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Biologists believe that they have found one of the

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Biologists believe that they have found one of the [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2004, 12:57
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A
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Biologists believe that they have found one of the substances that tell individual genes both when to become active and when to remain quiescent in the earliest phases of an embryo's development.

(A) tell individual genes both when to become active and when to remain
(B) tell individual genes both at which time they should become active or should remain
(C) tells individual genes both when to become active or remain
(D) tells individual genes both when to become active or when to remain
(E) will tell an individual gene both about when it should become active and remain
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2004, 13:49
I would argue for D.

The underlined verb "tell" should agree with one, as in "one tells". Tell refers to the substance, not biologists. so that eliminates everything except C and D.

then it becomes a matter of parrallelism. the latter part takes the form "when to [verb]", so both parts between the "or" should do the same. C has "when to become active" and "remain". Although it can be assumed that it should be "when to remain", that is in the option D. I would choose the more explicit D.

Of course, I could be completely wrong since SC is my weakeast section(by far!).
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2004, 22:07
D for me.... D makes the two parts parallel. "tells" is the correct verb.
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2004, 04:36
D cannot be.
Since both.....and is the correct expression and NOT both...or which is present in choice D.

I will go with choice A and will stick to "tell".
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2004, 05:33
Answer should be A
http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=8925
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2004, 07:31
Guys i'll go with "D"

2 reasons
1. the verbs should be "tells" to refer to "one of the..."
2. it tells the genes both "when to" become active or "when to" to remain... if C is chosen as the answer, then leaving out "when to" before remains sounds as if the gene is told to "remain quiescent" only and not "when" to remain quiescent.

Whats the OA
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2004, 09:48
OA is A.
Looking at the replies makes me realise that I am not alone in getting confused between two answer choices.
I was confused between 'D' and 'A'. In 'D' the verb 'tells' seems to match the subject 'one of the substances......' but in 'A' the form 'both x and y' seems to be good.
nadia0410 you got it right, can you tell me why 'tell' is preferred in this sentence
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2004, 22:01
Wow! I'm totally wrong on that. Thanks to all to replied.

BTW, I found out that you can copy the sentence into Microsoft Word and let the grammar tool check for correctness. It DID pop up the plural form of "tell".
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SC [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2004, 05:07
it has to be tell because the subject of this verb is the relative pronoun that, and the antecedent for this pronoun is substances. Relative pronouns always refer to the previous noun. Substances is plural, therefore we have to choose the plural form tell.


For the rest it has to be both A and B or either A or B
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2004, 08:15
Thanks artabor. I was thinking that the subject was 'one of the substances........' instead of 'substances'
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Re: SC [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2004, 08:53
artabro wrote:
it has to be tell because the subject of this verb is the relative pronoun that, and the antecedent for this pronoun is substances. Relative pronouns always refer to the previous noun. Substances is plural, therefore we have to choose the plural form tell.


For the rest it has to be both A and B or either A or B

Hi artabro. I would have to disagree with the bolded sentence. Consider this example from the Webster online grammar:

Charlie didn't get the job in administration, which really surprised his friends

As you can see, the relative pronoun here refers to the general idea of the independent clause
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2004, 11:02
Paul, just to clarify - is the subject of the sentence 'substances' or I am missing something.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2004, 11:02
Paul, just to clarify - is the subject of the sentence 'substances' or am I missing something.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2004, 12:06
rthothad wrote:
Paul, just to clarify - is the subject of the sentence 'substances' or am I missing something.

rthothad, yes, subject of the relative clause is "that" which refers to substances.
My previous post was to point out that a relative pronoun does not ALWAYS refer to the previous noun.
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Re: SC [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2004, 12:10
Paul wrote:
artabro wrote:
it has to be tell because the subject of this verb is the relative pronoun that, and the antecedent for this pronoun is substances. Relative pronouns always refer to the previous noun. Substances is plural, therefore we have to choose the plural form tell.


For the rest it has to be both A and B or either A or B

Hi artabro. I would have to disagree with the bolded sentence. Consider this example from the Webster online grammar:

Charlie didn't get the job in administration, which really surprised his friends

As you can see, the relative pronoun here refers to the general idea of the independent clause


Paul, good point. You are right, not always the previous noun is the antecedent. I've been trying to think of a case but I couldn't found one.

In your case the antecedent is the whole sentence:"Charlie didn't get the job in administration". The whole sentence is the antecedent, and which refers to the whole (the fact that Charlie...). I should have said: the relative pronoun always follows the antecedent (normally a noun, but not always). I have been trying to think of case where the antecedent is removed from the pronoun, but I can't find one. It would be helpful if anybody out there could give an example.
However, I still think that for GMAT purpouses it is good to remember that which or who as a relative pronoun follows the noun that is substituting and the verb of the relative clause should has to agree with that subject.
Re: SC   [#permalink] 22 Nov 2004, 12:10
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