One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour

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One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour [#permalink]

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05 Jun 2008, 01:08
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108. One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour feathers, Confuciusornis sanctus, with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to climb up to a launching position for flight.

A. with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to
B. with large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, which probably helped it to
C. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them
D. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, probably to help it
E. had large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, probably to help it

You may easily find the correct choice, but can you help me what "probably to help it" in D and E refer to or modifies? Thanks
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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05 Jun 2008, 01:27
D is the correct answer here

both D and E hinge on the subject verb agreement

E commits an error of subject verb agreement

what is the OA for this
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05 Jun 2008, 01:45
sondenso wrote:
108. One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour feathers, Confuciusornis sanctus, with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to climb up to a launching position for flight.

A. with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to
B. with large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, which probably helped it to
C. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them
D. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, probably to help it
E. had large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, probably to help it

You may easily find the correct choice, but can you help me what "probably to help it" in D and E refer to or modifies? Thanks

First of all by POE
Secondly, 'it' seems to modify here only 'One' as does 'its'. Reference to 'a beak' is too odd
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05 Jun 2008, 01:48
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D for me.

"probably to help it" refers to the bird (Confuciusornis Sanctus).

You can read it like this:

One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour feathers, Confuciusornis sanctus, had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, probably to help it climb up to a launching position for flight.

sondenso wrote:
108. One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour feathers, Confuciusornis sanctus, with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to climb up to a launching position for flight.

A. with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to
B. with large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, which probably helped it to
C. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them
D. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, probably to help it
E. had large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, probably to help it

You may easily find the correct choice, but can you help me what "probably to help it" in D and E refer to or modifies? Thanks
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05 Jun 2008, 01:58
raconteur wrote:
One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour feathers, Confuciusornis sanctus, had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, probably to help it climb up to a launching position for

But why it is not "probably helps it..." or not "prbably helping..."? Thanks!
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05 Jun 2008, 05:29
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sondenso wrote:
raconteur wrote:
One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour feathers, Confuciusornis sanctus, had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, probably to help it climb up to a launching position for

But why it is not "probably helps it..." or not "prbably helping..."? Thanks!

Hi Sendoso,

It's a matter of POE to answer this.

A and B are wrong because "with a beak and contour feathers, Confuciusornis sanctus, with large clawlike..." is awkward. If it was going to keep this pattern, then it shouldn't separate beak, feathers and clawlike "thumbs".... they should all be listed together. So this rules out A and B because "had bla blah blah..." is correct.

E is out because "their" (plural) doesn't agree with birds/Confuciusornis sanctus (singular; "birds" here is singular). So E is gone.

Now, only left with C and D. Your idea of "probably helps it..." or "probably helping..." would work, IF either of those were an option. But their not. So we're left at choosing between C "...which probably helped them" or D "probably to help it". In C, "them" (plural) doesn't agree with "Confuciusornis sanctus" (singular), so C is eliminated. Only thing left is D, which works just fine ("it" is singular and refers back to the bird which is also singular). Although D may not be the way I would say this, after POE, it's clear that D is the only clear and concise answer choice.

Hope this helps!
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05 Jun 2008, 05:33
sondenso wrote:
raconteur wrote:
One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour feathers, Confuciusornis sanctus, had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, probably to help it climb up to a launching position for

But why it is not "probably helps it..." or not "prbably helping..."? Thanks!

note the use of "had", that can be the reason.
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05 Jun 2008, 07:02
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sondenso wrote:
108. One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour feathers, Confuciusornis sanctus, with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to climb up to a launching position for flight.

A. with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to
B. with large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, which probably helped it to
C. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them
D. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, probably to help it
E. had large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, probably to help it

You may easily find the correct choice, but can you help me what "probably to help it" in D and E refer to or modifies? Thanks

B, E are out --> Sub-Verb agreement. Singlular Subject (one of the birds.. Confuciusornis sanctus.. is)
A,C are out-- them vs it (shuld be singlular)

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05 Jun 2008, 13:25
jallenmorris wrote:
C. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them

This is the first one with a verb. This would be the answer if it weren't for "them". This is not proper noun/pronoun agreement. "its wings" should then require "helped it".

Hi Jallenmorris,

You are the man!!!!

In option C, Eventhough if we replace "them" with "it" setence is not logical, because modifier "which" incorrectly modifies the wings.
--->means---> wings helped it climb up to launching postion for flilght
but actually "the claiwlike thumbs on wings" helped it cllimp up to launching postion for flight.

Correct me if I am wrong.

One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour feathers, Confuciusornis sanctus, had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped it climb up to a launching position for flight.
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05 Jun 2008, 17:23
x2suresh wrote:
wings, which probably helped it

, but agree with:
alpha_plus_gamma wrote:
the use of "had", that can be the reason

I think "probably to help it" is the remaining of : "HAVE SOMETHING TO DO SOMETHING". What do you think?
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10 Jun 2008, 13:52
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Actually it is singular because of the of the subject ONE...

