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With its plan to create a wildlife sanctuary out of

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With its plan to create a wildlife sanctuary out of [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2009, 08:52
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With its plan to create a wildlife sanctuary out of previously unused landfill, Sweden is but one of a number of industrialized nations that is accepting its responsibility to protect endangered species and promote conservation.

A. is accepting its responsibility to protect endangered species and promote
B. is accepting its responsibility for protecting endangered species and promoting
C. are accepting its responsibility to protect endangered species and promoting
D. are accepting of their responsibility to protect endangered species and to promote
E. are accepting their responsibility to protect endangered species and promote

[Reveal] Spoiler:
The OA is E. The book's explanation is that "is" does not agree with "nations." However, the subject should be "a number" which is singular. I think the answer should be A, correct as is
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Re: Sweden's Endangered Species [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2009, 09:16
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asimov wrote:
With its plan to create a wildlife sanctuary out of previously unused landfill, Sweden is but one of a number of industrialized nations that is accepting its responsibility to protect endangered species and promote conservation.

A. is accepting its responsibility to protect endangered species and promote
B. is accepting its responsibility for protecting endangered species and promoting
C. are accepting its responsibility to protect endangered species and promoting
D. are accepting of their responsibility to protect endangered species and to promote
E. are accepting their responsibility to protect endangered species and promote



The book's explanation's explanation is often inadequate. I can only do so much here, but here's my 2 cents.

Many students have difficulty identifying which is the subject: "one" "a number of" or "industrialized nations"
We know "one" is singular. We know "a number of" is plural (NOT singular as someone mentioned). And of course the word following the phrase "a number of"--which in this case is "industrialized nations" will be plural.

so what do we use? singular or plural?

Well, the keyword here is "that"..By adding the word "that"..you are restricting the scope of industrialized nations you are referring to. You are not referring to ALL industrialized nations, but rather the ones THAT blah blah blah. Therefore, because of the word "that" you must use the plural form.

If the word "that" was not there, then you would use the singular form "is accepting"

But since we do have the word "that" and you are restricting the scope of industrialized nations that you are referring to, you must treat "a number of industrialized nations" as the subject, and use "are accepting"

That leaves us with C, D, and E. Of the three, only "their responsibility" makes sense in the context of "are accepting their responsibility"---you can eliminate C and D. The answer is E.

Again, I can only explain so much in text. This question falls into framework #7 of the GMAT Pill Study Method.
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Re: Sweden's Endangered Species [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2009, 11:34
I was thinking that the answer should be A as well, but I agree with E after looking in the Man. SC guide. It states that subjects preceded by the phrase "a number of" should be plural.
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Re: Sweden's Endangered Species [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2009, 13:21
just curious...

when the answer choices consist of a 2/3 split such as this SC problem's answer choices does, how often is the correct answer between the 2 or among the 3? Has any one seen any data regarding this?
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Re: Sweden's Endangered Species [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2009, 00:02
E shud be the answer.
The general rule you can apply is:
If there's a singular noun followed by a plural noun then see if the latter can perform the action being described. If yes, then go with a plural verb else singular.
Example. The swarm of bees was dense.
.....................since bees can not be dense the verb must agree with swarm.
And in the given problem case, nations are capable of doing the action stated, hence go with plural verb - 'are'
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Re: With its plan to create a wildlife sanctuary out of [#permalink]

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New post 14 Dec 2012, 08:26
Thanks GMATPill instructor! Your post was really helpful. Just to add my 2 cents: I was really confused as to what is the subject of the sentence. I had thought it was "Sweden" but according to the OA (E) it seemed that "a number of industrial nations" should be the subject instead. (FYI "A number of" is plural vs "The number of" which is singular)

For me, the key to understanding the question was breaking the sentence into 2 parts. The first part is "Sweden is (but) one of a number of industrial nations". Here, the subject is "Sweden" which agrees with the singular verb "is". The second part is "a number of industrial nations that..." The word "that" introduces a relative clause which modifies "a number of industrial nations". Hence, the verb/ pronoun in the relative clause should agree with "a number of industrial nations", and be plural ("are"/ "their") Hope this helps anyone who was as confused as I was!
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Re: With its plan to create a wildlife sanctuary out of [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2014, 23:32
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: With its plan to create a wildlife sanctuary out of [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2016, 15:06
asimov wrote:
With its plan to create a wildlife sanctuary out of previously unused landfill, Sweden is but one of a number of industrialized nations that is accepting its responsibility to protect endangered species and promote conservation.

A. is accepting its responsibility to protect endangered species and promote
B. is accepting its responsibility for protecting endangered species and promoting
C. are accepting its responsibility to protect endangered species and promoting
D. are accepting of their responsibility to protect endangered species and to promote
E. are accepting their responsibility to protect endangered species and promote

[Reveal] Spoiler:
The OA is E. The book's explanation is that "is" does not agree with "nations." However, the subject should be "a number" which is singular. I think the answer should be A, correct as is


If there is a confusion about singular or plural, look at the meaning of the complete sentence. If they are talking about just Sweden, then how is Sweden related to Industrialized nations ?
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Re: With its plan to create a wildlife sanctuary out of [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2016, 09:19
Senthil1981 wrote:
If there is a confusion about singular or plural, look at the meaning of the complete sentence. If they are talking about just Sweden, then how is Sweden related to Industrialized nations ?


Absolutely with you....

With its plan to create a wildlife sanctuary out of previously unused landfill, Sweden is but one of a number of industrialized nations that are accepting their responsibility to protect endangered species and promote conservation

Relevant part is highlighted above, option (E) is correct..

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Re: With its plan to create a wildlife sanctuary out of   [#permalink] 15 Sep 2016, 09:19
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