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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 02 May 2007, 19:03
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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
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Re: SC - Genes [#permalink] New post 02 May 2007, 20:06
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.


I'll go with A

(A) tell individual genes both when to become active and when to remain
Correct
(B) tell individual genes both at which time they should become active or should remain
Idiom is Both X and Y
(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 02 May 2007, 22:12
one of the substances that tell is correct usage here as the meaning is referring to one of the many substances

both X and Y is correct usage
A it is
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Re: SC - Genes [#permalink] New post 03 May 2007, 00:41
leeye84 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


I eliminate E because present tense sounds better,
Then, I eliminate B, C and D because the correct idiom is both ... and

Then A left. Answer A.

Can anyone explains me why it is "tell" and not "tells" ?
Thank you.
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Re: SC - Genes [#permalink] New post 03 May 2007, 00:54
[quote="leeye84"]179. Biologists believe that they have found one of the substances that [u]tell individual genes both when to become active and when to remain[/u] 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[/quote]

[b]A[/b]

"..one of the substances that tell..." Be carefule with this type of sentences, the word "that" tells you that the verb that follows should agree with the noun immediately preceding "that" -> "substances" is plural, therefore the verb should also be plural -> "tell"

The verb would be singular should we had something like this:
"...one of the substances smells very bad". In this case, the presence of the "of" construction generates some confusion. Anyways, the verb in this case is refering to "one...", therefore is singular -> "smells"

B- problem with parallelism "...both X and Y" -> the sentence uses "both ....or...."
C,D- are out because of an incorrect use of the verb
E- changes the meaning of the sentece (will...)
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 [#permalink] New post 03 May 2007, 07:55
one of X defines a quantity, therefore the verb agrees with X! For example one quarter of the students were in the class (verb agrees with 'students' and not with 'a quarter')!!

Therefore (C) and (D) out! After this consideration the parts in the idiom 'both X and Y' must be paralle. (A) is correct '..both when to become X and when to remain Y..'

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 [#permalink] New post 03 May 2007, 09:23
Querio: great explaination. The 'tell' vs. 'tells' was what confused me.

The OA is A.
  [#permalink] 03 May 2007, 09:23
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