On the great plains, nineteenth-century settlers used mud : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# On the great plains, nineteenth-century settlers used mud

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04 Apr 2005, 19:34
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On the great plains, nineteenth-century settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, doing it without timber and nails.

A.

B. settlers, using mud and grass to build their homes, did it without

C. settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, making them while not having

D. settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, making do without

E. settlers' homes were built of mud and grass, making do without
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04 Apr 2005, 19:43
A. 'doing it' makes the sentence awkward.

B. settlers, using mud and grass to build their homes, did it without
- present participle 'using' is wrong.

C. settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, making them while not having
- them has no clear referent

D. settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, making do without

E. settlers' homes were built of mud and grass, making do without

Between D and E, I'll take D. The settlers built their homes on the great plains, and they made do without timber and nails. D phrases this nicely.

D it is.
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04 Apr 2005, 19:52
Why does "them" in C does not have a clear referent.

"them" should refer to the last plural noun, and it does that here because it refers to "homes"

Also, is "making do without" in D correct usage. It sounds really awkward to the ear
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04 Apr 2005, 20:04
making do: to get along or manage with the means at hand
C) making them while not having timber and nails --> present continuous tense is not good to talk about an event which happened in the past. Furthermore, "while" illogically means that there was a specific point in time when settlers did not have " timber and nails" and it is exactly when they decided to make their homes. How smart is that? The contrast of making houses without the appropriate tools is only brought about with D
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Best Regards,

Paul

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04 Apr 2005, 20:10
Thanks Paul. That really helps.
04 Apr 2005, 20:10
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# On the great plains, nineteenth-century settlers used mud

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