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# The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed

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The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 18 Dec 2017, 00:41
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The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, each had a written charter that set forth its form of government and the rights of the colonists.

(A) some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, each had a written charter

(B) some being formed as a commercial ventures, others as religious havens, all of which had written charters

(C) some that as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, all had written charters

(D) with some being formed as a commercial venture, others as religious havens, all had written charters

(E) with some formed as commercial ventures, while others as religious havens, each had a written charter

Originally posted by mrsmarthi on 23 Sep 2009, 20:49.
Last edited by hazelnut on 18 Dec 2017, 00:41, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2018, 09:34
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1
Really good question, and it sets up one of my favorite Sentence Correction "hacks." Note that the pronoun "its" is fixed outside the underline:

...that set forth its form of government...

You're stuck with that singular "its" (it's not underlined so you can't change it), and that should signal that you need the individual/singular "each" and not the collective "all." Something like "the colonies all had charters that established its form of government" is just a huge numerical agreement error.

The bigger lesson (and I swear I learned this from years of doing Sentence Correction "upside down" as a tutor looking across a library or Starbucks table at the problem a student was doing) is that if you see a pronoun fixed outside the underline, there's a very very good chance it controls a singular/plural decision elsewhere in the problem. That was always one of my "cheats" as a tutor...I'd be reading an Official Guide problem upside down and as soon as I scanned and saw a familiar "its" or "they" or any other pronoun, I *knew* I had a singular/plural decision point to work with. So that's still something I always look for. Pronoun outside the underline --> use that as a tool to 1) search for an agreement error somewhere in the problem, and 2) establish whether you need singular or plural.
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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31 Aug 2019, 19:40
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kshitijgarg wrote:
Hi GMATNinja
what's "its(in the non underlined portion)" is referring to ?

Thanks a lot for your help.
Regards,
Kshitij

Take another look at (A):

"The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, each had a written charter that set forth its form of government..."

We know that "its" must have a singular antecedent, so now we want to scan backwards until we encounter a singular that noun could function logically in place of "its." The first noun we see is "charter," but it wouldn't make any sense to refer to the charter's form for government. A charter can describe a form of government, but it doesn't have one itself. The next singular noun is "each," referring to one of the 13 colonies. Perfectly logical to refer to "each colony's form of government," so we've got our antecedent. Huzzah!

Takeaways: first, we never want to eliminate an answer choice prematurely because of an ambiguous pronoun. (More on that in this video.) Moreover, "its" isn't underlined, so even if we think there's a problem with the construction, we don't have the option of fixing it! Better to focus on the concrete errors we can actually address.

I hope that helps!
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2009, 00:36
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mrsmarthi wrote:
The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, each had a written charter that set forth its form of government and the rights of the colonists.

A) some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, each had a written charter
B) some being formed as a commercial ventures, others as religious havens, all of which had written charters
C) some that as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, all had written charters
D) with some being formed as a commercial venture, others as religious havens, all had written charters
E) with some formed as commercial ventures, while others as religious havens, each had a written charter

I went this way:
each had a written charter[/u] that set forth its form of government and the rights of the colonists.

We should use each instead of all. "All" is used when discussed about common issues. Here colonies had unique charter - so, go with "each"

B,C,D - out

E. with some formed as commercial ventures, while others as religious havens, each had a written charter

With is absolutely redundant. colonies ... some formed as

We leave with A.
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2019, 10:12
2
Manas1212 wrote:
The thirteen original British colonies in North America (Subject) Should not this have a verb too ?

Yes Manas, this is indeed the subject (and had is the verb for this subject).

The structure is like this:

This is equivalent to:

Each of them had a plan.

On the other hand, if the sentence was just:

This could mean that they jointly (rather than individually) had a plan.

So, in the sentence under consideration, each has just been introduced to emphasize the individual nature of each of the British colonies.
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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25 Nov 2009, 22:54
1
IMO A.....
A) some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, each had a written charter----Clear & consise
B) some being formed as a commercial ventures, others as religious havens, all of which had written charters
C) some that as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, all had written charters
D) with some being formed as a commercial venture, others as religious havens, all had written charters
E) with some formed as commercial ventures, while others as religious havens, each had a written charter----changes the meaning with some formed as--with is not needed here.
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2012, 23:40
1
Correct me if i am wrong but a comma can be used only for two reasons
1.) separate a non essential modifier
2.) separate different items of a similar list
3.) used with subordinator words to joi a main clause with a sub ordinate clause , ot with cojunctions to join two main clauses.

