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The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness

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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2012, 15:27
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egmat wrote:
joshnsit wrote:
Hey egmat
In Choice E, I came to conclusion that the phrase "In two letters to the historian Tacitus" is modifying "the nephew of Pliny the Elder", which is the subject of next clause as well. I scratched the choice E while answering this and now I am scratching my head wondering the principle behind prepositional Modifier logic used here. MGMAT explicit says that a modifying phrase should pair up with the closest noun it is associated with. WIth that in mind, I visualized that "the nephew is in two letters" and selected A upon E. What am I missing here?


Hi @joshnsit,

Prepositional phrases are very versatile modifiers. They can modify nouns as well as verbs. When a prepositional phrase modifies a noun, then it must be placed as close to the noun it modifies as possible. This is important to avoid any ambiguity in modification and to keep the intended meaning of the sentence clear.

So whenever we come across a prepositional phrase, we must first ascertain whether it is modifying a noun or a verb. So let’s bring in the OG question here and identify the entity the prepositional phrase should modify.

The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.

The sentence says that the nephew of Pliny the elder was the only eyewitness to the great eruption of Vesuvius. So he wrote this eyewitness account in two letters to the historian Tacitus.

The meaning of the sentence helps us determine which identity the prepositional phrase should modify. Here the prepositional phrase “in two letters” should modify the verb “wrote”. Where did the nephew of Pliny the Elder write his eyewitness account? He wrote it in two letters. So this prepositional phrase is modifying the verb “wrote”.

Now notice that “in two letters” is placed close to “the great eruption of Vesuvius”. Since prepositional phrases can also modify nouns, in choice A it seems that this modifier is actually modifying “eruption”. The modification seems to suggest that the eruption actually took place in two letters. Hence, the placement of “in two letters” is not correct in choice A.

Now let’s analyze choice E:

In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.

The opening modifier in this choice is correctly modifying the following main clause. It is correctly modifying that what happened in tow letters. In two letters, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote what he saw. Hence, choice E is the correct answer.

Take Away:
1. Prepositional phrases can modify both nouns and verbs.
2. First ascertain the entity the prepositional phrase should modify and then see if their placement is correct.
3. If the prepositional phrase should modify a noun entity then place it after that noun entity.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
Shraddha

Hey egmat/Shraddha
This was certainly helpful. I found something which is worth sharing and I can draw a parallel with what you describe. I found it on http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/prepositionalphrase.htm

A prepositional phrase will function as an adjective or adverb. (This becomes parallel with your first take away: Prepositional phrases can modify both nouns and verbs because they modify by qualifying verbs and nouns in the sentence.)

What explained next is really good. :lol:
As an adjective, the prepositional phrase will answer the question Which one?
The book on the bathroom floor is swollen from shower steam.
Which book? The one on the bathroom floor!

The sweet potatoes in the vegetable bin are green with mold.
Which sweet potatoes? The ones forgotten in the vegetable bin!

As an adverb, a prepositional phrase will answer questions such as How? When? or Where?
Freddy is stiff from yesterday's long football practice.
How did Freddy get stiff? From yesterday's long football practice!

Before class, Josh begged his friends for a pencil.
When did Josh do his begging? Before class!

The second example for prepositional phrase here explains the choice E here.

Your example has definitely reinforced what I found. The method of splitting sentence as used by you for choice A is really a good approach for identifying the nature of preposition(noun/adjective or verbal/adverb). Thanks a lot for explaining this.
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Last edited by joshnsit on 24 Jul 2012, 04:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2012, 07:36
Thank you e- gmat.
the standard e-gmat process also work well for this kind of question, which is underlined all.

I see this kind of question is hard and takes us a lot of time.

I am an e gmat customer and wish that you write an article of how to approch this kind of question. Of course, the process is similar to your standard process but you can add more detail on the step: accertain the entity which the prepositional phrase should modify.

