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The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of Amer

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The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of Amer  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 16 Oct 2017, 20:15
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58% (00:57) correct 42% (01:04) wrong based on 558 sessions

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The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of American literature, greatly beloved by generations past and present.

(A) The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons

(B) Herman Melville the author and Walt Whitman the poet are icons

(C) The author named Herman Melville and the poet named Walt Whitman are great icons

(D) The author, Herman Melville, and the poet, Walt Whitman, are icons

(E) Herman Melville, the author, and Walt Whitman, the poet, had been icons

Originally posted by namurad on 31 May 2008, 12:16.
Last edited by hazelnut on 16 Oct 2017, 20:15, edited 1 time in total.
Edited the question.
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The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of Amer  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 12 Sep 2018, 07:16
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The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of American literature, greatly beloved by generations past and present.

A. The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons
B. Herman Melville the author and Walt Whitman the poet are icons
C. The author named Herman Melville and the poet named Walt Whitman are great icons
D. The author, Herman Melville, and the poet, Walt Whitman, are icons
E. Herman Melville, the author, and Walt Whitman, the poet, had been icons

OFFICIAL EXPLANATION:

The original sentence is correct. The modifiers “Herman Melville” and “Walt Whitman” are restrictive – they are necessary to restrict the scope of the words “author” and “poet” respectively – and hence the use of comma pairs to set off the modifiers is not appropriate here. In addition, the context of the sentence implies that the men continue to be icons of American literature since they are beloved by generations both past and present; hence the use of the present tense “are” is appropriate.

(A) CORRECT. The original sentence is correct as written.

(B) The modifiers “the author” and “the poet” for “Herman Melville” and “Walt Whitman” respectively are non-restrictive – they are not necessary to identify the subjects and only serve to add information – and hence should be set off with comma pairs (e.g., “Herman Melville, the author, and Walt Whitman, the poet, ….”

(C) The phrases “The author named Herman Melville” and “the poet named Walt Whitman” are unnecessarily wordy. In addition, an icon of something has implied greatness; hence, the phrase “great icon” is redundant.

(D) The restrictive modifiers “Herman Melville” and “Walt Whitman” are improperly set off by comma pairs.

(E) The modifiers “the author” and “the poet” are non-restrictive and properly set off with comma pairs. The tense of the verb “had been” is not appropriate since it is implied by the context of this sentence that the men continue to be icons of American literature.
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Originally posted by souvik101990 on 06 Feb 2015, 02:52.
Last edited by Bunuel on 12 Sep 2018, 07:16, edited 1 time in total.
EDITED.
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Re: The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of Amer  [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2013, 00:50
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Pre-thinking: 'The' refers to things that are specific and also to things that are unique.

The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of American literature, greatly beloved by generations past and present.

A) The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons
Here, 'The' refers to specific person. The author Herman, the poet Keats, the president Mandela etc..
Looks fine. Keep this.

B) Herman Melville the author and Walt Whitman the poet are icons
Here, 'the' refers to someone unique, or rather, a title given to someone. For ex. Christ the redeemer, Theresa the saint etc. 'The saint Theresa' would mean a specific saint Theresa, but 'Theresa the saint' would state the title, Theresa has (for her saintly deeds)
So, B is wrong.

C) The author named Herman Melville and the poet named Walt Whitman are great icons
'named' can act as a verb which means that a particular author named Herman a great icon .... The meaning changes and other errors creep in.
'The author named' can also act as a adjective modifying the noun Herman. Too wordy

D) The author, Herman Melville, and the poet, Walt Whitman, are icons
There are three entities. The author, Herman, and the poet. Absolutely wrong.

E) Herman Melville, the author, and Walt Whitman, the poet, had been icons
Same issue in D. There are three entities. Herman Melville, the author and Walt Whitman. Wrong.
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Re: The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of Amer  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 06 Feb 2015, 08:36
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The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of American literature, greatly beloved by generations past and present.

A. The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons - adjective is placed well to modify Noun. ok.
B. Herman Melville the author and Walt Whitman the poet are icons - not ok
C. The author named Herman Melville and the poet named Walt Whitman are great icons - wordy, not ok.
D. The author, Herman Melville, and the poet, Walt Whitman, are icons - seems ok, except comma .
E. Herman Melville, the author, and Walt Whitman, the poet, had been icons - had been not required. not ok.

still confused between A & D.

Earlier i had chosen D but Edited to A [best fit].
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Originally posted by 321kumarsushant on 06 Feb 2015, 07:28.
Last edited by 321kumarsushant on 06 Feb 2015, 08:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of Amer  [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2015, 08:55
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321kumarsushant wrote:
The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of American literature, greatly beloved by generations past and present.

A. The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons - adjective is placed well to modify Noun. ok.
B. Herman Melville the author and Walt Whitman the poet are icons - not ok
C. The author named Herman Melville and the poet named Walt Whitman are great icons - wordy, not ok.
D. The author, Herman Melville, and the poet, Walt Whitman, are icons - seems ok, except comma .
E. Herman Melville, the author, and Walt Whitman, the poet, had been icons - had been not required. not ok.

still confused between A & D.

