Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine

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Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2012, 20:05
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Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coast, their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970’s, a period in which there were fewer bald eagles competing with them for food and nesting sites.

A)their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970s
B) their population has declined dramatically compared with the 1970s
C)their populations have declined dramatically since the 1970s
D) their populations have declined in comparison to those of the 1970s
E) their population has declined in comparison with that of the 1970s

Someone please let me understand whats problem with
[Reveal] Spoiler:
B ?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coas [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2012, 20:52
vishu1414 wrote:
Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coast, their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970’s, a period in which there were fewer bald eagles competing with them for food and nesting sites.

A)their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970s
B) their population has declined dramatically compared with the 1970s
C)their populations have declined dramatically since the 1970s
D) their populations have declined in comparison to those of the 1970s
E) their population has declined in comparison with that of the 1970s

Someone please let me understand whats problem with
[Reveal] Spoiler:
B ?

B wrongly compares "their population" to "1970s" and so is wrong.
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coas [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2012, 21:25
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vishu1414 wrote:
Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coast, their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970’s, a period in which there were fewer bald eagles competing with them for food and nesting sites.

A)their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970s
B) their population has declined dramatically compared with the 1970s
C)their populations have declined dramatically since the 1970s
D) their populations have declined in comparison to those of the 1970s
E) their population has declined in comparison with that of the 1970s

Someone please let me understand whats problem with
[Reveal] Spoiler:
B ?

Why not (E). here comparison also makes sense !!!!
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coas [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2012, 22:02
Answer E will be the best option becoz the use of that creates a new copy of the old one.
To explain further in E
the their population has declined in comparison with that of their population in 1970's.Now the comparison makes sense.
When plural is used then use those instead of that
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coas [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2012, 23:32
1
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vishu1414 wrote:
Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coast, their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970’s, a period in which there were fewer bald eagles competing with them for food and nesting sites.

A)their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970s
B) their population has declined dramatically compared with the 1970s
C)their populations have declined dramatically since the 1970s
D) their populations have declined in comparison to those of the 1970s
E) their population has declined in comparison with that of the 1970s

Someone please let me understand whats problem with
[Reveal] Spoiler:
B ?

I would like to discuss one issue with E.
Is the last clause " a period in which ...bla bla bla" modifies the "population in 1970s" or the "1970s".
I feel that since "the 1970s" is part of a prepositional phrase, therefore "a period" can't modify "the 1970s".
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coas [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2012, 05:43
Marcab wrote:
vishu1414 wrote:
Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coast, their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970’s, a period in which there were fewer bald eagles competing with them for food and nesting sites.

A)their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970s
B) their population has declined dramatically compared with the 1970s
C)their populations have declined dramatically since the 1970s
D) their populations have declined in comparison to those of the 1970s
E) their population has declined in comparison with that of the 1970s

Someone please let me understand whats problem with
[Reveal] Spoiler:
B ?

I would like to discuss one issue with E.
Is the last clause " a period in which ...bla bla bla" modifies the "population in 1970s" or the "1970s".
I feel that since "the 1970s" is part of a prepositional phrase, therefore "a period" can't modify "the 1970s".

For me :a period etc .......modify 1970s !

Their population refers to herons but
Quote:
Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coast, their population has declined dramatically ..........a period in which there were fewer bald eagles competing with them for food and nesting sites.

lack something...........
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Last edited by carcass on 16 Dec 2012, 07:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coas [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2012, 05:49
Will it really modify "the 1970s"? I raised this issue because "the 1970s" is a part of "prepositional phrase".
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coas [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2012, 06:47
A)their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970s----> poplulation is compared with 1970 which is wrong
B) their population has declined dramatically compared with the 1970s--->same as A
C)their populations have declined dramatically since the 1970s-------->use of since makes perfect sense
D) their populations have declined in comparison to those of the 1970s---->here when ur using those or that it creates a new copy... so you have to add a description to indicate how the new copy is different from the previous version
E) their population has declined in comparison with that of the 1970s---->same as D wrong

Hope it helps
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coas [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2012, 12:31
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vishu1414 wrote:
Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coast, their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970’s, a period in which there were fewer bald eagles competing with them for food and nesting sites.
(A) their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970s
(B) their population has declined dramatically compared with the 1970s
(C) their populations have declined dramatically since the 1970s
(D) their populations have declined in comparison to those of the 1970s
(E) their population has declined in comparison with that of the 1970s

In this one, the comparison is problematic. We can logical compare the 1970's to another time period, but here the comparison is between the 1970's and the implicit idea of "now" --- this happens all the time in colloquial English, but the GMAT doesn't like this. The GMAT wants explicit comparisons only.

