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# Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be

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Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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Updated on: 28 Jan 2018, 17:40
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The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition, 2005

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 124
Page: 658

Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite, while each year sixteen buildings can be expected to sustain damage from such objects.

(A) one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite
(B) a human being should be struck by a meteorite once in every nine years
(C) a meteorite will strike one human being once in every nine years
(D) every nine years a human being will be struck by a meteorite
(E) every nine years a human being should be struck by a meteorite

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Originally posted by noboru on 21 Aug 2009, 11:11.
Last edited by hazelnut on 28 Jan 2018, 17:40, edited 2 times in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2009, 11:20
Scientists calculate that a human being will be struck, not should be struck. This leaves all but C and D.

I will go with D even though it uses the passive voice because it is most parallel to the un-underlined portion of the sentence.

"Each year buildings can be expected to sustain damage."
"Every 9 years a human will be struck by a meteorite."
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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2009, 20:52
sagarsabnis wrote:
i still cant get why SHOULD is wrong?

SHOULD is usually used for moral obligation. Usage of SHOULD is way off in this sentence.
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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2010, 14:06
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Hey All,

I think they're playing with how you can use "should." I can say "Based on my calculations, the eclipse should occur in summer 2011." But when we leave out that "based on my calculations" part, it gets confusing.

A) This sounds like the same ONE person will get hit by the meteorite (poor guy!).

B) "once in every nine years" is not a saying. You can say "once every nine years", but you can't have that "in".

C) still sounds like the same one guy, with added weirdness.

D) sounds good.

E) Does sound like a recommendation for this poor man.

Hope that helps!

-t
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Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2010, 17:41
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Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite, while each year 16 buildings can be expected to sustain damage from such objects.

(A) one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite
(B) a human being should be struck by a meteorite once in every nine years
(C) a meteorite will strike one human being once in every nine years
(D) every nine years a human being will be struck by a meteorite
(E) every nine years a human being should be struck by a meteorite

I disagree with the OA. The OA is (D), and the explanation is: "What this sentence says is not what it logically intends. The verb should implies obligation; in this sentence, it indicates that one human being ought to be struck every nine years, as though that person somehow deserved it. The scientists clearly mean that a human being will be struck by a meteorite roughly every nine years." I understand this logic, but completely disagree with it. First of all, "should" does not necessarily imply obligation. It can also refer to something that is expected but not definite - "If the scientists are correct, this should happen." That's in the dictionary. Secondly, by changing it to "WILL be struck," you are changing the meaning of the sentence to state that the scientists know, without a doubt, that someone will be struck by a meteorite every nine years. However, the second part of the sentence, "while each year 16 buildings can be expected to sustain damage from such objects," makes it clear that the scientists do not KNOW that these are definite things, but rather that they are EXPECTED things. "Should" is the correct word to use. You could replace it with some other things, like "will probably" or "most likely will", but not just "will". That changes the inherent meaning to something more definite than actually intended.

Thoughts?
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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2010, 22:30
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TehJay,
This is one of those SC areas where our ear leads us astray. We hear people say things like "If my calculations are correct, we should arrive 10 minutes early." In GMAT world, however, "should" implies obligation and can't be used to express probability. This is one of those idiomatic things you just have to memorize, but I think the more important issue with this problem is the split that allows you to narrow your choices down to D and E.
Great debate on this one!
Brett
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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2010, 23:37
Also looking at the structure of the second part of the question "each year 16 buildings can be expected to sustain damage from such objects" , the option

(D) every nine years a human being will be struck by a meteorite

is structurally similar.
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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2010, 03:02
As explained above by BKimball, "should" is used for obligation and can't be replaced with probability. So, we are down to C and D.

....Every nine years..... while each year ---> parallel construction.

Also, "will strike one human being" in option C seems awkward to me.

