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The British sociologist and activist Barbara Wootton once noted as a h : Sentence Correction (SC)

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Difficulty: 600-700 Level   Style and Usage   Verb Tense/Form   Source: 1000 Series   Source: GMAT Prep   Source: OG 10   Source: Official Guide   

Apr 26, 2008

00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  25% (medium)

Question Stats:

based on 1731 sessions
75% (01:33) correct
25% (01:48) wrong
The Official Guide for GMAT Review 10th Edition

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 258
Page: 694

The British sociologist and activist Barbara Wootton once noted as a humurous example of income maldistribution that the elephant that gave rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo was earning annually exactly what she earned as director of adult education for London.

(A) that the elephant that gave rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo was earning
(B) that the elephant, giving rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo, had been earning
(C) that there was an elephant giving rides to the children at the Whipsnade Zoo, and it earned
(D) the elephant that gave rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo and was earning
(E) the elephant giving rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo and that it earned
Most Helpful Expert Reply
Expert's
post

Mar 28, 2016

achintsodhi wrote:can someone explain why it should not be earned


Suppose an action (action1) took place at a particular time in the past. Suppose another action ( action 2) was happening in the background when action 1 took place, i.e. action 2 started before action 1 took place, action 2 was simultaneously happening when action 1 took place and action 2 continued to happen for some time after action 1 took place.

In such case, action 1 is depicted by simple past and action 2 is depicted by past continuous. e.g.:

The cat jumped from the wall when it was raining.

In the subject question

Action 1: noted
Action 2: was earning

The earning started before the noting took place, earning was occurring simultaneously when noting took place, and earning continued to happen for some time after noting took place. Therefore past continuous is better than simple past to depict earning.
Most Helpful Community Reply

Apr 27, 2008

Is "A" the correct answer? It looks like it to me. The original wording of the sentence is awkward, to be sure. But B through E all look even less correct.

One of the things I do with long phrases like this is to shorten them as much as possible. For this one, in my mind I eliminate "The British sociologist and activist Barbara Wootton once noted as" and "as director of adult education for London" to shorten the part of the sentence in question to:

"A humorous example of income maldistribution [was] that the elephant that gave rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo was earning annually exactly what [Barbara] then earned."

This lets me focus on the only part that matters. It doesn't matter that Barbara's last name is Wootton or that she's a British sociologist and activist. It also doesn't matter that her former job was director of adult education for London. All of those extra words just make things more confusing, so I get rid of them.

Using the shortened, easier version of the sentence, we come up with the following when we plug in choices B through E:

"A humorous example of income maldistribution [was] that the elephant, giving rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo, had been earning annually exactly what [Barbara] then earned."

"A humorous example of income maldistribution [was] that there was an elephant giving rides to children at the Whipsnade zoo, and it earned annually exactly what [Barbara] then earned."

"A humorous example of income maldistribution [was] the elephant that gave rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo and was earning annually exactly what [Barbara] then earned."

"A humorous example of income maldistribution [was] the elephant giving rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo and that it earned annually exactly what [Barbara] then earned."

Does looking at it this way help any?
General Discussion
Expert's
post

Nov 29, 2010

Looking from another angle IMO, the simple clue here is that the use of ‘giving’ is utterly wrong because it gives a notion that the elephant is at the moment giving rides. There is no escape from using the phrase “that gave rides” to describe the elephant since the whole setting is in the past tense. Hence, let us kick out B, C and E, leaving just A and D. On the face of it, D is wrong because it is missing the 'that' after the conjunction ‘and’ thus missing parallelism. You are left with just A which avoids the parallelism issue by dropping the conjunction 'and' converting the two clauses into one relative clause. Have a happy ride on A

Mine is just an extension to ParrotHead’s thoughts.

Parrothead: You deserve my kudos

Jul 23, 2013

What are the errors in B? Its between A and B

Jul 23, 2013

fozzzy wrote:What are the errors in B? Its between A and B


The British sociologist and activist Barbara Wootton once noted as a humorous example of income maldistribution that the elephant that gave rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo was earning annually exactly what she then earned as director of adult education for London.


