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# QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far

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QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far [#permalink]

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22 Mar 2018, 04:39
12
00:00

Difficulty:

55% (hard)

Question Stats:

52% (00:45) correct 48% (01:00) wrong based on 533 sessions

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 248: Sentence Correction

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Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than they had in their previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.

(A) they had in their previous campaigns

(C) they had for any previous campaign

(D) in their previous campaigns

(E) for any previous campaign

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QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far [#permalink]

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22 Mar 2018, 04:44
6
5
Quote:
(A) they had in their previous campaigns

The key is in the non-underlined portion of the sentence: “Napoleon’s army” is singular, and that means that the plural pronouns “they” and “their” have no logical referents. That’s not cool. (A) is out.

Quote:

Well, (B) has exactly the same problem as (A): “their” is a plural pronoun that logically needs to refer to “Napoleon’s army”, but “army” is singular. That’s still not cool.

But in case you’re wondering: “had had” can actually be OK. It’s just the past perfect tense version of “had.” Consider the following:

• The army had sufficient food supplies. --> No problem. This is just simple past tense, right?
• The army had had sufficient supplies until some guy named Charlie at them all. –-> “had had” is past perfect tense, and like any action in past perfect tense, it has to precede some other action LATER in the past. And we’re all good here: the army had sufficient food supplies first, and then later on, some guy named Charlie ate them all.

So don’t get distracted by “had had”: it’s just a nice, normal action in past perfect tense. And it’s fine here: the previous campaigns occurred before the invasion of Russia, so it’s fine to use past perfect to describe those earlier campaigns.

But the pronoun thing is still a big problem. (B) is out.

Quote:
(C) they had for any previous campaign

It’s nice that the different answer choices rearrange stuff, but (C) still has the same problem as (A) and (B): “they” logically needs to refer to “Napoleon’s army”, but “army” is singular.

So (C) is gone, too.

Quote:
(D) in their previous campaigns

And this is getting boring: “their” still can’t refer to “Napoleon’s army.”

(D) is out, and I hope we like (E).

Quote:
(E) for any previous campaign

By default, this is our winner, because it’s the only option that doesn’t contain an egregious pronoun error.

But my bet is that some of you don’t really love the comparison. Maybe you’d prefer this version?

“…Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than it had for its previous campaigns…”

That version would be crystal-clear, but the only thing that’s different in (E) is that the phrase “it had” is missing from (E). I don’t think it’s completely crazy to give the GMAT the benefit of the doubt here: “it had” really isn’t necessary for us to understand the meaning of the sentence. Of course Napoleon’s army was the thing that “had” the supplies; there’s no real need to include the phrase “it had.”

So the comparison is acceptable in (E). And more importantly, the absence of pronoun errors is wonderful. So (E) is our winner.
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##### General Discussion
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Re: QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far [#permalink]

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22 Mar 2018, 05:10
I think it's (E)

The other sentences use "they" or "their". This is wrong because we're referring to "army", which is singular

Pls correct me if i'm wrong
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QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far [#permalink]

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22 Mar 2018, 05:54
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 248: Sentence Correction

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Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than they had in their previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.

(A) they had in their previous campaigns

(C) they had for any previous campaign

(D) in their previous campaigns

(E) for any previous campaign

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.

I will go with E

let me explain to you why
a
in option A

the pronoun "they" has no cleat referent, if the question had mentioned "the army of Napoleon" then it would have been correct

B is not okay, it is awkward to say "their campaigns had had" , no campaign can have supplies

in C

as in A, "they" has no clear referent

in D

oh sorry! Napoleon is singular here, so "their" has no clear referent

E is okay

thanks
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Re: QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far [#permalink]

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22 Mar 2018, 07:29
Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than they had in their previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.

a 5 second vertical scan helps to decide :we have pronoun issue and verb issue )
now reading the sentence gives us the army is referred to as singular in second part of the non underlined portion (it )
eliminate : A,B,C,D only E left
(A) they had in their previous campaigns :same noun cannot be plural and singular in a single sentence

(B) their previous campaigns had had :same noun cannot be plural and singular in a single sentence

(C) they had for any previous campaign:same noun cannot be plural and singular in a single sentence

(D) in their previous campaigns:same noun cannot be plural and singular in a single sentence

(E) for any previous campaign

E correct
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Re: QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far [#permalink]

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22 Mar 2018, 10:04
Ans is E, rest all use Plural pronoun to refer to army, which is singular
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Re: QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far [#permalink]

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23 Mar 2018, 12:11
Napoleon's army is singular. Use of they cannot refer back to the singular army. A, B, C & D out. E is the answer.
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Re: QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2018, 09:43
This is a pronoun question

When dealing with any pronouns, whether singular: it, he/she, "that" etc. or plural: they, them, those, we must be able to find a clear "antecedent"

In this case, what is "they" and/or "their" referring back to? - this is either ambiguous or incorrect in the question stem
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Re: QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far [#permalink]

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30 Mar 2018, 00:12
Is it not the case that subject pronoun ( in this case "they") cannot refer to possessive nouns because Possessive nouns function as adjectives
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Re: QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far [#permalink]

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16 Apr 2018, 07:06
Raksat GMATNinja

Quote:
Is it not the case that subject pronoun ( in this case "they") cannot refer to possessive nouns because Possessive nouns function as adjectives

Here are my two cents.
They is a subject case pronoun ie it refers to plural nouns acting as subject.

Eg. Micahel and Sam went for a picnic.
They went for a picnic.

Alternate 20 s solution if you pay heed to non-underlined portion.

It
in non-underlined portion must refer to a singular noun.
Out of two logical singular antecedents - Napoleans' army and Russia,
only former is logical.
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Re: QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far [#permalink]

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17 Apr 2018, 07:07
straight E, rest all choices have SV errors.
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Re: QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far [#permalink]

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12 Jul 2018, 08:17
"Army" falls under collective nouns. Hence, E is correct.
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Re: QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far [#permalink]

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12 Jul 2018, 08:33
Rishovnits wrote:
"Army" falls under collective nouns. Hence, E is correct.

A small doubt. Should Armies be considered singular or plural?
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QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far [#permalink]

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12 Jul 2018, 09:43
akhilvamangari wrote:
Rishovnits wrote:
"Army" falls under collective nouns. Hence, E is correct.

A small doubt. Should Armies be considered singular or plural?

Sorry for writing it in a short way. Collective nouns are always singular. Examples of collective nouns are army, orchestra, band etc.

Only answer choice E has no pronoun ambiguity and hence is correct.
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QOTD: Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far   [#permalink] 12 Jul 2018, 09:43
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