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Once thought to be impossible, Alex Honnold successfully “free soloed”

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Once thought to be impossible, Alex Honnold successfully “free soloed”  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2019, 09:02
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A
B
C
D
E

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  95% (hard)

Question Stats:

30% (02:02) correct 70% (01:48) wrong based on 96 sessions

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Once thought to be impossible, Alex Honnold successfully “free soloed” Yosemite’s El Capitan in 2017, climbing the 3,000-foot wall without the aid of any ropes in just under four hours.

A - Once thought to be impossible, Alex Honnold successfully “free soloed” Yosemite’s El Capitan in 2017, climbing the 3,000-foot wall without the aid of any ropes in just under four hours.

B - Once thought impossible, El Capitan was “free soloed” for the first time in 2017 by Alex Honnold, who climbed the 3,000-foot wall in just under four hours without the aid of any ropes.

C - Alex Honnold “free soloed” Yosemite’s El Capitan in 2017, climbing the 3,000-foot wall without the aid of ropes in just under four hours and becoming the first person to achieve a feat that was once thought to be impossible.

D - In 2017, Alex Honnold became the first person to “free solo”—climb without the aid of any ropes—Yosemite’s 3,000-foot El Capitan in just under four hours, a feat that was once thought to be impossible.

E - In 2017, Alex Honnold became the first person to “free solo” Yosemite’s El Capitan—a feat once thought impossible—climbing the 3,000-foot wall without the aid of any ropes in just under four hours.

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Re: Once thought to be impossible, Alex Honnold successfully “free soloed”  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2019, 22:57
Can anyone explain all the answers?

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Re: Once thought to be impossible, Alex Honnold successfully “free soloed”  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2019, 17:13
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Skyline393 wrote:
Once thought to be impossible, Alex Honnold successfully “free soloed” Yosemite’s El Capitan in 2017, climbing the 3,000-foot wall without the aid of any ropes in just under four hours.

A - Once thought to be impossible, Alex Honnold successfully “free soloed” Yosemite’s El Capitan in 2017, climbing the 3,000-foot wall without the aid of any ropes in just under four hours.

B - Once thought impossible, El Capitan was “free soloed” for the first time in 2017 by Alex Honnold, who climbed the 3,000-foot wall in just under four hours without the aid of any ropes.

C - Alex Honnold “free soloed” Yosemite’s El Capitan in 2017, climbing the 3,000-foot wall without the aid of ropes in just under four hours and becoming the first person to achieve a feat that was once thought to be impossible.

D - In 2017, Alex Honnold became the first person to “free solo”—climb without the aid of any ropes—Yosemite’s 3,000-foot El Capitan in just under four hours, a feat that was once thought to be impossible.

E - In 2017, Alex Honnold became the first person to “free solo” Yosemite’s El Capitan—a feat once thought impossible—climbing the 3,000-foot wall without the aid of any ropes in just under four hours.


Not an expert here, just my reasoning:

A & B - "Once thought impossible/to be impossible" must modify what comes directly after it. In this case, neither Alex Honnold, nor El Captian is "thought to be impossible". Furthermore, B uses the passive tense: "El Capitan was free soloed" - which is less preferable on the GMAT (not an auto disqualification though).

C - This one's a bit harder to articulate. As a native english speaker, this sounds very awkward, so compared to E, which has no errors, it was an easy choice to eliminate. But I know that's not super helpful, so I'm hoping someone else can fill you (and me) in on specifically why it is wrong.

D - This one changes the meaning—it sounds like it was the fact that it took him only 4 hours to climb El Capitan that was thought be impossible. Instead, it's that he climbed it at all.

E - Clear, concise, and no errors.
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Re: Once thought to be impossible, Alex Honnold successfully “free soloed”  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2019, 19:18
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fogarasm wrote:
C - This one's a bit harder to articulate. As a native english speaker, this sounds very awkward, so compared to E, which has no errors, it was an easy choice to eliminate. But I know that's not super helpful, so I'm hoping someone else can fill you (and me) in on specifically why it is wrong.
Great job on the other options! Let's put everything together:

Option A: By placing Alex Honnold after once thought to be impossible, this option implies that Alex Honnold was once thought to be impossible. Meaning call.

Option B: By placing El Capitan after once thought impossible, this option implies that El Capitan was once thought to be impossible. However, it is actually the "free solo" of El Capitan that was once thought to be impossible, not El Capitan itself. Meaning call. "Was 'free soloed'" is passive and therefore avoidable (the main reason to remove this option remains the meaning call though).

Option C: Becoming the first person to achieve a feat that was once thought to be impossible does not link the "feat once thought impossible" idea to "the free solo of El Capitan", so this option makes it sound as if Alex Honnold became the first person ever to achieve any feat that was thought to be impossible. That is, no other person in history had ever achieved any "impossible" feat before Alex Honnold achieved this particular feat. It'd also be better to keep the "in 2017" bit outside the first clause, so that the focus ("impossible feat") remains on "free solo" (and not "free solo in 2017").

Option D: This option includes the "in just under four hours" bit in the "impossible feat" idea, which is not likely to be the intended meaning. "Yosemite’s 3,000-foot El Capitan" makes it harder for the reader to understand that there is only one El Capitan, because the "3,000-foot" bit could be misinterpreted (maybe there is a 5,000-foot El Capitan :)).

Option E: The best of the 5 options, although we need to overlook the slight ambiguity (there in option D as well) introduced by "X became Y—a feat once thought impossible" (this could mean that "X became Y" is what was once considered impossible).
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Re: Once thought to be impossible, Alex Honnold successfully “free soloed”   [#permalink] 05 Apr 2019, 19:18
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Once thought to be impossible, Alex Honnold successfully “free soloed”

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