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QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 156: Sentence Correction


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Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain vallyes of the north.

(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them

(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom


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QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 17:07
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This is one of those classic GMAT comparison questions that forces you to be mind-numbingly literal about what, exactly, is being compared. We also covered this in our YouTube webinar on comparisons, so head here if you prefer your explanations in video form.

Quote:
(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many

Literally, (A) is saying that the land area of Laos is the same as the country of Great Britain itself. That’s not cool.

Plus, the modifier beginning with “where” doesn’t make sense: “… four million in population, where many are members of a hill tribe…” Huh? “Where” needs to modify a location of some sort, and the population of Laos isn’t a place. (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many

It’s harder to pin down exactly why the comparison in (B) is logically wrong, but it’s clearly a mess. It’s comparing the land area of Laos to the size of Great Britain, and that’s not totally crazy… but then what the heck is “is” doing there? I guess I could live with something like “Laos is the same size as Great Britain is”, because we’d be comparing two verb phrases. But “Laos has a land area of about the same size as Great Britain is”? I can’t make sense of that.

Plus, the last part of the underlined portion isn’t great. What is “many” referring to, exactly? There’s no actual mention of people here – and I’m really not sure that “many” can operate by itself as a pronoun, anyway.

If you wanted to be really, really conservative, you could hang onto (B) for a moment, but we’ll have better options in a moment.

Quote:
(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them

The first part of the comparison isn’t illogical, but it’s wordy AF: “Laos has a land area that is about the same size as Great Britain’s land area.” Really, is that necessary? It’s not WRONG, and I wouldn’t eliminate it right away. But the version in (E) is much more succinct.

Here’s (arguably) the bigger problem: the second part of the underlined portion gently warps the meaning of the sentence. The “but” indicates some sort of contrast, but the contrast doesn’t make a ton of sense in (C). The sentence is trying to say that Laos is the same size as Great Britain, BUT that Laos has a much smaller population; the fact that much of the population lives in hill tribes is just extra, incidental information.

But if we strip down (C), the contrast surrounding the “but” doesn’t really work. I’ll strip out some stuff for clarity, and we’re left with something like this: “Laos… is about the same size as Great Britain…, but in Laos [modifier blah blah] many of them are members of hill tribes…” Nope, that’s not the part that deserves a “but.”

For that reason, (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many

Again, the comparison isn’t ideal: we’re comparing the “land area” of Laos to the “size of Great Britain.” That’s not great, especially when we compare it with (E). Plus, we still have that funny problem with the word “many.” It’s trying to act like a pronoun, and I’m not sure that “many” can stand alone as a pronoun – and “people” aren’t even mentioned here, so it’s not clear what “many” would refer to, exactly.

(D) doesn’t look great, so I hope we like (E).


Quote:
(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom

Yup, I think (E) is OK. “That” refers to “land area”, and that’s perfect: “Laos has a land area comparable to the land area of Great Britain…” Makes sense. The “but” makes sense now, too: we’re contrasting the fact that Laos is as large as Great Britain with the fact that the population is tiny. And now it’s clear whom we’re talking about: “… four million people, many of whom are members…” Cool, now we know that “many of whom” refers back to people in Laos.

So (E) is the best we can do.
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Re: QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 12:09
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Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain vallyes of the north.

(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many -1. where is wrongly used // 2. wrong comparison between land are and Great Britain

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many -wrong comparison between land area and Great Britain

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them -This is a fragment (Laos with ....)

(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many -1. unclear comparison between land area and size of Great Britain // 2. change in meaning by the use of second "and"

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom -Correct
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Re: QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2017, 02:03
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 156: Sentence Correction


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Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain vallyes of the north.

(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them

(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom


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I categorize meaning error into 3 kinds
meaning is not logic
meaing is redundant
meaning is unclear.

look at choice D. "and many are..." is unclear . this meaning is unclear. E is gone.
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QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2017, 05:13
souvik101990 wrote:
Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.


(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many
The comparison here is between the "LAND AREA" and the country "GREAT BRITAIN" which is INCORRECT. The comparison should be either between 2 countries or between 2 land areas but not between a land area and a country.
ALso, "where" is a relative clause and it should be placed close to the noun its modifying. INCORRECT.