The only answer that completely avoids the awkward comparison is (C), which deftly rephrases the information in a logical and grammatically correct way. Choice (C) stands out as much better than any of the other answers.

Marcab wrote:
Will it really modify "the 1970s"? I raised this issue because "the 1970s" is a part of "prepositional phrase".

Just because a noun is the object of a preposition phrase, that doesn't mean it is quarantined, isolated from all grammatical interactions. A noun that is the object of a prepositional phrase can still have modifiers of all kinds .......

1) She moved to France, the country of her dreams.
(modified with an appositive phrase --- this is how "the 1970's" are modified in the above sentence)
2) I am applying to the company from which Ted was laid off.
(modified with a "that"-clause, a subordinate clause)
3) Marcia shouted to the man walking his dog.
(modified with a participial phrase)

Does all this make sense?

Mike
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coas [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2012, 19:17
mikemcgarry wrote:
vishu1414 wrote:
Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coast, their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970’s, a period in which there were fewer bald eagles competing with them for food and nesting sites.
(A) their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970s
(B) their population has declined dramatically compared with the 1970s
(C) their populations have declined dramatically since the 1970s
(D) their populations have declined in comparison to those of the 1970s
(E) their population has declined in comparison with that of the 1970s

In this one, the comparison is problematic. We can logical compare the 1970's to another time period, but here the comparison is between the 1970's and the implicit idea of "now" --- this happens all the time in colloquial English, but the GMAT doesn't like this. The GMAT wants explicit comparisons only.

The only answer that completely avoids the awkward comparison is (C), which deftly rephrases the information in a logical and grammatically correct way. Choice (C) stands out as much better than any of the other answers.

Marcab wrote:
Will it really modify "the 1970s"? I raised this issue because "the 1970s" is a part of "prepositional phrase".

Just because a noun is the object of a preposition phrase, that doesn't mean it is quarantined, isolated from all grammatical interactions. A noun that is the object of a prepositional phrase can still have modifiers of all kinds .......

1) She moved to France, the country of her dreams.
(modified with an appositive phrase --- this is how "the 1970's" are modified in the above sentence)
2) I am applying to the company from which Ted was laid off.
(modified with a "that"-clause, a subordinate clause)
3) Marcia shouted to the man walking his dog.
(modified with a participial phrase)

Does all this make sense?

Mike

Hii Mike.
Thanks for intervening.
Really appreciate it.

Also consider these:
1) In an unusual spiritual ceremony for celebrating changes in season such as the emergence of the spring season, as much as 10% of the organization's cash, which is the most liquid of all the organization's assets bla bla bla

and this one:

2) In an unusual spiritual ceremony for celebrating changes in season such as the emergence of the spring season, as much as 10% of the organization's cash, the most liquid of all the organization's assets

In the above mentioned blue shades, IMO the first one will modify "the 10% of the organisation's cash" whereas in second one will modify "organisation's cash".

Also,
I have been through a sentence " The box of nails, which was black in color, was upon the table". Here don't you think that "box" is black in color rather than "nails".

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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coas [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2012, 11:27
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Marcab wrote:

Also consider these:
1) In an unusual spiritual ceremony for celebrating changes in season such as the emergence of the spring season, as much as 10% of the organization's cash, which is the most liquid of all the organization's assets bla bla bla

and this one:
2) In an unusual spiritual ceremony for celebrating changes in season such as the emergence of the spring season, as much as 10% of the organization's cash, the most liquid of all the organization's assets

In the above mentioned blue shades, IMO the first one will modify "the 10% of the organisation's cash" whereas in second one will modify "organisation's cash".

