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# QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting

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QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2018, 11:19
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 200: Sentence Correction

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As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting, Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, who trained several generations of actors including Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro.

(A) Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, who trained several generations of actors including

(B) Stella Adler, one of the most influential artists in the American theater, trained several generations of actors who include

(C) Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, training several generations of actors whose ranks included

(D) one of the most influential artists in the American theater was Stella Adler, who trained several generations of actors including

(E) one of the most influential artists in the American theater, Stella Adler, trained several generations of actors whose ranks included

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QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting [#permalink]

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14 Jan 2018, 10:28
3
4
Quote:
(A) Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, who trained several generations of actors including

The first issue is that the phrase beginning with "who" is right next to "the American theater", and that doesn't really make sense. "The American theater" isn't a person, and it didn't train generations of actors. Sure, you could maybe argue that "who trained several generations of actors..." reaches back to modify the entire phrase "one of the most influential artists in the American theater", but that's far messier than just modifying "Stella Adler", who is actually the one who trained the actors. We can argue about whether this is definitively WRONG, but at the very least, we can do better than this.

The second issue is that "including" seems to modify "several generations of actors", and that doesn't really make sense: Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro are examples of actors, not "generations of actors." It's subtle -- and probably not the worst error we've ever seen on a GMAT SC question -- but it makes (A) worse than at least one of the alternatives below.

So we can get rid of (A).

Quote:
(B) Stella Adler, one of the most influential artists in the American theater, trained several generations of actors who include

There's still a minor problem with the very last part of the underlined portion: "several generations of actors who include Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro" sounds OK, because those two fellows are examples of actors, but then why are we saying "generations of actors"? Brando and De Niro are examples of actors, not "generations of actors." And there's another problem: "include" is present tense, and it's hard to justify the use of present tense here when the other action related to the actors occurred in the past tense ("trained").

And if you aren't completely sold by that last paragraph, there's something else at the beginning of the sentence: "as an actress... Stella Adler... trained several generations of actors." No, she only "trained generations of actors" as a "teacher of acting" -- not "as an actress." Subtle and nasty. But (B) is out.

Quote:
(C) Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, training several generations of actors whose ranks included

That opening modifier makes sense now: "as an actress and... as a teacher of acting, Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists..." Cool, that's great. The modifier "training several generations of actors..." also makes sense: it modifies the previous clause, telling us more about Stella Adler and her life as "one of the most influential artists in the American theater.

Superficially, that last part of the underlined portion looks wordy: "several generations of actors whose ranks included..." But adding the phrase "whose ranks included" actually makes the phrase clearer than in (A) or (B): Brando and De Niro were among the ranks of those generations of actors. Fair enough.

So we can keep (C).

Quote:
(D) one of the most influential artists in the American theater was Stella Adler, who trained several generations of actors including

The underlined portion is preceded by "as an actress and... as a teacher of acting", a phrase that really needs to modify "Stella Adler." It's ridiculously indirect for that phrase to modify "one of the most influential artists in the American theater." So (D) is much less clear than (C) in that part of the sentence.

Plus, we have the same minor issue with the phrase "generations of actors including..." as we did in (A). See above for more on that issue.

So (D) is gone.

Quote:
(E) one of the most influential artists in the American theater, Stella Adler, trained several generations of actors whose ranks included

(E) has the same problem as (D): the beginning of the sentence needs to modify "Stella Adler." More broadly, "Stella Adler" really needs to be the subject of the sentence, since she's the one that trained the generations of actors -- and it's an indirect mess to use "one of the most influential artists..." as the subject of the sentence.

So (E) is out, and (C) is the best option.
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##### General Discussion
Intern
Joined: 12 Jun 2017
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Re: QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting [#permalink]

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14 Jan 2018, 13:07
Not convinced with the answer. Can you please explain why A is incorrect?
Manager
Joined: 11 Feb 2017
Posts: 201
Re: QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2018, 00:08
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 200: Sentence Correction

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As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting, Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, who trained several generations of actors including Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro.

