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The bowerbirds of Australia derive their name from the fact that the m

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The bowerbirds of Australia derive their name from the fact that the m  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2018, 13:39
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Question Stats:

49% (01:28) correct 51% (01:36) wrong based on 71 sessions

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Bowerbirds derive their name from the elaborate bowers of sticks and twigs that the males build to garner positive attention from females that may develop into a formal courtship over time.

A) the elaborate bowers of sticks and twigs that the males build to garner positive attention from females that may develop into

B) the male birds, who build elaborate bowers of sticks and twigs in order to garner positive attention from females, possibly developing into

C) the elaborate stick-and-twig bowers that the males build to garner positive attention from females, who may develop into

D) the fact that the male birds build elaborate stick-and-twig bowers, garnering positive attention from females and possibly developing

E) the male birds that build elaborate stick-and-twig bowers with the goal of garnering positive attention from females that may develop

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Re: The bowerbirds of Australia derive their name from the fact that the m  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2018, 13:41
dabaobao wrote:
Bowerbirds derive their name from the elaborate bowers of sticks and twigs that the males build to garner positive attention from females that may develop into a formal courtship over time.

A) the elaborate bowers of sticks and twigs that the males build to garner positive attention from females that may develop into

B) the male birds, who build elaborate bowers of sticks and twigs in order to garner positive attention from females, possibly developing into

C) the elaborate stick-and-twig bowers that the males build to garner positive attention from females, who may develop into

D) the fact that the male birds build elaborate stick-and-twig bowers, garnering positive attention from females and possibly developing

E) the male birds that build elaborate stick-and-twig bowers with the goal of garnering positive attention from females that may develop

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Official Explanation (Courtesy: Manhattan Prep)



(1) Take a First Glance (5 seconds)

The beginning of each choice changes pretty substantially—should it begin with the elaborate bowers or the male birds?—so pay attention to Meaning and Sentence Structure as you read the sentence.


(2) Read for Meaning

Bowerbirds are called bowerbirds because the males build bowers (nests, presumably?) to attract the attention of a female, hoping to develop a long-term relationship over time. Given this overall meaning of the sentence, how should the underlined portion of the correct answer begin?

Bowerbirds get their name from the bowers, not from the male birds themselves. (You could say that bowerbirds get their name from the actions taken by the male birds, but the name does not come from the male birds themselves.)


(3) Find a Starting Point

Start with any difference that seems easiest to you, then move to the next easiest issue, and so on. Stop when you have one answer or you aren’t sure how to address the remaining differences. All errors for each choice are detailed in the next section.


(4) Eliminate (and Repeat)

(A) CORRECT. The bowerbirds do derive their name from the bowers built by the males, so the meaning is appropriate. Further, a that modifier generally refers back to the previous main noun. In this case, that main noun could be females but it could also be attention (since attention is the main noun in the phrase attention from females). Attention makes logical sense (the positive attention develops into a formal courtship), so this construction is correct.


(B) This choice indicates that the name bowerbirds comes from the male birds themselves, but the name comes from the bowers. Further, the attention would possibly develop into a formal courtship, so the final modifier should be a noun modifier, as in answer (A). The structure in this choice (possibly developing) is a comma –ing modifier, which refers to an entire clause. In this choice, two clauses might be used—neither of which makes sense. The male birds build bowers does not develop into a formal courtship. And bowerbirds derive their name from the male birds likewise does not develop into a formal courtship.


(C) The modifier structure introduces a meaning error. The who modifier must refer back to the females, not to the word attention. The females, though, cannot develop into a formal courtship. The actual animals could develop a formal courtship, but the attention would develop into a formal courtship.


(D) The parallel structure garnering attention … and … developing a formal courtship introduces a meaning error. Both modifiers refer back to the main clause: males build bowers, garnering attention from females (this part is okay) and males build bowers, developing a formal courtship (this part is not okay). Who are the males developing a formal courtship with? The bowers? The females are no longer represented as part of the formal courtship—and they should be.


(E) This choice indicates that the name bowerbirds comes from the male birds themselves, but the name comes from the bowers. Further, the loss of the word into at the end of the choice introduces a meaning error. Either the attention develops a formal courtship or the females develop a formal courtship—but in both cases, the sentence never says with whom or why this formal courtship is developed. The intention is that the female would develop a relationship with the male who built the bower because that male built a bower.
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Re: The bowerbirds of Australia derive their name from the fact that the m &nbs [#permalink] 17 Aug 2018, 13:41
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