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The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Night

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The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Night  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2015, 10:59
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A
B
C
D
E

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The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Nights, in which many of the individual tales are stories within stories, nested as many as four layers deep, make mythologists suspect that they were not all written by the same author.

A) make mythologists suspect that they were not all written
B) make mythologists have suspicions that it was all not written
C) make mythologists have suspicions that they were not all written
D) makes mythologists suspect that it was not all written
E) makes mythologists suspect that they were all not written

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The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Night  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2015, 11:36
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Nice one, although easy to sort out:

The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Nights, in which many of the individual tales are stories within stories, nested as many as four layers deep, make mythologists suspect that they were not all written by the same author.

Note that "make" refers to "structure": "structure of X, nested as Y, makes mythologists Z" - so Eliminate A,B and C;

between D and E, the difference is in "it was" and "they were". To make a correct decision, we must find out what "it" or "they" are referring to. Clearly their antecedent is "Thousand and One Arabian Nights" - which is a name for a collection of tales, therefore name can not be plural. Hence, the correct answer is D. Plus, "they were all not written" sounds awkward.

What makes it tricky is that the name contains "thousand" inside and ends with "Night-s" trying to make the reader think that it is a plural noun.

A) make mythologists suspect that they were not all written

B) make mythologists have suspicions that it was all not written

C) make mythologists have suspicions that they were not all written

D) makes mythologists suspect that it was not all written

E) makes mythologists suspect that they were all not written

The Correct Answer is D.
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Re: The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Night  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2015, 00:28
Harley1980 wrote:
The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Nights, in which many of the individual tales are stories within stories, nested as many as four layers deep, make mythologists suspect that they were not all written by the same author.

A) make mythologists suspect that they were not all written
B) make mythologists have suspicions that it was all not written
C) make mythologists have suspicions that they were not all written
D) makes mythologists suspect that it was not all written
E) makes mythologists suspect that they were all not written


Can you please explain this? I got E. I thought the intended meaning is that 'they' refers to the stories/tales which were not written. Otherwise, how can the structure be 'it was not all?
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Re: The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Night  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2015, 01:42
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Hi KS15,

The embedded narrative structure(subject)... makes(singular verb)..because of subject-verb agreement... so Only D and E remain.

Thousand and One Arabian Nights.. is one novel/book/story.. so again singular verb(it) is required.

hence D.

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Re: The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Night  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2015, 00:50
I picked E as how can it in D refers to the stories/tales .

Confused on what it is referring to stories or the book name

How to decide on that?
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Re: The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Night  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2015, 01:00
kanigmat011 wrote:
I picked E as how can it in D refers to the stories/tales .

Confused on what it is referring to stories or the book name

How to decide on that?


Hi,

Try to read the whole clause with the subject-verb pair. If you can understand that the verb should be "makes" and not "make".. it should be pretty easy.

The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Nights, in which many of the individual tales are stories within stories, nested as many as four layers deep, makes(singular for singular subject) mythologists suspect that it(referring to the book/novel) was not all written by the same author.

The striked through portion is a separate clause.

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Re: The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Night  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2017, 20:47
I am confused with IT. Can 'IT' refer to "Thousand and One Arabian Nights"(Prepositional phrase)?

Shouldn't IT refer to the subject (STRUCTURE in this case)?

Cheers.
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Re: The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Night  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2017, 23:19
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It is not a right perception that "Thousand and One Arabian Nights" is a prepositional phrase. If so, it should have a preposition and there is no such preposition in that phrase. That is an out -and -out a proper noun and happens to be the title of a book or a narration. All titles are particularly singular.
Now can 'it' refer to structure? In that case, we have to read that the structure was not all written by the same author. Logically authors write novels or books and not their structures.
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Re: The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Night  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2017, 03:12
saswata4s wrote:
I am confused with IT. Can 'IT' refer to "Thousand and One Arabian Nights"(Prepositional phrase)?

Shouldn't IT refer to the subject (STRUCTURE in this case)?

Cheers.


Your query has been very well explained above by Daagh Sir - closing this request.
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Re: The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Night  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 02:37
Also, "not all" is different from "all not" -> D is correct
"not all" = some = almost
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Re: The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Night  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2018, 07:02
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Official Explanation


Split #1: subject/verb agreement. This is one of the GMAT's favorite scenarios --- a singular noun, then a modifier packed with all kinds of plural things, then the verb. If you are relying on your ear, all the plurals in the modifying clauses may throw your ear off. The proper subject, though, is "the embedded narrative", a singular subject. Therefore, the main verb must be singular. The plural verb "make" is incorrect --- this is what choices (A) & (B) & (C) have. We need the singular verb "makes", which only (D) and (E) have.

Split #2: concision and directness. The structure "make mythologist suspect" is direct and concise. The structure "make mythologists have suspicions" is needlessly wordy and indirect. Choices (B) & (C) have this, so there's no way they could be correct.

Split #3: "it was" vs. "they were". What was "written"? The work, the Thousand and One Arabian Nights. This has a plural in its title, but it's a singular work, a single thing, so it can only be the antecedent of the singular pronoun "it", not the plural pronoun "they". Choices (A) & (C) & (E) make this mistake.

Split #4: a very subtle logical point --- "all not written" vs. "not all written" --- what is going on here? Where should the word "all" be?

Suppose we say: this work was "not all written by the same author" ---- the words "not all" are a synonym for "some", maybe even "most" --- we could say "some was written by the same author" or "most was written by the same author" --- those sound roughly equivalent to what the sentence is trying to communicate. We just want to emphasize: it is not the case that the whole thing was written exclusively by one person. It could be that one person wrote a large chunk of it, but no one person wrote the whole thing. That is what this order implies, and that's very much what the sentence is trying to say. Choices (A) & (C) & (D) have this correct.

Suppose we say: this work was "all not written by the same author." To say "this work all ____ ____ ____" is to say that we are talking about the work in its entirely, every last detail, down to every last word. That's how completely what we are going to say applies to the work. Now to continue: the whole work, every last word, "was not written by the same person." This is equivalent to saying "every last word was written by a different person." That's absolutely crazy. That means: if the book has, say, a million words total, then you would need a million different authors, each contributing just one word! Pure lunacy! This is definitely not what the sentence is trying to say. The structure "all not written" makes absolutely no sense in this context. Therefore, choices (B) & (E) are incorrect.

For all these reasons, choice (D) is the only possible answer.
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Re: The embedded narrative structure of the Thousand and One Arabian Night &nbs [#permalink] 22 Aug 2018, 07:02
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