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QOTD: In ancient Thailand, much of the local artisans' creative ene

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 172: Sentence Correction


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In ancient Thailand, much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended for the creation of Buddha images and when they constructed and decorated the temples that enshrined them.

(A) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended for the creation of Buddha images and when they constructed and decorated the temples that enshrined them

(B) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended on the creation of Buddha images and on construction and decoration of the temples in which they were enshrined

(C) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended on the creation of Buddha images as well as constructing and decoration of the temples in which they were enshrined

(D) creating images of Buddha accounted for much of the local artisans' creative energy, and also constructing and decorating the temples enshrining them

(E) the creating of Buddha images accounted for much of the local artisans' creative energy as well as construction and decoration of the temples that enshrined them

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QOTD: In ancient Thailand, much of the local artisans' creative ene [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2017, 23:09
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(A) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended for the creation of Buddha images and when they constructed and decorated the temples that enshrined them

The biggest issue in (A) is the mess of pronouns toward the end of the sentence. That first “they” logically needs to refer to “local artisans”, but that raises two problems. First, “Buddha images” is the closest plural noun, so that raises a potential ambiguity issue. Second, “local artisans” is actually a possessive noun here, and in general on the GMAT, it’s not ideal to have a non-possessive pronoun (“they”) refer back to a possessive noun (artisans’).

If you need a refresher on pronouns, feel free to check out this YouTube webinar. To be fair, pronoun ambiguity isn’t an absolute rule, so you could keep (A) if you really wanted to be conservative. But in this case, I think we can agree that the pronouns are legitimately confusing, or at least we can agree that there are better options below.

And if that isn’t enough for you, there’s arguably a little parallelism issue in (A): “…the local artisans' creative energy was expended for the creation of Buddha images and when they constructed and decorated…” I’m not 100% certain that it’s WRONG, exactly: I guess it’s OK to say that “the local artisans’ creative energy was expended… when they constructed and decorated the temples…” But technically speaking, “for the creation” is a prepositional phrase, and “when they constructed” is not.

If you’re not convinced by that last paragraph, no worries: the pronoun thing is probably enough to allow us to get rid of (A), particularly since we’ll have better options in a moment.

Quote:
(B) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended on the creation of Buddha images and on construction and decoration of the temples in which they were enshrined

This one seems much better! The pronoun “they” logically need to refer to “Buddha images”, and there’s no real reason to worry about ambiguity here: “Buddha images” is really the only plausible plural referent, since “local artisans’” is possessive, and “temples” isn’t really an option, since “they” couldn’t plausibly refer back to temples in the phrase “temples in which they were enshrined.”

The parallelism is also much better here: “much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended on the creation of Buddha images and on construction and decoration…” Yup, that’s parallel.

So we can keep (B).

Quote:
(C) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended on the creation of Buddha images as well as constructing and decoration of the temples in which they were enshrined

(C) isn’t all that different from (B), but it does warp the parallelism a little bit. Let’s put the key part of the sentence side-by-side so we can see the differences:

    (B) “much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended on the creation of Buddha images and on construction and decoration…”
    (C)“much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended on the creation of Buddha images as well as constructing and decoration…”

(C) isn’t totally awful, but I see absolutely no reason to use “as well as” here, when a nice, simple “and” does the trick. Plus, (B) is parallel throughout: the artisans’ energy was expended on the creation, construction, and decoration. That’s nice. In (C), it gets wonky: we have “on the creation”, but then “constructing and decoration.” That’s less nice.

Again, I wouldn’t argue that (C) is WRONG, exactly. But it’s clearly inferior to (B), so we can eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) creating images of Buddha accounted for much of the local artisans' creative energy, and also constructing and decorating the temples enshrining them

This is a confusing mess. Basically, we can’t make any sense of the parallelism: “and” is followed by “constructing and decorating”, but I can’t figure out what “constructing and decorating” is parallel to. “Creating” is structurally similar, but if we’re trying to make “creating” parallel to “constructing and decorating”, then why aren’t all of them at the beginning of the sentence?

Plus, we could argue that “them” is more confusing than in (B). “Them” logically refers back to “images of Buddha”, which is waaaaay back in the beginning of the sentence in (D). The antecedent is much closer to the pronoun in (B). Again, pronoun ambiguity isn’t an absolute rule on the GMAT, and I wouldn’t necessarily argue that (D) is WRONG solely because of the pronoun – but the pronoun gives us another small reason to prefer (B) over (D).

Quote:
(E) the creating of Buddha images accounted for much of the local artisans' creative energy as well as construction and decoration of the temples that enshrined them

We can make the same argument about the pronoun “them” in (E) as we did in (D): it isn’t WRONG for “them” to reach all the way back to “Buddha images”, but it isn’t ideal, either.

More importantly, the meaning of the sentence is warped by the phrase “as well as construction and decoration.” It sounds like the sentence is trying to say that “the creating of Buddha images” accounted for several things: “the local artisans’ creative energy” and also “the construction and decoration of the temples.” And that doesn’t make sense: the creating of Buddha images didn’t “account for the construction and decoration of temples.”

