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It is unclear whether chimpanzees are unique among nonhuman

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It is unclear whether chimpanzees are unique among nonhuman [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2010, 12:27
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It is unclear whether chimpanzees are unique among nonhuman species in their ability to learn behaviors from one another, or if, when other animals are studied in as much depth, similar patterns would be found.
A. if, when other animals are studied in as much depth, similar patterns would be found
B. if other animals were studied with as much depth they would exhibit similar patterns
C. would similar patterns be found in other animals if they were studied in as much depth
D. whether similar patterns would be exhibited in other animals that were studied with as much depth
E. whether other animals would exhibit similar patterns if they were studied in as much depth
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: GMAT Prep: Chimpanzees [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2010, 12:32
If your answer is the right one, then kindly explain that what is the antecedent of "they"? "They" can refer to "patterns" and can also refer to "chimpanzees". Thanks in advance.
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Re: GMAT Prep: Chimpanzees [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2010, 03:08
They clearly refer to other animals. This is a parallel construct, the independent clause with other animals continue with the conditional statement .. if they...
Also the pronouns refer generally to the noun closest to them. You have to understand what is being said in the sentence and then figure out if the pronoun refers to the closest noun or not
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Re: GMAT Prep: Chimpanzees [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2010, 08:52
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It is unclear whether chimpanzees are unique...........or whether other animals would exhibit similar patterns --> parallel

It is unclear whether chimpanzees are unique among nonhuman species in their ability to learn behaviors from one another, or if, when other animals are studied in as much depth, similar patterns would be found.

A. if, when other animals are studied in as much depth, similar patterns would be found - if, when awkward
B. if other animals were studied with as much depth they would exhibit similar patterns - passive
C. would similar patterns be found in other animals if they were studied in as much depth - awkward
D. whether similar patterns would be exhibited in other animals that were studied with as much depth - passive
E. whether other animals would exhibit similar patterns if they were studied in as much depth - CORRECT
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Re: GMAT Prep: Chimpanzees [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2010, 09:19
IMO E...
parallelism.. whether chimpanzees ; whether other animals
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Re: GMAT Prep: Chimpanzees [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2010, 14:04
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I agree with seekmba and temp33-- the most efficient split on this one is "if" versus "whether." If you cut out the fat between the structure words you can see the parallel structure needed: "whether...or....whether." Parallelism is really powerful and one of the fastest ways to slice through a wordy question.

Additionally, the meaning difference between "whether" and "if" dictates you use "whether." This distinction definitely comes up on the exam. Here the parallelism helps you out but that clue might not always be present.

* "if" is used to expression a condition--Ex: I will catch a cold IF I don't wear my hat. (IF something happens--in this case me not wearing my hat-- a CONSEQUENCE will occur)

*"whether" is used to indicate alternatives--Ex: I don't know WHETHER I like that hat. (Either I like it or I don't)

In this case the correct answer contains both "if" and "whether." The condition ("if they were studied") has two possible consequences--the other animals may exhibit similar patterns, or they may not. These alternatives are correctly shown by the usage of "whether.")
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Re: GMAT Prep: Chimpanzees [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2010, 14:11
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Oops almost forgot! Regarding the pronoun ambiguity Hussain15 mentioned--there is a little bit of wiggle room in terms of pronoun ambiguity on the GMAT. You want to stay as clear as possible, but here the power of parallelism not only dictates the structure of "whether chimpanzees...or whether other animals," but also points us in the right direction in terms of the antecedent for "they." "They" is in the subject position for its conditional clause ("THEY were studied")--the antecedent for "they" is also in the subject position ("OTHER ANIMALS would exhibit").
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Re: It is unclear whether chimpanzees are unique among nonhuman [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2014, 08:04
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Re: It is unclear whether chimpanzees are unique among nonhuman [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2014, 10:30
It is unclear whether chimpanzees are unique among nonhuman species in their ability to learn behaviors from one another, or if, when other animals are studied in as much depth, similar patterns would be found.

whether chimpanzees are unique or whether .......
whether should be used to make both parts parallel.
So A, B, and C are out

D. whether similar patterns would be exhibited in other animals that were studied with as much depth - Incorrect. Parallelism issue and passive voice seems to indicate that similar patterns would be exhibited in other animals by someone.

E. whether other animals would exhibit similar patterns if they were studied in as much depth - Correct
Re: It is unclear whether chimpanzees are unique among nonhuman   [#permalink] 12 Jun 2014, 10:30
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