The problem we face when doing this kind of question is that after reading the original sentence, we understand nothing. HOw we can infer the intended meaning . The prepositional phrases are misplaced. HOw can we infer the intended meaing and correct places.

normally, if preposinal phrase modifying noun is misplaced, we can reliace the illogicness and can find the correct place/intended meaning. But when the prepositional phrase modifying a verb is misplaced, I can hardly realize the intended meaning/correct places.

do you have any idea of this problem? pls, explain.
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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacit us.

(A) The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacit us. ---- The eruption of Vesuvius in two letters is wrong word order; After all, the eruption did not occur in two letters


(B) To the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote two letters, being the only eyewitness accounts of the great eruption of Vesuvius. ---- is it the accounts or account? The plural term -accounts - is wrong in this context. In addition, the letters being called as eyewitness accounts distorts the meaning. Do letters witness?

(C) The only eyewitness account is in two letters by the nephew of Pliny the elder writing to the historian Tacitus an account of the great eruption of Vesuvius. ----- The shift of tense to present –is- is not acceptable. In addition, if a present participle does not have a comma before it, it is supposed to modify the noun it touches. If the writing refers to Pliny the Elder, who actually wrote the letters?


(D) Writing the only eyewitness account, Pliny the Elder’s nephew accounted for the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.---- same error as in A; In addition - accounted for –is wrong diction: It may also mean be responsible for and that the nephew took responsibility for the eruption


(E) In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius; the best


Very often, in convoluted and complex structures, You will find some easy grammar clues to tide over the jumble. You can keep this in mind as a handy tool
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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 09 Nov 2013, 11:29
Quote:
Hi @joshnsit,

Prepositional phrases are very versatile modifiers. They can modify nouns as well as verbs. When a prepositional phrase modifies a noun, then it must be placed as close to the noun it modifies as possible. This is important to avoid any ambiguity in modification and to keep the intended meaning of the sentence clear.

So whenever we come across a prepositional phrase, we must first ascertain whether it is modifying a noun or a verb. So let’s bring in the OG question here and identify the entity the prepositional phrase should modify.

The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.

The sentence says that the nephew of Pliny the elder was the only eyewitness to the great eruption of Vesuvius. So he wrote this eyewitness account in two letters to the historian Tacitus.

The meaning of the sentence helps us determine which identity the prepositional phrase should modify. Here the prepositional phrase “in two letters” should modify the verb “wrote”. Where did the nephew of Pliny the Elder write his eyewitness account? He wrote it in two letters. So this prepositional phrase is modifying the verb “wrote”.

Now notice that “in two letters” is placed close to “the great eruption of Vesuvius”. Since prepositional phrases can also modify nouns, in choice A it seems that this modifier is actually modifying “eruption”. The modification seems to suggest that the eruption actually took place in two letters. Hence, the placement of “in two letters” is not correct in choice A.

Now let’s analyze choice E:

In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.

The opening modifier in this choice is correctly modifying the following main clause. It is correctly modifying that what happened in tow letters. In two letters, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote what he saw. Hence, choice E is the correct answer.

Take Away:
1. Prepositional phrases can modify both nouns and verbs.
2. First ascertain the entity the prepositional phrase should modify and then see if their placement is correct.
3. If the prepositional phrase should modify a noun entity then place it after that noun entity.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
Shraddha




Honestly, this post shows again the paradoxity of egmat. I mean, youre post is excellent. But why dont you provide stuff like that to your customers? Why do I - as a customer - have to search in a public forum for such a great explanation from you. That is totally ridicolous.
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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2013, 22:04
steilbergauf wrote:

Honestly, this post shows again the paradoxity of egmat. I mean, youre post is excellent. But why dont you provide stuff like that to your customers? Why do I - as a customer - have to search in a public forum for such a great explanation from you. That is totally ridicolous.


