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

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22 Jun 2010, 16:44
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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, 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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Re: Difficult ques. - Great Plains [#permalink]

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22 Jun 2010, 18:34
amitdesai16 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, 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

I will go with B ..

C - making them while not having --- incorrect usage
" making do without in D and E doe not look to be the correct usage .

Between A and B ,
I preferred did it over doing
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Re: Difficult ques. - Great Plains [#permalink]

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22 Jun 2010, 20:06
IMO D

A and B are out.

(C) can refer to settlers as well as home

(E) this makes sentence passive

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Re: Difficult ques. - Great Plains [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2010, 06:03
(A) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, doing it without
(B) settlers, using mud and grass to build their homes, did it without

A for me.

In B the comma after settlers is looking naughty to me
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Re: Difficult ques. - Great Plains [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2010, 12:02
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Just to encourage the non-native speakers out there, an idiom that is familiar to native speakers, but not always to international students, comes into play here:

"to make do without" means "to get by without".

Nevertheless, focusing on the misuse of pronouns and making sure that the modifier "making" has someone to modify should get you to the right answer even if the idiom is new to you....
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Last edited by SaraiGMAT on 23 Jun 2010, 21:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Difficult ques. - Great Plains [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2010, 15:27
OA is D. Can an expert outline why is the answer D?
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Re: Difficult ques. - Great Plains [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2010, 18:51
A & B have poor pronoun agreement. What does "it" refer to? "build"? I believe it should be "doing so without" instead of "doing it without".

C is too wordy, E is passive as has been mentioned.

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Re: Difficult ques. - Great Plains [#permalink]

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25 Jun 2010, 19:35
Also .. A and B are wrong because of 'it' .. 'it' is a pronoun and cannot be used to indicate an action .. 'doing so' or 'did so' will be more appropriate ..
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Re: Difficult ques. - Great Plains [#permalink]

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25 Jun 2010, 21:08
making do without

SaraiGMAXonline wrote:
Just to encourage the non-native speakers out there, an idiom that is familiar to native speakers, but not always to international students, comes into play here:

"to make do without" means "to get by without".

Nevertheless, focusing on the misuse of pronouns and making sure that the modifier "making" has someone to modify should get you to the right answer even if the idiom is new to you....

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Re: Difficult ques. - Great Plains [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2010, 03:01
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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
"IT" here is 'trying' to refer to the entire concept-- "build their homes". But 'it', a pronoun, must have a specific written noun to which it refers in the sentence.

(B) settlers, using mud and grass to build their homes, did it without
Same problem as in A.

(C) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, making them while not having
"Them" is a bit ambiguous, for it sounds as thought it could be referring to "mud and grass". Moreover, the meaning is incorrect. It makes sense to say that I did my homework while riding the bus, but it does not make sense to say that I did my homework while not having a pen. "While" should express to actions in process at the same time, but 'possessing' something is not a process, but just a state.

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

"Make do without" means "to get by without"-- Ex. We made do with what provisions we had at the camp site.

(E) settlers’ homes were built of mud and grass, making do without

The subject here is homes. Because of the possessive (settlers') there are NO SETTLERS in the sentences. GMAX tip: The possessive works like an adjective!! So the present participle 'making' has nothing logical to describe.
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Re: Difficult ques. - Great Plains [#permalink]

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05 Sep 2010, 13:00
A, B - incorrect - no clear referent for it

C - incorrect - wrong tense, use of while incorrect

E - incorrect - passive
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Re: Difficult ques. - Great Plains [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2010, 08:59
SaraiGMAXonline 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
"IT" here is 'trying' to refer to the entire concept-- "build their homes". But 'it', a pronoun, must have a specific written noun to which it refers in the sentence.

(B) settlers, using mud and grass to build their homes, did it without
Same problem as in A.

(C) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, making them while not having
"Them" is a bit ambiguous, for it sounds as thought it could be referring to "mud and grass". Moreover, the meaning is incorrect. It makes sense to say that I did my homework while riding the bus, but it does not make sense to say that I did my homework while not having a pen. "While" should express to actions in process at the same time, but 'possessing' something is not a process, but just a state.

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

"Make do without" means "to get by without"-- Ex. We made do with what provisions we had at the camp site.

