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# Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits

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Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2008, 23:10
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Difficulty:

45% (medium)

Question Stats:

61% (01:07) correct 39% (01:05) wrong based on 468 sessions

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Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits that damage the clarity of their prose, but these habits can be broken if they are willing to take the necessary trouble.

(A) but these habits can be broken
(B) but these habits are breakable
(C) but they can break these habits
(D) which can be broken
(E) except that can be broken

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Re: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2008, 21:14
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spriya wrote:
Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits that damage the clarity of their prose, but these habits can be broken if they are willing to take the necessary trouble.
(A) but these habits can be broken
(B) but these habits are breakable
(C) but they can break these habits
(D) which can be broken
(E) except that can be broken

We need to talk about writers not their habits. Only C) does it.
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Re: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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31 Dec 2010, 09:25
between A & C, i went with A. I thought they in C is ambiguous. Can anybody explain this.. thanks
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Re: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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01 Jan 2011, 01:01
(C)

(A) but these habits can be broken
(B) but these habits are breakable
(C) but they can break these habits
(D) which can be broken
(E) except that can be broken
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Re: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2011, 08:38
Pronoun that immediately follows the "but" which comes after a comma ,unambiguously refer to the first subject in the statement. here it refers to the scientists in C. Moreover we are talking about scientists. So the correct answer is C.
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Re: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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20 Jan 2011, 11:24
C. Active; 'they' is used in the non-underlined part as well.
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Re: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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05 May 2011, 12:28
spriya wrote:
Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits that damage the clarity of their prose, but these habits can be broken if they are willing to take the necessary trouble.
(A) but these habits can be broken
(B) but these habits are breakable
(C) but they can break these habits
(D) which can be broken
(E) except that can be broken

Many writers of modern English have acquired ..., but they can break these habits if they are willing .....trouble.
^
|------------------------------------------------------------------|-----------------------------------|

In choice C, the subjects are absolutely parallel and same across the structure, therefore the most perfect choice. I hope the reasoning should be enough. Please let me know, if any flaw in this.
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Re: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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24 May 2011, 07:30
C, refers to writers NOT the habits.. They can break the habits instead of the habits being broken etc. etc.
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Re: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2011, 18:18
C is best which shows proper Parallelism as well

but they can break these habits if they are willing to take the necessary trouble.
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Re: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2015, 02:04
(A) but these habits can be broken > Passive
(B) but these habits are breakable > Passive
(C) but they can break these habits
(D) which can be broken
(E) except that can be broken
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Re: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2018, 12:11
Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits that damage the clarity of their prose, but these habits can be broken if they are willing to take the necessary trouble.
-----------

(A) but these habits can be broken
In this case it is not clear to what noun does "they" (that comes after underlined part) refer to. Is it "writers" or "habits", we understand that it is "writers", but still. And passive.

(B) but these habits are breakable
Same as in A

(C) but they can break these habits
Good. The first "they", and the second one refer to "writers". And active.

(D) which can be broken
"which" modifies the last noun ("prose" in our case), but "prose can be broken" makes no sense

(E) except that can be broken
No sense at all
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Re: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2018, 06:07
IMO all the options are incorrect because 'they' in all the options are ambiguous. SC experts please help.
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Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2018, 03:49
spriya wrote:
Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits that damage the clarity of their prose, but these habits can be broken if they are willing to take the necessary trouble.

(A) but these habits can be broken
(B) but these habits are breakable
(C) but they can break these habits
(D) which can be broken
(E) except that can be broken

Confused between A and C
Is it necessary to keep Voices same in the entire sentence? Besides If is not parallel marker so why are we looking for parallelism? Can someone please explain?
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Re: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2018, 13:18
Hello GMATNinja,

I was wondering could you please explain the difference between option A and C? Why is option C preferred more than A?

Thank You!
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Re: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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31 Aug 2018, 16:17
cluelesss wrote:
between A & C, i went with A. I thought they in C is ambiguous. Can anybody explain this.. thanks

Hello cluelesss,

Let me put my cents here. The sentence first introduces something about Writers and "the writers" is the focus. Suddenly, you break the flow of thinking and change the voice to passive when you are talking about their habits. Considering Parallelism rule, both elements need to be in active voice, otherwise the focus of the subject changes and a reader gets confused what exactly the author is talking about.
So, as per my thought process, C is the best answer.

Not an expert. We can argue.
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Re: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits  [#permalink]

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08 Sep 2018, 07:04
Quote:
Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits that damage the clarity of their prose, but these habits can be broken if they are willing to take the necessary trouble.

(A) but these habits can be broken
(B) but these habits are breakable
(C) but they can break these habits
(D) which can be broken
(E) except that can be broken

Most people would have eliminated B, D and E. Now let us look at A and C.
'C' represents the proper parallel structure.
If they are willing to take the necessary trouble, they can break these habits.

VS

If they are willing to take the necessary trouble, these habits can be broken. (This is what option 'A' says , and as can be seen this is clearly not parallel as per GMAT standards. )
Re: Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits   [#permalink] 08 Sep 2018, 07:04
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