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# Linguists are reluctant to reconstruct a feature in a speculated proto

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Senior Manager
Joined: 21 Oct 2013
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Linguists are reluctant to reconstruct a feature in a speculated proto  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 17 May 2019, 06:27
6
00:00

Difficulty:

25% (medium)

Question Stats:

70% (01:15) correct 30% (01:22) wrong based on 175 sessions

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Linguists are reluctant to reconstruct a feature in a speculated proto-language if there is an absence of corroborating evidence from three daughter languages or more.

A. if there is an absence of corroborating evidence from three daughter languages or more
B. unless there be no absence of corroborating evidence from at least three daughter languages
C. without corroborating evidence from at least three daughter languages
D. should there not be corroboration from three daughter languages or more in evidence
E. with evident corroboration from three daughter languages or more being absent

OE
Although this sentence, as written is not grammatically incorrect, it is wordy and awkward. The immediate response to this sentence should be "there should be a better way to say this." There is: choice (C) is both clear and concise. The preposition without, easily replaces the awkward if there is an absence of, and at least is less colloquial than or more.
Choices (B), (D) and (E) are all wordier than choice (C). Moreover, choice (B) introduces an unnecessary subjunctive with be. The clearest and most concise way of making a statement is always the best; therefore (C) is correct.

Originally posted by goodyear2013 on 26 Jan 2014, 15:28.
Last edited by gmat1393 on 17 May 2019, 06:27, edited 2 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Linguists are reluctant to reconstruct a feature in a speculated proto  [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2014, 11:32
1
goodyear2013 wrote:
Linguists are reluctant to reconstruct a feature in a speculated proto-language if there is an absence of corroborating evidence from three daughter languages or more.
1)if there is an absence of corroborating evidence from three daughter languages or more
2)unless there be no absence of corroborating evidence from at least three daughter languages
3)without corroborating evidence from at least three daughter languages
4)should there not be corroboration from three daughter languages or more in evidence
5)with evident corroboration from three daughter languages or more being absent

Hi, I want to know the reason why other choices are wrong, please.

Straight forward rejected 5th choice as it has being.

2nd choice has unless and no both in -ve connotation so 2nd also wrong.

4th choice is rejected as should shows some kind of obligation which is not the case here.

So now I need to select between 1st and 3rd choice "there is an absence of corroborating evidence" can be shortened to "without corroborating evidence".

So I went with C.
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Re: Linguists are reluctant to reconstruct a feature in a speculated proto  [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2014, 15:25
2
Couple of points here...

First, the OE is pretty straightforward. Are there specific areas of confusion that we can help with?

Second, regarding the word "being". It is true that "being" most often shows up in incorrect answer choices, but it's not always incorrect. Do not eliminate a choice simply because it includes the word "being" - do some investigation to see if the word is used incorrectly (awkwardly). In this sentence, the use of "being" is incorrect. Instead of "three daughter languages or more being absent" you would say " three or more absent daughter languages".

KW
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Re: Linguists are reluctant to reconstruct a feature in a speculated proto  [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2018, 04:37
Read the Original Sentence Carefully, Looking for Errors:

Although this sentence, as written is not grammatically incorrect, it is wordy and awkward. In particular, the passive "there is ..." construction is weak, and the separation of "three" from "or more" at the end reduces readability. Check the choices for a clearer, more concise version.

Scan and Group the Answer Choices:

There is no useful split among the choices, so review each choice and eliminate ruthlessly.

Eliminate (B). "Unless there be no absence of ..." is even more wordy and awkward than the original. A more streamlined way say "unless there be no absence of corroborating evidence" would be unless there is corroborating evidence or, even better, without corroborating evidence.

Eliminate (D). "Should there not be ..." is as awkward as the original. Also, the original sentence speaks of the presence or absence of evidence, while this sentence talks about corroboration being "in evidence," or apparent. This change of wording subtly distorts the sentence's meaning.

Eliminate (E). "With evident corroboration ... being absent" as awkward as the original. The word "being" is rarely correct in GMAT Sentence Correction.

(C) conveys the same meaning as the original but much more directly and clearly, and this choice is correct.
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Re: Linguists are reluctant to reconstruct a feature in a speculated proto   [#permalink] 16 Sep 2018, 04:37
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