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Marking the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, the

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Re: Marking the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, the [#permalink]

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New post 20 Mar 2017, 16:23
Rock750 wrote:
Marking the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, the festival called Eid-ul-Adha, during which sheep are traditionally sacrificed, is celebrated everywhere in the Muslim world.

(A) Marking the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, the festival called Eid-ul-Adha, during which sheep are traditionally sacrificed
(B) Marking the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, featuring the traditional sacrifice of sheep, the festival called Eid-ul-Adha
(C) A festival marking the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, called Eid-ul-Adha, during which sheep are traditionally sacrificed
(D) A festival marking the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, called Eid-ul-Adha, featuring the traditional sacrifice of sheep
(E) A festival marking the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca during which sheep are traditionally sacrificed, called Eid-ul-Adha


OFFICIAL SOLUTION



This question has everything you can expect to see from a GMAT modifier question: A long sentence, part of the sentence underlined, multiple modifiers (and ritual sacrifice). This implies that the underlined part of the sentence must match the non-underlined portion as we are unable to modify that section in any way.

Let’s break this sentence into its component parts to determine what goes where, much like a puzzle:

Marking the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca: Participial modifier that is describing the festival

The festival called Eid-ul-Adha: This is the subject of the sentence

During which sheep are traditionally sacrificed: relative clause that further describes the activities at the festival (no word yet if there’s also cotton candy)

Is celebrated everywhere in the Muslim word: Not underlined, and contains the verb “is” as well as a description of where the festival is celebrated.

Each portion of the initial sentence is separated by commas, the last of which is not underlined, so all we can change is the order of the first three parts. The original sentence makes sense the way it is written, since the participial modifier at the beginning of the phrase immediately precedes the subject “festival”, and the relative clause describing the unfortunate fate of the sheep is also properly placed directly next to the festival. There doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with the sentence structure, but sentence correction is all about eliminating what we know to be wrong so let’s run through the decision points of the other choices looking for glaring errors.

Answer choices C, D and E all begin with “A festival marking the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca”, which then forces the (new) participial modifier “called Eid-ul-Adha” far away from the key word festival. It is no longer clear whether Eid-ul-Adha is the name of the festival or the name of the pilgrimage, or possibly something else entirely. Participial phrases need to be as close to the term they modify to avoid this exact problem, so these three choices can be eliminated in one fell swoop. This is the power of a 3-2 split; you can go from 1/5 to 1/2 in a single step (much like multiplying by 5/2).

Answer choice B connects the two modifiers, implying that the second now modifies the first. This again introduces illogical meaning as well as grammatical ambiguity, making it inferior to the initial answer choice. As is the case roughly 20% of the time in sentence correction, the initial sentence was correct and the proposed modifications each introduce new errors that make them inferior replacements.

The correct answer is (A).
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Re: Marking the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, the [#permalink]

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New post 15 Feb 2018, 06:15
Isn't this a classic example of Ver-ed modifier? As we know, the acceptable sentence structures are:
Verb-ed M, Noun + V + O
Noun, Verb-ed M, V + O
Noun + Verb-ed M + V + O
Noun, Ver-ed M + V + O. Unlike Verb-ing M, Verb-ed M can have this structure and still be noun modifier and not action modifier but it can modify the preceding noun and not noun at the centre or beginning of the preceding clause.

A. Verb-ing modifier, Noun +Verb-ed M, relative clause modifier, + V + O. Correct.
B. M, M, N + V+ O. Incorrect.
C. Verb-ed modifier modifying faraway noun. Incorrect.
D. Verb-ed modifier modifying faraway noun. Incorrect.
E. Verb-ed modifier modifying faraway noun. Incorrect.
Re: Marking the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, the   [#permalink] 15 Feb 2018, 06:15

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