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In June of 1989, Princeton Township approved a developer's

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In June of 1989, Princeton Township approved a developer's [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2011, 10:06
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  55% (hard)

Question Stats:

36% (02:16) correct 64% (01:31) wrong based on 14 sessions
In June of 1989, Princeton Township approved a developer's plans to build 300 houses on a large portion of the 210-acre site of the Battle of Princeton, one of only eight Revolutionary War battlefields that had remained undeveloped.
(A) one of only eight Revolutionary War battlefields that had remained undeveloped.
(B) one of eight of the only Revolutionary War battlefields that have remained undeveloped
(C) one of the only eight undeveloped Revolutionary War battlefields that remains
(D) only one of eight Revolutionary War battlefields to remain undeveloped
(E) only one of the eight remaining undeveloped Revolutionary War battlefields

How do you know if the SC is testing this concept [one of X(plural) that/who verb(plural) ] or plain tenses? Iam confused :(
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: SC: one of X(plural) that/who verb(plural) [#permalink] New post 08 Feb 2011, 14:17
goalsnr wrote:
In June of 1989, Princeton Township approved a developer's plans to build 300 houses on a large portion of the 210-acre site of the Battle of Princeton, one of only eight Revolutionary War battlefields that had remained undeveloped.
(A) one of only eight Revolutionary War battlefields that had remained undeveloped.
(B) one of eight of the only Revolutionary War battlefields that have remained undeveloped
(C) one of the only eight undeveloped Revolutionary War battlefields that remains
(D) only one of eight Revolutionary War battlefields to remain undeveloped
(E) only one of the eight remaining undeveloped Revolutionary War battlefields

How do you know if the SC is testing this concept [one of X(plural) that/who verb(plural) ] or plain tenses? Iam confused :(


As it turns out, the Verb Tense issue trumps all here: because the main action in this sentence takes place in the past (1989, to be specific), the verb "remain undeveloped" MUST be in the past perfect tense, and only (A) gives you that option.

You're not wrong to think about the need for the verb to be plural; remember, thought, that this only eliminates answers with singular verb forms, so, in this case, (C). It's good to think about this, and it's a correct reason to eliminate (C), but Subject-Verb Agreement can only be tested with present tense and present perfect tense verbs; other tenses, including future, past, and past perfect all use the same form regardless of the number of the subject.

The correct thought process on this question is to see that (A) has "had" and, before you do anything else, try to decide if the correct answer can or even must have this tense. Past-Perfect is ALWAYS a giveaway that Verb Tenses are important because it is by far the trickiest tense, so use this to your advantage and decide the tense issue first!
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Re: SC: one of X(plural) that/who verb(plural) [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2011, 13:05
AdamKnewton wrote:
goalsnr wrote:
In June of 1989, Princeton Township approved a developer's plans to build 300 houses on a large portion of the 210-acre site of the Battle of Princeton, one of only eight Revolutionary War battlefields that had remained undeveloped.
(A) one of only eight Revolutionary War battlefields that had remained undeveloped.
(B) one of eight of the only Revolutionary War battlefields that have remained undeveloped
(C) one of the only eight undeveloped Revolutionary War battlefields that remains
(D) only one of eight Revolutionary War battlefields to remain undeveloped
(E) only one of the eight remaining undeveloped Revolutionary War battlefields

How do you know if the SC is testing this concept [one of X(plural) that/who verb(plural) ] or plain tenses? Iam confused :(


As it turns out, the Verb Tense issue trumps all here: because the main action in this sentence takes place in the past (1989, to be specific), the verb "remain undeveloped" MUST be in the past perfect tense, and only (A) gives you that option.

You're not wrong to think about the need for the verb to be plural; remember, thought, that this only eliminates answers with singular verb forms, so, in this case, (C). It's good to think about this, and it's a correct reason to eliminate (C), but Subject-Verb Agreement can only be tested with present tense and present perfect tense verbs; other tenses, including future, past, and past perfect all use the same form regardless of the number of the subject.