Also,
I have been through a sentence "The box of nails, which was black in color, was upon the table". Here don't you think that "box" is black in color rather than "nails".

Dear Marcab,
I'm happy to help.

You indicated "the above blue shaded part", but I didn't see this, or couldn't tell to what you were referring.

In all three of these --- the two "spiritual ceremony" examples and the "box of nails" ---- we run into one of the subtleties of grammar: the distinction of a vital vs. non-vital modifier. See these two posts:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/that-vs-which-on-the-gmat/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... modifiers/
Vital noun modifiers can violate the Modifier Touch Rule --- that is to say, they can come between a noun and the modifier that modifies this noun, meaning that the modifier doesn't touch the noun is modifies.

This leads to the possible ambiguity in the structure:
[noun][vital noun modifier][modifier #2]
All three of your examples are of this form. The ambiguity is ---what does "modifier #2" modify? Does it modify the original noun? That would be a correct grammatical structure, consistent with the role of a vital noun modifier. Or does it modify something inside the "vital noun modifier", something which it touches? That would also be a correct grammatical structure. Often, context will make clear what modifies what. In some cases, a sentence could be genuinely ambiguous, and grammar alone will not resolve the ambiguity. I guarantee you, the real GMAT will not give you sentences like this, and better GMAT prep sources will not either.

I will say, in both "spiritual ceremony" examples, it seems to me that the two modifies both modify the word "cash" --- I guess I am inferring that from context. In the "box of nails" example, clearly the box, not the nails, are black. Again, all these deductions are happening from judgments about context --- nothing in the grammar allows us to distinguish between the two possible targets of the modifier.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coas [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2012, 19:09
Hii Mike.
But still some doubt remains.
First of all, my direct query is "can prepositional phrases become the subject of the clause"?

In [noun][vital noun modifier][modifier #2], you said that "modifier 2" can modify either:
i)[noun]
ii) [vital noun modifer]

If somehow, in both the cases the meaning sounds fine then what?

Actually the sentence in question is "In an unusual spiritual ceremony for celebrating changes in season such as the emergence of the spring season, as much as 10% of the organization's cash, the most liquid of all the organization's assets, disappears and vanishes".

Now since "the most liquid of all of the organization's assets" is a non-vital modifier, so we can cross that off.
The sentence now becomes "In an unusual spiritual ceremony for celebrating changes in season such as the emergence of the spring season, as much as 10% of the organization's cash, the most liquid of all the organization's assets, disappears and vanishes.

Here now it becomes clearer that its the "10% of the organizational's case" that "disappears and vanishes".

But doubt persists: what is the most liquid of the organisational's assets? Is it the 10% of the cash OR the entire cash. Though meanings resulting from these sentences are different, but they are logically clear.
As you said, it depends on the context in order to select the desired meaning and there can be other errors as well but there has to be a subtle difference.

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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coas [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2012, 20:19
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Marcab wrote:
Hii Mike.
First of all, my direct query is "can prepositional phrases become the subject of the clause"?

NO. A prepositional phrase can act like an adjective or an adverb, but unlike an infinitive or gerund or substantive clause, it can never act like a noun. Therefore, at no time can a prepositional phrase ever take on any of the noun-roles in a sentence or in a clause. A prepositional phrase can never be the subject of any clause. Is this clear?

Marcab wrote:
In [noun][vital noun modifier][modifier #2], you said that "modifier 2" can modify either:
i) [noun]
ii) [vital noun modifer]
If somehow, in both the cases the meaning sounds fine then what?

A sentence in which both meaning were equally valid and in which context does not provide sufficient clues would be, by definition, an ambiguous sentence. Whether a sentence's meaning is ambiguous may depend on grammar, but sentences that are completely grammatically correct can still be ambiguous in meaning. You will NEVER see an ambiguous sentence on the GMAT SC. NEVER. Period. Just as poor grammar is the sign of an inferior writer, so too is ambiguity in meaning. If you ever receive an ambiguous memo in a work environment, you have every right to ask for clarification. if you receive such a memo from someone who is under your charge, you should admonish them to write univocal messages. That's what you do if you receive a poorly written ambiguous sentence.

