In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC) - Page 3
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# In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround

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27 Jul 2010, 03:26
A for me.

"green fields" is the antecedent of "surround the San Joaquin Valley town", so the verb is plur.--- Leave A,C,D options

The main subject is patchwork, so the main verb is single. ---Leave A,C options

In C, "many of who" means "farm worker", so it should be "many of whom".

A is correct.
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27 Jul 2010, 06:13
I agree with B .. its patchwork of green fields.. so singular .. hence surrounds.. !
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27 Jul 2010, 07:59
Subject Verb agreements lets it to two choices A and E... And the answer should be A..
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27 Jul 2010, 08:00
Sorry I mean B between B and E, B is better...
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28 Jul 2010, 22:14
Chose B ........Still believe in it....... Patch work is singular
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14 Feb 2011, 05:18
almostfamous wrote:
This is indeed a toughie! I would think that the correct choice is B, not A.

The biggest question I have for those who support A, how do we know that the subject for the verb "surround" is the "green fields", and then changes to "the patchwork" for the verb "bustle"?

I saw an explanation earlier in this thread that "patchwork" cannot surround. But I would argue that patchy field could be formed so that it surrounds something. And "green fields" can bustle many people, too. So how does one know the shift of the subjects, without any apparent logical cue?

Yes, you are right in this. Surrounds should go parallel to bustles. Surround and bustles cannot go together. Hence B seems to be the right one.

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14 Feb 2011, 10:35
I took B too. And still confusing with A.
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14 Feb 2011, 12:00
While the sentence has a singular subject ("patchwork"), the antecedent of "surround/s" (which is part of the relative clause "that surround/s the San Joaquin Valley town") can be either "fields" or "patchwork" depending on the author's intention. Thus, since there's nothing grammatically amiss with either "surround" or "surrounds," you can reject neither and must instead consider other parts of the sentence to eliminate the four wrong options.

Eliminate D right away, because both "bustle" and "which" are wrong--"farm workers" being people and not inanimate objects. Get rid of C because "who" should be "whom" (object of a preposition) and E because "many are" would create a comma splice, which is when two complete sentences are connected by only a comma.

We're left with A and B, then, which differ in just two ways: (1) "surround"/"surrounds" and (2) "them"/"whom are." (1) won't help us winnow the choices, so (2) must be our final determinant. Which is better, "many of them in the area just for the season" or "many of whom are in the area just for the season"? Well, both are grammatical, so how do we decide between them? What's the difference between them? A is briefer by one word. That's pretty much it. A is therefore the better choice because it is more concise--its verb is understood ("many of them [being] in the area just for the season"), whereas B's is explicit.

It's a fine distinction, no doubt--but A is slightly better than B.

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14 Feb 2011, 13:45
A nice example of a crappy question that shall be avoided: without reference to an airtight source (OG, MGMAT etc), personally I am not going to spend even a minute dedicing whether it is A or B a correct choice. Unlike in DS or PS, there is no way to quality or disquality any of the answer choices. Now imagine you 'buy' the incorrect reasoning in that discussion and a similar questions pops-up in your real GMAT... good luck
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14 Feb 2011, 17:28
It has to be B. The subject is "patchwork" not "of green fields" which takes the verb "surrounds."

...although I'd love to see a GMAT guru's take on this question.
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14 Feb 2011, 18:44
In search for further evidence to support B, I found these information in the MGMAT SC book.

For your reference, the original problem and the first two alternatives are here:
-------------------------------
In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them in the area just for the season.

(a) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them
(B) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of whom are
-------------------------------

I have 4th edition of the MGMAT SC. On page 234, under "Modifiers: Exception to the Touch Rule"

1) A "mission-critical modifier falls between. This is modifier is often an Of-phrase that defines the noun. Example: He had a way OF DODGING OPPONENTS that impressed the scouts.

Without the Of-phrase, the sentence is meaningless.

In our problem, "patchwork" is meaningless without the of-phrase. So I would qualify this as a valid exception for the touch rule.

On page 236, under "subgroup modifiers"

Right: This model explains all known subatomic particles, SOME OF WHICH WERE only recently discovered
Wrong: This model explains all known subatomic particles, SOME OF WHICH only recently discovered

In other words, this construction requires a verb. As A lacks a verb, I would conclude this ungrammatical, a la MGMAT.
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15 Feb 2011, 03:13
Confusing one... thanks seofah. +1
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20 Feb 2011, 09:30
'B' is correct. It says "Patchwork of Green fields" emphasizing Patchwork of GF does something not the Green Fields ...
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20 Feb 2011, 12:05
The answer has to be A).

Read the sentence without the modifier
 In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them in the area just for the season.

as
 In good years, the patchwork <> bustles with farm workers, many of them in the area just for the season.

<> =of green fields that surround the San Joaquin Valley town
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21 Feb 2011, 01:16
Before we decide the subjects and their agreement with their corresponding verbs, let us refresh some facts and ask some questions.

1. What is the verb in question? “Surround” –
2. What ‘surround’? It must be some plural subject.
3. What are the available plural subjects prior to surround? There is only one plural subject i.e. ‘green fields’.

In addition, as per the relative pronoun touch - rule, the relative pronoun modifies the noun just before it and assumes all the characteristics of its gender and number.