The correct thought process on this question is to see that (A) has "had" and, before you do anything else, try to decide if the correct answer can or even must have this tense. Past-Perfect is ALWAYS a giveaway that Verb Tenses are important because it is by far the trickiest tense, so use this to your advantage and decide the tense issue first!



Adam,

Thank you so much. Your reply helped me a lot. I have another question on this point:
<<Subject-Verb Agreement can only be tested with present tense and present perfect tense verbs; other tenses, including future, past, and past perfect all use the same form regardless of the number of the subject>>
In Quant we have the PEMDAS rule to solve complex equations. In SC do we have any rule which specifies hierachy of errors. In the above example we have SVA and Tense errors. The order here was 1)tense 2)SVA. Please let me know if you have any generic recommendations/rules for errors. Thanks.
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Re: SC: one of X(plural) that/who verb(plural) [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2011, 14:09
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goalsnr wrote:
Adam,

Thank you so much. Your reply helped me a lot. I have another question on this point:
<<Subject-Verb Agreement can only be tested with present tense and present perfect tense verbs; other tenses, including future, past, and past perfect all use the same form regardless of the number of the subject>>
In Quant we have the PEMDAS rule to solve complex equations. In SC do we have any rule which specifies hierachy of errors. In the above example we have SVA and Tense errors. The order here was 1)tense 2)SVA. Please let me know if you have any generic recommendations/rules for errors. Thanks.


I would be wary of making a hierarchy like PEMDAS for SC, because there are a number of errors where everything has to be correct. Let me clarify what I said above: it's not that the Tense rule trumps the SVA rule, in the sense that it's okay to have an error in the latter as long as the former is correct; however, it is true that, once you get the tense right, the SVA doesn't matter because past perfect doesn't change with singular/plural. However, SVA is tested more often and more obviously than Tense issues, so in general, you should look for SVA rules first.

I will, however, suggest the following, in terms of how quickly you can pick up on errors:

Tier 1 - Modification, Parallelism, Comparisons. I call these "Tier 1" because they are easy to spot: ANY sentence with comparison keywords, long modifying phrases, relative pronouns, or parallel constructions should jump out at you, and you should look for this first. A sentence must be correct in this Tier -- no correct answer choice will make any such errors!

Tier 2 - Subect-Verb Agreement, Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement, Sentence Structure (run-ons and fragments). These are actually just as important as Tier 1, only they're sometimes harder to spot, and if you do spot them, it's through splits in the answer choices. Better to focus on Tier 1 first, if it's a sentence where such an error is obvious. Then look for these. As with Tier 1, A sentence must be correct in these ways to be correct at all -- no correct answer choice will make any such errors!

Tier 3 - Verb Tense, Idioms. The reason you look for these last is that sometimes you think the tense or idiom is wrong, but in fact it isn't; in general, you shouldn't overcorrect here unless you're sure that this is the main rule being tested. If you can find anything other than Tense or Idioms to use to differentiate between two answer choices, use that instead.

Tier 4 - Diction, Logic, Style. These are last because a sentence does not have to be perfect in these categories in order to be correct. However, if it's the only difference between two or three answer choices, then you use it. Otherwise, don't even think about these issues!

I hope that helps. Above all else, keep this in mind: Do not look for any errors in a sentence; use the differences between the answer choices and the "tells" in the sentence to figure out what they're asking for. This way, you won't go through a giant checklist in your head, but rather let the GMAT tell you what it wants you to think about on each SC question you see.
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Re: SC: one of X(plural) that/who verb(plural) [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2011, 07:15
Hi Adam
Correct me. Among A, C and E. "only" is a modifier. It should be placed right before the word it limits. Between A and E "only" has changed its position. Clearly even without reading e I know that meaning has been changed. E is OUT

C is gone because of SV error.

A remains. Am I thinking it right?