B. that the elephant, giving rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo, had been earning:::
putting a comma before giving rides to children....==>makes it a non essential modifier...but according to meaning BARBARA is comparing his income with income of of ONLY those elephants THAT gave ride to children....and not with other types of elephants income....so use of THAT is necessary to make it essential modifier.

moreover use of HAD BEEN is wrong...PAST PERFECT TENSE IS USED TO DIFFERENTIATE the time difference.
now when BARBARA NOTED......that time elephant was earning Income....so both action was happening same time...hence use of simple past is correct and not past perfec
t

hope it helps

Jul 30, 2014

We need "that" to start the underline: Wootton noted (the fact) that something is true. Eliminate D and E.

C is passive and separates the two clauses by an "and" when we are actually trying to draw a connection there. Eliminate.

B has a tense problem (had been earning - this should be the simple past like the other verbs in the sentence). In addition, the "giving rides" modifier implies something going on while it's giving rides, but that's not the correct meaning.

The correct meaning is exhibited by A: "the elephant that gave rides" - which elephant? The one that gave rides to kids.

A is correct.

Mar 28, 2016

can someone explain why it should not be earned

Jul 6, 2016

Not clear why had been is wrong .. :?
Expert's
post

Jul 8, 2016

shonakshi wrote:Not clear why had been is wrong .. :?


The use of past perfect continuous " had been earning" would indicate that the "earning" of the elephant was hapenning BEFORE the "earning" of Barbara Wootton, which is not the case.

Oct 28, 2018

namurad wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review 10th Edition

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 258
Page: 694

The British sociologist and activist Barbara Wootton once noted as a humurous example of income maldistribution that the elephant that gave rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo was earning annually exactly what she earned as director of adult education for London.

(A) that the elephant that gave rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo was earning
(B) that the elephant, giving rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo, had been earning
(C) that there was an elephant giving rides to the children at the Whipsnade Zoo, and it earned
(D) the elephant that gave rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo and was earning
(E) the elephant giving rides to children at the Whipsnade Zoo and that it earned


Wootton noted (the fact) that something is true as a humorous example".
Or to make it simpler, "Wootton noted A as B". And because A part is too long, you can write:
"Wootton noted as B that A"

Posted from my mobile device

Apr 4, 2019

fozzzy wrote:What are the errors in B? Its between A and B


Ans B notes: "that the elephant, giving....., had been earning. IMO giving states a continues action when we are talking about the past. Additionally, had been earning is a wrong tense because a statement is described in simple pas and the past perfect is indicating an earlier time.

Mar 7 at 12:16am

daagh wrote:Looking from another angle IMO, the simple clue here is that the use of ‘giving’ is utterly wrong because it gives a notion that the elephant is at the moment giving rides. There is no escape from using the phrase “that gave rides” to describe the elephant since the whole setting is in the past tense. Hence, let us kick out B, C and E, leaving just A and D. On the face of it, D is wrong because it is missing the 'that' after the conjunction ‘and’ thus missing parallelism. You are left with just A which avoids the parallelism issue by dropping the conjunction 'and' converting the two clauses into one relative clause. Have a happy ride on A

Mine is just an extension to ParrotHead’s thoughts.

Parrothead: You deserve my kudos


Hi daagh, I think that the key difference b/w (A) and (D) lies in that (D) indicates the distorted meaning that the sociologist noted the elephant ITSELF as an example of income maldistribution. This is the reason why "that" is omitted in (D), hence I think the rest of (D) does not violate parallelism: The sociogist noted AS a humourous EXAMPLE THE ELEPHANT that GAVE.....and WAS EARNING.... Choice (A) avoids that fault by adding "THAT" after "example": the state of affair that the elephant was earning as much as the director is noted as an example of income distribution; the elephant itself can not be logically an example of income maldistribution. So (A).
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