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# Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it

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Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 29 Mar 2019, 01:02
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Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it has been an exceedingly short time for the domestic cat with respect to genetic evolution and it scarcely seems sufficient to allow the marked physical changes that transformed the animal.

A. Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it has been an exceedingly short time for the domestic cat with respect to genetic evolution and it scarcely seems sufficient to allow the marked physical changes that transformed the animal.

B. The domestic cat descended from the African wildcat approximately 4,000 years ago, which is an exceedingly short time for the domestic cat’s genetic evolution and scarcely sufficient for the marked physical changes that transformed the animal.

C. Descending from the African wildcat approximately 4,000 years ago, the domestic cat has had an exceedingly short time for its genetic evolution and has been scarcely sufficient for the marked physical changes in the animal.

D. Having descended from the African wildcat approximately 4,000 years ago, the domestic cat has had an exceedingly short time for its genetic evolution that has scarcely been sufficient for the marked physical changes that transformed the animal.

E. The domestic cat descended from the African wildcat approximately 4,000 years ago, an exceedingly recent divergence with respect to genetic evolution and one which scarcely seems sufficient to allow the marked physical changes in the animal.

Originally posted by mandald on 30 Jun 2011, 06:43.
Last edited by Bunuel on 29 Mar 2019, 01:02, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2011, 08:10
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Although E seems to be correct with the appositive promptly modifying the previous clause, still the choice leaves more queries unanswered than it does. It lacks the clear logical predication and the repetition of intended meaning of the original that GMAT expects to preserve.

First of all, what does the ‘4000 years’ refer to? Is it the end of the domestication or the beginning the domestication of the wild cat? If it is the beginning of the domestication, then the past tense verb ‘descended’ is not appropriate. You have to use a present perfect tense. (But not past perfect as in D). But if it means to signify that the dosmstication was over 4000 years ago, then the recent divergence has no relevance in the context. Because the term ‘recent divergence’ refers to the evolutionary changes that continued after 4000 years.

In addition, is ‘recent divergence’ sought to be used as a synonym for short time? If it is so, then it is clear distortion of meaning because you can’t equate divergence, a process of evolution with the time it takes

Can the originator of the passage give a clue?
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Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it  [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2016, 00:19
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OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

The original sentence begins with a misplaced modifier. It is the domestic cat that descended from the wildcat. We need to find a choice that expresses this correctly.

(A) This choice is the same as the original sentence.

(B) The original modifier issue has been corrected. However, the phrase "which is an exceedingly short time" has no referent ("4,000 years ago" is not a time span but a specific moment). so here it implies 4000 years ago is a short time span for evolution which doesn't make sense.

(C) The original modifier issue has been corrected. However, the phrase "has been scarcely sufficient..." incorrectly refers to the domestic cat.

(D) The original modifier issue has been corrected. However, the phrase "that has scarcely been sufficient..." incorrectly modifies "genetic evolution". Also "the marked physical changes that transformed the animal" is redundant. Compare to E: "the marked physical changes in the animal," a much tighter way of conveying the same information.

(E) CORRECT. This choice correctly rearranges the opening modifier to place the words "the domestic cat" immediately next to the modifier "descended from the African wildcat."
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Re: Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2016, 07:37
daagh wrote:
Although E seems to be correct with the appositive promptly modifying the previous clause, still the choice leaves more queries unanswered than it does. It lacks the clear logical predication and the repetition of intended meaning of the original that GMAT expects to preserve.

First of all, what does the ‘4000 years’ refer to? Is it the end of the domestication or the beginning the domestication of the wild cat? If it is the beginning of the domestication, then the past tense verb ‘descended’ is not appropriate. You have to use a present perfect tense. (But not past perfect as in D). But if it means to signify that the dosmstication was over 4000 years ago, then the recent divergence has no relevance in the context. Because the term ‘recent divergence’ refers to the evolutionary changes that continued after 4000 years.

In addition, is ‘recent divergence’ sought to be used as a synonym for short time? If it is so, then it is clear distortion of meaning because you can’t equate divergence, a process of evolution with the time it takes

Can the originator of the passage give a clue?

How can descended from be used as a verb here in E? I feel this is incorrect as "descended from" means a literal descending ( verb)

I quote this question for queries

Australian embryologists have found evidence that suggests that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal, and its trunk originally evolved as a kind of snorkel.

(a)that suggests that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal, and its trunk originally evolved
(b) that has suggested the elephant descended from an aquatic animal, its trunk originally evolving
(c)suggesting that the elephant had descended from an aquatic animal with its trunk originally evolving
(d) to suggest that the elephant had descended from an aquatic animal and its trunk originally evolving
(e) to suggest that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal and that its trunk originally evolved

E is the right answer, as every other option uses descended in the verb form

Thanks
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Re: Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2016, 07:48
rahulkashyap wrote:
Can anyone help me with the usage of "descended from"
According to another question, the right usage should be "is descended from", as "descended from" means a literal down stepping.

in this question the right answer uses "descended from", which would be non nonsensical.

