Written in ink or engraved by stylus

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Written in ink or engraved by stylus

by april24 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:05 am
Written in ink or engraved by stylus, more than 2,000 letters and documents on wooden tablets excavated at the site of the old roman fort at vindolanda in northern England are yielding a historical account of the military garrison in the first and second centuries that are so vivid in their details about personal life as they are from Pompeii

A. are so vivid in their details about personal life as they are
B. are as vivid in their details of personal life as those gathered
C. is as vivid in their detail about personal life as that gathered
D. is as vivid in its details of personal life as that gathered
E. is so vivid in its details of personal life as is that

I am confused in options C and D. In options C and D what do 'their' and 'its' refer to? I have read in some places it refers to historical account. But shouldn't it be referring to a possessive noun since these both are possessive pronouns?

Also, are 'details about' and 'details of' both correct?

Thanks.

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by [email protected] » Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:19 am
april24 wrote:I am confused in options C and D. In options C and D what do 'their' and 'its' refer to? I have read in some places it refers to historical account. But shouldn't it be referring to a possessive noun since these both are possessive pronouns?
In option C, given the meaning, their seems to refer to historical account, but obviously the singular account should be referred to by a singular pronoun. This answer choice includes a trick often used in GMAT SC questions. Obscuring the relationship between the singular noun and the pronoun that refers to it is a plural noun, centuries, which appears between account and its.

In option D, its correctly refers to account. There is no reason for account to be in the possessive form, and there is no rule or convention involving pairing possessive form nouns with possessive pronouns.

Check out these examples.

I saw John and his sister.

The squirrel ran away, with a nut in its mouth.
Also, are 'details about' and 'details of' both correct?
Details about is not correct. They are not details about personal life; they are details of personal life.
Marty Murray
Chief Curriculum and Content Architect
[email protected]

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by april24 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:26 am
Thanks for clearing my doubts Marty!

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by saswata4s » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:34 am
Hi experts, though I answered this one correctly, I am really confused with this question. Can anyone please help me understand the below points:
1. What does the THAT clause modify here?
2. if THAT modifies HISTORICAL ACCOUNT -
historical account of the military garrison in the first and second centuries that
Can THAT modify a noun so far away?
3. historical account as vivid as.... that[historical account ] gathered from Pompeii - Does the blue part convey a sensible meaning? Or am I making some mistake to understand the meaning here?

With regards,
Saswata.

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by ceilidh.erickson » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:07 am
saswata4s wrote:Hi experts, though I answered this one correctly, I am really confused with this question. Can anyone please help me understand the below points:
1. What does the THAT clause modify here?
2. if THAT modifies HISTORICAL ACCOUNT -
historical account of the military garrison in the first and second centuries that
Can THAT modify a noun so far away?
Generally speaking, we want a noun modifier to be placed as close to the noun as possible. In this case, though, there are 2 ESSENTIAL modifiers of "historical account":
- of the military garrison (in the first and second centuries)
- that is as vivid...

We wouldn't want to stack two non-essential modifiers in a row, but we are allowed to stack essential modifiers. Dependent clauses often "hop" over a prepositional phrase to modify the noun before. Here are some examples:
https://www.beatthegmat.com/og13-q70-the ... tml#782099
https://www.beatthegmat.com/marconia-s-c ... tml#774776
https://www.beatthegmat.com/og13-q47-in- ... tml#791448
https://www.beatthegmat.com/question-in- ... tml#767098

You can think of it this way: "a historical account of the military garrison" is a NOUN PHRASE. That's the entire entity that we're trying to modify with the dependent clause "that is as vivid..." In that sense, "that" isn't actually far away from what it's modifying.

3. historical account as vivid as.... that[historical account ] gathered from Pompeii - Does the blue part convey a sensible meaning? Or am I making some mistake to understand the meaning here?
Yes, that is the meaning conveyed. One historical account from one place is as vivid as the historical account gathered from another place.
Ceilidh Erickson
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education

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by saswata4s » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:12 am
Thanks Ceilidh. Its very much clear now. :)