Hi Steilbergauf,

We are happy that you liked the post. Thank you for your kind words. It’s not a surprise that the post is well written considering that it was written by one of the best Sentence Correction experts in the world. :)

As educators, our role is to teach you the core concepts, and help you apply them. To that end, our Sentence Correction course contains 550+ examples and exercises, 14+ application files, and in depth series and a bunch of other things – basically all the concepts that you need + a lot of practice that should help you nail both concepts and application. I hope you have gone through the course and are studying the course using the best practices.

Now, remember that in order to ace the GMAT, you need to learn how to apply the concepts. Now in our course we provide all the necessary tools for our students to learn how to apply the concepts. Most people (read 90%+) are able to master application using the content listed in the study plan.

Other than that, yes we provide guidance to other students on GMAT Club as well. But as you can see here, we are not teaching any new concept that is not already covered in our course. The above post is talking merely about the application of concepts that you have already learnt. And frankly, in my humble opinion, you should not be going through all these application based posts in the first place unless you have a doubt on these questions. This is because going through such application posts frequently may impact your ability to independently apply the process.

I suggest you focus your energy and time on mastering the 3 step process and solving the OG questions using the same. And while applying the process, if you face challenges, you can always seek our help :)

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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2013, 23:21
Hallo sraddha,

Thanks for showing error analysis and POE work always .One qyery Take away mentioned that while using prepositional phrase for noun modification we need to use it after the noun . For verb is there any such thing ...or the phrase can be placed either side of the verb

Thanks.
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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2014, 04:38
sacmanitin wrote:
The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.

(A) The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.
(B) To the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote two letters, being the only eyewitness accounts of the great eruption of Vesuvius.
(C) The only eyewitness account is in two letters by the nephew of Pliny the Elder writing to the historian Tacitus an account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.
(D) Writing the only eyewitness account, Pliny the Elder’s nephew accounted for the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.
(E) In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius

Guys one more full underline SC ,
my work is as below:

in B letters are said as only eyewitness accounts
C is wordy for using only eyewitness account.......an account
D also looks ackward for using nephew accounted for the great eruption

now for me (A) and (E) are same why to choose one over other???

Experts Explain


A is extremely outdrawn, has no punctuation at all, and is just confusing and exhausting to read. That was the reason I eliminated A and went with E.
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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2014, 04:45
aeglorre wrote:
A is extremely outdrawn, has no punctuation at all, and is just confusing and exhausting to read. That was the reason I eliminated A and went with E.


:)
You don't eliminate choices on the basis of punctuation (or that the sentence is confusing. Definitely, two options will be equally good that they will confuse you).

My suggestion - Try to understand why an option is wrong/right (what is the meaning intended, what are the contructs etc)

The difference between A and E is a misplaced modifier.

(A) The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.
(E) In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius
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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2014, 12:01
sacmanitin wrote:
The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.

(A) The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.
(B) To the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote two letters, being the only eyewitness accounts of the great eruption of Vesuvius.
(C) The only eyewitness account is in two letters by the nephew of Pliny the Elder writing to the historian Tacitus an account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.
(D) Writing the only eyewitness account, Pliny the Elder’s nephew accounted for the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.
(E) In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius

Guys one more full underline SC ,
my work is as below:

in B letters are said as only eyewitness accounts
C is wordy for using only eyewitness account.......an account
D also looks ackward for using nephew accounted for the great eruption

now for me (A) and (E) are same why to choose one over other???

Experts Explain

Will Option A be correct if there would be a comman before the last prep phrase
The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius, in two letters to the historian Tacitus.
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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 06 Apr 2014, 11:52
Are there any other OG questions that are based on Prepositional phrases?
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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2014, 04:11
sacmanitin wrote:
The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.

(A) The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.
(B) To the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote two letters, being the only eyewitness accounts of the great eruption of Vesuvius.
(C) The only eyewitness account is in two letters by the nephew of Pliny the Elder writing to the historian Tacitus an account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.
(D) Writing the only eyewitness account, Pliny the Elder’s nephew accounted for the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.
(E) In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius

Guys one more full underline SC ,
my work is as below:

in B letters are said as only eyewitness accounts
C is wordy for using only eyewitness account.......an account
D also looks ackward for using nephew accounted for the great eruption

now for me (A) and (E) are same why to choose one over other???