(E) settlers’ homes were built of mud and grass, making do without

The subject here is homes. Because of the possessive (settlers') there are NO SETTLERS in the sentences. GMAX tip: The possessive works like an adjective!! So the present participle 'making' has nothing logical to describe.

The idiom "Make Do Without" is complete new to me, and I could not select answer D as it was looking very odd to me. Is there a list of idioms worth going through? I am not looking for thousands of them, but just a selected couple hundred.
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Re: Difficult ques. - Great Plains [#permalink]

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23 Sep 2010, 23:38
SaraiGMAXonline wrote:
]On the Great Plains, nineteenth-century settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, doing it without timber and nails

(C) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, making them while not having
"Them" is a bit ambiguous, for it sounds as thought it could be referring to "mud and grass". Moreover, the meaning is incorrect. It makes sense to say that I did my homework while riding the bus, but it does not make sense to say that I did my homework while not having a pen. "While" should express to actions in process at the same time, but 'possessing' something is not a process, but just a state.

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

"Make do without" means "to get by without"-- Ex. We made do with what provisions we had at the camp site.

Great Explanation!!!
Thanks a lot!
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Re: Difficult ques. - Great Plains [#permalink]

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24 Sep 2010, 00:40
Thankfully an idiom I have come across earlier. Yup...D is the correct answer here.
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Re: Difficult ques. - Great Plains [#permalink]

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24 Sep 2010, 19:24
"It" need proper reference. Eliminate:
(A) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, doing it without
(B) settlers, using mud and grass to build their homes, did it without

"while not having" is word and awkward. Eliminate:
(C) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, making them while not having

The "make do" is by the settlers not their houses. Eliminate:
(E) settlers’ homes were built of mud and grass, making do without

Ans D
(D) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, making do without
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Re: Difficult ques. - Great Plains [#permalink]

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25 Sep 2010, 16:44
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, 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

"you make do without luxuries..."

Above eliminates A, B and C.

E is going to hide the action of the settlers building the house... we are left with D.
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Re: On the Great Plains, nineteenth-century settlers used mud [#permalink]

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22 Feb 2014, 19:02
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Re: On the Great Plains, nineteenth-century settlers used mud [#permalink]

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22 Feb 2014, 20:15
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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

incorrect portions highlighted.........

(A) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, doingit without....WHAT WAS THIS "IT"
(B) settlers,using mud and grass to build their homes, did itwithout
(C) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, making them while not having...WAS IT A SIMULTANEOUS ACT WITH SOMETHING ELSE ?
(D) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, making do without.... CORRECT
(E) settlers’ homeswere builtof mud and grass, making do without.... BUT WE KNOW THEY BUILT IT THEMSELVES....
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Re: On the Great Plains, nineteenth-century settlers used mud [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2014, 06:43
SaraiGMAT 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
"IT" here is 'trying' to refer to the entire concept-- "build their homes". But 'it', a pronoun, must have a specific written noun to which it refers in the sentence.

(B) settlers, using mud and grass to build their homes, did it without
Same problem as in A.

(C) settlers used mud and grass to build their homes, making them while not having
"Them" is a bit ambiguous, for it sounds as thought it could be referring to "mud and grass". Moreover, the meaning is incorrect. It makes sense to say that I did my homework while riding the bus, but it does not make sense to say that I did my homework while not having a pen. "While" should express to actions in process at the same time, but 'possessing' something is not a process, but just a state.

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

"Make do without" means "to get by without"-- Ex. We made do with what provisions we had at the camp site.

(E) settlers’ homes were built of mud and grass, making do without

The subject here is homes. Because of the possessive (settlers') there are NO SETTLERS in the sentences. GMAX tip: The possessive works like an adjective!! So the present participle 'making' has nothing logical to describe.

your explanation of why C is wrong is wonderful and original. however, I want to supplement

"while" can be used to say about two long actions. this is correct. but "while" can also be used to say about a STATE which is limited, not forever.

I eat while I think over my problem

the "thinking" here is temperary not forever, and so, is correct.

the point is "while" can be used for actions or states which is limited.
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Re: On the Great Plains, nineteenth-century settlers used mud [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2015, 09:45
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: On the Great Plains, nineteenth-century settlers used mud   [#permalink] 11 Jul 2015, 09:45
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