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# A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou

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A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2010, 12:52
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A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having a large brain and small teeth.

(A) using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having

(B) the use of fire to cook food could date back almost two million years and could explain such hominid features as

(C) cooking food with fire could date back to almost two million years, explaining hominid features like

(D) fire used to cook food could date back almost two million years ,explaining hominid features such as having

(E) fire used for cooking food could be dated back to almost two million years and explain hominid features like

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I came down to B and D ( eliminated other choices based on 'like vs such as')

I am not sure how to choose between these two.

in B, it says "use of fire" ...
in D, "fire used" ... I thought both are fine ...

will post the OA soon.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by hazelnut on 15 Oct 2017, 23:20, edited 4 times in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2010, 13:28
'could date' and 'could explain' need to be parallel. Also, 'such as having' is unnecessary. 'features' infers the hominid's have a large brain and small teeth.

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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2010, 00:33
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Though I marked the correct OA, but it took me 3:28 min to make out the meaning.
I marked B for:
1. could date....could explain
2. the use of fire to cook food - (a noun phrase) is a method which can be traced back not the fire
3. such hominid features as Vs like

I hope in the real GMAT such questions are not for me
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Last edited by ykaiim on 11 Jun 2010, 00:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2012, 07:49
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A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost
two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having
a large brain and small
teeth.
A. using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain
hominid features like having
B. the use of fire to cook food could date back almost two million years and could explain such
hominid features as
C. cooking food with fire could date back to almost two million years, explaining hominid features
like
D. fire used to cook food could date back almost two million years, explaining hominid features
such as having
E. fire used for cooking food could be dated back to almost two million years and explain hominid
features like

First split:
Use of "such as" versus "like"
In this case we need to use "such as" since the author is trying to state an example (examples).
Thus, we eliminate (A) (C) (E), left with (B) and (D)

I thought of two reasons why I cancelled (D).
First is parallelism. The author is trying to state two ideas that should be parallel.
Second is use of tense. We don't need to use "such as having."
Hence, we eliminate (D)

We have (B).
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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2013, 04:50
ugimba wrote:
A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having a large brain and small teeth.

A using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having
B the use of fire to cook food could date back almost two million years and could explain such hominid features as
C cooking food with fire could date back to almost two million Years, explaining hominid features like
D fire used to cook food could date back almost two million years ,explaining hominid features such as having.
E fire used for cooking food could be dated back to almost two million years and explain hominid features like.

I came down to B and D ( eliminated other choices based on 'like vs such as')

I am not sure how to choose between these two.

in B, it says "use of fire" ...
in D, "fire used" ... I thought both are fine ...

will post the OA soon.

B is perfectly ok for me, but shouldn't we use DATE AT idiom => the use of fire to cook food could date back AT almost two million years and could explain such hominid features as
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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2013, 16:48
ugimba wrote:
A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having a large brain and small teeth.

A using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having
B the use of fire to cook food could date back almost two million years and could explain such hominid features as
C cooking food with fire could date back to almost two million Years, explaining hominid features like
D fire used to cook food could date back almost two million years ,explaining hominid features such as having.
E fire used for cooking food could be dated back to almost two million years and explain hominid features like.

I came down to B and D ( eliminated other choices based on 'like vs such as')

I am not sure how to choose between these two.

in B, it says "use of fire" ...
in D, "fire used" ... I thought both are fine ...

will post the OA soon.

Generally speaking you can eliminate A because it uses 'it' and i can't find any antecedent for it.
In D and E are not correct because of it'e meaning fire used . What does this mean. Some other fire was being used millions of years ago or what ?
I eliminated C because Like can't be used to give examples so B is the answer. Notice B has everything going fot it.
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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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24 Nov 2014, 13:59
To keep things Simple, Just consider what can be dated back ? the use or the fire?
Of course the use can be dated back so and so years ago. B explicitly says that. A is a montstrocity and can never be correct on the exam
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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2014, 10:09
There is a 3/2 split in the use of the verb be dated/date. The option date back, seems to point to the fact that fire has been used for cooking for almost two million years, not that scientists now can date back the use almost two million years back. It therefore distorts the meaning and can be excluded. E sounds awkward, so the original version remains.

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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2014, 10:26
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littlewarthog wrote:
There is a 3/2 split in the use of the verb be dated/date. The option date back, seems to point to the fact that fire has been used for cooking for almost two million years, not that scientists now can date back the use almost two million years back. It therefore distorts the meaning and can be excluded. E sounds awkward, so the original version remains.

