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# Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations

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Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 05 Oct 2018, 00:30
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Difficulty:

35% (medium)

Question Stats:

70% (01:45) correct 30% (01:46) wrong based on 848 sessions

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Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations declared the Roman aqueduct of Segovia to be a Heritage of Humanity in 1985, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating.

(A) Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations declared the Roman aqueduct of Segovia to be a Heritage of Humanity in 1985, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating.

(B) Since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier, the Roman aqueduct of Segovia had been deteriorating, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations after the United Nations declared the aqueduct to be a Heritage of Humanity in 1985.

(C) After being declared a Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations in 1985, the Spanish government began renovations on the Roman aqueduct of Segovia, which had been deteriorating since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier.

(D) In 1985, the United Nations declared the Roman Aqueduct of Segovia to be a Heritage of Humanity and prompted the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier.

(E) In 1985, the United Nations declared the Roman aqueduct of Segovia a Heritage of Humanity, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier.

Originally posted by Bull78 on 26 Oct 2011, 21:28.
Last edited by Bunuel on 05 Oct 2018, 00:30, edited 1 time in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations  [#permalink]

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04 May 2012, 09:32
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Hi All,

Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations declared the Roman aqueduct of Segovia to be a Heritage of Humanity in 1985, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating.

It is VERY important to understand the intended meaning of the sentence to comprehend the use of certain modifiers and verb tenses in the sentences. Some usages have created confusion. So let’s get the meaning here. In 1985, some 2000 years after the construction of the Roman aqueduct of Segovia, the United Nations declared this monument a Heritage of Humanity.
Since the original sentence uses the word “prompting”, we know that the UN did not prompt the renovations. Moreover, it makes sense that the UN’s declaration prompted the Spanish government to renovate this monument. Before this declaration, the Spanish government paid no heed to this monument and that’s the reason why it had been deteriorating since its construction. It is only after the UN declared the monument a heritage that the Spanish government started the renovation and stopped its deterioration.

Now let’s evaluate the errors in the sentence.
1. Since the opening modifier says “Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction”, the subject of the following main clause should be the entity this modifier modifies. This modifier refers to “the Roman aqueduct of Segovia”. But the subject of the main clause is “the UN” and now the opening modifier is illogically modifying the UN. We have modifier error here.
2. Phrase “declared to be” is not idiomatic. The correct idiom is “declared X Y”. We have idiom error here.
PS: There is no issue with “had been deteriorating” because it is an action that started long back in the past. After the UN’s declaration in 1985, the Spanish Government started the renovation of the monument and this stopped its deterioration. So this action of deterioration has already been taken care of in the distant past.
@bugmenott: If we say the aqueduct "has been deteriorating", it will mean that the action of deterioration is still happening. This is not true because the renovation took care of the deterioration that had started happening since its construction more than 2000 years ago.

POE:

Choice A: Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations declared the Roman aqueduct of Segovia to be a Heritage of Humanity in 1985, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating. Incorrect for the reasons stated above.

Choice B: Since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier, the Roman aqueduct of Segovia had been deteriorating, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations after the United Nations declared the aqueduct to be a Heritage of Humanity in 1985. Incorrect.
• Firstly, coma + prompting is modifying the preceding clause, suggesting that the deterioration of the monument prompted the Spanish government to renovate the monument. This is not the intended meaning of the sentence.
• Secondly, it repeats the same idiom error as in Choice A.

Choice C: After being declared a Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations in 1985, the Spanish government began renovations on the Roman aqueduct of Segovia, which had been deteriorating since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier. Incorrect.
• The opening modifier says “After being declared a Heritage of the Humanity…”. This modifier modifies the Roman aqueduct of Segovia that should be the subject of the following main clause. But the subject of the clause is “the Spanish government”. Hence we have a modifier error here.

Choice D: In 1985, the United Nations declared the Roman Aqueduct of Segovia to be a Heritage of Humanity and prompted the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier. Incorrect.
• This choice also repeats the idiom of Choice A.
• This choice also changes the intended meaning of the sentence by saying that the UN “promoted” the Spanish government to renovate the aqueduct. From the logical intended meaning of the sentence, we know that it’s the UN’s declaration and the not the UN that prompted the renovation.

