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Project SC Butler - Get 2 SC Questions Everyday

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New post 15 Oct 2019, 06:26
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has -- Margaret Mead
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New post 17 Oct 2019, 22:42
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New post 23 Oct 2019, 22:39
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New post 08 Nov 2019, 01:41
Hi, generis,

Can you please let me know the difference between construction (grammatical) and rhetorical construction type of sentence in GMAT SC, as i am not completely aware of?
if both are different then, can we add one more question, in SC butler, which tests ones rhetorical construction skills?

Regards,
Raxit.
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New post 09 Nov 2019, 00:51

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Re: Project SC Butler - Get 2 SC Questions Everyday  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Nov 2019, 19:26
Raxit85 wrote:
Hi, generis,

Can you please let me know the difference between construction (grammatical) and rhetorical construction type of sentence in GMAT SC, as i am not completely aware of?
if both are different then, can we add one more question, in SC butler, which tests ones rhetorical construction skills?

Regards,
Raxit.


Based on my understanding, "Rhetorical Construction" error is the use of unnecessary words/clauses (which do not necessarily hinder the meaning of the sentence); "Construction" error is when the sentence is grammatically incorrect (e.g. an error in modifier)
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Re: Project SC Butler - Get 2 SC Questions Everyday  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Nov 2019, 21:42
In OG, i found many questions which test rhetorical constructions skills and i truly believe it is difficult to differentiate such correct options.

According to my understanding (may be incomplete), rhetorical construction may not be the error but rather a style of writing by placement of the clauses or phrases in a awkward manner, though those are not as per GMAC.

The reason behind my request to generis to add one such kind of question in SC butler is a mind-boggling official such question that made me think about correct usage for more than 15 minutes.

To Josephine Baker, Paris was her home long before it was fashionable to be an expatriate, and she remained in France during the Second World War as a performer and an intelligence agent for the Resistance

(A) To Josephine Baker, Paris was her home long before it was fashionable to be an expatriate

(B) For Josephine Baker, long before it was fashionable to be an expatriate, Paris was her home

(C) Josephine Baker made Paris her home long before to be an expatriate was fashionable

(D) Long before it was fashionable to be an expatriate, Josephine Baker made Paris her home

(E) Long before it was fashionable being an expatriate, Paris was home to Josephine Baker

I could easily eliminate A, B and E but i confused between C and D. Ultimately, i chose C over D because of active voice usage as GMAC prefers rather than passive voice (although it is not hard and fast rule).

As per my learning, both, option C and D, are grammatically correct, and indicate the same meaning. The difference is inverting the clauses and change of voice.

Here, i'd like request generis to jump in to shed more lights and suggest how one can choose correct answer for such type of examples.

Regards,
Raxit.
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Re: Project SC Butler - Get 2 SC Questions Everyday  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2019, 23:11

_________________
SC Butler has resumed! Get two SC questions to practice, whose links you can find by date, here.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has -- Margaret Mead
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Re: Project SC Butler - Get 2 SC Questions Everyday  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2019, 01:31
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Raxit85 wrote:
Hi, generis,

Can you please let me know the difference between construction (grammatical) and rhetorical construction type of sentence in GMAT SC, as i am not completely aware of?
if both are different then, can we add one more question, in SC butler, which tests ones rhetorical construction skills?

Regards,
Raxit.

Raxit85 , hi.

I cannot encapsulate in one post what "rhetorical construction" consists of.
This thread probably isn't the place for a long discussion.
A quick overview might help.

In a very general way, rhetorical construction refers to whether a sentence is well constructed.

What does "well constructed" mean?
Well, GMAC gives hints in answer to that question in every one of its official guides—more than twenty pages' worth of hints, actually.
See my notes below.
A sentence that is well constructed uses ""effective expression" and "proper diction."

Is the sentence both forceful and concise?
Or, if passive voice is the better option, is the sentence ?

Does the sentence use appropriate vocabulary words in context? Does the sentence "flow"?

