Beat The GMAT Verbal Challenge Question – September 30, 2010

by on September 30th, 2010

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Here is this week’s verbal challenge involving Sentence Correction:

The secretary of war expressed the conclusion, on which there was general agreement, that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that we could not concentrate on a civilian area, but that we should seek to make a profound psychological impression on as many of the inhabitants as possible.

a)  on which there was general agreement, that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that we could not concentrate on a civilian area, but

b)  to which there was general agreement, that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that we could not concentrate on a civilian area, but

c)  which the agreement on was general, that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that we could not concentrate on a civilian area, but

d)  on which there was general agreement, that the Japanese could not receive any warning, that civilian areas could not be concentrated on, and

e)  and there was general agreement to it, that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that civilian areas could not be concentrated on, and

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66 comments

  • Answer : D

  • Hi,

    The correct answer to this question is option A.

    As this question is using "not", so the correct answer choice should use "but" to correctly use the "not-but" pair. So this eliminates the options D and E.

    Out of A,B,C "conclusion on which" is the correct usage and sounds right to the ear. So this eliminates B and C.

    So the answer is A.

    I hope I will be lucky to win the prize this time.. :) :)

  • (D)

  • Answer: D

    Reasons:

    a) on which there was general agreement, that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that we could not concentrate on a civilian area, but

    no referent for 'we' and 'but' does not seem to connect the parallel statements.

    b) to which there was general agreement, that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that we could not concentrate on a civilian area, but

    no referent for 'we' and 'but' does not seem to connect the parallel statements.

    c) which the agreement on was general, that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that we could not concentrate on a civilian area, but

    no referent for 'we' and 'but' does not seem to connect the parallel statements. Also the modifier 'which....' sounds awkward and changes meaning.

    d) on which there was general agreement, that the Japanese could not receive any warning, that civilian areas could not be concentrated on, and

    correct

    e) and there was general agreement to it, that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that civilian areas could not be concentrated on, and

    no referent for 'we'

    • As you mentioned that there is no referent for "we", but in the non-underlined part of the sentence "we" is used and the non-underlined part of the sentence is always correct. So the usage of "we" is correct.

      And moreover, "we" is required to maintain the parallelism,

      that we could not X, that we could not Y, but that we should Z.

    • yeah... u r right... did it in a hurry... saw the error as soon as u mentioned it... thanks.. :)

    • I thought the same way. Shud be D

  • The answers is A.

    A) Correct
    B) 'to which' there was general agreement - The conclusion on which there was general agreement seems more correct. Instead of 'to which we should be using 'on which'
    C) which the agreement on was general, -- Is wrong
    D) - It is not parallel, it should be ( that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that we could not concentrate on a civilian area, but that we should)
    E) and there was general agreement to it -- 'it' doesnot have proper noun identifier.

    Also Use of 'and' instead of 'but' in D & E changes the meaning of sentence.
    i) We could not concentrate on civilian areas but we should create a huge psychological impression on the inhabitants.
    ii) We could not concentrate on civilian areas and we should create a huge psychological impression on the inhabitants.

  • Sentence in answer A is same as the sentence in the question. Am I right or am I not reading wrongly? If I am right, then by elimination answer A is not correct.

    • Sorry for typing mistake....
      It should be like this, I added a 'not' in my previous post....

      Sentence in answer A is same as the sentence in the question. Am I right or am I reading wrongly? If I am right, then by elimination answer A is not correct.

    • The first option in the GMAT SC question is always the same as the underlined part of the sentence. So you are not reading it wrongly.

  • B

  • When I first looked at this problem, my instinct was that 'agree to' was correct. I researched the difference between 'agree to' vs. 'agree on' and found that 'agree to' is used when you give consent or accede to something. 'Agree on' is when you reach a conclusion together with someone else - more of a consensus process.

    Because it is the secretary of war who reached the conclusion, it seems to me that the other party is acceding or consenting to the conclusion. Therefore the answer is B.

