Question: Calm Martha Hornblatch

Comment on Calm Martha Hornblatch


Could we eliminate the option E for the reason that attending here is a verb and it must be modified with the adverb calmly and not the adjective calm?
gmat-admin's picture

No, we cannot use that as a reason to eliminate E.

In D, "attending" acts as a verb, so we need the adverb "calmly."

In answer choice E, "attending" acts as a noun (gerund), so we need the adjective "calm"

For more on gerunds, watch

I eliminated A and B because they had "not unlike" and I thought it was unnecessary to have a double negative if you can just write "like" instead. Thanks for pointing out that "not unlike" is fine for the Gmat!
gmat-admin's picture

Funny you should mention that. For years, when teaching classroom-based GMAT classes, I always told students to watch for unnecessary phrases, but I never realized that NOT UNLIKE is a double negative.

Hi Brent,

You mentioned that "As" must compare an action only. Does it mean to compare clause, not a noun?
gmat-admin's picture

I mean it must compare verbs.

Hi Brent, so "as" must compare verbs ONLY or exist other cases too? And "not unlike" must compare nouns and clauses? Thanks x
gmat-admin's picture

If AS is used in a comparison, then it must compare verbs.
NO UNLIKE compares nouns and clauses.

hello Brent,
this is Krishna
I've a question is that i can't separate fluff (you say)from the main sentence,so to be able to do that what I've to do can you suggest me ?plz
gmat-admin's picture

Hi Krishna,

I'm not sure what your question is.
If you're looking for tips on "ignoring the fluff," here's the video on that topic:

If I haven't answered your question, please let me know.


I think I got that to remove the fluff
I should be well known about
-adjectives and adverbs
- phrases functioning as adjectives and adverbs
-appositive phrases
-dependent clauses
Is not that so?
Thank you
gmat-admin's picture

Yes, that's perfect.


The "not unlike" led me in error. I really thought it was going to be considered to be unnecessary as it is a double negative so B was not in my radar at all. I ended with C as the "who calmly attended" for me played the role of the clause justifying the use of as. Again a useful tip for the GMAT.
gmat-admin's picture

I definitely agree that NON UNLIKE seems like an unnecessary construction. However, the GMAT is okay with it, and that's all that matters :-)

Hi Brent,

Thanks for these great videos.
I was just wondering, is it wrong to eliminate ADE for using "attending" when it should be in the past tense as "attended" because the battle was in the past?

Thank you!
gmat-admin's picture

Great question.
We can't eliminate A, D and E on the sole basis of ATTENDING without some additional context.
For example I could (correctly) say "Joe thanked Joan for ATTENDING his party last week."
Or Joe was ATTENDING a wedding when his phone rang.

Gotcha thanks!

Office Hours

On December 20, 2023, Brent will stop offering office hours. 

Change Playback Speed

You have the option of watching the videos at various speeds (25% faster, 50% faster, etc). To change the playback speed, click the settings icon on the right side of the video status bar.

Have a question about this video?

Post your question in the Comment section below, and a GMAT expert will answer it as fast as humanly possible.

Free “Question of the Day” emails!