So there can be no doubt that the noun phrase ‘-green fields –' is the subject of ‘surround’.

Let us now go to the next verb ‘bustles’. This is a singular verb and its subject has to be singular.

What singular subjects are there before ‘bustles? They are the patch work and the town. But green fields are not even a contender because of its plurality.

The singular subject town is not a logical contender in the context, because the town is the object of the verb surround. We have to conclude that the ‘patch work’ is the only plausible subject of the verb ‘bustles’

I am interested in knowing any better logic than this .
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26 Aug 2011, 15:57
I'm leaning towards B because between A and B I feel it does the best job of clearing up the ambiguity of the word many.

Easy POE first:
C) Incorrect: uses "who", nominative case, as an object of the preposition "of". should be whom which is objective
D) Incorrect: "which" is a relative pronoun used to introduce a subordinate clause which means it would require a verb. something it doesn't have
E) Incorrect: "many" doesn't have a clear antecedent.

Many is a plural indefinite pronoun that in this sentence can have "green fields" or "farm workers" as an antecedent. Depending on what is planted on it a field can be green year round or seasonaly. So an indefinite amount of green fields are capable of being "in the area just for the season". By the same token a farm worker can work on one farm year round or migrate from one farm to another depending on the season. So an indefinite amount of farm workers are capable of being "in the area just for the season".

Choice (A) clears up the ambiguity by placing the phrase that many is a part of next to the word "workers". Choice (B) clears up this ambiguity because it uses the word "whom" as an object of the preposition "of" and whom can only be used to refer to people. It seems to me that (B) clears up the ambiguity the best. But there might be a problem with usage in (B) that no one has mentioned.

There is yet another problem with ambiguity in this problem. An argument that no one has resolved is what the number of "surround" should be. The so called "touch rule" says the relative pronoun that introduces an adjective phrase is always next to the noun it modifies. "That" is next fields in this situation so surround should be pural according to this rule and choice (A) is correct. However the Manhattan SC guide vol. 3 on pg. 104 says an exception to this rule occurs when, "1) A 'mission-critical' modifier falls between. This modifier is often an Of-phrase that defines the noun". So, is the prepositional phrase "of green fields" "mission-critical"? If it was non-essential it would be between two commas. So according this rule the adjective phrase could modify the singular "patchwork" making choice (B) correct. This rule doesn't disqualify choice (A) from being correct either.

There might be another issue with "surround" that would help to clear this up. Can a "patchwork" "surround"? A patchwork is incongruous which would seem to make it incapable of envelping something. So choice (A) would be correct. But taken in a metaphorical sense with the "mission-critical modifier" "of green fields" it would be capable of enveloping something. So choice (B) would be correct.
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Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround [#permalink]

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19 Feb 2012, 07:18
Quote:
In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them in the area just for the season.

(A) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them
(B) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of whom are
(C) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of who are
(D) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustle with farm workers, many of which
(E) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many are

Detail explanations are welcome.

Subject is "patchwork" and not "green fields"
You can ignore anything that follows "of" in a subject.
OR
You can read it as "green fields patchwork". Here "green fields" represent possession and the subject must be the one that is possessed by someone.

So B & E are left

Confused b/w "many of whom are" and "many are". IMO "of whom" in "many [of whom] are" is implicit so it is concise.

Could anyone explain why "many of whom are" is preferred as "of whom" in "many are" is implicit?
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20 Feb 2012, 00:33
icandy wrote:
The subject is not greenfields, it is patch work.

Ask the Q what surrounds? Ans is PW and not GF

B & E remain. Whom refers back to workers and is needed here to show the part of the total.

Which statement makes sense?
"In good years, the patchwork that surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers...."
"In good years, green fields that surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers...."

Definitely the second one makes sense. Hence, 'surround' is correct.
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20 Feb 2012, 00:40
nfjet wrote:
I'm leaning towards B because between A and B I feel it does the best job of clearing up the ambiguity of the word many.

Many is a plural indefinite pronoun that in this sentence can have "green fields" or "farm workers" as an antecedent. Depending on what is planted on it a field can be green year round or seasonaly. So an indefinite amount of green fields are capable of being "in the area just for the season". By the same token a farm worker can work on one farm year round or migrate from one farm to another depending on the season. So an indefinite amount of farm workers are capable of being "in the area just for the season".

Choice (A) clears up the ambiguity by placing the phrase that many is a part of next to the word "workers". Choice (B) clears up this ambiguity because it uses the word "whom" as an object of the preposition "of" and whom can only be used to refer to people. It seems to me that (B) clears up the ambiguity the best. But there might be a problem with usage in (B) that no one has mentioned.

I agree with all of this, except that B is better than A in clearing the ambiguity.
As, we don't have the full context, the statement can refer to either workers are green fields. So, based on this, we can't say B is better than A. The next criteria to evaluate is - which statement resonates well (this may be subjective, but let us go with the majority ). I think A wins here.
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Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround [#permalink]

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17 Sep 2012, 09:31
I believe it is B

"of green fields" is a mission critical modifier that separates the subject (the patchwork) from "that", hence, "surrounds" refer to a singular, the patchwork.
Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround   [#permalink] 17 Sep 2012, 09:31

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