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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  [#permalink]

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13 Mar 2013, 12:06
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Question Stats:

72% (01:14) correct 28% (01:36) wrong based on 845 sessions

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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.
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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the  [#permalink]

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13 Mar 2013, 12:44
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mun23 wrote:
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.

Need explanation

Hi mun,

First of all there is a split in this question between "which.." and "an achievement". "Which" is a relative pronoun that usually refers a noun closest or not so far away. The use of which is ambiguous as it may refer to either "conquest" or "assault". Whereas, the underlined part of the sentence which starts with "an achievement" is a noun phrase or an absolute phrase. This phrase describes the action discussed in the first part of the sentence. This structure expresses the meaning more clearly. Usually on GMAT the choices with absolute phrases are correct.

(A)which other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat,unsuccessfully,later in the same century.

Incorrect - explained above.

(B)which other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat later that same century,but not successfully

Incorrect - explained above.

(C)an achievement that other Scandinavian kings attempted later in the century to repeat,but were not successful at it

The sentence is not concise and the meaning is difficult to interpret because of the placement of "to repeat" far from "attempted". The use "attempted to repeat" is better.

(D)an achievement attempted later in the century by other Scandinavian kings that was not successful

This choice incorrectly says that the achievement was unsuccessful; but, the logical and intended meaning is that the attempt was not successful.

(E)an achievement that other Scandinavian kings attempted to repeat later in the century,but without success.

Correct. This choice correctly uses the absolute phrase to express the action in the first part of the sentence. "but without success" clearly means that the attempt was was without success and the sentence is now clear and concise.

Hope this helps,

Vercules
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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 06 Sep 2013, 23:44
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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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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the  [#permalink]

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09 Sep 2013, 07:52
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Hi Jeevan,

Thanks for posting this question here. This indeed is a very interesting SC problem which needs careful analysis. So lets do that.

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

Ans 1: Yes, "which" in options A and B refer to "Danish conquest", a slightly far away noun.

Ans 2: I do agree that in Choice A, the adverb "unsuccessfully" refers to the verb "attempted to repeat". However, I would be a little wary of this choice because "unsuccessfully" is placed between two commas. This placement tells me that this information is not necessary for the meaning of the sentence. Why should the adverb be separated from the verb with comma pairs? Also from the meaning standpoint, this choice says that the attempt itself was made unsuccessfully. The intended meaning is that they tried but did not get success.

Ans 3: Well, "that" does need any reference because it has not been used as a relative pronoun that must have an antecedent. Here "that" has been used to emphasize the fact that the other Scandinavians tried to conquer the English kingdom the very same century. Choice B can be eliminated for the same meaning error that we have in choice A.

Ans 4: One thing that we must understand in this sentence is that "but" here has not been used a coordinating conjunction. Also, the official explanation of many official questions certainly do not match the standard of the quality of the official questions. There are many official explanations that are inappropriate. Choice C is incorrect because of the inclusion of "it".

Per choice C, following is the parallel list:
a. an achievement that other Scandinavian kings attempted later in the century to repeat
b. an achievement that other Scandinavian kings were not successful at it

As you can see, use of "it" is incorrect here because relative pronoun "that" already refers to "an achievement". It is ungrammatical to refer to the same noun entity again by using a pronoun. This is the reason why Choice C is incorrect. Again, "but" here has been used here a parallel marker and not the coordinating conjunctions.

This is the reason why in correct answer Choice E, "but" has been followed by a phrase and a not a clause. Both the phrase "later in the century" and "without success" refer to "attempted to repeat". Both the phrases here act as "adverbs" as they both refer to the same verb phrase "attempted to repeat".

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the  [#permalink]

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10 Sep 2013, 11:02
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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]

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23 May 2014, 12:14
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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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the  [#permalink]

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23 May 2014, 13:13
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]

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23 May 2014, 20:57
smalluser wrote:
This does help, thank you! Just to be clear, "that" is not like "which" which (haha) needs to modify the noun directly before it? All the examples I can think of when "that" is a noun modifier act this way: "the red house that is on top of the hill, the movie that we watched, etc." I know you said "that" does not have to modify the noun next to it, so I'm wondering if you have any clear examples where this is the case? Thank you so much!

Hi smalluser,

You are welcome.

Now coming to your question, I think ‘which’ can also modify a slightly far away noun.

You can refer to the following article.

noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html

I have also found an official example in which ‘that’ modifies a slightly far away noun.

OFFICIAL EXAMPLE

• The use of lie detectors is based on the assumption that lying produces emotional reactions in an individual that, in turn, create unconscious physiological responses.

Here, the second ‘that’ refers to ‘emotional reactions’.

Hope this helps!
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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the  [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2016, 16:18
GMATPrep explanation says that answer choice C omits subject after "but".
Answer choice E also omits subject...

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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the  [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2016, 12:50
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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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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the  [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2016, 09:46
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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]

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08 Apr 2017, 17:00
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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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2017, 09:20
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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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the  [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2019, 15:56
(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]

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21 Aug 2019, 08:53
All reasons presented make sense but cannot understand why "an achievement" is additionally added to the sentence. Am not very sure if additional words or phrases n]can be added to make it sound or correct grammatically.
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Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the  [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2019, 01:55
Although I got this question right, I am confused as to why option B is wrong. What exactly is wrong with B ?
Re: The Scandinavian assault on western Europe culminated in the   [#permalink] 02 Sep 2019, 01:55
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