Marcab wrote:
Actually the sentence in question is "In an unusual spiritual ceremony for celebrating changes in season such as the emergence of the spring season, as much as 10% of the organization's cash, the most liquid of all the organization's assets, disappears and vanishes".
Now since "the most liquid of all of the organization's assets" is a non-vital modifier, so we can cross that off.
The sentence now becomes "In an unusual spiritual ceremony for celebrating changes in season such as the emergence of the spring season, as much as 10% of the organization's cash, the most liquid of all the organization's assets, disappears and vanishes.
Here now it becomes clearer that its the "10% of the organization's cash" that "disappears and vanishes".

But doubt persists: what is the most liquid of the organisation's assets? Is it the 10% of the cash OR the entire cash. Though meanings resulting from these sentences are different, but they are logically clear. As you said, it depends on the context in order to select the desired meaning and there can be other errors as well but there has to be a subtle difference. Please help me decide over this. Thanks in advance.

I would say, cash is cash. Cash, almost by definition, is the most liquid form in which you can have your money. Cash usually consists of physical bills you have somewhere at hand, perhaps locked up on the premises, but still quickly accessible to the folks in charge. The only way you could call money in the bank "cash" would be if you could access it more or less instantly on demand. All cash, by definition, is liquid, easily accessible, ready to move. Cash is the most spendable form of money. The most liquid of any organization's assets would be, almost by definition, that organization's cash. Why would only 10% of the cash be liquid? That's almost a contradiction in terms. If the other 90% is not liquid, then in what sense would it be "cash" instead of "money" of some other form?

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coas [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2012, 20:34
Phew.
There is an official question.
Since digital recording offers essentially perfect reproduction – on compact discs, digital audiotapes, or digital videodiscs – audiophiles can accumulate music, transferring them from one format to another, copying it, and digitally altering it with little effort and not damaging the sound quality.

music, transferring them from one format to another, copying it, and digitally altering it with little effort and not damaging

music, transferring it from one format to another, copying it, and digitally altering it with little effort and no damage to

music, transfer it from one format to another, copy it, and digitally alter it with little effort and no damage to

music and transfer it from one format to another, copy it, and then digitally altering it with little effort and not damaging

music and transfer it from one format to another, copying it, and digitally alter it with little effort and no damage to .

OA is B.

Why is "transferring it from bla bla" correct? Doesn't "it" refers to the subject of the prepositional phrase? Aren't we supposed to refer "collections"?

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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coas [#permalink]

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18 Dec 2012, 01:27
mikemcgarry wrote:
vishu1414 wrote:
Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coast, their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970’s, a period in which there were fewer bald eagles competing with them for food and nesting sites.
(A) their population has declined dramatically when compared to the 1970s
(B) their population has declined dramatically compared with the 1970s
(C) their populations have declined dramatically since the 1970s
(D) their populations have declined in comparison to those of the 1970s
(E) their population has declined in comparison with that of the 1970s

In this one, the comparison is problematic. We can logical compare the 1970's to another time period, but here the comparison is between the 1970's and the implicit idea of "now" --- this happens all the time in colloquial English, but the GMAT doesn't like this. The GMAT wants explicit comparisons only.

The only answer that completely avoids the awkward comparison is (C), which deftly rephrases the information in a logical and grammatically correct way. Choice (C) stands out as much better than any of the other answers.

Marcab wrote:
Will it really modify "the 1970s"? I raised this issue because "the 1970s" is a part of "prepositional phrase".

Just because a noun is the object of a preposition phrase, that doesn't mean it is quarantined, isolated from all grammatical interactions. A noun that is the object of a prepositional phrase can still have modifiers of all kinds .......

1) She moved to France, the country of her dreams.
(modified with an appositive phrase --- this is how "the 1970's" are modified in the above sentence)
2) I am applying to the company from which Ted was laid off.
(modified with a "that"-clause, a subordinate clause)
3) Marcia shouted to the man walking his dog.
(modified with a participial phrase)

Does all this make sense?

