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# QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana

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QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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19 May 2017, 13:15
10
59
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Question Stats:

56% (00:55) correct 44% (01:02) wrong based on 2088 sessions

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 15: Sentence Correction

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The single-family house constructed by the Yana, a Native American people who lived in what is now northern California, was conical in shape, its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

(A) banked with dirt to a height of
(B) banked with dirt as high as that of
(C) banked them with dirt to a height of
(D) was banked with dirt as high as
(E) was banked with dirt as high as that of

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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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19 May 2017, 13:16
25
10
This one is pretty tricky, in my opinion. We’re mostly dealing with parallelism here, but it's not as straightforward as I’d like.

Quote:
A. banked with dirt to a height of

The underlined portion follows the word “and”, so we definitely need to think about parallelism. Here, the word that follows “and” is “banked.” In this case, "banked" is an adjective.

So what is “banked” parallel to? Well, “overlaid” is our nearest adjective, and that makes some sense: “its framework overlaid with poles… and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.” Not bad! That makes sense: the framework was banked with dirt. Keep (A).

Quote:
B. banked with dirt as high as that of

The only difference between (A) and (B) is the pronoun phrase, “that of.” “That” is a singular pronoun here, so it needs a singular antecedent. And we don’t have good candidates: “dirt” is the nearest singular noun, but that doesn’t make sense: “banked with dirt as high as the dirt of three to four feet.” Nope.

You can try the same thing with other singular nouns in the sentence (pine, cedar, bark, framework, house, etc.), but once you try to insert them into the sentence in place of “that”, you'll see that none of them make any logical sense. So (B) is gone.

Quote:
C. banked them with dirt to a height of

This is a little bit more subtle, but once “them” is added to the sentence, things get weird. The issue isn't necessarily that "them" is ambiguous (sure, there are a few different plural nouns that "them" could refer back to, but the nearest one, "slabs", is arguably OK). The real problem is that the parallelism doesn't really work. If "banked" is parallel to "overlaid", it doesn't make sense anymore: "its framework of poles... banked them with dirt"?!

OK, so what if "banked" is actually a verb, and it's parallel to "was"? That wouldn't make sense, either: "The single-family house constructed by the Yana... banked them with dirt." (C) is gone.

Quote:
D. was banked with dirt as high as

The verb phrase "was banked" follows "and", so it has to be parallel to some other verb phrase. "Was conical in shape" seems to be our best option, but that wouldn't make much sense, since it would imply that "The single-family house constructed by the Yana... was banked with dirt." And that's not quite right: the framework of poles was banked with dirt -- not the entire house. That's why it makes more sense to leave "banked" parallel to "overlaid", as in option (A). Eliminate (D).

Quote:
E. was banked with dirt as high as that of

(E) has the same pronoun error as (B), and the same parallelism/logic error as (D). So we’re left with (A).
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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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19 May 2017, 23:36
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The single-family house constructed by the Yana, a Native American people who lived in what is now northern California, was conical in shape, its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

A. banked with dirt to a height of (Correct)
B. banked with dirt as high as that of (Dirt is not as high as that of three to four feet. Rather, it is framework of poles)
C. banked them with dirt to a height of (Usage of them is incorrect because framework is singular)
D. was banked with dirt as high as (Need to be parallel with overlaid)
E. was banked with dirt as high as that of (Same as D)

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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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19 May 2017, 23:59
My option : A

The single-family house constructed by the Yana, a Native American people who lived in what is now northern California, was conical in shape, its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

A. banked with dirt to a height of
B. banked with dirt as high as that of
C. banked them with dirt to a height of
D. was banked with dirt as high as
E. was banked with dirt as high as that of

Looking at the construction:

The single-family house constructed by the Yana was conical in shape.

So here, we have overlaid || banked. So choices D and E are eliminated. I believe both of them are operating as verb -ed modifiers.

its framework of poles
overlaid with slabs of bark
either cedar or pine
and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet

its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark and its framework of poles banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

overlaid with || banked with

as high as that of three to four feet - no comparison needed. It is used to state a fact

So B and C can be eliminated

Hence, Option A.
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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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05 Jun 2017, 10:01
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 15: Sentence Correction

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The single-family house constructed by the Yana, a Native American people who lived in what is now northern California, was conical in shape, its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

A. banked with dirt to a height of
B. banked with dirt as high as that of
C. banked them with dirt to a height of
D. was banked with dirt as high as
E. was banked with dirt as high as that of

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.

GMATNinja : Why can't a house be banked? I thought that the house had been banked; therefore I ended up selecting "D".
The statement never explicitly states that the house CAN'T be banked.
In my opinion I don't feel that banking of house is awkward either. So why is "D" incorrect.