(A) Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, who trained several generations of actors including

(B) Stella Adler, one of the most influential artists in the American theater, trained several generations of actors who include

(C) Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, training several generations of actors whose ranks included

(D) one of the most influential artists in the American theater was Stella Adler, who trained several generations of actors including

(E) one of the most influential artists in the American theater, Stella Adler, trained several generations of actors whose ranks included

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 was confused between B and C
I chose B becoz I felt that WHO can be both singular or plural so we can use WHO to refer ACTORS .....THEN WHY IS B wrong?
Manager
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Re: QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2018, 00:09
Confusion between B and C, why is B wrong??
Intern
Joined: 26 Sep 2017
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Re: QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2018, 07:29
1
As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting, Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, who trained several generations of actors including Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro.

(A) Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, who trained several generations of actors including - who modifies theater - Incorrect

(B) Stella Adler, one of the most influential artists in the American theater, trained several generations of actors who include - Seems as if Stella Adler trained Marlon and Robert while being an Actress and Teacher - Not the intended meaning - Incorrect

(C) Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, training several generations of actors whose ranks included - Training has Stella Adler as her doer presenting the How aspect - Clearly conveys the intended meaning - Correct

(D) one of the most influential artists in the American theater was Stella Adler, who trained several generations of actors including - Subject should be Stella Adler - Incorrect

(E) one of the most influential artists in the American theater, Stella Adler, trained several generations of actors whose ranks included - Subject should be Stella Adler - Incorrect
Intern
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Re: QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2018, 20:05
Waiting to see the explanation
Manager
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QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting [#permalink]

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19 Jan 2018, 05:59
In "A" - How can "who" modify theatre? Who can only modify "person" as a relative pronoun. And as per pronoun-antecedent rule the relative pronoun can modify a faraway noun. So why is the use of "who" incorrect here when it has only one logical antecedent - Stella Adler?
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QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting [#permalink]

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19 Jan 2018, 16:43
1
reach_richa wrote:
Not convinced with the answer. Can you please explain why A is incorrect?

Hello reach_richa,

In the phrase generation of actors including, the modifier including could refer to generations or to actors. Context drives this modification. But as such, neither of the two references make sense.

Generations include Marlon and Robert - non sensical.

Actors include Marlon and Robert - non sensical. This expression is used to communicate the meaning - X include X1, X2...- where X1 and X2 are parts of X. In this sentence, Marlon and Robert are actors. They are not parts of actors.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting [#permalink]

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23 Feb 2018, 01:57
1
egmat wrote:
reach_richa wrote:
Not convinced with the answer. Can you please explain why A is incorrect?

Hello reach_richa,

In the phrase generation of actors including, the modifier including could refer to generations or to actors. Context drives this modification. But as such, neither of the two references make sense.

Generations include Marlon and Robert - non sensical.

Actors include Marlon and Robert - non sensical. This expression is used to communicate the meaning - X include X1, X2...- where X1 and X2 are parts of X. In this sentence, Marlon and Robert are actors. They are not parts of actors.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

Hi AjiteshArun ,GMATNinja , ChiranjeevSingh, mikemcgarry ,egmat , sayantanc2k, RonPurewal ,DmitryFarber , other experts - please enlighten

The National Fitness Test consists mostly of body-weight exercises, including sit-ups, push-ups, and chin-ups.
Comma+Including is used -
* It modifies the preceding noun
* It should give a list of some, but not all of that noun.

1.Is there a difference between the usage of comma+ including and including(without a preceding comma)? -- normally for Verb-ing modifiers the presence of comma leads to modification of the preceding action whereas, without the comma, the verb-ing modifies the preceding noun.

2. How do we decide whether verb-ing ( including ) modifies actors or the phrase several generations of actors ? I think it will depend on the context (what follows including )
In option A including follows Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro(examples of actors) . So doesn't it make sense?

(A) Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, who trained several generations of actors including ---
Who illogically refers to American theater, but can't who refer to the phrase "one of the most influential artists in the American theater" since who can only modify people and American theater isn't a person.