E isn't just awkward, it has a nonsensical meaning:

fire used for cooking food could be dated back to almost two million years and explain hominid features like

implies: fires used for cooking food could be dated back to almost two million years (okay), and fire used for cooking food could explain hominid features (what?). It's not the fires that could explain hominid features, it's the USE of fires could explain the features.

A. using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having
It has no clear antecedent, "could be dated back" is less wordy and less clear than other option

B. the use of fire to cook food could date back almost two million years and could explain such hominid features as
Seems ok, hold it.

C. cooking food with fire could date back to almost two million years, explaining hominid features like
use of "like" to introduce examples isn't the best.

D. fire used to cook food could date back almost two million years, explaining hominid features such as having
Distorted meaning: fire is explaining hominid features?

E. fire used for cooking food could be dated back to almost two million years and explain hominid features
Distorted meaning (see above).

Pick B.
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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2015, 07:37
Hi,

I thought "to" is compulsory and marked "C" though I have noted "like/such as".
1. could date back almost two million years
2. could date back to almost two million Years

Which of these 2 is right?

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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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31 Aug 2015, 13:05
Comes down to B& D. Rest use "like". D means to say that the fire was 2 million years old. hence B
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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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31 Aug 2015, 20:32
ugimba wrote:
A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having a large brain and small teeth.

A using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having
B the use of fire to cook food could date back almost two million years and could explain such hominid features as
C cooking food with fire could date back to almost two million Years, explaining hominid features like
D fire used to cook food could date back almost two million years ,explaining hominid features such as having.
E fire used for cooking food could be dated back to almost two million years and explain hominid features like.

I came down to B and D ( eliminated other choices based on 'like vs such as')

I am not sure how to choose between these two.

in B, it says "use of fire" ...
in D, "fire used" ... I thought both are fine ...

will post the OA soon.

forget grammar rules and instead focus on meaning
in d and e, fire explain. not logic
features like having: not logic, not clear . d and a are gone

such as is more logic than like. c is out
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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2016, 08:22
ugimba wrote:
A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having a large brain and small teeth.

A using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having
B the use of fire to cook food could date back almost two million years and could explain such hominid features as
C cooking food with fire could date back to almost two million Years, explaining hominid features like
D fire used to cook food could date back almost two million years ,explaining hominid features such as having.
E fire used for cooking food could be dated back to almost two million years and explain hominid features like.

I came down to B and D ( eliminated other choices based on 'like vs such as')

I am not sure how to choose between these two.

in B, it says "use of fire" ...
in D, "fire used" ... I thought both are fine ...

will post the OA soon.

The sentence wants to say that, the use of fire to cook may date back to 2 million years
Now looking at the options - A is wrong - awkward, long and confusing phrase, hence ruling out.

Can't be D for sure, as D says the fire used to cook..., which essentially signifies that the fire dates back to 2 million years!!!
So D is out, hence remaining option is B
If you notice, other options also highlight the fire to cook dates back thing
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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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31 Mar 2016, 18:52
ugimba wrote:
A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having a large brain and small teeth.

A using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having
B the use of fire to cook food could date back almost two million years and could explain such hominid features as
C cooking food with fire could date back to almost two million Years, explaining hominid features like
D fire used to cook food could date back almost two million years ,explaining hominid features such as having.
E fire used for cooking food could be dated back to almost two million years and explain hominid features like.

clearly we need such as, as we give examples of the features. A, C, and E are out right away.
between B and D:
X proposed that the USE could date back
X proposed that FIRE could date back
clearly we need to link the usage of fire to smth, not the fire itself.
D is out, and B stands.
+one more thing with D - ing modifier is incorrect.
fire could date back to almost 2 mln years:
1 the result is explaining homid features...
2. date back by explaining...
since both usages are incorrect, ing modifier is not correct.

B
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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2016, 22:15
Hi all,
I did some research about date back whether this phrasal verb should be either "date back to" or "date back" and,on my observation,"date back to" is mostly followed by specific point in time,such as 1900 CE,while the latter version could be a period of time as in this question.

I think some official question ever uses "date at" but can't remember the exact source to confirm.
Can anyone expert help confirm my observation and the usage of "date at"?
Thanks
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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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03 Feb 2017, 15:48
ugimba wrote:
A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having a large brain and small teeth.

A using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having
B the use of fire to cook food could date back almost two million years and could explain such hominid features as
C cooking food with fire could date back to almost two million Years, explaining hominid features like
D fire used to cook food could date back almost two million years ,explaining hominid features such as having.
E fire used for cooking food could be dated back to almost two million years and explain hominid features like.