AdamKnewton wrote:

The correct thought process on this question is to see that (A) has "had" and, before you do anything else, try to decide if the correct answer can or even must have this tense. Past-Perfect is ALWAYS a giveaway that Verb Tenses are important because it is by far the trickiest tense, so use this to your advantage and decide the tense issue first!
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Re: SC: one of X(plural) that/who verb(plural) [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2011, 08:29
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gmat1220 wrote:
Hi Adam
Correct me. Among A, C and E. "only" is a modifier. It should be placed right before the word it limits. Between A and E "only" has changed its position. Clearly even without reading e I know that meaning has been changed. E is OUT

C is gone because of SV error.

A remains. Am I thinking it right?


Yes, you are absolutely right -- this is another way of examining the question, if what you notice first isn't that the verb form changes but that the placement of "only" changes. Each of the different placements of "only" among the answer choices conveys a different meaning, and only (A) and (C) have the correct meaning, so you can confidently eliminate the rest. Great approach!
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Re: SC: one of X(plural) that/who verb(plural) [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2011, 08:57
AdamKnewton wrote:
goalsnr wrote:
Adam,

Thank you so much. Your reply helped me a lot. I have another question on this point:
<<Subject-Verb Agreement can only be tested with present tense and present perfect tense verbs; other tenses, including future, past, and past perfect all use the same form regardless of the number of the subject>>
In Quant we have the PEMDAS rule to solve complex equations. In SC do we have any rule which specifies hierachy of errors. In the above example we have SVA and Tense errors. The order here was 1)tense 2)SVA. Please let me know if you have any generic recommendations/rules for errors. Thanks.


I would be wary of making a hierarchy like PEMDAS for SC, because there are a number of errors where everything has to be correct. Let me clarify what I said above: it's not that the Tense rule trumps the SVA rule, in the sense that it's okay to have an error in the latter as long as the former is correct; however, it is true that, once you get the tense right, the SVA doesn't matter because past perfect doesn't change with singular/plural. However, SVA is tested more often and more obviously than Tense issues, so in general, you should look for SVA rules first.

I will, however, suggest the following, in terms of how quickly you can pick up on errors:

Tier 1 - Modification, Parallelism, Comparisons. I call these "Tier 1" because they are easy to spot: ANY sentence with comparison keywords, long modifying phrases, relative pronouns, or parallel constructions should jump out at you, and you should look for this first. A sentence must be correct in this Tier -- no correct answer choice will make any such errors!

Tier 2 - Subect-Verb Agreement, Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement, Sentence Structure (run-ons and fragments). These are actually just as important as Tier 1, only they're sometimes harder to spot, and if you do spot them, it's through splits in the answer choices. Better to focus on Tier 1 first, if it's a sentence where such an error is obvious. Then look for these. As with Tier 1, A sentence must be correct in these ways to be correct at all -- no correct answer choice will make any such errors!

Tier 3 - Verb Tense, Idioms. The reason you look for these last is that sometimes you think the tense or idiom is wrong, but in fact it isn't; in general, you shouldn't overcorrect here unless you're sure that this is the main rule being tested. If you can find anything other than Tense or Idioms to use to differentiate between two answer choices, use that instead.

Tier 4 - Diction, Logic, Style. These are last because a sentence does not have to be perfect in these categories in order to be correct. However, if it's the only difference between two or three answer choices, then you use it. Otherwise, don't even think about these issues!

I hope that helps. Above all else, keep this in mind: Do not look for any errors in a sentence; use the differences between the answer choices and the "tells" in the sentence to figure out what they're asking for. This way, you won't go through a giant checklist in your head, but rather let the GMAT tell you what it wants you to think about on each SC question you see.



Adam,

Excellent post!!Thank you so much!
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Re: SC: one of X(plural) that/who verb(plural) [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2011, 19:20
Excellent post, Adam. you almost summed up the SC strategy :-)
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Re: SC: one of X(plural) that/who verb(plural) [#permalink] New post 06 May 2011, 00:10
B,D and E are POE.
between A and C, remains isn't a proper usage.

A wins.
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Re: SC: one of X(plural) that/who verb(plural)   [#permalink] 06 May 2011, 00:10
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