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# Dear GMAT experts, I have a doubt on a subject-verb

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Joined: 11 Oct 2011
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Dear GMAT experts, I have a doubt on a subject-verb [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2012, 08:36
Dear GMAT experts,

I have a doubt on a subject-verb agreement question from Kaplan 800 : question N°27, page 160
Out of the public's interest in the details of and conflicts in other people's lives have grown a booming market for reality television shows, which are bringing regular people onto the television screen with increasing frequency.

Choices A, B and C have been eliminated because of a fair error in "have grown" that should be "has", leaving us with 2 choices D & E :
D : other people's lives has grown a booming market for reality television shows, which is bringing
E : other people's lives has grown a booming market for reality television shows, which bring

Kaplan identifies D as the good answer as the test maker considers "market" the subject of "is bringing".

I respectfully disagree for 3 reasons :
- according to basic grammatical rules, a modifier always follow his antecedent closely; in this case, the closest antecedent is "shows", not "market"
- according to tense rules, continuous present tends to be specifically used to express going actions, while simple present is used to define a term or a concept. In the current sentence, I believe that the objective of the last clause is not to express the fact that some shows me be going on right now, but rather to define a reality show in general
- in termes of meaning, "market" cannot "bring people into TV", though "shows" can.

The only flaw in this argument lies in the prepositional phrase "with increasing frequency" that kind of describes a general tendency of the actual market rather than it does a TV reality show.

What do the experts think ?

Last edited by sonic456 on 30 Jan 2012, 08:47, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Doubts on a subject-verb agreement question [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2012, 08:43
sonic456 wrote:
Dear GMAT experts,

I have a doubt on a subject-verb agreement question from Kaplan 800 : question N°27, page 160
Out of the public's interest in the details of and conflicts in other people's lives have grown a booming market for reality television shows, which are bringing regular people onto the television screen with increasing frequency.

Choices A, B and C have been eliminated because of a fair error in "have grown" that should be "has", leaving us with 2 choices D & E :
D : other people's lives has grown a booming market for reality television shows, which is bringing
E : other people's lives has grown a booming market for reality television shows, which bring

Kaplan identifies D as the good answer as the test maker considers "market" the subject of "is bringing".

I respectfully disagree for 3 reasons :
- according to basic grammatical rules, a modifier always follow his antecedent closely; in this case, the closest modifier is "shows" and not "market"
- according to tense rules, continuous present tends to be specifically used for on going actions, while simple present is used to define a term or a concept. In the current sentence, I believe that the objective of the last clause is not to express the fact that some shows me be going on right now, but rather to define a reality show in general
- in termes of meaning, "market" cannot "bring people into TV", though "shows" can.

The only flaw in this argument lies in the prepositional phrase "with increasing frequency" that kind of describes a general tendency of the actual market rather than a TV reality show.

Subject : public's interest ( singular )

Need singular noun HAS and not HAVE .

What do the experts think ?

You are correct with eliminating A,B,C.

(A) other people's lives have grown a booming market for "reality" television shows that are bringing
Need singular verb HAS , eliminate
(B) other people's lives has grown a booming market for "reality" television shows that are bringing
its the interest in these shows that brings regular people on the shows, need singular verb IS and not ARE
(C) another person's life has grown a booming market for a "reality" television show that is bringing
a "reality" television show , the sentence dose not talk of single show but a lot of shows , eliminate

My reason for picking D over E is listed below. Let me know if that makes sense.

(E) other people's lives has grown a booming market for "reality" television shows that bring
television shows that bring - BRING - verb is not an acting verb in this sentence . The television show is not bringing the people out but its the interest in these shows that brings regular people on the shows . The sentence needs an auxiliary verb IS and not ARE because subject is singular .

Finally, we're left with

(D) other people's lives has grown a booming market for "reality" television shows that is bringing
correct
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Re: Doubts on a subject-verb agreement question [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2012, 09:04
Hamm0,

I thank you for this very fast answer.

However, I still desagree with your explanation for an additional reason : if the last clause was actually describing the new tendency of people to more and more watch reality shows, the author would have used the term "people" directly instead of "regular people", which points out the very specificity of reality shows : bringing regular people into a show, almost as supporting actors in a movie.

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Re: Doubts on a subject-verb agreement question   [#permalink] 30 Jan 2012, 09:04
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