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# Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of

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Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 22 Sep 2018, 23:16
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58% (01:20) correct 42% (01:43) wrong based on 3218 sessions

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Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt of even the ancient cities of the Maya as an achievement, the army of terra-cotta warriors created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

A. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them
B. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete it
C. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete
D. 700,000 artisans took more than 36 years to complete
E. to complete them took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years

Edit: This topic is found in earlier versions of OG, such as OG 12. Since then, GMAC has altered this question slightly over the years. The version in OG 2018 is HERE

Originally posted by solidcolor on 31 Aug 2007, 23:33.
Last edited by bb on 22 Sep 2018, 23:16, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2010, 10:46
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3
Hey All,

I got asked by PM to answer this. Looks like everybody has gotten to the answer on their own, but I'll weigh in anyway (why not?).

Q> Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya as an achievement, the army of terra-cotta warriors created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

A. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them
PROBLEM: This is a parallel question, which we can tell from the conjunction "and". The subject is "the army of terra-cotta- warriors". The first verb is "is" (more than 2000...), and the second is "took" (700,000 artisans). If we remove the first item in the list, the sentence would read "The army...took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them." Obviously, we don't want the "them" part.

B. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete it
PROBLEM: "The army...took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete it." Again, we don't want "it".

C. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete

D. 700,000 artisans took more than 36 years to complete
PROBLEM: We need the verb "took" after the "and", or the parallel goes all wrong.

E. to complete them took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years
PROBLEM: Definitely don't want an infinitive after the "and", because there's no other infinitive in the sentence.

Hope that helps!

-t
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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21 May 2013, 03:15
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This thread seems to have originated from GMAT Prep and then adopted by OG. All the same, the original version seems to be

Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya as an achievement, the army of terra-cotta warriors created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

But the OA is not A; The actual answer is C, per MGMAT

A. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them – The subject is the army, referring to a collection antiques. It is a collective noun and singular, as corroborated by the verb “is”. Let’s also not mistake “created” for a verb; it is just a past participle. The pronoun “ them”, an object pronoun, is a problem here; it is plural but earlier its referent was verbed by a singular; so, A is out.

B. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete it – The subject is the army; but the pronoun “it” is redundant; It is good enough to say, that the army took more than 700,000 artisans to complete

C. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete --- the subject is again the army and the choice simply skirts the vexing pronoun issue, by altogether dropping it. This is the most concise choice.

D. 700,000 artisans took more than 36 years to complete------ In this choice, the subject changes to 700,00 artisans and although the clause is perfect technically, still the second clause is not connected to the main theme and one is tempted to ask “to complete what?”

E. to complete them took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years --- them is a wrong pronoun.
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2008, 19:57
4
Taken from another forum:

Summary:
The terra cotta army is an archaeological find, like a pyramid. The confusion stems from the fact that "soldiers" are what make up the monument. Try treating the entire army as a pyramid and the soldiers as the steps, it will be clearerCorrect response is C.

... army ... is more than 2,000 years old and took ... more than 36 years to complete.

Choice B is wrong because of the superfluous "it." Examples

Gould's most recent book, "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory" (2002), is a 1433-page opus that took him more than 20 years to complete.

Susanna Clarke admits that her first novel took her more than 10 years to write.

The letter, of just 250 or so Chinese characters, took her more than two hours to compose.
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2010, 17:00
3
GMAT Review 12th Edition..Sentence Correction ..Question no. 61.

answer is ( C ) .

Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya as an achievement, the army of terra-cotta warriors created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete.
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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30 Jul 2010, 13:46
TommyWallach wrote:
Hey All,

Q> Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya as an achievement, the army of terra-cotta warriors created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

B. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete it
PROBLEM: "The army...took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete it." Again, we don't want "it".

Hope that helps!

-t

Why you dont want "it"?
"it" is the pronoun for Qin Shi Huang, so "The army...took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete Qin Shi Huang" seems to be OK, doesnt it?

Thanks Tommy.
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2010, 11:10
Hey Noburu,

Think of the logic. He's not the one who got completed, he's the Japanese guy who built the warriors. It's the warriors that were completed, and they're plural.

-t
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2010, 06:48
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It is similar to this : " The movie "The Simpsons" took 500 people 3 weeks to complete.