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many
Here the comparison is not very clear and its awkward as well. The land area is compared with the size of the Great Britain, which is an incorrect comparison. Even the presence of verb -- "is" in the later part of the comparison makes the comparison awkward. As the intended comparison is simply between the 2 nouns -- land areas. INCORRECT.

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them
The comparison over here is correct though a bit wordy and not as elegant as the option E. But its NOT a deterministic error, that just for being wordy we are NOT going to eliminate option C. There is indeed a meaning issue in the later part of the sentence.

The main part of the contrast after the CONTRAST MARKER WORD -- BUT is in the form of a modifier and thus distorts the intended meaning.

Laos has a land area that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.

SO THE GIST OF THE SENTENCE BECOMES,
Laos has a land area that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos many of them are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north. This is not the intended contrast. Thus, incorrect.

Also the usage of "them" is ambiguous, it can refer to either population or the people.


(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many
Here, again the comparison is wrong. The land area is compared with the size of Great Britain. INCORRECT.

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom
Here, "that of" refers to the land area. Thus, the comparison is correct. ALso, the intended contrast as per the meaning is clear. CORRECT.
Laos has a land area comparable to "land area" of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.

Many of whom is just a modifier providing extra information for the people mentioned just before the comma.
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Re: QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2017, 07:57
aceGMAT21 wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.


(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many
The comparison here is between the "LAND AREA" and the country "GREAT BRITAIN" which is INCORRECT. The comparison should be either between 2 countries or between 2 land areas but not between a land area and a country.
ALso, "where" is a relative clause and it should be placed close to the noun its modifying. INCORRECT.

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many
Here the comparison is not very clear and its awkward as well. The land area is compared with the size of the Great Britain, which is an incorrect comparison. Even the presence of verb -- "is" in the later part of the comparison makes the comparison awkward. As the intended comparison is simply between the 2 nouns -- land areas. INCORRECT.

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them
The comparison over here is correct though a bit wordy and not as elegant as the option E. But its NOT a deterministic error, that just for being wordy we are NOT going to eliminate option C. There is indeed a meaning issue in the later part of the sentence.

The main part of the contrast after the CONTRAST MARKER WORD -- BUT is in the form of a modifier and thus distorts the intended meaning.

Laos has a land area that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.

SO THE GIST OF THE SENTENCE BECOMES,
Laos has a land area that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos many of them are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north. This is not the intended contrast. Thus, incorrect.

Also the usage of "them" is ambiguous, it can refer to either population or the people.


(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many
Here, again the comparison is wrong. The land area is compared with the size of Great Britain. INCORRECT.

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom
Here, "that of" refers to the land area. Thus, the comparison is correct. ALso, the intended contrast as per the meaning is clear. CORRECT.
Laos has a land area comparable to "land area" of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.

Many of whom is just a modifier providing extra information for the people mentioned just before the comma.


Hi, I have question reg choice E

is n't a comma missing before but?
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Re: QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2017, 08:02
hellosanthosh2k2 wrote:
aceGMAT21 wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.


(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many
The comparison here is between the "LAND AREA" and the country "GREAT BRITAIN" which is INCORRECT. The comparison should be either between 2 countries or between 2 land areas but not between a land area and a country.
ALso, "where" is a relative clause and it should be placed close to the noun its modifying. INCORRECT.

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many
Here the comparison is not very clear and its awkward as well. The land area is compared with the size of the Great Britain, which is an incorrect comparison. Even the presence of verb -- "is" in the later part of the comparison makes the comparison awkward. As the intended comparison is simply between the 2 nouns -- land areas. INCORRECT.

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them
The comparison over here is correct though a bit wordy and not as elegant as the option E. But its NOT a deterministic error, that just for being wordy we are NOT going to eliminate option C. There is indeed a meaning issue in the later part of the sentence.

The main part of the contrast after the CONTRAST MARKER WORD -- BUT is in the form of a modifier and thus distorts the intended meaning.

Laos has a land area that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.

SO THE GIST OF THE SENTENCE BECOMES,
Laos has a land area that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos many of them are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north. This is not the intended contrast. Thus, incorrect.

