Source: Official Guide for the GMAT 13th Ed. Sentence Correction; #4 Official Guide for the GMAT 2015 14th Ed. Sentence Correction; #4


At the end of the 1930s, Duke

At the end of the 1930s, Duke Ellington was looking for a composer to assist him-someone not only who could arrange music for his successful big band, but mirroring his eccentric music style as well in order to finish the many pieces he had started but never completed.

4 Explanations


Felix Manan

Hi, I would be interested also to know how 'being' is used in this sentence. In the OA 'E' says that 'being' seems to refer to Duke Ellington. Is it because 'being' is used as a noun to refer to human beings and the only human mentioned is Duke Ellington? Or is 'being' more a participial version of 'is' and hence why it refers to Duke Ellington since Duke Ellington is the subject (similar to comma + Verb-ing)? Thanks!

Nov 23, 2017 • Comment


Hi Felix,

Generally when we have the structure [subj + verb , [ -ing]", the [-ing] will modify the subject / action of the previous clause. This is why "being" seems to modify Ellington (the subject of the previous clause).

Also, as Mike notes in this thread, we should always be extremely suspicious of the word "being" on GMAT SC questions:

Nov 24, 2017 • Reply


Eva Perini

Hello, I was asking my self if the structure not only could X but also Y is correct given that X and Y are parallel.

Feb 28, 2017 • Comment


Hi Eva,

If we start with "not only could X...." we need "but could also Y...."

Essentially, if the verb comes before the "not only," it automatically applies to the "but also." If the verb comes after the "not only," we must state another verb for "but also":

He could not only arrange music, but also mirror the style.

He not only could arrange music, but could also mirror the style.

He not only could arrange music, but also could mirror the style.

Feb 28, 2017 • Reply


could you explain why the sentences with 'being' were eliminated? Also, the correct usage of the word 'being'? I have noticed most sentences with 'being' are generally eliminated. Is there a rule? Thanks

Aug 28, 2015 • Comment

Cydney Seigerman, Magoosh Tutor

Hi Ashwin :)
In this case, we immediately eliminate (D) and (E), the two options with "being," not because they include that word but rather because neither sentence has uses the construction "not only ... but also" correctly. At the same time, the use of "being" in both cases adds to the awkwardness of the two options.
There's not an official rule regarding "being," and you should not eliminate any choice just because you see the word. However, the GMAT does typically use "being" in awkward constructions and many times answers with "being" are wrong.
Hope that helps! :)

Nov 3, 2015 • Reply


Gravatar Mike McGarry, Magoosh Tutor

May 22, 2013 • Comment

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