'It' is redundant as the subject takes care of 'it' .
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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24 Mar 2013, 22:27
1
The correct ans is C. Please edit the OA given in this question.( it is a repetition of OG12/61 with different ans choices)
solidcolor wrote:
Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya as an achievement, the army of terra-cotta warriors created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

A. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them
B. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete it
C. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete
D. 700,000 artisans took more than 36 years to complete
E. to complete them took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years

A. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them- them is wrong for pointing to Army, also pronoun use is bad here
B. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete it- using it sentence beomes
The Sculpture took Y men 4 hours to complete it.- in the same caluse i can't use one noun two times that too as sub and as obj

C. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete

D. 700,000 artisans took more than 36 years to complete the construction becomes a new IC, we need comma before and . also we need pronoun to refer the THE ARMY

E. to complete them took 700,000 artisans more than 36 yearswrong construction [/quote]
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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21 May 2013, 22:29
1
bev wrote:
Sir, can you please help me understand if there is any other issue with choice B apart from the pronoun (which I think is not incorrect but you are right in saying C is more concise than B)

Well, it is the only difference between B and C. So, if you agree that C is better, then there cannot be anything else wrong in B (except the it): )

By the way, this redundant pronoun phenomenon is actually quite prominently tested. This is from Verbal supplement:

The computer company’s present troubles are a result of techno-logical stagnation, marketing missteps, and managerial blunders that several attempts at revising corporate strategies have failed to correct them.

them is redundant here.

Let me know if you want more official examples of this nature.
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2013, 12:20
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Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya as an achievement, the army of terra-cotta warriors created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

A. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them
Wrong.
"them" is redundant. The correct structure is: the army of terra-cotta took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.
The army is collective noun --> singular ---> "them" is wrong.

B. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete it
Wrong. "it" is redundant. The correct structure is: the army of terra-cotta took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete it

C. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete
Correct. The structure is: the army of terra-cotta is more than 2000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete. Good parallel structure.

D. 700,000 artisans took more than 36 years to complete
Wrong. Parallelism problem. "took" must be placed BEFORE "700,000 artisans".

E. to complete them too 700,000 artisans more than 36 years
Wrong. Parallelism problem. "is more than 2000 years old and to complete them too..."
Pls help with the explanation of the correct answer. I was confused between B and D, it will be great if you could help me understand why D is not acceptable[/quote]

Hope it helps.
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2013, 19:56
1
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Bibli wrote:
Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya as an achievement, the army of terra-cotta warriors created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

A. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them
B. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete it
C. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete
D. 700,000 artisans took more than 36 years to complete
E. to complete them too 700,000 artisans more than 36 years

Pls help with the explanation of the correct answer. I was confused between B and D, it will be great if you could help me understand why D is not acceptable

First, what's the subject of the sentence? (e.g. What's it about?)

the army of terra-cotta warriors

Now, let's look at the rest of the sentence...

created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife

This isn't really important to answering the question. Ignore it.

is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

OK, let's put this together.
the army of terra-cotta warriors is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

The way the grammar of this sentence works is this:

THE ARMY…is (x)…and (y).

Let's make this easier by breaking it up into two new, shorter sentences.

The army is more than 2,000 years old. It took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete.

The "it" in this sentence is a pronoun standing in for "the army". In the correct answer, C, the pronoun is not needed because we use "and" as a coordinating conjunction to link the two clauses that share a common subject. This is also why both A & B are wrong.

D is not a right choice because it changes the subject from THE ARMY to 700,000 ARTISANS. For D to be right, we would need "it" at the end of the clause. To see why, again try breaking this up into two shorter sentences:
The army is more than 2,000 years old. 700,000 artisans took more than 36 years to complete <WHAT?>.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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22 Nov 2014, 00:43
Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya as an achievement, the army of terra-cotta warriors created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

A. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them -> The army
B. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete it -> it is not required. The X took Y to complete. Took is acting as a modifier about X.
C. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete -> Correct
D. 700,000 artisans took more than 36 years to complete -> X is Y and Z took sometime to complete. What? As "Z took sometime to complete" is acting as Independent clause, we need a object to properly convey the meaning.

The bat used by the great Sachin and crafted by workers of the willow factory. -> Make sense
The bat used by the great Sachin and workers of the willow factory crafted-> Forged what?

E. to complete them took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years . Them -> cannot refer to the army.
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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13 Aug 2017, 06:42
2
This sentence states two main facts about the construction of the army of terra-cotta warriors. It also describes the army of terra-cotta warriors.

WHAT ARE THE ERRORS IN THE ORIGINAL SENTENCE?

Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya as an achievement, the army of terra-cotta warriors created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

1) This sentence has one clause as shown. The sentence begins with a modifier “rivaling the pyramids…”.
2) This modifier modifies the subject “army of terra-cotta warriors”. The subject is then followed by another modifier “created to protect…”.
3) This subject has two verbs in parallel construction as shown. These two verbs indicate two facts about the “army of terra-cotta warriors”.
4) In this sentence, the use of pronoun “them” is unnecessary.
5) Furthermore, it does not agree in number with its antecedent. ”Them” refers to the subject of the sentence – “the army”. Since “army” is a collective noun, it is singular and hence the pronoun referring to it should also be singular.
6) Furthermore, the use is redundant as explained below.
7) Lets consider the sentence with only verb 2 and with the pronoun replaced by the noun it refers to:

The army of terra-cotta warriors took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete the army of terra-cotta warriors.
As you can see the noun – army of terra-cotta warriors is unnecessarily repeated. Lets consider a simpler sentence to understand this better.