Also the usage of "them" is ambiguous, it can refer to either population or the people.


(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many
Here, again the comparison is wrong. The land area is compared with the size of Great Britain. INCORRECT.

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom
Here, "that of" refers to the land area. Thus, the comparison is correct. ALso, the intended contrast as per the meaning is clear. CORRECT.
Laos has a land area comparable to "land area" of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.

Many of whom is just a modifier providing extra information for the people mentioned just before the comma.


Hi, I have question reg choice E

is n't a comma missing before but?


Hi hellosanthosh2k2,

Yes the COMMA is missing. But punctuation is NOT a major issue tested on the GMAT. Also, with respect to the other choices CHOICE E is the best both in terms of the intended meaning as well as the logical comparison between the land areas.

Just for a missing comma, we cannot eliminate a choice. I hope I answered your query.

Thanks.
-aceGMAT21
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Re: QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2017, 10:09
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Let's not bother to look at the main statement but concentrate the choices and try to eliminate the four wrong choices

(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many --- Where cannot refer to a population -- wrong

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos, there is a population of only four million, and many ---Four million of what? A population can refer to any of the inhabitants of an area such as the tiger's population in India or the wild boar's population in the prairies of the US and so on. It is essential to denote explicitly what the population stands for. ---wrong.
2. a land area of A is being compared to what a country B is -- wrong

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them-- Whenever 'as' is used in comparisons, the comparison can happen only between two verbed entities. --- wrong

(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many--same comparison error of 'as' found in C =wrong

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom --- We have already removed the four potential errors ; the fifth one must be the correct one. However, for the sake of satisfaction, one can note that choice E has effectively removed all the errors noted in the other four choices and is error-free. --Correct choice.

Whether missing the comma before 'but' is proper? The right way to parse choice E is:
Laos has (a land area comparable to that of Great Britain) but (a population of only four million people) - It may be seen that 'but' is a coordinate conjunction involving only two nouns and therefore does not require the use of a comma. A comma is used before a fanboys conjunction only when a new verbed clause involving a subject and verb is started. You cannot even expect the comma to be there when the subject is missing but a verb only exists. In this case, both the subject and the verb are missing after the 'but' hence a comma is not required. For the sake of the record, is there any official instance wherein a comma is used before coordinate conjunctions such as but' or 'and' without an accompanying clause?
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Re: QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Dec 2017, 07:15
daagh wrote:
Let's not bother to look at the main statement but concentrate the choices and try to eliminate the four wrong choices

(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many --- Where cannot refer to a population -- wrong

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos, there is a population of only four million, and many ---Four million of what? A population can refer to any of the inhabitants of an area such as the tiger's population in India or the wild boar's population in the prairies of the US and so on. It is essential to denote explicitly what the population stands for. ---wrong.
2. a land area of A is being compared to what a country B is -- wrong

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them-- Whenever 'as' is used in comparisons, the comparison can happen only between two verbed entities. --- wrong

(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many--same comparison error of 'as' found in C =wrong

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom --- We have already removed the four potential errors ; the fifth one must be the correct one. However, for the sake of satisfaction, one can note that choice E has effectively removed all the errors noted in the other four choices and is error-free. --Correct choice.

Whether missing the comma before 'but' is proper? The right way to parse choice E is:
Laos has (a land area comparable to that of Great Britain) but (a population of only four million people) - It may be seen that 'but' is a coordinate conjunction involving only two nouns and therefore does not require the use of a comma. A comma is used before a fanboys conjunction only when a new verbed clause involving a subject and verb is started. You cannot even expect the comma to be there when the subject is missing but a verb only exists. In this case, both the subject and the verb are missing after the 'but' hence a comma is not required. For the sake of the record, is there any official instance wherein a comma is used before coordinate conjunctions such as but' or 'and' without an accompanying clause?

I have question regarding usage of 'as' in Option C.Use of 'as' without a verb/phrase is of a role player . eg: as a doctor
So, in that way : as Great Britain's land area
Is it incorrect for comparison ?
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Re: QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2018, 10:00
vishwajeet2015 wrote:

I have question regarding usage of 'as' in Option C.Use of 'as' without a verb/phrase is of a role player . eg: as a doctor
So, in that way : as Great Britain's land area
Is it incorrect for comparison ?




