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# One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre One of the major

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One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre One of the major [#permalink]

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18 Sep 2012, 11:50
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One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre

One of the major pronoun SV agreement problem hovers around the words
One, None, Some etc...
The veritas 10 year anniversary problem seems to have started a chain of confusion.
I just wanted to chip in and clear some doubts (including mine) by some simple analogies.

Consider the following examples
1.In the popular sitcom 30 Rock, the one episode which was aired live WAS well appreciated.
This is a correct sentence as the subject is singular (one episode)
2. Boxing is a difficult sport; only one out of ten amateurs becomes pro.
Here 9 out of 10 boxers DO NOT become pro. We are talking about the ONLY one who does. So the verb needed is singular.
3. The popular sitcom 30 Rock was one of the few shows which were appreciated by the 40-50 year old demographic
Notice that "was" is used for singular verb 30 Rock but plural verb "were" is used for "few shows". The above sentence could also be re written as:
4. One of the few shows that were appreciated by the 40-50 year old demographic, 30 Rock was extremely popular.
Here few shows were appreciated, not just 30 Rock alone. Hence plural verb is needed.
Hope this is clarified by some gmat experts.
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Re: One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre [#permalink]

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18 Sep 2012, 17:00
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My reply below is in response to a PM regarding this post. So please note that I do not know the details of the questions that raised this doubt. However, since this is a fairly generic topic that is often raised as a doubt, I will address it in terms of simple sentences and a couple official questions:

The basic strategy remains the same - Figure out what is the Subject - Verb pair. This is of utmost importance. And then decide the number of the verb. In the context of the expression "one of the", here is a general rule of thumb

The subject = one or none {of the plural noun} IS ALWAYS SINGULAR
Reason = The subject is a single entity - ONE or NONE - so it is singular.

For example:
Only one of the children plays in the park.
Here the author is talking about 1 child out of the many children.

Let's see this construction in play in this official question.

Quote:
Not one of the potential investors is expected to make an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until a merger agreement is signed that includes a provision for penalties if the deal were not to be concluded.

A. is expected to make an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until a merger agreement is signed that includes a provision for penalties if the deal were
B. is expected to make an offer for buying First Interstate Bank until they sign a merger agreement including a provision for penalties if the deal was
C. is expected to make an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until a merger agreement be signed by them with a provision for penalties if the deal were
D. are expected to make an offer for buying First Interstate Bank until it signs a merger agreement with a provision for penalties included if the deal was
E. are expected to be making an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until they sign a merger agreement including a provision for penalties if the deal were

Identify the subject for the verb - "is expected". And determine if it should be singular or plural. When ready, highlight the below explanation:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Here notice that "not one" is singular. Essentially the subject is: Not one potential investor of the many potential investors. Correct answer is A

Now comes another construction that is typically a source of confusion. It is the expression - One of the plural noun that/who/which clause
As you will see below, the same rule applies here as well. You just need to apply it carefully.

For example:
One of the children who play in the park is responsible for bringing the ball.
Now lets simplify this sentence into its clauses:
1: One of the children is responsible for bringing the ball
2: who play in the park

In Clause 1, one of the children is singular and hence singular verb "is"
In Clause 2, the subject "who" refers to "children" which is plural and hence plural verb "play"

Now let's apply this on an official question.

Quote:
With its plan to develop seven and a half acres of shore land, Cleveland is but one of a large number of communities on the Great Lakes that is looking to its waterfront as a way to improve the quality of urban life and attract new businesses.

(A) is looking to its waterfront as a way to improve the quality of urban life and attract
(B) are looking at their waterfronts as a way they can improve the quality of urban life and attract
(C) are looking to their waterfronts to improve the quality of urban life and attract
(D) is looking at its waterfront to improve the quality of urban life and attract
(E) are looking to its waterfront as a way of improving the quality of urban life and attracting

Identify the subject for the verb - "is looking". And determine if the verb should be singular or plural. When ready, highlight the below explanation:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Let's simplify this sentence into individual clauses
1: ...Cleveland is but one of a large number of communities on the Great Lakes
2: that are looking to its waterfront...

In Clause 1, subject-verb pair is straightforward - Cleveland is
In Clause 2, subject "that" refers to plural "communities" and hence is plural.

I hope this clarifies your doubts.

For e-GMAT users, the concept of "one of the plural nouns" is discussed in the concept titled "Subject-Verb - Always Singular"
Regards,

Payal
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Re: One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2012, 01:07
egmat wrote:
My reply below is in response to a PM regarding this post. So please note that I do not know the details of the questions that raised this doubt. However, since this is a fairly generic topic that is often raised as a doubt, I will address it in terms of simple sentences and a couple official questions:

The basic strategy remains the same - Figure out what is the Subject - Verb pair. This is of utmost importance. And then decide the number of the verb. In the context of the expression "one of the", here is a general rule of thumb

The subject = one or none {of the plural noun} IS ALWAYS SINGULAR
Reason = The subject is a single entity - ONE or NONE - so it is singular.

For example:
Only one of the children plays in the park.
Here the author is talking about 1 child out of the many children.

