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Sentence Correction: Dangling Modifiers - Overview

Benefiting from the popularity of prior entertainment genres such as minstrelsy, animal shows, and magic acts, Vaudeville theater not only appealed to audiences of diverse gender and class backgrounds, but the widespread success it enjoyed in 19th and 20th century America is attributed to the incorporation of sophisticated financial management. 

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect and illogical. In the GMAT, not only must be complemented by but also.

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Due to the Parallelism mistake this answer choice is also illogical. The connector but should be used to describe a contrast between two clauses or items. However, here but connects two clauses which both make similar positive statements about Vaudeville theater's appeal and success.

Look for another answer choice that constructs the parallelism logically.

Well done!

This answer choice corrects the original Parallelism mistake in two ways:

1. It corrects the grammatical form by complementing not only with but also.

2. By changing but to but also, the corrected sentence fixes the sentence's logic (as but also does not imply a contrast between items). Both items in the parallelism are reasons for Vaudeville's success: not only due to A (its appeal) but also due to B (the incorporation, etc.).

Although the corrected sentence contains a stylistic flaw of ambiguity (its can refer to the 20th century or to America), it is the only answer choice that is both logical and grammatically correct.

Incorrect.

This answer choice corrects the original Parallelism mistake by complementing not only with but also. It also corrects the logical mistake in the original sentence, by constructing a logical parallelism of two reasons for the success of Vaudeville theater (attributed not only to A but also to B).

However, the corrected sentence creates a new Parallelism mistake by changing magic acts to magicians. Although magic acts and magicians are grammatically parallel (both are nouns), they are not logically parallel: a magic act is an example of an entertainment genre, while magicians is not

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In addition, by changing the subject of the sentence from Vaudeville theater to the widespread success of Vaudeville theater, this answer choice creates a new logical mistake. The modifier Benefiting from...magic acts should logically modify Vaudeville theater, but it is followed by the widespread success. 

What helps us identify this question as a Dangling Modifier question as well as identify the mistake is the following Stop Sign:

A modifier, characterized by all of the following:
1. Verb+ing or Verb in 3rd form
2. Separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma
3. Appears at the very beginning of the sentence

Whenever you see this Stop Sign, focus on the modifier: check whether the noun right after the modifier is indeed the noun that the modifier describes. If it isn't - you've found your mistake.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect. The same part of speech that follows not only must also follow but also. In this answer choice, not only is followed by the verb appealed. But also, however, is followed by by a noun phrase its widespread success.

[[snippet]]

Look for another answer choice that constructs the parallelism grammatically and logically.

Incorrect.

While this answer choice corrects the Parallelism mistake in the original sentence by complementing not only with but also, and creating a logical parallelism between the reasons for Vaudeville's success, it is grammatically incorrect and stylistically flawed.

By changing incorporation to incorporated, the corrected sentence does not fit into the original sentence - it is not grammatically correct to say because it incorporated of. In addition, the phrase Vaudeville theater had widespread success is awkward. The idiom enjoyed success is stylistically superior.

magic acts, Vaudeville theater not only appealed to audiences of diverse gender and class backgrounds, but the widespread success it enjoyed in 19th and 20th century America is attributed to the incorporation
magic acts, Vaudeville theater in 19th and 20th century America enjoyed widespread success not only due to its appeal to audiences of diverse gender and class backgrounds, but also due to the incorporation
magicians, the widespread success of Vaudeville theater in 19th and 20th century America is attributed not only to its appeal to audiences of diverse gender and class backgrounds, but also to the incorporation
magical shows, Vaudeville theater not only appealed to audiences of diverse gender and class backgrounds, but also its widespread success in 19th and 20th century America is attributed to the incorporation
magic acts, Vaudeville theater had widespread success not only because it appealed to audiences of diverse gender and class backgrounds, but also because it incorporated