OA = D
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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2010, 04:36
I'm sorry to hammer this point, but I just wanted to reassert the fact that one of the definitions of "should" is exactly to express a probability or expectation. From Mirriam-Webster:

Definition of SHOULD
past of shall
1
—used in auxiliary function to express condition <if he should leave his father, his father would die — Gen 44:22(Revised Standard Version)>
2
—used in auxiliary function to express obligation, propriety, or expediency <'tis commanded I should do so — Shakespeare> <this is as it should be — H. L. Savage> <you should brush your teeth after each meal>
3
—used in auxiliary function to express futurity from a point of view in the past <realized that she should have to do most of her farm work before sunrise — Ellen Glasgow>
4
—used in auxiliary function to express what is probable or expected <with an early start, they should be here by noon>

5
—used in auxiliary function to express a request in a polite manner or to soften direct statement <I should suggest that a guide…is the first essential — L. D. Reddick>

From Oxford:

should (should)

Pronunciation:/SHo͝od/
modal verb (3rd sing. should

2. used to indicate what is probable

I'm not just making this up. The second half of the sentence suggests that the study isn't conclusive, but that the scientists EXPECT that something SHOULD happen, so why would the first half be different? That's how I read the sentence - "The scientists believe that x should happen and that y is expected to happen". Changing it to WILL happen changes the original meaning of the sentence - "The scientists KNOW that x will happen and that y MIGHT happen".
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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2011, 17:52
1
Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite,
while each year sixteen buildings can be expected to sustain damage from such objects.
(A) one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite
(B) a human being should be struck by a meteorite once in every nine years
(C) a meteorite will strike one human being once in every nine years
(D) every nine years a human being will be struck by a meteorite
(E) every nine years a human being should be struck by a meteorite

I am a little bit confused here. When I state something in the past, shouldn't we always use "would", an option not given by the answer choices?
He said he would go on buy some milk--> Not--> He said he would go on buy some milk
They concluded if the robber gets caught, he would go to jail --> Not--> They concluded if the robber gets caught, he will go to jail
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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2011, 19:10
+1 for D .

should is an indicator of obligation. It is wrong in this sentence. Hence A, B and E are out.

every nine years a human being will be struck by a meteorite,
while each year sixteen buildings can be expected to sustain damage from such objects=> the two bold parts are in parallel .

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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2011, 19:16
heyholetsgo wrote:
I am a little bit confused here. When I state something in the past, shouldn't we always use "would", an option not given by the answer choices?
He said he would go on buy some milk--> Not--> He said he would go on buy some milk
They concluded if the robber gets caught, he would go to jail --> Not--> They concluded if the robber gets caught, he will go to jail

The general rule of usage is Past + Conditional(would) OR Present + future(will). In the given problem, the findings of the Scientists is a general truth, hence we need Present here. eg

The scientists have found that milky way is shrinking.

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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2012, 16:30
CheriInfinite wrote:
Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite, while each year sixteen buildings can be expected to sustain damage from such objects.

(A) one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite
(B) a human being should be struck by a meteorite once in every nine years
(C) a meteorite will strike one human being once in every nine years
(D) every nine years a human being will be struck by a meteorite
(E) every nine years a human being should be struck by a meteorite

one can easily eliminate the answer options with should as the meteorite strikin the human bein is in no way mandatory..
it is a mere prediction and hence , only will can be used..
among the 2 options havin will.. D sounds good ..plus is idiomatic

Just to add to this - also look at "C" in terms of parallelism. It is not parallel to the rest of the sentence. Another reason to choose D over C.
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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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20 Mar 2013, 08:41
we are in the gmat world, not in the world of Oxford or general grammar.

Manhantan expert said this clearly.
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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2014, 10:42
1
egmat wrote:
purnima wrote:
noboru wrote:
198. Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite, while each year sixteen buildings can be expected to sustain damage from such objects.

(A) one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite
(B) a human being should be struck by a meteorite once in every nine years
(C) a meteorite will strike one human being once in every nine years
(D) every nine years a human being will be struck by a meteorite
(E) every nine years a human being should be struck by a meteorite

Request experts to guide when to use should ?With examples would be beeter
I am confused , I interpreted the OS as must hence choose E over D .Rest other options I eliminated based on parallelism issue.

Dear Purnima,

Thank you for your query.

I would like to request you to kindly post your meaning analysis of the original sentence, the correct answer and the choice(s) that confused you. This way, we’ll be able to productively take forward our discussion and your learnings from the same will be more thorough.

Regards,
Neeti.

Hi Neeti,

I came across this question on gmatclub and am posting the analysis from my side.

Meaning:

Canadian scientists have calculated that
each human being should be struck by a meteorite every nine years
and also calculated that sixteen building should be damaged each year because of the meteorite.

