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

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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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(N/A)

Question Stats:

31% (02:09) correct 69% (00:46) wrong based on 37 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
If you have any questions
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27 May 2010, 04:55
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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?

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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, 15:10
abhas59 wrote:

For sure its B
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16 Jun 2010, 16:03
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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
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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29 Jun 2010, 07:49
OA is B.
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Re: Those who listened to the first speech of the new Soviet [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2016, 17:45
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: Those who listened to the first speech of the new Soviet   [#permalink] 25 Jul 2016, 17:45
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