Mike

Can we write "populations" ? I believe "population" does not have a plural from. If such is the case, then (C) is wrong
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine coas [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2012, 10:26
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Marcab wrote:
Phew.
There is an official question.
Since digital recording offers essentially perfect reproduction – on compact discs, digital audiotapes, or digital videodiscs – audiophiles can accumulate music, transferring them from one format to another, copying it, and digitally altering it with little effort and not damaging the sound quality.
(A) music, transferring them from one format to another, copying it, and digitally altering it with little effort and not damaging
(B) music, transferring it from one format to another, copying it, and digitally altering it with little effort and no damage to
(C) music, transfer it from one format to another, copy it, and digitally alter it with little effort and no damage to
(D) music and transfer it from one format to another, copy it, and then digitally altering it with little effort and not damaging
(E) music and transfer it from one format to another, copying it, and digitally alter it with little effort and no damage
to

OA is B.
Why is "transferring it from bla bla" correct? Doesn't "it" refers to the subject of the prepositional phrase? Aren't we supposed to refer "collections"?

Dear Marcab,
First of all, the pronoun "it" refers to "music" --- audiophiles (myself included!) can accumulate music, transfer music, copy music, and digitally alter the music. This is a very common structure, in which the pronoun direct object of one verb has, as its antecedent, the direct object of a previous verb.

More importantly, your phrasing may betray a fundamental misunderstanding. There is absolutely no such thing as a "subject of a prepositional phrase" --- preposition phrases have "objects", but not "subjects." This is precisely why we have to use the objective form of a pronoun with a preposition (e.g. "for her", "to me", "with him", "because of them"), not the subjective forms (e.g. "for she", "to I", "with he", "because of they") which we would use as the subject of a sentence or clause.

Here, the only preposition in the first part of the sentence is "on", the the objects of this preposition are "compact discs, digital audiotapes, or digital videodiscs." Furthermore, as I have said above, it is 100% correct for the object of a prepositional phrase to be the antecedent of a pronoun. It would be perfectly correct to say " ... is now recorded on compact discs, digital audiotapes, or digital videodiscs, and they provide better sound quality than ...." The antecedent of the pronoun "they" is the long object of the preposition "on."

BTW. the best analog recordings are superior to the sound quality that digital produces. I'm a snob about sound quality, because I'm a classical music fan, but that's relevant to the content of the sentence, not its grammar.

Mike
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2012, 10:52
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Sorry Mike.
I somehow posted the wrong question, its nowhere close to my doubt.
I have attached the question here.
In this , the question talks about collections of music.
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2012, 11:24
Guys ,
I am sorry if i am missing out something ,But why is "populations" correct , is it not suppose to be "their population has" ... ????
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2012, 12:20
shikhar wrote:
Guys ,
I am sorry if i am missing out something ,But why is "populations" correct , is it not suppose to be "their population has" ... ????

hii Shikhar.
POPULATIONS usage: A collection of organisms of a particular species, sharing a particular characteristic of interest, most often that of living in a given area.
Population is used when we want to refer to:
i)The people living within a political or geographical boundary.
ii)A count of the number of residents within a political or geographical boundary such as a town, a nation or the world.

Hope that will help.
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2012, 20:04
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Expert's post
Marcab wrote:
Sorry Mike.
I somehow posted the wrong question, it's nowhere close to my doubt.
I have attached the question here.
In this , the question talks about collections of music.

Dear Marcab,
I would say here, the clincher is not with the pronouns, which indeed could lead to a few interpretations, but with the parallelism in the participles: transferring ...copying ... altering. No answer but (B) does that correctly. I'm honestly not sure that we could decide this one on the basis of the pronouns alone --- I don't think the sentence gives us enough information with which we could make a conclusive decision based on the pronouns alone --- other than knowing they have to be consistent.
Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Although blue herons can still be found along the Maine   [#permalink] 19 Dec 2012, 20:04

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