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# On the Great Plains, nineteenth-century settlers used mud

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On the Great Plains, nineteenth-century settlers used mud [#permalink]

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12 Mar 2009, 11:13
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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) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, doing it without
(B) settlers used 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

I need explanations ..No IMO pls
even if you say its B, pls explain WHY not ACDE?
[Edited:Also, what's the meaning of "making do without"? :? ]
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Last edited by nitya34 on 12 Mar 2009, 12:42, edited 1 time in total.
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12 Mar 2009, 11:46
On the Great Plains, nineteenth-century settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, doing it without timber and nails.
(A) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, doing it without
(B) settlers used 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

I shall go for D.

A: Well..the real reason I eliminated is coz it just doesnt sound right. If you want a logical explanation..I think 'doing it' is sort of repetitive. Doing refers to building homes..so what does it refers to? Again..building homes.
B: The second part should be a modifier...did it without doesnt sound like one
C: Too long
E: Passive and the 'making do' does not modify settlers
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12 Mar 2009, 12:36
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This is a tough Q.

Unless one knows that "make do" is a valid english construct, he/she will not pick D

Another long and difficult way of arriving at D is POE

doing it, did it are always wrong.

them in C can refer to M & G / Homes

E has an issue because says that Homes made do.
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12 Mar 2009, 14:46
d & e ---> making do without - no
c ---> making them while not having - doesnt look good to me

leaves a & b

a looks better than b ----> at least i can think of "doing" as a gerund(not sure though) if I flip the sentence but then "it" is the problem...

doing it without timber and nails, nineteenth-century settlers used mud and grass to build their homes.

IMO A, as nothing else looks better to me.
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13 Mar 2009, 02:20
E for me.

A and B are out for incorrect use of "it".
C is out for incorrect use of "making them". It gives the meaning that settlers were making grass and mud.

Between D and E, meaning of "making do" is clear in E.

Consider the following example.
"Someone was making the settlers do their work".
"Settlers' home were built, making do more work".
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13 Mar 2009, 03:11
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nitya34 wrote:
On the Great Plains, nineteenth-century settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, doing it without timber and nails.
(A) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, doing it without
(B) settlers used 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

I think, C.

A, B - doing/did it - wrong
D, E - making do - wrong
C - maybe does not sound very good, but contains no grammar errors ('them' is referring definitely to the nearest noun, 'their homes')
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14 Mar 2009, 07:29
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18 Jan 2010, 06:59
The answer is D because this sentence needs to express a universal truth, which is always expressed in the present tense.

Last edited by GaryDunn on 18 Jan 2010, 13:37, edited 2 times in total.
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18 Jan 2010, 13:02
Must be D, only correct idiomatic use of 'make do'
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18 Jan 2010, 21:12
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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) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, doing it without
(B) settlers used 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

Here's my take on this question (I also apply the same knowledge as I take on any other SC Q's)
(A) says "doing it without". At this very point, you need to ask yourself what is "it" referring to? "It" cannot refer to homes as homes is a plural noun; therefore, the least the answer can do is put doing "them" without.
(B) repeats the same problem in (A), which is the pronoun problem, something that is deeply tested on all standardized tests when SC applies, and pronoun error is always and forever wrong.
(C) switches "it" to "them", for which you need to ask yourself again the question of what is "them"?" Is "them" referring to homes? Is "them" referring to settlers? If you cannot distinguish the referrent of that pronoun, the pronoun is ambiguous, which is (again) always and forever wrong.
(D) has the construct of "making do", which is correct. Even if you didn't know that, POE can bring you down to just D alone.
(E) switches the main focus of settlers to settlers' homes. The change is subtle, but in terms of the construction of the sentence, it distorts the meaning. Are the "homes" themselves making do without timber? That is impossible; it has to be that the settlers can build these houses w/out timbers.

After all the POE, the only one that can make any remote sense is (D).
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19 Jan 2010, 00:52
bakfed wrote:
On the Great Plains, nineteenth-century settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, doing it without timber and nails.
(A) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, doing it without
(B) settlers used 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

Here's my take on this question (I also apply the same knowledge as I take on any other SC Q's)
(A) says "doing it without". At this very point, you need to ask yourself what is "it" referring to? "It" cannot refer to homes as homes is a plural noun; therefore, the least the answer can do is put doing "them" without.
(B) repeats the same problem in (A), which is the pronoun problem, something that is deeply tested on all standardized tests when SC applies, and pronoun error is always and forever wrong.
(C) switches "it" to "them", for which you need to ask yourself again the question of what is "them"?" Is "them" referring to homes? Is "them" referring to settlers? If you cannot distinguish the referrent of that pronoun, the pronoun is ambiguous, which is (again) always and forever wrong.
(D) has the construct of "making do", which is correct. Even if you didn't know that, POE can bring you down to just D alone.
(E) switches the main focus of settlers to settlers' homes. The change is subtle, but in terms of the construction of the sentence, it distorts the meaning. Are the "homes" themselves making do without timber? That is impossible; it has to be that the settlers can build these houses w/out timbers.

After all the POE, the only one that can make any remote sense is (D).

Good point about A ("what does it refer to"). I answered incorrectly; chose A. I must say that I wasn't confident about the answer choice. D was preferable but seemed too colloquial. In my mind, I wondered if making do was a sensible idiom. This was good practice.
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19 Jan 2010, 11:09
I think the answer is D. It sounds more correct than A.
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19 Jan 2010, 11:31
Mgmat says to evaluate sentences by grammer, meaning and concision, respectively. I guess this is an instance where concision trumps and sound matters.

Posted from my mobile device
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19 Apr 2010, 16:40
Very very good explanation in the link by Ron....
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03 May 2010, 04:46
make do: to manage with whatever is available (Collins dictionary).

I did learn something new today.
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08 Sep 2010, 07:44
cano wrote:
make do: to manage with whatever is available (Collins dictionary).

I did learn something new today.

Well, for non native speakers it was difficult to crack as "make do" is a construction of two verbs; such constructions are not common for us.
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21 Jan 2011, 08:23
D.

Right away eleiminate A, B, C as the phrase after comma is awkward in all of them; it and them does not seem to refer clearly to settlers
out of D and E E is out as it uses a possisve noun settler's.. but after comma "making it..." seems to refer to normal noun
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21 Jan 2011, 09:45
I was thinking of 'B' till end but somwhere it clicked that I have heard 'making do' in such cases. Just thought 'D' in end and Voila, I am laughing now .

Frankly I also dont know what 'making do' means but I had heard it before so thought of 'D'
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21 Jan 2011, 19:28
(A) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, doing it without (ans: their is plural and doesn't match with it -->singular & also "it" needs an antecedent)
(B) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, did it without(ans: their is plural and doesn't match with it -->singular & also "it" needs an antecedent)
(C) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, making them while not having (ans: while not having --> sounds awkward)
(D) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, making do without (gives the clear idea of comparison)
(E) settlers’ homes were built of mud and grass, making do without (settler's homes --> who built the home???)

hope this is satisfactory !!!
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23 Jan 2011, 12:49
A & B has 'it' pronoun problem. In C, 'them' can refer to homes and to settlers. In E, 'make' refers to homes. So D
Re: SC-Great Plains   [#permalink] 23 Jan 2011, 12:49

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