Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2013, 17:34
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Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.
(A) are debated about in no less than
(B) are debated in no less than
(C) is debated about in no fewer than
(D) is debated in no fewer than
(E) is debated in no less than

For a complete discussion of substantive clauses (a.k.a nominal clauses, a.k.a noun clauses) ---including the very tricky issue of noun-clauses and subject-verb agreement --- as well as a full explanation of this particular question, see this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/substantiv ... -the-gmat/

Mike
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army before Grant [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2013, 06:33
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I like this sentence with multiple modifiers.

Basically the key words is generals so plural and this can lead us to think "are" but is misleading.

hre we are talking about a question so the right verb is $$"is"$$

Then we have to take in account generals so fewer (countable) and C is ackward

D is the best

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army before Grant [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2013, 20:08
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mikemcgarry wrote:
Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.
(A) are debated about in no less than
(B) are debated in no less than
(C) is debated about in no fewer than
(D) is debated in no fewer than
(E) is debated in no less than

"Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee" is a single fact and should proceed with singular verb is. Eliminating A,B

As five hundred is countable number, So, we can't use less than. Eliminate E.

Between C & D, Usage debated in is correct as we are only referring the time. So, Option D looks correct.
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2013, 09:34
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mikemcgarry wrote:
Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.
(A) are debated about in no less than
(B) are debated in no less than
(C) is debated about in no fewer than
(D) is debated in no fewer than
(E) is debated in no less than

For a complete discussion of substantive clauses (a.k.a nominal clauses, a.k.a noun clauses) ---including the very tricky issue of noun-clauses and subject-verb agreement --- as well as a full explanation of this particular question, see this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/substantiv ... -the-gmat/

Mike

subject is singular + historical journals can be counted. In C about and in both are prepositions. That's incorrect, we want a noun phrase after a preposition. This eliminates C. D wins.
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2013, 21:54
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Chose C and it's wrong

eliminated A and B because of "are"
eliminated E because of "less"

had to choose between C and D, but did not know which one is right.
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army before Grant [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2013, 19:41
I go with (C) , though I still wonder the need for "about"
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army before Grant [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2013, 22:15
vickymancer07 wrote:
I go with (C) , though I still wonder the need for "about"

What is your logic for picking (C) over (D)?
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army before Grant [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2013, 23:11
Hi Mike,

With my initial round of POE , it was either (C) or (D) but I was not sure whether to go for "Debate"or "Debate about".

From your blog I just read that "debate about"is awkward and not idiomatic , so then its (D)

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2013, 21:05
Picked C over D. I knew "debate about" is the idiom.

With this I got a silly question - Do I say "I knew "debate about" was/is the idiom". Because the truth of the idiom still holds in present.
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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01 Sep 2015, 16:59
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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01 Sep 2015, 18:17
mikemcgarry wrote:
Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.
(A) are debated about in no less than
(B) are debated in no less than
(C) is debated about in no fewer than
(D) is debated in no fewer than
(E) is debated in no less than

For a complete discussion of substantive clauses (a.k.a nominal clauses, a.k.a noun clauses) ---including the very tricky issue of noun-clauses and subject-verb agreement --- as well as a full explanation of this particular question, see this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/substantiv ... -the-gmat/

Mike

hi mikemcgarry

It seems most people POE'd down to (C) and (D) however I found it difficult to distinguish between (D) and (E) (less and fewer), could you (or anyone) explain the rule or reason why in this case fewer must be used instead of less?

Thanks
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2015, 11:11
DropBear wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.
(A) are debated about in no less than
(B) are debated in no less than
(C) is debated about in no fewer than
(D) is debated in no fewer than
(E) is debated in no less than

For a complete discussion of substantive clauses (a.k.a nominal clauses, a.k.a noun clauses) ---including the very tricky issue of noun-clauses and subject-verb agreement --- as well as a full explanation of this particular question, see this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/substantiv ... -the-gmat/

Mike

hi mikemcgarry

It seems most people POE'd down to (C) and (D) however I found it difficult to distinguish between (D) and (E) (less and fewer), could you (or anyone) explain the rule or reason why in this case fewer must be used instead of less?

Thanks

Dear DropBear,
I'm happy to respond.

This has to do with the distinction of countable vs. uncountable. See this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... -vs-fewer/

For anything "countable," anything for which we would say "how many," we use "fewer."

For anything "uncountable," anything for which we would say "how much," we use "less."

How much water? There's less water.
How much time? There's less time.
How much money? There's less money.

How many students? There are fewer students.
How many apples? There are fewer apples.
How many journals? There are fewer journals.

The GMAT loves this distinction, because almost everybody gets this wrong in colloquial American English.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2015, 11:39
mikemcgarry wrote:
DropBear wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.
(A) are debated about in no less than
(B) are debated in no less than
(C) is debated about in no fewer than
(D) is debated in no fewer than
(E) is debated in no less than

For a complete discussion of substantive clauses (a.k.a nominal clauses, a.k.a noun clauses) ---including the very tricky issue of noun-clauses and subject-verb agreement --- as well as a full explanation of this particular question, see this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/substantiv ... -the-gmat/

Mike

hi mikemcgarry

It seems most people POE'd down to (C) and (D) however I found it difficult to distinguish between (D) and (E) (less and fewer), could you (or anyone) explain the rule or reason why in this case fewer must be used instead of less?

Thanks

Dear DropBear,
I'm happy to respond.

This has to do with the distinction of countable vs. uncountable. See this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... -vs-fewer/

For anything "countable," anything for which we would say "how many," we use "fewer."

For anything "uncountable," anything for which we would say "how much," we use "less."

How much water? There's less water.
How much time? There's less time.
How much money? There's less money.

How many students? There are fewer students.
How many apples? There are fewer apples.
How many journals? There are fewer journals.

The GMAT loves this distinction, because almost everybody gets this wrong in colloquial American English.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Hi mikemcgarry

Thanks very much for your reply. Yes, this explanation makes perfect sense and I should easily be able to recall this information if I am presented with this split again. Not sure if you remember me from my post some weeks ago, but I am a magoosh student, but am currently on an oil rig with very limited internet connection but will be working through the verbal training material when I am back on land.

Thanks again!
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2015, 13:18
DropBear wrote:

Hi mikemcgarry

Thanks very much for your reply. Yes, this explanation makes perfect sense and I should easily be able to recall this information if I am presented with this split again. Not sure if you remember me from my post some weeks ago, but I am a magoosh student, but am currently on an oil rig with very limited internet connection but will be working through the verbal training material when I am back on land.

Thanks again!

Dear DropBear,
Wow! Good luck out there! Take very good care of yourself!
Mike
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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13 Jan 2017, 01:18
mikemcgarry wrote:
Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.
(A) are debated about in no less than
(B) are debated in no less than
(C) is debated about in no fewer than
(D) is debated in no fewer than
(E) is debated in no less than

For a complete discussion of substantive clauses (a.k.a nominal clauses, a.k.a noun clauses) ---including the very tricky issue of noun-clauses and subject-verb agreement --- as well as a full explanation of this particular question, see this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/substantiv ... -the-gmat/

Mike

is vs are split, debated about vs debated in and less vs fewer
the entire clause starting from Why the varous.................................. to Lee is Substantive clause nad substantive clause is always singular. hence A nad B are out.
Now come to another split debated about vs debated in
for countable things we use fewer and for uncountable we use less
Here we have journals and is countable hence C and E are out and we are left with D
and D is indeed our answer
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before   [#permalink] 13 Jan 2017, 01:18
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