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# The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a

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Re: The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2016, 18:52
Hi there, quick question regarding the nonessential modifiers. Are we allowed to have more than one in a sentence like in this case. And, can they be prepositions (with...of...?) Thanks!

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Re: The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2016, 21:29
The final modifier doesn't modify "rooms" for three reasons: 1) it doesn't touch either noun ("each" is not a noun here), 2) we have two modifiers on top of one another, so we have to read for meaning, and 3) the intervening modifier is set off with commas, making it an aside that we can skip over structurally.

Also, notice that none of the answers do anything to make the meaning clearer. In fact, C-E seem to make the rooms connected. So we can't use this issue to narrow things down very well. Besides, if the rooms were connected, that wouldn't stop the sentence from working.
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Re: The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a [#permalink]

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01 Nov 2016, 10:16
Smileyface123 wrote:
Hi there, quick question regarding the nonessential modifiers. Are we allowed to have more than one in a sentence like in this case. And, can they be prepositions (with...of...?) Thanks!

Dear Smileyface123,

I'm happy to respond.

The short answer is: YES. Yes, we can have 2 or 3 or maybe even 4 non-essential prepositional phrase modifiers in a row. At some point, the flow of the sentence becomes unclear if there are too many, but we won't see that case on the GMAT. Also, notice that prepositional phrases are short, usually 2-3 words. Other noun modifiers (participial phrases, modifying clauses, etc.) are much longer, but if those are non-essential, there would likely be not more than one interrupting the flow of the sentence and most often these are set off by commas, as were the pair of prepositional phrases in this sentence.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a [#permalink]

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09 Nov 2016, 07:57
Thanks Mike from Magoosh. I will sure to read one hour a day going forward!

Split1) Verb misplacement. We have aone "were" at the beginning: "the Anazazi settlements were built". The second "were" misses a subject. If we are going to have two verbs such as is the case when we have two independent clauses, the independent clauses are joined together by a conjunction, Ex: "and". Otherwise the second "verb" is not going to work.

Split2) Noun modifier. Leaving the word "connected" alone is fine. Connected is a participle (and the rest following connected a participle phrase). Participle: A word formed from a verb (ex: going, been) and used as an adjective (ex: working woman) or a noun (ex: good breeding). The participal phrase beginning with "connected" is correct. A, C, D and E are out.

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Re: The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2017, 17:06
mikemcgarry wrote:
Could anyone please post the official answer for the question? Why is C incorrect? What is connected by roads?

I'm happy to respond. First of all, the OA is posted for this question already. When you see this:
Attachment:
OA Spoiler Bar.JPG

the gray spoiler bar at the bottom of a question at the head of a post: that's precisely where the OA is. You simply click on "[Reveal]" and you can view the OA.

Now, why is (C) incorrect? Well, first of all, the word "of" is idiomatically incorrect, and this is part of what makes (C), (D), and (E) incorrect. This sentence, by itself, is correct:
The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a spectacular scale.
If we want to indicate more detail, we add detail to the settlements, not to the word "scale" itself.
The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a spectacular scale with more than 75 carefully engineered structures.
Perfectly correct. The "with" phrases are modifying "settlements."
The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a spectacular scale of more than 75 carefully engineered structures.
In this version, the "of" phrase illogically modifies "scale", telling us (??) what kind of scale?? This makes no sense. The choices that use "of" here are incorrect.

Even if choice (C) had the correct word "with" instead of "of", the ending is still awkward, wordy, and not direct.
Version (B) = ... 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each, connected by a complex regional system of roads.
Version (C) = ... 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms, each that had been connected by a complex regional system of roads
Use of the past perfect tense is illogical --- had been. Also, this is a wordy and awkward way to express this idea. Also, (C) subtly changes the meaning. In choices (A) & (B), it's clear that the "structures" were "connected by ... roads." Choice (C) changes the meaning, illogically suggesting that each room has its own road!! Thus, if there were a structure with 600 rooms, this structure would have 600 road coming into it? The ancient Anasazi were not building complex highway interchange ramps!! That is 100% illogical, as well as a very different meaning from what is expressed clearly in the prompt.

For all these reasons, (C) is irredeemably incorrect.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Hi GMAT exports,

I am confused about the sentence structure of this question. If the modifiers, "of up to 600 rooms each" and "connected by a complex regional system of roads" both modify "structure", why there is no conjunction word "and". Should the absence of "and" be a parallelism error for choice B? Can someone please let me know if "and" is always required in a list?

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Re: The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a [#permalink]

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13 Mar 2017, 11:13
Hi GMAT exports,

I am confused about the sentence structure of this question. If the modifiers, "of up to 600 rooms each" and "connected by a complex regional system of roads" both modify "structure", why there is no conjunction word "and". Should the absence of "and" be a parallelism error for choice B? Can someone please let me know if "and" is always required in a list?

I'm happy to respond.

Here is version (B), the OA:
The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a spectacular scale with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each, connected by a complex regional system of roads.
This is 100% correct as is.