Plus, I suppose you could also argue that “the creating of Buddha images” is a not-so-ideal use of a gerund. There’s no need to use the gerund “creating” when the noun “creation” is available to us. Again, I don’t think that “the creating of Buddha images” is WRONG, exactly, but it’s one more small reason to feel good about eliminating (E).

So (B) is our answer.
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QOTD: In ancient Thailand, much of the local artisans' creative ene [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2017, 23:45
In ancient Thailand, much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended for the creation of Buddha images and when they constructed and decorated the temples that enshrined them.

(A) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended for the creation of Buddha images and when they constructed and decorated the temples that enshrined them -- Incorrect Idiom // incorrect parallel structure // incorrect noun reference

(B) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended on the creation of Buddha images and on construction and decoration of the temples in which they were enshrined -- the word 'they' can only is refer to 'Buddha images' .... logically it can not refer to "temples" / and grammatically it can not refer to "artisans’ creative energy"

(C) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended on the creation of Buddha images as well as constructing and decoration of the temples in which they were enshrined -- incorrect parallel structure

(D) creating images of Buddha accounted for much of the local artisans' creative energy, and also constructing and decorating the temples enshrining them -- changes original meaning to “the creating of Buddha images accounted for construction and decoration of the temples

(E) the creating of Buddha images accounted for much of the local artisans' creative energy as well as construction and decoration of the temples that enshrined them -- meaning issue same as above

Last edited by s8kadian on 06 Dec 2017, 01:38, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: QOTD: In ancient Thailand, much of the local artisans' creative ene [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2017, 00:50
Although that "they" could be ambigous I think B is the correct answer

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QOTD: In ancient Thailand, much of the local artisans' creative ene [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2017, 01:16
Fedemaravilla wrote:
Although that "they" could be ambigous I think B is the correct answer


the word 'they' can only is refer to 'Buddha images' .... logically it can not refer to "temples" / and grammatically it can not refer to "artisans’ creative energy"

Last edited by s8kadian on 06 Dec 2017, 01:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: QOTD: In ancient Thailand, much of the local artisans' creative ene [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2017, 01:17
In ancient Thailand, much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended for the creation of Buddha images and when they constructed and decorated the temples that enshrined them.

(A) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended for the creation of Buddha images and when they constructed and decorated the temples that enshrined them
1. Them is ambiguous; it should refer to images but it seems to be referring back to temples. 2. For the creation should be on the creation. 3. For the creation ...and when they ....are not parallel

(B) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended on the creation of Buddha images and on construction and decoration of the temples in which they were enshrined
Correct. 1. Expended on ....and on ....correct parallel construction. 2. In which refers to temples and they refers to images

(C) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended on the creation of Buddha images as well as constructing and decoration of the temples in which they were enshrined
1. We need and rather than as well as. 2. Constructing should be construction

(D) creating images of Buddha accounted for much of the local artisans' creative energy, and also constructing and decorating the temples enshrining them
Completely awkward construction

(E) the creating of Buddha images accounted for much of the local artisans' creative energy as well as construction and decoration of the temples that enshrined them
Nonsensical construction
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Re: QOTD: In ancient Thailand, much of the local artisans' creative ene [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2017, 04:57
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 172: Sentence Correction


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In ancient Thailand, much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended for the creation of Buddha images and when they constructed and decorated the temples that enshrined them.

(A) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended for the creation of Buddha images and when they constructed and decorated the temples that enshrined them

(B) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended on the creation of Buddha images and on construction and decoration of the temples in which they were enshrined

(C) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended on the creation of Buddha images as well as constructing and decoration of the temples in which they were enshrined

(D) creating images of Buddha accounted for much of the local artisans' creative energy, and also constructing and decorating the temples enshrining them

(E) the creating of Buddha images accounted for much of the local artisans' creative energy as well as construction and decoration of the temples that enshrined them

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 think the correct answer is B but a little stuck on why to eliminate some of the other answers so looking forward to GMATNinja's post!
(A) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended for the creation of Buddha images and when they constructed and decorated the temples that enshrined them
Wrong idiom-should be expended on and in the second part of the sentence it is unclear what they and them are referring to making the sentence meaning confusing

(B) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended on the creation of Buddha images and on construction and decoration of the temples in which they were enshrined
Best choice-correct idiom and parallelism and it is clear that they refers back to the Buddha images

(C) much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended on the creation of Buddha images as well as constructing and decoration of the temples in which they were enshrined
Parallelism is incorrect here even though the idiom is correct

(D) creating images of Buddha accounted for much of the local artisans' creative energy, and also constructing and decorating the temples enshrining them
I think there is a verb missing in this sentence which makes the sentence structure awkward and confuses the meaning

(E) the creating of Buddha images accounted for much of the local artisans' creative energy as well as construction and decoration of the temples that enshrined them
the parallelism is incorrect here, sentence meaning has also changed

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Re: QOTD: In ancient Thailand, much of the local artisans' creative ene   [#permalink] 06 Dec 2017, 04:57
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