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GMAT Verbal Practice, Sentence Correction

Question 3

Replete with bloody revenge, disasters (both deserved and undeserved) and agonizing moral dilemmas, the plots of tragedies also involve dramatic irony, where the audience recognizes the facts before they are recognized by the play's characters themselves.

  1. they are recognized by the play's characters themselves
  2. the play's characters recognize the facts
  3. these facts are recognized by the play's characters
  4. being recognized by the play's characters
  5. the play's characters themselves do

Explanatory Answer

The original sentence is awkward and confusing because it mixes the active voice (where the subject acts upon an object) with the passive voice (where the subject is acted upon by the object). Only choices (B) and (E) fix the problem. However, (B) results in a sentence that is unnecessarily repetitive; specifically, there is no need to repeat the two-word phrase the facts. Choice (E) provides a better, less repetitive solution to the problem, and the use of the reflexive pronoun themselves is idiomatic and rhetorically effective. The correct response is (E).

Directions   1   2   3   4   5
GMAT Verbal Practice