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# QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive

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QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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10 May 2017, 08:46
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 8: Sentence Correction

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The hognose snake puts on an impressive bluff, hissing and rearing back, broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom, eventually, if its pursuer is not cowed by the performance, will fall over and play dead.

(A) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom,

(B) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom,

(C) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigning repeated strikes, but it has no dangerous fangs and no venom, and

(D) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and

(E) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and

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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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10 May 2017, 08:48
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This is a classic case of parallelism, but with some twists. The confusion here usually comes from being unclear about which "verbs" should be verbs, and which should be "-ing" modifiers. (For more on "-ing" words and an explanation of why they're rarely verbs, check out our Topic of the Week: https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topi ... the%20week)

Let's start with the first underlined word: we have a choice between "broadens" and "broadening." "Broadens" is a verb, and it's parallel with "puts on an impressive bluff" in (A) and (B). "Broadening", on the other hand, is a modifier, giving us extra information about what happens when the snake puts on its bluff -- and that makes much, much more sense. So we can get rid of (A) and (B).

(C) strikes me as being unbelievably long and wordy, but so are all five answer choices. More usefully, the parallelism looks OK: "broadening and feigning" are parallel modifiers, both of which continue to describe the snake's "impressive bluff". The pronoun "it" is fine, too: because it's the subject of a new, dependent clause ("but it has no fangs..."), the subject unambiguously refers back to the subject of the first clause ("the hognose snake"). (If you want to read more about this type of pronoun issue, check out my post in this thread: https://gmatclub.com/forum/china-s-vast ... l#p1838737. We'll also address this in an upcoming Topic of the Week.)

(D) is easier to eliminate: the modifier "broadening" and the verb "feigns" are clearly not parallel.

(E) replaces the "and" before "feigning" with a comma, and that doesn't seem ideal: the sentence is clearer if the two modifiers are in a parallel structure, but I'm not sure that it's a huge problem. The bigger issue is that we don't have a new clause at the end of the underlined portion, because the "it" has been replaced by "with." That causes a problem down the line: at the end of the sentence, we don't have a subject for the verb phrase "will fall over and play dead." So (E) is gone, too.

We're left with (C). In real life, I think it's a wordy, crappy sentence. But that doesn't matter! It's free from egregious errors, so it's the correct answer in GMAT-land.
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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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11 May 2017, 07:03
The hognose snake puts on an impressive bluff, hissing and rearing back, broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom, eventually, if its pursuer is not cowed by the performance, will fall over and play dead.

(A) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom, not parallel structure
(B) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, not parallel structure
(C) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigning repeated strikes, but it has no dangerous fangs and no venom, and seems good
(D) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and
(E) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and not parallel structure

hissing and rearing , broadens doesn't seem parallel eliminate A and B

C D E Remain
broadening the... and structure must be followed E eliminated

C and D
but it has no , the it refers to the snake is more concise than but with no

hence C
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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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11 May 2017, 07:48
The answer must be option C. My take -

Meaning - Hognose snake puts up an impressive bluff. It does so by - 1) hissing & rearing back 2) broadening its flesh 3) feigning. But (note the contrast word) it has no fangs and if the pursuer is not cowed down the snake will fall over and play dead. We have two lists here. The first one tells that snake puts up an impressive bluff, has no fangs , and that if pursuer is not cowed down will fall over and play dead. The second list is hissing...broadening ..., and feigning.

Error analysis -

The parallelism mentioned in the second list is missing.
..,but is wrongly used. You need to have a subject after comma and but. Subject is missing in the clause following but.

POE-

a) Parallel structure
b) Parallel structure
c) Correct
d) missing it after ", + but"
e) and missing before feigning. Feigning is the last element in the list. Also repeats the error of option d.

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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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11 May 2017, 09:52
The hognose snake puts on an impressive bluff, hissing and rearing back, broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom, eventually, if its pursuer is not cowed by the performance, will fall over and play dead.

Meaning: The hognose snakes puts on an impressive bluff by doing following (list) (comma + ing modifying the preceding clause (.....an impressive bluff)

1- hissing & rearing back
2- Broadening ..... and feigning ....

above list is followed by a contrasting statement after BUT

(A) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom,: Incorrect: comma +ing modifier should be used here. Use of Broadens is incorrect
(B) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, Incorrect: comma +ing modifier should be used here. Use of Broadens is incorrect
(C) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigning repeated strikes, but it has no dangerous fangs and no venom, and Correct one maintains the parallelism of the list
(D) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and Incorrect feigns should be feigning for maintaining the correct parallism
(E) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and Incorrect Feigning should be preceded by and not by Comma
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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2017, 01:21
How does everyone is getting right answer only after GMATNinja points out the correct answer!!

Sent from my Lenovo A6020a46 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2017, 05:15
Krishna3764 wrote:
How does everyone is getting right answer only after GMATNinja points out the correct answer!!

Sent from my Lenovo A6020a46 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

the first reply is reserved for explanation
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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2017, 07:21
1
The hognose snake puts on an impressive bluff, hissing and rearing back, broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom, eventually, if its pursuer is not cowed by the performance, will fall over and play dead.

