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# Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits

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Manager
Joined: 19 Nov 2007
Posts: 167
Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2009, 14:04
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Question Stats:

100% (00:59) correct 0% (00:00) wrong based on 2 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

(C) or (A)..can anyone explain the difference ?
Manager
Joined: 21 Feb 2008
Posts: 66

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19 Jun 2009, 18:08
sanoasis 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

(C) or (A)..can anyone explain the difference ?

I've read at many places that GMAT prefers active voice to passive voice and it is easy to guess why--passive voice takes a detour and consumes more words compared with active voice. But this shouldn't mean that you take on active voice always! Read the sentence carefully and look at what form of voice is used in the free text and then choose the option with that has the same form of voice. I know this is how it should work and it may sound simple but many of my friends often end up choosing active voice blindly because there is a 'rule'!

Anyway, in this question, you can run down quickly to options A and C. A uses passive voice and C, active. What does the sentence use?

Many writers...blah blah...have acquired...blah blah blah...

Clearly active voice! So the correct option should be C
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Is this okay?

Manager
Joined: 18 Jun 2009
Posts: 165
Location: Tbilisi, Georgia

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19 Jun 2009, 22:46
Beside the preference for active voice, in A 'they' may wrongly refer to 'habits' , C is more clear and precise.
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Las cualidades del agua...porque el agua no olvida que su destino es el mar, y que tarde o temprano deberá llegar a él.

Manager
Joined: 07 Jun 2009
Posts: 204

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19 Jun 2009, 22:58
Even I agree with C. Good explanations given above.
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Senior Manager
Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 255

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21 Jun 2009, 11:45
only difference between A and C is that A is passive and C is active...So I'll choose C...
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Choose Life

Director
Joined: 05 Jun 2009
Posts: 805
WE 1: 7years (Financial Services - Consultant, BA)

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25 Jul 2009, 01:50
agree with C.
Subject should remain the same.
Also, active and passive voice.
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Director
Joined: 01 Apr 2008
Posts: 872
Name: Ronak Amin
Schools: IIM Lucknow (IPMX) - Class of 2014

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25 Jul 2009, 02:44
Gmat prefers active voice and therefore C is tempting.
But 'they' in C looks ambiguous to me. In A 'they' clearly refers to writers.
So it's ambiguity Vs active voice for me.

I would take A. Interesting to know OA.
Director
Joined: 05 Jun 2009
Posts: 805
WE 1: 7years (Financial Services - Consultant, BA)

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25 Jul 2009, 03:02
Economist wrote:
Gmat prefers active voice and therefore C is tempting.
But 'they' in C looks ambiguous to me. In A 'they' clearly refers to writers.
So it's ambiguity Vs active voice for me.

I would take A. Interesting to know OA.

Ambiguity with what?

Can 'they' refer to habits? I don't think so.
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Consider kudos for the good post ...
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Director
Joined: 01 Apr 2008
Posts: 872
Name: Ronak Amin
Schools: IIM Lucknow (IPMX) - Class of 2014

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25 Jul 2009, 03:25
sudeep wrote:
Ambiguity with what?
Can 'they' refer to habits? I don't think so.

You are right...I read this statement many times to get the meaning..read option C only upto "they"...don't read the rest...what does 'they' refer to ? Its not clear to me...but yes..if you read the entire answer choice you will feel that C is correct.

I just want to get the subtleness of sentence correction questions:)...btw i agree C is a strong contender and hopefully C will win.
Manager
Joined: 17 Jul 2008
Posts: 245

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26 Jul 2009, 02:29
These habits can be broken if they are willing to take the necessary trouble. These habits cannot take the necessary trouble , clearly many writers can . So clearly a ,b is out. In C which is wrong since it modifies ‘’their prose ‘’ whereas it should modify the rites or the habits. E nothing but a nonsense choice. So clearly C rules . They clearly refer to many writers in ‘’if’’ clause. IF they(the writers) are willing to take the necessary trouble, they (the writers) can break these habits.
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Re: Modern Writers   [#permalink] 26 Jul 2009, 02:29
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