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# Of all the countries contiguous to China, the Soviet Union's borders

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Of all the countries contiguous to China, the Soviet Union's borders  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 31 Jul 2018, 04:03
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00:00

Difficulty:

5% (low)

Question Stats:

80% (00:39) correct 20% (00:53) wrong based on 258 sessions

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Of all the countries contiguous to China, the Soviet Union's borders were most strongly defended.

A) the Soviet Union's borders were most strongly defended
B) the borders of the Soviet Union were defended more strongly than any of the others
C) the Soviet Union's borders stood out for the strength of their defensive capability
D) the Soviet Union had the most strongly defended borders
E) the Soviet Union's were the most strongly defended borders

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Originally posted by ykaiim on 23 Apr 2010, 06:43.
Last edited by Bunuel on 31 Jul 2018, 04:03, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Of all the countries contiguous to China, the Soviet Union's borders  [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2010, 15:30
without doubt its D..... singular verb + correct subject
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Re: Of all the countries contiguous to China, the Soviet Union's borders  [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2010, 15:55
1
It's (D), but not for the reason you describe.

Whenever the GMAT gives us a phrase at the beginning (or middle or end) of a sentence that is isolated by commas, we need to ask ourself what it's describing. In this case, a country: 'of all the countries contiguous...'. (D) is the only answer choice that correctly gives us a country (the Soviet Union). Every other answer choice follows that descriptive phrase with the Soviet Unions borders, which are not in fact one of the countries contiguous to China.
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Re: Of all the countries contiguous to China, the Soviet Union's borders  [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2010, 22:02
1
Hi Eli,

With same logic, The ans of following que must be
(A)
but actually it is
(B)

Of the people who brought about the Reformation, the religious revolution that grew out of objections to the doctrines of the medieval church, Martin Luther is the best known of them.
(A) Martin Luther is the best known of them
(B) the best known is Martin Luther
(C) the better known of them was Martin Luther
(D) Martin Luther is better known
(E) the best known one was Martin Luther

Thanks
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Re: Of all the countries contiguous to China, the Soviet Union's borders  [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2010, 22:51
2
(A) Martin Luther is the best known of them

The modification issue is only one aspect of the structure. Perhaps A may pass that. But the problem with A is the built - in redundancy of the phrase ‘of them’

Of them’ is duplicating ‘of the people’. Flip the sentence and you will see the effect of it

Martin Luther is the best known ‘of them, of the people’ who brought about the Reformation, the religious revolution that grew out of objections to the doctrines of the medieval church,

In B, you find no such redundancy

B) The best known is Martin Luther of the people who brought about the Reformation, the religious revolution that grew out of objections to the doctrines of the medieval church

Although this is a little bit of poetic writing, still the classic sentence is:

Martin Luther is the best known of the people who brought about the Reformation, the religious revolution that grew out of objections to the doctrines of the medieval church

The difference between the Soviet Union case and the Martin Luther Case is that, in the former, the problem of was one of an unequal comparison of a country with a border, while in the latter, the comparison has been correctly made between "of the people and Martin Luther." , a human with another human.

Both cases are vastly different in syntax
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Re: Of all the countries contiguous to China, the Soviet Union's borders  [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2015, 08:31
1
Lets look at the original sentence from meaning point of view -

1) "Of all the countries contiguous to China" - talks about countries sharing a border with China and modifies "Soviet Union's borders", which is not a country. Soviet Union is the country.

So now you know what the meaning of the sentence is. You just need to figure out the choice which uses its modifier correctly.

B) the borders of the Soviet Union were defended more strongly than any of the others - incorrect reference to the borders
C) the Soviet Union's borders stood out for the strength of their defensive capability - same mistake
D) the Soviet Union had the most strongly defended borders - no mistake
E) the Soviet Union's were the most strongly defended borders - incorrect meaning.

Lets look at the second sentence.

Of the people who brought about the Reformation, the religious revolution that grew out of objections to the doctrines of the medieval church, Martin Luther is the best known of them.

(A) Martin Luther is the best known of them - "of people" has already been used in the sentence. using them is redundant.
(B) the best known is Martin Luther - no redundancy. superlative form used.
(C) the better known of them was Martin Luther - Best should be used and not better. When comparing 2 things use comparative form (better). When comparing more than 2 things use superlative form (best). Also "them" is redundant
(D) Martin Luther is better known - same problem
(E) the best known one was Martin Luther - "the best known one" is awkward.
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Re: Of all the countries contiguous to China, the Soviet Union's borders  [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2015, 09:23
As per Kaplan Instructor sentence after the phase "Of the countries contiguous to China" should modify the phase so only "the Soviet Union" should come after that.

But I have a similar question from Kaplan only in which this does not happen.

Of the people who brought about the Reformation, the religious revolution that grew out of objections to the doctrines of the medieval church, Martin Luther is the best known of them.

(A) Martin Luther is the best known of them
(B) the best known is Martin Luther
(C) the better known of them was Martin Luther
(D) Martin Luther is better known
(E) the best known one was Martin Luther

Here OA is B

Can someone explain the difference in the sentence structure if any?
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Re: Of all the countries contiguous to China, the Soviet Union's borders  [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2015, 20:15
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The left hand side of the comma is about countries. So, after the comma, the subject of the sentence should come and the subject is a country, which in this case is the "Soviet Union". Hence, the answer is D. In your question the position of "Martin Luther" after the comma in A is perfect but the problem is at the end of the sentence – there is no need for the “of them” since “Of ..people” already came at the beginning of the sentence.
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Re: Of all the countries contiguous to China, the Soviet Union's borders  [#permalink]

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18 Mar 2018, 12:20
What is the tense in option D?
'had the most strongly defended' - is this past perfect tense? Is the usage of past perfect tense correct here?

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Re: Of all the countries contiguous to China, the Soviet Union's borders  [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2018, 02:25
ykaiim wrote:
Of all the countries contiguous to China, the Soviet Union's borders were most strongly defended.

A) the Soviet Union's borders were most strongly defended
B) the borders of the Soviet Union were defended more strongly than any of the others
C) the Soviet Union's borders stood out for the strength of their defensive capability
D) the Soviet Union had the most strongly defended borders
E) the Soviet Union's were the most strongly defended borders

KAPLAN OFFICIAL EXPLANATION:

The introductory phrase, "Of all the countries contiguous to China," is the modifier. Clearly it describes a country contiguous to China that the author wants to comment on further. The country being modified, here the Soviet Union, must be named directly after the modifying phrase in order for the modifier to be used correctly, but in the original sentence we see not the Soviet Union but the Soviet Unions borders. Don't be fooled by the fact that (A) and (C) seem to begin by naming the Soviet Union. The possessive apostrophe makes the phrase the Soviet Union's borders equivalent to the borders of the Soviet Union, making the borders, not the country, the subject of the choices. Since the country, not its borders, should be modified by the original phrase, eliminate (А), (В), (C), and (E). (D) may not sound particularly eloquent, but it is the only grammatically correct, and therefore the only viable, option. (D) wins.
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Re: Of all the countries contiguous to China, the Soviet Union's borders &nbs [#permalink] 02 Aug 2018, 02:25
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