Question

Many of the earliest known images of Hindu deities in India date from the time of the Kushan empire, fashioned either from the spotted sandstone of Mathura or Gandharan grey schist.

Option A
Option B
Option C
Option D
Option E

(This question is from Official Guide. Therefore, because of copyrights, the complete question cannot be copied here. The question can be accessed at GMAT Club)

Solution

Sentence Analysis

The sentence presents two sets of information about many of the earliest known images of Hindu deities in India. These images:

  • date from the time of the Kushan empire
  • and were fashioned from
    • spotted sandstone of Mathura
    • or Gandharan grey schist

However, we see, in the given sentence, that “fashioned” is working as a verb-ed modifier, and that it is illogically modifying the closest noun “Kushan empire”.

The second error in the sentence is the lack of parallelism in “either…or” structure. The two elements in the structure: “from the spotted sandstone” and “Gandharan grey schist” are not parallel. One is a prepositional phrase while other is a noun.

Thus, the original sentence has two errors.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the errors mentioned above.

(B) Incorrect. Both the errors of the original sentence have been repeated in this option. 

(C) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Lack of parallelism in “either…or” structure: “fashioned…” is a verb-ed modifier while “Gandharan grey schist” is a noun.
  2. “fashioned” seems to modify Kushan empire, thus leading to an illogical meaning.

(D) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Lack of parallelism in “either… or” structure. “fashioned…” is a verb-ed modifier while “from…” is a prepositional phrase.
  2. “fashioned” alone cannot act as a verb since “images” didn’t perform the action of “fashioning” something; images were fashioned by someone. Therefore, we need “were fashioned”. As is, “fashioned” acts as modifier, and thus, the use of “and” is incorrect since there is no modifier before “and”.

(E) Correct. This option corrects both the errors in the original sentence without introducing any new error.

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