Let's see this construction in play in this official question.

Is "None of them are going" grammatically wrong ?

Quote:
Not one of the potential investors is expected to make an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until a merger agreement is signed that includes a provision for penalties if the deal were not to be concluded.

A. is expected to make an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until a merger agreement is signed that includes a provision for penalties if the deal were
B. is expected to make an offer for buying First Interstate Bank until they sign a merger agreement including a provision for penalties if the deal was
C. is expected to make an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until a merger agreement be signed by them with a provision for penalties if the deal were
D. are expected to make an offer for buying First Interstate Bank until it signs a merger agreement with a provision for penalties included if the deal was
E. are expected to be making an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until they sign a merger agreement including a provision for penalties if the deal were

Identify the subject for the verb - "is expected". And determine if it should be singular or plural. When ready, highlight the below explanation:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Here notice that "not one" is singular. Essentially the subject is: Not one potential investor of the many potential investors. Correct answer is A

Now comes another construction that is typically a source of confusion. It is the expression - One of the plural noun that/who/which clause
As you will see below, the same rule applies here as well. You just need to apply it carefully.

For example:
One of the children who play in the park is responsible for bringing the ball.
Now lets simplify this sentence into its clauses:
1: One of the children is responsible for bringing the ball
2: who play in the park

In Clause 1, one of the children is singular and hence singular verb "is"
In Clause 2, the subject "who" refers to "children" which is plural and hence plural verb "play"

Now let's apply this on an official question.

Quote:
With its plan to develop seven and a half acres of shore land, Cleveland is but one of a large number of communities on the Great Lakes that is looking to its waterfront as a way to improve the quality of urban life and attract new businesses.

(A) is looking to its waterfront as a way to improve the quality of urban life and attract
(B) are looking at their waterfronts as a way they can improve the quality of urban life and attract
(C) are looking to their waterfronts to improve the quality of urban life and attract
(D) is looking at its waterfront to improve the quality of urban life and attract
(E) are looking to its waterfront as a way of improving the quality of urban life and attracting

Identify the subject for the verb - "is looking". And determine if the verb should be singular or plural. When ready, highlight the below explanation:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Let's simplify this sentence into individual clauses
1: ...Cleveland is but one of a large number of communities on the Great Lakes
2: that are looking to its waterfront...

In Clause 1, subject-verb pair is straightforward - Cleveland is
In Clause 2, subject "that" refers to plural "communities" and hence is plural.

I hope this clarifies your doubts.

For e-GMAT users, the concept of "one of the plural nouns" is discussed in the concept titled "Subject-Verb - Always Singular"
Regards,

Payal
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Re: One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2012, 09:46
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As requested by the moderator, I am chiming in here.

I don't see any disagreement.

There is only one rule: Identify the subject for the verb in question.

e.g.
- Only one of the managers is working on that project.
'is' here refers to the one who is working on that project.

- He is one of the managers who are working on that project.
There are some managers who are working on that project. He is one of them.

- One of the managers who are working on that project is my boss.
Notice that 'one' corresponds to 'is' and 'managers' corresponds to 'are working'

As for your examples souvik, they are fine.
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Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for $199 Veritas Prep Reviews MBA Section Director Joined: 19 Mar 2012 Posts: 3545 Location: India GPA: 3.8 WE: Marketing (Energy and Utilities) Followers: 1514 Kudos [?]: 11847 [0], given: 1861 Re: One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre [#permalink] ### Show Tags 19 Sep 2012, 09:53 Hey Karishma Thanks a lot for posting and clarifying my insecurities(:D) Happy to say that I got the prize and starting the veritas prep live online from 22nd I want to ask you a question since you are directly affiliated to veritas. I have my basics in a good shape and OG accuracy is not so bad either (>85%) So what should I do to utilize the most out of the love online course without repetition of concepts that I am already familiar with? Any light on this would be absolutely awesome. _________________ Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor Joined: 16 Oct 2010 Posts: 7125 Location: Pune, India Followers: 2137 Kudos [?]: 13680 [0], given: 222 Re: One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre [#permalink] ### Show Tags 20 Sep 2012, 03:14 souvik101990 wrote: Hey Karishma Thanks a lot for posting and clarifying my insecurities(:D) Happy to say that I got the prize and starting the veritas prep live online from 22nd I want to ask you a question since you are directly affiliated to veritas. I have my basics in a good shape and OG accuracy is not so bad either (>85%) So what should I do to utilize the most out of the love online course without repetition of concepts that I am already familiar with? Any light on this would be absolutely awesome. Yeah, congratulations! Hope you enjoy your classes. Good to know that your basics are in place. The classes will still do you a world of good. Keep in mind that GMAT doesn't actually test your Math and English. It mainly tests your reasoning skills. There will certainly be takeaways from the sessions. As you probably know, all Veritas Prep instructors have scored in the 99th percentile on the actual GMAT. It is a basic qualification you need before you apply for a GMAT instructor position. Hence, when I joined Veritas, I had already scored a 99th percentile and had used only OG for my preparation. But when I was undergoing my training for which I had to sit through an entire live online class (in addition to other training sessions), I found there were quite a few things I didn't know. I wish I knew them before taking my GMAT. The classes brought in a lot of clarity. There will be some repetition e.g. in Algebra but you will need to keep some patience. At the end of it all, it will be time well spent. _________________ Karishma Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor My Blog Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for$199

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Re: One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre One of the major [#permalink]

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26 Sep 2012, 03:43
Hi ,

I have query . Since here is the discussion about singular and plural , I am posting my query in this thread.