This is the question i'm referring to. Answer is E

Australian embryologists have found evidence that suggests that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal, and its trunk originally evolved as a kind of snorkel.
A. that suggests that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal, and its trunk originally evolved
B. that has suggested the elephant descended from an aquatic animal, its trunk originally evolving
C. suggesting that the elephant had descended from an aquatic animal with its trunk originally evolving
D. to suggest that the elephant has descended from an aquatic animal and its trunk originally evolved
E. to suggest that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal and that its trunk originally evolved

sayantanc2k chetan2u

Hi,
There are three usages, which I can think of immediately--
a) descended-- when used alone, literally means to come down from
example:- he descended the staircase..
b) descended from something-- when we want to say how something has evolved/developed/origined
example the Hindu traditions descended from the Bhagwat Gita.
c) Be descended from- a relation with some past ancestors/something
This is the exact usage here, which tells us that th elephant has this ancient animal as his ancestors..

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Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2016, 07:58
chetan2u wrote:
rahulkashyap wrote:
Can anyone help me with the usage of "descended from"
According to another question, the right usage should be "is descended from", as "descended from" means a literal down stepping.

in this question the right answer uses "descended from", which would be non nonsensical.

This is the question i'm referring to. Answer is E

Australian embryologists have found evidence that suggests that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal, and its trunk originally evolved as a kind of snorkel.
A. that suggests that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal, and its trunk originally evolved
B. that has suggested the elephant descended from an aquatic animal, its trunk originally evolving
C. suggesting that the elephant had descended from an aquatic animal with its trunk originally evolving
D. to suggest that the elephant has descended from an aquatic animal and its trunk originally evolved
E. to suggest that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal and that its trunk originally evolved

sayantanc2k chetan2u

Hi,
There are three usages, which I can think of immediately--
a) descended-- when used alone, literally means to come down from
example:- he descended the staircase..
b) descended from something-- when we want to say how something has evolved/developed/origined
example the Hindu traditions descended from the Bhagwat Gita.
c) Be descended from- a relation with some past ancestors/something
This is the exact usage here, which tells us that th elephant has this ancient animal as his ancestors..

chetan2u
I'd love to post on manhattan, but for some reason I'm not allowed to.
Anyway, this is a response from ron purewal from mgmat regarding the issue with B

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
in B, why " , its trunk originally involving..." is wrong.

i don't think the problem is with that phrase.
two other elements of that answer choice are problematic:
* "has suggested" --> this is the present perfect, which is used to look back on past events that have some sort of relation to the present situation. so, "has suggested" would signify that, at some point in the (probably recent) past, this evidence has suggested what is stated here -- but that it doesn't suggest those notions anymore.
* "descended" (without "is") --> if you mean to state an evolutionary relationship, you should use "is descended". "descended", used alone, signifies literal downward motion.

-----------------------------------------------

Also, on a side note, this is what the dictionary meaning is :

be a blood relative of (a specified ancestor).
"John Dalrymple was descended from an ancient Ayrshire family"
"he is descended from a Flemish family"
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Re: Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2016, 08:04
rahulkashyap wrote:
chetan2u wrote:
rahulkashyap wrote:
Can anyone help me with the usage of "descended from"
According to another question, the right usage should be "is descended from", as "descended from" means a literal down stepping.

in this question the right answer uses "descended from", which would be non nonsensical.

This is the question i'm referring to. Answer is E

Australian embryologists have found evidence that suggests that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal, and its trunk originally evolved as a kind of snorkel.
A. that suggests that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal, and its trunk originally evolved
B. that has suggested the elephant descended from an aquatic animal, its trunk originally evolving
C. suggesting that the elephant had descended from an aquatic animal with its trunk originally evolving
D. to suggest that the elephant has descended from an aquatic animal and its trunk originally evolved
E. to suggest that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal and that its trunk originally evolved

sayantanc2k chetan2u

Hi,
There are three usages, which I can think of immediately--
a) descended-- when used alone, literally means to come down from
example:- he descended the staircase..
b) descended from something-- when we want to say how something has evolved/developed/origined
example the Hindu traditions descended from the Bhagwat Gita.
c) Be descended from- a relation with some past ancestors/something
This is the exact usage here, which tells us that th elephant has this ancient animal as his ancestors..

chetan2u
I'd love to post on manhattan, but for some reason I'm not allowed to.
Anyway, this is a response from ron purewal from mgmat regarding the issue with B

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
in B, why " , its trunk originally involving..." is wrong.

i don't think the problem is with that phrase.
two other elements of that answer choice are problematic:
* "has suggested" --> this is the present perfect, which is used to look back on past events that have some sort of relation to the present situation. so, "has suggested" would signify that, at some point in the (probably recent) past, this evidence has suggested what is stated here -- but that it doesn't suggest those notions anymore.
* "descended" (without "is") --> if you mean to state an evolutionary relationship, you should use "is descended". "descended", used alone, signifies literal downward motion.

