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# Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che

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Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 18 Apr 2019, 10:10
1
5
00:00

Difficulty:

75% (hard)

Question Stats:

34% (00:59) correct 66% (00:54) wrong based on 266 sessions

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Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to check the score to be sure.

A. Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners;

B. Either the Pirates or the Orioles will be the winners;

C. Either Pirates or Orioles are winners;

D. Either the Pirates or the Orioles is the winner;

E. Either the Pirates or the Orioles is the winners;

source : Master the GMAT, 22nd Edition

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Originally posted by Noshad on 11 Apr 2019, 10:44.
Last edited by Noshad on 18 Apr 2019, 10:10, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che  [#permalink]

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12 Apr 2019, 10:09
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1
I guess the answer is debatable. Most journals consider team names plural, but I didn't find an agreement on this.
here is an article discussing this issue: https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/nouns-collective.php

GMAT mostly consider collective nouns singular. (which would make D the correct answer)
So far, I tried searching GMAT questions for similar ones mentioning explicitly "a team by name" to see how it is dealt with but I couldn't find.
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Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2019, 10:05
2
Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to check the score to be sure.

A. Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners;

B. Either the Pirates or the Orioles will be the winners;
Future tense is incorrect.
Although the sentence could refer to the future if a person did not know which teams were playing, the more reasonable meaning is that the teams have already played the game.

C. Either [the] Pirates or [the] Orioles are winners;
The definite article "the" is required.

D. Either the Pirates or the Orioles is the winner;
Team names are plural. The verb should be ARE and the subject complement should be "the winners," as in option A.

E. Either the Pirates or the Orioles is the winners;
Singular verb is wrong, just as in D. In addition, "winners" correctly matches the named teams but does not agree with the [incorrect] verb IS

Just below option E, please write
Source: ____________
It is really hard for admins and mods to cope with questions that have no source.

Mahmoudfawzy83 , jrk23 , georgethomps , arorni , and Mauriciopettinato

Although I highly doubt that GMAC will ever test this issue, concern about the issue is understandable.
It is hard to know how much time to spend on an issue.
On this one? Not much.
The issue is obscure.

• Sports teams' names are plural in North American English,
but the nouns "a team" or "the team" are singular.

• If referred to by the team's proper name, the noun is plural.
The three sentences below come from articles in The New York Times.

-- Correct: The Yankees have not been [to the World Series] in a decade ...*
-- Correct: Granted, the Red Sox have barely resembled the 2018 version of themselves, losing 10 of their first 16 games.**

• The word "team" is singular
-- Correct: The team has [singular] been undermined by its pitching staff’s 5.80 E.R.A.
— 13th in the American League even after David Price shone in a 4-0 win over Baltimore on Sunday.**

• Another source: Mike McGarry (who may be the New York Mets' biggest fan )
mikemcgarry writes:
Quote:
[S]ome collective nouns, especially sports teams names (e.g. “the New York Mets!!!”) are expressed as plurals, . . .

My emphasis. That quote comes from the post titled Subject-Verb Agreement on GMAT Sentence Correction, found HERE

• I found no official questions that test the issue
-- I scanned all the questions from OG 13 to OG 2019 and from OG VR 2017, 2019, and 2019
to see whether a question tested the issue. No question did so.
-- Older official questions are part of a sentence correction initiative for forum members called
Project SC Butler, HERE
and no question tests the issue.

**
Process of elimination

• Split #1: Sports teams' names are plural
Options D and E incorrectly use the singular verb IS.

Eliminate D and E

• Split #2: proper names for sports teams are preceded by THE
Option (C) erroneously omits the definite article.

Eliminate C

• Split #3: Future tense is either not correct or not as appropriate as present tense
Option B's use of future tense is incorrect or not as accurate as the tense used in (A).
Four of five options indicate that one of the teams has ALREADY won.
I could argue that in a very specific circumstance, about which you do not need to worry,
(B) could be correct.
Even so, (A)'s present tense phrase "are the winners" fits better.

Hope that helps, all.

*Kepner, Tyler. "For the Yankees, Even the ‘Next Guy Up’ Is Plenty Dangerous." The New York Times 18 April 2019. Accessed April 18, 2019 (as subscriber). HERE.

