

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 43
Page: 659

In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.

(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes

Choice A is best, for A alone makes clear that the land now known as Australia was considered the antipodes before it was developed. In B, it has no logical referent, because the previous clause describes a time when there was no Australia. Nor does it have a referent in C: substituting Australia for it produces a nonsensical statement. D is wordy, with the unnecessary what was, and imprecise in suggesting that Australia was considered the antipodes after it became Australia. E similarly distorts the original meaning, and the past perfect had been is inconsistent with the past tense used to establish a time frame for the rest of the sentence.

http://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,963434,00.html

TIME February 2, 1987 | Vol. 129 No. 5
Books: Coming Up from Down Under THE FATAL SHORE
Up from Down Under THE FATAL SHORE by Robert Hughes; Knopf; 688 pages; $24.95
By Kenneth Turan
Monday, Feb. 02, 1987

Before Australia was Australia it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was, literally, the end of the world. And before it became a nation, this orphan continent on which European history had left no mark at all became the site of a bizarre and dreadful social experiment. For almost a hundred years, beginning in 1788, it served as a human trash heap where England exiled some 160,000 members of its criminal class.

Originally posted by kaushik04 on 09 Mar 2009, 22:29.
Last edited by hazelnut on 16 Sep 2018, 07:54, edited 6 times in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Au  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jun 2010, 01:54
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You've done a good job working out the intended meaning! Now, let's get comfortable with the grammatical issues in play:


In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.
(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes

A. "before Australia was Australia," means, "before the land mass was a country." "it was the antipodes" means, "Australia was the antipodes."

B. "before there was Australia" means that, at one time, there was no such place. But the place has always existed; it has just been considered something different, namely, the end of the world.

C. There are no grammatical issues here-- only the meaning is incorrect. "It was the antipodes that was Australia" is a structure that creates emphasis. For example, "It polluters, not consumers, that are the problem." "It is price levels, rather than supply and demand, that reflect consumer attitudes." But this sentence did not intend to emphasize that it was the antipodes (as opposed to something else) that was Australia.


D. Again, just he meaning is wrong. "Australia was what was the antipodes" means that Australia was something that the antipodes once was as well. (Sound like gibberish? That's because it is gibberish!)

E. "Australia was what had been known as the antipodes" indicates that Australia is no longer the thing that had previously been thought to be the antipodes. The past simple ('was') indicates that the action is over. But Australia still is the land that once was thought to be the antipodes.

Certainly one of the more challenging questions!

-Sarai

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Re: In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Au  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2010, 11:46
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In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.
(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes

Background : Australia was discovered after a very long time on Earth and England used to refer Australia as the opposite pole to civilization - i.e. opposite to North Pole. Antipodes means the opposite pole i.e. South Pole. Australia was considered obscure, unimaginable place and end of the world.

Now back to SC.

B : "there" is considered passive in gmat. OUT
C : antipodes was not Australia. There is a meaning change. antipodes and Australia are not interchangeable. OUT
D : what is an awkward way to refer to Australia. OUT
E : what is an awkward way to refer to Australia. OUT

A : means that before Australia was known, it was called the antipodes. Bulls eye.

Hence A
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Re: In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Au  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jun 2010, 02:07
Hi SaraiGMAXonline

Please clarify if this understanding is correct

1. I think B and D have the same problem - Australia = antipode and vice-versa. Making the terms interchangeable. OUT

2. Between A and C. C is OUT since it does not have a "contradiction" right??

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Re: In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Au  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jun 2010, 02:26
Sarai

Can you clarify what does the 'if' in red refer to?

In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.

Can you please discuss some approach for finding the antecedents for the pronouns?
I used to be confident about these errors but not any more.

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Re: In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Au  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jun 2010, 04:26
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Hi nusmavrik-- yes, although i'm not sure what you mean by "contradiction", you seem to have understood the problem with B and D.

Regarding C, I forgot to mention one more grammatical note! Always, when the words after the underlined portion are descriptive, whatever those words describe must be the last word in your answer. Thus, only an answer ending with "antipodes" can be correct.


papillon86 wrote:
papillon86


Hi papillon86, your question plagues many GMAT students! The"it" in red refers to Australia.

There are two ways to use "it".

1) "It" can be used a general subject that only acts as a place-holder and does not refer to anything.

Ex. It is raining. / It is cold outside. / It was nice of you to come. / It is the red pen, not the black pen, that I want.

Compare those sentences to the following: "If you read every day, it will help you on the exam." This sentence is INCORRECT. Can you tell why? When you say, "It will help you," you mean that there is SOMETHING that will help you. The 'something' is the referent that must appear in the sentence for the sentence to be correct. In the sentence, "it is raining," there is no THING that is raining. "It" here is just holding the place of subject since English demands that every verb have a subject.

So you just have to ask yourself whether there is a THING that does the verb whose subject is "it". If there is no THING, then you don't need a referent.

Let me know if this is still confusing to you.

Best,
Sarai

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Re: In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Au  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jun 2010, 04:30
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One more GMAX tip for pronoun reference: ALWAYS REPLACE THE PRONOUN WITH THE WORD YOU THINK IT MEANS AS YOU READ.

In this way you can 'hear' whether your "it" is trying to refer to something. This is also how you check for singular/plural/and presence of a referent as you go.
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Re: In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Au  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2010, 20:21
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In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the
opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.

(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
'it' refers to Australia, and the meaning is clear. Before Australia was a country, the land was the antipodes.


(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
It sounds as if the land itself never existed. 'it' is ambiguous

(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
Australia, the opposite pole to civilization. It sounds as if Australia is the opposite pole to civilization.

(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
Just awkward. This doesn't even make sense.

(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes
I found this answer choice hard to cross off at first, but the use of past perfect tense is wrong here. Using past perfect tense, Australia is no longer once known as antipodes. Australia is still the country once known as antipodes.

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Re: In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Au  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2018, 06:13
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In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.

(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes


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Re: In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Au &nbs [#permalink] 26 Sep 2018, 06:13
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