In the official example stated in below link, we use context(Susan Huntington Dickinson can't be written) and grammar (SV disagreement and which can't refer to people) to allow which to refer to Noun + Prep phrase

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber her letters to anyone else.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/emily-dickin ... 10142.html
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Re: QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting [#permalink]

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23 Feb 2018, 11:01
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 200: Sentence Correction

Subscribe to GMAT Question of the Day: E-mail | RSS

As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting, Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, who trained several generations of actors including Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro.

(A) Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, who trained several generations of actors including

(B) Stella Adler, one of the most influential artists in the American theater, trained several generations of actors who include

(C) Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, training several generations of actors whose ranks included

(D) one of the most influential artists in the American theater was Stella Adler, who trained several generations of actors including

(E) one of the most influential artists in the American theater, Stella Adler, trained several generations of actors whose ranks included

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.

choice A suffer terrible meaning error.
"who" refers to "influential artists" grammatically. this reference is not logic. it is not artists who train but Adler who do so.
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Posts: 146
Re: QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2018, 22:17
1
Skywalker18 wrote:
Hi AjiteshArun ,GMATNinja , ChiranjeevSingh, mikemcgarry ,egmat , sayantanc2k, RonPurewal ,DmitryFarber , other experts - please enlighten

The National Fitness Test consists mostly of body-weight exercises, including sit-ups, push-ups, and chin-ups.
Comma+Including is used -
* It modifies the preceding noun
* It should give a list of some, but not all of that noun.

1.Is there a difference between the usage of comma+ including and including(without a preceding comma)? -- normally for Verb-ing modifiers the presence of comma leads to modification of the preceding action whereas, without the comma, the verb-ing modifies the preceding noun.

2. How do we decide whether verb-ing ( including ) modifies actors or the phrase several generations of actors ? I think it will depend on the context (what follows including )
In option A including follows Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro(examples of actors) . So doesn't it make sense?

(A) Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, who trained several generations of actors including ---
Who illogically refers to American theater, but can't who refer to the phrase "one of the most influential artists in the American theater" since who can only modify people and American theater isn't a person.

In the official example stated in below link, we use context(Susan Huntington Dickinson can't be written) and grammar (SV disagreement and which can't refer to people) to allow which to refer to Noun + Prep phrase

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber her letters to anyone else.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/emily-dickin ... 10142.html

Hi Skywalker18!

Happy to help

The usage of "including" without a preceding comma is typically ambiguous, and therefore usually grammatically incorrect (as in the case here). Since "including" (when it is acting as a modifier) is a non-restrictive modifier, it should always be preceded by a comma. You can read more about that here: That vs. Which on the GMAT

In option A, without context it would be ambiguous as to what exactly "including" is modifying. Since "of actors" is really modifying "generations", we could interpret this as "generations" with two modifiers ("of actors", "including..."), or we could interpret the "including..." as modifying "actors" only. Grammatical rules don't strictly tell us which one it is. However, you're definitely right that from the context here, "Marlon Brando" and "Robert De Niro" tell us that "including..." is modifying "actors", not "generations". If everything else about the sentence were correct, choice (A) could be considered correct (although maybe not as clear as we'd like). However, as I mentioned before, it is incorrect to see "including" here without a comma before it. So that, plus the issue with "who" following "American theater", leads us to eliminate (A).

I hope that helps!
-Carolyn
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Re: QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2018, 23:02
MagooshExpert wrote:
Skywalker18 wrote:
Hi AjiteshArun ,GMATNinja , ChiranjeevSingh, mikemcgarry ,egmat , sayantanc2k, RonPurewal ,DmitryFarber , other experts - please enlighten

The National Fitness Test consists mostly of body-weight exercises, including sit-ups, push-ups, and chin-ups.
Comma+Including is used -
* It modifies the preceding noun
* It should give a list of some, but not all of that noun.

1.Is there a difference between the usage of comma+ including and including(without a preceding comma)? -- normally for Verb-ing modifiers the presence of comma leads to modification of the preceding action whereas, without the comma, the verb-ing modifies the preceding noun.

2. How do we decide whether verb-ing ( including ) modifies actors or the phrase several generations of actors ? I think it will depend on the context (what follows including )
In option A including follows Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro(examples of actors) . So doesn't it make sense?

