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# A number of linguists contend that all of the thousands of

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A number of linguists contend that all of the thousands of [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2010, 12:32
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Question Stats:

76% (00:34) correct 24% (00:15) wrong based on 41 sessions

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A number of linguists contend that all of the thousands of languages spoken by the world’s five billion people can be traced back to a common root language.
(A) that all of the thousands of languages spoken by the world’s five billion people can be traced
(B) that the world’s five billion people speak thousands of languages of which all can be traced
(C) the world’s five billion people speak thousands of languages which are all traceable
(D) all of the thousands of languages spoken by the world’s five billion people to be traceable
(E) the ability to trace all of the thousands of languages that are spoken by the world’s five billion people

Question :
1.what concepts is this SC testing? Restrictive clauses, word placement? Support your answers with concepts.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: SC- linguists [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2010, 13:22
Let me know if you agree with my reasoning.

A number of linguists contend that all of the thousands of languages spoken by the worlds five billion people can be traced back to a common root language.

A. that all of the thousands of languages spoken by the worlds five billion people can be traced
>>>Linguists contend that all 100 languages spoken by 200 people can be traced
- is correct

B. that the worlds five billion people speak thousands of languages of which all can be traced
>>> Linguists contend that 200 people speak 100 languages of which all can be traced.
->implies people are traceable
Reason to eliminate – change of meaning

C. the worlds five billion people speak thousands of languages which are all traceable
>>> Linguists contend the 200 people speak 100 languages which are all traceable.
-> implies people are traceable
Reason to eliminate – change of meaning

D. all of the thousands of languages spoken by the worlds five billion people to be traceable
>>> Linguists contend all 100 languages spoken by 200 people to be traceable
-> implies any set of 100 languages spoken 200 people is traceable.
Reason to eliminate – change of meaning
E. the ability to trace all of the thousands of languages that are spoken by the worlds five billion people
>>> changes the meaning of the sentence. Here is says the “linguists” can trace.
Reason to eliminate – change of meaning

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Re: SC- linguists [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2010, 22:51
Goalsnr,

This is a tough question, but as always we should attempt to explain the wrong answer choices using clear grammatical rules before we rule them out for "change of meaning." Looking for grammatical errors first ensures we rule out the most black and white wrong answers first before looking for shades of gray.

In this instance, we can use the initial split (contend that vs. contend). Anytime you use the word "contend" to mean "assert," you need the "that" after it. Just one of those idioms we all know and love.

From there, you could look at the "of which" issue or use the reasoning you posed earlier - that the sentence distorts the meaning.
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Re: SC- linguists [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2010, 23:16
goalsnr wrote:
A number of linguists contend that all of the thousands of languages spoken by the world’s five billion people can be traced back to a common root language.
(A) that all of the thousands of languages spoken by the world’s five billion people can be traced
(B) that the world’s five billion people speak thousands of languages of which all can be traced
(C) the world’s five billion people speak thousands of languages which are all traceable
(D) all of the thousands of languages spoken by the world’s five billion people to be traceable
(E) the ability to trace all of the thousands of languages that are spoken by the world’s five billion people

we need that in the sentence because of the use of CONTEND.
between A and B, A is correct as it implies all the languages can be traced

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Re: SC- linguists [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2010, 03:04
goalsnr wrote:
A number of linguists contend that all of the thousands of languages spoken by the world’s five billion people can be traced back to a common root language.
(A) that all of the thousands of languages spoken by the world’s five billion people can be traced
(B) that the world’s five billion people speak thousands of languages of which all can be traced
(C) the world’s five billion people speak thousands of languages which are all traceable
(D) all of the thousands of languages spoken by the world’s five billion people to be traceable
(E) the ability to trace all of the thousands of languages that are spoken by the world’s five billion people

Question :
1.what concepts is this SC testing? Restrictive clauses, word placement? Support your answers with concepts.

With 2/3 split and we are down to A and B as we need THAT after "Contend", (check out the Reporting Verbs list given by MGMAT also)

Highlighted portion in B doesn't make sentence clear, so the answer is A.
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Re: SC- linguists [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2010, 08:00
BKimball wrote:
Goalsnr,

This is a tough question, but as always we should attempt to explain the wrong answer choices using clear grammatical rules before we rule them out for "change of meaning." Looking for grammatical errors first ensures we rule out the most black and white wrong answers first before looking for shades of gray.

In this instance, we can use the initial split (contend that vs. contend). Anytime you use the word "contend" to mean "assert," you need the "that" after it. Just one of those idioms we all know and love.

From there, you could look at the "of which" issue or use the reasoning you posed earlier - that the sentence distorts the meaning.