The authors of the Official Guide 2020 wrote more than twenty pages in which they discuss the meaning of each SC category: rhetorical construction takes up five of those pages. Every OG has a similar section. In OG 2020 the page numbers are 761 to 783.
Please read those pages or their analogs in any previous guide or OG Verbal Review.

Near the end of the intro to the SC section, authors of the OG separate grammatical construction from "effective expression" and "proper diction."

I can't upload shapshots at the moment, so I'll post a link instead.
[url=https://books.google.com/books?id=mCyODwAAQBAJ&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&lpg=PA303&dq=gmat%20%22a%20correct%20sentence%20is%20grammatically%22&pg=PA303#v=onepage&q=gmat%20%22a%20correct%20sentence%20is%20grammatically%22&f=true]GMAC describes all three categories on this page, here.[url]

This next comment is not directed at you personally, but at all aspirants, native and non-native speakers alike: if you do not read five days a week (and preferably seven), you will never be able to decide on any consistent basis which of two grammatical sentences is rhetorically superior. Full stop.

Read Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz and The Reawakening. Try to find the translation by Stuart Woolf.
Levi was an Italian partisan in WWII, a chemist, a survivor of Auschwitz, and a writer of talent too singular to describe.

Read Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns.

And, of course, read journals and newspapers.

I can't possibly find another question three more times per week.
There isn't enough time for me to do so. Finding questions takes a long time.

Read up thread. I asked people to guest post with good questions.
No takers.

But I will think of something to help.
Give me a few days to speak with my colleagues.
_________________
SC Butler has resumed! Get two SC questions to practice, whose links you can find by date, here.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has -- Margaret Mead
Senior SC Moderator
avatar
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Joined: 22 May 2016
Posts: 3662
Re: Project SC Butler - Get 2 SC Questions Everyday  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2019, 02:42
1
Raxit85 wrote:
In OG, i found many questions which test rhetorical constructions skills and i truly believe it is difficult to differentiate such correct options.

According to my understanding (may be incomplete), rhetorical construction may not be the error but rather a style of writing by placement of the clauses or phrases in a awkward manner, though those are not as per GMAC.

The reason behind my request to generis to add one such kind of question in SC butler is a mind-boggling official such question that made me think about correct usage for more than 15 minutes.

To Josephine Baker, Paris was her home long before it was fashionable to be an expatriate, and she remained in France during the Second World War as a performer and an intelligence agent for the Resistance

(A) To Josephine Baker, Paris was her home long before it was fashionable to be an expatriate

(B) For Josephine Baker, long before it was fashionable to be an expatriate, Paris was her home

(C) Josephine Baker made Paris her home long before to be an expatriate was fashionable

(D) Long before it was fashionable to be an expatriate, Josephine Baker made Paris her home

(E) Long before it was fashionable being an expatriate, Paris was home to Josephine Baker

I could easily eliminate A, B and E but i confused between C and D. Ultimately, i chose C over D because of active voice usage as GMAC prefers rather than passive voice (although it is not hard and fast rule).

As per my learning, both, option C and D, are grammatically correct, and indicate the same meaning. The difference is inverting the clauses and change of voice.

Here, i'd like request generis to jump in to shed more lights and suggest how one can choose correct answer for such type of examples.

Regards,
Raxit.
Hi Raxit85 ,

You have excellent command of grammar rules.
So the good news is that you've reached the point at which rules alone will not help.
You know what you need to do: figure out the little extra parts.

I know of only one way to do so: read.
If you read enough good prose and you come up against a question such as this one again, you will need five seconds to decide that C is inferior to D.

I do not know of a style book that can teach rhetorical effectiveness as well as an exemplary novel can.
I advise people to read novels because human beings like stories.

The slightly bad news might be that the task seems impossible.
It isn't. Focus on one day at a time.

Option (C) is not a well written sentence.

