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# According to scientists at the University of California, the

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According to scientists at the University of California, the [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2009, 18:46
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６． According to scientists at the University of California, the pattern of changes that have occurred in human DNA over the millennia indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who lived in Africa sometime between 140,000 and 280,000 years ago.
(A) indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who
(B) indicate that everyone alive today might possibly be a descendant of a single female ancestor who had
(C) may indicate that everyone alive today has descended from a single female ancestor who had
(D) indicates that everyone alive today may be a descendant of a single female ancestor who
(E) indicates that everyone alive today might be a descendant from a single female ancestor who

OA:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
D

First of,S-V agreement.
S-pattern>singular,therefore indicateS should be used.
A,B,C>eliminate.
D,E remains.

Queries:
1. descendent of/from.Are'nt both correct?
2.may/might.For a future event which defines certanity?May?
3.Subject of the sentence is pattern.Agreed.Can someone explain WHY?While identifying a subject we ask the question "Who did the action"..Is'nt the answer "scientists"??
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2009, 20:33
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Tejal you are correct on the S-V, eliminate A, B and C on that basis.
There are also redundancy in some of those answers such as in a) “the possibility” and “might” is duplication and not concise.

Between D and E the main difference is “may be a descendant of” vs “might be a descendant from”. I don’t know if there is an idiom for this but as a native speaker “descendant of” is typically used. Same as the word member – you would be a member of a band but not a member from a band. Although they both probably make sense the first seems more correct.

Regarding the question about the main subject, it is “pattern of changes”, not the scientists.

Hopefully someone else can offer a better explanation
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2009, 22:54
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tejal777 wrote:
６． According to scientists at the University of California, the pattern of changes that have occurred in human DNA over the millennia indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who lived in Africa sometime between 140,000 and 280,000 years ago.

(A) indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who
(B) indicate that everyone alive today might possibly be a descendant of a single female ancestor who had
(C) may indicate that everyone alive today has descended from a single female ancestor who had
(D) indicates that everyone alive today may be a descendant of a single female ancestor who
(E) indicates that everyone alive today might be a descendant from a single female ancestor who

OA:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
D

First of,S-V agreement.
S-pattern>singular,therefore indicateS should be used.
A,B,C>eliminate.
D,E remains.

Queries:
1. descendent of/from.Are'nt both correct?
2.may/might.For a future event which defines certanity?May?
3.Subject of the sentence is pattern.Agreed.Can someone explain WHY?While identifying a subject we ask the question "Who did the action"..Is'nt the answer "scientists"??

Subject, "the pattren", is singular that requires a singualr verb and that eliminates ABC.

Between D and E, they have 2 major difference:-

1. "may be" and "might be": Every one alive today - so needs "may". "Might" may also indicate past possibility but "may" only does so for present and future possibilities.

2. "descendant of" and "descendant from" - thats entirely about the correct idiom. "descendant of" is better than "decendent from".

But the verb "may/might" is the main reason that eliminates E and keeps D.
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2009, 23:04
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yep descendent from is totally incorrect. The correct form is 'descended from' or 'descendent of' . Nice question.
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2009, 12:24
'Descendant of' is idiomatic and hence option D suits the best.
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2009, 21:10
You guys might want to kill me but now I have a new querie:(
1."decendant from" is the right idiom i checked,so you guys are bang on on that.

I was reviewing the questions again and got a bit confused.

One of the substances that tell/[strike]tells[/strike]
One of the substances [strike]tells[/strike]/tell

Coming back to the original question,
the pattern of changes that have occurred
So the subject here becomes changes>Plural>>Indicate..
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2009, 21:58
tejal777 wrote:
Coming back to the original question,
the pattern of changes that have occurred
So the subject here becomes changes>Plural>>Indicate..

Hey tejal777, you should ask the question that "who does indicate the possibility....?" The answer is "pattern of changes" and not the "changes". So the subject is pattern.

Have more questions? Bring them on...
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2009, 22:31
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Idiom Issue:

1. "descendant from" could be a correct idiom but that doesnot mean that "descendant of" is incorrect.
2. "descendant from" could be a correct idiom but that doesnot mean that "descendant from" is superior to "descendant of".
3. "descendant from" could be a correct idiom but that doesnot mean that it is properly used in the given context.
4. "descendant from" and "descendant of" both could equally be correct and properly be used in D and E, but if E has an obvious error (i.e. wrong verb "might"), then it is less likely to be the OA than D, which doesnot have that error.

tejal777 wrote:
You guys might want to kill me but now I have a new querie:(
1."decendant from" is the right idiom i checked, so you guys are bang on on that.

