Byron possessed powers of observation that would have made : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Byron possessed powers of observation that would have made

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27 Aug 2008, 15:29
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68% (01:51) correct 32% (01:12) wrong based on 90 sessions

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Byron possessed powers of observation that would have made him a great anthropologist and that makes his letters as a group the rival of the best novels of the time.
(A) makes his letters as a group the rival of
(B) makes his letters as a group one to rival
(C) makes his letters a group rivaling
(D) make his letters as a group the rival of
(E) make his letters a group which is the rival of
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Re: SC Byron possessed powers of observation [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2008, 15:34
I pick B.

Makes (singular) should be used with Powers of observation

Letters are rivaling novels and not Byron's observation. The use of "one to rival" shows this.
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Re: SC Byron possessed powers of observation [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2008, 17:11
Since the first part of the sentence uses have => the powers of observation is plural hence make should be used and not makes.

Between D and E will go with E
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Re: SC Byron possessed powers of observation [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2008, 18:08
Actually I was wrong, C is the best response. There is no need to use "as."
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Re: SC Byron possessed powers of observation [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2008, 21:41
ssandeepan wrote:
Byron possessed powers of observation that would have made him a great anthropologist and that makes his letters as a group the rival of the best novels of the time.
(A) makes his letters as a group the rival of
(B) makes his letters as a group one to rival
(C) makes his letters a group rivaling
(D) make his letters as a group the rival of
(E) make his letters a group which is the rival of

Subject is Powers of observation -- which is plural

A,B,C out

between D and E.

D looks better.
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Re: SC Byron possessed powers of observation [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2008, 21:46
grepro wrote:
Since the first part of the sentence uses have => the powers of observation is plural hence make should be used and not makes.

Between D and E will go with E

Grepro..
Careful!!! Here "have" doesn't mean subject is plural when it comes with "would"

e.g she would have made it. (singular subject)
they would have made it. (plural subject0
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Re: SC Byron possessed powers of observation [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2008, 23:04
ssandeepan wrote:
Byron possessed powers of observation that would have made him a great anthropologist and that makes his letters as a group the rival of the best novels of the time.
(A) makes his letters as a group the rival of
(B) makes his letters as a group one to rival
(C) makes his letters a group rivaling
(D) make his letters as a group the rival of
(E) make his letters a group which is the rival of

we need a noun after letters..

that makes his letters XXXX

XXXX = noun..

"a group" and not "as a group" is a noun.

only C and E remain.

rival of is wrong. C is the right choice..
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Re: SC Byron possessed powers of observation [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2008, 11:04
I'd pick D. Here is why:
Byron possessed powers of observation that would have made him a great anthropologist and that makes his letters as a group the rival of the best novels of the time.

Now, if we ignore the text in red, we would get the sentence to look like this:
Byron possessed powers of observation that makes his letters as a group the rival of the best novels of the time.

Here "powers of observation" being a plural, we have to look for a choice that comes with a singular verb (Make), which is found in Choice D.

Now if we apply choice D, the sentence would read fine:
Byron possessed powers of observation that make his letters as a group the rival of the best novels of the time.

I invite the grammar gurus have to validate this approach I took. BTW, what's the OA??
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Re: SC Byron possessed powers of observation [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2008, 20:59
OA is D.
Ok guys, i have a question , if the choice E were like this
make his letters a group that is the rival of
what will you choose D or E ?
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Re: SC Byron possessed powers of observation [#permalink]

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23 May 2010, 07:12
sanjay_gmat wrote:
ssandeepan wrote:
Byron possessed powers of observation that would have made him a great anthropologist and that makes his letters as a group the rival of the best novels of the time.
(A) makes his letters as a group the rival of
(B) makes his letters as a group one to rival
(C) makes his letters a group rivaling
(D) make his letters as a group the rival of
(E) make his letters a group which is the rival of

we need a noun after letters..

that makes his letters XXXX

XXXX = noun..

"a group" and not "as a group" is a noun.

only C and E remain.

rival of is wrong. C is the right choice..

In D..... powers make his letters (as a group) the rival of...

XXX= the rival
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Re: SC Byron possessed powers of observation [#permalink]

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25 May 2010, 06:56
I chose A because I thought that since the sentence is "powers of observation that....."...the subject is "observation"....which is singular and so we need singular verb...

I have read somewhere that whenever a sentence has the word 'that' followed by a subject we should use that subject to find the matching verb.

line in this case.....