The only reason to choose C over D stems from not knowing
(1) that "it" is a dummy pronoun and very common and
(2) that "it was" is often used to place emphasis on the end of the sentence.

C) Josephine Baker made Paris her home long before to be an expatriate was fashionable, and she remained in France during the Second World War as a performer and an intelligence agent for the Resistance
-- The words in red create construction that is not standard or idiomatic.
Option C hurts my ears. If you read a little each day, eventually such constructions will hurt your ears, too.
-- Here is a post by Mike McGarry[ about dummy pronouns such as IT and THERE.

Option D is much better, but not for profoundly deep reasons based on grammar alone.
Option D is better because it is the way English speakers talk about a situation.

D) Long before it was fashionable to be an expatriate, Josephine Baker made Paris her home, and she remained in France during the Second World War as a performer and an intelligence agent for the Resistance.
-- this construction is standard. The words "It was" might sound weird to a non-native speaker, but when we are describing backgrounds, the words "it was" are common and often used to describe the scene or context in which the subject operates.

I just skimmed the thread on this question.
Something about those replies must not make sense.
If you can tell me what you don't understand from the posts on that thread, maybe I could help more effectively.

As I promised, I will speak with my colleagues and see what we might be able to do about this issue. I'm glad that you raised it.
_________________
SC Butler has resumed! Get two SC questions to practice, whose links you can find by date, here.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has -- Margaret Mead
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Re: Project SC Butler - Get 2 SC Questions Everyday  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2019, 03:58
1
generis wrote:
Raxit85 wrote:
Hi, generis,

Can you please let me know the difference between construction (grammatical) and rhetorical construction type of sentence in GMAT SC, as i am not completely aware of?
if both are different then, can we add one more question, in SC butler, which tests ones rhetorical construction skills?

Regards,
Raxit.

Raxit85 , hi.

I cannot encapsulate in one post what "rhetorical construction" consists of.
This thread probably isn't the place for a long discussion.
A quick overview might help.

In a very general way, rhetorical construction refers to whether a sentence is well constructed.

What does "well constructed" mean?
Well, GMAC gives hints in answer to that question in every one of its official guides—more than twenty pages' worth of hints, actually.
See my notes below.
A sentence that is well constructed uses ""effective expression" and "proper diction."

Is the sentence both forceful and concise?
Or, if passive voice is the better option, is the sentence ?

Does the sentence use appropriate vocabulary words in context? Does the sentence "flow"?

The authors of the Official Guide 2020 wrote more than twenty pages in which they discuss the meaning of each SC category: rhetorical construction takes up five of those pages. Every OG has a similar section. In OG 2020 the page numbers are 761 to 783.
Please read those pages or their analogs in any previous guide or OG Verbal Review.

Near the end of the intro to the SC section, authors of the OG separate grammatical construction from "effective expression" and "proper diction."

I can't upload shapshots at the moment, so I'll post a link instead.
[url=https://books.google.com/books?id=mCyODwAAQBAJ&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&lpg=PA303&dq=gmat%20%22a%20correct%20sentence%20is%20grammatically%22&pg=PA303#v=onepage&q=gmat%20%22a%20correct%20sentence%20is%20grammatically%22&f=true]GMAC describes all three categories on this page, here.[url]

This next comment is not directed at you personally, but at all aspirants, native and non-native speakers alike: if you do not read five days a week (and preferably seven), you will never be able to decide on any consistent basis which of two grammatical sentences is rhetorically superior. Full stop.

Read Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz and The Reawakening. Try to find the translation by Stuart Woolf.
Levi was an Italian partisan in WWII, a chemist, a survivor of Auschwitz, and a writer of talent too singular to describe.

Read Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns.

And, of course, read journals and newspapers.

I can't possibly find another question three more times per week.
There isn't enough time for me to do so. Finding questions takes a long time.

Read up thread. I asked people to guest post with good questions.
No takers.

But I will think of something to help.
Give me a few days to speak with my colleagues.