One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour feathers

Remember to eliminate the middleman...
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10 Jun 2008, 15:57
I think the way you corrected the setence is correct. It makes sense and the noun/pronoun agreements follow the rules.

I agree with "elminate the middleman". That's great advice!

x2suresh wrote:
jallenmorris wrote:
C. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them

This is the first one with a verb. This would be the answer if it weren't for "them". This is not proper noun/pronoun agreement. "its wings" should then require "helped it".

Hi Jallenmorris,

You are the man!!!!

In option C, Eventhough if we replace "them" with "it" setence is not logical, because modifier "which" incorrectly modifies the wings.
--->means---> wings helped it climb up to launching postion for flilght
but actually "the claiwlike thumbs on wings" helped it cllimp up to launching postion for flight.

Correct me if I am wrong.

One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour feathers, Confuciusornis sanctus, had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped it climb up to a launching position for flight.

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11 Apr 2009, 10:00
sondenso wrote:
x2suresh wrote:
wings, which probably helped it

, but agree with:
alpha_plus_gamma wrote:
the use of "had", that can be the reason

I think "probably to help it" is the remaining of : "HAVE SOMETHING TO DO SOMETHING". What do you think?

I got this question wrong by reasoning in the same way as you did.
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17 Apr 2009, 08:07
sondenso wrote:
108. One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour feathers, Confuciusornis sanctus, with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to climb up to a launching position for flight.

A. with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to
B. with large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, which probably helped it to
C. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them
D. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, probably to help it
E. had large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, probably to help it

You may easily find the correct choice, but can you help me what "probably to help it" in D and E refer to or modifies? Thanks

D&E are gone because of the singularity(it) association with birds.
same problem with A &B

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17 Apr 2009, 08:40
sondenso wrote:
108. One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour feathers, Confuciusornis sanctus, with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to climb up to a launching position for flight.

A. with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to
B. with large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, which probably helped it to
C. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them
D. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, probably to help it
E. had large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, probably to help it

You may easily find the correct choice, but can you help me what "probably to help it" in D and E refer to or modifies? Thanks

I think many have missed "sondenso's" question. Obviously D is best for correct pronoun reference "it" for a singular bird "Confuciusornis sanctus". Not necessary to say that A and B that start with "with" are easily ruled out. C and E have incorrect pronoun references "them for it" and vice versa. So D remains and is correct as already reveled the OA.

So far as to his/her question about modifier - "it or its" cannot refer to any other thing (for ex: wings or thumbs) than Confuciusornis sanctus. So "probably to help it" modifies "Confuciusornis sanctus".
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17 Apr 2009, 20:52
D is the best one, obviously

108. One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour feathers, Confuciusornis sanctus, with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to climb up to a launching position for flight.

A. with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to
B. with large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, which probably helped it to
C. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them
D. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, probably to help it
E. had large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, probably to help it

Quote:
You may easily find the correct choice, but can you help me what "probably to help it" in D and E refer to or modifies? Thanks

The use of probably to help it in D & E is better than the use of which probably ... in A, B & C because which here (in 3 choices) stands right behind wings, so it will wrongly modify for wings that wings help the Confusiusornis sanctus to ...

More precisely, probably to help it correctly modifies for the whole sub-clause "Confuciu ... had large ... wings" meaning that the whole fact that Confuci ... have a clawlike ... on its wings helps it to ..., not only the wings that help it to ...

Is it ok ?
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Re: One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour [#permalink]

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07 Oct 2013, 01:06
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Re: One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour [#permalink]

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12 Nov 2013, 11:55
subject - one , which eliminates B & E.

prob helped them - which eliminates A & C so Answer D.

There is also a verb problem in A & B
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Re: One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour [#permalink]

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24 Nov 2014, 18:58
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2015, 02:59
Hello everyone,

This is my first post in gmat club. So I understand why by POE we can take down A-B-C (because ",which" is referring to wings and it's meant to refer to the clawlike "thumbs") but I still can't understand the difference between D and E.

For me its and their are the same.
Can anyone help me out
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I gave it a thought and talked with some advisors. The correct analysis is the following.

One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour feathers, Confuciusornis sanctus, with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to climb up to a launching position for flight.

A. with large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them to. Pronoun error its (singular) doesn't match them (plural)
B. with large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, which probably helped it to. Pronoun error their (plural) doesn't match it (singular)
C. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, which probably helped them. Same error than A
D. had large clawlike “thumbs” on its wings, probably to help it. OK
E. had large clawlike “thumbs” on their wings, probably to help it. Same error than B

Hope it helps someone

Last edited by jgnorero on 05 Mar 2015, 17:39, edited 1 time in total.
One of the earliest known birds with a beak and contour   [#permalink] 03 Mar 2015, 02:59

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