-----------------------------------------------

Also, on a side note, this is what the dictionary meaning is :

be a blood relative of (a specified ancestor).
"John Dalrymple was descended from an ancient Ayrshire family"
"he is descended from a Flemish family"

hi,
B is wrong for two reasons
1) descended from --- very reason you are mentioning
2) usage of ' its trunk originally evolving' is also incorrect
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Re: Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2016, 08:16
chetan2u
if B is wrong for the reason that it uses descended from, then how is option E correct in the original question of this thread. It also uses "descended from"

" The domestic cat descended from the African wildcat approximately 4,000 years ago, "

I have used the question for reference to pinpoint the error in this thread's question.
Thanks
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Re: Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2016, 08:31
rahulkashyap wrote:
chetan2u
if B is wrong for the reason that it uses descended from, then how is option E correct in the original question of this thread. It also uses "descended from"

" The domestic cat descended from the African wildcat approximately 4,000 years ago, "

I have used the question for reference to pinpoint the error in this thread's question.
Thanks

hi,
I believe the reason here is--
1)the domestic cat descended from african wild cat means the domestic cat has evolved out of african wild cat..
and at present both the animals in Q are present so MAY be the domestic cat 'evolved from' african wild cat is better than ' african wild cat is ancestor of the domestic cat'
2)Had you wanted to say it evolved out of something extinct now, say A..
then it would be better to say the domestic cat is descended from A..

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Re: Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2016, 08:35
Alright, but by saying the car descended, don't we mean that it had a downward motion? At least that's what mgmat and the dictionary says
chetan2u

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2016, 09:06
Chetan, I'm not sure whether u get my point. According to the mgmat post and the dictionary, saying " x descended from y" means that x came down from y. Which is what is pointed out in the question about the elephant. " the elephant descended from", hence it is wrong because the elephant did not come down from anything. The question about the African cat says that the car descended from, which means that the cat came down from something. Which is wrong as pointed out in the question about the elephant
chetan2u

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2016, 09:19
rahulkashyap wrote:
Chetan, I'm not sure whether u get my point. According to the mgmat post and the dictionary, saying " x descended from y" means that x came down from y. Which is what is pointed out in the question about the elephant. " the elephant descended from", hence it is wrong because the elephant did not come down from anything. The question about the African cat says that the car descended from, which means that the cat came down from something. Which is wrong as pointed out in the question about the elephant
chetan2u

Posted from my mobile device

Hi,
You have mentioned car descended so didn't know that you meant cat ...
I think descended from is better used in terms of evolution...
And all these OG examples point towards that.
Can you reproduce the words od mgmat
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Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African  [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2016, 08:04
rahulkashyap wrote:
Chetan, I'm not sure whether u get my point. According to the mgmat post and the dictionary, saying " x descended from y" means that x came down from y. Which is what is pointed out in the question about the elephant. " the elephant descended from", hence it is wrong because the elephant did not come down from anything. The question about the African cat says that the car descended from, which means that the cat came down from something. Which is wrong as pointed out in the question about the elephant
chetan2u

Posted from my mobile device

Following are two possible uses of descend from:

1. descend from someone/something: to develop from something that happened or existed earlier

2. be descended from: to be related to a person or animal that lived long ago

Both the senses seem to be correct in this context.

The above also implies that in your example the usage the elephant descended from an aquatic animal would also be correct.

However option B is wrong not because of usage ..the elephant descended from..., but because of the present perfect usage ...has suggested...

It appears that both descended from and is descended from are acceptable, given the meanings above.

If you are not clear after reading Chetan's posts above and this post of mine, please feel free to write back again. We shall be happy to help.
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Re: Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it  [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2016, 10:47
rahulkashyap wrote:
daagh wrote:
Although E seems to be correct with the appositive promptly modifying the previous clause, still the choice leaves more queries unanswered than it does. It lacks the clear logical predication and the repetition of intended meaning of the original that GMAT expects to preserve.

First of all, what does the ‘4000 years’ refer to? Is it the end of the domestication or the beginning the domestication of the wild cat? If it is the beginning of the domestication, then the past tense verb ‘descended’ is not appropriate. You have to use a present perfect tense. (But not past perfect as in D). But if it means to signify that the dosmstication was over 4000 years ago, then the recent divergence has no relevance in the context. Because the term ‘recent divergence’ refers to the evolutionary changes that continued after 4000 years.