Process of elimination :-

Choice A: Pronoun redundancy error – "them"
Choice B: Pronoun redundancy error as in Choice A.
Choice C: No Errors
Choice D: Punctuation Error: The structure of this sentence is such that the subject for verb 2 in the original sentence is no longer “the army of terra-cotta warriors”. The subject is “700,000 artisans”. Hence this sentence now has two independent clauses but these are not connected using comma + and. These are connecting using only “and”. This is incorrect.
Choice E: Pronoun error as in Choice A. This choice is similar to choice A. The placement of verb modifier “to complete them” has been changed. Thus, Choice C is the correct answer.
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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10 Sep 2017, 09:53
Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya as an achievement, the army of terra-cotta warriors created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

A. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them
B. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete it
C. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete
D. 700,000 artisans took more than 36 years to complete
E. to complete them took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years

A, D & E - Can be easily eliminated

Between B and C - "it" in B is redundant

Hence C
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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18 Sep 2017, 11:31
solidcolor wrote:
Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya as an achievement, the army of terra-cotta warriors created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

A. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them
B. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete it
C. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete
D. 700,000 artisans took more than 36 years to complete
E. to complete them took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years

"took 700,000 artisans" OR "700,000 artisans took" PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ..I always get confused in such types of construction... I was confused between C & D.
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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18 Sep 2017, 12:04
1
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ARS1988 wrote:
solidcolor wrote:
Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya as an achievement, the army of terra-cotta warriors created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

A. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them
B. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete it
C. took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete
D. 700,000 artisans took more than 36 years to complete
E. to complete them took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years

"took 700,000 artisans" OR "700,000 artisans took" PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ..I always get confused in such types of construction... I was confused between C & D.

Hello ARS1988

Lets try to read the sentence after removing all the clutter:

I will strike out modifiers from the sentence in order to avoid confusion:

Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya as an achievement, the army of terra-cotta warriors created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

Let's look at more closely now:

The Army .... Is .... X And Took.... Y

The Army:
- Is (Verb) ..... AND
- Took (Verb) .....

Now, look at the word AND, does it reminds you of anything? Yeap - "And" mandates strict parallelism at both the sides (Left and Right)

Now, when you carefully review option D, the structure is as per below:

The Army:
- Is (Verb) ..... AND
- (Subject)............Took (Verb) .....

This has two errors:
- Parallelism is not maintained
- 700,000 artisans - becomes the subject now instead of The Army

And Hence - C is the correct answer.

Please do let me know if this helps to clarify your doubt.
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2019, 07:23
anairamitch1804 wrote:
This sentence states two main facts about the construction of the army of terra-cotta warriors. It also describes the army of terra-cotta warriors.

WHAT ARE THE ERRORS IN THE ORIGINAL SENTENCE?

Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya as an achievement, the army of terra-cotta warriors created to protect Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in his afterlife is more than 2,000 years old and took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete them.

1) This sentence has one clause as shown. The sentence begins with a modifier “rivaling the pyramids…”.
2) This modifier modifies the subject “army of terra-cotta warriors”. The subject is then followed by another modifier “created to protect…”.
3) This subject has two verbs in parallel construction as shown. These two verbs indicate two facts about the “army of terra-cotta warriors”.
4) In this sentence, the use of pronoun “them” is unnecessary.
5) Furthermore, it does not agree in number with its antecedent. ”Them” refers to the subject of the sentence – “the army”. Since “army” is a collective noun, it is singular and hence the pronoun referring to it should also be singular.
6) Furthermore, the use is redundant as explained below.
7) Lets consider the sentence with only verb 2 and with the pronoun replaced by the noun it refers to:

The army of terra-cotta warriors took 700,000 artisans more than 36 years to complete the army of terra-cotta warriors.
As you can see the noun – army of terra-cotta warriors is unnecessarily repeated. Lets consider a simpler sentence to understand this better.

Process of elimination :-

Choice A: Pronoun redundancy error – "them"
Choice B: Pronoun redundancy error as in Choice A.
Choice C: No Errors
Choice D: Punctuation Error: The structure of this sentence is such that the subject for verb 2 in the original sentence is no longer “the army of terra-cotta warriors”. The subject is “700,000 artisans”. Hence this sentence now has two independent clauses but these are not connected using comma + and. These are connecting using only “and”. This is incorrect.
Choice E: Pronoun error as in Choice A. This choice is similar to choice A. The placement of verb modifier “to complete them” has been changed. Thus, Choice C is the correct answer.

Great analysis !!!
Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of   [#permalink] 08 Jan 2019, 07:23
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