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When an individual compulsively holds a rigid ideal of virtue, this ca

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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When an individual compulsively holds a rigid ideal of virtue, this ca  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2016, 11:40
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Difficulty:

  35% (medium)

Question Stats:

63% (01:11) correct 37% (01:21) wrong based on 336 sessions

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When an individual compulsively holds a rigid ideal of virtue, this can be indicative his defense against the opposite qualities, a defense known as “reaction formation.”

(A) When an individual compulsively holds a rigid ideal of virtue, this can be indicative his defense against the opposite qualities

(B) To compulsively hold a rigid ideal of virtue is to indicate an individual’s defense against the opposite qualities

(C) Compulsively holding a rigid ideal of virtue may indicate an individual’s defense against the opposite qualities

(D) An individual can compulsively holds a rigid ideal of virtue, and this holding may indicate an individual’s defense against the opposite qualities

(E) Indicating a defense against the opposite qualities, an individual holds a rigid ideal of virtue


This SC problem explores, among other things, the use of phrases as subjects. For a discussion of this, with the OE for this particular question, see:
GMAT SC Grammar: Phrases as Subjects

Mike :-)

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Re: When an individual compulsively holds a rigid ideal of virtue, this ca  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2016, 22:48
mikemcgarry wrote:
[color=#0000ff]When an individual compulsively holds a rigid ideal of virtue, this can be indicative his defense against the opposite qualities, a defense known as “reaction formation.”

(A) When an individual compulsively holds a rigid ideal of virtue, this can be indicative his defense against the opposite qualities. Awkward sentence too wordy.
This is a pronoun that is used to indicate noun. this has no proper antecedent. This cannot refer to a clause.


(B) To compulsively hold a rigid ideal of virtue is to indicate an individual’s defense against the opposite qualities. Meaning Error - It conveys that an individual holds a rigid ideal of virtue to indicate something.

(C) Compulsively holding a rigid ideal of virtue may indicate an individual’s defense against the opposite qualities -Correct

(D) An individual can compulsively holds a rigid ideal of virtue, and this holding may indicate an individual’s defense against the opposite qualities
Subject verb agreement error

(E) Indicating a defense against the opposite qualities, an individual holds a rigid ideal of virtue. Meaning Error - it illogically conveys that the individual is indicating a defense.

This SC problem explores, among other things, the use of phrases as subjects. For a discussion of this, with the OE for this particular question, see:
GMAT SC Grammar: Phrases as Subjects


Mike :-)


(A) When an individual compulsively holds a rigid ideal of virtue, this can be indicative his defense against the opposite qualities. Awkward sentence too wordy.
This is a pronoun that is used to refer to a noun. this has no proper antecedent. This cannot refer to a clause.


(B) To compulsively hold a rigid ideal of virtue is to indicate an individual’s defense against the opposite qualities. Meaning Error - It conveys that an individual holds a rigid ideal of virtue to indicate something.

(C) Compulsively holding a rigid ideal of virtue may indicate an individual’s defense against the opposite qualities -Correct

(D) An individual can compulsively holds a rigid ideal of virtue, and this holding may indicate an individual’s defense against the opposite qualities
Subject verb agreement error

(E) Indicating a defense against the opposite qualities, an individual holds a rigid ideal of virtue. Meaning Error - it illogically conveys that the individual is indicating a defense.
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Re: When an individual compulsively holds a rigid ideal of virtue, this ca  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2018, 05:32
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OE from Magoosh

Choice (A) use the casual “when you do X” structure to denote a universal truth. This is acceptable in colloquial speech, but unacceptable on the GMAT. This choice also contains a pronoun mistake: “this” can’t refer to an action. This choice is incorrect.

Choice (B)’s use of the two infinitives is awkward. This changes the meaning because it eliminates all uncertainty. Finally, the first infinitive, “to compulsively hold,” is a split infinitive; the GMAT does not test this, but this structure tends to appear only on incorrect choices, such as this choice.

Choice (C) uses a gerund as a subject. This is direct, logical, and clear. This is a promising choice.

Choice (D) is a very long bloated version of the sentence, flabby and indirect. This is not the most powerful way to express this information. This is incorrect.

Choice (E) is off in a funny way. It sounds as if the individual with this defense is intentionally indicating that he is holding the opposite qualities. This is a different meaning from the prompt. If I do X, and the fact that I did X indicates something, that may well be unintentional; by starting with the participle, this choice suggests that the indicating is conscious and intentional, and this view doesn’t accord with the prompt meaning. This is incorrect.

The only possible answer is (C).
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Re: When an individual compulsively holds a rigid ideal of virtue, this ca &nbs [#permalink] 26 Jun 2018, 05:32
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