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04 Sep 2012, 10:50
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In our first session of Verbal Live Prep – SC1 – How to Approach Sentence Correction – we saw that simplifying the sentence structure has a two-fold effect. Firstly, it helps clarify the (intended) meaning. Secondly, it helps you identify errors. We also saw that selecting the correct answer becomes much easier once you have a clear understanding of meaning and once you identify the errors in the original sentence. Click on the image to view the recording of the strategy session.

Purpose

In this article, we will see how knowledge of the various uses of that can be leveraged to simplify the sentence structure. Do the exercise questions in the end to test your understanding.

When we simplify the sentence structure, we identify the clauses and we identify the SV pairs in each clause. Then we check for other logical linkages in the sentence - modifiers & modified entities, verb sequencing between multiple verbs, logical lists, and pronoun-antecedent pairs - and determine if errors exist. Using this analysis, we then evaluate the answer choices and confidently mark the correct choice.

As you know “THAT” is a very common clause marker. It is a multi-faceted word. In this article we will discuss its two primary uses. Note “that” may be used in other ways but these two uses constitute the most common uses of ‘that’.

Let’s take an example:

Mary made claims that pertain to her achievements in high school.
In this sentence “that” refers to the preceding noun – claims - and the entire purple clause modifies the noun – claims.
As you can see, “that” is the subject of the purple clause. Its verb is “pertain”.

Let’s take another example:

Retailers do not approve of the apps that allow shoppers to perform immediate price-comparison by scanning a product on the shelf.
In this sentence “that” refers to the preceding noun – apps - and the entire purple clause modifies this noun – apps.
As you can see, “that” is the subject of the purple clause. Its verb is “allow”.

“That” modifies the preceding noun through this modifying clause and acts as the subject of this clause.

Let’s take an example:

Mary claims that she won several awards in her high school.
In this sentence “that” connects two clauses.
Mary claims
Mary claims what?
Mary claims that she won several awards in her high school.
As you can see, “that” is simply a connector. It is not the subject of the purple clause. The subject of the purple clause is “she” and its verb is “won”.

Let’s take another example:

The analysts strongly believe that the manufacturing sector will continue to act as a drag on gross domestic product in the third quarter and that the improvement is unlikely until regional structural issues are addressed and the broader global backdrop brightens.
In this sentence “that” connects clauses.
o Analysts strongly believe
o Analysts strongly believe what?
o Analysts strongly believe
 that manufacturing sector will continue to act as drag….
 that the improvement is unlikely until…
As you can see, “that” is simply a connector. It is not the subject of the purple or blue clause. The subject of the purple clause is “manufacturing sector” and its verb is “will continue”. The subject of the blue clause is “improvement” and its verb is “is”.

Let’s take one more example:
Mary found certain evidence that even the Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) could not find.
In this sentence “that” connects two clauses.
o Mary found certain evidence
o What kind of evidence
o Evidence that even CSI could not find
As you can see, “that” is simply a connector. It is not the subject of the purple clause. The subject of the purple clause is “CSI” and its verb is “could not find”.

“That” connects two clauses. It acts as a connector. Each clause connected by ‘that’ requires its own subject and verb pair.

HOW TO APPLY THIS KNOWLEDGE

Ok so now that you know that “that” can typically act in two capacities, one in which it is subject of the clause and another one in which it is simply a connector, how should you utilize this knowledge to simplify the clauses. It’s simple:
1. When you come across the word “that”, you should know right away that there is another clause.
2. Then when you get to identifying the SV pairs of each clause, keep in mind that depending upon how “that” is used, it could act as subject and it could simply be a connector.

APPLICATION ON OFFICIAL QUESTION I – OG13#140

Rock samples taken from the remains of an asteroid about twice the size of the 6-mile-wide asteroid that eradicated the dinosaurs has been dated to be 3.47 billion years old and thus is evidence of the earliest known asteroid impact on Earth.

