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# Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life

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Re: Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life [#permalink]
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Clear A....

Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life in a highly acidic river may not only broaden the search for life, or for evidence of past life, no other planets but also show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria.

A. show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria

Broaden is plural and hence the show is plural which is correct.

B. may show that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest ones

may broaden and may show is not correct especially if may comes after but also.

C. shows a number of forms of microscopic life to be capable to adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria

may not only broaden (plural) should be accompanied with show and not shows (singular)

D. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to conditions that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria

may not only broaden and showing are not parallel

E. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest

Same as D
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Re: Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life [#permalink]
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Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life in a highly acidic river may not only broaden the search for life, or for evidence of past life, no other planets but also show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria.

The highlighted part in the sentence is the key

A. show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria
-Correct
B. may show that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest ones

C. shows a number of forms of microscopic life to be capable to adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria

D. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to conditions that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria

E. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest

The highlighted words in the options invalidate them.

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Re: Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life [#permalink]
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Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life in a highly acidic river may not only broaden the search for life, or for evidence of past life, no other planets but also show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria.

A. show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria
B. may show that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest ones
C. shows a number of forms of microscopic life to be capable to adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria
D. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to conditions that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria
E. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest

A: I do not understand the structure of this question however none other than A fits to the idiomatic expression: "not only plural verb form............ but also plural verb form".
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Re: Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life [#permalink]
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“May not only broaden ….. but also show” - is the right idiom. Only choice A has it. All others can be simply eliminated on this score alone, without even going any further. Of course other choices do have a bundle of other problems such as number agreement, unidiomatic usage etc.

If only all GMAT questions were like this ----Aha—
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Re: Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life [#permalink]
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Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life in a highly acidic river may not only broaden the search for life, or for evidence of past life, no other planets but also show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria.

Main clause -
Biologists working in Spain say
Subject : Biologists
verb: say

Sub clause -
that their discovery of teeming life in a highly acidic river may not only broaden the search for life, or for evidence of past life, no other planets but also show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria.

Subject: discovery (singular)
Verb: may no only broaden .... but also show (why should the verb be plural? - what am i missing here?)
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Re: Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life [#permalink]
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kuttingchai
Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life in a highly acidic river may not only broaden the search for life, or for evidence of past life, no other planets but also show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria.

Main clause -
Biologists working in Spain say
Subject : Biologists
verb: say

Sub clause -
that their discovery of teeming life in a highly acidic river may not only broaden the search for life, or for evidence of past life, no other planets but also show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria.

Subject: discovery (singular)
Verb: may no only broaden .... but also show (why should the verb be plural? - what am i missing here?)

Hi cuttingchai,

e-gmat team wishes you a very Happy New Year.

In this sentence, the subject "their discovery..." has two verbs - "may not broaden" and "may show". However, "may" is understood before "show" because it already appears before the first verb. This maintains the parallelism in the sentence.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life [#permalink]
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kuttingchai
Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life in a highly acidic river may not only broaden the search for life, or for evidence of past life, no other planets but also show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria.

Main clause -
Biologists working in Spain say
Subject : Biologists
verb: say

Sub clause -
that their discovery of teeming life in a highly acidic river may not only broaden the search for life, or for evidence of past life, no other planets but also show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria.

Subject: discovery (singular)
Verb: may no only broaden .... but also show (why should the verb be plural? - what am i missing here?)

Hi cuttingchai,

e-gmat team wishes you a very Happy New Year.

In this sentence, the subject "their discovery..." has two verbs - "may not broaden" and "may show". However, "may" is understood before "show" because it already appears before the first verb. This maintains the parallelism in the sentence.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

"their discovery" is singular subject then why the verb is "show" and not "shows"???
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I am afraid that there is an impression that a verb is plural, when there is no s and a verb is singular when there is an s. This is erroneous. Used with helping verbs, they are only used in base form.
The basic structure of verbs in present tense is

Verb sing
Base form sing
Singular I person sing
Plural I person we sing
Singular II person you sing
Plural II person you sing
In all the above cases, the base form was simply used with the subject, whether singular or plural
Now let’s see how the structure changes with III person
III person singular (he, she, it) he sings, she sings and it sings, Tom sings etc
III plural (they) they sing
You can see the base form is used here( except in III person singular) and is acceptability called the plural verb.

Now when used with helping verb

(Singular) I can sing, you can sing, he can sing, she can sing and it can sing. Now we do not say - I can sings, you can sings, he can sings, she can sings and it can sings, just because the sub is singular
Now with helping verb (plural)
We can sing, you can sing, they can sing
And not we can sings, you can sings and they can sings.
In the given text, broaden and show are the base forms used with the helping verb may and not plural verbs.
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Re: Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life [#permalink]
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Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life in a highly acidic
river may not only broaden the search for life, or for evidence of past life, no other
planets but also show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions
that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria.
A. show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that
scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria
B. may show that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to
conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest
ones
The correct idiom is - Not only X but also Y
C. shows a number of forms of microscopic life to be capable to adapt to conditions
that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria
only broaden but also show => shows is singular
D. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to
conditions that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest
bacteria
Incorrect use of idiom - Not only X but also Y
E. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that
scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest
Incorrect use of idiom - Not only X but also Y
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Re: Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life [#permalink]
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Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life in a highly acidic river may not only broaden the search for life, or for evidence of past life, no other planets but also show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria.

