I assume that you wonder whether these rains
(plural) should agree with the monsoon
(singular). That's actually something of a contentious issue. Some usage experts say that when demonstratives--this
--are used as adjectives they need only agree with the nouns they precede. According to that view, the sentence is fine. Other experts say that the demonstrative adjective+noun must agree in number with the earlier noun to which it refers. According to this view, the sentence is wrong because these rains
is plural, while the monsoon
Which rule does the GMAT follow? As far as I know, the GMAT avoids the issue altogether.
You can find OG SC questions that test the use of demonstratives as pronouns, rather than as adjectives. In these questions the demonstratives are not followed immediately by nouns, and must agree with their antecedents, just as all pronouns must.
Here's an example from the GMAT Prep test:
Salt deposits and moisture threaten to destroy the Mohenjo-Daro excavation in Pakistan, the site of an ancient civilization that flourished at the same time as the civilizations
in the Nile delta and the river valleys of Tigris and Euphrates.
a. that flourished at the same time as the civilizations
b. that had flourished at the same time as had the civilizations
c. that flourished at the same time those had
d. flourishing at the same time as those did
e. flourishing at the same time as those were
Here, C, D, and E are all wrong partly because they use the plural those
to refer to the singular civilizations
By the way, remember that even conscientiously written and edited books, magazines, etc. may not use the same version of Standard Written English as does the GMAT.
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