We will now solve this question.
MEANING ANALYSIS
This sentence is about certain rock samples that were taken from remains of an asteroid. Details about the size of this asteroid have been provided in the sentence. The main aim of this sentence is to specify the age of these rock samples and to make the claim that these rock samples are evidence of the oldest known asteroid impact on earth.

SENTENCE STRUCTURE
Now we will simplify the sentence structure. We see that the subject of first clause is “rock samples”. The portion “taken from the remains of an asteroid” is a verb-ed modifier. “taken” cannot be a verb since it is not preceded by is/are/was/were. As we continue reading, we come across the word “that”, which signals presence of a clause. – that eradicated the dinosaurs. Then we continue reading and we find what appear to be the two verbs of the subject “rock samples” in the beginning of the sentence.

Rock samples taken from the remains of an asteroid about twice the size of the 6-mile-wide asteroid
has been dated to be 3.47 billion years old and thus is evidence of the earliest known asteroid impact on Earth.

ERROR ANALYSIS
Now that we have the simplified sentence structure, we can perform the error analysis. Notice how you can now focus on each clause one by one and figure out the grammatical correctness and errors. The SV pairs have been color coded. As you can see “that” in this sentence refers to the preceding noun – asteroid. It has its verb “eradicated”. We also clearly see the verbs for the plural subject – rock samples. These verbs are singular and hence there is SV number error here. So the correct choice should have plural verbs. This is the first and the primary error. The second error is the idiomatic usage of the phrase – dated to be. The correct idiom is ‘dated at’.

Now we will review each answer choice one by one and find the correct answer:

A. has been dated to be 3.47 billion years old and thus is
=>SV Number error, Idiom error as discussed

B. has been dated at 3.47 billion years old and thus
=>SV Number error, Verb does not exist. Per our sentence structure and meaning analysis, we know that there are two verbs for the subject – rock samples. In this choice, the verb “is” has been removed and hence second verb no longer exists.

C. have been dated to be 3.47 billion years old and thus are
=>Idiom error

D. have been dated as being 3.47 billion years old and thus
=>Idiom error. Second verb is missing as in choice B

E. have been dated at 3.47 billion years old and thus are
=>Correct choice. Both verbs are plural. The idiom has been corrected.

TAKE AWAY

This is a 700 level question. However, it was extremely simple to arrive at the correct answer once we simplified the sentence structure. We will see more of this in our SC2 – Sentence Structure session.

EXERCISE

For the sentences below, do the following:
1. Identify all SV pairs in the sentence above.
2. Is there any problem with the sentence with regards to the SV pairs?
3. How will you correct the error?

QUESTION 1:
In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s, two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.

QUESTION 2
In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language.

Bottom Line

1. You can simplify the sentence into clauses if you follow the clause markers.
2. “That” has many functions. The two common functions are listed below:
a. Subject of the Clause
b. Connector

SC2- SENTENCE STRUCTURE [VERBAL LIVE PREP CUSTOMERS]

In “SC1-How to approach Sentence Correction”, we discussed the three pillars of Sentence Correction – Meaning, Sentence Structure and Grammar. Furthermore, we demonstrated how one can answer identify errors and spot the correct answer through “intended meaning”. In the next session – “SC2- Sentence Structure” we will discuss how you can leverage “sentence structure” to
1. Identify the intended meaning
2. Identify majority of the errors.
In our experience, you can solve over 95% of the SC questions through the methods described above. To get the most of this session, make sure that you have reviewed this article thoroughly and analyzed the two exercise sentences above. Here is a sample analysis of the first question.

Rock samples taken from the remains of an asteroid about twice the size of the 6-mile-wide asteroid that eradicated the dinosaurs has been dated to be 3.47 billion years old and thus is evidence of the earliest known asteroid impact on Earth.

