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Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt

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Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2013, 01:00
I faced the following question in the assessment test of e-gmat and I am unable to understand why I am wrong?

Question : A May study in Nature found that 65 percent of autistic children share a set of mutations that regulates genes known to influence communication among brain cells.

A) Regulates

B) Regulate



I thought it should be mutations that regulate but my answer was wrong and correct answer is regulates .

Please help
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Re: Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2013, 01:19
skmbaaspirant wrote:
I faced the following question in the assessment test of e-gmat and I am unable to understand why I am wrong?

Question : A May study in Nature found that 65 percent of autistic children share a set of mutations that regulates genes known to influence communication among brain cells.

A) Regulates

B) Regulate



I thought it should be mutations that regulate but my answer was wrong and correct answer is regulates .

Please help


Here "a set of mutations" is collective noun like "a pride of lions".
Collective nouns are singular.
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Re: Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2013, 15:23
skmbaaspirant,

In the sample question you provided that skips the mutations and refers to the noun a set in the phrase a set of mutations.

To infer what that refers, one need to clearly understand the meaning of the sentence.

If you read the sentence mutations by themselves don't regulate but a set of mutations regulates make sense for what is noted subsequently - genes known to influence communication among brain cells

This is one of those question types that is always challenging for me... Similar challenges with which as well, though less frequently. E.g. refer to OG13 Q29

Hope this helps :-)
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Re: Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2013, 12:20
Expert's post
The subject attached to a verb can never be contained in a prepositional phrase - thus the subject for this verb is "a set" not mutations. the only time when the prepositional phrase matters is when the subject discusses a portion, percent, fraction etc... in this case the noun in the prepositional phrase controls plural or singular.
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Re: Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt   [#permalink] 24 Jul 2013, 12:20
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