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SC confusion: what are/is

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SC confusion: what are/is [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2004, 04:14
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Can you please help me with this:

1. The work of mathematician Roger Penrose in the early 1970s, on the geometry of <WHAT ARE CALLED aperiodic tiles, turned out to describe> the architecture of a previously unknown class of crystals.
(correct A) what are called aperiodic tiles, turned out to describe

2. The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and Altamira were occupied by Upper Paleolithic people <has been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are> the reason for their decoration, the use to which primitive people put the caves, and the meaning of the magnificently depicted animals.
(A) has been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are
(correct B) has been established by carbon-14 dating, but WHAT is much more difficult to determine IS

Here is an excerpt from OG explanation for the second question: “Two instances of subject-verb agreement must be observed in this sentence: The PERIOD ... HAS been established and WHAT is much more difficult to determine ... IS. Both clauses have SINGULAR SUBJECTS and must have singular verbsâ€
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Re: SC confusion: what are/is [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2004, 04:59
Please consider the highlighted part of your text:

[quote="OlegC"]Can you please help me with this:

1. The work of mathematician Roger Penrose in the early 1970s, on the geometry of <WHAT ARE CALLED aperiodic tiles, turned out to describe> the architecture of a previously unknown class of crystals.
(correct A) what are called aperiodic tiles, turned out to describe

2. The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and Altamira were occupied by Upper Paleolithic people <has been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are> the reason for their decoration, the use to which primitive people put the caves, and the meaning of the magnificently depicted animals.
(A) has been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are
(correct B) has been established by carbon-14 dating, but WHAT is much more difficult to determine IS

Here is an excerpt from OG explanation for the second question: “Two instances of subject-verb agreement must be observed in this sentence: The PERIOD ... HAS been established and WHAT is much more difficult to determine ... IS. Both clauses have SINGULAR SUBJECTS and must have singular verbsâ€
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2004, 18:41
Easier way to handle this confusion is the introduce the invisible words.

In the first question, introduce the word 'objects' in between the word what and are. Since those tiles are some objects, its understood when we write it in this form.

In the second question, introduce the word 'reason' in between the word what and is. Obviously the sentence explains that we are unable to find the reason why those painting were made.

Correct me if i am wrong.
  [#permalink] 02 Aug 2004, 18:41
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