“We see that the subject of first clause is “rock samples”. The portion “taken from the remains of an asteroid” is a verb-ed modifier. “taken” cannot be a verb since it is not preceded by is/are/was/were. As we continue reading, we come across the word “that”, which signals presence of a clause. – that eradicated the dinosaurs. Then we continue reading and we find what appear to be the two verbs of the subject “rock samples” in the beginning of the sentence. “

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Last edited by egmat on 11 Feb 2014, 20:40, edited 3 times in total.
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09 Sep 2012, 18:16
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Solutions: We asked you to identify the SV pairs in the two official sentences, figure out if there is anything wrong wrt the SV pairs, and if errors are present, how they can be corrected. So here are the answers:

Sentence 1

As you can see, "that" in this sentence is the subject of its clause. It refers to 2,000 studies.
All the SV pairs have been identified in green color. The verb has also been underlined.
The subject - two swiss psychologists does not have a verb. Declaring should be made into the verb - declared.

Sentence 2

As you can see, there are two occurrences of "that" in this sentence. Both refer to the noun - a work. While first occurrence of "that" acts as the subject of the clause, second occurrence of "that" does not act as the subject. In this clause, the subject is "Samuel Johnson". Note that if we were to write a standalone sentence with just this information related to second clause with that, we would write it as:
Samuel Johnson pronounced the work the greatest translation in any language.
Coming to the errors - there is no verb for the noun "that". Taking should be changed to "took".

I would like to thank all who posted their responses. Next I will review each response.
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05 Sep 2012, 09:39
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Another great article from you Payal. Just so you know, I have signed up for e-GMAT verbal prep online even though I am already registered at GMATPill.

QUESTION 1:
In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s, two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.

In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s
two Swiss psychologists, declaring that (It should be declared since taken below in past)
since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size (had failed looks good)
none could be taken seriously.

QUESTION 2
In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronouncedthe greatest translation in any language.

In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad,
a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and ( it should be took instead of taking)
that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language.
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09 Sep 2012, 18:17
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srikirs007 wrote:
Another great article from you Payal. Just so you know, I have signed up for e-GMAT verbal prep online even though I am already registered at GMATPill.

QUESTION 1:
In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s, two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.

In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s
two Swiss psychologists, declaring that (It should be declared since taken below in past)
since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size (had failed looks good)
none could be taken seriously.

QUESTION 2
In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronouncedthe greatest translation in any language.

In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad,
a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and ( it should be took instead of taking)
that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language.

@srikirs007 - great first attempt - While you were able to spot the errors in both sentences, I would have liked to see some more simplification of the clauses. Please see the sentence structure above and see how you could have simplified them better. As you get in the practice of breaking down the structure of the sentence, you will see how all the interrelationships start to flow in front of your eyes. It would be difficult for things to hide from you How much SC course have you done so far. Make sure you practice the prescribed OG questions after every application file. Good luck!!
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06 Dec 2012, 12:29
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Hi Shankar,

Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould has argued that many biological traits are not the products of natural selection, favored due to their enhancement of reproduction or survival, but that they are simply random by-products of other evolutionary developments.

Sorry for having missed this one. Let’s split the clauses here:

(blue = subjcets, green = verbs)

Cl. 1: Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould has argued (IC)
Cl. 2: that many biological traits are not the products of natural selection, favored due to their enhancement of reproduction or survival, but (DC)
Cl. 3: that they are simply random by-products of other evolutionary developments. (DC)

We have in all 3 clauses in this sentence as shown as we have 3 SV pairs. When “that” acts a connector, it connects an IC with a DC. The clause followed by that becomes the DC. This is so because the second clause has been cited to complement the first clause.

So in such constructions, even if the clause following “that” sounds more like a complete idea, they are the DCs because they are preceded by “that’. This is the reason why clauses 2 and 3 in the above sentence are DCs because they both are preceded by “that”.

Now let’s split the second sentence:
The government predicts that, for consumers and businesses that make a large number of long-distance calls, the Federal Communications Commission’s recent telephone rate cuts will greatly reduce costs, though some consumer groups disagree with the government’s estimates, suggesting they are too optimistic.

