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# Below is an extract from NYTimes, and i have small doubt on

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Manager
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Below is an extract from NYTimes, and i have small doubt on [#permalink]

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13 Feb 2012, 23:05
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Below is an extract from NYTimes, and i have small doubt on usage of "which" in the extract.

" The recent research details how disruption breeds disruption. This research includes the thousands of studies on attachment theory, which show that children who can’t form secure attachments by 18 months face a much worse set of chances for the rest of their lives because they find it harder to build stable relationships.

It includes the diverse work on self-control by Walter Mischel, Angela Duckworth, Roy Baumeister and others, which shows, among other things, that people raised in disrupted circumstances find it harder to control their impulses throughout their lives. "

There are two "which" used in the above paragraph.
First one refers to the "attachment theory" and I am not sure about the second "which" is it referring to "Diverse work" or "The Recent Research" ???
As given in MGMAT SC "Which" should refer back to the immediate noun before the comma.

Experts plz help me out !

Thanks
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Re: Doubt on usage of which ! [#permalink]

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Updated on: 14 Feb 2012, 00:57
2
arjunbt wrote:
It includes the diverse work on self-control by Walter Mischel, Angela Duckworth, Roy Baumeister and others, which shows, among other things, that people raised in disrupted circumstances find it harder to control their impulses throughout their lives. "

Experts plz help me out !

the which in the above mentioned sentence is referring to "the diverse work on self control"
though which generally refers to the noun immediately preceding it, however, it may refer to the subject(even if the subject is not immediately preceding it) if that makes sense..in this sentence, the nouns immediately preceding "which" are Walter Mischel, Angela Duckworth, Roy Baumeister and others..now they are plural and also living being ...thus which shows(singular verb) can't logically refer to them....though the governing rule says which must refer to noun immediately preceding it, however,the above sentence is an exception on logical grounds and thus correct ( the logic also plays an important role)...the use of which is completely unambiguous here...
further, the discussion on one of the gmatprep problem will throw more light on this exception.
http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/post24246.html
hope it helps.
regards
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Originally posted by rajeevrks27 on 13 Feb 2012, 23:50.
Last edited by rajeevrks27 on 14 Feb 2012, 00:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Doubt on usage of which ! [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2012, 00:20
Nice explanation by Rajeev.

+1 kudos

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Re: Doubt on usage of which ! [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2012, 00:26
Good Question and very good explaination.
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Re: Doubt on usage of which ! [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2012, 01:02
Thanks for clearing up the confusion rajeevrks27.
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Re: Doubt on usage of which ! [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2012, 01:29
Thanks for the explanation Rajeev.
1+ Kudos to u
So here the takeaway is that as long as "which" is unambiguously referring to noun phrase or noun immediately preceding it, there is no problem.
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Below is an extract from NYTimes, and i have small doubt on [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2015, 08:33
There has been criticism in the forum regarding NY Times grammar as not up to the rigors of the tough GMAT, probably unjustly. That aside, the main issue in the given topic is the touch rule of the relative pronoun ‘which” or even the exception to touch rule. MGMAT has rightly pointed out that the rule is that the pronoun should modify the noun just in front and not farther.

But every rule has an exception and MGMAT acknowledges that in various references, cases where the touch rule may not apply. Now on to the passage

Quote:
The recent research details how disruption breeds disruption. This research includes the thousands of studies on attachment theory, 1which show that children who can’t form secure attachments by 18 months face a much worse set of chances for the rest of their lives because they find it harder to build stable relationships.

It includes the diverse work on self-control by Walter Mischel, Angela Duckworth, Roy Baumeister and others, 2which shows, among other things, that people raised in disrupted circumstances find it harder to control their impulses throughout their lives. "

The first ‘which’ is followed by the plural verb” show”; so its antecedent should be a plural; obviously ‘theory’ is not; it is singular and hence attachment theory is not the appropriate antecedent of the first ‘which’. The nearest plural noun is the “studies”. That is the antecedent of the first ‘which’. One can see the exception to the touch rule in play here.

The second ‘which’ --- ‘Which’ cannot refer to people, so the authors are out of the reckoning. The focus of this para is on the diverse work, a collective noun taken as singular. It is not even ‘self control’ since it is not self control that shows the impact of disrupted circumstance; put on a lighter vein, it is certainly not referring to the self-control by the illustrious authors. It should be the diverse work, ‘which’ refers to , a singular, collective noun.

One can again see the exception to the touch rule in play. So whenever you see' which' in GMAT, please remember to recall the exception as much as the rule itself.
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Re: Below is an extract from NYTimes, and i have small doubt on [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2017, 02:28
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Re: Below is an extract from NYTimes, and i have small doubt on   [#permalink] 03 Aug 2017, 02:28
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