Dear generis,

Thanks you very much for clarification and suggestions. :)
I am absolutely agree that i need to start reading (stuff) to understand different constructions of sentences.

Regards,
Raxit T.
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Re: Project SC Butler - Get 2 SC Questions Everyday  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2019, 04:17
1
generis wrote:
Raxit85 wrote:
In OG, i found many questions which test rhetorical constructions skills and i truly believe it is difficult to differentiate such correct options.

According to my understanding (may be incomplete), rhetorical construction may not be the error but rather a style of writing by placement of the clauses or phrases in a awkward manner, though those are not as per GMAC.

The reason behind my request to generis to add one such kind of question in SC butler is a mind-boggling official such question that made me think about correct usage for more than 15 minutes.

To Josephine Baker, Paris was her home long before it was fashionable to be an expatriate, and she remained in France during the Second World War as a performer and an intelligence agent for the Resistance

(A) To Josephine Baker, Paris was her home long before it was fashionable to be an expatriate

(B) For Josephine Baker, long before it was fashionable to be an expatriate, Paris was her home

(C) Josephine Baker made Paris her home long before to be an expatriate was fashionable

(D) Long before it was fashionable to be an expatriate, Josephine Baker made Paris her home

(E) Long before it was fashionable being an expatriate, Paris was home to Josephine Baker

I could easily eliminate A, B and E but i confused between C and D. Ultimately, i chose C over D because of active voice usage as GMAC prefers rather than passive voice (although it is not hard and fast rule).

As per my learning, both, option C and D, are grammatically correct, and indicate the same meaning. The difference is inverting the clauses and change of voice.

Here, i'd like request generis to jump in to shed more lights and suggest how one can choose correct answer for such type of examples.

Regards,
Raxit.
Hi Raxit85 ,

You have excellent command of grammar rules.
So the good news is that you've reached the point at which rules alone will not help.
You know what you need to do: figure out the little extra parts.

I know of only one way to do so: read.
If you read enough good prose and you come up against a question such as this one again, you will need five seconds to decide that C is inferior to D.

I do not know of a style book that can teach rhetorical effectiveness as well as an exemplary novel can.
I advise people to read novels because human beings like stories.

The slightly bad news might be that the task seems impossible.
It isn't. Focus on one day at a time.

Option (C) is not a well written sentence.

The only reason to choose C over D stems from not knowing
(1) that "it" is a dummy pronoun and very common and
(2) that "it was" is often used to place emphasis on the end of the sentence.

C) Josephine Baker made Paris her home long before to be an expatriate was fashionable, and she remained in France during the Second World War as a performer and an intelligence agent for the Resistance
-- The words in red create construction that is not standard or idiomatic.
Option C hurts my ears. If you read a little each day, eventually such constructions will hurt your ears, too.
-- Here is a post by Mike McGarry[ about dummy pronouns such as IT and THERE.

Option D is much better, but not for profoundly deep reasons based on grammar alone.
Option D is better because it is the way English speakers talk about a situation.

D) Long before it was fashionable to be an expatriate, Josephine Baker made Paris her home, and she remained in France during the Second World War as a performer and an intelligence agent for the Resistance.
-- this construction is standard. The words "It was" might sound weird to a non-native speaker, but when we are describing backgrounds, the words "it was" are common and often used to describe the scene or context in which the subject operates.

I just skimmed the thread on this question.
Something about those replies must not make sense.
If you can tell me what you don't understand from the posts on that thread, maybe I could help more effectively.

As I promised, I will speak with my colleagues and see what we might be able to do about this issue. I'm glad that you raised it.


Dear generis,

In the example, D makes more sense after reading your explanation as well as Mike McGarry's post.
Thanks again to enlighten us about such construction in the example as always you do on other topics in this forum. :)

Regards,
Raxit T.
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Re: Project SC Butler - Get 2 SC Questions Everyday   [#permalink] 12 Nov 2019, 04:17

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