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# Those who study ancient European history soon realize that before Gree

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Those who study ancient European history soon realize that before Gree  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 06 Jan 2019, 03:31
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Question Stats:

60% (01:02) correct 40% (01:20) wrong based on 399 sessions

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Those who study ancient European history soon realize that before Greece was Greece, it was a collection of small city-states that were intensely jealous of one another and were only occasionally able to work together for common goals.

A. before Greece was Greece, it was a collection of small city-states

B. before there was Greece, it was a collection of small city-states

C. before Greece, it was a collection of small city-states

D. it was a collection of small city-states that was Greece

E. Greece became a collection of small city states

Originally posted by zisis on 02 Jun 2010, 16:56.
Last edited by Bunuel on 06 Jan 2019, 03:31, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Those who study ancient European history soon realize that before Gree  [#permalink]

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07 Jun 2010, 06:55
Those who study ancient European history soon realize that before Greece was Greece, it was a collection of small city-states that were intensely jealous of one another and were only occationally able to work together for common goals.

(A) before Greece was Greece, it was a collection of small city-states - correct.
(B) before there was Greece, it was a collection of small city-states - 'it' is incorrectly referring to European history

(C) before Greece, it was a collection of small city-states - 'it' is incorrectly referring to European history
(D) it was a collection of small city-states that was Greece - awkward
(E) Greece became a collection of small city-states - awkward
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Re: Those who study ancient European history soon realize that  [#permalink]

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10 Jun 2012, 23:42
Yup A it is.

Call me a nerd but I swear I have seen exactly the same type of question on OG 12th Edition. Something related to an author. Damn I'm getting old. Earlier I could get the exact question and Page number
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Re: Those who study ancient European history soon realize that  [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2012, 00:06
1

1. Similar exercise

In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.

(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes

OA A

2(somewhat similar exercise)

Before George Eliot became the popular and respected novelist known as George Eliot, she had been an anonymous translator and essayist
(A) Before George Eliot became the popular and respected novelist known as George Eliot, she had been
(B) Before she had been the popular and respected novelist, George Eliot she was
(C) George Eliot has been popular and respected novelist, George Eliot after such time as she was
(D) Before George Eliot became the popular and respected novelist, George Eliot,she was
(E) George Eliot, before she was the popular and respected novelist, George Eliot, had been

OA A

Funnily all the three examples have A as their OA
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Those who study ancient European history soon realize that before Gree  [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2013, 13:42
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zisis wrote:
Those who study ancient European history soon realize that before Greece was Greece, it was a collection of small city-states that were intensely jealous of one another and were only occasionally able to work together for common goals.

A. before Greece was Greece, it was a collection of small city-states

B. before there was Greece, it was a collection of small city-states

C. before Greece, it was a collection of small city-states

D. it was a collection of small city-states that was Greece

E. Greece became a collection of small city states

This is a great question. The OA is perfectly correct, but idiosyncratic, which can be confusing.

(A) before Greece was Greece, it was a collection of small city-states
This is a highly idiosyncratic construction, but it is 100% correct. The phrase "before Greece was Greece" implies that we are talking about what happened in that region before it took the form with which we associate that name. The phrase plays on the tension between the place itself (now known to use by a name) and the name itself, which connotes a particular period of history ---- before that point in history, the place known by this name did not have this name!! That is precisely the focus of this question, which makes this particular phrasing perfect! The overall construction here makes it undeniable that the pronoun "it" correctly refers to "Greece". This is not only correct, but also actually a concise way to express a rather sophisticated idea. This is very important for zisis to recognize: given all that the text communicates, the wordy is actually quite economical.

(B) before there was Greece, it was a collection of small city-states
The phrase "before there was Greece" is bloated, awkward, and flabby. This is precisely the kind of extra verbiage that the GMAT hates. Furthermore, as seekmba indicates, the "it" seems here to refer to "ancient European history", which is incorrect.

(C) before Greece, it was a collection of small city-states
This construction implies that the "it has to be something other than Greece. Logically, we don't comment on what something is at a time before it exists! Again, the only possible antecedent for "it" would be "ancient European history", again as seekmba indicates. This choice is also incorrect.

(D) it was a collection of small city-states that was Greece
The emphatic construction is not justified here, and in fact, it is confusing and awkward. See this post for the proper use of emphatic construction:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-idiom ... ed-idioms/
This choice is a disaster, and it is wrong.

(E) Greece became a collection of small city-states
This is grammatically correct, but it changes the meaning substantially from the prompt. It's not that the full nation, Greece, later became the individual city-states. Rather, the individual city-states in that region became the nation Greece. That's what the prompt communicates, and this choices gets that historical & causal sequence backwards.

Choice (A) is the best answer by far. It is not at all too wordy ---- if anything, it is quite elegant.

Mike
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Re: Those who study ancient European history soon realize that before Gree  [#permalink]

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06 Jan 2019, 03:40
zisis wrote:
Those who study ancient European history soon realize that before Greece was Greece, it was a collection of small city-states that were intensely jealous of one another and were only occasionally able to work together for common goals.

A. before Greece was Greece, it was a collection of small city-states

B. before there was Greece, it was a collection of small city-states

C. before Greece, it was a collection of small city-states

D. it was a collection of small city-states that was Greece

E. Greece became a collection of small city states

KAPLAN OFFICIAL EXPLANATION:

A.

The underlined portion includes the pronoun it, so let's check for any pronoun-antecedent problems. It clearly refers to the noun Greece immediately preceding it, so there is no ambiguity. Furthermore, both it and Greece agree in terms of gender and number, so the sentence appears correct as written. But we'll check the other choices, especially since before Greece was Greece might be considered awkward. We might find a choice that improves on this construction.

In (B), it no longer has a logical antecedent, because it now seems to refer to the time period when Greece did not exist, rather than to the place itself. So (B) is incorrect. With (C), the pronoun has an ambiguous reference We know from the original sentence that it should refer to Greece, but (C) seems to imply that it refers to ancient European history, which is illogical. Ancient European history can't be a collection of small city-states.

(D) doesn't have a proper pronoun antecedent. If we replace the pronoun with Greece, we end up with a nonsensical sentence: Greece was a collection of small city-states that was Greece. (E) changes the meaning.of the original sentence by saying that Greece later became a collection of small states. In the end, (A) is best.
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Re: Those who study ancient European history soon realize that  [#permalink]

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19 May 2019, 09:53
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 study ancient European history soon realize that   [#permalink] 19 May 2019, 09:53
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