Thelonious Monk, who was a jazz pianist and composer, produced a body of work both rooted in the stride-piano tradition of Willie (The Lion) Smith and Duke Ellington, yet in many ways he stood apart from the mainstream jazz repertory.


Thelonious Monk, who was a jazz pianist and composer, produced a body of work both rooted in the stride-piano tradition of Willie (The Lion) Smith and Duke Ellington, yet in many ways he stood apart from the mainstream jazz repertory.

A. Thelonious Monk, who was a jazz pianist and composer, produced a body of work both rooted

B. Thelonious Monk, the jazz pianist and composer, produced a body of work that was rooted both

C. Jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, who produced a body of work rooted

D. Jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk produced a body of work that was rooted

E. Jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk produced a body of work rooted both


Correct Answer Below (so you don’t see it while reviewing the question)

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Explanation: Thelonious Monk, who was a jazz pianist and composer

The sentence is a quite a mouthful but made easier by bypassing the modifiers. I wouldn’t do that in your initial read but as you move to analysis it can be great to drop details so you can focus more on the critical structure.

Thelonious Monk, who was a jazz pianist and composer, produced a body of work both rooted in the stride-piano tradition of Willie (The Lion) Smith and Duke Ellington, yet in many ways he stood apart from the mainstream jazz repertory.

(A) Thelonious Monk, who was a jazz pianist and composer, produced a body of work both rooted

We need “both rooted in X and rooted in Y”. Whatever comes after BOTH needs to be mirrored after AND.

(B) Thelonious Monk, the jazz pianist and composer, produced a body of work that was rooted both

We need “both in X and in Y”. Whatever comes after BOTH needs to be mirrored after AND.

(C) Jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, who produced a body of work rooted

This one is missing a verb. Not a complete sentence. Take out who…ellington and you’ll see the sentence is a fragment. “Jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk yet in many ways he stood apart from the mainstream jazz repertory.”

(D) Jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk produced a body of work that was rooted

(E) Jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk produced a body of work rooted both

We need “both in X and in Y”. Whatever comes after BOTH needs to be mirrored after AND.

Correct Answer: D

Thelonious Monk: Takeaways

-“Both” is a great word to pay attention to. It indicated that there will be some parallelism action.

-Pull out modifiers to evaluate sentences. Sometimes this will make it easier to reveal a fragment/incomplete sentence.

For some SC guidance, here’s a link to a breakdown of GMAT sentence correction.