Now here If we dont use with and while then the sentance is like
Some colonies, modifier, modifier, have something.
If we use with and while
it becomes Main clause-Subordinator(some are ...-Subrodinator- ... other ), have charter.

Can two modifiers follow the subject with just a comma ? or by way of idiomatic usage that entine sentence Some x other Y becomes a single modifier.
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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07 Aug 2012, 04:51
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2
The thirteen original Britishcolonies in North America, some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens,each had a written charter that set forth its form of government and the rights of the colonists.

The stem now reduces to : The 13 colonies ................................ ( EACH/ALL)............... had charter/s............ THAT set forth ITS form of Govt..........AND........Y

B : all of which = Eliminated

ITS in the non-underlined portion signifies that the referrent is clearly each individual colony

Thus C / D = ALL = Eliminated

Left with A n E :

A : The 13 colonies , ......... some formed as X, others formed as Y

E : The 13 colonies , .......WITH some formed as X, WHILE others formed as Y

E : Does addition of With / While makes any sense or helps us in getting a clearer view of the intent = Guess NO = Eliminated

Left with A , my take.

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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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24 Nov 2014, 01:06
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1
The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, each had a written charter that set forth its form of government and the rights of the colonists.

if we look at the non-underline sentence fragment "that set forth its form of government and the rights of the colonists" -> the sentence is describing "each" colony one at a time.

A) some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, each had a written charter
B) some being formed as a commercial ventures, others as religious havens, all of which had written charters -> Because of the above issue
C) some that as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, all had written charters -> Because of the above issue
D) with some being formed as a commercial venture, others as religious havens, all had written charters -> Because of the above issue
E) with some formed as commercial ventures, while others as religious havens, each had a written charter

now with can be used as adverbial phrase (most of the time) and sometimes, with is used to modify the subject.
Here with can be used to modify the subject - Colonies.
Now in option E) with some formed as commercial ventures, while others as religious havens, each had a written charter
"with" used to modify the colonies
"formed" is also used to modify the colonies.
The correct option E) could be -> "with some as commercial ventures, while others as religious havens, each had a written charter"
Now with is modifying the subject -> colonies.

Hence A) is correct.
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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15 Nov 2018, 17:43
Hello mikemcgarry,

I have a Magoosh subscription and have recently read your blog on "with" + [noun] + [preposition] but still have some confusion on the usage of "with" modifier used in choices D and E. Can you please shed light on why the usage here is wrong? Would be much appreciated, thanks!
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The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2018, 01:13
The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, each had a written charter that set forth its form of government and the rights of the colonists.

(A) some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, each had a written charter - Correct

(B) some being formed as a commercial ventures, others as religious havens, all of which had written charters - Usage of being formed

(C) some that as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, all had written charters - same issue as B

(D) with some being formed as a commercial venture, others as religious havens, all had written charters - usage of being formed;

"The colonies each had a charter." That correctly implies: 13 colonies, 13 charters.
"The colonies all had a charter." That incorrectly implies: 13 colonies, 1 grand charter for everyone.

(E) with some formed as commercial ventures, while others as religious havens, each had a written charter - "with" wrongly suggests that "some" refers not to the colonies themselves but to something that the colonies came with. to suggest that you're referring to the colonies themselves (which you are), you need modifiers of the type used in the correct answer (a).

* "while" MUST be used with a clause or __ing phrase. it can't be used with a construction that doesn't contain any sort of verb form (such as this one, which is just noun + prepositional phrase).

I found the above explanations in BTG and Manhattan GMAT forum.

1. Can we reject option B on the basis that there is no main verb in the sentence because all of which is a relative clause?

2. Also, is there any difference between "all had written charters" and "each had a written charter". I understand that "all had a written charter" means different - all of them together had a charter.

3. Please let me know any other way to eliminate options in this question.

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , GMATGuruNY , VeritasKarishma , ChiranjeevSingh , VeritasPrepBrian , MartyMurray , daagh , ccooley , other experts - please enlighten
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2018, 03:35
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Skywalker

I do not think all of which starts a relative clause in B. All is the noun and 'of which' is just a prepositional modifier, and the whole phrase makes a noun phrase. It is an IC.

All had written charters, and each had a charter will mean the same.
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2019, 08:25
Hi GMATNinja,

Could you please help with this question ? I am unable to find any verb for the subject "British Colonies"
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2019, 08:44
Hi Manas, had the simple past tense verb.
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2019, 09:28
EducationAisle wrote:
Hi Manas, had the simple past tense verb.

