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# Biologists believe that they have found one of the

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Biologists believe that they have found one of the [#permalink]

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22 Feb 2011, 07:12
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Biologists believe that they have found one of the substances that tell individual genes both when to become active and when to remain quiescent in the earliest phases of an embryo's development.

(A) tell individual genes both when to become active and when to remain
(B) tell individual genes both at which time they should become active and should remain
(C) tells individual genes both when to become active and when to remain
(D) tells individual genes both when to activate and when to
(E) tell an individual gene both about when it should become active and when it should remain

The biologists have found ONE of the substances.....
shouldn't it should be 'tells' rather than 'tell' ??
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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22 Feb 2011, 07:28
Biologists believe that they have found one of the substances that [url]tell individual genes both when to become active and when to remain[/url]quiescent in the earliest phases of an embryo's development.

(A) tell individual genes both when to become active and when to remain
(B) tell individual genes both at which time they should become active and should remain
(C) tells individual genes both when to become active and when to remain
(D) tells individual genes both when to activate and when to
(E) tell an individual gene both about when it should become active and when it should remain

The biologists have found ONE of the substances.....
shouldn't it should be 'tells' rather than 'tell' ??

NOT ONE SUBSTANCE BUT SUBSTANCES SO SUBJECT IS (SUBSTANCES ) PLURAL REQUIRES PLURAL SUBJECT.
So C and D are out. E is awkward B is redundant.
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22 Feb 2011, 07:29
NOT ONE SUBSTANCE BUT SUBSTANCES SO SUBJECT IS (SUBSTANCES ) PLURAL REQUIRES PLURAL SUBJECT.
So C and D are out. E is awkward B is redundant.
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22 Feb 2011, 07:48
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As per the relative pronoun touch – rule, a relative pronoun such as that, which, and who etc must modify the noun touching it and thus, it assumes the traits of the noun’s number and gender. In this given case, therefore 'that' relates to 'substances' and eventually needs a plural verb 'tell'.

The intent of the text is that there are several substances that tell this and that but the experts believe they have found just one of them.

That said, the correct idiom is ‘both when to’ rather than ‘both at which time’ or ‘both about when’.

A survives.
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23 Feb 2011, 21:43
|| being tested. clear A

parallel marker is both when to..... and when to
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24 Feb 2011, 02:40
i chose C as i was not aware of this rule. if what daagh has said is correct then the answer would be A.
good one daagh
+1 kudos
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24 Feb 2011, 04:54
I think the correct answer is C. 'One of the substances' is a singular subject. So a singular verb is need. 'Tells' agrees with 'One'. So C is the answer.
A uses a plural verb for a singular subject.
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24 Feb 2011, 05:44
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IMO Relative pronoun (that, who etc) agree with the immediately preceding noun but sometimes there may be a prepositional phrase in between as we have here.
I think while writing we can use "one of the substances that tell" or "one of the substances that tells" and verb will tell whether we are referring to "one of" or "substances".
So for me both the choices A & C seem correct.
If you put gun to my head I will,of course, choose A.
Correct me if wrong
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24 Feb 2011, 05:52
To support my choice of C, i can give one example. While speaking, we say 'One of my friends is a doctor'.
We do not tell 'One of my friends are a doctor'. This question is similar to this sentence. The subject is singular and needs a singular verb.
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24 Feb 2011, 06:08
yes but you are not using any relative pronoun there. Below are the ones that use relative pronoun
John is one of my friends who are doctors
John is one of my friends who is doctor
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24 Feb 2011, 07:56
The golden rule about subject verb agreement is that, the subject always the verb and not vice versa. So verbs tell or tells can not decide if the subject is one or substances.

Secondly, in GMAT you can’t reconcile to have two right choices. Only one is expected to be correct.
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24 Feb 2011, 11:13
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Yes. Of course, subject decides the verb.
But in the usage of relative pronouns, I think, there are exceptions(however rare they may be).

Consider this

daagh is the only one of GMATClubbers who answers the questions.
Here you cannot use 'answer' though plural pronoun precedes 'who' because there is 'only one'.

Also there are a few examples I have across which have structure
Noun + <prepositional modifier> + verb (referring to 1st Noun).

I remember 800bob on 'urch.com' saying the same. I will let you know if I find it.

Also this is 1000SC question and people sometimes doubt its credibility. I doubt GMAT Qs will have ambiguity.
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Last edited by hellishbrain on 24 Feb 2011, 20:48, edited 1 time in total.
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24 Feb 2011, 11:19

http://www.urch.com/forums/gmat-sentenc ... scs-2.html

http://www.urch.com/forums/gmat-sentenc ... lds-2.html
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24 Feb 2011, 11:23
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More on that here too

http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/rel ... t1778.html

I hope this clarifies
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24 Feb 2011, 19:21
are you choosing A or C?
hellishbrain wrote:
If you put gun to my head I will,of course, choose A.
Correct me if wrong
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24 Feb 2011, 20:45
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MGMAT says

Quote:
“So if I had this option "That school's students, who have been sick, are feeling better" then I'd prefer to say it that way so I can have students right next to who. But if I didn't have such an option, then it would be okay to say "the students at that school, who have been sick, are feeling better" because I need to specify that I'm not talking about random students in general but specifically "students at that school" - this entire noun phrase describes the specific students I want to discuss.”

The above quote explains that the exception is accepted when the most right theoretical choice is not available, but not when a rock solid copy book case is there in front .

Quote:
Biologists believe that they have found one of the substances that tell individual genes both when to become active and when to remain quiescent in the earliest phases of an embryo's development.

