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# QOTD: Building on civilizations that preceded them in coastal Peru

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QOTD: Building on civilizations that preceded them in coastal Peru  [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2018, 08:47
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73% (00:59) correct 27% (01:15) wrong based on 352 sessions

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 252: Sentence Correction

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Building on civilizations that preceded them in coastal Peru, the Mochica developed their own elaborate society, based on cultivating such crops like corn and beans, the harvesting of fish and shellfish, and exploiting other wild and domestic resources.

(A) based on cultivating such crops like corn and beans, the harvesting of fish and shellfish, and exploiting

(B) based on the cultivation of such crops as corn and beans, the harvesting of fish and seafood, and the exploitation of

(C) and basing it on the cultivation of crops like corn and beans, harvesting fish and seafood, and the exploiting of

(D) and they based it on their cultivation of crops such as corn and beans, the harvest of fish and seafood, and exploiting

(E) and they based it on their cultivating such crops like corn and beans, their harvest of fish and shellfish, and they exploited

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Edit: Corrected underlining

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QOTD: Building on civilizations that preceded them in coastal Peru  [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2018, 08:49
2
2
Quote:
(A) based on cultivating such crops like corn and beans, the harvesting of fish and shellfish, and exploiting

Conventional GMAT wisdom suggests that you can only use “such as” – but not “like” – to introduce examples in SC sentences. There’s actually a correct SC question that uses “like” to introduce examples (though it’s not a deciding factor, since “like” appears in all five answer choices), but you’ll never see “such like” used… anywhere at all in a correct sentence in English.

Plus, the parallelism isn’t ideal: the society is based on “cultivating such crops like corn and beans, the harvesting of fish and shellfish, and exploiting…” I’m not really sure why we would use “cultivating” and “exploiting” by themselves, but then “the harvesting of” includes an article and a preposition. I’m not sure that it’s WRONG, exactly, but I’ll bet that we can do better with the parallelism.

And even if you’re not convinced by the parallelism thing, “such crops like” is definitely a disaster. (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) based on the cultivation of such crops as corn and beans, the harvesting of fish and seafood, and the exploitation of

Instead of “such crops like”, we now have “such crops as.” That’s much better. And in case you’re wondering: there’s no reason why we can’t split up the “such” and the “as.” Personally, I don’t like it, but the GMAT doesn’t care about what I think – and it’s definitely not wrong.

The parallelism is also much better here: “…the cultivation of such crops as corn and beans, the harvesting of fish and seafood, and the exploitation of…” That’s perfect: all three elements in the list are in the same form, with an article, a noun, and a preposition.

And it doesn’t matter that “harvesting” sounds different than “cultivation” and “exploitation” – all three are nouns, and when it comes to parallelism, that’s all that matters. “Sound” is irrelevant.

So let’s keep (B).

Quote:
(C) and basing it on the cultivation of crops like corn and beans, harvesting fish and seafood, and the exploiting of

Now we have “like” to introduce examples, and that’s generally wrong on the GMAT, at least when we have a better alternative (“such as” in two of the other answer choices).

The parallelism is also a problem: “the cultivation of crops like corn and beans, harvesting fish and seafood, and the exploiting of…” Again, I don’t understand why we have “harvesting” all by itself, while “cultivation” and “exploiting” are accompanied by an article and a preposition. (Plus, “the exploiting of” is a lousier version of “the exploitation of.” I’m not sure that “the exploiting of” is WRONG, exactly, but it’s not ideal, either.)

Finally, it’s hard to understand why we would use the phrase “and basing it on…” here. I actually can’t quite figure out its role in the sentence: “basing” seems like a modifier of some sort (a participle if you like jargon; check out this article more on the many uses of “-ing” words), but I’m not quite sure what it’s modifying. It seems like some other clause would need to follow that modifier: “… and basing it on {three ways to get food}, the Mochica ate really well…”. Or something like that.

But even if you totally ignored that last paragraph, “like” and the parallelism are big enough issues to allow us to ditch (C).

Quote:
(D) and they based it on their cultivation of crops such as corn and beans, the harvest of fish and seafood, and exploiting

Once again, the parallelism isn’t great here: “and they based it on their cultivation of crops such as corn and beans, the harvest of fish and seafood, and exploiting…” That’s odd: we have a possessive phrase (“their cultivation of”), then a non-possessive noun with an article (“the harvest of”), and then an “-ing” noun without an article (“exploiting” – it’s a gerund, if you like grammar jargon). That’s not awesome.

I’m also not sure that there’s a good reason to start a brand-new clause in the underlined portion of the sentence. Check out the structural difference between (B) and (D): in (B), the phrase “based on…” turns the underlined portion into a modifier for “society.” In (D), “…and they based it on…” gives us two parallel clauses – and there’s no good reason to do that. It’s not WRONG, exactly, but it’s simpler and clearer to just turn the last part of the sentence into a modifier for “society.”

But even if you don’t believe anything in that last paragraph, the parallelism thing is enough to disqualify (D).

