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Since John Locke acknowledged authorship of his political

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Since John Locke acknowledged authorship of his political [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2004, 20:56
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A
B
C
D
E

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Since John Locke acknowledged authorship of his political works only in a codicil to his will, the period during which the Second Treatise on Government was written has been established through a close analysis of Locke's reported activities near the time of publication; however, because no original manuscript has been found, what is much more difficult to determine are the personal reason Locke wrote the Treatise, the changes he might have made to his first version, and the extent to which the published version coheres with Locke's intentions.


A. has been established through a close analysis of Locke's reported activities near the time of publication; however, because no original manuscript has been found, what is much more difficult to determine are

B. has been established through a close analysis of Locke's reported activities near the time of publication; however, because no original manuscript has been found, what is much more difficult to determine is

C. have been established through a close analysis of Locke's reported activities near the time of publication; however, because no original manuscript has been found, what is much more difficult to determine is

D. have been established through a close analysis of Locke's reported activities near the time of publication; however, because no original manuscript has been found, what is much more difficult to determine are

E. are established through a close analysis of Locke's reported activities near the time of publication; however, because no original manuscript has been found, that which is much more difficult to determine is
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2004, 22:41
Wow,this SC sure looked intimidating at first sight :)

my ans is B.

"the period" is singular and so requires "has been"
CDE are out.

Between A and B,

B is more parallel and goes well with first part of the second clause. This is because "the personal reason" is singular.

"what is much more difficult to determine......is ......"

B is the Best.

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 [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2004, 03:12
Is the answer A -

the period is singular and hence the has been.

and then in - what is much more difficult to determine are the personal reason Locke wrote the Treatise, the changes he might have made to his first version, and the extent to which the published version coheres with Locke's intentions

i feel that there are three phrases componded by and - the personal reason Locke wrote the Treatise, the changes he might have made to his first version, the extent to which the published version coheres with Locke's intentions. hence this requires a plural verb and.

crackgmat750, can u tell what the OA is.
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2004, 04:05
B is what I go with. I had initially picked C, because I failed to observer that it started with have and not has. I was too concerned with the ending of the underlined part to miss out on the beginning of it.

My roommate who took the GMAT about a year ago told me that most of the SCs he faces where this long. in some cases, the sencences were smaller, but in those cases, the whole sentence was underlined. So be prepared for such SCs on D-Day

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 [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2004, 04:16
(B) for sure,

for "The period" you need singular "has" so (C),(D),(E) out.

You need singular "is the personal" so (A), (D) out.
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Re: SC from princeton online test [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2004, 04:33
It is B I believe.
C, D & E are ruled out for obvious reasons (the period is singular)
A - 'what is important is'/'what are important are' etc look parallel for me. Thus, A is ruled out. For the same reason B stands tall.

OA pls 8-) 8-)

crackgmat750 wrote:
Since John Locke acknowledged authorship of his political works only in a codicil to his will, the period during which the Second Treatise on Government was written has been established through a close analysis of Locke's reported activities near the time of publication; however, because no original manuscript has been found, what is much more difficult to determine are the personal reason Locke wrote the Treatise, the changes he might have made to his first version, and the extent to which the published version coheres with Locke's intentions.


A. has been established through a close analysis of Locke's reported activities near the time of publication; however, because no original manuscript has been found, what is much more difficult to determine are

B. has been established through a close analysis of Locke's reported activities near the time of publication; however, because no original manuscript has been found, what is much more difficult to determine is

C. have been established through a close analysis of Locke's reported activities near the time of publication; however, because no original manuscript has been found, what is much more difficult to determine is

D. have been established through a close analysis of Locke's reported activities near the time of publication; however, because no original manuscript has been found, what is much more difficult to determine are

E. are established through a close analysis of Locke's reported activities near the time of publication; however, because no original manuscript has been found, that which is much more difficult to determine is

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 [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2004, 11:37
Yes guys OA is B.
My concern was same as anuramm.. since after the determine there are 3 things given. But it seems that we have to decide accordingly to "what is" which is similar. Can anybody else throw some more light on such kind of subject verb arrangements.
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2004, 11:49
Wow! Is this RC vying to become SC. Anyways got it B as well.
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2004, 14:05
crackgmat750 wrote:
Yes guys OA is B.
My concern was same as anuramm.. since after the determine there are 3 things given. But it seems that we have to decide accordingly to "what is" which is similar. Can anybody else throw some more light on such kind of subject verb arrangements.


crackgmat750,
Me trying to throw some light here ;)

what is........( here "is" is being used becuase the "personal reason" is singular)

Had the sentence contained "personal reasons" the use of "are" would come in to picture.

I hope you get my point. It is "personal reason" that is governing the verb after "what".

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 [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2004, 22:17
I am getting very confused now. If supposing ' the personal reason ' is changed to 'personal reasons' then should the 'is' after the determine be replaced by 'are' like -
what is much more difficult to determine are personal reasons Locke wrote the Treatise, the changes he might have made to his first version, and the extent to which the published version coheres with Locke's intentions.

Now there are two 'is' in the original sentence. In 'what is much more difficult to determine' , what does 'is' correspond to. And the 'is' after determine corresponds to 'the personal reason' and hence it ought to be singular. Is this right.