Cl. 1: The government predicts (IC)
Cl. 2: that, for consumers and businesses
Cl. 3: that make a large number of long-distance calls, (DC)
Cont. of Cl. 2: the Federal Communications Commission’s recent telephone rate cuts will greatly reduce costs, (DC)
Cl. 4: though some consumer groups disagree with the government’s estimates, suggesting
Cl. 5: they are too optimistic. (DC)

That “that” beginning Cl. 2 is a connector while the “that” beginning Cl. 3 is the relative pronoun, the subject of that clause. Also notice that connector "that" is understood in the beginning of Cl. 5. When "that" is used a s connector, it can be understood.

P.S- The concepts namely Sentence Structure Part 1 and Part 2 along with other concepts feature in our free concepts level – Level 1 Preview Concepts. Just log on to e-gmat.com, register for free and learn all about phrases, clauses, and connectors.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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10 Apr 2013, 15:17
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Can you please explain the use of THAT in this sentence. I am confused.

Astronomers have theorized that the Big Bang governs the behavior of interstellar dust, particles that comprise the atoms and molecules created in the progenitive explosion and persisting in even the emptiest regions of space.
a)persisting
b)persists
c)persisted
d)they persisted
e)are persisting

The OA is A.

IMO A is the correct answer.
Here is my analysis: Breaking the sentence to understand the modifiers:
Astronomers have theorized X
X= that {that1} the Big Bang governs Y
Y= the behavior of interstellar dust, particles (modifying dust = Noun + Noun modifier) that {that2} comprise P and Q
P= the atoms
Q= molecules Modifier1 and Modifier2
Modifier1 = created in the progenitive explosion
Modifier2 = persisting in even the emptiest regions of space.
Option Analysis:
A) Modifier1 and Modifier2 correctly modify molecules and are parallel. hence correct
B) C) D) and E) try to introduce unwanted verb hence incorrect.
Now let’s observe the role of ‘that’s
That1- introduces dependent Noun clause. And that1 acts as the connector.
That2- introduces an adjective clause. And, this adj clause modifies ‘particles’. ‘That2’ is the pronoun subject of this adj clause.
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09 Sep 2012, 18:34
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ashg84 wrote:
Hi,

I have some issues in these question, kindly help me understand it..

In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s, two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.

1. First usage of that - that date back to the 1940s.. here that is acting as subject for date back to the 1940s and is referring to "In review of 2000 studies of human behavior" is singular, Date which is a verb should be singular. Am i correct ??
2. Unable to understand the different usage of "," comma. How does that affect the sentence structure and modifiers.

Different SV pairs -
1. that date back to the 1940s
2. two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since - here verb should be past tense "declared" , declaring is the present participle not the verb it should be followed by "were".
3. None could be taken seriously .. here none is subject referring to Studies and verb is taken

2. In 1713, Alexander Pope began [u]his translation of the Iliad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced
the greatest translation in any language.

SV pairs
1. Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad - Subject - Alexander, Verb - Began -- This is the main clause of the sentence
2. a work that, taking him seven years until completion - Subject - That which is referring to a Work (Singular), Verb - Taking, this is in participle form and is not a verb. Here " took " should be used as work is completed and therefore should be past tense.
In this i am little confused .. is it the work that took seven years or Alexander took seven years to complete the work until completion.
3. that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced
- Subject - that which is referring to "translation of the Iliad", verb - Pronounced...

In this question, i am unable to understand why "a work that" is used
Is there any difference in meaning if i structure the sentence like this
In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, that took him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language -- here that is referring to translation of the iliad

Also could you please again explain the usage of "comma" in the original sentence

Thanks

Ashish

Ashish, great attempt and good questions. I especially like the modifier question - "a work that" vs "that". I see that @sourh7wk has made a good attempt at addressing your doubt. Please let me know if you have any more doubts about this one, especially the modifier question pertaining to sentence 2. I want to make sure that you understand the distinction between the two - grammatically both modifiers are fine. They both modify noun entities. But the difference is in terms of logically what makes sense as modified entity and hence the appropriate use of modifier is required.

