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# QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient

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QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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15 May 2017, 08:50
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58% (00:38) correct 42% (00:48) wrong based on 1408 sessions

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 11: Sentence Correction

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Based on accounts of various ancient writers, scholars have painted a sketchy picture of the activities of an all-female cult that, perhaps as early as the sixth century BC, worshipped a goddess known as Bona Dea, "the good goddess".

(A) Based on accounts of various ancient writers
(B) Basing it on various ancient writers' accounts
(C) With accounts of various ancient writers used for a basis
(D) By the account of various ancient writers they used
(E) Using accounts of various ancient writers

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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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15 May 2017, 08:55
15
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Quote:
(A) Based on accounts of various ancient writers, scholars have painted a sketchy picture of the activities of an all-female cult that, perhaps as early as the sixth century BC, worshipped a goddess known as Bona Dea, "the good goddess".

Maybe some of you will disagree, but I think (A) sounds good. This absolutely sounds like a sentence that a smart history professor would include in a paper or a lecture.

Trouble is, this is the GMAT, and your ear is not your friend. Welcome to GMAT SC: correct answers will “sound bad”, and wrong answers often “sound good.”

In this case, you’ll want to be strict and literal when you analyze the “-ed” modifier and its relationship to the noun it modifies. (A) is saying that scholars themselves are “based on accounts of various ancient writers”, and that doesn’t make sense. (A) is gone.

(And for more on “-ed” modifiers, please check out our Topic of the Week.)

Quote:
(B) Basing it on various ancient writers' accounts

This one is easier to eliminate, since “it” has no antecedent. “Picture” would be the closest singular noun, but that’s too far ahead in the sentence to be reasonable. (B) is gone.

Quote:
(C) With accounts of various ancient writers used for a basis

If you wanted to be conservative, I suppose that you could hang onto this one until you see a better option. I don’t think that it’s grammatically wrong, exactly, but it’s definitely wordy, and I don’t love the use of “with” in this sentence –- it just seems like a very clunky way to express the fact that scholars used accounts of various ancient writers to accomplish their work. And as we’ll see in a moment, (E) is much better.

Quote:
(D) By the accounts of various ancient writers they used

This one seems to be saying that the scholars used the various ancient writers, and that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I’m also not sure that the structure makes sense in general: the scholars painted a sketchy picture “by the accounts of various ancient writers”? Sure, the scholars used those accounts, or based their picture on those accounts – but it wouldn’t make sense to say that they painted the picture “by the accounts” of the ancient writers. We can eliminate (D).

Quote:
(E) Using accounts of various ancient writers

The “-ing” modifier is perfect here: the scholars used the accounts of various ancient writers to paint their sketchy picture. And there’s no extra nonsense in (E), so it’s much clearer than (C). (E) wins.
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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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15 May 2017, 09:00
Tough call between A and E, rest can be easily eliminated. ( B, basing it is incorrect, C. with accounts also doesn't sound right and D. by the accounts is definitely wrong).

I would go with E as "the scholars have painted a sketchy picture of the activities of an all-female cult that worshipped a goddess, using accounts of various writers" sounds better.

Based on accounts seems to be more of an eyewitness narration than the act of painting a sketchy picture of activities.

Please correct me experts if my reasons are totally wrong!

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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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15 May 2017, 14:32
1
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Based on accounts of various ancient writers, scholars have painted a sketchy picture of the activities of an all-female cult that, perhaps as early as the sixth century BC, worshipped a goddess known as Bona Dea, "the good goddess".

(A) Based on accounts of various ancient writers - incorrect. The phrase "Based on accounts of various ancient writers" incorrectly modifies "scholars".
(B) Basing it on various ancient writers' accounts - incorrect. "it" does not have an antecedent.
(C) With accounts of various ancient writers used for a basis - wordy
(D) By the account of various ancient writers they used - wordy. Moreover, "account" should be plural; not sure whether this error is just a typo.
(E) Using accounts of various ancient writers - correct.
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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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15 May 2017, 20:12
A-Incorrect modifier
B-"It" is ambiguous.
C- wordy
D-By the account seems incorrect
E-correct
Waiting for OA
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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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16 May 2017, 00:29
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 11: Sentence Correction

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Based on accounts of various ancient writers, scholars have painted a sketchy picture of the activities of an all-female cult that, perhaps as early as the sixth century BC, worshipped a goddess known as Bona Dea, "the good goddess".

(A) Based on accounts of various ancient writers
(B) Basing it on various ancient writers' accounts
(C) With accounts of various ancient writers used for a basis
(D) By the account of various ancient writers they used
(E) Using accounts of various ancient writers

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.

