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# With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel

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With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2011, 23:39
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With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novels by Agatha Christie; travelers to Egypt can still stay at the Old Cataract Hotel, the model for the hotel in one of Christie's most famous books.

(A) With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novels by Agatha Christie

(B) Agatha Christie used her travels with her archaeologist husband to inspire several mystery novels

(C) Because her husband was an archaeologist, Agatha Christie was able to use their travels as inspiration for several of her mystery novels

(D) Together with her archaeologist husband, Agatha Christie was inspired to incorporate their travel into several of her mystery novels

(E) Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband served as inspiration for several of her mystery novels

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2011, 00:02
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This is called "possessive poisoning". MGMAT has very good explanation. You can look for Ron's explanation on their forum.

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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2011, 00:11

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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2011, 02:47
E)

None of the other options are correct since they have other huge mistakes like modifier errors and incomplete sentences. I would look over the issue of pronouns in E) since it is sometimes correct.
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2011, 05:17
A: 1st: the preposition phrase "With her archaeologist husband" does not correctly modify travels after the comma. 2nd: "...by Agatha Christie." has used a not preferred passive voice.

B: the sentence structure X (Agatha Christie) used Y (travels + husband) to inspire Z (novels). This construction sounds awkward.

C: Although there is no error in this construction, the sentence itself distorts the meaning the author intended.

D: To me this sentence is correct in terms of its grammar and the meaning.

E: The sentence sounds awkward to me, however if it is grammatically correct. we can simplify it - "travels served inspiration" all the rest are modifiers.

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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2011, 05:20
A: 1st: the preposition phrase "With her archaeologist husband" does not correctly modify travels after the comma. 2nd: "...by Agatha Christie." has used a not preferred passive voice.

B: the sentence structure X (Agatha Christie) used Y (travels + husband) to inspire Z (novels). This construction sounds awkward.

C: Although there is no error in this construction, the sentence itself distorts the meaning the author intended.

D: To me this sentence is correct in terms of its grammar and the meaning.

E: The sentence sounds awkward to me, however if it is grammatically correct. we can simplify it - "travels served inspiration" all the rest are modifiers.

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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2011, 08:48
There are two points that should stand out from this topic. First, possessive poison is not an issue in GMAT any more, as explained by MGMAT thoroughly. Logic rather than structure is the crux. For more info, you can follow the link below

http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/pro ... t9533.html

Second, the text is testing distortion of meaning; it is trying to say that travels inspired Agatha Christie and to confuse that with either her novels or her husband leads to distortion of meaning. The intended right word order for the underlined portion is

Her travels (incidentally) with her archeologist husband served as inspiration for several of her mystery novels.

I think E only brings out this fact more clearly than do others.

In A, the novels rather than Agatha seem to be inspired: distorted meaning
B states Agatha used her travels to inspire novels - distorted
The distortion is too obvious to mention in C and D.
E singles out her travels which served as an inspiration for her novels. E therefore
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2011, 09:42
Sorry daagh. I dont know why I said poisoning. Yes poisoning is not an issue here.

"her" is possessive pronoun and can refer to Christie's. dégagé !

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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2011, 00:56
With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novels by Agatha Christie; travelers to Egypt can still stay at the Old Cataract Hotel, the model for the hotel in one of Christie's most famous books.

With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novels by Agatha Christie ( misplaced modifier, with her archaeologist husband)

Agatha Christie used her travels with her archaeologist husband to inspire several mystery novels ( did travels inspire christie or did christie inspire novels)

Because her husband was an archaeologist, Agatha Christie was able to use their travels as inspiration for several of her mystery novels
( too wordy + 'their' refers to ?)

Together with her archaeologist husband, Agatha Christie was inspired to incorporate their travel into several of her mystery novels ( was her husband also inspired to write novels ? i never heard about any of his books :d )

Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband served as inspiration for several of her mystery novels

Is there a mistake in this question ? In terms of the correct answer having a pronoun without an antecedent?
Thanks

you asked a good question in the end, but can a pronoun serve as an antecedent for another pronoun ? aren't the two 'her' making the sentence very clear ?
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Last edited by garimavyas on 08 Mar 2011, 01:08, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2011, 01:02
@daagh , thanks for the link, i never could digest the section on possessive poison in mgmat sc guide. good riddance.http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/pro ... t9533.html
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2012, 20:49
I read the MGMAT link posted above, but I still have a doubt.

What's the noun for 'her' in E. Possessive 'hers' can refer back to Agatha Christie's, but how could her.

Am I missing something?

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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2012, 05:47
schandok wrote:
I read the MGMAT link posted above, but I still have a doubt.

