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The first trenches that were cut into a 500-acre site at Tell Hamoukar

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The first trenches that were cut into a 500-acre site at Tell Hamoukar, Syria, have yielded strong evidence for centrally administered complex societies in northern regions of the Middle East that were arising simultaneously with but independently of the more celebrated city-states of southern Mesopotamia, in what is now southern Iraq.


A.that were cut into a 500-acre site at Tell Hamoukar, Syria, have yielded strong evidence for centrally administered complex societies in northern regions of the Middle East that were arising simultaneously with but


B.that were cut into a 500-acre site at Tell Hamoukar, Syria, yields strong evidence that centrally administered complex societies in northern regions of the Middle East were arising simultaneously with but also


C.having been cut into a 500-acre site at Tell Hamoukar, Syria, have yielded strong evidence that centrally administered complex societies in northern regions of the Middle East were arising simultaneously but


D.cut into a 500-acre site at Tell Hamoukar, Syria, yields strong evidence of centrally administered complex societies in northern regions of the Middle East arising simultaneously but also


E.cut into a 500-acre site at Tell Hamoukar, Syria, have yielded strong evidence that centrally administered complex societies in northern regions of the Middle East arose simultaneously with but

Official Answer

3 Answers

MagooshGMAT
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?

answered Jun 3, 2017 by Beginner (1 point)
GMATwithCJ
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Solution

Sentence Analysis

It is a long sentence, and thus breaking down the structure will greatly help in understanding the meaning of the sentence:

  • The first trenches (Main Subject)
    • that were cut into a 500-acre site at Tell Hamoukar, Syria, (Modifier for "trenches". Which trenches? That were cut into a 500-acre site)
  • have yielded strong evidence (Main verb ? ?have yielded?)
    • for centrally administered complex societies in northern regions of the Middle East (modifies ?evidence?. Evidence for what? This part answers the question)
      • that were arising (Logically, ?that? refers to ?societies?. So, this part provides additional info about societies)
        • simultaneously with (This and the below bullet are forming a parallel structure. "arising simultaneously with the city-states" and "arising independently of the city-states")
        • but independently of
          • the more celebrated city-states of southern Mesopotamia, in what is now southern Iraq.

The sentence essentially says that the given trenches have yielded strong evidence for some societies in some region. The sentence also provides additional information about these societies using a relative clause. These societies arose simultaneously with but independently of some city-states.

The subtle but a bit illogical thing about the sentence is that it says that somethings have provided evidence for the existence of some societies but the sentence provides additional information about the societies as if we already had this information about the societies. By changing the meaning of the original sentence, option E makes the meaning more logical.

Another problem with the original sentence is the use of progressive tense "were arising". We should use progressive tense only to talk about continuous events happening in a moment of time. We shouldn?t use progressive tense to present general facts or information.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect . For the problems mentioned above.

(B) Incorrect . For the following reasons:

  1. Singular verb "yields" with plural subject "trenches"
  2. Incorrect use of progressive tense as highlighted in the original sentence.
  3. Use of "but also" is incorrect. Since logically we need a contrast here, we need ?but?.

(C) Incorrect . For the following reasons:

  1. "having been cut" is incorrect. "Having verb-ed" is used to present an earlier action to some other action. However, clearly, there is no sequence of actions here.
  2. Incorrect use of progressive tense as highlighted in the original sentence.
  3. We need "with" after ?simultaneously? since we say ?simultaneously with? and not ?simultaneously of?.

(D) Incorrect . Please understand here that ?cut? is working as a verb-ed modifier, and its use is correct here. Rather, ?cut? is a more concise way of saying ?that were cut?, just as ?known? is a more concise way of saying ?that were known?. This option is incorrect for the following reasons:

  1. Singular verb "yields" with plural subject "trenches"
  2. The subtle meaning problem of the original sentence
  3. We need "with" after ?simultaneously? since we say ?simultaneously with? and not ?simultaneously of?.
  4. Use of "but also" is incorrect. Since logically we need a contrast here, we need ?but?.

(E) Correct . Both the problems of the original sentence have been corrected in this option. This option says that the trenches have yielded evidence that some societies arose simultaneously with but independently of some city-states. This meaning seems more logical than the meaning communicated by the original choice. So, we can see that the correct choice may alter the meaning of the original sentence if the new meaning is more logical than the previous one.

answered Jun 3, 2017 by Beginner (1 point)
gmatclubforum
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The first trenches that were cut into a 500-acre site at Tell Hamoukar, Syria, have yielded strong evidence for centrally administered complex societies in northern regions of the Middle East that were arising simultaneously with but independently of the more celebrated city-states of southern Mesopotamia, in what is now southern Iraq.
A. that were cut into a 500-acre site at Tell Hamoukar, Syria, have yielded strong evidence for centrally administered complex societies in northern regions of the Middle East that were arising simultaneously with but
(A) is incorrect because of two reasons, "evidence for" is incorrect and "that" in the relative clause "that were arising simultaneously.." may either refer to "northern regions" or "centrally administered societies". The correct answer choice (E) express this clearly and concisely.
"The trenches cut into a 500-acre" is not implying that the "The trenches" cut themselves.
For example.
The apple cut into four pieces is being loved by all.
Actually the sentence is saying "The apple that was cut into four pieces is being loved by all"
We can drop the "that was" part without changing the meaning of the sentence.
consider one more example: Both the sentences convey the same thing; however, the first one will be better because of concision.
The movies produced by Steven Spielberg are unique in their cinematographic techniques.
The movies that are produced by Steven Spielberg are unique in their cinematographic techniques.

 

answered Jun 3, 2017 by Beginner (21 points)
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