A ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church

Question

A ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church as indicated in its eastward orientation and by its overall plan, as well as artifacts, such as glass-oil lamp fragments, found at the site

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

Meaning Analysis

  • A ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church
  • as indicated
  • in its eastward orientation
  • and by its overall plan,
  • as well as artifacts, such as glass-oil lamp fragments, found at the site

The sentence talks about a ruined structure that was found at Aqaba, Jorden. The sentence says that it was probably a church. How can we say so? Three things indicate the same:

  1. its eastward orientation
  2. its overall plan
  3. artifacts found at the site

Error Analysis

There are two errors in the sentence:

  1. “in” is incorrect preposition here. It was not indicated inside its orientation. It should be “indicated by its eastward orientation”.
  2. Since “by” is repeated after “and”, it needs to be repeated after “as well as” too for parallelism. We need to have “as well as by the artifacts..”

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the reasons discussed above.

(B) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. “once probably being a church” is acting as a non-essential (enclosed within double comma) modifier in this sentence. The sentence seems to mean that the ruined structure was indicated by its eastward orientation, a meaning which doesn’t make sense.
  2. In this option, “by its” is common to the elements in the list. Therefore, it means “artifacts” also belonged to the structure. However, it is not the original or even logical meaning.

(C) Incorrect. This sentence is actually in the inverted structure. Let’s first convert it into its normal structure (including the non-underlined part):

Its eastward orientation and overall plan, but also the artifacts, such as glass-oil lamp fragments, found at the site were indicating that a ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church.

The sentence has the following errors:

  1. Without “not only”, “but also” is incorrectly used in this sentence.
  2. The use of “past continuous” is unwarranted and incorrect. The use of past continuous requires us to specify a moment in the past when the event was happening. However, this sentence doesn’t specify any such moment in time.

(D) Incorrect. For the following reason.

“indicates” is a singular verb whereas the subject “its eastward orientation and overall plan, as well as the artifacts” is plural.

(E) Correct. We have a noun clause in this option acting as the subject of the sentence. The subject is the noun clause: “That a ruined structure found at Aqaba, Jordan, was probably a church”. This entire idea is indicated by the three things mentioned in the sentence. The option maintains parallelism in both the lists in the sentence. The first list is “eastward orientation and overall plan”. Clearly, both elements are parallel. The other list is of “by its eastward orientation and overall plan” and “by the artifacts”.

About Chiranjeev Singh

An Alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and with a score of 780 (2017) and 770 (2013) on GMAT and 99.98%ile on CAT, Chiranjeev is one of the most qualified GMAT tutors in India. Chiranjeev has earlier served as Director of Curriculum at e-GMAT. Chiranjeev has been helping students ace GMAT since 2012. He follows a concept-based methodology to teaching GMAT and is very committed to student success. You may contact him for any private GMAT tutoring needs at +91 9971 0010 67 or CJ@GMATwithCJ.com. He conducts online sessions for students across the world.

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