Also as far the comma goes - there should not be any comma between the subject and the verb here. The incorrect choice (choice A) has a comma between as follows - psychologists, declaring - but clearly when we correct this sentence we will change "declaring" to "declared" and we will remove the comma. I hope this is what you were confused about. Let me know if I misunderstood your confusion.
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06 Dec 2012, 11:26
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SOURH7WK wrote:
Hi e-gmat team.
Sentence 1 is a pretty long complex sentence. I was trying to find which one is independent & which one is dependent clause. But I am a bit confused. Need help to identify:

1. In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s
2. two Swiss psychologists declared
3. that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size
4. none could be taken seriously.

Hi @SOURH7WK,

In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s, two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.

First of all, I apologize for getting back on this so late. This is the clause split here:

(blue = subjects, green = verbs)

Cl. 1: In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior
Cl.2: that date back to the 1940s,
Cont. of Cl. 1: two Swiss psychologists, declaring
Cl. 3: that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size,
Cl. 4: none could be taken seriously.

So it is clear that Cl. 1 is not even a clause because the subject does not have a verb. So let’s correct this sentence.

Cl. 1: In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior
Cl.2: that date back to the 1940s, (DC)
Cont. of Cl. 1: two Swiss psychologists declared (IC)
Cl. 3: that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, (DC)
Cl. 4: none could be taken seriously. (IC)

Cl. 1 is the IC. Notice that Cl. 3 and Cl. 4 together make up a long DC which can be further broken into a DC and IC. This combined DC is connected to IC Cl. 1 with “that”.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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05 Sep 2012, 21:34
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Thanks for the praise Sri. I am glad you like the article. We will provide the answer in a day once we receive a few more responses.

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08 Sep 2012, 21:53
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EXERCISE

For the sentences below, do the following:
1. Identify all SV pairs in the sentence above.
2. Is there any problem with the sentence with regards to the SV pairs?
3. How will you correct the error?

QUESTION 1:
In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s, two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.

1. In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s - That refers to 2000 studies and acts as subject in " that date back to the 1940s" SV Pair: That date back
2. two Swiss psychologists, declaring that - declaring is not verb, so we need to change it to declared. SV Pair: two Swiss psychologists declared.
3. that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size. That acts as a connector. SV Pair: most of the studies had failed
4. none could be taken seriously. SV Pair: none could be taken

QUESTION 2
In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language.
1. In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, SV Pair : Alexander Pope began
2. a work that, taking him seven years until completion - that refers to the work ie translation of Iliad. taking is not a verb so we need to change it to took.
3. and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language. - that refers to the work ie translation of Iliad. SV Pair: Samuel Johnson pronounced

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25 Mar 2013, 21:47
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This is great. Will be keen to know the other uses or "that".....relevant to GMAT
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05 Apr 2013, 06:21
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In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s, two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.
Clauses are mentioned below with the subjects in bold and verb in red color
Clause-1-
In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s, two Swiss psychologists,
declaring that -> appear that it modifies the previous clause
Clause-2-
since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size,
clause-3-
none could be taken seriously.
Problems: Clause 1 is missing the verb for the subject two Swiss psychologists.
Clause 2 can be expressed into simple present tense, as it states the fact that is still true in present.
Correction: Clause-1- Comma can be taken off and verb could be ‘declare’ or ‘have declared’.
Clause-2- it can be expressed into simple present tense.
Corrected sentence:
In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to 1940s, two Swiss psychologists have declared that since most of the studies have failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.

2-
In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language.
Clause 1: In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, a work (noun + noun modifier- that would start with that)
Clause 2: that, taking him seven years until completion, and <- no verb, should be had taken
Clause 3: that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language.

Corrected Sentence:
In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, a work that had taken him seven years to complete, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, has pronounced the greatest translation in any language.

