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# QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation

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QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2017, 11:56
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63% (01:03) correct 37% (01:30) wrong based on 614 sessions

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 71: Sentence Correction

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Despite Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during the Tokugawa shogunate produced an almost explosive expansion of commerce.

(A) Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during the Tokugawa shogunate
(B) the relative isolation of Japan from world trade at the time and the Tokugawa shogunate’s prolonged peace, it
(C) being relatively isolated from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during Japan’s Tokugawa shogunate
(D) Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time during the Tokugawa shogunate, prolonged peace
(E) its relative isolation from world trade then, prolonged peace in Japan during the Tokugawa shogunate

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QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2017, 11:57
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Quote:
(A) Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during the Tokugawa shogunate

I have no idea what I'm supposed to be looking at here. I don't see anything fun: no pronouns or parallelism or comparisons or anything like that. I also don't see any problems, and the sentence seems to make sense. I guess we'll keep (A). *shrug*

Quote:
(B) the relative isolation of Japan from world trade at the time and the Tokugawa shogunate’s prolonged peace, it

The parallelism is weird here. Following the "and", we have "...the Tokugawa shogunate’s prolonged peace" and that phrase is structurally parallel to "the relative isolation of Japan from world trade." But that whole mess is preceded by "despite": so we have "despite... the the Tokugawa shogunate’s prolonged peace, it produced an almost explosive expansion of commerce."

That makes no sense. The expansion didn't happen despite the prolonged peace. It happened because of it. Eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) being relatively isolated from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during Japan’s Tokugawa shogunate

If we look at (C) strictly and literally, it's saying that "the prolonged peace" was relatively isolated from world trade at the time. (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time during the Tokugawa shogunate, prolonged peace

There are a few subtle little problems with this one. First, "at the time during" is redundant. I'm not sure that it's automatically wrong, but it's not ideal: "during" or "at the time of" would be fine, but I don't really understand why we would use "at the time during."

More importantly, I think the meaning is distorted here, as the indefatigable daagh pointed out below. The point of the sentence seems to be that the prolonged peace happened during the Tokugawa shogunate -- and the prolonged peace of the shogunate produced an explosion of commerce during that time. I don't think that it's trying to say that the isolation from world trade happened during the shogunate. Plus, the "prolonged peace" isn't connected to the shogunate at all in the second part of the sentence. (A) conveys this meaning much more clearly, so (D) can be eliminated.

Quote:
(E) its relative isolation from world trade then, prolonged peace in Japan during the Tokugawa shogunate

"Its" seems to refer to "prolonged peace" here, and that doesn't make sense. I'm also not thrilled with "then" -- I guess it refers to the shogunate, but it's not super-clear. But that pronoun thing is a definite error. (E) is out, and (A) wins.
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Re: QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2017, 12:43

Despite Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during the Tokugawa shogunate produced an almost
explosive expansion of commerce.

A) Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during the Tokugawa shogunate -The first part of the sentence is neither complete nor modifying the second part of the sentence; therefore this option isn't making any sense.
B) the relative isolation of japan from world trade at the time and the Tokugawa shogunate’s prolonged peace, it -"it" doesn't have any antecedent
C) being relatively isolated from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during Japan’s Tokugawa shogunate -First part is wrongly modifying the prolonged peace. It should modify Japan
D) Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time during the Tokugawa shogunate, prolonged peace -CORRECT
E) its relative isolation from world trade then, prolonged peace in Japan during the Tokugawa shogunate -"its" doesn't have an antecedent
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Re: QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 00:18
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Top Contributor
1
Despite Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during the Tokugawa shogunate produced an almost explosive expansion of commerce.

A) Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during the Tokugawa shogunate -- the correct choice.

B) the relative isolation of Japan from world trade at the time and the Tokugawa shogunate’s prolonged peace, it - diametrical change of meaning; looks as if the commerce expanded despite shogunate's prolonged peace.

C) being relatively isolated from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during Japan’s Tokugawa shogunate -- modification problem. as if the peace was isolated.

D) Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time during the Tokugawa shogunate, prolonged peace ---1. Almost good enough except that 'at that time during the shogunate' is a little murky because of the redundancy of 'at that time during the Tokugawa shogunate -2. the dropping of the definite article before prolonged isn't an issue I suppose. Probably a tad lower than A

E) its relative isolation from world trade then, prolonged peace in Japan during the Tokugawa shogunate-- 'its' modifies prolonged peace in Japan.

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Re: QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 01:56
daagh wrote:
Despite Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during the Tokugawa shogunate produced an almost explosive expansion of commerce.

A) Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during the Tokugawa shogunate -- the correct choice.

B) the relative isolation of Japan from world trade at the time and the Tokugawa shogunate’s prolonged peace, it - diametrical change of meaning; looks as if the commerce expanded despite shogunate's prolonged peace.

C) being relatively isolated from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during Japan’s Tokugawa shogunate -- modification problem. as if the peace was isolated.

D) Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time during the Tokugawa shogunate, prolonged peace ---1. Almost good enough except that 'at that time during the shogunate' is a little murky because of the redundancy of 'at that time during the Tokugawa shogunate -2. the dropping of the definite article before prolonged isn't an issue I suppose. Probably a tad lower than A

E) its relative isolation from world trade then, prolonged peace in Japan during the Tokugawa shogunate-- 'its' modifies prolonged peace in Japan.

Hello daagh,

Please explain how the original sentence is correct?

"Despite Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time" -> This is not making any sense for me. What time are we talking of here? I agree that "D" has redundancy issue but "A" doesn't express the desired meaning.

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Re: QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 02:33
Top Contributor
gmatexam439

1. But then what's the desired meaning that should have been expressed in A other than that from the text?
Are the text and A are so absurd that we have to change them to more sensible versions?

2. How far is D different from 'A' in meaning?

That would greatly help
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Re: QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 03:00
daagh wrote:
gmatexam439

1. But then what's the desired meaning that should have been expressed in A other than that from the text?
Are the text and A are so absurd that we have to change them to more sensible versions?

2. How far is D different from 'A' in meaning?

That would greatly help

Hello sir
Can u pls explain the subtle meaning difference between options A and D.
I felt as if in option A it's not talking about any definite time period while in D it's talking about a definite time period.

I am sure I am missing something but cannot catch it.

Kindly help .
gmatexam439 wrote:
daagh wrote:
Despite Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during the Tokugawa shogunate produced an almost explosive expansion of commerce.

A) Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during the Tokugawa shogunate -- the correct choice.

B) the relative isolation of Japan from world trade at the time and the Tokugawa shogunate’s prolonged peace, it - diametrical change of meaning; looks as if the commerce expanded despite shogunate's prolonged peace.

C) being relatively isolated from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during Japan’s Tokugawa shogunate -- modification problem. as if the peace was isolated.

D) Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time during the Tokugawa shogunate, prolonged peace ---1. Almost good enough except that 'at that time during the shogunate' is a little murky because of the redundancy of 'at that time during the Tokugawa shogunate -2. the dropping of the definite article before prolonged isn't an issue I suppose. Probably a tad lower than A

E) its relative isolation from world trade then, prolonged peace in Japan during the Tokugawa shogunate-- 'its' modifies prolonged peace in Japan.

Hello daagh,

Please explain how the original sentence is correct?

"Despite Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time" -> This is not making any sense for me. What time are we talking of here? I agree that "D" has redundancy issue but "A" doesn't express the desired meaning.

Regards

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Re: QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 06:16
Top Contributor
I rather think there is no difference between both since both talk about the definite era of the Tokugawa shogunate in the 17th through 19th centuries.
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Re: QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 06:36
The answer must be option A.My take:
Meaning - Though Japan was isolated from world trade, prolonged peace during the period of Tokugawa shogunate produced an explosive expansion of commerce.
Error analysis - SVA, tenses, structure, modifiers , & pronouns are in place.
POE:
Option A - Hold
Option B - Meaning shift and no clear precedent for it. Please note the use of and to join relative isolation and prolonged peace. As per the intended meaning, despite isolation prolonged peace produced expansion of commerce.
Option C - Modifier error. Please note prolonged peace was not isolated
Option D - Meaning shift. Prolonged peace was witnessed during the period of Tokugawa shogunate and not isolation from world trade.
Option E - It refers to prolonged peace. This is wrong.