Quote:
(E) and they based it on their cultivating such crops like corn and beans, their harvest of fish and shellfish, and they exploited

(E) has all sorts of problems. “Such crops like” is a hot mess, and should be “such crops as” or “crops such as.”

The parallelism is disastrous, too: “…their cultivating such crops like corn and beans, their harvest of fish and shellfish, and they exploited…” That gives us two nouns and then a brand-new clause (“they exploited”), and those things aren’t parallel to each other.

Put another way: the sentence now has three clauses, and there’s no good reason to make the sentence so complicated. “The Mochica developed their own elaborate society… and they based it on their cultivating… and they exploited other resources…” That’s a mess.

But even if you don’t believe that last paragraph, the “such like” and parallelism problems are spectacular reasons to eliminate (E). And we’re left with (B).
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##### General Discussion
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Re: QOTD: Building on civilizations that preceded them in coastal Peru  [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2018, 09:02
1
Building on civilizations that preceded them in coastal Peru, the Mochica developed their own elaborate society, based on cultivating such crops like corn and beans, the harvesting of fish and shellfish, and exploiting other wild and domestic resources.

(A) based on cultivating such crops like corn and beans, the harvesting of fish and shellfish, and exploiting -usage of like is wrong

(B) based on the cultivation of such crops as corn and beans, the harvesting of fish and seafood, and the exploitation of --Correct.

(C) and basing it on the cultivation of crops like corn and beans, harvesting fish and seafood, and the exploiting of --usage of like is wrong

(D) and they based it on their cultivation of crops such as corn and beans, the harvest of fish and seafood, and exploiting --this changes the meaning by using "and". The Mochica didn't develop first and then started those things. They developed because of those things.

(E) and they based it on their cultivating such crops like corn and beans, their harvest of fish and shellfish, and they exploited --Same issue as in D
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QOTD: Building on civilizations that preceded them in coastal Peru  [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2018, 09:25
Explanation as per GMATNinja style .

Step 1: Look for definite errors , one that jump off the page for you.
Eg, parallel markers such as AND, BUT or logical antecedent for pronouns

Quote:
Building on civilizations that preceded them in coastal Peru, the Mochica developed their own elaborate society, based on cultivating such crops like corn and beans, the harvesting of fish and shellfish, and exploiting other wild and domestic resources.

The word that catches my eye first : parallel marker - AND

So what are nouns that are parallel :

harvesting of

Other nouns cultivating and exploiting acts as a gerund (verb acting as a noun) than a proper noun:
cultivation of and explication of

A is also out because we do not use LIKE for giving examples , we use such as or as.

Step 2: PoE:

Quote:
(B) based on the cultivation of such crops as corn and beans, the harvesting of fish and seafood, and the exploitation of

All three elements in list ie cultivation of , harvesting of and exploitation of are now in parallel to stem - BASED ON, a verb-ed modifer
modifying society. Keep this and see why others are incorrect.

Quote:
(C) and basing it on the cultivation of crops like corn and beans, harvesting fish and seafood, and the exploiting of

What is the highlighted AND doing in between? We need coma + verb-ed modifier correctly modifying society instead of coma + verb-ing
which either shows HOW / RESULT of preceding clause. Here again usage of LIKE is incorrect.

Quote:
(D) and they based it on their cultivation of crops such as corn and beans, the harvest of fish and seafood, and exploiting

We need AND only before the end of the last element in the list. Here the exploiting ( a gerund) is not parallel to
earlier two nouns.

Quote:
(E) and they based it on their cultivating such crops like corn and beans, their harvest of fish and shellfish, and they exploited

Complete mess,
1. Incorrect usage of AND
2. See elements in list, first is a gerund, second a noun and third a verb.
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QOTD: Building on civilizations that preceded them in coastal Peru  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2018, 09:02
+1 for option C. Great explanations above ! To summarize use the following decision points :

1) such as vs like
2) parallelism
3) sentence structure & concept of modifiers

View the question from the point of view of aforementioned parameters and you should be through !
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Re: QOTD: Building on civilizations that preceded them in coastal Peru  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2018, 04:43
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 252: Sentence Correction

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Building on civilizations that preceded them in coastal Peru, the Mochica developed their own elaborate society, based on cultivating such crops like corn and beans, the harvesting of fish and shellfish, and exploiting other wild and domestic resources.

(A) based on cultivating such crops like corn and beans, the harvesting of fish and shellfish, and exploiting

(B) based on the cultivation of such crops as corn and beans, the harvesting of fish and seafood, and the exploitation of

(C) and basing it on the cultivation of crops like corn and beans, harvesting fish and seafood, and the exploiting of

(D) and they based it on their cultivation of crops such as corn and beans, the harvest of fish and seafood, and exploiting

(E) and they based it on their cultivating such crops like corn and beans, their harvest of fish and shellfish, and they exploited
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Re: QOTD: Building on civilizations that preceded them in coastal Peru &nbs [#permalink] 26 Apr 2018, 04:43
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# QOTD: Building on civilizations that preceded them in coastal Peru

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