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# Ryunosuke Akutagawa s knowledge of the literatures of

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EMPOWERgmat Instructor
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Re: Ryunosuke Akutagawa s knowledge of the literatures of  [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2018, 10:33
1
Hello Everyone!

Let's take a look at this question, one issue at a time, and narrow it down to the right choice! Before we dive in, let's take a look at the original question and highlight any major differences between the options in orange:

Ryunosuke Akutagawa‘s knowledge of the literatures of Europe, China, and that of Japan were instrumental in his development as a writer, informing his literary style as much as the content of his fiction.

(A) that of Japan were instrumental in his development as a writer, informing his literary style as much as
(B) that of Japan was instrumental in his development as a writer, and it informed his literary style as well as
(C) Japan was instrumental in his development as a writer, informing both his literary style and
(D) Japan was instrumental in his development as a writer, as it informed his literary style as much as
(E) Japan were instrumental in his development as a writer, informing both his literary style in addition to

After a quick glance over the options, we have a few things we can focus on:

1. that of Japan / Japan (parallelism)
2. was / were (subject-verb agreement)
3. How they end (modifiers/conjunctions)

Let's start with #1 on our list: that of Japan / Japan. This is an issue of parallelism! Let's take a look at each option, and determine which ones use parallel structure, and toss out the ones that don't:

(A) Europe, China, and that of Japan were instrumental in his development as a writer, informing his literary style as much as
(B) Europe, China, and that of Japan was instrumental in his development as a writer, and it informed his literary style as well as
(C) Europe, China, and Japan was instrumental in his development as a writer, informing both his literary style and
(D) Europe, China, and Japan was instrumental in his development as a writer, as it informed his literary style as much as
(E) Europe, China, and Japan were instrumental in his development as a writer, informing both his literary style in addition to

We can rule out options A & B because "that of Japan" isn't worded the same way as the other two items on the list (Europe, China).

Now, let's move on to #2 on our list: was / were. This is an issue of subject-verb agreement! We know the subject of the sentence is "knowledge," which is a singular subject, and that means we need to use a singular verb to match. Let's see which options use a singular verb, and toss out the ones that don't:

(C) Europe, China, and Japan was instrumental in his development as a writer, informing both his literary style and
(D) Europe, China, and Japan was instrumental in his development as a writer, as it informed his literary style as much as
(E) Europe, China, and Japan were instrumental in his development as a writer, informing both his literary style in addition to

We can rule out option E because it uses the plural verb "were" with a singular subject, which doesn't agree!

Now that we're left with only 2 options, let's move on to #3 on our list: how they end. We need to make sure the ending makes sense, doesn't distort meaning, and is 100% clear for readers:

(C) Europe, China, and Japan was instrumental in his development as a writer, informing both his literary style and

This is CORRECT! The modifier "informing both his literary style and..." is clearly modifying the subject "knowledge." It also follows the idiomatic structure "both X and Y" at the end when it says "both his literary style and the content of his fiction."

(D) Europe, China, and Japan was instrumental in his development as a writer, as it informed his literary style as much as

This is INCORRECT because it's not written clearly. We have the pronoun "it," which could refer to knowledge or development. Vague pronouns are a major no-no on the GMAT! Also, the word "as" is a problem because it changes the meaning. This sentence is saying that Akutagawa's knowledge helped him develop as a writer at the same time that it informed his literary style and the content of his fiction. This isn't true - he gained the knowledge first, and then it helped make him a better writer!

There you have it - option C is the right choice here! It uses parallel structure, proper subject-verb agreement, and a clearly written modifier!

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Re: Ryunosuke Akutagawa s knowledge of the literatures of  [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2018, 17:26
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:

Ryunosuke Akutagawa‘s knowledge of the literatures of Europe, China, and that of Japan were instrumental in his development as a writer, informing his literary style as much as the content of his fiction.

Hi EMPOWERgmatVerbal,
There is NO COMMA before AND in the official guide! So, could you remove COMMA before AND so that no student being misguided, please?
Thanks__
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Ryunosuke Akutagawa s knowledge of the literatures of  [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2018, 17:35
1
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:

Ryunosuke Akutagawa‘s knowledge of the literatures of Europe, China, and that of Japan were instrumental in his development as a writer, informing his literary style as much as the content of his fiction.

Hi EMPOWERgmatVerbal,
There is NO COMMA before AND in the official guide! So, could you remove COMMA before AND so that no student being misguided, please?
Thanks__

Well, then OG 2019 contains a TYPO. The 2016 Official Guide does include the comma exactly as the guide should.

GMAC uses the Oxford comma. Perhaps you did not know that fact.
(British English does not use the Oxford comma. U.S. English does almost always, though not in newsprint jormalism.)

As mentioned, the Oxford comma is required.

EMPOWERgmatVerbal has the correct construction.

Maybe you should notify GMAC?

EDIT: I checked the hard copy of 2016 first. I just checked the hard copy of OG 2018. That edition also correctly includes the comma.
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Ryunosuke Akutagawa s knowledge of the literatures of  [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2018, 21:11
1
generis wrote:
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:

Ryunosuke Akutagawa‘s knowledge of the literatures of Europe, China, and that of Japan were instrumental in his development as a writer, informing his literary style as much as the content of his fiction.

Hi EMPOWERgmatVerbal,
There is NO COMMA before AND in the official guide! So, could you remove COMMA before AND so that no student being misguided, please?
Thanks__

EDIT: I checked the hard copy of 2016 first. I just checked the hard copy of OG 2018. That edition also correctly includes the comma.

I can confirm that the HARD copies of OG2019, OG2017, and OG2015 also ALL contain the comma.
AsadAbu Did you get some kind of a bootleg copy? Please do not confuse people!
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Re: Ryunosuke Akutagawa s knowledge of the literatures of  [#permalink]

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01 Nov 2018, 08:57
generis wrote:
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:

Ryunosuke Akutagawa‘s knowledge of the literatures of Europe, China, and that of Japan were instrumental in his development as a writer, informing his literary style as much as the content of his fiction.

Hi EMPOWERgmatVerbal,
There is NO COMMA before AND in the official guide! So, could you remove COMMA before AND so that no student being misguided, please?
Thanks__

EDIT: I checked the hard copy of 2016 first. I just checked the hard copy of OG 2018. That edition also correctly includes the comma.

I can confirm that the HARD copies of OG2019, OG2017, and OG2015 also ALL contain the comma.
AsadAbu Did you get some kind of a bootleg copy? Please do not confuse people![/quote]

Hello Everyone!

I copied the question directly from the online OG 2017 version on this site, which uses a comma. It also appears that there is a comma in all other hard copies as well, so let's keep it the way it is for now. The GMAT is in favor of using the Oxford comma in lists, so we need to stay consistent with their thoughts on using it.

Thank you to everyone who checked their hard copies to confirm! I'm sorry to hear you may have a typo in one of your guides, but it does seem that it appears in all the other guides. It also doesn't change the overall outcome of this question - the OA stays the same whether there is a comma there or not.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Ryunosuke Akutagawa s knowledge of the literatures of &nbs [#permalink] 01 Nov 2018, 08:57

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