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The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth

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The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth  [#permalink]

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The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth century B.C., bringing the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and southern India alphabets.

(A) the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and

(B) the Aramaic script with it, and from which deriving both the northern and the

(C) with it the Aramaic script, from which derive both the northern and the

(D) with it the Aramaic script, from which derives both northern and

(E) with it the Aramaic script, and deriving from it both the northern and

Originally posted by Fistail on 16 Oct 2007, 00:00.
Last edited by hazelnut on 26 Sep 2017, 18:34, edited 2 times in total.
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Meaning, modifiers and Parallelism in SC  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2012, 09:28
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Let’s try this GMATPrep(registered trademark) SC. You have 1 minute and 15 seconds and go!

Quote:
"The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth century B.C., bringing the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and southern Indian alphabets.

“A) the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and
“B) the Aramaic script with it, and from which deriving both the northern and the
“C) with it the Aramaic script, from which derive both the northern and the
“D) with it the Aramaic script, from which derives both northern and
“E) with it the Aramaic script, and deriving from it both the northern and”


What did you think about the original sentence – did it seem okay or do you want to examine anything further?

On this one, perhaps the “, from which” in the original sentence sounded a little funny – after all, we don’t talk that way, do we? This structure signifies a noun modifier and noun modifiers are supposed to modify the closest main noun; in this case, that means the noun before the comma. That noun is the pronoun “it.” So I guess we need to start there: what is the pronoun “it” referring to?

Something brought the script “with it” – ah, I see. “It” is referring to the empire. The empire was expanding and when it reached this certain place, it also brought this certain script with it. So the noun modifier is telling us “the empire, from which was derived <some other alphabet>. Can an alphabet be derived from an empire? Figuratively, perhaps, but not literally – literally, that meaning is illogical. One alphabet is derived from another alphabet (in this case, the “Aramaic script”), so the sentence should convey that meaning.

Great! Because we’ve found an error in the original sentence, we can immediately cross off answer choice A. Whenever we can cross off any answer, our next step is always to scan the remaining answers to see whether we can eliminate others for the exact same reason. Do any of the other choices repeat the error that we just found?

Answers C and D have “script, from which,” so in both cases, the modifier is correctly referring to the script. Answers B and E change things up a bit – they introduce an “and” after the comma, so we no longer have a straight noun modifier marker.

Now, you have to make a choice: do you want to try to figure out what’s happening with these new “and” markers that you’ve noticed in B and E? Or do you want to try to find something else? There isn’t one right answer to this question; it just depends on whether you think you know what might be going on with the “and.” If so, keep going. If not, find something else instead. In this case, let’s examine B and E further.

B says “it, and from which deriving…” The word “and” is a parallelism marker; it signals an “X and Y” construction. If this choice is correct, then it should have some X and Y components that can be made parallel. Right after the “and,” we have the “from which” modifier marker, so this is the start of the Y component of the “X and Y” parallelism structure: “and from which…” What is the X? Ah, there’s the problem! We would need another noun-modifier component for the X part of the sentence… and we don’t have one. Eliminate B.

We know already that E also introduced an “and” at this point in the sentence, so you know what to do: see if you can reuse your work from B. In E, we have “script, and deriving…” The word “deriving” is the start of our Y component; what is the parallel X component? Perhaps it’s the word “bringing” from the non-underlined portion? Let’s test it out.

Quote:
The Empire reached the Valley, bringing with it <a script>, and deriving from it <some alphabets>.


These “comma –ing” structures are adverbial modifiers, which modify the preceding clause (subject and verb). In addition, the parallelism sets up certain expectations; for instance, when using the same pronoun in the same position in two parallel structures, the expectation is that the pronoun refers to the same noun both times.

We decided earlier that the “bringing with it” language referred to the empire. Does the second “it” refer to the same noun?

No. Once again, it doesn’t make sense to say that an alphabet was derived from an empire. The second “it” should really refer to the Aramaic script – but then we’d be using two different nouns for the same pronoun, “it,” that appears twice in a parallel structure. That’s considered ambiguous – although some ambiguity can be tolerated if all of the other choices are outright wrong. So how do we decide?

Turns out there’s an even bigger problem. Parallel structures should be able to be used independently to complete the sentence. We should be able to say: (1) The Empire reached the Valley, bringing with it a script. (2) The Empire reached the valley, deriving from it some alphabets. What does the “it” refer to in the second sentence? The valley? The empire? Neither one makes sense, and the script is no longer an option – it’s not part of the sentence any longer. Eliminate E.

