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# The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the

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The Scandinavian assault on Western Europe culminated in the early eleventh century with the Danish conquest of the English kingdom, which other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat, unsuccessfully later in the same century.

A. which other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat, unsuccessfully, later in the same century
B. which other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat later that same century, but not successfully
C. an achievement that other Scandinavian kings attempted later in the century to repeat, but were not successful at it
D. an achievement attempted later in the century by other Scandinavian kings that was not successful
E. an achievement that other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat later in the century, but without success

Source : GMAT Prep Question Pack

My questions:

1.) "Which" in option (A) and (B) refers to conquest, because "of the English Kingdom" refers to "conquest". Hence "Which" refers to "conquest". Is this correct?

2.) To my knowledge, "unsuccessfully" modifies "attempted to repeat". So i thought that this option is correct but it is not. Can u please xplain how to eliminate option (A)?

3.) I knocked down option "B" because there is no correct logical referent for "that". is my understanding correct on this option. Please explain.

4.) GMAT Prep says regarding option (C) - "The coordinating conjunction but introduced a clause that requires a subject and a verb; this version of the sentence provides the verb "were" but omits the subject."
If this is the case how option (E) is correct? i dont see any any subject/verb pair after "but".

Please explain when to look for a subject/verb pair after "BUT".

Thanks.

Originally posted by reddyMBA on 06 Sep 2013, 16:21.
Last edited by pqhai on 06 Sep 2013, 23:44, edited 1 time in total.
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banggmatisb wrote:
4.) GMAT Prep says regarding option (C) - "The coordinating conjunction but introduced a clause that requires a subject and a verb; this version of the sentence provides the verb "were" but omits the subject."

Actually C uses the redundant it and this pronoun redundancy seems to be a favorite trick of GMAT. Another OG example that immediately came to mind:

In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, a work that had taken seven years to complete and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced it as the greatest translation in any language.

Let me know if you want more examples and I can dig them up.
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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the [#permalink]
A question about D: does "that" need to appear next to the noun "attempt" if it were constructed this way? What is "that" referring to in D? Does this have to do with certain "mission critical" modifiers? Does it refer to king or to achievement and what is the role of the phrase in between? Thank you!
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smalluser wrote:
A question about D: does "that" need to appear next to the noun "attempt" if it were constructed this way? What is "that" referring to in D? Does this have to do with certain "mission critical" modifiers? Does it refer to king or to achievement and what is the role of the phrase in between? Thank you!

Hi smalluser,

Since ‘that’ can logically refer to things only not people, it cannot refer to ‘Scandinavian kings’. Hence, ‘that’ in option D is referring to ‘an achievement’.
Also, ‘attempted’ is not a noun in this sentence so ‘that’ cannot refer to it.

OPTION D

• The Scandinavian assault on Western Europe culminated in the early eleventh century with the Danish conquest of the English Kingdom,
o an achievement attempted later in the century by other Scandinavian kings
• that was not successful.

Here, ‘an achievement’ is referring to the action of the assault culminating with the conquest. The phrase ‘attempted later in the century by other Scandinavian kings’ is modifying ‘an achievement’. This phrase tells more about the noun ‘an achievement’.

This is illogical since one cannot attempt an achievement, since the achievement is already over. He can attempt to repeat the achievement.

Also, the clause ‘that was not successful’ is incorrectly modifying ‘an achievement’. If the achievement was not successful, then it’s not an achievement.

P.S.: ‘that’ does not need to appear right next to a noun to modify it.

Hope this helps!
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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the [#permalink]
GMATPrep explanation says that answer choice C omits subject after "but".
Answer choice E also omits subject...

Experts?
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tae808 wrote:
GMATPrep explanation says that answer choice C omits subject after "but".
Answer choice E also omits subject...

Experts?

Option E, unlike option C, introduces a phrase, not a clause. A phrase does not require a subject since there is no verb within a phrase.
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Nevernevergiveup wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:
tae808 wrote:
GMATPrep explanation says that answer choice C omits subject after "but".
Answer choice E also omits subject...

Experts?

Option E, unlike option C, introduces a phrase, not a clause. A phrase does not require a subject since there is no verb within a phrase.

sayantanc2k

can you explain further?

Option C: ,but were not successful at it. The comma before "but" should not have been there.
1. I play, but I do not study. Correct (comma + conjunction joins two clauses)
2. I play but do not study. Correct (without comma, there is no need of a second clause - two verbs play and study are joined.)
3. I play, but do not study. Wrong. ( comma + but requires a second clause).
The error in the 3rd sentence above is exactly the same as that in option C.

