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rss GMAT Practice Question (One of Hundreds)
John Keats died of tuberculosis at the age of twenty-five after having written more successful poems than most poets write in a long lifetime.
Correct Answer: A
Carefully look at each modifying phrase and determine which word it should be modifying. Remember that participial phrases found in the middle of a sentence modify the word that precedes them. Determine the relationship between the phrase and the clause, and pay particular attention to the time in which each takes place.

John Keats wrote his poems before his death; therefore the preposition after provides the best connection between the main clause and the phrase. Using the present perfect tense, having written, in the clause shows that the writing of the poems took prior to Keats' death.

  1. The preposition after provides the best connection between the main clause and the phrase because it shows the proper time relationship between the phrase and the main clause. Using the present perfect tense, having written, in the clause shows that the writing of the poems took place in the past.
  2. Having written is a participle, which is not preceded by a noun. This participle incorrectly has no noun to modify.
  3. Writing is a participle, which is not preceded by a noun. This participle incorrectly has no noun to modify. Writing does not indicate that the event took place in the past.
  4. Writing does not indicate that the event took place in the past.
  5. Although grammatically correct, the use of the conjunction and does not indicate the difference in the time of death and the time of the writing. The writing occurred before the death, and this should be indicated in the sentence.