"powers of observation that" - "observation" is singular

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Re: SC Byron possessed powers of observation [#permalink]

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25 May 2010, 09:21
seekmba wrote:
I chose A because I thought that since the sentence is "powers of observation that....."...the subject is "observation"....which is singular and so we need singular verb...

I have read somewhere that whenever a sentence has the word 'that' followed by a subject we should use that subject to find the matching verb.

line in this case.....

"powers of observation that" - "observation" is singular

powers of observation is plural. observation of powers (say for example) will be singular.
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Re: SC Byron possessed powers of observation [#permalink]

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26 May 2010, 02:41
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A quick tip from Sarai at GMAX:

"Which" is relative pronoun that introduces a descriptive relative clause-- additional, dispensable information. So remember the following rule:

"Which" must be preceded by a comma!

So you can eliminate E.

For example:

Frogs that are green eat flies. The information in the relative clause is important-- it tells you what kind of frogs eat flies.

v.s.

Frogs, which are amphibians, eat insects. The information in the relative clause is not important, as all frogs are amphibians.

If this helped, kindly give Kudos.

To see more on this topic, check out the SC Lesson III on Pronouns at gmaxonline.
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Re: SC Byron possessed powers of observation [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2010, 10:35
There are 2 things -

1. Powers of observation ___ ('make' fits here with the plural 'powers') (A,B,C ruled out)
2. Make the letters ___ a rival group (Now 'as' cannot be used with 'make' in this context ) (for eg - We DO NOT say - The scheme can make you as a millionare , it is always - The scheme can make you a millionare .

taking into account the above the answer is (E) .

Don't mould your reasons to fit into the answers given . They are'nt official answers , mind you .
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Re: SC Byron possessed powers of observation [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2010, 18:23
ssandeepan wrote:
Byron possessed powers of observation that would have made him a great anthropologist and that makes his letters as a group the rival of the best novels of the time.
(A) makes his letters as a group the rival of
(B) makes his letters as a group one to rival
(C) makes his letters a group rivaling
(D) make his letters as a group the rival of
(E) make his letters a group which is the rival of

"As a group"- means "put togetther as a single unit" similar to "We will win a championship as a team". It would be more clear if "as a group, was separated by the commas and I believe it should be separated by commas. The logical point here is that powers made a "rival," not a "group".
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Re: SC Byron possessed powers of observation [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2010, 12:01
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Hey All,

Tons of great conversation on this, and Sarai's point is well made. But let's just take one total look at it from top to bottom.

Byron possessed powers of observation that would have made him a great anthropologist and that makes his letters as a group the rival of the best novels of the time.

We should notice right away that the split "makes/make" creates a subject-verb agreement split. From there, it's about modifiers.

(A) makes his letters as a group the rival of
PROBLEM: To check subject verb, we have to notice the parallelism marker "and". "that makes" wants to match with "that would have made". The subject of both is the same, "powers of observation", which is plural. We need a plural verb, so no "s".

(B) makes his letters as a group one to rival
PROBLEM: Same as above.The modifier here is probably fine.

(C) makes his letters a group rivaling
PROBLEM: Same as above. The modifier here would probably we fine.

(D) make his letters as a group the rival of
ANSWER: Correct subject-verb agreement. Now the modifier. What we have here is "letters" modified by the prepositional phrase "as a group", which is being compared to "the best novels of the time". Are "letters" comparable with "the best novels"? Yes.

(E) make his letters a group which is the rival of
PROBLEM: Correct subject-verb agreement. Sarai's point is great, which is that you cannot use "which" without a comma. However, it's still iffy, because we end up comparing "a group" to "the best novels", which is no good.

Hope that helps!

-t
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23 Jun 2013, 21:46
ssandeepan wrote:
Byron possessed powers of observation that would have made him a great anthropologist and that makes his letters as a group the rival of the best novels of the time.
(A) makes his letters as a group the rival of
(B) makes his letters as a group one to rival
(C) makes his letters a group rivaling
(D) make his letters as a group the rival of
(E) make his letters a group which is the rival of

What does that just before the underline part refers to ?
I think it refers to "powers of observation" -> plural. A,B and C are out. Between D and E, D is correct as 'as' has the proper usage here.
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14 Feb 2015, 11:38
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04 Aug 2016, 12:20
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: Byron possessed powers of observation that would have made   [#permalink] 04 Aug 2016, 12:20
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