Question

While Noble Sissle may be best known for his collaboration with Eubie Blake, as both a vaudeville performer and as a lyricist for songs and Broadway musicals, also enjoying an independent career as a singer with such groups as Hahn’s Jubilee Singers.

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

  • While Noble Sissle may be best known for his collaboration with Eubie Blake, (Dependent clause. Subject – “Noble Sissle”; Verb – “may be known”)
    • as (modifies “collaboration)
      • both a vaudeville performer
      • and as a lyricist for songs and Broadway musicals,
    • also enjoying an independent career as a singer with such groups as Hahn’s Jubilee Singers. (Verb-ing modifier modifying the preceding dependent clause)

The sentence seems to present a contrast using “while”. The contrast is between the following two facts:

  1. Noble Sissle is best known for his collaboration with Eubie Blake
  2. He had an independent career as a singer

The sentence has the following errors:

  1. As is, the sentence doesn’t have a main clause, and “enjoying” is acting as a clause modifier for the “while” clause even though the information in the “enjoying” phrase seems to present a contrast to the clause.
  2. Lack of parallelism: In the structure “both X and Y”, X and Y need to be parallel elements. However, “a vaudeville performer” and “as a lyricist” are not parallel. Either both need to have at the beginning “as” or both need to be without “as”.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the reasons mentioned above.

(B) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Error no. 1 of the original sentence
  2. Lack of parallelism: “a vaudeville performer” and “writing lyrics” are not parallel

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

(D) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. “Both X as well as Y” is non-idiomatic.
  2. Error no. 2 of option B

(E) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. “Both X as well as Y” is non-idiomatic.
  2. The use of past perfect “had enjoyed” is incorrect since there is no event in the simple past tense with which this information needs to be sequenced.

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