  • Thanks Sunil. Which also means that I can't use my elimination logic. Thanks once again for clarifying and I am new to GMAT so please excuse me for stupid mistakes like this.

  • The answer should be D
    There is no antecedent for pronoun 'we' in other options

  • Only A makes sense here

    The secretary of war expressed the conclusion, on which there was general agreement, that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that we could not concentrate on a civilian area, but that we should seek to make a profound psychological impression on as many of the inhabitants as possible.

    a) on which there was general agreement, that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that we could not concentrate on a civilian area, but

    b) to which there was general agreement, that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that we could not concentrate on a civilian area, but - 'to which' is not good here. Since we are talking about the agreement and we need an agreement 'on' the conclusion and not 'to' the conclusion.

    c) which the agreement on was general, that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that we could not concentrate on a civilian area, but - 'which' modifies conclusion. This is really very awkward sentence.

    d) on which there was general agreement, that the Japanese could not receive any warning, that civilian areas could not be concentrated on, and - This is not clear sentence. Japanese could not receive any warning from whom? In compare to A, this sentence is very confusing.

    e) and there was general agreement to it, that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that civilian areas could not be concentrated on, and - This is passive. Not clear, who is going to be a subject of this sentence?

  • The correct answer is B

    We have to use But since this sentence is giving a conclusion which we have to differentiate with earlier two clauses and this can be done only with BUT.

    Also here on which is not correct idiom however to which is correct.

  • IMO A
    Poorest C
    then B out....to which
    then E out
    Then A and D left
    Problems with D
    i think form is
    we should not give warning that we couldnot to do x but we are bound to do Y..
    it is parallely (that we...) with clear meaning expressed in A more over in D .......'that the Japanese could not receive any warning'
    It discuss about japanes's capability rather than not letting japanese know...
    so i think A

  • A

  • It should be A..But is required in the last part of the question.Also it is parallel to other.B was wrong as it says To Which..I believe AND is not the right word that comes between two previous reasoning.

    • Congrats Adi, you've been selected as this week's winner for the BTG Verbal Challenge Question. As your prize, you'll receive premium access to Beat The GMAT Practice Questions. Look out for our e-mail follow up shortly.

  • Three elements needs to be parallel - as 'we' is there in non-underlined part, we need to have 'we' in underlined part also. Drop D & E

    Agreement on - is correct idiom - Drop B

    C - which the agreement on was general - changes the meaning. Drop

    Pick A

  • Answer is D

  • IMO the answer is B
    since we use "agree to" and not "agree on"

  • well, according to me the answer is 'B'
    There 2 errors in the sentence 1. Idiom agree on/to 2. parallelism
    A. wrong - because the word 'on' after the first comma is for agree and 'agree on' is a wrong idiom

    B. Correct ... idiom "agree to" is correct when referring to plan or action and also maintains parallelism.

    C. Wrong .... lack of idiomatic use

    D. wrong... because of faulty idiomatic use and also does not maintain parallelism.

    E. Wrong ...same as D

  • The answer is B.

  • I believe the answer is B. Two reasons. One gives "agreement to" instead of conveying "agreement on" and the pronoun we must be repeated in each comma-separated statement to maintain consistent reference throughout the passage.

  • d

  • I'm not sure, but I think it's A.

  • IMO B

  • A for me for reasons mentioned above

  • Ans. A

    idiom -agreement on conclusion(noun)
    not ... but

    parallelism - we could ...we could... we should
    active voice

  • answer is a

  • Q.The secretary of war expressed the conclusion, *on which there was general agreement, that we could not give the Japanese any warning, that we could not concentrate on a civilian area, but *that we should seek to make a profound psychological impression on as many of the inhabitants as possible.

    Answer:A
    on which and parallelism "we" in the not underlined part.

  • IMO A. "But" is the conjunction that rightly introduces the contrats and still maintains the parallelism.
    The Sentences tries to introduce a contrast which should be supported by "but and not "and".

