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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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New post 19 Jun 2009, 15:04
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A
B
C
D
E

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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 ?

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Re: Modern Writers [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2009, 19:08
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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Re: Modern Writers [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2009, 23:46
Beside the preference for active voice, in A 'they' may wrongly refer to 'habits' , C is more clear and precise.
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Re: Modern Writers [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2009, 23:58
Even I agree with C. Good explanations given above.
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Re: Modern Writers [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2009, 12:45
only difference between A and C is that A is passive and C is active...So I'll choose C...
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Re: Modern Writers [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2009, 02:50
agree with C.
Subject should remain the same.
Also, active and passive voice.
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Re: Modern Writers [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2009, 03:44
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.

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Re: Modern Writers [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2009, 04:02
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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Re: Modern Writers [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2009, 04:25
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.

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Re: Modern Writers [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2009, 03:29
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, 03:29
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Many writers of modern English have acquired careless habits

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