This Question really teat if we should use Verb-eḍ modifier or Verb-ing Modifier

Choice A) Modifers Scholar

While Choice E May modify Scholar or complete preceding clause.

I think choice E conveys more meaning than A

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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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16 May 2017, 02:02
GMATNinja wrote:
Reserved for expert explanation

Please share the correct answer with Explanation.

Thanks

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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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16 May 2017, 07:35
1
The answer must be option E. My take on the question :

Meaning - Scholars have painted a sketchy picture of the activities of an all female cult that , perhaps as early as the sixth century BC, worshipped a goddess known as Bona Dea, "the good goddess". The sketchy picture has been based on the account of various ancient writers.

Error analysis - This is a classic case of modifier error. Based on ... modifies scholars. This is nonsensical. Scholars are not based on anything. The scholars use ancient accounts to sketch a picture. Option which talks about this must be used.

POE -

a) Eliminated based on the error analysis mentioned above.
b) "It" - what does it refer to ? eliminate
c) With accounts ... for a basis --> You don't need to use with accounts and for a basis together. Moreover this choice is too wordy.
d) meaning issue. By the account of various ancient writers they used ---> writers did not use various accounts. eliminate
e) Fits the bill. Correct choice.

The answer must be option E.
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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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01 Jun 2017, 11:18
Out of following two which one is correct.

1-Based on 25 years of research in the field, the doctor had a hunch that the new medicine would be successful.

2-Depending on 25 years of research in the field, the doctor had a hunch that the new medicine would be successful.

I feel first one is incorrect as "based on....." modifies the doctor...which is incorrect as Doctor is not based on 25 years of research.
and i am not sure about the 2nd one.

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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2017, 10:49
GmatBawse wrote:
Tough call between A and E, rest can be easily eliminated. ( B, basing it is incorrect, C. with accounts also doesn't sound right and D. by the accounts is definitely wrong).

I would go with E as "the scholars have painted a sketchy picture of the activities of an all-female cult that worshipped a goddess, using accounts of various writers" sounds better.

Based on accounts seems to be more of an eyewitness narration than the act of painting a sketchy picture of activities.

Please correct me experts if my reasons are totally wrong!

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Hello GmatBawse,

Whenever a sentence starts with a verb-ed or a verb-ing modifier, the action denoted by these modifiers must make sense with the subject of the main clause.

Let's now apply this rule to the official sentence at hand.

Based on accounts of various ancient writers, scholars have painted a sketchy picture of the activities of an all-female cult that, perhaps as early as the sixth century BC, worshipped a goddess known as Bona Dea, "the good goddess".

The question we ask here is that are the scholars based on accounts of various ancient writers? Most definitely not. Hence, usage of the opening verb-ed modifier is incorrect because it fails to make sense with the subject scholars.

Now let's check the usage of the verb-ing modifier using accounts of various ancient writers in Choice E.

The question we ask here is that did the scholars use the accounts of various ancient writers? Yes, indeed. That's the correct usage of the verb-ing modifier in the context of this sentence. Hence, Choice E is the correct answer.

This is the way to check the correctness of the opening verb-ed and verb-ing modifiers in a sentence.

The correct usage of both these modifiers have been explained in super details with ample examples in our SC course. In fact, the concept dealing with Verb-ing Modifier is part of our Free Trail Course. You can register at e-gmat.com and review the same.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2017, 11:03
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abhineetmanu wrote:
Out of following two which one is correct.

1-Based on 25 years of research in the field, the doctor had a hunch that the new medicine would be successful.

2-Depending on 25 years of research in the field, the doctor had a hunch that the new medicine would be successful.

I feel first one is incorrect as "based on....." modifies the doctor...which is incorrect as Doctor is not based on 25 years of research.
and i am not sure about the 2nd one.

Hello abhineetmanu,

1-Based on 25 years of research in the field, the doctor had a hunch that the new medicine would be successful.

Indeed, this sentence is incorrect. The doctor is not based on 25 years of research. So yes, your analysis about this sentence is correct.

2-Depending on 25 years of research in the field, the doctor had a hunch that the new medicine would be successful.

IMHO, this sentence is also incorrect because the meaning conveyed by the modifier does not fit logically in the context of the sentence. Does the sentence intend to say that because the doctor depended on 25 years of research, he had a hunch or the doctor depended on 25 years of research to arrive at the hunch? The sentence does not convey clear meaning.

Let's alter the wording of this sentence a bit.