Experts Explain


What kind of modification does being in Option b plays.
OG Says"the verb phrase that begins
being the only eyewitness accounts modifies the subject of the preceding clause, suggesting nonsensically that the nephew of Pliny the Elder himself was the eyewitness accounts"
Can u give an example of comma+being modifying subject of the clause.
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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2014, 10:58
Hi @abid1986,

Thank you for posting your question. You are correct in stating that the usage of "being" as a modifier in this sentence is incorrect.

I hope you have read our article on correct uses of "Being". If not then please take some time to review that article here. In this article, we have outlined how "being" is used correctly in GMAT sentences.

Do let us know if you have any other doubts.

Happy Learning!

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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2014, 05:23
egmat wrote:
Since you have posted a doubt on C and E, lets consider choices A, C, and E only:

Meaning Analysis - (Choice A)


• The sentence talks about a person X - who is nephew of Pliny the Elder
• Person X wrote the only eyewitness account.
• This account is of the great eruption of Vesuvius
• He wrote the account in two letters
• The letters were written to the historian Tacitus

Errors Analysis of Choice A


The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.

Logically the modifier in “red” should provide additional information about the action – wrote – where did he write this only eyewitness account. But its placement after “eruption of Vesuvius” implies that the “eruption took place in two letters”. This is illogical. This is the error in choice A.

Answer Choice Analysis – Choice C


The only eyewitness account is in two letters by the nephew of Pliny the Elder writing to the historian Tacitus an account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.

First of all this choice only communicates partial meaning:
• It is not clear that the “only eyewitness account” is of the great eruption of Vesuvius”. This sentence seems to imply that the ONLY eyewitness account is in the letters that contain an account of the eruption of Vesuvius. This is clearly not what we want to communicate. We want to talk specifically about the ONLY eyewitness account of eruption of Vesuvius.

Secondly, the expression “nephew …writing to the historian Tacitus..” non-sensically describes the nephew and somehow gives the sense that the nephew is still writing the letters. This should instead express a one- time action done by the nephew.

Answer Choice Analysis – Choice E


In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.
This sentence correctly communicates the meaning.

Your statement that "nephew of Pliny the Elder" seems to refer to historian Tacitus.” is not correct. Note that the modifier is not “historian Tacitus”. The complete modifier is “in two letters to the historian Tacitus”. Now this prepositional modifier provides more information about the action – wrote. Where did the nephew write? In the 2 letters to historian Tacitus.

I hope this answers your questions.

Take-away

– Focus on the meaning of the sentence and pay close attention to how the sentence structure of the sentences.:)

Payal



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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2014, 07:52
egmat wrote:
Since you have posted a doubt on C and E, lets consider choices A, C, and E only:

Meaning Analysis - (Choice A)


• The sentence talks about a person X - who is nephew of Pliny the Elder
• Person X wrote the only eyewitness account.
• This account is of the great eruption of Vesuvius
• He wrote the account in two letters
• The letters were written to the historian Tacitus

Errors Analysis of Choice A


The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.

Logically the modifier in “red” should provide additional information about the action – wrote – where did he write this only eyewitness account. But its placement after “eruption of Vesuvius” implies that the “eruption took place in two letters”. This is illogical. This is the error in choice A.

Answer Choice Analysis – Choice C


The only eyewitness account is in two letters by the nephew of Pliny the Elder writing to the historian Tacitus an account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.

First of all this choice only communicates partial meaning:
• It is not clear that the “only eyewitness account” is of the great eruption of Vesuvius”. This sentence seems to imply that the ONLY eyewitness account is in the letters that contain an account of the eruption of Vesuvius. This is clearly not what we want to communicate. We want to talk specifically about the ONLY eyewitness account of eruption of Vesuvius.