Hello vishwajeet2015,

I am not sure if your doubt still persists. Here is the explanation nonetheless. :-)


In Choice C, as has been correctly used to present the intended comparison.

Basically, the verb is after as is understood in this choice because omission of this verb dose not lead to any ambiguity in the comparison.

Choice C has other flaws that makes this choice incorrect.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
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Re: QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2018, 22:54
Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north. [/quote]

(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them

(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom

It's (E)
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QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2018, 23:03
souvik101990 wrote:
Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.

(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them

(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom


"many of whom" is not a subject pronoun; it's a relative pronoun. it has EXACTLY the same grammar as plural "which".
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A. Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, consists of tens of thousands of ideographic characters, each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its own square frame.

B. Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, consists of tens of thousands of ideographic characters, each of which IS a miniature calligraphic composition inside its own square frame.

1. Are both of the above sentences correct? In sentence A, the only verb that it's acceptable to omit is a form of "to be" (is, are, were, was, etc.). If we add a verb IS , then "each character is "... will make the sentence a RUN-ON . Also, the part "each character ..." is an appositive? Also, is there any difference between an appositive and a resumptive modifier?

2. Also, if the sentence has which then we can't omit the verb.

3.A Shopping at a thrift store, Becky found several designer items, some of which were worth hundreds of dollars.
3.B Shopping at a thrift store, Becky found several designer items, some of them were worth hundreds of dollars.

Are both the above sentences correct and convey the same meaning?

4. Laos has a land area that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north. -- here the part after COMMA+ but should be an independent clause ? Is there a parallelism issue here?


AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , mikemcgarry , egmat , sayantanc2k, RonPurewal , DmitryFarber , MagooshExpert ,ccooley ,GMATNinjaTwo , other experts -- please enlighten.
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Re: QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2018, 09:23
Skywalker18 wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.

(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them

(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom


"many of whom" is not a subject pronoun; it's a relative pronoun. it has EXACTLY the same grammar as plural "which".
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A. Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, consists of tens of thousands of ideographic characters, each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its own square frame.

B. Chinese, the most ancient of living writing systems, consists of tens of thousands of ideographic characters, each of which IS a miniature calligraphic composition inside its own square frame.

1. Are both of the above sentences correct? In sentence A, the only verb that it's acceptable to omit is a form of "to be" (is, are, were, was, etc.). If we add a verb IS , then "each character is "... will make the sentence a RUN-ON . Also, the part "each character ..." is an appositive? Also, is there any difference between an appositive and a resumptive modifier?

2. Also, if the sentence has which then we can't omit the verb.

3.A Shopping at a thrift store, Becky found several designer items, some of which were worth hundreds of dollars.
3.B Shopping at a thrift store, Becky found several designer items, some of them were worth hundreds of dollars.

Are both the above sentences correct and convey the same meaning?

4. Laos has a land area that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north. -- here the part after COMMA+ but should be an independent clause ? Is there a parallelism issue here?


AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , mikemcgarry , egmat , sayantanc2k, RonPurewal , DmitryFarber , MagooshExpert ,ccooley ,GMATNinjaTwo , other experts -- please enlighten.



AjiteshArun wrote:
Hi Skywalker,

1.
(a) Yes, both seem fine.
(b) The each character a miniature calligraphic composition inside its own square frame bit is an absolute phrase (see here).
(c) If we go with each character is, we'll get a comma splice.
(d) An appositive involves a noun. A resumptive involves repetition of an element of the sentence (not necessarily a noun).

2.
(a) Both sentences seem fine.
(b) Yes, with some of which we cannot omit the verb.

3.
(a) No parallelism error that I can see. Let me know if there is something specific that has caught your eye.
(b) The part after but is an independent clause (many of them are members of hill tribes). The in Laos with a population of only four million people bit is only a modifier.

Hope this helps :-)


Thanks AjiteshArun for your inputs :-)
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When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. - Henry Ford
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

Re: QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain &nbs [#permalink] 19 May 2018, 09:23
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QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain

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