In addition, is ‘recent divergence’ sought to be used as a synonym for short time? If it is so, then it is clear distortion of meaning because you can’t equate divergence, a process of evolution with the time it takes

Can the originator of the passage give a clue?

How can descended from be used as a verb here in E? I feel this is incorrect as "descended from" means a literal descending ( verb)

I quote this question for queries

Australian embryologists have found evidence that suggests that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal, and its trunk originally evolved as a kind of snorkel.

(a)that suggests that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal, and its trunk originally evolved
(b) that has suggested the elephant descended from an aquatic animal, its trunk originally evolving
(c)suggesting that the elephant had descended from an aquatic animal with its trunk originally evolving
(d) to suggest that the elephant had descended from an aquatic animal and its trunk originally evolving
(e) to suggest that the elephant is descended from an aquatic animal and that its trunk originally evolved

E is the right answer, as every other option uses descended in the verb form

Thanks

Hi Rahul,

Both forms would be correct - descended from and is descended from; the options A to D are wrong for other reasons as discussed in other posts, not because of usage of descended from. I have replied to a similar query of yours here:

descending-approximately-4-000-years-ago-from-the-african-67148-20.html#p1655504
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Re: Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it  [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2017, 19:45
mandald wrote:
Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it has been an exceedingly short time for the domestic cat with respect to genetic evolution and it scarcely seems sufficient to allow the marked physical changes that transformed the animal.

Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it has been an exceedingly short time for the domestic cat with respect to genetic evolution and it scarcely seems sufficient to allow the marked physical changes that transformed the animal.

The domestic cat descended from the African wildcat approximately 4,000 years ago, which is an exceedingly short time for the domestic cat’s genetic evolution and scarcely sufficient for the marked physical changes that transformed the animal.

Descending from the African wildcat approximately 4,000 years ago, the domestic cat has had an exceedingly short time for its genetic evolution and has been scarcely sufficient for the marked physical changes in the animal.

Having descended from the African wildcat approximately 4,000 years ago, the domestic cat has had an exceedingly short time for its genetic evolution that has scarcely been sufficient for the marked physical changes that transformed the animal.

The domestic cat descended from the African wildcat approximately 4,000 years ago, an exceedingly recent divergence with respect to genetic evolution and one which scarcely seems sufficient to allow the marked physical changes in the animal.

The answer is E. All other answer choices sound awkward. Choices E and B place the subject (i.e. domestic cat) at the beginning of the sentence; however, B uses "which" to introduce a specific modifier clause (i.e. the cat's genetic evolution). On the other hand, choice E uses "which" correctly, because "which" modifies a general modifier clause -- genetic evolution as a whole. A is wrong because of the position of"domestic cat"; also, the reference of "it" is unclear. In option C, "has" is used incorrectly. Option D splits "has been", and the preposition "for" is used incorrectly, seeing as "for" means purpose -- there is no purpose regarding genetic evolution and time. The preposition "to" means, in this context, direction and time; "to" expresses the relationship between "recent divergence" and "generic evolution" better than "for"; therefore, after eliminating all other choices, E remains.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it  [#permalink]

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13 Jan 2018, 07:20
Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it has been an exceedingly short time for the domestic cat with respect to genetic evolution and it

A. Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it has been an exceedingly short time for the domestic cat with respect to genetic evolution and it scarcely seems sufficient to allow the marked physical changes that transformed the animal. - The modifier is modifying "it" instead of the intended 'domestic cat'

B. The domestic cat descended from the African wildcat approximately 4,000 years ago, which is an exceedingly short time for the domestic cat’s genetic evolution and scarcely sufficient for the marked physical changes that transformed the animal. - 4,000 years ago is a point in time , not a period

c. Descending from the African wildcat approximately 4,000 years ago, the domestic cat has had an exceedingly short time for its genetic evolution and has been scarcely sufficient for the marked physical changes in the animal. - the period for the cat to evolve has been scarcely sufficient not the cat itself

D.Having descended from the African wildcat approximately 4,000 years ago, the domestic cat has had an exceedingly short time for its genetic evolution that has scarcely been sufficient for the marked physical changes that transformed the animal. 1. For indicates that the cat has an intention to evolve and 2.the 'that' here modifies the domestic cat's evolution rather than the time period to the domestic cat to evolve

E. The domestic cat descended from the African wildcat approximately 4,000 years ago, an exceedingly recent divergence with respect to genetic evolution and one which scarcely seems sufficient to allow the marked physical changes in the animal. -Correct
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Re: Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it  [#permalink]

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29 Mar 2019, 01:05
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Re: Descending approximately 4,000 years ago from the African wildcat, it   [#permalink] 29 Mar 2019, 01:05
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