    In D, passive voice is used which is less"preferable" than active voice construction. D has bad parallelism.

    In E, " it " doesn't have logical reference. No Contrast is introduced.
    Bad parallelism. Passive voice construction.

    In C, "that refers to general but it is supposed to refer "agreement". SO that makes the error.

    In B, it calls for a "preposition placement error". "On" should be used rather than " to". SO reject B

    Pick A

  • Is this SC sentence referring to the decision of bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Not concentrate on a civilian area???

    I think this SC is politically completely incorrect and therefore should be boycotted!

  • hey buddies , what about There ?! . in A,b,d,e, there is "THERE" that doesnt refer to any thing Special , isnt it?

  • IMO A.

    • Option (A) is the correct choice.

      Lets start with the most visible signpost - 'agreement'.
      We need to consider the idiomatic usage of 'agreement'.
      AGREE THAT and AGREEMENT ... ON are correct.
      AGREEMENT TO is incorrect.

      This helps eliminate choices (B) and (E)

      Choice (C) has the pronoun which.
      The antecedent for 'which' is conclusion.
      'which the agreement on was general' is deeply flawed.
      Poor construction of setence as we need a preposition after conclusion and before which. Eliminate (C)

      Choice (D) uses passive voice which is commonly used for reported speech. However, "we" - the noun is used in non-underlined portion ... "we should seek to make". To maintain parallelism with this part, the underlined portion should adopt Active Voice as in Choice (A).
      Thus (D) get eliminated and we are left with (A) - the correct option.

  • IMO C

  • What about THERE ?! ... IT really confuses me , where does it really point out ?!

    IMO C as well

    • there refers to an general agreement.....

    • cut off "an" was a mistake...
      there refers to "general agreement"

    • dont you think that THERE should refer to a physical place?

  • Ans: A
    Parallelism - "...that we..."

  • Ans : A

  • IMO - D

    ... conclusion, that...., that...... , and that
    Even it looks awkward, this choice maintains parallelism

  • B is correct acc to me...
    Here to seems to be more correct than on as well as "but" creates a contrast which is required for the last clause.....

    SO B

  • IMO B is the answer
    "to which" is rightly used here and the underlined sentence has an active voice that matches with the rest of the sentence.
    So B is the answer

    A The use of "on which" - is not right
    C awkward construction
    D on which - not right and passive voice is used.
    E and there was .... not right. Also first half of the underlined portion uses active voice and second half passive voice.

  • I'll take B.

    "To which", not "on which", is an appropriate idiom.

  • The correct answer is A

  • I think it's A

  • Answer A.

  • Answer: B
    Choice comes between A and B. B should be right.
    I think 'agree to' is the right form. 'Agree on' means a consensus.

  • I think the answer is A

  • deciding between A and D, I go for A

  • Answer A

  • the answer should be D.

  • IMO D: but that is wrong I beleive. And that simply removes A, B and C.

    In E, " and there was general agreement to it should be a non essential modifier" but by making it essential, it dostors sentence structure..

  • IMO: A

    It should start with "on". So this leaves us with A and D. In D, parallel structures are in passive voice but non-underlined statement is in active voice, so option D doesn't achieve logical parallelism.

  • i think logically E suites better than A, B or D
    thx

  • OMG the answer is absolutely A!

  • The answer is A.

    If one party makes a proposal which is accepted by another party, the second party 'agrees to' the proposal. On the other hand, if both parties are equally involved in a negotiation process and they finally reach a consensus they 'agree on' something. Based on this, there is nothing wrong in the underlined portion of the question :)

  • it is A

    D and E are eliminated .. they do not follow the general not.. but construction and reflect change in the meaning.

    B eliminated - to which there was an agreement - awkward
    C eliminated - worst choice (awkward)

  • The Answer IMO is A.

  • Thanks Eric..

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