Choice E: In 1985, the United Nations declared the Roman aqueduct of Segovia a Heritage of Humanity, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier. Correct. This answer choice rectifies all the errors of the original choice and conveys the intended meaning clearly.

1. Modifiers and the entities they modify must be placed in such a way so that the modifiers modify the entities they are meant to modify.
2. We must use the correct idiom to maintain clarity and conciseness in the sentence.
3. We must be wary of answer choices that change the logical intended meaning of the sentence.

The use of verb+ing modifiers has been explained in details in the Modifier Verb-ing concept file in the preview level 1 concepts. Just register at http://www.e-gmat.com and learn this concept concept for free.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations  [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2011, 20:30
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^ Another nagging difference between the sentences E and D: D says "the United Nations declared the Roman Aqueduct of Segovia to be a Heritage of Humanity and prompted the Spanish government", while E says "the United Nations declared the Roman aqueduct of Segovia a Heritage of Humanity, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct"

Is there a change in meaning here? As in the case of D, the UN has directly prompted the Spanish government to begin renovations. But in E, the act of declaring the Roman aqueduct a heritage prompted the Spanish government to take action. Does this subtle change speak against D? Or am I reading too much here? Please advice.
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Re: Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations  [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2011, 08:19
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Guys, some hints from the author of the question

The idiom is "declare X Y" not "declare X to be Y"

By making paralell the two actions "declared" and "prompted" as in D the meaning is changed. The promting came after the declaration, therefore E is correct.

This one was hard for me.

Good luck
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Re: Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations  [#permalink]

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07 May 2012, 18:45
Bull78 wrote:
Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations declared the Roman aqueduct of Segovia to be a Heritage of Humanity in 1985, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating.

Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations declared the Roman aqueduct of Segovia to be a Heritage of Humanity in 1985, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating. Incorrectly modifies The UN

Since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier, the Roman aqueduct of Segovia had been deteriorating, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations after the United Nations declared the aqueduct to be a Heritage of Humanity in 1985. This one changes the meaning and also sounds like an awkward construction.

After being declared a Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations in 1985, the Spanish government began renovations on the Roman aqueduct of Segovia, which had been deteriorating since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier. This incorrectly modifies Spanish Govt.

In 1985, the United Nations declared the Roman Aqueduct of Segovia to be a Heritage of Humanity and prompted the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier.

In 1985, the United Nations declared the Roman aqueduct of Segovia a Heritage of Humanity, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier

D and E are contenders. To pick out the correct AO, one should know the intended meaning.
According to D, UN declared and prompted the renovation. Wrong.
E, UN only "declared" and this declaration lead to the renovation. Hence the correct construction is declared ...., prompting .....
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Re: Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations  [#permalink]

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07 Apr 2019, 07:51
Declare X,Y is a correct idiom . Only Option E correctly fills the gap.

Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations declared the Roman aqueduct of Segovia to be a Heritage of Humanity in 1985, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating.

(A) Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations declared the Roman aqueduct of Segovia to be a Heritage of Humanity in 1985, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating.

(B) Since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier, the Roman aqueduct of Segovia had been deteriorating, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations after the United Nations declared the aqueduct to be a Heritage of Humanity in 1985.

(C) After being declared a Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations in 1985, the Spanish government began renovations on the Roman aqueduct of Segovia, which had been deteriorating since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier. (awkward construction)

(D) In 1985, the United Nations declared the Roman Aqueduct of Segovia to be a Heritage of Humanity and prompted the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier.

(E) In 1985, the United Nations declared the Roman aqueduct of Segovia a Heritage of Humanity, prompting the Spanish government to begin renovations on the aqueduct, which had been deteriorating since its initial construction nearly 2000 years earlier.
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Re: Nearly 2000 years after its initial construction, the United Nations   [#permalink] 07 Apr 2019, 07:51
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