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# Those who listened to the first speech of the new Soviet

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Manager
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Those who listened to the first speech of the new Soviet  [#permalink]

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27 May 2010, 04:28
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Question Stats:

42% (00:54) correct 58% (00:45) wrong based on 114 sessions

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Those who listened to the first speech of the new Soviet leader were struck by its direct, less polemical tone than was common in speeches by Soviet leaders during the previous eighteen years.

a...
b. its direct tone, less polemical than was common
c. its direct, less polemical tone than had been common
d. the direct tone, less polemical than it had commonly been
e. the direct tone, less polemical than it commonly was
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27 May 2010, 04:55
3
1
Correct answer is B. Here's my explanation.

The original sentence is analogous to something like "He was satisfied with the tastier food than normal." It doesn't make sense. The comparison "than was common" needs to be preceded by "less polemical" to make sense.

A. Unidiomatic and incorrect comparison.
B. Looks good.
C. Same as A only different tense. Same flaw, though.
D. Wordy, "the" and "it" are unidentified and confusing.
E. Again, "the" and "it" are unidentified.

B is the correct option, since it correctly compares the tone of this speech to that of previous speeches.
To work around such questions easily try and break them down.

Replace "Those who listened to the first speech...." with "They".

They were struck by the speech's direct, polemical tone than...
That should immediately strike you as being wrong. There isn't a "more severely struck" or "less struck" to justify a "than".

But in B we have: They were struck by the speech's direct tone, less polemical than was common in....
The second clause correctly modifies the TONE of the speech and compares the tone of this speech to what had been the common tone of speeches in the past.
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28 May 2010, 20:56
I almost missed it, nice explanation.
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30 May 2010, 05:35
Can't this be about the tense.

Past perfect & idiom (less than) is what i feel this question revolves around.

IMO D.

d) the direct tone, less polemical than it had commonly been

....were hit by the direct tone, less polemical than it(the tone) had commonly been so far.

OA?

Thanks
Director
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02 Jun 2010, 09:38
Good explanation so far.

I also feel that knowing the meaning of the word 'polemical' (which means "involving less dispute or controversy") makes it easier to understand why B is correct

Those who listened to the first speech of the new Soviet leader (They) were struck by its direct, less polemical tone than was common in speeches by Soviet leaders during the previous eighteen years.

if cut the first part of the above sentence to a short one and replace the word 'polemical' with its meaning the sentence makes all the sense with option B.

They were struck by its direct tone, less controversial than was common in speeches by Soviet leaders during the previous eighteen years.

a...
b. its direct tone, less polemical (controversial) than was common
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02 Jun 2010, 12:42
serhio wrote:
Those who listened to the first speech of the new Soviet leader were struck by its direct, less polemical tone than was common in speeches by Soviet leaders during the previous eighteen years.

a...
b. its direct tone, less polemical than was common
c. its direct, less polemical tone than had been common
d. the direct tone, less polemical than it had commonly been
e. the direct tone, less polemical than it commonly was

My standard approach -

Those | who listened to the first speech | of the new Soviet leader | were struck by its direct tone (adjective and noun are together), | less polemical than was common in speeches (modifier ends) | by Soviet leaders during the previous eighteen years.

Read by pausing at every |. The style and structure of the sentence will be evident by itself.
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16 Jun 2010, 16:03
1
IMO is D.
The other speeches were before the speech of the new leader. You need past perfect.
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17 Jun 2010, 00:53
I am a bit surprised no one has gone with A on this one - even though there is a good reason to do so. Direct and Polemical both refer to Tone so they should be together and not separate.

serhio wrote:
Those who listened to the first speech of the new Soviet leader were struck by its direct, less polemical tone than was common in speeches by Soviet leaders during the previous eighteen years.

a...
b. its direct tone, less polemical than was common
c. its direct, less polemical tone than had been common
d. the direct tone, less polemical than it had commonly been
e. the direct tone, less polemical than it commonly was
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17 Jun 2010, 02:40
Actually i thought the same - direct and polemical must be together. but I also preferred the past perfect tense compared to the past tense and hence went with C

But after reading the above explanations, I think less [adverb] than is cleaner, and B makes sense
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17 Jun 2010, 03:18
1
Those who listened to the first speech of the new Soviet leader were struck by its direct, less polemical tone than was common in speeches by Soviet leaders during the previous eighteen years.

a its direct (what???) , less polemical tone than was common

b. its direct tone, less polemical than was common >> Answer

c. its direct (what???) , less polemical tone than had been common >>> we don't need past perfect

during the previous eighteen years >> sequences the first speech from the previous speeches. So that we don't need past perfect

d. the direct tone, less polemical than it (what???) had commonly been.

e. the direct tone, less polemical than it (what???) commonly was
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Re: Those who listened to the first speech of the new Soviet  [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2017, 05:53
What's wrong with A?
How is it a wrong comparison?
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Re: Those who listened to the first speech of the new Soviet  [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2018, 08:11
I doubt that B could be the choice... "than was"... where is the subject of the clause?

I am for D.
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Re: Those who listened to the first speech of the new Soviet  [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2018, 09:24
+1 C
I chose C because I think simple past is not the correct tense as it happened 18 years before the main event, which is in simple past.

But I'm also confused about the comparison part between B and C.Any explanation from an expert would be helpful.

sayantanc2k , daagh

any help?
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Re: Those who listened to the first speech of the new Soviet  [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2018, 02:52
1
techiesam wrote:
+1 C
I chose C because I think simple past is not the correct tense as it happened 18 years before the main event, which is in simple past.

But I'm also confused about the comparison part between B and C.Any explanation from an expert would be helpful.

sayantanc2k , daagh

any help?

In order to use "than" a comparative adjective is required - here we have two adjectives fro "tone": "direct" and "less polemic". The scond adjective "less polemic" is alright, but "direct" is not a comparative - if we consider only the first adjective, then the sentence becomes.. "struck by its direct tone than had been common....": this comparison is incorrect. Thus C is flawed.

From the above aspect B is alright. The word "than" is detached from "direct" and is only with the adjective "less polemical". However the use of past tense appears incorrect - Since the occurence of the verb "to be " lasted for a period of time (18 years) before another incident started, this verb should ideally be in past perfect tense - but a simple past may also pass given that the sequence is clear from the use of the word "previous".

Hence B is best of the lot.
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Re: Those who listened to the first speech of the new Soviet  [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2018, 23:31
sayantanc2k wrote:
techiesam wrote:
+1 C
I chose C because I think simple past is not the correct tense as it happened 18 years before the main event, which is in simple past.

But I'm also confused about the comparison part between B and C.Any explanation from an expert would be helpful.

sayantanc2k , daagh

any help?

In order to use "than" a comparative adjective is required - here we have two adjectives fro "tone": "direct" and "less polemic". The scond adjective "less polemic" is alright, but "direct" is not a comparative - if we consider only the first adjective, then the sentence becomes.. "struck by its direct tone than had been common....": this comparison is incorrect. Thus C is flawed.

From the above aspect B is alright. The word "than" is detached from "direct" and is only with the adjective "less polemical". However the use of past tense appears incorrect - Since the occurence of the verb "to be " lasted for a period of time (18 years) before another incident started, this verb should ideally be in past perfect tense - but a simple past may also pass given that the sequence is clear from the use of the word "previous".

Hence B is best of the lot.

Thank you very much
Re: Those who listened to the first speech of the new Soviet   [#permalink] 10 Jan 2018, 23:31
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