In ancient Thailand, much of the local artisans' creative energy was expended for the creation of Buddha images and when they constructed and decorated the temples that enshrined them.
(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)
The sentence talks about where the energy of the local artisans in ancient Thailand was spent. Much of the energy was spent on the creation of Buddha images and on the creation and decoration of the temples that housed these images.
The given sentence has the following errors:
- “expended on” (or at times, ‘expended in’) is the correct idiom to express where the energy was spent. “expended for” is incorrect here.
- The sentence contains two parallel ideas — on which the creative energy was expended. The two ideas are not in a grammatically parallel structure (“for the creation…” and “when they constructed”)
(A) Incorrect. For the reasons described above.
(B) Correct. Both the errors of the original sentence have been corrected. “on the creation” and “on construction and decoration” are parallel.
(C) Incorrect. “on the creation” and “constructing” are not parallel. Even “constructing” and “decoration” are not parallel to each other.
(D) Incorrect. There is no verb for the gerund phrase “constructing and decorating the temples…”.
(E) Incorrect. For the following reasons:
- As is, the only structures parallel to “construction and decoration” are “local artisan’s creative energy” and “much of the local artisan’s creative energy”. In both of these parallel structures, the sentence produces an illogical meaning. For example: if we take “construction and decoration” to be parallel to “much of local artisan’s creative energy”, the sentence means that “the creating of Buddha images accounted for construction and decoration of the temples”. A completely nonsensical meaning!
- When a proper noun form exists, we should avoid using the complex gerund form. In this sentence, we should use “the creation of Buddha images” rather than “the creating of Buddha images”.