Error analysis:

Use of one human being is incorrect - it seems to suggest that only one human being will be hit by a meteorite every nine years. Usage of each would be much better in this case.
Use of should also is incorrect - it indicates that the meteorite should hit the human being instead of wording in a way that the based on calculation of the scientists this is a probability.

POE

(A) one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite
incorrect for the reasons stated above.
(B) a human being should be struck by a meteorite once in every nine years
usage of should is incorrect , this sentence seems to suggest that the action of striking a human being should always happen.
(C) a meteorite will strike one human being once in every nine years
usage of one human being is incorrect - this seems to suggest that a meteorite will strike only one human being every 9 years.
this is not the intended meaning of the sentence.
(D) every nine years a human being will be struck by a meteorite.
Correct
(E) every nine years a human being should be struck by a meteorite
usage of should is incorrect because of reasons mentioned above.

Can you please let me know if my understanding is correct in the above question.
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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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01 Jan 2015, 10:17
IMO - D

Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite, while each year sixteen buildings can be expected to sustain damage from such objects.

>> The non-underline portion (in while part) starts with each year .....so, for correct parallelism, we need noun of first part to be some year similar to second part. D & E only has correct noun parallel. However, in E, use of should is implying some moral ground, which is incorrect.

(A) one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite
(B) a human being should be struck by a meteorite once in every nine years
(C) a meteorite will strike one human being once in every nine years
(D) every nine years a human being will be struck by a meteorite
(E) every nine years a human being should be struck by a meteorite
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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2017, 08:48
Should be struck -> morally obligated to be struck. An awkward meaning and thus we can eliminate options A, B, and E.

(C) a meteorite will strike one human being once in every nine years. "a human being" is a better expression. Moreover, the sentence implies that all the meteorites in the sky will find a person to strike. That's surely not the intended meaning .
(D) every nine years a human being will be struck by a meteorite

Thus option D.
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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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18 Feb 2017, 13:53
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It is doubtful whether 'will' always means a certainty. For example, take this case:
Seeing the binge with which Yellen is eager to go, analysts think that FED will raise the rate yet again as early as March this year.

Here, 'will' signifies more speculation or at the most some anticipation or expectation. 'Will' is often used for the futurity of the event rather than for the surety of the event.

The next point. 'Should' is often a kind of suggestion and in some cases even dreaming. For example. I think he should re-take GMAT again ASAP. Here this is a mere suggestion.
In another case, --- I feel that the erring politician should meet his waterloo this time for hobnobbing with anti-socials. -- here this is a wishful thinking.
Therefore, 'should' may not always point to compulsion as in the case of 'ought to' or 'must'

Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite, while each year 16 buildings can be expected to sustain damage from such objects.

(A) one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite
(B) a human being should be struck by a meteorite once in every nine years
(C) a meteorite will strike one human being once in every nine years
(D) every nine years a human being will be struck by a meteorite
(E) every nine years a human being should be struck by a meteorite
let's drop A and C for using the unseemly One human being suggesting somewhat oddly that one same human being is struck by a meteorite every nine years once. Let's us eliminate B and E for the wrongful suggestion by using the inapt 'should. D remains
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Re: Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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25 Sep 2017, 20:39
Hi RonPurewal

Could I please request a clarification?

- Can "should" be used to convey probability?
- Can "will" be used to convey probability? Or, in this context "will" is used to convey certainty?

What does, in fact, separate D from E?

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Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be [#permalink]

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26 Sep 2017, 02:04
Quote:
Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite, while each year sixteen buildings can be expected to sustain damage from such objects.

(A) one human being should be struck every nine years by a meteorite
(B) a human being should be struck by a meteorite once in every nine years
(C) a meteorite will strike one human being once in every nine years
(D) every nine years a human being will be struck by a meteorite
(E) every nine years a human being should be struck by a meteorite

should is used to show advice.
will is used to show
1 . a future action. i will learn gmat tomorow
2. a certainty. he will come here now
3. a willingness. i will give you a job
4. a habit.

so, will can be a future action or can be a model verb showing: certainty, willingness and habit.

back our problem, scientist talk about a certainty. so, will is good.
Canadian scientists have calculated that one human being should be   [#permalink] 26 Sep 2017, 02:04

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