Regards
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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2017, 10:48
7
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gmatexam439 wrote:

GMATNinja : Why can't a house be banked? I thought that the house had been banked; therefore I ended up selecting "D".
The statement never explicitly states that the house CAN'T be banked.
In my opinion I don't feel that banking of house is awkward either. So why is "D" incorrect.

Regards

Hello gmatexam439,

A thing that we must bear in mind is that the function of the original sentence is not only to provide one of the five answer choices. The original sentence presents the context. In absence of any other information, we must rely on the context set by the original sentence to understand the intended meaning. This intended meaning must be logical and conveyed in a correct grammatical structure.

Now, nine out ten times, the original sentence presents logical intended meaning. The grammar may be correct or incorrect. Hence, every time we get a logical meaning from the original sentence, we must retain that logic in the correct answer choice too.

On this basis, let's now evaluate the sentence at hand:

The single-family house constructed by the Yana, a Native American people who lived in what is now northern California, was conical in shape, its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

Per the original sentence, the framework of poles was overlaid with slabs of bark and was banked with dirt to a certain height. This meaning is absolutely logical. There is no basis we can doubt this meaning. Hence, we will go by this meaning.

Choice D definitely is logical but does not convey the same meaning as does the original sentence. This change in the intended meaning does lead to distortion in meaning. Hence, despite logically correct, this choice is incorrect.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2017, 11:46
Isn't this a run off sentence?
Clause1: The single-family house constructed by the Yana, a Native American people who lived in what is now northern California, was conical in shape

Clause2: its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark........

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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2017, 15:16
egmat wrote:
gmatexam439 wrote:

GMATNinja : Why can't a house be banked? I thought that the house had been banked; therefore I ended up selecting "D".
The statement never explicitly states that the house CAN'T be banked.
In my opinion I don't feel that banking of house is awkward either. So why is "D" incorrect.

Regards

Hello gmatexam439,

A thing that we must bear in mind is that the function of the original sentence is not only to provide one of the five answer choices. The original sentence presents the context. In absence of any other information, we must rely on the context set by the original sentence to understand the intended meaning. This intended meaning must be logical and conveyed in a correct grammatical structure.

Now, nine out ten times, the original sentence presents logical intended meaning. The grammar may be correct or incorrect. Hence, every time we get a logical meaning from the original sentence, we must retain that logic in the correct answer choice too.

On this basis, let's now evaluate the sentence at hand:

The single-family house constructed by the Yana, a Native American people who lived in what is now northern California, was conical in shape, its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

Per the original sentence, the framework of poles was overlaid with slabs of bark and was banked with dirt to a certain height. This meaning is absolutely logical. There is no basis we can doubt this meaning. Hence, we will go by this meaning.

Choice D definitely is logical but does not convey the same meaning as does the original sentence. This change in the intended meaning does lead to distortion in meaning. Hence, despite logically correct, this choice is incorrect.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

I understood your explanation clearly mam ... thank u for the prompt reply ... !!
Regards
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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2017, 21:07
1
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ankursethi297 wrote:
Isn't this a run off sentence?
Clause1: The single-family house constructed by the Yana, a Native American people who lived in what is now northern California, was conical in shape

Clause2: its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark........

Hello ankursethi297,

If two independent clauses are connected by just a comma, then the structure is called a run-off sentence.

However, this official sentence is not a run-off sentence because there is only one independent clause in this sentence the SV pair of which is The single family house... was.

Please note that the words overlaid and banked are verb-ed modifiers that modifies the preceding noun entity its framework of poles.

Generally, test takers mistake all the verb-ed words as modifiers. But that is not the case. To learn how to distinguish between the verb-ed modifier and the simple past tense that also ends in "ed", please review the article named ED FORMS - Verbs or Modifiers in the following link:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ed-forms-verbs-or-modifiers-134691.html

Now let's talk about the structure its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet. This tructure can very well be connected to a preceding clause by a comma because it is what we call at e-GMAT is a Noun + Noun Modifier in which its framework of poles = Noun and overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet = Noun Modifiers.

We have a super detailed article named Noun + Noun Modifiers: The most "versatile" modifier that explains in excruciating details how these modifiers work with numerous official examples. You can review this article in the following link:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/noun-noun-modifiers-the-most-versatile-modifier-137292.html

So, this official sentence contains an independent clause that is connected to a modifier by a comma.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2017, 21:19
1
The single-family house constructed by the Yana, a Native American people who lived in what is now northern California, was conical in shape, its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

A. banked with dirt to a height of
B. banked with dirt as high as that of
C. banked them with dirt to a height of
D. was banked with dirt as high as
E. was banked with dirt as high as that of

The crux is that we DO NOT need a comparison like as...as, we only need to clearly express that dirt is three to four feet, which is concisely conveyed in phrase dirt to a height of in A.
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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2017, 04:28
GMATNinja wrote:
This one is pretty tricky, in my opinion. We’re mostly dealing with parallelism here, but it's not as straightforward as I’d like.

