This GMAT practice question is a verbal sentence correction question testing your understanding of Comparison Contrast Error and Parallelism.
Question 6: Unlike Ancient Greek art which saw the veneration of the animal form and the development of equivalent skills to show musculature, poise, beauty and anatomically correct proportions, Ancient Roman art depicted gods as idealized humans, shown with characteristic distinguishing features.
A quick look at the answer options helps us identify the differences across the options. Some of the options use the word “unlike” while others use the word “while” (and one option uses neither). Also, different options use different constructions for “venerated” and “developed”. Some of the options construct these two words as nouns and some as verbs.
The difference between Greek and Roman art is not a complete contrast. The two are not necessarily polar opposites. The usage of “unlike” would therefore be incorrect in this sentence. The correct usage of “Unlike” would be in a sentence such as “Unlike Greek art that displayed rudimentary skills, Roman art involved a deeper and more technical understanding of scale and colours”. In this alternative sentence, one is basic and the other is advanced – directly contrary to each other.
Greek Art had two elements - “the veneration of the animal form” and the “development of skills”. These two parts of the sentence should be constructed in a parallel fashion – BOTH as nouns or both as verbs.
Choices (A) and (E) can be eliminated for the usage of “unlike”. Moreover, in option (E), “venerated” as a verb and “development” as a noun are not in parallel construction.
Choice (B) uses neither “Unlike” nor “while”. This leads to two complete sentences – one about Greek art and one about Roman art – joined by nothing other than a comma. Two complete sentences should be joined by a semi-colon or with conjunctions. Choice (B) is therefore, incorrect.
Choice (C) uses “veneration” as a noun and “developed” as a verb. This lack of parallel construction also leads to an ambiguity in meaning. “saw” and “developed” are now parallel and the sentence seems to imply that the art did two things – noticed the veneration and developed skills. This meaning is clearly incorrect because it is not the art that can develop skills but the artists.
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