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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]

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08 Jul 2012, 02:30
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25% (medium)

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70% (01:47) correct 30% (00:55) wrong based on 50 sessions

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179. 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
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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09 Jul 2012, 05:05
Please underline the portion of the sentence to be changed.

The verb needs to agree with substances (not one) and be in present simple tense (because we are talking about a persistent, general truth). This leaves answer choices A and B. B is worded awkwardly, using at which time instead of simply saying when. Also, B uses both... or..., though it should be both... and....

Therefore, I would choose answer choice A.
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09 Jul 2012, 10:57
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There is a simple clue that will do the trick. The clue is the word ‘both’, which acts as the first part of the correlative conjunction - both…. and, to describe two events, namely, when to become and when to remain. It implies therefore that any choice using the conjunction ‘or’ is out of way; B, C, and D are gone. Between, A and E, it does not take much time to eliminate E, what with E being ridden with so many flaws such as the unidiomatic ‘both about’ and the use of the future tense ‘will’ for an eternal fact.

The other route is to remain committed that the subordinate verb is tell, following a restrictive pronoun ‘that’ and then choose A over B for reasons of concision.
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Re: The substances that tell individual genes [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2012, 10:33
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The very easy sentence challenges us the usage of parallel idiom BOTH x AND y. Only choice A matches this rule. We just scan through all at But, and, or words.
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Re: The substances that tell individual genes [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2012, 08:10
Guys,

I would suggest all of you to refer to the MGMAT forum to clear this doubt.

http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/sin ... t1400.html

"One of the" construct is NOT always considered singular. Many of the answers in the 1000 SC collections are not correct.

Correcting my statement (Adding a NOT which i missed earlier and changed the whole meaning. ... sorry for the confusion.

Thanks!!

Last edited by jainvik7 on 13 Jul 2012, 22:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The substances that tell individual genes [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2012, 09:42
@jainvik7

Quote:
"One of the" construct is always considered singular.

I am afraid one cannot justify such a wide remark. You may refer to Stacey’s observation in the link you have cited.

Quote:
Your middle sentence has a different structure. Here's the core of each:

1) One of the ethnic groups was (main subj=one, main verb=was)

2) A higher interest rate is only one of the factors that keep (main subj=rate, main verb=was. THEN "one of the factors that keep" is a subordinate clause - the "that" indicates a noun modifier, so it refers to the noun right before it - "factors")

3) One of the students was (main subj = one, main verb = was)

So the question is what noun to match with what verb. In a sentence in which you have a straight "one of the noun verb," one is going to match with that verb. In a sentence in which you have "noun verb one of the noun THAT verb" the verb is going to go with the noun immediately preceding the word "that."

You may thus see it is not always that 'one of the construct' is singular, as you have mentioned. Secondly, in this present example, you see the prevalence of the subordinate clause introduced by the noun modifier ‘that’ . So the verb is going to be plural in this case, namely ‘tell’ rather than the singular ‘tells’.

Am I right?
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Re: The substances that tell individual genes [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2012, 11:17
hey i studied Stacey's explanation on the forum. But still not very clear as to when consider one of the as singular and when to consider it plural.

@daagh: can you please give a detail explanation?
It would be really very helpful
Thanx
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Re: The substances that tell individual genes [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2012, 13:20
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Consider these examples.

One of the books in the rack has been written by Irving Wallace

This is a simple sentence with ‘one ‘as the subject, of the books as the prepositional intermediary and ‘is ‘as the verb. In this case, the subject and the verb are singular.

Look at the next case. One of the books that have been written by Irving Wallace is in the rack. --- here the main clause is ‘one of the books is in the rack’ and the subordinate clause introduced by the relative pronoun and the conjunction is ‘that have been written by Irving Wallace’. The verb of this subordinate cluse will be plural, since the relative pronoun refers to the noun before and takes on its characteristics such as number and gender. Hence, the subject of the subordinate clause is plural in nature and the verb is plural.

This is what Stacey says according to me. In other words, whenever you see a relative pronoun such as that or who etc, in a complex sentence that contains ‘ one of the construct’ , be guided by the number of the noun it touches for determining the number of the verb.
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Re: The substances that tell individual genes [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2012, 18:38
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Expert's post
For this sentence, 'one of the substances' is not singular. If we take a closer look we are describing substances. Which substances? The ones that 'tell individual...' Therefore, we can eliminate (C), (D). (We can get rid of (E) because the future tense is not required; the 'it' is wordy).

The idiom is BOTH X and Y. (B) has BOTH X or Y. Thus the answer is (A).

Hope that helps .
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Re: The substances that tell individual genes [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2012, 23:29
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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.

clause initiators which-nonrestrictive- and that - restrictive - depends on the context of sentence. THAT IS used as a function word immediately before or after a word group consisting of a verbal auxiliary or a form of the verb be preceded by there or a personal pronoun subject to indicate emphatic repetition of the idea expressed by a previous verb or predicate noun or predicate adjective

usully the formula is to take the one after eliminating the "of" construction...but "it" depend on meaning of the sentence
take this one.

In the mid-1920s the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company was the scene of an intensive series of experiments that would investigate changes in working conditions as to their effects on workers' performance.

(A) that would investigate changes in working conditions as to their effects on workers' performance
(B) investigating the effects that changes in working conditions would have on workers' performance
(C) for investigating what the effects on workers' performance are that changes in working conditions would cause
(D) that investigated changes in working conditions' effects on workers' performance
(E) to investigate what the effects changes in working conditions would have on workers' performance

FIRST of all you must think who plays strong role on subsequent verb following " THAT" in this example just read as
AN intensive investigating changes in woring conditions or effects change in working conditions. which one is better? definitely first one is better

same principle goes to you concern that: one tells individual genes bo............ OR substances tell individual genes bo..............SURELY the second one is better
have got the point i wanted to share ?
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Re: The substances that tell individual genes [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2012, 13:50
One of the substances that tell --> "that" tends to modify the nearest most noun which in this case is "Substances".
Substances is plural hence the verb which is directly following the relative clause should be plural.
(I used the word Relative clause because the same structure is also true for "Who")

One of the substances tells --> there is no that hence the Subject here is One and not substances for the verb tells since One is singular it should take singular verb which is "tells".
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Re: The substances that tell individual genes [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2012, 22:52
maybeam wrote:
179. 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

THAT in the original sentence modifies the antecedent ONE, not the SUBSTANCES, so we can eliminate choice (A), (B) and (E). Between choice (C) and (D), choice (D) is better because choice (C) makes an ambiguous meaning whether the verb REMAIN is paralleled with ACTIVE or BECOME. In this case, we can easily discover that REMAIN will parallel with BECOME, not ACTIVE. So, we need the parallel term WHEN TO.
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Re: The substances that tell individual genes   [#permalink] 15 Jul 2012, 22:52
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