(A) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom,
(B) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom,
(C) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigning repeated strikes, but it has no dangerous fangs and no venom, and
(D) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and
(E) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and

I got this question right but i wanted to know that in Option C the sentence - ",but it has no dangerous fangs and no venom,"
is a independent clause or a dependent clause ?
i thought its an independent since comma is followed by a coordinating conjunction i.e. "but" and it has the pronoun "it"
but in the explanation Expert - "GMATNinja" stated it as dependent clause.

and if it is dependent clause then i guess comma before "but" shouldn't be there.
can someone please explain the flaw in my reasoning :/
thank you
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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2017, 11:34
GMATNinja wrote:
This is a classic case of parallelism, but with some twists. The confusion here usually comes from being unclear about which "verbs" should be verbs, and which should be "-ing" modifiers. (For more on "-ing" words and an explanation of why they're rarely verbs, check out our Topic of the Week: https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topi ... the%20week)

Let's start with the first underlined word: we have a choice between "broadens" and "broadening." "Broadens" is a verb, and it's parallel with "puts on an impressive bluff" in (A) and (B). "Broadening", on the other hand, is a modifier, giving us extra information about what happens when the snake puts on its bluff -- and that makes much, much more sense. So we can get rid of (A) and (B).

(C) strikes me as being unbelievably long and wordy, but so are all five answer choices. More usefully, the parallelism looks OK: "broadening and feigning" are parallel modifiers, both of which continue to describe the snake's "impressive bluff". The pronoun "it" is fine, too: because it's the subject of a new, dependent clause ("but it has no fangs..."), the subject unambiguously refers back to the subject of the first clause ("the hognose snake"). (If you want to read more about this type of pronoun issue, check out my post in this thread: https://gmatclub.com/forum/china-s-vast ... l#p1838737. We'll also address this in an upcoming Topic of the Week.)

(D) is easier to eliminate: the modifier "broadening" and the verb "feigns" are clearly not parallel.

(E) replaces the "and" before "feigning" with a comma, and that doesn't seem ideal: the sentence is clearer if the two modifiers are in a parallel structure, but I'm not sure that it's a huge problem. The bigger issue is that we don't have a new clause at the end of the underlined portion, because the "it" has been replaced by "with." That causes a problem down the line: at the end of the sentence, we don't have a subject for the verb phrase "will fall over and play dead." So (E) is gone, too.

We're left with (C). In real life, I think it's a wordy, crappy sentence. But that doesn't matter! It's free from egregious errors, so it's the correct answer in GMAT-land.

I understand everything that you have mentioned here but it would be great if you would throw some light on whether we need a Comma before and feigning because this is an end of a 3 item list..
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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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01 Nov 2017, 16:54
1
all options look confusing.
Only C is correct b/c of "eventually,...., will fall..."
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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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02 Nov 2017, 14:52
1
The hognose snake puts on an impressive bluff, hissing and rearing back, broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom, eventually, if its pursuer is not cowed by the performance, will fall over and play dead.

(A) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom, - “broadens” is not parallel to “hissing” and “feigning”
(B) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, - both “broadens” & “feigns” is not parallel to “hissing”
(C) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigning repeated strikes, but it has no dangerous fangs and no venom, and - no obvious errors
(D) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and - feigns is not parallel
(E) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and - “and” is not necessary at the end; the and should be before “feigning” to end the comparison between “hissing”, “broadening” and “feigning”.
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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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02 Nov 2017, 15:11
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umg wrote:

I understand everything that you have mentioned here but it would be great if you would throw some light on whether we need a Comma before and feigning because this is an end of a 3 item list..

Hello umg,

I am not sure if you still have this doubt. Here is the explanation, nonetheless.

It is true that when a list in a sentence contains more than two parallel elements the last element is preceded by comma + connector.

However, we do not see the and before feigning... preceded by a comma. It is so because the sentence in anyway uses a lot of commas at various places for various reasons.

Omission of comma before and makes it absolutely clear that the it is hissing..., broadening..., and feigning... that are meant to be parallel in the sentence.

Just a word of caution here. Never reject or select any answer choice solely on the presence or absence of a punctuation mark. Reject an answer choice only after you have identified at least one solid/deterministic error.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2017, 12:23
2
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 8: Sentence Correction

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The hognose snake puts on an impressive bluff, hissing and rearing back, broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom, eventually, if its pursuer is not cowed by the performance, will fall over and play dead.

(A) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom,
(B) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom,
(C) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigning repeated strikes, but it has no dangerous fangs and no venom, and
(D) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and
(E) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and

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.

Hissing and Broadening - A and B out

Hissing and rearing, broadening and feigning so C
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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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29 Mar 2018, 23:00
Expert daagh GMATNinja egmat pls guide if i am making any mistake.

