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The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a

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The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2010, 07:07
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71% (01:45) correct 29% (00:45) wrong based on 36 sessions
The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a single impassioned constituent may sway a lawmaker’s opinion, whereas a half-dozen banded together only causes him alarm.
 a half-dozen banded together only causes him alarm
 only alarm is caused by a half-dozen banded together
 only alarm has been caused by a half-dozen banded together
 a half-dozen banded together only cause him alarm
 a half-dozen have caused him only alarm when banded together
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Re: The idea [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2010, 11:43
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Hey All,

Lots of ideas on this one, but no one's taken it apart yet. That's what I'm here for!

The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a single impassioned constituent may sway a lawmaker’s opinion, whereas a half-dozen banded together only causes him alarm.

This is clearly a verb tense and subject-verb agreement question. We notice the former in the split between "causes" and "has been caused". We notice the latter int he split between "causes" and "cause" (or "has" and "have"). For subject-verb agreement, we check the subject and make sure it matches. "Half-dozen (constituents)" is plural, so we need "cause" or "have". As for verb tense, you always check it against some context verb in the sentence. In this case, we have "is", a present tense verb. Then we ask ourselves, is there any good reason to change tense? In this case, there is not.

 a half-dozen banded together only causes him alarm
Problem: "Causes" doesn't match the subject "half dozen (constituents)"

 only alarm is caused by a half-dozen banded together
PROBLEM: This is actually a concision issue. No reason to switch to the passive voice here. While this is a rule, it's VERY rare on the real test, and comes up way more when people are trying to build questions. DO NOT cross something off just because it's passive. We're only doing it here because there's a perfectly great answer WITHOUT the passive voice elsewhere.

 only alarm has been caused by a half-dozen banded together
PROBLEM: No reason to switch to the present perfect tense ("has been caused").

 a half-dozen banded together only cause him alarm
ANSWER: Correct tense, correct subject-verb agreement.

 a half-dozen have caused him only alarm when banded together
PROBLEM: No reason to switch to the present perfect tense ("have caused").

Hope that helps!

-t
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Re: The idea [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2010, 12:01
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Hey Seek,

That's exactly right. It is a very weird way to write it, but I don't believe it to be wrong. It's just weird.

-t
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2014, 03:32
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I have a doubt: to whom this pronoun him is referring in the sentence.

As per the meaning it should refer to Lawmaker but sentence doesn't have such noun antecedent.

Further only his and her are allowed to refer back noun in possessive noun case.
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Re: The idea [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2010, 07:25
B for me. what is the OA?

The idea..................is that a single constituent may sway a lawmaker's opinion, whereas only alarm is caused by a half-dozen banded together.
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Re: The idea [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2010, 12:49
D for me, we need cause. Dont you think B is a little passive
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Re: The idea [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2010, 14:07
The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a single impassioned constituent may sway a lawmaker’s opinion, whereas a half-dozen banded together only causes him alarm.
 a half-dozen banded together only causes him alarm
 only alarm is caused by a half-dozen banded together
 only alarm has been caused by a half-dozen banded together
a half-dozen banded together only cause him alarm
 a half-dozen have caused him only alarm when banded together

Parallelism
D
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Re: The idea [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2010, 17:34
half-dozen (constituents) cause (not causes).

D
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Re: The idea [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 02:04
rlevochkin wrote:
half-dozen (constituents) cause (not causes).

D


'a Half-dozen banded together', dont we need causes here?

please explain
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Re: The idea [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 07:33
Here'e the surpriseeeeee

OA - A :-(
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Re: The idea [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 07:35
The reason i chose B was because I was not clear of whether "a half-dozen banded together" is singular or plural. can someone please elaborate on this?
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Re: The idea [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 07:39
bibha wrote:
Here'e the surpriseeeeee

OA - A :-(


'a Half-dozen banded together' banded together makes it singular

i chose A!
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Re: The idea [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2010, 11:56
great explanation Tommy.

Is "banded together" modifying constituents in option D?

a half dozen [consituents] banded together
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Re: The idea [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2010, 13:21
seekmba wrote:
great explanation Tommy.

Is "banded together" modifying constituents in option D?

a half dozen [consituents] banded together


Tommy,
So a half dozen [consituents] banded together - the banded together piece does not somehow make it singular? This is plural? So just this alone can pick out the right answer!
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2012, 03:06
So guys wtf OA is A?
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2012, 18:05
The correct answer for the problem is D as explained by Tommy Wallach.

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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2012, 22:02
Some how A seems to be correct.

I guess the counting is applied to 'dozen' (which is half in this case and hence singular).
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2012, 23:36
The correct answer is D. It should be "cause" not "causes".
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Re: The idea [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2012, 01:22
ingoditrust wrote:
D for me, we need cause. Dont you think B is a little passive


Not only passive, but also sentence construction seems to be wrong. Instead of
"...only alarm is caused by a half-dozen banded together" it should be
"..alarm only is caused by a half-dozen banded together".

Actually even that sentence is also not correct because, it does not include the word 'him' and hence we don;t know for who the alarm is being caused.
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2012, 21:28
Chembeti wrote:
Some how A seems to be correct.

I guess the counting is applied to 'dozen' (which is half in this case and hence singular).


I have posted an artilce regarding collective nouns and their corresponding verb form. Please check
collective-nouns-singular-or-plural-128340.html

Now, I am clear why the OA is A. Here the key word is 'banded together' which means the author is talking about some group but not individual items and hence the verb should be 'causes' but not 'cause'.
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a   [#permalink] 28 Feb 2012, 21:28
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