So now we’ve narrowed it down to C and D, both of which use the “script, from which” construction. Now is a great time to scan the two choices vertically, comparing equivalent parts of the sentences until you find differences. There are only two: one uses the singular “derives” while the other uses the plural “derive,” and one includes “the” in front of both northern and southern while the other does not use “the” for either one.

The derives / derive split seems as though it should be straightforward – we just have to determine whether we need the verb to be singular or plural, right? So, what subject goes with this verb?

Ask yourself who or what is doing the action – what derives from what? Did the script come first and then the alphabets? Or was it the other way around? The original sentence describes the former scenario: the alphabets derive (come) from the script.

So the subject is the plural “the northern and southern alphabets” and the verb should be the plural “derive.” Eliminate D. The correct answer, by process of elimination, is C.

This last bit of analysis also shows the biggest trap in this problem: many students will think that the subject is “script” (it comes first, after all!) and that the verb should therefore be “derives.” Consequently, those students will eliminate the right answer, C, and choose a very tempting wrong answer, D. We have an inverted structure here, however, where the subject actually shows up after the verb – and the clue to this construction was the “from which” language. “Which” refers to the preceding noun, “script” – the (something) derive or derives from the script. If the script is part of that prepositional phrase after the verb, then it can’t be the subject.

In choice E, we saw another trap: false parallelism. Students will like the apparent parallelism between “bringing with it” and “deriving from it,” but the parallelism is only superficial. The two pronouns are not actually parallel and the second item doesn’t make sense in the context of the entire sentence.

The major take-aways here:

(1) Re-use your analysis! Whenever you find anything wrong, make sure to check the remaining answers for the same issue.
(2) Study modifiers and meaning! These are both very commonly tested on the GMAT.
(3) Don’t fall for false or superficial parallelism! Test the parts and make sure that they really are parallel and separately able to complete the sentence.

* GMATPrep question courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council. Usage of this question does not imply endorsement by GMAC.
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Re: The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2015, 22:54
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The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth century B.C., bringing the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and southern India alphabets.

Pre-thinking:
"script with it, from which" - "it" refers to "empire", "from which.." modifies "it" that is "empire", but "from which..." was not derived from the "empire",. It was derived from the "script". So we need "script, from which" construction.


A. the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and - Incorrect as per the explanation above
B. the Aramaic script with it, and from which deriving both the northern and the -
(1) Repeats the same error in A.
(2)There are multiple uses of "and" here, so let's see the final sentence in its entirety with this choice:


The Achaemenid empire of Persia
reached the Indus Valley in the fifth century B.C., bringing the Aramaic script with it,
and from which deriving both the northern and the southern India alphabets.

Now, there are 2 things that the "empire" did - it "reached" and "from which deriving". This is incorrect, as the "script" did the "deriving" part.

C. with it the Aramaic script, from which derive both the northern and the - Hold on
D. with it the Aramaic script, from which derives both northern and - reverse the second half of this clause, it becomes "both northern and southern india alphabets" WERE (plural verb) derived. So coming back to the original sentence, "derives" which is singular is incorrect verb tense form.
E. with it the Aramaic script, and deriving from it both the northern and -

(1)There are multiple uses of "and" here, so let's see the final sentence in its entirety with this choice:

The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth century B.C., bringing with it the Aramaic script,
and deriving from it both the northern and the southern India alphabets.

Now, there are 2 things that the "empire" did - it "reached" and "deriving". This is incorrect, as the "script" did the "deriving" part.
(2) Also, the "it" in the "it the Aramaic script" refers to "empire", and the same use of "it" is present in "it both the northern". However, in the second half, "it" should not refer to the "empire", it should refer to the "scripts"

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Re: The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2007, 11:47
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Fistail wrote:
The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth century B.C., bringing the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and southern India alphabets.

A the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and
B the Aramaic script with it, and from which deriving both the northern and the
C with it the Aramaic script, from which derive both the northern and the
D with it the Aramaic script, from which derives both northern and
E with it the Aramaic script, and deriving from it both the northern and


Would go for C,

between A and C, choose C cuz "from which" refers to script not "Achaemenid empire".
Other choices sound awkward.
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Re: The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 04 Aug 2011, 16:45
The answer is most definitely (c). The correct usage here is "derive", not "derives", because alphabets is plural.