Can someone please explain it.
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2004, 23:44
anuramm wrote:
I am getting very confused now. If supposing ' the personal reason ' is changed to 'personal reasons' then should the 'is' after the determine be replaced by 'are' like -
what is much more difficult to determine are the personal reasons Locke wrote the Treatise, the changes he might have made to his first version, and the extent to which the published version coheres with Locke's intentions.

Now there are two 'is' in the original sentence. In 'what is much more difficult to determine' , what does 'is' correspond to. And the 'is' after determine corresponds to 'the personal reason' and hence it ought to be singular. Is this right.

Can someone please explain it.
Thanks.


am I the only one getting confused with thios post?

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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2004, 06:59
anuramm wrote:
I am getting very confused now. If supposing ' the personal reason ' is changed to 'personal reasons' then should the 'is' after the determine be replaced by 'are' like -
what is much more difficult to determine are personal reasons Locke wrote the Treatise, the changes he might have made to his first version, and the extent to which the published version coheres with Locke's intentions.

Now there are two 'is' in the original sentence. In 'what is much more difficult to determine' , what does 'is' correspond to. And the 'is' after determine corresponds to 'the personal reason' and hence it ought to be singular. Is this right.

Can someone please explain it.
Thanks.


What I meant was that you have to change "is" to "are" in both places. i.e. after "determine" and after "what". If you read my post again, you will notice that I was hinting towards that.
Quote:
I hope you get my point. It is "personal reason" that is governing the verb after "what".

for "personal reason" the following sentence should suffice :
"what is much more difficult to determine is the personal reason"

for "personal reasons" the following sentence should suffice :
"what are much more difficult to determine are the personal reasons"

I hope this makes some sense.

I didn't read about this anywhere, I'm just trying to use my own logic here. So if you feel it's wrong please correct me.

Neither X nor Y is ......and is..... ..........Here Y is singular
Neither X nor Y are .....and are..... .........Here Y is plural

I explained my answer for this SC,using the logic used above.

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 [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2004, 00:22
ashkq,
thanks for the explanation. i posted this question in an english forum . the question and the answer -
I am not able to understand the subject-verb agreement concept in the below sentence.

what is much more difficult to determine is the personal reason Locke wrote the Treatise, the changes he might have made to his first version, and the extent to which the published version coheres with Locke's intentions

Now there are two 'is' in the original sentence. In 'what is much more difficult to determine' , what does 'is' correspond to (as in what subject). And the 'is' after determine corresponds to what subject.

My thought - Since there are three reasons that are given as difficult to determine , i felt that the sentence should read as -

what is much more difficult to determine are the personal reason Locke wrote the Treatise, the changes he might have made to his first version, and the extent to which the published version coheres with Locke's intentions.

Where am i making a mistake.

I really thank you for helping me on this.

Hello, Guest. :-)

Yours is a particular type of sentence called "pseudo-cleft sentence". I've been thinking how to explain the use of the second "is" for a while now, and I've come to the conclusion that I will both post a paragraph from a book and add my own comment to it.

The following sentences are from "A Grammar of Contemporary English", by R. Quirk at al:

"What we need is more books."
"Good manners are a rarity these days."

And this is what you read in the book about subject-verb agreement in these sentences:
"For both sentences there are variants in which the number of the verb is in agreement with the complement:
'What we need more are books.'
'Good manners is a rarity these days.'
These are probably ascribable to the workings of 'notional concord', the idea of plurality being dominant in the first and that of singularity in the second."

My comment: one of the reasons for having more than one possibility when choosing the form of the verb is that an "intensive" verb is used: to be. In many cases, the subject and the subject complement can "exchange" positions in the sentence and, when subject and subject complement are different in number, we usually have the verb agree with the subject (in this case the "formal" subject") rather than with the complement.
Also, "what" is ambivalent with respect to number.

In your original sentence, "is" has been used for one of two reasons:
- the parts of the subject complement may have been taken as a unit, so to speak: "What is difficult to determine is ALL THIS", or "THIS, as a group, is what is difficult to determine".
- The verb agrees with the "formal" subject (what...) . This is not uncommon in "pseudo-cleft sentences" (sentences like the one you posted: a single main clause is divided into two units, each with its own verb. They start usually with "what", and they are used for the sake of "focus").

I'd use "are" is the form of the sentence were:
"The personal reason Locke wrote the Treatise, the changes he might have made to his first version, and the extent to which the published version coheres with Locke's intentions are much more difficult to determine."


Please let me know if this is not clear enough? I tried to keep it short and fairly simple.

Miriam

From the above discussion what i can infer is -

The subject of this sentence is -
what is much more difficult to determine and hence demands a singular verb. This must be the case even if 'the personal reason' is replaced with ' ' personal reasons'.

But supposing we consider this sentence -
Much more difficult to determine are the personal reason Locke wrote the Treatise, the changes he might have made to his first version, and the extent to which the published version coheres with Locke's intentions.

In this the subject is 3 different things and hence requires a plural verb.

hope i am making some sense.

thanks.
  [#permalink] 24 Jul 2004, 00:22
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