A list is a series of discrete elements. For a list structure, the elements are in parallel and of course we typically would have "and" or "or" joining the elements. That is not what is happening in this sentence. This sentence did not attempt to create a list and do the job poorly. Instead, it was doing something else.

There are several other patterns in language beside listing. One pattern is the parenthetical remark. A parenthetical remark, sometimes called an "aside," is an extra piece of information that the speaker throws in. It typically disrupts the flow of the sentence, and often is set off on each side either by commas or by dashes (em-dashes).

In this sentence, the parenthetical remark is "of up to 600 rooms each." Notice that we could remove this remark and the sentence would still be perfectly fine. The author could have chosen to write this as the following:
The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a spectacular scale with more than 75 carefully engineered structures—of up to 600 rooms each—connected by a complex regional system of roads.
That version sets the parenthetical remark off in em-dashes. This version is not as good: we set off a parenthetical remark in em-dashes when it's logically further from the sentence, a real interruption to the flow of thought. Here, the parenthetical remark is still very much on topic, so setting it off between a pair of commas is fine.

This is NOT parallelism. This is a different way of positioning a pair of complex modifiers.

My friend, there's no complete list anywhere of all the ways that language can be used. It's impossible to get to SC mastery by learning some mythical "complete set" of rules. You have to learn the "feel" of the language, and the only way to develop that is to cultivate a habit of reading. See:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a [#permalink]

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06 May 2017, 03:49
The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a spectacular scale with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each, were connected by a complex regional system of roads.

A. scale with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each, were

B. scale with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each,

C. scale of more than 75 carefully engineered structures of up to 600 rooms, each that had been

D. scale of more than 75 carefully engineered structures of up to 600 rooms and with each

E. scale of more than 75 carefully engineered structures of up to 600 rooms each had been
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Re: The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2017, 07:15
hello experts,

Is the part "with...of roads" in option B a "preposition modifier" or a "noun+noun modifier"?

If it is a "noun+noun modifier", then what will be the "noun" and "noun modifier" ?

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Re: The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2017, 01:31
Although I got this wrong: posting the OE

This sentence makes a claim about the scale (size, extent) of the Anasazi settlements and then illustrates that claim with a description of the settlements' structures. The second part of the sentence, introduced by the preposition with, describes the structures first in terms of their rooms and then in terms of the roads that connect them together. To describe the noun structures, the participial form connected should be used, turning the verb into an adjective.

B CORRECT - The sentence is logically coherent and grammatically correct.
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Re: The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2017, 07:24
The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a spectacular scale with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each, were connected by a complex regional system of roads.

A. with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each, were :were has no subjects
B. with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each, correct
C. of more than 75 carefully engineered structures of up to 600 rooms, each that had been:past perfect not required
D. of more than 75 carefully engineered structures of up to 600 rooms and with each parallelism error scale of and scale with
E. of more than 75 carefully engineered structures of up to 600 rooms each had been:past perfect not required

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Re: The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2017, 07:25
The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a spectacular scale with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each, were connected by a complex regional system of roads.

A. with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each, were :were has no subjects
B. with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each, correct
C. of more than 75 carefully engineered structures of up to 600 rooms, each that had been:past perfect not required
D. of more than 75 carefully engineered structures of up to 600 rooms and witheach parallelism error scale of and scale with
E. of more than 75 carefully engineered structures of up to 600 rooms each had been:past perfect not required

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Re: The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2017, 01:55
Fistail wrote:
The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a spectacular scale with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each, were connected by a complex regional system of roads.

A. with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each, were
B. with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each,
C. of more than 75 carefully engineered structures of up to 600 rooms, each that had been
D. of more than 75 carefully engineered structures of up to 600 rooms and with each
E. of more than 75 carefully engineered structures of up to 600 rooms each had been

When I read B, I instantly knew that its the answer. But I wanted to be sure and went on reading C, D, and E. The notable difference between B and C, D, and E is with more than and of more than. Can someone please explain how to rule out of more than is wrong and with more than is right?

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Re: The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2017, 14:39
The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a spectacular scale with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each, were connected by a complex regional system of roads.

A. with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each, were
- "were" not necessary at the end. "connected by..." = modifier and "were" destroys this relationship

B. with more than 75 carefully engineered structures, of up to 600 rooms each,
- correct as is

C. of more than 75 carefully engineered structures of up to 600 rooms, each that had been
- scale "of more than" doesn't sound right. additionally, this is wordier than "B"

D. of more than 75 carefully engineered structures of up to 600 rooms and with each
- same mistake as "A" -- destroying the modifier ("connected by..."). same mistake as "C" ("scale of more than" = wrong)

E. of more than 75 carefully engineered structures of up to 600 rooms each had been
- same as "D" for both reasons

> main issue here is MODIFIERS. when you read this, immediately note that the last part of the argument ("connected by..." = MODIFIER)

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Re: The Anasazi settlements at Chaco Canyon were built on a   [#permalink] 06 Oct 2017, 14:39

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