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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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Updated on: 18 Jan 2019, 02:14
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35% (medium)

Question Stats:

64% (01:22) correct 36% (01:33) wrong based on 578 sessions

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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

Originally posted by tradinggenius on 03 Mar 2011, 23:39.
Last edited by Bunuel on 18 Jan 2019, 02:14, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel  [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2014, 01:25
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3
You have a point that if we have a possessive noun, it can't serve as the antecedent for a regular pronoun. However, it *can* be the antecedent for a possessive pronoun.

Correct: Derek's sister ate his sandwich.

Incorrect: Derek's sister gave him a sandwich.

Obviously, in real life we would understand and accept either of these. However, the second falls prey to "possessive poison," in which we're trying to use a possessive as the antecedent for a non-possessive pronoun.
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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, 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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With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel  [#permalink]

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31 May 2011, 14:34
It's typically most efficient to look for splits, but the fact that there is not an obvious split at the beginning of the sentence is a clue that we may be dealing with a MODIFIER issue.

(A) The prepositional phrase "with her archaeologist husband" incorrectly modifies "TRAVELS INSPIRED" (and implies that the HUSBAND and the TRAVELS were the source of inspiration, rather than the travels that she took with her husband). Eliminate.

(B) Unlike in choice A, there is no dangling modifier at the beginning here, but meaning-wise this choice is a little wonky. She USED her travels to inspire? Eliminate.

(C) The initial modifier is correct here, but notice that little pronoun "their" midway through the sentence. "Agatha Christie and her husband" has not appeared as a compound subject (even though we know that's what the sentence writer probably *means*, we can only treat what is actually present). Eliminate.

(D) Slightly sneakier version of choice C here. Even though "together with" lets us know that the sentence writer probably means "Agatha and her husband," the only word that would give us a compound subject is "AND." Without that conjunction, the pronoun "their" is still incorrect. Eliminate.

(E) No dangling or misplaced modifiers here. The travels themselves have become the subject, and the possessive pronoun "her" correctly refers back to the possessive antecedent "Agatha Christie's." This is our answer!
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel  [#permalink]

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31 May 2011, 14:45
parker wrote:
For the original poster, what's the "fundamental belief" to which you referred?

It's typically most efficient to look for splits, but the fact that there is not an obvious split at the beginning of the sentence is a clue that we may be dealing with a MODIFIER issue.

(A) The prepositional phrase "with her archaeologist husband" incorrectly modifies "TRAVELS INSPIRED" (and implies that the HUSBAND and the TRAVELS were the source of inspiration, rather than the travels that she took with her husband). Eliminate.

(B) Unlike in choice A, there is no dangling modifier at the beginning here, but meaning-wise this choice is a little wonky. She USED her travels to inspire? Eliminate.

(C) The initial modifier is correct here, but notice that little pronoun "their" midway through the sentence. "Agatha Christie and her husband" has not appeared as a compound subject (even though we know that's what the sentence writer probably *means*, we can only treat what is actually present). Eliminate.

(D) Slightly sneakier version of choice C here. Even though "together with" lets us know that the sentence writer probably means "Agatha and her husband," the only word that would give us a compound subject is "AND." Without that conjunction, the pronoun "their" is still incorrect. Eliminate.

(E) No dangling or misplaced modifiers here. The travels themselves have become the subject, and the possessive pronoun "her" correctly refers back to the possessive antecedent "Agatha Christie's." This is our answer!

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

I am not seeing any antecedent for pronoun "her". "Agatha Christie's" is not a noun. Thus "her" doesn't have a proper antecedent.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Ok; I got it!!!

"Her" and not "she" is used and thus it's correct.
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel  [#permalink]

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31 May 2011, 14:55
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Hey Fluke,

"Agatha Christie" definitely does not appear as an antecedent, however, "her" is the possessive form (which stands in for the phrase "Agatha Christie's) and CAN take the possessive phrase "Agatha Christie's" as an antecendent.

What has traditionally NOT be considered ok is a subject case pronoun ("she") referring back to a possessive antecedent "Agatha Christie's husband thinks SHE should eat the pie" has in the past been considered INCORRECT, because "she" is a subject case pronoun that has no subject case antecedent. This has been referred to as "possessive poison" in years past. That grammatical violation shows up in the explanation to several OG questions, but the rule itself hasn't ever been the only reason to eliminate an answer, so it's not something to put high on your priority-stress list.
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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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30 Jul 2014, 11:43
This is tough as a question but because it underlines a lot on the concept of her NON possessive pronoun to stand for a possessive noun.

In my humble opinion , this is not the way GMAC conceive a sentence or at least not the latter gmat exam.

Here the doubt is between A and E but it seems that in A husband goes side by side with travels. The initial modifier is WRONG

Moreover, the original A portion is this one

A) Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her to write several mystery novels

NOT this

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

Whenever you post a question check it out and see if something goes wrong or you have different versions of the same, the source if it is reliable and so forth........

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

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09 Aug 2014, 21:44
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Gnpth wrote:
NEW PROJECT!: Renew Old Thread => Back to basic => Give your explanation- Get Kudos Point

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.

If we delve into the meaning of each option..this one is pretty obvious
The intended meaning is X's Travel with her husband inspired several of her mystery novels

a) With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novels by Agatha Christie-Husband and travels inspired her - Nope..travels with her husband inspired her
b) Agatha Christie used her travels with her archaeologist husband to inspire several mystery novels She did not use her travels
c) Because her husband was an archaeologist, Agatha Christie was able to use their travels as inspiration for several of her mystery novels Not that because her husband was an arch that she was able to do this
d) Together with her archaeologist husband, Agatha Christie was inspired to incorporate their travel into several of her mystery novels Husband and agatha both were inspired..this is incorrect..it was ply Agatha who was inspired
e) Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband served as inspiration for several of her mystery novels
Perfect
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel  [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2014, 07:44
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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.

This sentence has two clauses separated by a semicolon.
Modifier With her...husband is modifying travel instead of Agatha- Wrong

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 - she used her travel to- wrong meaning
c) Because her husband was an archaeologist, Agatha Christie was able to use their travels as inspiration for several of her mystery novels - Reason for her act was not that her Hubby was archeo..
d) Together with her archaeologist husband, Agatha Christie was inspired to incorporate their travel into several of her mystery novels - Agatha inspired, not her husband. Use of their is wrong.
e) 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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13 Oct 2016, 03:24
Meaning led me to E.

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

It served as an inspiration to her mystery novels and not just mystery novels - as in B - to inspire several mystery novels

Also, her husband was her companion. His profession had no role in her novels. - as in C Because her husband was an archaeologist
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel  [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2017, 17:23
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

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

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

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

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

E is the correct answer because the rest of the sentences are wrongly structured and gives wrong intended meaning.
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Re: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel  [#permalink]

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21 Nov 2018, 08:58
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: With her archaeologist husband, travels inspired several mystery novel   [#permalink] 21 Nov 2018, 08:58
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