A. show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria
B. may show that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest ones
C. shows a number of forms of microscopic life to be capable to adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria
D. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to conditions that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria
E. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest

This apparently intimidating question seems to be a having a typo that is distracting the meaning needlessly.
Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life in a highly acidic river may not only broaden the search for life, or for evidence of past life, no other planets --- “no” should be “on” – But this typo is largely irrelevant to the outcome.
Keeping aside that for a while, we can see that this is just a play of not only…. but also correlative conjunction //ism. What appears after not only should be the same after but also in structure and logic. So not only broaden but also show is a perfect choice; Only A survives while others fall.
Now on ---'may not only broaden but also shows'.—Do we ever say may broadens or will broadens? When used with an auxiliary verb we use the base form only for the present tense also. The real meaning here is may not only broaden but also may show. It is a basic mistake to say that may not only broaden … but also shows. Therefore, A passes the grammar test convincingly.
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Re: Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life [#permalink]
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humtum0
Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life in a highly acidic river may not only broaden the search for life, or for evidence of past life, no other planets (HUGE TYPO) but also show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria.

A. show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria

B. may show that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest ones

C. shows a number of forms of microscopic life to be capable to adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria

D. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to conditions that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria

E. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest

Its funny that no one pointed out a HUGE TYPO in the sentence:- "NO OTHER PLANETS" should be read as "ON OTHER PLANETS"

SV agreement (discovery-broaden) in the non underlined part makes sure that "discovery" is used as plural in this sentence thus to maintain parallelism in the sentence, the correct SV will be "show" - "shows" or "showing" will destroy the parallelism. Hence OPTION C, D, E are INCORRECT.
Since the correct idiom is not only X but also Y, therefore not only broaden but also may show is incorrect. "MAY" is incorrectly used.

A is the best choice SV parallelism -discovery-braoden-show + correct idiom not only broaden but also show
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Re: Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life [#permalink]
Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life in a highly acidic
river may not only broaden the search for life, or for evidence of past life, no other
planets but also show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions
that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria.
A. show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that
scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria
B. may show that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to
conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest
ones
C. shows a number of forms of microscopic life to be capable to adapt to conditions
that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria
D. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to
conditions that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest
bacteria
E. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that
scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest

Between A) and C) :

A) is structurally much better than C). The only reason to chose C) was for the sub-verb agreement.

C) their discovery of teeming life ..... shows a number of ..........
singular sub --> singular verb
but then again what follows after shows a number is not the best way to form a sentence. Moreover their discovery of teeming life ... may not only broaden but also shows .... (Sounds wrong)

A) their discovery of teeming life ..... may not only broaden but also show that ...... (may not only .. but also ... ) (now sounds correct )
but then there is the issue of sub verb agreement
The sub here is ----- their discovery (singular), how can the verb be plural (broaden and show) ? Can someone please shed some light on this?

This is gmat prep question.

I feel the absolute right way to right this will be :

their discovery of teeming life ... not only broadens but also shows that .... (removing may solves this issue)
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Re: Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life [#permalink]
InsidiousMe
Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life in a highly acidic
river may not only broaden the search for life, or for evidence of past life, no other
planets but also show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions
that scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria.
A. show that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that
scientists have long thought hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria
B. may show that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to
conditions that scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest
ones
The correct idiom is - Not only X but also Y
C. shows a number of forms of microscopic life to be capable to adapt to conditions
that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest bacteria
only broaden but also show => shows is singular
D. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life is capable of adapting to
conditions that scientists have long thought had been hostile to all but the hardiest
bacteria
Incorrect use of idiom - Not only X but also Y
E. showing that a number of forms of microscopic life can adapt to conditions that
scientists have long thought hostile to all bacteria but the hardiest
Incorrect use of idiom - Not only X but also Y

Wait how is "discovery" not singular? Discoveries is the plural version, which is why I picked C since shows is singular.
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Re: Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life [#permalink]
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brandon7

Wait how is "discovery" not singular? Discoveries is the plural version, which is why I picked C since shows is singular.

Hello brandon7 - Let me see if I can help you here!

The word "discovery" is indeed singular here, however, what we want to focus on is the part highlighted as per below:

May Not Only Broaden .............. But Also Show

As mentioned by daagh - "When used with an auxiliary verb we use the base form only for the present tense also. The real meaning here is may not only broaden but also may show."

Here Broaden is plural, and as the sentence will be parallel only if we use parallel verb after "But Also" that is is "show". The word "May" is also playing a crucial role here, after the usage of the word "may" we have to use plural form of the verb. We never say - May comes.. it is may come; May works..... it is may work

Hope this helps!
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Re: Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life [#permalink]
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The phrase "not only….but also…." requires that the words that follow "but also…." have the same format/style as the words that follow "not only…"

In the prompt, the second part of the phrase requires a word that is parallel to the word "broaden."

Only the correct answer A provides an answer that gives us a parallel verb.

It is incorrect grammatically to use a conjugated verb form after a modal verb such as may, might, should, must, etc. We must always use unconjugated forms after them e.g.
John should QUIT smoking (not QUITS).

The BARE INFINITIVE form of a verb is "to + VERB" with the "to" omitted.
MODAL VERBS include may, might, must, can, could, etc.
In the construction MODAL VERB + OTHER VERB, the other verb is required to be in its bare infinitive form:
Mary may attend the party.
Mary might attend the party.
Mary must attend the party.
Mary can attend the party.
Mary could attend the party.
In every case, the verb in blue is the bare infinitive form of "to attend" ("to attend" with the "to omitted").

OA: Biologists may...not only broaden...but also show
Here, "broaden" and "show" are the bare infinitive forms of "to broaden" and "to show".
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Re: Biologists working in Spain say that their discovery of teeming life [#permalink]
daagh
“May not only broaden ….. but also show” - is the right idiom. Only choice A has it. All others can be simply eliminated on this score alone, without even going any further. Of course other choices do have a bundle of other problems such as number agreement, unidiomatic usage etc.

If only all GMAT questions were like this ----Aha—

daagh - As per choice broaden and show are verbs after may. But broaden is adjective as well ? Only because of that confusion what role broaden is playing verb or adjective I made a mistake.
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