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# The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled

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The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2012, 23:53
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The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled by heavenly mandate, was a site which a commoner or foreigner could not enter without any permission, on pain of death.

(A) which a commoner or foreigner could not enter without any permission,

(B) which a commoner or foreigner could enter without any permission only

(C) which no commoner or foreigner could enter without permission,

(D) which, without permission, neither commoner or foreigner could only enter,

(E) which, to enter without permission, neither commoner or foreigner could do,

What's wrong with A?
I found explanation why A isn't the answer, but I am a little confused about the explanation.

This is the explanation.

(A) which a commoner or foreigner could not enter without any permission,
PROBLEM: "Without permission" is the idiom, not "without any permission". Permission is kinda like water. You can't have a water (or a permission). "Any" is indefinite, just like "a", and it's wrong.

But according to dictionary, any is used with uncountable or plural nouns in negative sentences.
"Permission" is a uncountable noun, what's wrong with "any permission"?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
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Re: PT #11 SC 5 [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2012, 18:38
+1 for C.

In the sentence above, we are not counting permissions. We are just stating that permission was required. Hence A is wrong.

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Re: PT #11 SC 5 [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2012, 20:09
Hai

I am confused between B and C. Does the comma after" permission" in option C is right,.whats wrong with option B.
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Re: PT #11 SC 5 [#permalink]

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23 Mar 2012, 13:47
No such thing as "some permission". Hence "any" in option B wouldn't fit.
Has to be C
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Re: PT #11 SC 5 [#permalink]

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25 Mar 2012, 02:25
c for me..............sound good was my reason over A
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Re: The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2015, 05:00
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2015, 07:58
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what is the meaning of sentence? i thought only B helped in deducing the correct meaning of the sentence.
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Re: The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2015, 07:58
what is the meaning of sentence? i thought only B helped in deducing the correct meaning of the sentence.
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The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2015, 15:45
mahakmalik wrote:
what is the meaning of sentence? i thought only B helped in deducing the correct meaning of the sentence.

The meaning of the sentence is that "The Forbidden City in Beijing was a place where no one could enter without permission" B is not correct since it completely changes the meaning, saying than one could enter without permission only
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Re: The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2015, 23:34
Konstantin1983 wrote:
mahakmalik wrote:
what is the meaning of sentence? i thought only B helped in deducing the correct meaning of the sentence.

The meaning of the sentence is that "The Forbidden City in Beijing was a place where no one could enter without permission" B is not correct since it completely changes the meaning, saying than one could enter without permission only

Dear Konstantin,
I have a doubt, would be really helpful if you clarify.
In option B , it says that you could enter without any permission only on the pain of death. There is no comma here
Whereas in option C what does the modifier "on pain of death "after "," refers to ?
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Re: The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled [#permalink]

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30 Nov 2015, 01:00
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Expert's post
B isn't quite as bad as that, Konstantin. Notice that "without any permission" is followed by "only on pain of death." So it's not really the opposite of C. However, there are two problems with B:

1) The word "any" is unneeded. You either have permission or you don't. You can't have a little bit or a lot of permission.
2) Although the overall meaning is the same as elsewhere--you'll be killed if you enter without permission--it is a bit odd to say that you could enter without permission only on pain of death. It sounds like that's the one way that it's okay to enter without permission, almost like you made a deal. "You don't have permission. Are you willing to die?" "Sure." "Okay, come on in."
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Re: The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled [#permalink]

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30 Nov 2015, 13:32
evst wrote:
Konstantin1983 wrote:
mahakmalik wrote:
what is the meaning of sentence? i thought only B helped in deducing the correct meaning of the sentence.

The meaning of the sentence is that "The Forbidden City in Beijing was a place where no one could enter without permission" B is not correct since it completely changes the meaning, saying than one could enter without permission only

Dear Konstantin,
I have a doubt, would be really helpful if you clarify.
In option B , it says that you could enter without any permission only on the pain of death. There is no comma here
Whereas in option C what does the modifier "on pain of death "after "," refers to ?