Quote:
A. banked with dirt to a height of

The underlined portion follows the word “and”, so we definitely need to think about parallelism. Here, the word that follows “and” is “banked.” In this case, "banked" is an adjective.

So what is “banked” parallel to? Well, “overlaid” is our nearest adjective, and that makes some sense: “its framework overlaid with poles… and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.” Not bad! That makes sense: the framework was banked with dirt. Keep (A).

Quote:
B. banked with dirt as high as that of

The only difference between (A) and (B) is the pronoun phrase, “that of.” “That” is a singular pronoun here, so it needs a singular antecedent. And we don’t have good candidates: “dirt” is the nearest singular noun, but that doesn’t make sense: “banked with dirt as high as the dirt of three to four feet.” Nope.

You can try the same thing with other singular nouns in the sentence (pine, cedar, bark, framework, house, etc.), but once you try to insert them into the sentence in place of “that”, you'll see that none of them make any logical sense. So (B) is gone.

Quote:
C. banked them with dirt to a height of

This is a little bit more subtle, but once “them” is added to the sentence, things get weird. The issue isn't necessarily that "them" is ambiguous (sure, there are a few different plural nouns that "them" could refer back to, but the nearest one, "slabs", is arguably OK). The real problem is that the parallelism doesn't really work. If "banked" is parallel to "overlaid", it doesn't make sense anymore: "its framework of poles... banked them with dirt"?!

OK, so what if "banked" is actually a verb, and it's parallel to "was"? That wouldn't make sense, either: "The single-family house constructed by the Yana... banked them with dirt." (C) is gone.

Quote:
D. was banked with dirt as high as

The verb phrase "was banked" follows "and", so it has to be parallel to some other verb phrase. "Was conical in shape" seems to be our best option, but that wouldn't make much sense, since it would imply that "The single-family house constructed by the Yana... was banked with dirt." And that's not quite right: the framework of poles was banked with dirt -- not the entire house. That's why it makes more sense to leave "banked" parallel to "overlaid", as in option (A). Eliminate (D).

Quote:
E. was banked with dirt as high as that of

(E) has the same pronoun error as (B), and the same parallelism/logic error as (D). So we’re left with (A).

Hi GMATNinja

I have a basic problem with this question. if we split the sentence and delete non-essential modifier we have
1)The single-family house constructed by the Yana was conical in shape,
2)its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

two Ic cannot join each other with a comma
am I wrong?
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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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02 Nov 2017, 11:01
1
1
soodia wrote:
Hi GMATNinja

I have a basic problem with this question. if we split the sentence and delete non-essential modifier we have
1)The single-family house constructed by the Yana was conical in shape,
2)its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

two Ic cannot join each other with a comma
am I wrong?

Ah, I think I see where the confusion is coming from. The 2nd phrase ("its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark... and banked with dirt...") isn't an independent clause at all. "Overlaid" and "banked" are both modifiers here -- NOT verbs. So the entire phrase (beginning with "its framework") is actually just an absolute phrase, which is basically a type of noun (accompanied by tons of modifiers in this particular case) that's used to modify the preceding sentence.

In other words, the phrase that you have listed as #2 above is just giving us more information about phrase #1, and phrase #2 definitely is not an independent clause. Tricky!

chesstitans wrote:
how not to mistake "banked" for "was banked for"? I mean, how to know which parallels with which?

The best way to think about parallelism in this question is to react to each individual answer choice, and figure out how the parallelism works in each. Notice how I wrote the full explanation above: for each answer choice, I figured out what followed the parallelism trigger "and", and went from there. The parallelism turns out to be illogical in certain answer choices, but not in others.

Explanation is available here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/qotd-the-sin ... l#p1854761. Let me know if that doesn't clear it up.

I hope this helps!
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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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03 Nov 2017, 14:56
A. banked with dirt to a height of - CORRECT: correctly puts “overlaid with” in parallel with “banked with”
B. banked with dirt as high as that of - parallel is correct but “as high as that of” is not appropriate here - there doesn’t need to be a comparison so “as… as…” is not needed
C. banked them with dirt to a height of - “them” is an unnecessary pronoun
D. was banked with dirt as high as - “was” is not necessary and “as… as…” is not needed
E. was banked with dirt as high as that of - “was” is not necessary and “that of” is not needed
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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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09 Dec 2017, 23:05
egmat wrote:
ankursethi297 wrote:
Isn't this a run off sentence?
Clause1: The single-family house constructed by the Yana, a Native American people who lived in what is now northern California, was conical in shape

Clause2: its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark........