Secondly, the expression “nephew …writing to the historian Tacitus..” non-sensically describes the nephew and somehow gives the sense that the nephew is still writing the letters. This should instead express a one- time action done by the nephew.

Answer Choice Analysis – Choice E


In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.
This sentence correctly communicates the meaning.

Your statement that "nephew of Pliny the Elder" seems to refer to historian Tacitus.” is not correct. Note that the modifier is not “historian Tacitus”. The complete modifier is “in two letters to the historian Tacitus”. Now this prepositional modifier provides more information about the action – wrote. Where did the nephew write? In the 2 letters to historian Tacitus.

I hope this answers your questions.

Take-away

– Focus on the meaning of the sentence and pay close attention to how the sentence structure of the sentences.:)

Payal


Can you please explain again why being is wrong in B.

I think the nephew is the subject here.

Being is verb+ing modifier and it modifies the preceding clause and subject of the clause is the deciding factor.
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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2014, 07:14
(A) The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.
(E) In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius

I still don't get the difference between these 2 choices: (A) it was said that "in two letters to the historian Tacitus" could modify great erution of Vesuvius --> but in (E) In two letters to the historian Tacitus can modify the nephew........... Both wrong , as it should modify wrote....
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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2014, 04:30
sacmanitin wrote:
The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.

(A) The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.
(B) To the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote two letters, being the only eyewitness accounts of the great eruption of Vesuvius.
(C) The only eyewitness account is in two letters by the nephew of Pliny the Elder writing to the historian Tacitus an account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.
(D) Writing the only eyewitness account, Pliny the Elder’s nephew accounted for the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.
(E) In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius

Guys one more full underline SC ,
my work is as below:

in B letters are said as only eyewitness accounts
C is wordy for using only eyewitness account.......an account
D also looks ackward for using nephew accounted for the great eruption

now for me (A) and (E) are same why to choose one over other???

Experts Explain


As you have jolted down to between A & E :

I will try to highlight for what reasons i have rejected A :

The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus

The nephew ...of Pliny the elder (Modifier) Wrote (Verb)

What does he wrote - he wrote in 2 letters ...the only eyewitness account of the .....

Since placement of only eyewitness account....(Modifier) is not correct, meaning is not clear !!


Hope it helps !!

Regards
LS
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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 24 Feb 2015, 23:00
The E looks better than A, that is why I chose E.
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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2016, 01:43
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2016, 06:48
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2017, 11:26
The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.

Issues: Structure | Meaning

Analysis:
1. This sentence is talking about multiple things, so let's break them apart.
- The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote two letters
- Those letters were written to the historian Tacitus
- Those letters are the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius
The correct choice should connect these thoughts so that proper meaning is conveyed without any ambiguity.


(A) The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.
- Illogical as it implying that "great eruption of Vesuvius" occurred "in two letters to the historian Tacitus"

(B) To the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote two letters, being the only eyewitness accounts of the great eruption of Vesuvius.
- "To the historian Tacitus" - fragment
- ", being" incorrectly modifies the whole clause. It should only modify the letters.


(C) The only eyewitness account is in two letters by the nephew of Pliny the Elder writing to the historian Tacitusan account of the great eruption of Vesuvius.
- less preferred passive voice "by the nephew" (however this is not a error which alone can eliminate this option)
- "writing" is incorrect verb form
- "an account...." is connected with previous clause without a conjunction which is ungrammatical


(D) Writing the only eyewitness account, Pliny the Elder’s nephew accounted for the great eruption of Vesuvius in two letters to the historian Tacitus.
- "accounted for" has a different meaning than intended in the sentence.
- Illogical as it implying that "great eruption of Vesuvius" occurred "in two letters to the historian Tacitus"


(E) In two letters to the historian Tacitus, the nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness account of the great eruption of Vesuvius

Answer: (E)
The nephew of Pliny the Elder wrote the only eyewitness   [#permalink] 19 Feb 2017, 11:26

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