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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya [#permalink]
daagh wrote:
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.


For The D option, we can also say that there is a parallelism issue as 'is' is a verb and should be compared with a verb 'took' and not a noun '700,000'.
Is my reasoning correct?
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Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya [#permalink]
Expert Reply
Rishi108 wrote:
daagh wrote:
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.


For The D option, we can also say that there is a parallelism issue as 'is' is a verb and should be compared with a verb 'took' and not a noun '700,000'.
Is my reasoning correct?


Hello Rishi108,

We hope this finds you well.

To answer your query, while we could say that Option D has a parallelism error, the broader and more pertinent issue is that in Option D, the verb phrase "took...to complete" lacks an object to act upon, rendering the sentence incomplete and incoherent.

We hope this helps.
All the best!
Experts' Global Team
GMAT Club Bot
Re: Rivaling the pyramids of Egypt or even the ancient cities of the Maya [#permalink]
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