2- Possessing great expertise in the field of chemistry, the doctor had a hunch that the new medicine would be successful.

In the above-mentioned sentence, the opening modifier correctly modifies the subject doctor by suggesting that the doctor possessed great expertise in the field of chemistry.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2017, 23:01
GMATNinja , if I write ''Basing on accounts of various ancient writers'' , will it be correct? Why or why not?
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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2017, 23:05
GMATNinja , So the following sentence is wrong :
''Based on the evidence, the jury reached a verdict."

Will it be correct to say, "Using the evidence, the jury reached a verdict"?
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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2017, 04:37
Is not there anyone who can give reply???
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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2017, 10:56
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rma

"Using the evidence, the jury reached a verdict ---- is correct.
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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2017, 12:20
daagh wrote:
rma

"Using the evidence, the jury reached a verdict ---- is correct.

Thanks! So we can always use the word "using" in such cases??

if I write ''Basing on accounts of various ancient writers'' , will it be correct? Why or why not?
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Re: QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2017, 17:16
rma26 wrote:
daagh wrote:
rma

"Using the evidence, the jury reached a verdict ---- is correct.

Thanks! So we can always use the word "using" in such cases??

if I write ''Basing on accounts of various ancient writers'' , will it be correct? Why or why not?

As long as the phrase "using ____" makes sense with the noun that follows, then "using" is no problem. So the sentence "using the evidence, the jury reached a verdict" is fine, since makes sense that the jury uses the evidence.

This, however, would be wrong: ''Basing on accounts of various ancient writers, young Athenian women wove a new woolen robe each year.'' First of all, the young Athenian women aren't performing the action "basing." Second, I think you'd need some sort of object here: what, exactly, is based on the accounts of various ancient writers?

Something like this would be acceptable: "Basing their conclusions on the accounts of various ancient writers, scholars determined that young Athenian women really liked baklava." The scholars perform the action "basing", and it's clear that the scholars' conclusions are based on the accounts of the various ancient writers.

For more, feel free to check out our posts on "-ing" and "-ed" words.

I hope this helps!
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Based on accounts of various ancient writers   [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2017, 05:23
BASED ON ACCOUNTS OF VARIOUS ANCIENT WRITERS, scholars have painted a sketchy picture of the activities of an all-female culture that, perhaps as early as the sixth century B. C., worshipped a goddess known in Latin as Bona Dea, "the good goddess".
A) Based on accounts of various ancient writers,
B) Basing it on various ancient writers' accounts,
C) With accounts of various ancient writers used for a basis,
D) By the accounts of various ancient writers they used,
E) Using accounts of various ancient writers,

The OA is E. However, I'm confused between A and E and would appreciate if someone would explain why E is a better choice.
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Re: Based on accounts of various ancient writers  [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2017, 05:30
Sprihasakshi wrote:
BASED ON ACCOUNTS OF VARIOUS ANCIENT WRITERS, scholars have painted a sketchy picture of the activities of an all-female culture that, perhaps as early as the sixth century B. C., worshipped a goddess known in Latin as Bona Dea, "the good goddess".
A) Based on accounts of various ancient writers,
B) Basing it on various ancient writers' accounts,
C) With accounts of various ancient writers used for a basis,
D) By the accounts of various ancient writers they used,
E) Using accounts of various ancient writers,
The OA is E. However, I'm confused between A and E and would appreciate if someone would explain why E is a better choice.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/qotd-based-o ... fl=similar
Please check here. This should help!
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QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient  [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2017, 05:28
Sprihasakshi wrote:
BASED ON ACCOUNTS OF VARIOUS ANCIENT WRITERS, scholars have painted a sketchy picture of the activities of an all-female culture that, perhaps as early as the sixth century B. C., worshipped a goddess known in Latin as Bona Dea, "the good goddess".
A) Based on accounts of various ancient writers,
B) Basing it on various ancient writers' accounts,
C) With accounts of various ancient writers used for a basis,
D) By the accounts of various ancient writers they used,
E) Using accounts of various ancient writers,

The OA is E. However, I'm confused between A and E and would appreciate if someone would explain why E is a better choice.

This is how I came to choose the correct option.

scholars have painted a sketchy picture--- how? Based on accounts of various ancient writers OR Using accounts of various ancient writers.

If you go with based or ed modifier, An ed modifier will modify or give meaning to scholar. that is not the case here. So, scholars have painted a sketchy picture by using something and not based on something.
QOTD: Based on accounts of various ancient &nbs [#permalink] 03 Oct 2017, 05:28

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