The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia

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The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2009, 10:35
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The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia indicates that by the time they had reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women born in country have been attacked by the birds.

a) by the time they had reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women born in country have been attacked by the birds.
b) by the time they reach adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women, who were born in the country, had been attacked by birds.
c) by the time they reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of the women born in the country had been attacked by the birds.
d) 98 percent of the men and 75 percent of the women that were born in the country were attacked by the birds by the time they reach adulthood.
e) 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women who were born in the country, by the time they reached adulthood had been attacked by birds
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2009, 11:04
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pmal04 wrote:
The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia indicates that by the time they had reached adulthood. 98 cercent of men and 75 percent of women born in the cc’unby have been attaxked by the birds.o by the time they had reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women born in the country have been attacked by the birds
o by the time they reach adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women, who were born in the country, had been attacked by the birds
the time they reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women bomn in the cot.ntry had been attacked by hhe birdso 98 percent of men ard 75 percent of women that were born in the country were attacked by the birds by the time they reach adulthood
98 percent of men and 75 percent of women who were born in the country, by the time they reached adulthood had been attaxked by the birds

please write options (a, b, c, d, e) and verify spelling mistakes as well
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2009, 22:55
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In all the options ‘by the time they reached adulthood’ refers to birds or people is not clear. But in E itsvery clear.

PLease post OA
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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10 Apr 2009, 14:10
OA: C
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2010, 03:59
Whats wrong with E?
please clarify
thanks
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2010, 08:43
noboru wrote:
Whats wrong with E?
please clarify
thanks

nobody is going to clarify this?
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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26 Feb 2011, 17:37
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noboru wrote:
Whats wrong with E?
please clarify
thanks

I am for C.

Here's why:
a) by the time they (who? birds? attacks? people?) had reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women born in country have been attacked by the birds
b) by the time they (who? birds? attacks? people?) reach adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women, who were born in the country, had been attacked (incorrect use of perfect tense) by birds.
c) by the time they correctly modifies the noun that immediately follows comma reach adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of the women born in the country had been attacked by the birds.
d) 98 percent of the men and 75 percent of the women that were born in the country were attacked by the birds by the time they (incorrectly modifies birds) reach adulthood.
e) 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women who were born in the country, by (illogical. try to replace the long noun with a simple word such as "people" and try to read the sentence from beginning till the end, and you will notice "study suggests that people, by the time they reached adulthood...."makes no sense) the time they reached adulthood had been attacked by birds

Handy Trick: Replace a long wordy noun with a simpler one and re-read the whole sentence to avoid such mistakes.
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2011, 03:18
E is very similar to C. Could anybody elaborate?
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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07 May 2012, 15:40
Yes could someone explain here pls

"what does they refer to in C"

Thanks
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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07 May 2012, 17:16
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pmal04 wrote:
The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia indicates that by the time they had reached adulthood. 98 cercent of men and 75 percent of women born in the cc’unby have been attaxked by the birds.o by the time they had reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women born in the country have been attacked by the birds
o by the time they reach adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women, who were born in the country, had been attacked by the birds
the time they reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women bomn in the cot.ntry had been attacked by hhe birds
o 98 percent of men ard 75 percent of women that were born in the country were attacked by the birds by the time they reach adulthood
98 percent of men and 75 percent of women who were born in the country, by the time they reached adulthood had been attaxked by the birds

In E, a comma is required before who to refer to both men and women.

"by the time" hence we require perfect tense "had been attacked" to show that the attack preceded a particular instance of time.

Timeline:

---------had been attacked---------------------by the time they reached adulthood (both are past tense)---------------------------Present tense
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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08 May 2012, 05:48
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Hi All,

The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia indicates that by the time they had reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women born in the country have been attacked by the birds.

It is very important to understand the intended meaning of the sentence to ascertain the timeline of the events. The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia suggests that by the time 98% of men and 75% of women reached adulthood, they had already been attacked by the bird.

Notice that the sentence says that men and women had already been attacked by the bird even before they reached adulthood. This means that they got attacked first and then they reached adulthood. Now this can be reported in two ways:
a. “by the time they reach adulthood, 98% of men and 75% of women have been attacked by the birds.” (Reported in Present context)
b. “by the time they reached adulthood, 98% of men and 75% of women had been attacked by the birds.” (Reported in Past context)

Error Analysis:
1. This sentence uses past perfect tense for the event that took place later and present perfect tense for the event that took place earlier. In order to establish the correct sequencing, we must use past perfect for the event that took place earlier, that is men and women being attacked, and simple past tense for the event that took place later, that is they reaching adulthood.

POE:

Choice A: by the time they had reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women born in the country have been attacked by the birds. Incorrect for the verb tense error discussed above.

Choice B: by the time they reach adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women, who were born in the country, had been attacked by the birds. Incorrect. This choice repeats the verb tense error by using simple present tense for the event that took place later when past perfect has been correctly used for the earlier event.

Choice C: by the time they reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women born in the country had been attacked by the birds. Correct. The verb tense error has been corrected here.

Choice D: 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women that were born in the country were attacked by the birds by the time they reach adulthood. Incorrect.
a. “that” cannot be used to refer to “men and women”.
b. “reach” is not written in the correct verb tense.

Choice E: 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women who were born in the country, by the time they reached adulthood had been attacked by the birds. Incorrect. We Have modifier ambiguity in this choice. Notice that “by the time they reached adulthood” is placed little awkwardly that makes it ambiguous that which entity it’s modifying. It seems as if it is modifying “who were born in the country”. This modifier should have a comma after adulthood to do away with this ambiguity.

PS – Pronoun “they” in Choices A, B, C and E refers to “men and women” because only these men and women reached adulthood. There is no other antecedent “they” can logically refer to.