Explanation: We can easily solve this question by observing how options are connecting two parallel structure after the “but” in the underlined part.
“The hognose snake puts on an impressive bluff” but and after that we need and IC to connect these.
Let go for POE one by one.
A. IC, but phrase (Not Parallel)
B. IC, but phrase (Not Parallel)
C. IC, but IC “it has no dangerous fangs and no venom “ ( Parallel) - CORRECT
D. IC, but phrase (Not Parallel)
E. IC, but phrase (Not Parallel)
We can easily save a lot of time in this way.
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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2018, 09:29
Quote:
(E) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and

My Analysis on E is " feigning repeated strikes," is trying to modify the previous phrase that's not referring to the correct subject.So, i have eliminated E.
Please correct me if I am wrong
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QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2018, 12:36
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 8: Sentence Correction

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The hognose snake puts on an impressive bluff, hissing and rearing back, broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom, eventually, if its pursuer is not cowed by the performance, will fall over and play dead.

(A) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom,

(B) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom,

(C) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigning repeated strikes, but it has no dangerous fangs and no venom, and

(D) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and

(E) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and

A and B: The hognose snake puts on an impressive bluff...broadens the flesh behind its head
Here, usage of broadens implies that the red action is DISTINCT from the blue action.
Not so.
The intention is for the red action to express HOW the blue action is performed.
Question: HOW does the snake put on a bluff?
For this meaning to be conveyed, the red action should be expressed as a VERBing modifier, as in the OA:
The hognose snake puts on an impressive bluff, broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does.
Eliminate A and B.

D: hissing and rearing back, broadening...and feigns
Here, hissing, rearing and broadening are all modifiers, whereas feigns is a verb.
The result is a lack of parallelism.
Eliminate D.

The referent for a modifier must be crystal clear.
E: The hognose snake puts on an impressive bluff, broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes.
Here, it is unclear whether feigning serves to modify a cobra (implying that a COBRA is feigning) or to the hognose snake (implying that the HOGNOSE SNAKE is feigning).
Eliminate E.

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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2018, 22:04
Hi GMATGuruNY,
Here In option E verbing modifier "feigning repeated strikes" is modifying the previous clause or the closest noun?

i thought verbing modifiers modify the noun only when comma is not present.
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QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2018, 03:50
SonGoku wrote:
Hi GMATGuruNY,
Here In option E verbing modifier "feigning repeated strikes" is modifying the previous clause or the closest noun?

i thought verbing modifiers modify the noun only when comma is not present.

Generally, COMMA + VERBing serves to modify the nearest preceding action and the agent of that action.
SC66 in the OG13: The Army Corps of Engineers proposed building a breakwater of rocks that would...act as a buffer, absorbing the energy of crashing waves.
Here, COMMA + absorbing refers not to the Army Corps of Engineers (the main subject of the preceding clause) but to A BREAKWATERS OF ROCKS, the agent of the nearest preceding action (would act).
Conveyed meaning:
When a breakwater of rocks WOULD ACT as a buffer, it would at the same time be ABSORBING the energy of crashing waves.

E: The hognose snake puts on an impressive bluff, hissing and rearing back, broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes.
Here, COMMA + feigning should refer to a cobra does -- the nearest preceding action and the agent of that action -- conveying that A COBRA is feigning repeated strikes.
But the meaning of the sentence suggests that COMMA + feigning is INTENDED to refer to the clause in blue, conveying that THE HOGNOSE SNAKE is feigning repeated strikes when it PUTS on an impressive bluff.
As a result, the referent for feigning becomes unclear.
Since it must be crystal clear what a modifier is modifying, eliminate E.
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QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 09 Jun 2018, 11:58
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The hognose snake puts on an impressive bluff, hissing and rearing back, broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom, eventually, if its pursuer is not cowed by the performance, will fall over and play dead.

In such issues involving list parallelism, the first task is to identify the various arms of the list and determine whether they are parallel in both structure and meaning.

In this case, the first main act is the hognose putting on an impressive bluff, a factor described by three examples such as 1.hisssisng and rearing 2. broadening and3. feigning. Then another IC starts with a comma and 'but'. In this light, let's now look at the choices

(A) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom,--- 'broadens' breaks the parallelism.

(B) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, -- 'broadens' breaks the parallelism.

(C) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigning repeated strikes, but it has no dangerous fangs and no venom, and--- correct choice

(D) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and -- and feigns breaks the parallelism.

(E) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and -- The third arm of the list is not marked with an 'and' to mark the end of the series. In addition, the second part starting with a comma and but is not an IC. It lacks a subject
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Originally posted by daagh on 09 Jun 2018, 06:36.
Last edited by daagh on 09 Jun 2018, 11:58, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive  [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2018, 06:59
broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigning repeated strikes

souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 8: Sentence Correction

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The hognose snake puts on an impressive bluff, hissing and rearing back, broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom, eventually, if its pursuer is not cowed by the performance, will fall over and play dead.

(A) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but, having no dangerous fangs and no venom,

(B) broadens the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom,

(C) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigning repeated strikes, but it has no dangerous fangs and no venom, and

(D) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does and feigns repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and

(E) broadening the flesh behind its head the way a cobra does, feigning repeated strikes, but with no dangerous fangs and no venom, and

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Re: QOTD: The hognose snake puts on an impressive &nbs [#permalink] 09 Jun 2018, 06:59

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