What's the noun for 'her' in E. Possessive 'hers' can refer back to Agatha Christie's, but how could her.

Am I missing something?

A possesive pronoun can refer to a possesive ('s).
For example:
Steve Jobs's ipod is as awesome as HIS other inventions.
"his" refers to Steve Jobs.
It is the only exception in which a pronoun can refer to a noun that is not acting as a noun.

Hope it helps.
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2012, 19:40
E) Clarifies that Agatha Christoe's travel WITH her archaeologist husband WAS inspirational for the mystery novels written by her

Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband served as inspiration for several of her mystery novels
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2012, 04:42
D )Together with her archaeologist husband, Agatha Christie was inspired to incorporate their travel into several of her mystery novels

E )Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband served as inspiration for several of her mystery novels

I choose D .Although it is gramatically correct ,it seems to change the meaning of the sentence .Only E remains.

But analysing E also closely i get a doubt .Can her travel be an inspiration for her novels ? It has to be an inspiration to her only right ?
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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05 Mar 2013, 00:19
With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novels by Agatha Christie; travelers to Egypt can still stay at the Old Cataract Hotel, the model for the hotel in one of Christie's most famous books.
a. With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novels by Agatha Christie
b. Agatha Christie used her travels with her archaeologist husband to inspire several mystery novels
c. Because her husband was an archaeologist, Agatha Christie was able to use their travels as inspiration for several of her mystery novels
d. Together with her archaeologist husband, Agatha Christie was inspired to incorporate their travel into several of her mystery novels
e. Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband served as inspiration for several of her mystery novels

OA after discussion
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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05 Mar 2013, 07:06
greatps24 wrote:
With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novels by Agatha Christie; travelers to Egypt can still stay at the Old Cataract Hotel, the model for the hotel in one of Christie's most famous books.
a. With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novels by Agatha Christie
b. Agatha Christie used her travels with her archaeologist husband to inspire several mystery novels
c. Because her husband was an archaeologist, Agatha Christie was able to use their travels as inspiration for several of her mystery novels
d. Together with her archaeologist husband, Agatha Christie was inspired to incorporate their travel into several of her mystery novels
e. Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband served as inspiration for several of her mystery novels

OA after discussion

The meaning of this sentence is:
1. Agatha Christie traveled with her archaeologist husband.
2. These travels served as inspiration for several of her mystery novels.

Now let's analyze the options:
A - The modifier "with her archaeologist husband" is modifying travels => as if travels (a person) inspired mystery novels and her (travel's) husband.
B - Agatha Christie used X to inspire novels. Absurd. It implies novels (as a person) were inspired. Meaning distorted and Agatha Christie herself was not inspired and may not have been her novels.
C. Awkward and Wordy construction. archaeologist is actually just an adjective to describe her husband. It is not that only because he was an archaeologist, she was able to get inspired.
D. It implies both her husband and Agatha Christie were inspired.

E. CORRECT. Subject is "Agatha christie's travels". Verb is "served" as inspiration. Agreeing and logical sentence construction. "her" in "her mystery novels", a possessive pronoun agrees with the possessive noun that it is replacing "Agatha Christie's".
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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05 Mar 2013, 07:36
a.With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novels by Agatha Christie
the prepositional phrase "with her archaelogist husband" modifies subject "travels" i.e travels with her(here her refering back to travel) husband inspired several mystery novels...it can't be more funny..
b. Agatha Christie used her travels with her archaeologist husband to inspire several mystery novels.
"to inspire several mystery novels" one cannot inspire novels as they are not living beings
c. Because her husband was an archaeologist, Agatha Christie was able to use their travels as inspiration for several of her mystery novels
I am not sure if their can refer back to agatha and her husband
d. Together with her archaeologist husband, Agatha Christie was inspired to incorporate their travel into several of her mystery novels.
This seems like a right answer
e. Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband served as inspiration for several of her mystery novels
her cannot refer back to Agatha Christie as the subject here is Agatha Christi's Travels...a possesive

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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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05 Mar 2013, 07:40
i think I goofed up between C and D

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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2013, 01:16
this is a hard and nice question.

I got E rightly. but this question makes me think about the way, the process of solving this problem.

in this problem, the meaning relation between entities (between verb/verbal and subject or between verb and verb, between noun and its adjectival or between noun and adverbial ) is distorted in incorrect answer choices.

wheneve we see this type , ask ourself" what is the meaning relation between those entities?

for native that process happen automatically because they realize the illogic relation. for us, the non native, we need to ask a question which help us realize the problem, the logic relation.
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2013, 02:48
E is the correct one. I think this is a question where we have to pay more attention to the meaning compared to the other SC sentences.
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel   [#permalink] 04 Sep 2013, 02:48

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