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Although Alice Walker published a number of essays, poetry collections

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2016 GMAT Official Guide , Question 13
Although Alice Walker published a number of essays, poetry collections, and stories during the 1970s, her third novel, The Color Purple, which was published in 1982, brought her the widest acclaim in that it won both the National Book Award as well as the Pulitzer Prize .
(A) which was published in 1982, brought her the widest acclaim in that it won both the National Book Award as well as the Pulitzer Prize
(B) published in 1982, bringing her the widest acclaim by winning both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize
(C) published in 1982, brought her the widest acclaim, winning both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize
(D) was published in 1982 and which, winning both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, brought her the widest acclaim
(E) was published in 1982, winning both the National Book Award as well as the Pulitzer Prize, and bringing her the widest acclaim

2 Answers

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Solution

Sentence Analysis

  • Although Alice Walker published a number of essays, poetry collections, and stories during the 1970s, (Sub-ordinate clause presenting a contrast to the main clause. Subject ? "Alice Walker"; Verb ? "published")
  • her third novel, The Color Purple, (Main Subject ? "novel")
    • which was published in 1982, (Relative clause modifying the main subject)
  • brought her the widest acclaim (Main Verb ? "brought")
    • in that it won both ("in that" means "in a way that". It modifies "brought", saying how the novel brought her the widest acclaim)
      • the National Book Award (X in both X and Y)
      • as well as the Pulitzer Prize . (Y in both X and Y. "as well as" is incorrect.)

The sentence says:

Alice Walker published a number of works during the 1970s but it was her third novel, The Color Purple, that brought her the widest acclaim by winning both National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

The error in the sentence is that "both X as well as Y" is non-idiomatic. The correct idiom is "both X and Y".

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect . For the error mentioned above.

(B) Incorrect . There is no main verb in this sentence.

(C) Correct . The verb-ing modifier "winning" modifies the preceding clause by providing additional information about it i.e. how it brought her the widest acclaim.

(D) Incorrect . "which" is incorrect here since it begins a relative clause after ?and?. However, there is nothing parallel to it before ?and?.

(E) Incorrect . "Both X as well as Y" is non-idiomatic. Also, this option distorts the meaning since "winning the awards" and "bringing her acclaim" are presented as parallel information and not as one thing leading to the other.

answered Jun 10, 2017 by Beginner (1 point)
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Although Alice Walker published a number of essays, poetry collections, and stories during the 1970s, her third novel, The Color Purple, which was published in 1982, brought her the widest acclaim in that it won both the National Book Award as well as the Pulitzer Prize .
Meaning of the sentence : Although AW published a number of essays, poetry collections and stories. Her third novel, published in 1982, bought her widest acclaim. The claim made her win both the National Book and Pulitzer Prize
(A) which was published in 1982, brought her the widest acclaim in that it won both the National Book Award as well as the Pulitzer Prize
Three issues:
1) "which was" is redundant. The sentence can have "published in 1982" which can work as a modifier.
2) "in that it" -> we require a cause and effect relationship. "in that" provides a reason and this can work better with "Verbing or participle modifier" to show cause and effect
3) Both X AND Y -> is a idiom . "As well as" doesn't go with Both

(B) published in 1982, bringing her the widest acclaim by winning both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize
Two issues:
1) "Published" is a modifier and it is with comma pair, so cannot be a verb.
2) "bringing" is a participle modifier modifying "Color Purple" which is correct. But if published and bringing are both modifier then where is the verb?

(C) published in 1982, brought her the widest acclaim, winning both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize
Correct
(D) was published in 1982 and which, winning both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, brought her the widest acclaim
Here "was published" is a clause. We have a conjunction "and" so which should refer to "Color Purple". "winning" is a modifier which modifies "Color Purple". if we use this construction, the meaning changes and instead of cause and effect relationship, now "winning" is modifying the book.
(E) was published in 1982 , winning both the National Book Award as well as the Pulitzer Prize, and bringing her the widest acclaim
We have Clause + Comma + verbing modifier -> winning and bringing. So these two modifier should modify the previous clause which doesn't make any sense.
How can mere act of publishing can win her the prizes -> illogical meaning

answered Jun 10, 2017 by Beginner (21 points)
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