Thanks for the explanation. In another post (posted by an instructor) I read it is not a wise strategy to use "idioms" as first reason for elimination. Also I looked up on the net and see "contend" can be used in different forms.

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Re: SC- linguists [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2010, 08:30
BKimball wrote:
Goalsnr,

This is a tough question, but as always we should attempt to explain the wrong answer choices using clear grammatical rules before we rule them out for "change of meaning." Looking for grammatical errors first ensures we rule out the most black and white wrong answers first before looking for shades of gray.

In this instance, we can use the initial split (contend that vs. contend). Anytime you use the word "contend" to mean "assert," you need the "that" after it. Just one of those idioms we all know and love.

From there, you could look at the "of which" issue or use the reasoning you posed earlier - that the sentence distorts the meaning.

Brett,

I would appreciate if you can answer another question with "that".
The differences between answer choices (pls see below) A and E are:
1. "cannon shooting chickens" vs "cannon that shoots chickens"
2. "proved helpful to demonstrate" vs "proved helpful in demonstrating"

I understand both "proved helpful to demonstrate" vs "proved helpful in demonstrating" are correct idioms. In wonder why "cannon shooting chickens" is incorrect? "proved to be" is correct usage. Please provide your feedback. Thanks.

According to United States Air Force officials, a cannon shooting dead chickens at airplanes has proved helpful to demonstrate what kind of damage can result when jets fly into a flock of large birds.

A. shooting dead chickens at airplanes has proved helpful to demonstrate
E. that shoots dead chickens at airplanes has proved helpful in demonstrating

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Re: SC- linguists [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2010, 09:43
nice question... +1 for A.... nice query by goalsnr... i am eager to know the reaction on this
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Re: SC- linguists [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2010, 10:44
Can you post the entire Answer options for this...

According to United States Air Force officials, a cannon shooting dead chickens at airplanes has proved helpful to demonstrate what kind of damage can result when jets fly into a flock of large birds.

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Re: SC- linguists [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2010, 10:59
goalsnr wrote:
BKimball wrote:
Goalsnr,

This is a tough question, but as always we should attempt to explain the wrong answer choices using clear grammatical rules before we rule them out for "change of meaning." Looking for grammatical errors first ensures we rule out the most black and white wrong answers first before looking for shades of gray.

In this instance, we can use the initial split (contend that vs. contend). Anytime you use the word "contend" to mean "assert," you need the "that" after it. Just one of those idioms we all know and love.

From there, you could look at the "of which" issue or use the reasoning you posed earlier - that the sentence distorts the meaning.

Brett,

I would appreciate if you can answer another question with "that".
The differences between answer choices (pls see below) A and E are:
1. "cannon shooting chickens" vs "cannon that shoots chickens"
2. "proved helpful to demonstrate" vs "proved helpful in demonstrating"

I understand both "proved helpful to demonstrate" vs "proved helpful in demonstrating" are correct idioms. In wonder why "cannon shooting chickens" is incorrect? "proved to be" is correct usage. Please provide your feedback. Thanks.

According to United States Air Force officials, a cannon shooting dead chickens at airplanes has proved helpful to demonstrate what kind of damage can result when jets fly into a flock of large birds.

A. shooting dead chickens at airplanes has proved helpful to demonstrate
E. that shoots dead chickens at airplanes has proved helpful in demonstrating

IMO "cannon shooting chickens" is incorrect because it is giving sense that cannon is shooting chickens right now but this is not what sentence meant.

HAS PROVED in D doesn't makes sense with "shooting" but in E it makes sense with "shoots"

May be I'm wrong and I also would love some explanation from Brett.
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Re: SC- linguists [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2010, 05:21
For me, the clearest grammatical issue is "helpful in" and "helpful to." Although they are both correct, they are both correct in different circumstances. For example:

"X-Rays are helpful to doctors." --> helpful to a person or an entity such as a doctor
"X-Rays are helpful for treating broken bones." --> helpful for a purpose such as treatment

*Note that you can say "helpful to demonstrate" if you mean that it would help you if somebody showed you how to use something. (For example: "It would be helpful to demonstrate the proper usage of the machine so people know how to use it.")

Here we're saying the cannon would be helpful for a purpose: simulating damage from birds. "Helpful for" is correct.

As for the chickens:

The "cannot shooting chickens" explanation above is correct. "Cannon shooting dead chickens at airplane" implies that the cannon is constantly shooting dead chickens. "Cannot that shoots dead chickens at airplanes" implied that the cannon shoots the chickens on command. The latter products would be more useful, in my opinion.

Thanks for the question.
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Re: SC- linguists   [#permalink] 03 Oct 2010, 05:21
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# A number of linguists contend that all of the thousands of

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