(A) tell individual genes both when to become active and when to remain
(B) tell individual genes both at which time they should become active and should remain
(C) tells individual genes both when to become active and when to remain
(D) tells individual genes both when to activate and when to
(E) tell an individual gene both about when it should become active and when it should remain

I would accept the exception to the touch rule if there existed no choice with the verb 'tell'; There are at least three choices that follow the classic touch rule and therefore it will be prudent to choose among them. Simply a logical case to go after the exception doesn’t exist in the given case IMO

2. @ hellishbrain: Let us compare your example of daagh

daagh is the only one of GMATClubbers who answers the questions. ( your sentence)

daagh is one of GMATClubbers who answers the questions. – ( another sentence) Now which verb is correct?" Answer or answers"? You can’t still stick on to the verb ‘answers” Am I right?

In your sentence the use of the phrase ‘the only one’, that includes a definitive article ‘the’ makes all the difference between the meanings of the two.

Let us not delve into Bob’s versions at the moment, as they relate to a different context.

The issue of the object of the preposition deciding the nature of the verb, mostly arises in the case of the SANAM pronouns( Some, all, none, any, and most) and the pronoun “one´ is not among them. I wonder whether any OG or GPREP question has ever tested the validity of such a ticklish issue given the aversion of GMAT to indulge in controversies.

But the take away according to me should be ” Do not rush to use an exception without a need for it” ; The risk in overusing an exception is that one day the exception will become the rule and the rule an exception.

PS:Will my readers pardon me for such a lengthy essay?
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24 Feb 2011, 20:59
daagh wrote:
daagh is the only one of GMATClubbers who answers the questions. ( your sentence)

daagh is one of GMATClubbers who answers the questions. – ( another sentence) Now which verb is correct?" Answer or answers"? You can’t still stick on to the verb ‘answers” Am I right?

PS:Will my readers pardon me for such a lengthy essay?

Not at all long ! Well explained. I will choose verb "answer" for the above sentence. "who" is plural referring to group - GMATClubbers
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24 Feb 2011, 21:40
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As I said before, I will go with A, which sticks to general rule and is logically correct too.

Having said that, I doubt OG will have two choices exactly same but with only this type of difference, and both may be logically correct.

And yes i wont overuse the exception but will surely have it at the back of my mind just not to miss it too.
GMAT likes to play on such tricks. There may be an example where correct answer choice has the exception and we may strike it off thinking it to be wrong according this rule.

The 'daagh' example was just to suggest that there exist exception to strict 'immediately preceding' rule.

Also how do SANAM pronouns come in picture. For them the verb always depends on the noun they modify(Of-phrase). IMO.
He drank all of the water that was cold (it's never water 'were')
I know all the students who are genius (i don't even dare to say who 'is')
IMO there is no ambiguity here. Am I missing something?
This is slightly off topic but still good to know.
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24 Feb 2011, 21:45
Also how is 800Bob's comment different to context? I thought both are same scenario.

He and others are also talking about ' <sing noun> of <plural noun> + <that/relative pronoun> + <verb>'
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24 Feb 2011, 23:24
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Now first about SANAM Pronouns: I am quoting what I wrote

Quote:
The issue of “the object of the preposition deciding the nature of the verb” mostly arises in the case of the SANAM pronouns (Some, all, none, any, and most) and the pronoun “one´ is not among them. I wonder whether any OG or GPREP question has ever tested the validity of such a ticklish issue given the aversion of GMAT to indulge in controversies.

I’m saying the object of the preposition deciding the verb (as in the case of ‘one of the students, wherein, the students is the object of the preposition ‘of’) arises more in the case of the SANAM pronouns. I am not just referring to the use of the SANAM pronouns per se. See below:

Some boys are singing; - without object of preposition – no confusion about verb

Some of the boys are singing – the object of the preposition boys decides the verb – we use plural verb ‘are singing’ because of ‘boy’s, which is plural.

Most of the water is gone – the object of the preposition, namely water is singular, so we use ‘is gone’

Most of the chocolates ‘are gone’, here the countable plural noun ‘chocolates’ decides the verb hence we say ‘are gone’.

What I wish to point out is that this object of the preposition rule is generally observed more in the case of the SANAMs, rather than ubiquitously. That is about all to SANAM.

Now BOB 800

Quote:
In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them in the area just for the season.
(A) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them
(B) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of whom are
(C) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of who are
(D) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustle with farm workers, many of which
(E) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many are

Surround" and "surrounds" are both correct. It depends on whether you want "that" to refer to "patchwork" or to "fields". Both interpretations make sense.

The patchwork of green fields that surrounds...
Here it's the patchwork that surrounds.

The patchwork of green fields that surround...
Here it's the fields that surround.

What's the difference? None.

The problem with A is the ambiguous reference of "them". Does the pronoun refer to "fields" or to "workers"?

In choice B there is no ambiguity. "Whom" can refer only to people, and so here the pronoun refers unambiguously to "workers".

The best response is B.

I will specifically discuss B after inserting it into the text.

In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of whom are in the area just for the season.

As per the choice, Let me assume that the verb ‘surrounds’ stands for the subject ‘the patchwork’. Then the question is what the verb ‘bustles’ is standing for? Remember, it can not stand for the town because the town is the object of the verb ‘surrounds’ and an object can not transform as a subject without conjugating with a connector such as that or which. The singular ‘bustles’ can not also be verb for the plural green fields. Resultantly you are driven to accept both the verbs ‘surrounds’ and ‘bustles’ as the verbs for the singular patchwork; Unfortunately a subject can not have two verbs unless connected by a conjunction. This is the fatal error in choice B.

I would not know whether this topic is the right topic to discus the “one of the + plural verb” issue.
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Re: Biologists believe   [#permalink] 24 Feb 2011, 23:24

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