Can someone please clarify whether relative pronouns 'who'and 'that' can refer to plural nouns. I was under the impression that they refer to singular nouns and when plural nouns 'that' becomes 'those'

thank you
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Re: One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre One of the major [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2013, 16:32
Not one of the potential investors is expected to make an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until a merger agreement is signed that includes a provision for penalties if the deal were not to be concluded.

A. is expected to make an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until a merger agreement is signed that includes a provision for penalties if the deal were
B. is expected to make an offer for buying First Interstate Bank until they sign a merger agreement including a provision for penalties if the deal was
C. is expected to make an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until a merger agreement be signed by them with a provision for penalties if the deal were
D. are expected to make an offer for buying First Interstate Bank until it signs a merger agreement with a provision for penalties included if the deal was
E. are expected to be making an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until they sign a merger agreement including a provision for penalties if the deal were

i am confused: deal was or were, i guess deal is singular then why option A is correct.

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Re: One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre One of the major [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2013, 19:33
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aryanne wrote:
Not one of the potential investors is expected to make an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until a merger agreement is signed that includes a provision for penalties if the deal were not to be concluded.

A. is expected to make an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until a merger agreement is signed that includes a provision for penalties if the deal were
B. is expected to make an offer for buying First Interstate Bank until they sign a merger agreement including a provision for penalties if the deal was
C. is expected to make an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until a merger agreement be signed by them with a provision for penalties if the deal were
D. are expected to make an offer for buying First Interstate Bank until it signs a merger agreement with a provision for penalties included if the deal was
E. are expected to be making an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until they sign a merger agreement including a provision for penalties if the deal were

i am confused: deal was or were, i guess deal is singular then why option A is correct.

Here 'were' is correct. This is a hypothetical situation. It discusses what happens if the deal does not go through in the future - there will be penalties. In hypothetical situations, we use subjunctive:

If I were a dog, I would have four legs.
A car might crash into his house if he were to build it on the expressway.

Check out a grammar book for details on how and when to use subjunctive.
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Re: One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre One of the major [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2013, 19:59
aryanne wrote:
Not one of the potential investors is expected to make an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until a merger agreement is signed that includes a provision for penalties if the deal were not to be concluded.

A. is expected to make an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until a merger agreement is signed that includes a provision for penalties if the deal were
B. is expected to make an offer for buying First Interstate Bank until they sign a merger agreement including a provision for penalties if the deal was
C. is expected to make an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until a merger agreement be signed by them with a provision for penalties if the deal were
D. are expected to make an offer for buying First Interstate Bank until it signs a merger agreement with a provision for penalties included if the deal was
E. are expected to be making an offer to buy First Interstate Bank until they sign a merger agreement including a provision for penalties if the deal were

i am confused: deal was or were, i guess deal is singular then why option A is correct.

Hi,

Here, were is used as a hypothetical subjunctive (It's basically used in dependent clauses to express wishes, commands, emotion, possibility etc)
The past subjunctive is used after the conjunction 'if' in a contrary-to-fact and contrary-to-possibility protasis. For example:
If I were a millionaire, I would buy a sports car.
If I were a rich man...
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Re: One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre One of the major [#permalink]

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05 Jul 2014, 00:18
if the deal (which deal? Of buying) were not to be concluded (we have to conclude by signing agreement)

So this meaning not clear.
"if the deal were NOT to be concluded"
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Re: One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre One of the major [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2015, 22:47
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre One of the major [#permalink]

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24 Sep 2015, 10:40
That can be used as two things

1. As a connector

He claimed that he can solve this puzzle.
(that as a connector)

2. As a subject of the sentence

There are so many things in life that are important
(That refers to things).
There is only one thing in life that is important and that is love.
(That refers to "one thing")

Now Subject of a sentence can be singular or plural hence when you use "that" as subject and thus can take either form
Moreover, that refers to "things" and it can't be just anything.

Regarding the concept of "Those"

Those are used for plural nouns when we have to refer to the same things and not a copy of those things.

Ex-

I have black pencils and those are beautiful.

Here we are referring "those" to those "particular black pencils" and not any black pencils.

So if you write that

Ex-
I have black pencils and that are beautiful

That will refer to any black pencils that is non nonsensical since the "that" when used as subject has to refer to particular noun. It cannot refer to any random noun not mentioned the sentence

It's a sunny day and that's nice

Here That refers to that particular sunny day and not just any sunny day.

* I am not sure if I have explained well or if I am correct. I just derived from what I studied. Kindly feel free to correct me.
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Re: One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre One of the major [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2016, 00:51
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: One-Singular or Plural confusion/massacre One of the major   [#permalink] 15 Oct 2016, 00:51
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