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Originally posted by GyanOne on 04 Aug 2011, 09:13.
Last edited by GyanOne on 04 Aug 2011, 16:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2011, 09:20
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The answer should be 'C'. Here is why:

i) the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and - this is grammatically wrong because of 'was', should have been 'were'.
ii) the Aramaic script with it, and from which deriving both the northern and the - 'from which' seems to be misplaced.
iii) with it the Aramaic script, from which derive both the northern and the - should have been 'derived' for answer to be perfect but derive is also correct grammatically.
iv) with it the Aramaic script, from which derives both northern and - derives is singular, should have been plural here.
v) with it the Aramaic script, and deriving from it both the northern and - second 'it' is redundant.
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Re: The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2011, 22:22
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+1 for C.

Rephrasing the last part clarifies the role of "derive" which here is used for northern and southern Indian alphabets and not script:

both northern and southern Indian alphabets derive from the Aramaic script

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Re: Meaning, modifiers and Parallelism in SC  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2012, 21:07
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Tom’s note makes an excellent analysis and a wonderful lesson; As an offshoot, let me give another angle to it. What are derived from it are two things; therefore, you require a plural verb namely derive; C is the only one tht depicts a plural working verb.


“A) the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and - ---- was derived is singular verb
“B) the Aramaic script with it, and from which deriving both the northern and the ------ second part is a fragment
“C) with it the Aramaic script, from which derive both the northern and the--- good
“D) with it the Aramaic script, from which derives both northern and --- derives is singular
“E) with it the Aramaic script, and deriving from it both the northern and --- second part is a fragment.

This is perhaps a quick-fix shot via grammar notwithstanding that we can point out several other incongruities in structure and logic.
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Re: The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth  [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2014, 01:38
metallicafan wrote:
+1 C

A "which" refers to "it"
B "and from which..." is not a clause
C Correct
D "derives" is wrong; we are talking about northern AND southern alphabets
E "deriving from..." is not a clause



Request you to please elaborate more on the Option E ! why is it wrong.

I understand C is correct , however if we talk about parallelism isn't C giving us that?
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Re: The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth  [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2014, 09:35
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GRITTY16 wrote:
metallicafan wrote:
+1 C

A "which" refers to "it"
B "and from which..." is not a clause
C Correct
D "derives" is wrong; we are talking about northern AND southern alphabets
E "deriving from..." is not a clause



Request you to please elaborate more on the Option E ! why is it wrong.

I understand C is correct , however if we talk about parallelism isn't C giving us that?


E is wrong because of multiple reasons:
1. 'with it the aramaic script' - so 'it' refers to "The Achaemenid empire of Persia". The thumb rule is that we cannot change the reference of pronoun in one statement; therefore, 'it' should refer to "The Achaemenid empire of Persia" throughout the statement. Well this is an issue because the second part of statement, "deriving from it", refers it as aramaic script. Hence it is incorrect.

2. Second issue is parallelism across both...and...
"both the northern and southern India alphabets"
'the' is missing in southern India alphabets..which makes it fault parallelism. We need 'the' to compare apple and apple.

3. when we have a construction of "S+V+Obj, -ing form" - usually -ing refers to subject of the sentence. In this case 'deriving' refers to 'The Achaemenid empire of Persia', changing the meaning of the sentence - as if 'The Achaemenid empire of Persia' were deriving something..

Hope it helps

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Re: Meaning, modifiers and Parallelism in SC  [#permalink]

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New post 29 May 2014, 23:59
daagh wrote:
Tom’s note makes an excellent analysis and a wonderful lesson; As an offshoot, let me give another angle to it. What are derived from it are two things; therefore, you require a plural verb namely derive; C is the only one tht depicts a plural working verb.


“A) the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and - ---- was derived is singular verb
“B) the Aramaic script with it, and from which deriving both the northern and the ------ second part is a fragment
“C) with it the Aramaic script, from which derive both the northern and the--- good
“D) with it the Aramaic script, from which derives both northern and --- derives is singular
“E) with it the Aramaic script, and deriving from it both the northern and --- second part is a fragment.

This is perhaps a quick-fix shot via grammar notwithstanding that we can point out several other incongruities in structure and logic.
A big Kudo to TOM


Hi daagh,

Can we not consider "deriving" to be a verb in B and E? Why not?