-------------------------------
Dear club mates,
I need your help for the above mentioned sentences:
1- Verb sequencing seems missing. As per standard rule: The general fact should be mentioned into present tense. ?
2- As per MGMT Sentence Correction Guide, we can use past perfect tense to express the later events if the former event is into past tense and the time frame is also mentioned. In example -2 the time frame of 7 years has been mentioned, so why this has not been expressed into past perfect tense?
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09 Apr 2013, 13:31
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Can you please explain the use of THAT in this sentence. I am confused.

Astronomers have theorized that the Big Bang governs the behavior of interstellar dust, particles that comprise the atoms and molecules created in the progenitive explosion and persisting in even the emptiest regions of space.
a)persisting
b)persists
c)persisted
d)they persisted
e)are persisting

The OA is A.
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08 Sep 2013, 01:48
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SENTENCE STRUCTURE
Now we will simplify the sentence structure. We see that the subject of first clause is “rock samples”. The portion “taken from the remains of an asteroid” is a verb-ed modifier. “taken” cannot be a verb since it is not preceded by is/are/was/were. As we continue reading, we come across the word “that”, which signals presence of a clause. – that eradicated the dinosaurs. Then we continue reading and we find what appear to be the two verbs of the subject “rock samples” in the beginning of the sentence.

• Rock samples taken from the remains of an asteroid about twice the size of the 6-mile-wide asteroid
• has been dated to be 3.47 billion years old and thus is evidence of the earliest known asteroid impact on Earth.

ERROR ANALYSIS
Now that we have the simplified sentence structure, we can perform the error analysis. Notice how you can now focus on each clause one by one and figure out the grammatical correctness and errors. The SV pairs have been color coded. As you can see “that” in this sentence refers to the preceding noun – asteroid. It has its verb “eradicated”. We also clearly see the verbs for the plural subject – rock samples. These verbs are singular and hence there is SV number error here. So the correct choice should have plural verbs. This is the first and the primary error. The second error is the idiomatic usage of the phrase – dated to be. The correct idiom is ‘dated at’.

As per this analysis and if I've understood the article properly in this particular OG example. In this example "that" is playing the role of a subject and its not a connector. Correct?

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27 Jan 2014, 08:04
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Hi rrsnathan,

Astronomers have theorized that the Big Bang governs the behavior of interstellar dust, particles that comprise the atoms and molecules created in the progenitive explosion and persisting in even the emptiest regions of space.

a )persisting
b) persists
c) persisted
d) they persisted
e) are persisting

MEANING ANALYSIS:

Let's begin with understanding the meaning of the sentence. The sentence says that according astronomers, Big Bang governs the behavior of interstellar dust. Then it explains the "interstellar dust". These are particles that are made up of atoms and molecules. Further, the sentence presents a few characteristics of these "atoms and molecules". These "atoms and molecules" are created in the progenitive explosion, and they persist in even the emptiest regions of space.

ERROR ANALYSIS:

Let's break the sentence in its clauses.

Cl. 1: Astronomers have theorized
Cl. 2: that the Big Bang governs the behavior of interstellar dust, particles
Cl. 3: that comprise the atoms and molecules created in the progenitive explosion and persisting in even the emptiest regions of space.

A thing to notice in this sentence is that "created" and "persisting" both are modifiers that present information about the "atoms and molecules". Also note that "persisting" just by itelf CANNOT be a verb because there has to be a helping verb is/am/was/were etc present before the -ing word to make a verb.

Also notice that "created" and "persisting" both are noun modifiers that modify the same entity. they preform the same function of modifying a common noun entity. Hence, they are perfectly parallel. So there are NO ERRORS in this sentence. Let's move on to the answer choice now.

