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Architects and stonemasons

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Architects and stonemasons

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Architects and stonemasons, huge palace and temple clusters were built by the Maya without benefit of the wheel or animal transport.


(A) huge palace and temple clusters were built by the Maya without benefit of the wheel or animal transport
(B) without the benefits of animal transport or the wheel, huge palace and temple clusters were built by the Maya
(C) the Maya built huge palace and temple clusters without the benefit of animal transport or the wheel
(D) there were built, without the benefit of the wheel or animal transport, huge palace and temple clusters by the Maya
(E) were the Maya who, without the benefit of the wheel or animal transport, built huge palace and temple clusters

The OA is C and I agree with that.
I was wondering if I were to make E as a right answer,
Would it be correct if I rewrote E as (minimal changes)
Architects and stonemasons were the Maya who, without the benefit of the wheel or animal transport, built huge palace and temple clusters.

Please let me know if the above is correct?

Thanks
Kartik

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This is the correct sentence.

Architects and stonemasons, the Maya built huge palace and temple clusters without the benefit of animal transport or the wheel.

This is your sentence.

Architects and stonemasons were the Maya who, without the benefit of the wheel or animal transport, built huge palace and temple clusters.

If you notice, the phrase "Architects and stonemasons" acts as a modifier in the original sentence but in your sentence you have made it the subject. In the original sentence, the subject is The Maya. So both sentences do not have the same meaning.

To me your sentence sounds like - There were lot of different groups within the Maya. All architects and stonemasons were one such group in the Maya population and they build huge palace and temple clusters. Not the whole Maya population.

But the intended meaning is - The Maya population had the talent of architects and stonemasons and they (the population as a whole) built huge palace and temple clusters without the benefit of animal transport or the wheel.

Hope that helps..

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thanks hardik .. the explanation helps.

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Hello Kartik!

This is a great question! To add to Hardik's explanation, here is what I would suggest you could do to make your proposed sentence even better:

Your version:
Architects and stonemasons were the Maya who, without the benefit of the wheel or animal transport, built huge palace and temple clusters.

As Hardik pointed out, the problem with this sentence is that you've changed the subject from the Maya to architects and stonemasons. This is a problem because you're saying that all architects and stonemasons in the area were Mayans, which we can't say for sure is true - there were probably other groups who had architects and stonemasons too.

Here's a slight variation of your sentence:
The Maya were architects and stonemasons who, without the benefit of the wheel or animal transport, build huge palace and temple clusters.

By switching around the beginning, the subject now is "The Maya," which is more accurate. This sentence is clearly saying that Mayans in general were known for being architects and stonemasons, and that they were the ones who built the palace and temple clusters.

You were totally on the right track, though! Clearly, option C is the best answer, but it's great that you're thinking about how to fix the incorrect options, too. It's great practice for when you have to revise and edit your own writing in the future!

I hope this helps!


Don't study for the GMAT. Train for it.

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Only a noun can follow the modifier “Architects and stonemasons”. Hence, A, B, and D can be eliminated.
E is wordy and awkward.
C is the best choice.

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