(A) Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, who trained several generations of actors including ---
Who illogically refers to American theater, but can't who refer to the phrase "one of the most influential artists in the American theater" since who can only modify people and American theater isn't a person.

In the official example stated in below link, we use context(Susan Huntington Dickinson can't be written) and grammar (SV disagreement and which can't refer to people) to allow which to refer to Noun + Prep phrase

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber her letters to anyone else.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/emily-dickin ... 10142.html

Hi Skywalker18!

Happy to help

The usage of "including" without a preceding comma is typically ambiguous, and therefore usually grammatically incorrect (as in the case here). Since "including" (when it is acting as a modifier) is a non-restrictive modifier, it should always be preceded by a comma. You can read more about that here: That vs. Which on the GMAT

In option A, without context it would be ambiguous as to what exactly "including" is modifying. Since "of actors" is really modifying "generations", we could interpret this as "generations" with two modifiers ("of actors", "including..."), or we could interpret the "including..." as modifying "actors" only. Grammatical rules don't strictly tell us which one it is. However, you're definitely right that from the context here, "Marlon Brando" and "Robert De Niro" tell us that "including..." is modifying "actors", not "generations". If everything else about the sentence were correct, choice (A) could be considered correct (although maybe not as clear as we'd like). However, as I mentioned before, it is incorrect to see "including" here without a comma before it. So that, plus the issue with "who" following "American theater", leads us to eliminate (A).

I hope that helps!
-Carolyn

Hi MagooshExpert Carolyn ,

Who illogically refers to American theater, but can't who refer to the phrase "one of the most influential artists in the American theater" since who can only modify people and American theater isn't a person ?

(A) Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, who trained several generations of actors including ---

In the official example stated in below link, we use context(Susan Huntington Dickinson can't be written) and grammar (SV disagreement and which can't refer to people) to allow which to refer to Noun + Prep phrase

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber her letters to anyone else.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/emily-dickin ... 10142.html
_________________

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The Moment You Think About Giving Up, Think Of The Reason Why You Held On So Long
+1 Kudos if you find this post helpful

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Re: QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2018, 00:59
1
Skywalker18 No, we can't do that, for the simple reason that "who" modifiers aren't used that way. For instance, we can't say "Jennifer is one of my best friends, who always helps me." Sure, it's perfectly clear what "who" is modifying. But we use it to add information about a noun or noun phrase, not to follow a statement. I could say "One of my best friends, who . . . ," but I wouldn't follow a complete clause about Jennifer with a "who" modifier.

Back to the original context, even if we didn't have a complete clause, we probably wouldn't say "One of the most influential artists in the American theater, who . . ." simply because there's too much material between the modifier and the actual noun. We can skip over a little bit, but only as needed, and usually when there's not really a better way to say it. In the Dickinson example, the prepositional modifier "to SHD" can't really fit anywhere but between "letters" and "which."
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Joined: 30 Oct 2017
Posts: 146
Re: QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2018, 17:47
Skywalker18 wrote:
Hi MagooshExpert Carolyn ,

Who illogically refers to American theater, but can't who refer to the phrase "one of the most influential artists in the American theater" since who can only modify people and American theater isn't a person ?

(A) Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists in the American theater, who trained several generations of actors including ---

In the official example stated in below link, we use context(Susan Huntington Dickinson can't be written) and grammar (SV disagreement and which can't refer to people) to allow which to refer to Noun + Prep phrase

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber her letters to anyone else.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/emily-dickin ... 10142.html

Hi Skywalker18,

This is a bit less clear, because the "who" here could be referring to "influential artists in the American theater". This would be a more logical interpretation, from the structure of the sentence, than assuming that "who" is referring to "Stella Adler". It's definitely theoretically possible that those "influential artists" are the ones who "trained several generations of artists". And "trained" is a correct verb tense for either "Stella" or "artists". So here, the "who" is in fact ambiguous, even considering the context. You are correct that we can make certain inferences from the context, but when there are multiple logical references for a pronoun, there is still ambiguity.

I hope that helps!
-Carolyn
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Re: QOTD: As an actress and, more importantly, as a teacher of acting   [#permalink] 27 Feb 2018, 17:47
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