PoE:

a) persisting: Correct.

b) persists: Incorrect. "persist" is not parallel to "created" anymore because it is a verb. It is now parallel to another verb "comprise". But singular verb "persist" doe snot agree in number with plural "atoms and molecules".

c) persisted: Incorrect. Same parallelism error as in Choice B. "persisted" in not even in the same verb tense as "comprise".

d) they persisted: Incorrect. This Independent Clause is NOT PROPERLY connected to the rest of the sentence. It is neither preceded by any Comma + FANBOYS nor by a semicolon, a colon, or a dash.

e) are persisting: Incorrect. Same errors as in Choice C.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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25 May 2015, 07:50
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bagdbmba wrote:
debayan222 wrote:
For the sentence in your article "Mary found certain evidence that even the Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) could not find." 'that' is a connector for sure.

But,had the sentence been "Mary found certain evidence that even could not be found by the Crime Scene Investigators (CSI)." then I think 'that' is modifying the noun 'evidence' through the purple clause and is the subject of the purple clause as per "Usage 1" mentioned in this article.

I'm awaiting you feedback on the above...!

Mary found certain evidence that even could not be found by the Crime Scene Investigators (CSI).

Here, that is the subject of the clause.
In 1st sentence, if we say that 'that' is used as subject of the clause, then if we replace the subject of the clause with 'that' then it becomes - "that (the evidence) even the CSI could not find" -
The evidence even the CSI could not find - This is awkward. So here that is a clause connecter.

But if subject is replaced by 'that' in 2nd sentence, it is like "that (the evidence) could not be found by CSI" - The evidence could not be found by CSI - CORRECT. So here that is subject of the clause.
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05 Sep 2012, 23:52
QUESTION 1:
In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s, two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.

Structure and Meaning: Sentence says that these two Swiss psychologists did review of 2000 studies and declared that most of the studies had failed for some reason and hence none could be taken seriously.
Break up of sentence
In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s: Modifier
two Swiss psychologists : Modified entity
declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size:
declaring is wrong usage here. It should be declared. “That” works as connector here. Second Clause has SV pair
Error: Incorrect verb usage.

QUESTION 2
In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language.
Meaning: Alexander Pope took seven years for completing of Iliad and his contemporary (Samuel Johnson) pronounced the Iliad the greatest translation in any language.

Break up of Sentence
Clause 1 - In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion
Clause 2 - and that literary critic Samuel Johnson Pope’s contemporary pronounced the greatest translation in any language
Two independent clauses are connected by connector and
SV Pair exist in first clause. S- Alexandar V- began
SV par exist in second clause. S- Samuel V-pronounced
Error- modifier is wrong. A work that took him seven years until completion is right usage
"That" works as connector here.
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06 Sep 2012, 18:38
Hi,

I have some issues in these question, kindly help me understand it..

In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s, two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.

1. First usage of that - that date back to the 1940s.. here that is acting as subject for date back to the 1940s and is referring to "In review of 2000 studies of human behavior" is singular, Date which is a verb should be singular. Am i correct ??
2. Unable to understand the different usage of "," comma. How does that affect the sentence structure and modifiers.

Different SV pairs -
1. that date back to the 1940s
2. two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since - here verb should be past tense "declared" , declaring is the present participle not the verb it should be followed by "were".
3. None could be taken seriously .. here none is subject referring to Studies and verb is taken

2. In 1713, Alexander Pope began [u]his translation of the Iliad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced
the greatest translation in any language.

SV pairs
1. Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad - Subject - Alexander, Verb - Began -- This is the main clause of the sentence
2. a work that, taking him seven years until completion - Subject - That which is referring to a Work (Singular), Verb - Taking, this is in participle form and is not a verb. Here " took " should be used as work is completed and therefore should be past tense.
In this i am little confused .. is it the work that took seven years or Alexander took seven years to complete the work until completion.
3. that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced
- Subject - that which is referring to "translation of the Iliad", verb - Pronounced...

In this question, i am unable to understand why "a work that" is used
Is there any difference in meaning if i structure the sentence like this
In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, that took him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language -- here that is referring to translation of the iliad

Also could you please again explain the usage of "comma" in the original sentence

Thanks

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08 Sep 2012, 21:34
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ashg84 wrote:
Hi,

I have some issues in these question, kindly help me understand it..

