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Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the

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Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the food they eat before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.

(A) before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.
(B) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed is used to grind their food.
(C) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.
(D) before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed is used to grind their food.
(E) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed are used to grind their food.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
This question focuses on verb tense and agreement, as well as general rhetorical construction. In this sentence all of the verbs agree with their subjects. However, the phrase before reaching the stomach does not have a clear subject. It appears to modify they, the chickens, instead of food. The present tense verb swallow should be replaced with the present perfect verb have swallowed in order to indicate that the swallowing occurred before the use of the stones.

A) The phrase before reaching the stomach does not have a clear subject. It appears to modify they, the chickens, instead of food.The present tense verb swallow should be replaced with the present perfect verb have swallowed in order to indicate that the swallowing occurred before the use of the stones.

B) The singular verb is does not agree with the plural subject stones. Is should be in the plural form are.

C) swallow should be in past perfect have swallowed

D) The phrase before reaching the stomach does not have a clear subject. It appears to modify they, the chickens, instead of food. The singular verb is does not agree with the plural noun stones. Is should be in the plural form are.

E) This sentence is correct as is. In this sentence all of the verbs agree with their subjects and are in the correct tenses. The modifying phrases do not allow for any confusion.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2013, 11:55
i have a doubt how the phrase "before reaching the stomach" modifies chicken,in my view the phrase is clearly modifying the "food".
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Re: Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2013, 12:10
Hi Pavanapaone, You're absolutely correct, it should modify 'food'.

The fact that it does not clearly do this in A is one of the reasons it is wrong.

Answer E resolves this, (and the other mistakes in the original - as described by the OE in the original post)

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Re: Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the [#permalink]

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gorsar wrote:
Why C is wrong?
Can anyone explaine please?

Image Posted from GMAT ToolKit


Between C & E
C) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.
This option doesn't clearly tell us whether Chickens swallow stones to grind food or Chickens grind food using stones that are previously swallowed.

E) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed are used to grind their food.
Correctly states that the stones, swallowed previously, grind food.
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Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the food they eat before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.

A) before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.
B) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed is used to grind their food.
C) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.
D) before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed is used to grind their food.
E) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed are used to grind their food.


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A) before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food- There is no subject for "before reaching the stomach"- So Eliminate.

B) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed is used to grind their food- stones is plural, so the verb also has to be plural. But here it is singular (is)- So Eliminate.

C) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food- present perfect is need here. Not present (swallow)- Since it is an ongoing activity after every meal- Hence Eliminate.

D) before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed is used to grind their food-Same as A. Singular verb "is" does not agree with plural subject "stones"- So eliminate

E) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed are used to grind their food- Here all S-V agreement is perfect. Also no modifier errors.


So the answer is E.
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Re: Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2016, 05:00
Isn't it that the part which talks about gizzard is a fact about chickens and should use a present tense i.e. swallow. Please explain.

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Re: Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2016, 09:38
deepakrawlani wrote:
Isn't it that the part which talks about gizzard is a fact about chickens and should use a present tense i.e. swallow. Please explain.


"Swallow" refers to the stones. The chickens need to have swallowed the stones before they eat something else, in order make the stones grind the food inside the chickens' stomach.
It's a really tricky one, actually. I'd say it lingers much more on someone's reading comprehension than the usual stock rules about sentence correction.

To clarify: the other ("the stones they swallow") would be grammatically correct as well, but wouldn't make things as clear-cut as the OA. I'm not 100% sure that you'd find something as subtle as this in the official exam, nevertheless.
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Re: Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the [#permalink]

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The requirement of a perfect tense for the swallowing of stones is debatable and dubious. It is not that the chicks swallow stones first and then use those stones for grinding the following food. Because chicks eat food from bare ground mostly, every time the eat their staple food, they ingest stones. In farm grown conditions, since the chicks may not get adequate quantity stones, it is not uncommon to mix hard shell grits in the mash to aid digestion and provide additional calcium. Therefore, swallowing stones is a concurrent and ongoing affair. As such, we do not indicate ongoing processes in perfect tense. Therefore I would discount E as the correct choice, but vote C.

Agree with Lowryder that something as quibbling as this may not find its way onto the GMAT.

Now one parting gift for the day; take this case:
1. We get nutrition from the food we take
2. We get nutrition from the food we have taken.
Which is the normal way of saying?
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Last edited by daagh on 15 Aug 2016, 23:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2016, 13:52
Two key points i see in this question:

1) what reach the stomach? noun/pronoun is missing
2) "swallow stone" must happen before drinding food , so present perfect is needed

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Re: Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2016, 10:07
Advice: those sources that are not specified should be kicked out of the question bank.

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Re: Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2016, 01:36
sivasanjeev wrote:
gorsar wrote:
Why C is wrong?
Can anyone explaine please?

Image Posted from GMAT ToolKit


Between C & E
C) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.
This option doesn't clearly tell us whether Chickens swallow stones to grind food or Chickens grind food using stones that are previously swallowed.

E) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed are used to grind their food.
Correctly states that the stones, swallowed previously, grind food.


many official gmat questions test us the difference between present perfect and simple present. while present simple talk about timeless fact, habit, or status, an action which generally have no time, present perfect talk about time of actions, an action continuing to present or an action which happened in the past but its resuts is relevant to present. we should review the uses of these two tenses in grammar books, but dont study it too far.

back to choice C.
swallowing is not a timeless fact, habit or status . it need a time , so present simple tense is incorrect for "swallow" in C. E is better.

another way of looking problem is sequence which is explained above
this is not official question but good question because it test the point gmat test, difference between present simple and present perfect.
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Re: Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2017, 07:48
why is C incorrect here? Isn't simple present preferred here?

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warriorguy wrote:
why is C incorrect here? Isn't simple present preferred here?


The action "are used" can be done only AFTER the action "swallow". Therefore present perfect is better to depict this sequence.

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Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the food they eat before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.
A) before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.
what reaches the stomach?
B) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed is used to grind their food.
is used is wrong because the stones are used.stones are plural.
C) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.
the tense is wrong, the stones they have swallowed must be used.
D) before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed is used to grind their food.
same as A
E) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed are used to grind their food.
Correct pronoun usage.

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Re: Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2017, 20:39
Hi Expert,

I don't know how and when chicks swallow the stones. Just by reading the original sentence, how can I determine that stones are swallowed first to digest the food ?

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Re: Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the [#permalink]

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This is not a good question, and it's definitely not one of ours! Can someone please change the attribution?

We would never need to bring in outside knowledge of whether stones are swallowed before or after eating, and as daagh points out, the entire distinction doesn't make much sense.
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New post 30 Mar 2017, 00:30
DmitryFarber wrote:
This is not a good question, and it's definitely not one of ours! Can someone please change the attribution?

We would never need to bring in outside knowledge of whether stones are swallowed before or after eating, and as daagh points out, the entire distinction doesn't make much sense.


Thanks DmitryFarber for confirming it.

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Re: Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2017, 02:45
Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the food they eat before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.

A) before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.
B) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed is used to grind their food.
C) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.
D) before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed is used to grind their food.
E) before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed are used to grind their food.


B and D instant elimination S-V agreement error stones....is....
Since swallowing of food is ongoing activity so present perfect would makes more sense then simple present
In A and C they swallow is not appropriate in comparison to they have swallowed
Answer is E

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Re: Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the   [#permalink] 30 Mar 2017, 02:45

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