Vocal tract : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Vocal tract

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28 Apr 2011, 08:43
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I know the answer, give me the explanation!!
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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28 Apr 2011, 13:42
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First thing to note is Neandethals is a common subject of compound statement separated by and.

A. those is plural which is referring to singular antecedent vocal tract.
B. Subject Neandethals remains common to both part of compound statement. OA
C, D, and E has vocal tracts as subject of 2nd part of compound statement (i.e and so were probably without language) which is incorrect.
Also, C, D and E uses plural vocal tracts when singular is needed.
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07 May 2011, 04:08
C & E ARE OUT STRAIGHT AWAY.

B IS ONLY LEGIBLE COMPRASION
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20 Jun 2011, 22:24
+1 B

Parallel in sense and number.
The subject is "Neanderthals".
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27 Aug 2012, 18:37
Ok you can rule out all but b based on used of the word resembled. The vocal tracts stil resembles that of an ape hence resembled is incorrect. just another point of view , I also agree with the comments above. Excellent observation for noting subject change in the other explanations.
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28 Aug 2012, 10:46
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Excellent discussion on the post thus far. Pronoun replacement is a nice tool for solving problems like this. You just replace the pronoun - in this case the very commonly tested "they" - with the antecedant to see if the result is logical.

...explain why the vocal tracts were supplanted by our own species - illogical.
...explain why the Neanterthals were supplanted by our own species - logical.

You may want to use pronoun replacement whenever you see shifts in the subject (notice they are both plural so it's not a subject/verb question) with a commonly tested pronoun (it, its, they, them, their).

KW
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18 Feb 2014, 03:47
C,D,E are straight out because the rest of the sentence refers to the neanderthals. A is out because we need singular for vocal tract. Hence B.
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14 Sep 2015, 22:51
Hi KyleWiddison

Multiple doubts

1) As far as I understood, sentence transition over here went in this way: "Neanderthals [past perfect] and [simple past], so were....[simple past]". Is my understanding correct? Can conjunction join two D/Cs in which one is past perfect and other is in simple past.

2) Do these are the two list items that and connects over here
Neanderthals has a vocal tract
a) resembling an ape's
b) so were without language

Isn't "Neanderthals has a vocal tract so were without language" sound awkward

KyleWiddison wrote:
Excellent discussion on the post thus far. Pronoun replacement is a nice tool for solving problems like this. You just replace the pronoun - in this case the very commonly tested "they" - with the antecedant to see if the result is logical.

...explain why the vocal tracts were supplanted by our own species - illogical.
...explain why the Neanterthals were supplanted by our own species - logical.

You may want to use pronoun replacement whenever you see shifts in the subject (notice they are both plural so it's not a subject/verb question) with a commonly tested pronoun (it, its, they, them, their).

KW

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21 Sep 2015, 04:49
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rohitmanglik-

Great questions here - I can see where the confusion comes in. This structure is a bit different than just "and" connecting clauses...you really have to look at the conjunction as "and so".

You are connecting these two clauses:
1)Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape's
and so
2 [Neanderthals] were probably without language...

Using "and so" make a special connection here because the "so" makes the 2nd clause the result of the first. That causal connection is what makes the past perfect legitimate in the first clause (poor vocal tract) because it had to come first and so the simple past is the result (no language).

KW

(notice the not coincidental use of "and so" in my explanation )
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21 Sep 2015, 05:11
Hi KyleWiddison,

Thanks for the reply. A very nice point.

Now that I have studied for the GMAT little more, I am confused whether usage of "had" actually makes this clause past perfect. As I studied in some other forum (though that source might not be that reliable) is "Simple trick I use to differentiate (whether HAD is used as past perfect) is: If HAD is followed by a verb or been, then I conclude that Past Perfect is being used.
If HAD is followed by a noun/pronoun, then I conclude that Simple Past is being used."

Can you please throw some thoughts on that.

Thanks
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21 Sep 2015, 19:47
rohitmanglik wrote:
Hi KyleWiddison,

Thanks for the reply. A very nice point.

Now that I have studied for the GMAT little more, I am confused whether usage of "had" actually makes this clause past perfect. As I studied in some other forum (though that source might not be that reliable) is "Simple trick I use to differentiate (whether HAD is used as past perfect) is: If HAD is followed by a verb or been, then I conclude that Past Perfect is being used.
If HAD is followed by a noun/pronoun, then I conclude that Simple Past is being used."

What I use is that if "had" is used in the sense of "possession", then it is simple past. Here, Neandethals possessed a vocal tract and so, it should be simple past.
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24 Sep 2015, 04:43
Very nice catch on the "had". In looking at the conjunction I didn't inspect the verb at all. This indeed is the possessive use of "have" in the simple past form. Interestingly as a side note, to make the past perfect of "have" you use the somewhat awkward "had had": I had had all I could stand of the unending rain when mercifully the sun came out.

KW
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15 Oct 2015, 01:16
C / D / E are our right away because of "they" in the underlined portion

A is out because of "apes," which can refer to "they" in the underlined portion

Look at B.. very sharp use of singular noun "vocal tract" as not to refer to "they" and use of possessive "ape's" as not to refer to pronoun "they"

One of the most beautiful questions I have ever seen.

I keep in mind that the correct answer choice in GMAT is the one that is air tight. Every pronoun has a clear referent. The moment you think twice the antecedent of the pronoun in the answer choice is the exact moment you should have doubts about it.

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15 Oct 2015, 05:48
Now that I studied little more, I came to right answer in an easier way. Here goes my line of reasoning:

"so were probably without language": we need a subject over here.
In options we have only 2 choices: Vocal Tracts and Neanderthals.

Vocal Tracts can't be without language so subject must be Neanderthals. In C,D, and E subject is Vocal Tracts. So out.

A has plural number of issues
1) Those should be that
2) that is referring to vocal tracts. Makes sense.
Verbed (resembled) also refers to preceding noun. So usage of that is unnecessary.

This leaves us with option B.

rohitmanglik wrote:
Hi KyleWiddison,

Thanks for the reply. A very nice point.

Now that I have studied for the GMAT little more, I am confused whether usage of "had" actually makes this clause past perfect. As I studied in some other forum (though that source might not be that reliable) is "Simple trick I use to differentiate (whether HAD is used as past perfect) is: If HAD is followed by a verb or been, then I conclude that Past Perfect is being used.
If HAD is followed by a noun/pronoun, then I conclude that Simple Past is being used."

Can you please throw some thoughts on that.

Thanks

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Re: Vocal tract   [#permalink] 15 Oct 2015, 05:48
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