I was reviewing the questions again and got a bit confused.

One of the substances that tell/[strike]tells[/strike]
One of the substances [strike]tells[/strike]/tell

Coming back to the original question,
the pattern of changes that have occurred
So the subject here becomes changes>Plural>>Indicate..

SVA:

E. According to scientists at the University of California, the pattern of changes that have occurred in human DNA over the millennia indicates that everyone alive today may be a descendant of a single female ancestor who lived in Africa sometime between 140,000 and 280,000 years ago.

- Subject = the pattren - singular
- Verb = indicates - singular

"That" refers to "changes" and is a plural. Therefore "That" has a plural verb "have".

The folloings are both correct:

One of the substances that tell/[strike]tells[/strike]
One of the substances [strike]tells[/strike]/tell

tejal777 wrote:
６．According to scientists at the University of California, the pattern of changes that have occurred in human DNA over the millennia indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who lived in Africa sometime between 140,000 and 280,000 years ago.

(A) indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who
(B) indicate that everyone alive today might possibly be a descendant of a single female ancestor who had
(C) may indicate that everyone alive today has descended from a single female ancestor who had
(D) indicates that everyone alive today may be a descendant of a single female ancestor who
(E) indicates that everyone alive today might be a descendant from a single female ancestor who

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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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18 Oct 2009, 04:05
oh oh..GOT it!!Thanks guys you are the BEST!!:):)
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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18 Oct 2009, 06:00
tejal777 wrote:
６． According to scientists at the University of California, the pattern of changes that have occurred in human DNA over the millennia indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who lived in Africa sometime between 140,000 and 280,000 years ago.
(A) indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who
(B) indicate that everyone alive today might possibly be a descendant of a single female ancestor who had
(C) may indicate that everyone alive today has descended from a single female ancestor who had
(D) indicates that everyone alive today may be a descendant of a single female ancestor who
(E) indicates that everyone alive today might be a descendant from a single female ancestor who

OA:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
D

First of,S-V agreement.
S-pattern>singular,therefore indicateS should be used.
A,B,C>eliminate.
D,E remains.

Queries:
1. descendent of/from.Are'nt both correct?
2.may/might.For a future event which defines certanity?May?
3.Subject of the sentence is pattern.Agreed.Can someone explain WHY?While identifying a subject we ask the question "Who did the action"..Is'nt the answer "scientists"??

Difficult question!

A) "indicate" does not agree with "the pattern"
B) idem
C) "may indicate" changes the meaning
D) looks fine, let's go to the next
E) looks fine too, let's see what is different

process of choosing:
1) between "might" and "may", I would use "may" (but I don't know whether this is better... anyone know?)
2) my ear says that "descendant from" is awkward. If I would say "descendant from", it would be a country or something like that. However, this "descendant" sounds like "descendant of Japanese or sth like that.

Agree?
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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09 Nov 2009, 23:42
It's definitely D

It's a might (past tense) vs may(present/future tense) challenge
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2010, 01:44
tejal777 wrote:
You guys might want to kill me but now I have a new querie:(
1."decendant from" is the right idiom i checked,so you guys are bang on on that.

I was reviewing the questions again and got a bit confused.

One of the substances that tell/[strike]tells[/strike]
One of the substances [strike]tells[/strike]/tell

Coming back to the original question,
the pattern of changes that have occurred
So the subject here becomes changes>Plural>>Indicate..