Hello ankursethi297,

If two independent clauses are connected by just a comma, then the structure is called a run-off sentence.

However, this official sentence is not a run-off sentence because there is only one independent clause in this sentence the SV pair of which is The single family house... was.

Please note that the words overlaid and banked are verb-ed modifiers that modifies the preceding noun entity its framework of poles.

Generally, test takers mistake all the verb-ed words as modifiers. But that is not the case. To learn how to distinguish between the verb-ed modifier and the simple past tense that also ends in "ed", please review the article named ED FORMS - Verbs or Modifiers in the following link:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ed-forms-verbs-or-modifiers-134691.html

Now let's talk about the structure its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet. This tructure can very well be connected to a preceding clause by a comma because it is what we call at e-GMAT is a Noun + Noun Modifier in which its framework of poles = Noun and overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet = Noun Modifiers.

We have a super detailed article named Noun + Noun Modifiers: The most "versatile" modifier that explains in excruciating details how these modifiers work with numerous official examples. You can review this article in the following link:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/noun-noun-modifiers-the-most-versatile-modifier-137292.html

So, this official sentence contains an independent clause that is connected to a modifier by a comma.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

What is this Noun + Noun Modifier referring to in this Question?

Could you please throw some light on the same?

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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2017, 01:12
Hi snjainpune,

Let me try

The single-family house constructed by the Yana, a Native American people who lived in what is now northern California, was conical in shape, its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

Here 'it's framework' - 'a pronoun (referring to house) + noun (framework)' is modifying the house (a single family house).

AND 'overlaid with....' and 'banked with....' correctly modifying the framework of that house.

Hope it is clear now.
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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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22 Dec 2017, 11:16
OPTION D & E: these are not at all a sentence. These are simply fragments without any subject of-course we call that a fragment.
C: THEM-- ?? B: USE OF "THAT" is not correct.
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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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23 Dec 2017, 01:12
The single-family house constructed by the Yana, a Native American people who lived in what is now northern California, was conical in shape, its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

A. banked with dirt to a height of
B. banked with dirt as high as that of
C. banked them with dirt to a height of -- awkward construction
D. was banked with dirt as high as
E. was banked with dirt as high as that of

A. - Correct
The single-family house constructed by the Yana, xxxx,
was conical in shape, its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine,
------------- ---------------------------------- and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

D. -- house was not banked with dirt (slabs were)
The single-family house constructed by the Yana, xxxx,
was conical in shape, its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine,
and was banked with dirt as high as
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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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24 Mar 2018, 23:56
The single-family house constructed by the Yana, a Native American people who lived in what is now northern California, was conical in shape, its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

(A) banked with dirt to a height of
(B) banked with dirt as high as that of
(C) banked them with dirt to a height of
(D) was banked with dirt as high as
(E) was banked with dirt as high as that of

HI GMATNinja,

How in Option C banked them with dirt to a height of, "banked " is a verb but not an adjective?

Banked should modify poles
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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2018, 10:01
NandishSS wrote:
The single-family house constructed by the Yana, a Native American people who lived in what is now northern California, was conical in shape, its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

(A) banked with dirt to a height of
(B) banked with dirt as high as that of
(C) banked them with dirt to a height of
(D) was banked with dirt as high as
(E) was banked with dirt as high as that of

HI GMATNinja,

How in Option C banked them with dirt to a height of, "banked " is a verb but not an adjective?

Banked should modify poles

You're correct that "banked" SHOULD be an adjective that modifies "its framework of poles", and that's exactly what happens in the correct answer. In the explanation above for answer choice (C), I was just pointing out that it doesn't make sense for "banked" to be an adjective. And then I presented a hypothetical: what if "banked" is functioning as a verb instead? And it turns out that it can't do that, either. See above for more.

I hope this helps!
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Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana  [#permalink]

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26 May 2018, 09:29
NandishSS wrote:
The single-family house constructed by the Yana, a Native American people who lived in what is now northern California, was conical in shape, its framework of poles overlaid with slabs of bark, either cedar or pine, and banked with dirt to a height of three to four feet.

(A) banked with dirt to a height of
(B) banked with dirt as high as that of
(C) banked them with dirt to a height of
(D) was banked with dirt as high as
(E) was banked with dirt as high as that of

HI GMATNinja,

How in Option C banked them with dirt to a height of, "banked " is a verb but not an adjective?

Banked should modify poles

more emphasis should be given to the pronoun issue in this sentence. The pronoun Them refers to nothing in the option C. We can immediately rule out this option for this reason.
Re: QOTD: The single-family house constructed by the Yana &nbs [#permalink] 26 May 2018, 09:29

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