I came down to B and D ( eliminated other choices based on 'like vs such as')

I am not sure how to choose between these two.

in B, it says "use of fire" ...
in D, "fire used" ... I thought both are fine ...

will post the OA soon.

Let me give this a shot because I feel I could add something that may be helpful to some people.

A THAT using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and THAT it could explain hominid features like having. 1) Does not seem parallel to me. 2) Use of LIKE is suspect, it should be SUCH AS because we are giving examples of features such as XYZ.

C cooking food with fire could date back to almost two million Years, explaining hominid features like -
Seems parallel but there's no Parallel Marker. Marker is missing, so both are modifiers. Also use of LIKE is problematic.

D FIRE used to cook food could date back almost two million years ,explaining hominid features such as having.
This is the easiest to eliminate. Read this carefully again. It says "FIRE" could date back to almost two million years ago. Does this make any sense? Fire does not date back, it is the method of cooking that dates back. Not fire itself.

E fire used for cooking food could be dated back to almost two million years and explain hominid features like.
Same problem as D, FIRE dates back to 2 million years. Also the use of LIKE.

Think of Like as "similar to" vs Such as "for example". In this case the use of Like is wrong. Should be Such As.

B the use of fire to cook food could date back almost two million years and could explain such hominid features as
Parallel marker = AND.

A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that:
the use of fire to cook food
-- COULD DATE back almost two million years AND -- COULD EXPLAIN such hominid features as

Hope this helps. Kudos if this helps!
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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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04 Feb 2017, 21:24
ugimba wrote:
A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having a large brain and small teeth.

A using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having
B the use of fire to cook food could date back almost two million years and could explain such hominid features as
C cooking food with fire could date back to almost two million Years, explaining hominid features like
D fire used to cook food could date back almost two million years ,explaining hominid features such as having.
E fire used for cooking food could be dated back to almost two million years and explain hominid features like.

I came down to B and D ( eliminated other choices based on 'like vs such as')

I am not sure how to choose between these two.

in B, it says "use of fire" ...
in D, "fire used" ... I thought both are fine ...
will post the OA soon.

For future references, when you post a question do not put your thoughts and your break down DIRECTLY below the question otherwise no one will take you seriously. From now on make a separate post to show your break down and analysis of question posted. Thanks!
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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2017, 22:25
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Hi Piyush

I'll try to clear the trouble you are facing with the given problem.

Let's take a step by step approach

Meaning :- the author is trying to say that a Harvard anthropologist has proposed that the use of fire to cook food can be dated back to almost two million years.
The use of fire explains how hominids have features such as large brains and small teeth.

Gramar analysis :- Subject (Harvard anthropologist) is in agreement with the verb (has)

Verb :- Proposed and dated clearly reflect the use of fire in past ,which is what the case should be

Pronoun :- It- in this case refers to fire.This is where the flaw lies.
Rather,than "fire" , we need the sentence to reflect that "usage of fire" is what caused hominids to develop such features.

As u have already mentioned, usage of like is inconsistent

If you closely look at option B
The parallelism drawn is to highlight 2 specifics of use of fire , which should be the case as per the meaning intended by the author.

I hope that helps

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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2017, 05:30
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ranjeet75 wrote:
A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost
two million years and that it could explain hominid features like having
a large brain and small
teeth.
A. using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain
hominid features like having
B. the use of fire to cook food could date back almost two million years and could explain such
hominid features as
C. cooking food with fire could date back to almost two million years, explaining hominid features
like
D. fire used to cook food could date back almost two million years, explaining hominid features
such as having
E. fire used for cooking food could be dated back to almost two million years and explain hominid
features like

Between B and D, B stands out. some problems with D are already discussed in the previous post. i would like to point out one more -- in D it is stated that "Fire used to cook food could date back almost two million years" - here meaning is changed as it incorrectly implies that it is the fire that could date back to almost two million years and not the use of fire.

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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2017, 19:02
A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost
two million years and that it could explain hominid features like
having a large brain and small
teeth.
A. using fire to cook food could be dated back to almost two million years and that it could explain
hominid features like having (Usage of like is wrong here while giving examples)
B. the use of fire to cook food could date back almost two million years and could explain such
hominid features as (correct)
C. cooking food with fire could date back to almost two million years, explaining hominid features
like (Same as A)
D. fire used to cook food could date back almost two million years, explaining hominid features
such as having (It implies fire date back almost two million years.)
E. fire used for cooking food could be dated back to almost two million years and explain hominid
features like (Same as D)

Kudos please if you like my explanation
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Re: A Harvard anthropologist has proposed that using fire to cook food cou   [#permalink] 08 Mar 2017, 19:02

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