1. Use past perfect for the event that took place earlier and simple past for the event that took place later.
2. Use the correct combination of verb tenses depending upon the context of the sentence.
3. There should not be any ambiguity in modifier reference.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2013, 17:26
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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07 May 2014, 16:49
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Dude original question is just WRONG

Answer choice (C) should have reachED instead of reach.

Please correct and be careful in the future

Thanks!
Cheers
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2014, 10:49
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The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia indicates that by the time they had reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women born in country have been attacked by the birds.

"By The time" phrase calls for the use of had in the connecting sentence.
eg
By the time X happened, Y had happened.: Notice past tense in 1st part of sentence and past perfect in 2nd part of sentence.

a) by the time they had reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women born in country have been attacked by the birds. - Wrong use of had

b) by the time they reach adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women, who were born in the country, had been attacked by birds. - Who refers to women only, not to men and women.

c) by the time they reach adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of the women born in the country had been attacked by the birds. Correct Usage

d) 98 percent of the men and 75 percent of the women that were born in the country were attacked by the birds by the time they reach adulthood. - Wrong verb tense and that refers to women only.

e) 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women who were born in the country, by the time they reached adulthood had been attacked by birds - Who refers to Women only.
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2014, 10:53
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egmat wrote:
Hi All,

The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia indicates that by the time they had reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women born in the country have been attacked by the birds.

It is very important to understand the intended meaning of the sentence to ascertain the timeline of the events. The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia suggests that by the time 98% of men and 75% of women reached adulthood, they had already been attacked by the bird.

Notice that the sentence says that men and women had already been attacked by the bird even before they reached adulthood. This means that they got attacked first and then they reached adulthood. Now this can be reported in two ways:
a. “by the time they reach adulthood, 98% of men and 75% of women have been attacked by the birds.” (Reported in Present context)
b. “by the time they reached adulthood, 98% of men and 75% of women had been attacked by the birds.” (Reported in Past context)

Error Analysis:
1. This sentence uses past perfect tense for the event that took place later and present perfect tense for the event that took place earlier. In order to establish the correct sequencing, we must use past perfect for the event that took place earlier, that is men and women being attacked, and simple past tense for the event that took place later, that is they reaching adulthood.

POE:

Choice A: by the time they had reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women born in the country have been attacked by the birds. Incorrect for the verb tense error discussed above.

Choice B: by the time they reach adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women, who were born in the country, had been attacked by the birds. Incorrect. This choice repeats the verb tense error by using simple present tense for the event that took place later when past perfect has been correctly used for the earlier event.

Choice C: by the time they reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women born in the country had been attacked by the birds. Correct. The verb tense error has been corrected here.

Choice D: 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women that were born in the country were attacked by the birds by the time they reach adulthood. Incorrect.
a. “that” cannot be used to refer to “men and women”.
b. “reach” is not written in the correct verb tense.

Choice E: 98 percent of men and 75 percent of women who were born in the country, by the time they reached adulthood had been attacked by the birds. Incorrect. We Have modifier ambiguity in this choice. Notice that “by the time they reached adulthood” is placed little awkwardly that makes it ambiguous that which entity it’s modifying. It seems as if it is modifying “who were born in the country”. This modifier should have a comma after adulthood to do away with this ambiguity.

PS – Pronoun “they” in Choices A, B, C and E refers to “men and women” because only these men and women reached adulthood. There is no other antecedent “they” can logically refer to.

1. Use past perfect for the event that took place earlier and simple past for the event that took place later.
2. Use the correct combination of verb tenses depending upon the context of the sentence.
3. There should not be any ambiguity in modifier reference.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
Shraddha

Thanks Shraddha for the excellent explanation:
One little Confusion for option E. Does Who refers to Women only ( preceding noun) or to both men and women

98 percent of men and 75 percent of women who were born in the country, by the time they reached adulthood had been attacked by birds
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2015, 10:51
The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Austrailia indicates that by the time they had reached adulthood, 98% of men and 75% of women born in the country have been attacked by the birds.

A) by the time they had reached adulthood, 98% of men and 75% of women born in the country have been attacked by the birds

B) by the time they reached adulthood, 98% of men and 75% of women, who were born in the country, had been attacked by the birds

C) by the time they reached adulthood, 98% of men and 75% of women born in the country had been attacked by the birds

D) 98% of men and 75% of women that were born in the country were attacked by the birds by the time they reach adulthood

E) 98% of men and 75% of women who were born in the country, by the time they reached adulthood had been attacked by the birds

IMO E is correct
A,B C have incorrect usage of they
D uses relative pronoun that for referring men and women and usage of reach is also incorrect
Best choice is E
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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13 Aug 2015, 07:54
I immediately eliminated a,b and c on the exam because 'they' did not have a clear noun it was referring to before it was used. It appears the pronouns can refer to an 'upcoming' noun though, even if it causes initial confusion; I'll have to keep that in mind. I guess it's okay if after reading all the sentence there is no ambiguity? While it would be wrong if even after going through the sentence the pronoun could refer to more than one thing.
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2015, 10:12
Can somebody post OE please
just can't understand how "they" refer to men and women in OA C

I choose E
Why E is wrong is also not clear
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2015, 23:18
kanigmat011

Lets see a smaller simpler sentence

By the time he is 20, Jack will have his own business.

Here it is clear that 'he' refers to Jack. Each pronoun should have a clear antecedent. But the antecedent does not necessarily always have to come before the pronoun.
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Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2015, 02:28
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I'd just like to point out that despite what the question says, magpie attacks are not a problem in Australia! There's great white sharks, deadly spiders and boxing kangaroos, but thankfully you're safe with the magpies.
Re: The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia   [#permalink] 26 Aug 2015, 02:28

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