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UFOs

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UFOs [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2004, 11:54
Please explain

1. What's wrong with this question?
2. What is the subject in this sentence?.
Thanks

The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs and general curiosity about extraterrestrial life (have, has) generated considerable interest in science fiction.
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Last edited by praveen_rao7 on 30 Nov 2004, 12:35, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2004, 12:13
I am not 100% sure but, the senetence should use have and it has multiple subjects belief and curiosity, which makes it plural.

What is the correct form of the sentence?
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2004, 14:46
just an opinion.

I believe the subject to be: The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs hence the sentence should read:
The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs and general curiosity about extraterrestrial life has generated considerable interest in science fiction.

If the sentence read: The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs and the general curiosity about extraterrestrial life then the use of have would have been appropriate.

hope someone will agree
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2004, 18:45
oxon wrote:
just an opinion.

I believe the subject to be: The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs hence the sentence should read:
The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs and general curiosity about extraterrestrial life has generated considerable interest in science fiction.

If the sentence read: The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs and the general curiosity about extraterrestrial life then the use of have would have been appropriate.

hope someone will agree


I am trying to understand what you mean in your second sentence. Is "the general curiosity" that is different?

in my opinion belief is the subject. I am getting confused when you add and general curiosity about extraterrestrial life to the sentence
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2004, 19:29
I don't have an explanation but I think 'has' sounds right.

I went for 'has' (singular) because of the 'public's widespread belief'
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2004, 19:34
Answers :

1) Don't know
2) Subject is public's widespread belief

and the correct verb is has
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2004, 21:20
Quote:
The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs and general curiosity about extraterrestrial life (have, has) generated considerable interest in science fiction.


I think there are 2 subjects
-- widespread belief
-- general curiosity

these 2 things HAVE generated considerable interest

had the subject been only belief then it should have been belief of X and Y
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2004, 04:07
We have two noun phrases as the subject joined by conjnction 'and'

The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs and general curiosity about extraterrestrial life.

So the verb should be of plural form; hence 'have' is appropriate.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2004, 05:29
I also think have is more appropriate.

There is no obvious link between the two parts of the clause. If the subject was public these two parts would sound redundant to me.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2004, 09:09
praveen_rao7 wrote:
oxon wrote:
just an opinion.

I believe the subject to be: The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs hence the sentence should read:
The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs and general curiosity about extraterrestrial life has generated considerable interest in science fiction.

If the sentence read: The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs and the general curiosity about extraterrestrial life then the use of have would have been appropriate.

hope someone will agree



I am trying to understand what you mean in your second sentence. Is "the general curiosity" that is different?

in my opinion belief is the subject. I am getting confused when you add and general curiosity about extraterrestrial life to the sentence

--------------------------------------------

praveen,

There is one subject here and that is The public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs -> has is preferable. What has generated considerable interest is either the public's ...blah blah blah OR the general curiosity... blah blah blah.

In the second sentence, I added the word the (before general curiosity) to show that, in my view, this made up SC would have had two subjects of equal importance -> have is preferable.

Again, I could be totally wrong (I am not following any rules here in fact I may be violating a fundamental one :? ) but it shows you how I would have answered this SC/RC question.

Hope the OA will settle this for good(?) and I certainly hope you have it.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2004, 09:15
A discussion on the same problem:
http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=7232
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2004, 12:55
Paul,
Do you agree with Kpadma's explanation?. This is where I am getting confused. I was under the impression that because of the second part of the sentence "and general curiosity about extraterrestrial life" we get two subjects belief & curiosity. How could we interpret this as one?. Please explain

oxon,
I like your explanation. In fact I am under the same conviction too. However, I don't have an official answer to verify either one of the choices. May be somebody could help us understand as to how to spot complex subject better. In my opinion this is the kind of trap ETS loves to test.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2004, 13:02
I think we associate UFOs with extra terrestrial life mostly. So the subject can be taken as one. So the correct verb is 'has'.

Think about it this way: Speculations regarding Brad Pitt's personal life and curiosity the lives of filmstars in general----> same subject, hance "has" is the correct verb.

Am i making sense?? :oops:
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2004, 14:08
I see praveen that you started the conversation where it was left off the last time. I for my part would be "have" as more appropriate here.

IMO, you do not need "the", as implied by oxon, to separate the two subjects as independent. I think that the conjunction clearly distinguishes the two subjects as distinct ones.
Subject 1: The public's widespread belief...
Conjunction: and
Subject 2: general curiosity...

Two subjects hence verb is plural. I'll throw in an example here.

ie His brother and his sister believe that...
The above example may seem much more simple but it shows the same logic.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2004, 20:33
After a long thought I think we have a plural subject here hence usage of have would be appropriate.

Another example similar to the one I could think of to justify my answer is as follows

student's desire to do well in the test and his passion for pursuing graduate studies have helped him focus on his goal.


So that is my final answer. So what did we learn :roll: :cry: Usage of and can be very tricky some times
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2004, 04:07
As per my understanding, when you join two nouns using the conunction 'and'; it always imply the subject to be plural, and hence the verb should be plural.

However if the same subjects are joined using 'as well as' it wud be in singular form,

e.g.

The president and the senators are in favour of reducing military expenses.

However,

The president as well as his senators is in favor of reducing military expenses.

When we join two nouns with 'and' , they are deemed to be different entities and hence will always call for plural verb.

Going by the similar logic, the sentence given by Praveen, will require singular verb 'has'.
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2004, 04:46
I have this infamous notes with me that reads

"Of" is just another Middleman.

The discovery of new lands was vital...

The actions of my friend are not good
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UFOs [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2004, 05:33
I want to add something here regarding the original question:

What is wrong with this sentence?

I think that it is not grammatically wrong but is confusing, or we wouldn’t be discussing this for so long. In my view it should be have because the subject has two parts . However, it would be better English (and more precise) with the introduction of both to start the sentence. I think that it would be better:

Both, the public's widespread belief in the existence of UFOs and general curiosity about extraterrestrial life, have generated considerable interest in science fiction.

I am not sure if the subject after both should be inside commas.
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2004, 05:45
That was a very nice discussion. Thank you all.
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  [#permalink] 03 Dec 2004, 05:45
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