Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more

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Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2004, 06:56
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4. Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was subsequently butchered by homonids have been recovered by paleontologists.

A. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was subsequently butchered by homonids have
B. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and then was subsequently butchered by homonids has
C. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago, which was subsequently butchered by homonids, has
D. having been beached on an African shore more than a million years ago was subsequently butchered by homonids, have
E. having beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and then subsequently were butchered by homonids have

Question: Why not C? I am quite confused by the tense here. Fossils of the whale is plural or singular? If it is plural, shouldn't A be and "were" subsequently butchered....have?
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21 Sep 2004, 07:23
Hi,

Here is my perspective on the question.

Consider:

Fossils plural

Whale singular

Logically:

The whale, not the fossils, was butchered by the early humans (it seems quite difficult to butcher a fossil)

Hundreds of thousands of years later the scientists recovered/discovered the fossils, not the entire whale.

Hjort
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21 Sep 2004, 07:34
Thanks Hjort, your thinking is lucid. Separating the objects make the verb agreements clear. Cheers!
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21 Sep 2004, 20:13
Nice explanation Hjort.
I agree - A is the answer.
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22 Sep 2004, 03:52
A it is
Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was subsequently butchered by homonids have been recovered by paleontologists.

The red part is 2 restrictive clauses introduced by relative pronoun "that" and linked by conjunction "and". Pronoun reference has been explained by Hjort already but this is how sentence structure looks like. The black part is the independent clause which now looks like:

Fossils of a whale have been recovered by paleontologists.

"have been" is proper because it is the "fossils" which have been recovered, not the "whale"
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22 Sep 2004, 07:22
A.

In C, which modifies african shore. Seems like, "African shore was subsequently butchered by homonids"
22 Sep 2004, 07:22
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