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# A sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senat

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
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A sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senat  [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2014, 16:22
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13
00:00

Difficulty:

45% (medium)

Question Stats:

59% (01:19) correct 41% (01:26) wrong based on 377 sessions

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A sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi, has never been elected to the US Presidency, although four sitting eastern Senators have been elected to the office.

(A) A sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi, has never

(B) A sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi, never have

(C) No sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi, has not

(D) No sitting Speaker of the House and no sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi has ever

(E) Neither any sitting Speaker of the House nor any sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi, have ever

Additive Phrases raise some tricky issues for SVA agreement. For a full discussion, as well as the OE to this question, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/compound-s ... e-phrases/

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Re: A sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senat  [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2015, 08:26
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Additive phrases, such as well as, along with, together with and the like do not render the structure of the subject as plural and therefore the verb will go in tandem with the original subject.

(A) A sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi, has never --- a sitting speaker is the subject—therefore has never been is correct.

(B) A sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi, never have ---- never have is SV number mismatch

(C) No sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi, has not --- No and not is double negative
(D) No sitting Speaker of the House and no sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi has ever – 'and' turns the subject compound and hence has ever is SV number problem.
(E) Neither any sitting Speaker of the House nor any sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi, have ever. ----The verb is decided by the subject nearest to the verb; The verb is decided by the noun or pronoun closest to the verb, namely, senator; Senator is singular and hence the verb has to be 'has never'.
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Re: A sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senat  [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2018, 01:49
The issues in the options are "Subject-Verb Agreement" and "Double negation".

A) A sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi, has never

(B) A sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi, never have

(C) No sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi, has not

(D) No sitting Speaker of the House and no sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi has ever

(E) Neither any sitting Speaker of the House nor any sitting Senator from west of the Mississippi, have ever
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Re: A sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senat  [#permalink]

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08 Sep 2018, 00:47

Official Explanation

Split #1a: in the constructions “A sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senator …” and “No sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senator …”, the “as well as” part is an additive phrase that is not part of the subject. The subject, “Speaker,” is singular, so the verb must be singular. Choice (B) is incorrect.

Split #1b: the construction “No sitting Speaker of the House or no sitting Senator …” is an ordinary compound subject, P or Q, so it is singular. We need the singular verb, so the plural “have” is incorrect. Choice (D) is incorrect.

Split #1c: the construction “Neither any sitting Speaker of the House nor any Senator …” is an OR subject; the second term, “any Senator,” is singular, so the verb has to be singular. The plural “have” is incorrect Choice (E) is incorrect.

Split #2: Choice (C) involves a double negative, so it is incorrect.

Choice (A) is the only possible answer.

BTW, in case you were curious: the three sitting Senators from east of the Mississippi who were elected US President, with their respective states in parentheses, are: Warren Harding (Ohio), John F. Kennedy (Massachusetts), and Barack Obama (Illinois). A few other sitting senators, such as Andrew Johnson (Tennessee), Lyndon B. Johnson (Texas), and certainly Harry S. Truman (Missouri), were elected Vice President and served a brief time before assuming the Presidency. Many other US Presidents served in the Senate at some point during their rise to the highest office.
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Re: A sitting Speaker of the House, as well as any sitting Senat   [#permalink] 08 Sep 2018, 00:47
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