Earlier i had chosen D but Edited to A [best fit].

hi sushant,
commas are reqd to give extra details and the sentence should stand without the commas...
so D would read the author and the poet are icons ..does not make sense..
rather E is closer but for 'had been'
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Re: The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of Amer  [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2015, 02:20
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Here we go:

by generations past and present. (we are talking present here)

A. The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons
---- Seems correct, hold it----

B. Herman Melville the author and Walt Whitman the poet are icons
--- The author(an adjective(determiners)) and the poet(another adjective(determiners)) are placed after the noun they are modifying.-----

C. The author named Herman Melville and the poet named Walt Whitman are great icons
---- "named" is wordy; alternative in option A is more concise -----

D. The author, Herman Melville, and the poet, Walt Whitman, are icons

--- Re-read -> The author and the poet are icons of American literature (nope)----

E. Herman Melville, the author, and Walt Whitman, the poet, had been icons
--- Could be correct, but we are talking present here---

According to me, Option A is correct
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Re: The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of Amer  [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2016, 04:00
Something about this question is rather disturbing. ‘Beloved’ can either be a noun or an adjective, but not a verb. If a noun, it cannot be modified by the adverb ‘greatly’. If it is an adjective, then the preposition ‘by’ is a misfit. It should be a proper verb such as ‘greatly loved’. Doubtful if it can stand up to GMAT

To answer Why E is not correct, the choice is using a past perfect ‘had been’ simultaneously along with present generations. ‘Had been’ implies that the ‘belovedness’ is a thing of the deep past. In addition, it lacks a simple past action to justify the use of a past perfect.
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Re: The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of Amer  [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2016, 08:51
The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of American literature, greatly beloved by generations past and present.

A. The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons --- The best

B. Herman Melville the author and Walt Whitman the poet are icons – The author and the poet are not split by a comma from their respective nouns. As such, the noun phrases are to be read along with their modifiers as Herman the author. – This is abnormal

C. The author named Herman Melville and the poet named Walt Whitman are great icons – This is wordy. The 'named' part is unnecessary. In addition, the inclusion of the word’ great’ is unsolicited. This is wrong

D. The author, Herman Melville, and the poet, Walt Whitman, are icons --- As per this, Herman and Walt are inessential to the meaning. This is absurd.

E. Herman Melville, the author, and Walt Whitman, the poet, had been icons – ‘had been icons’ is wrong tense. There is no simple past to justify a past perfect. In addition, we cannot use a past perfect that denotes the deep past for a present generation.
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Re: The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of Amer  [#permalink]

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08 Feb 2016, 04:48
souvik101990 wrote:
The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of American literature, greatly beloved by generations past and present.

daagh

I feel the past participle modifier is misplaced here. Isn't it suppose to modify plural subject The author A and The poet B ?
In that case shouldn't it be placed at the beginning of the sentence ?
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Re: The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of Amer  [#permalink]

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08 Feb 2016, 06:36
tryambaks wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of American literature, greatly beloved by generations past and present.

daagh

I feel the past participle modifier is misplaced here. Isn't it suppose to modify plural subject The author A and The poet B ?
In that case shouldn't it be placed at the beginning of the sentence ?

Hi tryambaks,

You have a point. But placing the modifier at the beginning of the sentence would imply that only the author Herman was greatly beloved. The modifier does not necessarily include the poet Walt Whitman.

I would say that the modifier greatly beloved by generations past and present is used as a verb modifier here, modifying the verb are. In this usage the sentence would imply that both the author and the poet are greatly beloved. Verb modifiers are more flexible than noun modifiers and does not need to touch the verbs they refer to.

Consider a simpler example:

Case I: modifier at the end - Jack and Jill went up the hill, excited to see what lies in the well.
(The modifier excited to see what lies in the well modifies the verb went.. and implies that both were excited)

Case II: modifier at the beginning - Excited to see what lies in the well, Jack and Jill went up the hill.
(The modifier Excited to see what lies in the well may refer only to Jack... whatsoever, you may still argue that in this case as well the verb modifier modifies the verb went and hence implies that both were excited. However the first implication, that it is a noun modifier modifying only Jack, is also possible and hence the sentence would be slightly ambiguous.)
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Re: The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of Amer  [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2016, 22:42
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One way to avoid the error in E is to use a dash.

'Herman Melville - the author - and Walt Whitman - the poet - are ...'
Option D and E refer to three things - 1. Herman Melville 2. the author and 3. Walt Whitman. 'the poet' serves as a non-essential modifier for Walt Whitman.

Also, the usage of past perfect is incorrect in option E. It implies that they no longer are icons of American Literature.
The usage of present tense is correct as it is used to state general truths.

the boldpart 'greatly beloved by generations past ...' is indeed a modifier for the subject of the preceding clause 'the author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman'.

to check if it is a modifier - check if the action 'beloved' was performed by the subject - 'the author Herman Melville ...'. Clearly, the answer is no.
Hence, it functions as a modifier. (here the action 'beloved', when used as a modifier in passive form, must make sense. 'the author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman, who are greatly beloved ..., are icons of American literature' makes sense).
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Re: The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of Amer  [#permalink]

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14 Apr 2019, 09:08
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ankaua

One point to remember here is that if we have to cite conventions and rules, we must take them only from GMAT and not from others.

Let's look at this simple thing. A modifyee in the case of an adjectival modifier is always a noun and the modifier is always an adjective. Even if the adjective is in the form of a noun, it plays the role of an adjective. For example, we say the oil price fluctuates daily. The modified noun is the price while the oil, another noun, acts as a modifier. Now we cannot reverse the roles and say price oil. It would not make any sense.

Here in this case who are the icons beloved by the generations? Are they the author and the poet or Herman and Walt? Try to remove the author and the poet from the ambit, and it will make sense to say the Herman and Walt are the icons. Now try to remove Herman and Walt from the picture, and it will wrongly mean that the poet and the author are icons beloved by the generations. I do not think the generic author and the poet make any sense to be the icons.

However, I am keen to know whether this topic is from the Manhattan Prep Company or from the Manhattan Review Company?
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Re: The author Herman Melville and the poet Walt Whitman are icons of Amer   [#permalink] 14 Apr 2019, 09:08
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