In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s, two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.

1. First usage of that - that date back to the 1940s.. here that is acting as subject for date back to the 1940s and is referring to "In review of 2000 studies of human behavior" is singular, Date which is a verb should be singular. Am i correct ??
I think here that refers to the "2000 Studies"

2. Unable to understand the different usage of "," comma. How does that affect the sentence structure and modifiers.
, ing-modifier modifies the preceding clause.
Different SV pairs -
1. that date back to the 1940s
2. two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since - here verb should be past tense "declared" , declaring is the present participle not the verb it should be followed by "were". -ing modifier is not a verb so we need a verb and ie declared.
3. None could be taken seriously .. here none is subject referring to Studies and verb is taken

2. In 1713, Alexander Pope began [u]his translation of the Iliad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced
the greatest translation in any language.

SV pairs
1. Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad - Subject - Alexander, Verb - Began -- This is the main clause of the sentence
2. a work that, taking him seven years until completion - Subject - That which is referring to a Work (Singular), Verb - Taking, this is in participle form and is not a verb. Here " took " should be used as work is completed and therefore should be past tense.
In this i am little confused .. is it the work that took seven years or Alexander took seven years to complete the work until completion. "a work" is a noun modifier and it is modifying "translation of Iliad"
3. that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced
- Subject - that which is referring to "translation of the Iliad", verb - Pronounced...

In this question, i am unable to understand why "a work that" is used
Is there any difference in meaning if i structure the sentence like this
In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, that took him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language -- here that is referring to translation of the iliad
Here that is modifying Iliad and this will change the meaning - Iliad itself can not take 7 years to complete.

Also could you please again explain the usage of "comma" in the original sentence

here , and is used to make parallelism, a work that took......., and that ........

Thanks

Ashish

I am not an expert. I just wanted to help with my understanding. Experts can provide more details for sure.
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09 Sep 2012, 18:24
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udaymathapati wrote:
QUESTION 1:
In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s, two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.

Structure and Meaning: Sentence says that these two Swiss psychologists did review of 2000 studies and declared that most of the studies had failed for some reason and hence none could be taken seriously.
Break up of sentence
In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s: Modifier
two Swiss psychologists : Modified entity
declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size:
declaring is wrong usage here. It should be declared. “That” works as connector here. Second Clause has SV pair
Error: Incorrect verb usage.

QUESTION 2
In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion, and that literary critic Samuel Johnson, Pope’s contemporary, pronounced the greatest translation in any language.
Meaning: Alexander Pope took seven years for completing of Iliad and his contemporary (Samuel Johnson) pronounced the Iliad the greatest translation in any language.

Break up of Sentence
Clause 1 - In 1713, Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad, a work that, taking him seven years until completion
Clause 2 - and that literary critic Samuel Johnson Pope’s contemporary pronounced the greatest translation in any language
Two independent clauses are connected by connector and
SV Pair exist in first clause. S- Alexandar V- began
SV par exist in second clause. S- Samuel V-pronounced
Error- modifier is wrong. A work that took him seven years until completion is right usage
"That" works as connector here.

@udaymathapati- I am glad that you posted your analysis of meaning as well. Great!
Now as far as sentence structure goes, you have spotted the modified entities and modifiers. This is good. But I would have wanted to see more of clause structure as the first step and then modifier analysis. Please see the way I have done in the article and the solution of the exercise.
For second sentence, the meaning analysis is slightly weak. Note carefully that Pope did not complete Iliad. He began and completed the TRANSLATION of Iliad. This is a very important distinction in this sentence. Here the modifier "a work" modifies the complete noun phrase - translation of Iliad. Also, note the two usages of "that" in this sentence as I have explained in the solution.

But overall great attempt. Keep up the focus on meaning and sentence structure!!
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