The thirteen original British colonies in North America (Subject) Should not this have a verb too ? I know this would make the sentence a comma splice error but I am not able to understand how a modfier(each) can take the verb of the main subject leaving the British Colonies with out a verb ?
, some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, Modifiers
each(Subject) had(verb) a written charter that set forth its form of government and the rights of the colonists.

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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2019, 09:12
I know that there are two main contenders A and E, But if you had trouble arriving at this stage you must look at latter part of the original sentence and there it is "......that set forth its form of government and the rights..".
I also see someone worried about finding verb. But then on a in-depth look of about 6 minutes I realised that the word some... and others is modifier of and they together modify The thirteen original British colonies in North America.
Hear me out,
The thirteen original British colonies in North America (some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens) each had a written charter that set forth its form of government and the rights of the colonists.let's think of the clause in parenthesis as trivial.
Removing the trivial sentence,
The thirteen original British colonies in North America, each had a written charter that set forth its form of government and the rights of the colonists.
Will you still need a verb?
and then if you have reached this far you might now be a little frustrated with the word with in final sentence. Which at the best would mean that 13 countries+ some countries+other countries had a written charter. But that's not the intended meaning.
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2019, 21:35
My answer to it was wrong--
Thought process/reasoning behind the answer was:
the second non-underlined portion is "that set forth its form of government and the rights of the colonists" as the verb after that is only "set" (not "sets") I thought the word before "that" must be plural (charters) hence I eliminated A and E and I zeroed down to D but then I came to know answer is wrong and correct answer is A
I reread the sentence again and then I found "it's" in the second non-underlined portion. hence I understood that underlined portion must have "each" and not "all".
But I could not understand "how come the "charter that set forth" is correct? I went through all the replies but could not found the answer. I was about to post the query but suddenly I came to know my mistake. "set forth" is a past tense not a present tense.
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The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2019, 14:25
Hi GMATNinja
what's "its(in the non underlined portion)" is referring to ?

Thanks a lot for your help.
Regards,
Kshitij
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2019, 14:43
mrsmarthi wrote:
The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, each had a written charter that set forth its form of government and the rights of the colonists.

(A) some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, each had a written charter

(B) some being formed as a commercial ventures, others as religious havens, all of which had written charters

(C) some that as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, all had written charters

(D) with some being formed as a commercial venture, others as religious havens, all had written charters

(E) with some formed as commercial ventures, while others as religious havens, each had a written charter

B - some being formed. Why is being used here. Being is unnecessary. all of which seems awkward. I think all doesn't match with the verb its too.
C - what is that referring to. all doesn't match with pronoun its.
D - unnecessary usage of with. all doesn't match with pronoun its.
E - unnecessary usage of with. Do we require while here.

A seems to be best among all these.
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The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2019, 23:20
GMATNinja wrote:
kshitijgarg wrote:
Hi GMATNinja
what's "its(in the non underlined portion)" is referring to ?

Thanks a lot for your help.
Regards,
Kshitij

Take another look at (A):

"The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, each had a written charter that set forth its form of government..."

We know that "its" must have a singular antecedent, so now we want to scan backwards until we encounter a singular that noun could function logically in place of "its." The first noun we see is "charter," but it wouldn't make any sense to refer to the charter's form for government. A charter can describe a form of government, but it doesn't have one itself. The next singular noun is "each," referring to one of the 13 colonies. Perfectly logical to refer to "each colony's form of government," so we've got our antecedent. Huzzah!

Takeaways: first, we never want to eliminate an answer choice prematurely because of an ambiguous pronoun. (More on that in this video.) Moreover, "its" isn't underlined, so even if we think there's a problem with the construction, we don't have the option of fixing it! Better to focus on the concrete errors we can actually address.

I hope that helps!

Thanks a lot GMATNinja for replying to my post.

i have one more doubt is this sentence. i thought about this question in the following manner :
each had a written charter that set forth its form of government..."
Now here if "That" refers to the "Charter", the how can the verb "set" be right(shouldn't it be "charter that sets forth its "). so i saw the "that set" in the non underlined portion and i thought it has to be "charters"
and in the 3 option that has charters i couldn't find the antecedent for it's in those options.

please point out what is That (following the charter) is referring to? and if that is pointing to charter then how can "that set" be correct?

Thanks a lot for your help.
I have been following your videos (all 3 series on gmatclub) and they are awesome.

Regards,
Kshitij
The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed   [#permalink] 03 Dec 2019, 23:20

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