Hence only option A remains. The answer must be option A.
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Re: QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 07:42

B: changes the meaning.
C: complicated sentence.
D: seems close but it changes the meaning all together.
E: its is ambiguous.

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Re: QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 08:13
Despite Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during the Tokugawa shogunate produced an almost explosive expansion of commerce.

Quote:
A) Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during the Tokugawa shogunate

I see absolutely nothing wrong with this sentence. KEEP!

Quote:
B) the relative isolation of japan from world trade at the time and the Tokugawa shogunate’s prolonged peace, it

The Subordinate clause 'Despite....peace' is modifying the subject 'it' and 'it' can have multiple referents. So this is OUT.

Quote:
C) being relatively isolated from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during Japan’s Tokugawa shogunate

The peace was isolated from the rest of the word? OUT.

Quote:
D) Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time during the Tokugawa shogunate, prolonged peace

We should either get rid of 'at the time' Or 'during'. Both of these terms are referring to a point in time, and that makes it redundant. OUT!

Quote:
E) its relative isolation from world trade then, prolonged peace in Japan during the Tokugawa shogunate

Same as C. It seems as though prolonged peace was isolated. OUT!

A is the answer for me!
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Re: QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 09:46
daagh wrote:
gmatexam439

1. But then what's the desired meaning that should have been expressed in A other than that from the text?
Are the text and A are so absurd that we have to change them to more sensible versions?

2. How far is D different from 'A' in meaning?

That would greatly help

Hello daagh,

Despite Japan’s relative isolation from world trade at the time, the prolonged peace during the Tokugawa shogunate produced an almost explosive expansion of commerce.

I am not very clear about the time the first part of the sentence is referring to. "Tokugawa shogunate" is an era, a time period, and not just a specific moment of time.

For example: Despite the medication received at the time, the blood loss due to heavy wounds during the fight made John weak.
If we see this example, fight occurred before the medication.

I am just confused. When we say "at the time", we mean to say A PARTICULAR MOMENT OF TIME. While, if we say "during the time", we mean to specify A TIME PERIOD.

How can we infer in the original question that the "at the time" is "during Tokugawa shogunate".

Since the OA is "A", please correct my understanding. I am just trying to learn the critical nuances of English, so that I can be successful in GMAT.

Regards
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Re: QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 10:22
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In History, 'at that time' can refer to an era, and in this context an era that ran for nearly 300 years. It may be noted that the text talks about a prolonged peace and can it be logically expected that such an extended peace was obtained at a specific point of time?

Since the topic is from GMAT Prep, I hope you are not having any doubts about its veracity. Similarly, how we can take that D is superior when after all, D is also using "at that time", "during the shogunate" and "prolonged peace?

I can see your anxiety when you were confused about an official answer from GMATPrep. Normally people take them in their stride. Wish you good luck.
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Re: QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2017, 10:05
daagh wrote:
In History, 'at that time' can refer to an era, and in this context an era that ran for nearly 300 years. It may be noted that the text talks about a prolonged peace and can it be logically expected that such an extended peace was obtained at a specific point of time?

Since the topic is from GMAT Prep, I hope you are not having any doubts about its veracity. Similarly, how we can take that D is superior when after all, D is also using "at that time", "during the shogunate" and "prolonged peace?

I can see your anxiety when you were confused about an official answer from GMATPrep. Normally people take them in their stride. Wish you good luck.

Thank you for patiently clarifying my doubts.

I was getting confused by the "at the time" phrase. I will learn and move on, since the error in "D" can't be ignored.

Regards
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Re: QOTD: Despite Japan’s relative isolation   [#permalink] 02 Aug 2017, 10:05
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