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She was less successful after she had emigrated to New York OG16 SC127

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OG16 SC127
She was less successful after she had emigrated to New York compared to her native Germany, photographer Lotte Jacobi nevertheless earned a small group of discerning admirers, and her photographs were eventually exhibited in prestigious galleries across the United States.
A) She was less successful after she had emigrated to New York compared to
B) Being less successful after she had emigrated to New York as compared to
C) Less successful after she emigrated to New York than she had been in
D) Although she was less successful after emigrating to New York when compared to
E) She had been less successful after emigrating to New York than in

2 Answers

gmatclubforum
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It is better to use "than" if there is a comparative word in the sentence. Here, "less" is comparative, so we need to use "than".
Rules out A, B and D.
E: messes up the verb sequence. "Had been" (past perfect) is used for describing the older event from the two events in the past.
Understand the meaning of the sentence:
**************************************
Lotte Jacobi was quite famous in Germany.
Then she moved to New York.
And in New York, she became less famous.
*************************************
Older event: Her being more famous when she was in Germany.
Later event: Her being less famous when she moved to New York.
Had been- should be associated with the older event; i.e. her fame when she was in Germany.
E: uses had been with New York; it says after moving to New York, she had been less successful. Wrong.
C: corrects all these errors.
C) Less successful after she emigrated to New York than she had been in
It uses "than" and eliminates all confusing comparator phrases such "as compared to" etc.
Less successful after she moved to New York -- had been is NOT used here, which is good.
she had been in Germany- had been is used for the time when she was in Germany; also good.
Ans: "C"
answered Jun 5 by Beginner (21 points)
GMATwithCJ
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Solution

Sentence Analysis

As we read the sentence, we figure out that the sentence presents a comparison of the success one person achieved in two different time periods. It says that:

  • ?she? (some ?she? ? we don?t have an antecedent till now) was less successful after she had emigrated to New York than she had been in her native Germany.

As you can see, while presenting the comparison, I?ve changed a couple of things.

  1. ?compared to" to "than" ? When we have less, more, or other -er words (better, smaller etc), we need ?than?, instead of ?compared to? or other comparison structures, to follow these words.
  2. ?compared to her native Germany? to ?than she had been in her native Germany? ? As is, the original sentence seems to compare ?she? with ?her native Germany?. Clearly, not only the meaning is illogical but it also doesn?t seem to be the intended meaning.

Therefore, while explaining this part of the sentence, I?ve made the above two changes. It also means that these two are the errors that need to be corrected .

As we read further, we see that there?s another independent clause:

  • photographer Lotte Jacobi nevertheless earned a small group of discerning admirers

We have two independent clauses joined by a comma. This is the third error in the sentence .

In addition , since the first part of the sentence is an independent clause, it doesn?t make sense to use the pronoun ?she? in it and then introduce the antecedent in the second independent clause. If these two parts are to be presented as two independent clauses, then ideally, the noun should be used in the first independent clause and the pronoun in the second independent clause.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect . For the errors explained above.

(B) Incorrect . For the following reasons:

  1. Here, "being less successful" modifies "Lotte Jacobi". It seems that because (or when) Lotte Jacobi was ?less successful?, she earned a small group of admirers. Whether we consider it with "when" or "because", the meaning of the sentence is illogical. If you are wondering from where "when or because" cropped up, look at the below examples:
    1. Being the most qualified in the group, he was the obvious choice for leading the group.
      The above sentence means the same as "Because he was the most qualified, he was the obvious choice_"
    2. Standing on the stage, Tom announced his resignation.
      The above sentence means the same as "When standing on the stage, Tom announced his resignation."
  1. ?Less? followed by ?compared to?, instead of ?than? ? Same error as in the original sentence
  2. ?she? compared with Germany ? Same error as in the original sentence

(C) Correct . "Less successful_" works as an adjective, modifying "Lotte Jacobi". The sentence now means that Lotte Jacobi was less successful after she emigrated to New York than she had been in Germany. The sentence uses ?nevertheless? to present a contrasting information: she earned a small group of admirers. Also, the comparison has been corrected in this option.

(D) Incorrect . For the following reasons:

  1. ?Less? followed by ?compared to? ? Same error as in the original sentence
  2. ?she? compared to ?Germany? ? Same error as in the original sentence

Some people also believe that the use of ?although? and ?nevertheless? together in this sentence is wrong.

Although we generally don?t use two contrasting words in a sentence, ?nevertheless? may at times be used with other contrasting words to emphasize the contrast. For example:

"Volkswagen considers incident an individual case but nevertheless reported it" ? WSJ.com

Therefore, we cannot say, with surety, that the use of ?although? and ?nevertheless? together in a sentence is incorrect.

(E) Incorrect . For the following reasons:

  1. Incorrect use of past perfect tense ? The period "after emigrating to New York" is the latter period, and the period "(when she resided) in Germany" was the earlier period. We should use "simple past" for the latter period and "past perfect" for the earlier period. However, as is, the past perfect has been used for both the periods while there is no simple past in this structure. Therefore, it is an incorrect use of "past perfect".
  2. "She had been_ her native Germany" is an independent clause joined to another independent clause with just a comma. Therefore, this option has a punctuation error.

It is important to note here that this option doesn?t have a comparison error. For example: the below sentence is fine.

She looked more beautiful in the casual wear than in the formal wear.

In the above comparison, the part "she looked" is elided after "than", and this ellipsis is perfectly fine.

Now, if you have some patience left, I?d like to point out that the below sentence will still not be ?entirely? correct:

She was less successful after emigrating to New York than in her native Germany.

Why do I doubt the correctness of the above sentence?

Because the sentence without ellipsis is:

She was less successful after emigrating to New York than she was in her native Germany.

In this sentence, we?re talking about two different time periods, and the sentence would be much clearer in terms of time sequence if we use simple past and past perfect for the different time periods. As is, the sentence uses simple past for both the time periods.

Therefore, I would strongly prefer an option that uses a combination of past perfect and simple past in this sentence.

answered Jun 5 by Beginner (1 point)
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