While One of the substances that tell/[strike]tells[/strike] is correct because restrictive "that" clause modifies the noun "substances", I don't think that One of the substances [strike]tells[/strike]/tell is correct. "One" is a pronoun here and it shoud be singular. So, there must be a mistake and the correct sentence is "One of the substances tells..."
Any thoughts are welcomed!
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2010, 21:34
indicates + descendant of

yah D...
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2010, 22:30
I am just starting my prep and I selected D because it has to start with 'indicates' in this case and it sounded correct, but the additional detail on may and might given by others has given me a better way to look at it now...thank you
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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30 Mar 2010, 23:25
great question!! lots of grammatical materials tested here
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2010, 11:30
good question...
Never thought I would need to split hairs between "may" and "might".
Thanks GMAT TIGER. You roared ...
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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10 Apr 2010, 18:52
A very good question. my pick is (D).
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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18 May 2010, 07:36
Very good question. Thanks for the explanation
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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24 Jun 2010, 01:27
GMAT TIGER wrote:
Idiom Issue:

1. "descendant from" could be a correct idiom but that doesnot mean that "descendant of" is incorrect.
2. "descendant from" could be a correct idiom but that doesnot mean that "descendant from" is superior to "descendant of".
3. "descendant from" could be a correct idiom but that doesnot mean that it is properly used in the given context.
4. "descendant from" and "descendant of" both could equally be correct and properly be used in D and E, but if E has an obvious error (i.e. wrong verb "might"), then it is less likely to be the OA than D, which doesnot have that error.

tejal777 wrote:
You guys might want to kill me but now I have a new querie:(
1."decendant from" is the right idiom i checked, so you guys are bang on on that.

I was reviewing the questions again and got a bit confused.

One of the substances that tell/[strike]tells[/strike]
One of the substances [strike]tells[/strike]/tell

Coming back to the original question,
the pattern of changes that have occurred
So the subject here becomes changes>Plural>>Indicate..

SVA:

E. According to scientists at the University of California, the pattern of changes that have occurred in human DNA over the millennia indicates that everyone alive today may be a descendant of a single female ancestor who lived in Africa sometime between 140,000 and 280,000 years ago.

- Subject = the pattren - singular
- Verb = indicates - singular

"That" refers to "changes" and is a plural. Therefore "That" has a plural verb "have".

The folloings are both correct:

One of the substances that tell/[strike]tells[/strike]
One of the substances [strike]tells[/strike]/tell

tejal777 wrote:
６．According to scientists at the University of California, the pattern of changes that have occurred in human DNA over the millennia indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who lived in Africa sometime between 140,000 and 280,000 years ago.

(A) indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who
(B) indicate that everyone alive today might possibly be a descendant of a single female ancestor who had
(C) may indicate that everyone alive today has descended from a single female ancestor who had
(D) indicates that everyone alive today may be a descendant of a single female ancestor who
(E) indicates that everyone alive today might be a descendant from a single female ancestor who

GMATTIGER can you please elucidate the usage of "One of the" kind of sentences. I am quoting what i read in sahil notes:
‘one of the NOUN (this noun will always be plural) + that/who + PLURAL VERB'
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Re: According to scientists at the University of California [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2010, 23:54
GMAT TIGER wrote:
tejal777 wrote:
６． According to scientists at the University of California, the pattern of changes that have occurred in human DNA over the millennia indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who lived in Africa sometime between 140,000 and 280,000 years ago.

(A) indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who
(B) indicate that everyone alive today might possibly be a descendant of a single female ancestor who had
(C) may indicate that everyone alive today has descended from a single female ancestor who had
(D) indicates that everyone alive today may be a descendant of a single female ancestor who
(E) indicates that everyone alive today might be a descendant from a single female ancestor who

OA:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
D

First of,S-V agreement.
S-pattern>singular,therefore indicateS should be used.
A,B,C>eliminate.
D,E remains.

Queries:
1. descendent of/from.Are'nt both correct?
2.may/might.For a future event which defines certanity?May?
3.Subject of the sentence is pattern.Agreed.Can someone explain WHY?While identifying a subject we ask the question "Who did the action"..Is'nt the answer "scientists"??

Subject, "the pattren", is singular that requires a singualr verb and that eliminates ABC.

Between D and E, they have 2 major difference:-

1. "may be" and "might be": Every one alive today - so needs "may". "Might" may also indicate past possibility but "may" only does so for present and future possibilities.

2. "descendant of" and "descendant from" - thats entirely about the correct idiom. "descendant of" is better than "decendent from".

But the verb "may/might" is the main reason that eliminates E and keeps D.

Agreed that "pattern of changes" is singular, then why does the question stem contain "pattern of changes that [highlight]have [/highlight]occurred".
Should it not be "changes that [highlight]has[/highlight]" occurred
Re: According to scientists at the University of California   [#permalink] 16 Sep 2010, 23:54

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