Hi Evst!
Let me try to explain about C (since Dmitry already explained what is wrong with B and it is clear that meaning is not a big issue here). As for C i think that "on pain of death" modifies "without permission". If i am not wrong this is a noun modifier and these modofiers should modify the closest nouns. Hope it helps!
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Re: The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled [#permalink]

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30 Nov 2015, 13:40
DmitryFarber wrote:
B isn't quite as bad as that, Konstantin. Notice that "without any permission" is followed by "only on pain of death." So it's not really the opposite of C. However, there are two problems with B:

1) The word "any" is unneeded. You either have permission or you don't. You can't have a little bit or a lot of permission.
2) Although the overall meaning is the same as elsewhere--you'll be killed if you enter without permission--it is a bit odd to say that you could enter without permission only on pain of death. It sounds like that's the one way that it's okay to enter without permission, almost like you made a deal. "You don't have permission. Are you willing to die?" "Sure." "Okay, come on in."

Yes Dmitry perfect explanation. Now i see that the major issue with B is not a meaning. By the way Dmitry i always wanted to ask you: Are you Russian?=))
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Re: The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled [#permalink]

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02 Dec 2015, 02:34
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Expert's post
"On pain of death" is an adverbial modifier that modifies the preceding clause ("that no . . . without permission"). If it were a noun modifier, it would have to modify "permission," and permission is not "on pain of death."

This is a fairly unusual idiom that just means "if someone doesn't do the preceding, the punishment is death." We try not to say this too often.

And Konstantin, my great-grandparents were from Russia/Lithuania/Ukraine, but my efforts at learning Russian have been rather feeble. Это трудно!
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Re: The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled [#permalink]

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02 Dec 2015, 11:55
DmitryFarber wrote:

And Konstantin, my great-grandparents were from Russia/Lithuania/Ukraine, but my efforts at learning Russian have been rather feeble. Это трудно!

Thanks Dmitry! Now everything is clear=). Yes Russian is a very tough language to master. Even we,native speakers, have problems=). Nevertheless you have a Russian name and for me you are a little bit Russian. So i wish you all the best. Russia is proud of you! You make GMAT look easier=)
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Re: The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled [#permalink]

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31 Mar 2016, 19:04
eybrj2 wrote:
The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled by heavenly mandate, was a site which a commoner or foreigner could not enter without any permission, on pain of death.

(A) which a commoner or foreigner could not enter without any permission,

(B) which a commoner or foreigner could enter without any permission only

(C) which no commoner or foreigner could enter without permission,

(D) which, without permission, neither commoner or foreigner could only enter,

(E) which, to enter without permission, neither commoner or foreigner could do,

What's wrong with A?
I found explanation why A isn't the answer, but I am a little confused about the explanation.

This is the explanation.

(A) which a commoner or foreigner could not enter without any permission,
PROBLEM: "Without permission" is the idiom, not "without any permission". Permission is kinda like water. You can't have a water (or a permission). "Any" is indefinite, just like "a", and it's wrong.

But according to dictionary, any is used with uncountable or plural nouns in negative sentences.
"Permission" is a uncountable noun, what's wrong with "any permission"?

please, put your thoughts on the question in a spoiler, as it might affect people to think objectively when analyzing the question.

A. a commoner or foreigner could not enter without any permission - any - what it refers to?
B. could enter without any permission only - this one completely changes the meaning..so no.
C. looks better than A.
D. since "on pain of death" is after underlying portion, we would rather need "permission" right before the comma. could only enter..ugh..
E. same as in D - need permission in the end. could do what?

C for me.
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Re: The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled [#permalink]

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31 Mar 2016, 19:07
DmitryFarber wrote:
B isn't quite as bad as that, Konstantin. Notice that "without any permission" is followed by "only on pain of death." So it's not really the opposite of C. However, there are two problems with B:

1) The word "any" is unneeded. You either have permission or you don't. You can't have a little bit or a lot of permission.
2) Although the overall meaning is the same as elsewhere--you'll be killed if you enter without permission--it is a bit odd to say that you could enter without permission only on pain of death. It sounds like that's the one way that it's okay to enter without permission, almost like you made a deal. "You don't have permission. Are you willing to die?" "Sure." "Okay, come on in."

nice explanation, made me laugh a little bit..
Re: The Forbidden City in Beijing, from which the emperors ruled   [#permalink] 31 Mar 2016, 19:07
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