Thanks
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Re: The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Sep 2014, 08:27
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Fistail wrote:
The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth century B.C., bringing the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and southern India alphabets.

A the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and
B the Aramaic script with it, and from which deriving both the northern and the
C with it the Aramaic script, from which derive both the northern and the
D with it the Aramaic script, from which derives both northern and
E with it the Aramaic script, and deriving from it both the northern and


A) "from which" seems to incorrectly refer to the empire (referenced by the pronoun "it") rather than to the script. Also, the singular verb "was derived" does not agree in number with the plural subject "northern and southern Indian alphabets". Finally, the subject "northern and southern Indian alphabets" is unclear: are there several alphabets, or only one of each?

B) "and" creates a lack of connection between the two parts of the sentence. Additionally, "deriving" is an incorrect verb tense.

C) CORRECT. "From which" correctly refers to the script. Additionally, "derive," a plural verb, correctly agrees with the plural subject "the Northern and the Southern Indian alphabets."

D) "derives," a singular verb, does not agree with the plural subject "Northern and Southern Indian alphabets."

E) The second pronoun "it" is ambiguous: does it refer to the "empire" or to the "script"? Additionally, the original intent of the sentence is significantly changed in meaning.
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Re: Meaning, modifiers and Parallelism in SC  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2015, 03:01
Hi russ9,

The short answer is that the use of "deriving" in B and E doesn't make sense as a verb in the context of the sentence. Tom gets into this at length in his analysis of those answer choices in the original post. One quick way to see the problem is that this verb has no subject! We don't want to say that the empire derived the Indian alphabets from the Aramaic script. This doesn't make sense! Notice that in the correct version, we aren't told who did this deriving. None of the choices tell us this, because there is no such subject. The alphabets derived from Aramaic, but no person or thing *derived* them. It's just as if we'd said that an animal evolved from an earlier species. We don't want to say that someone or something "evolved it."

Does that help?
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Re: The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Feb 2017, 09:57
I also can come to C but there is a point I do not understand.

in C, it should be " from which both a and b derive"
why do gmat use "derive" at the beginning ?

because a and b are too long?

pls, explain
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Re: The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2017, 19:51
Experts please explain how "derive" is correct in C.
With the SV pair, I am convinced that we should use plural form i.e. "derive", but from tense prospective how does "simple present" makes sense with "reached"?
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Re: The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2017, 07:14
victory47 wrote:
I also can come to C but there is a point I do not understand.

in C, it should be " from which both a and b derive"
why do gmat use "derive" at the beginning ?

because a and b are too long?

pls, explain


This is a case of subject-verb flip. In this case the usage is just a matter of choice. The sentence would be equally correct, if it were:
....from which X and Y derive.

The flip seems to have been intentionally used to trap students into choosing D instead of C. It is important to recognise the flip to select the correct option.
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Re: The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2017, 07:25
RMD007 wrote:
Experts please explain how "derive" is correct in C.
With the SV pair, I am convinced that we should use plural form i.e. "derive", but from tense prospective how does "simple present" makes sense with "reached"?


Consider this a stylistic usage - somewhat similar to the following example:
I come from India.
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Re: The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2017, 21:50
The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth century B.C., bringing the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and southern India alphabets.

(A) the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and - "from which" seems to incorrectly refer to the empire (referenced by the pronoun "it") rather than to the script. Also, the singular verb "was derived" does not agree in number with the plural subject "northern and southern Indian alphabets". Finally, the subject "northern and southern Indian alphabets" is unclear: are there several alphabets, or only one of each?

(B) the Aramaic script with it, and from which deriving both the northern and the - "and" creates a lack of connection between the two parts of the sentence. Additionally, "deriving" is an incorrect verb tense.

(C) with it the Aramaic script, from which derive both the northern and the -CORRECT. "From which" correctly refers to the script. Additionally, "derive," a plural verb, correctly agrees with the plural subject "the Northern and the Southern Indian alphabets."

(D) with it the Aramaic script, from which derives both northern and - "derives," a singular verb, does not agree with the plural subject "Northern and Southern Indian alphabets."

(E) with it the Aramaic script, and deriving from it both the northern and - The second pronoun "it" is ambiguous: does it refer to the "empire" or to the "script"? Additionally, the original intent of the sentence is significantly changed in meaning.

Answer C
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The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2018, 08:10
GMATNinja, Could you help to explain ", from which" versus ", which"?
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