In option E there is no verb within ", but without success". The question whether two verbs are joined or two clauses are joined does not arise at all. It is alright to add a contrasting prepositional phrase with a comma.
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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the [#permalink]
Although i dont dispute correct answer ,E is not parallel gramatically.to repeat later in the century is not parallel with 'without sucess' as one is infinitive and other is prep phrase.what am i missing here/
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sagarnamo1 wrote:
Although i dont dispute correct answer ,E is not parallel gramatically.to repeat later in the century is not parallel with 'without sucess' as one is infinitive and other is prep phrase.what am i missing here/

Consider this way:

"But" is a conjunction here adding two clauses:
1. Other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat later in the century.
2. They (Other Scandinavian kings) attempted without success.

It is allowed to omit the repeated parts from the second element of a parallel structure if the meaning is not obscured. The parallelism structure is as follows:

Other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat later in the century, but they (Other Scandinavian kings) attempted without success.
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(A) which other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat, unsuccessfully, later in the same century.
(B) which other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat later that same century, but not successfully
-- use of relative pronoun which is wrong, "English kingdom" is not what they attempted to repeat

(C) an achievement that other Scandinavian kings attempted later in the century to repeat, but were not successful at it
--- pronoun "it" is very far from noun "achievement" and it is illogical; they are trying to succeed in the action of conquering the English Kingdom, rather than repeating the achievement.

(D) an achievement attempted later in the century by other Scandinavian kings that was not successful
-- also makes no sense, D) makes it sound like they are attempting an achievement, rather than the action of trying to conquer the English Kingdom.

(E) an achievement that other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat later in the century, but without success.
-- fixes the issue in C, this is correct
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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the [#permalink]
Hi Experts

Good Evening!!!

GMATNinja VeritasKarishma EducationAisle ChrisLele mikemcgarry AjiteshArun egmat sayantanc2k RonPurewal DmitryFarber MagooshExpert avigutman EMPOWERgmatVerbal MartyTargetTestPrep ExpertsGlobal5 IanStewart
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In option E "an achievement that other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat later in the century, but without success" I can't see any verb for the subject An Achievement . And my reasoning is "An achievement that other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat later in the century, but without success" is acting as a modifier . Is this reasoning correct?

And also but is used as a conjunction for connecting two clauses in the above option?
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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the [#permalink]
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Vatsal7794 wrote:
Hi Experts

Good Evening!!!

GMATNinja VeritasKarishma EducationAisle ChrisLele mikemcgarry AjiteshArun egmat sayantanc2k RonPurewal DmitryFarber MagooshExpert avigutman EMPOWERgmatVerbal MartyTargetTestPrep ExpertsGlobal5 IanStewart
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In option E "an achievement that other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat later in the century, but without success" I can't see any verb for the subject An Achievement . And my reasoning is "An achievement that other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat later in the century, but without success" is acting as a modifier . Is this reasoning correct?

And also but is used as a conjunction for connecting two clauses in the above option?

Hi Vatsal7794,

Yes, that part of the sentence is an appositive (modifier). The noun achievement... tells us something about the Danish conquest of the English Kingdom.
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Hi,
When we see "but", it naturally gives us hint that a clause with S-V may pop up (except the parallelism markers).
but here in choice E, its just a phrase afte "but". Is this acceptable?

Thanks
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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the [#permalink]
in C]does 'IT' refers to attempt or repeating. Can 'it' be a placeholder instead

in E] we have two two absolute phrases separated by a comma. is it correct?
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himanshu0123 wrote:
in C]does 'IT' refers to attempt or repeating.

"It" certainly wants to stand for one of these words. However, in choice C both of them are verbs, so "it" cannot stand for either of them.

"It" is left with nothing to stand for, so it's wrong.

Quote:
Can 'it' be a placeholder instead

The object of a verb has to be an actual noun, so, no, it can't be a 'placeholder'.

Quote:
in E] we have two two absolute phrases separated by a comma. is it correct?

no, there's just one of those ("an achievement that other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat later in the century").

The word "but" that introduces the final modifier is NOT the parallel market "but".
This version of "but" introduces a modifier; it's essentially the same as "albeit" or "though". (You've probably seen quite a few instances of this "but" in everyday life—e.g., A "low-carb burger" is just a regular hamburger, but wrapped in lettuce rather than on a bread bun.)
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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the [#permalink]
How ' ,but + without success" is correct in Choice E??
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