** Klapisch,, Bob. "James Paxton of Yankees, Already Struggling, Will Face Crucial Test in Red Sox." The New York Times 14 April 2019. Accessed April 14, 2019 (as subscriber). HERE.

This full paragraph from the Klapisch article illustrates the standard way to talk about named sports teams:

"Granted, the Red Sox have barely resembled the 2018 version of themselves, losing 10 of their first 16 games. The team has been undermined by its pitching staff’s 5.80 E.R.A. — 13th in the American League even after David Price shone in a 4-0 win over Baltimore on Sunday. The Yankees have not fared much better. Their 5-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday was their fifth in six games. Except for a three-game wipeout of Baltimore last weekend, the Yankees have dropped every series this season."

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Re: Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che  [#permalink]

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13 Apr 2019, 06:07
1
For me it should be "D"...cann anyone please explain why A is correct??
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Re: Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che  [#permalink]

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14 Apr 2019, 10:47
1
elifceylan wrote:

I'm always confused about how to formulate sentences with either-or and the usage of "is" and "are" could you please help me to clarify if you know how to?
If you're asking about subject-verb agreement with either X or Y: if a verb has to agree with something in the either or, then it will agree with whatever it is closer to.

Either the painting or the statues are to be sold.

Either the statues or the painting is to be sold.
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Re: Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2019, 06:49
1
georgethomps wrote:
AjiteshArun wrote:
jrk23 wrote:
For me it should be "D"...cann anyone please explain why A is correct??
It's hard to say whether the GMAT will force a test taker to take this kind of call. For what it's worth, I don't think that it will.
Then what was the source of this question? I’m really annoyed because I could have swore I read somewhere that the GMAT considers team names singular. I thought A was supposed to be a trap answer.

Posted from my mobile device

Using this logic, wouldn´t we have to say that "The United States of America are a big country" , instead of "United States of America is a big country"?
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Re: Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che  [#permalink]

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13 Apr 2019, 06:52
jrk23 wrote:
For me it should be "D"...cann anyone please explain why A is correct??
It's hard to say whether the GMAT will force a test taker to take this kind of call. For what it's worth, I don't think that it will.
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Re: Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che  [#permalink]

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13 Apr 2019, 06:58
AjiteshArun wrote:
jrk23 wrote:
For me it should be "D"...cann anyone please explain why A is correct??
It's hard to say whether the GMAT will force a test taker to take this kind of call. For what it's worth, I don't think that it will.
Then what was the source of this question? I’m really annoyed because I could have swore I read somewhere that the GMAT considers team names singular. I thought A was supposed to be a trap answer.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che  [#permalink]

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14 Apr 2019, 06:38
1

I'm always confused about how to formulate sentences with either-or and the usage of "is" and "are" could you please help me to clarify if you know how to?
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Re: Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che  [#permalink]

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15 Apr 2019, 11:54
1
Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to check the score to be sure.

A. Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners;-> correct

B. Either the Pirates or the Orioles will be the winners; -> one of them already is the winner

C. Either Pirates or Orioles are winners; -> should use definite term like “the winner”, “the Pirates” & “the Orioles”

D. Either the Pirates or the Orioles is the winner; -> plural: Orioles

E. Either the Pirates or the Orioles is the winners; -> plural: Orioles

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che  [#permalink]

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16 Apr 2019, 16:03
I thought Pirates and Orioles are the team names and if my understanding is correct teams are always singular, so selected D. Please correct me, if I am wrong..
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Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2019, 10:17
georgethomps wrote:
AjiteshArun wrote:
jrk23 wrote:
For me it should be "D"...cann anyone please explain why A is correct??
It's hard to say whether the GMAT will force a test taker to take this kind of call. For what it's worth, I don't think that it will.
Then what was the source of this question? I’m really annoyed because I could have swore I read somewhere that the GMAT considers team names singular. I thought A was supposed to be a trap answer.

Posted from my mobile device

Mauriciopettinato wrote:
Using this logic, wouldn´t we have to say that "The United States of America are a big country" , instead of "United States of America is a big country"?

Mauriciopettinato , you ask a good question, although I cannot decide whether you think A or D is correct.
(I believe that you would choose D. I don't know what "this logic" refers to.)

In answer to your question, true, collective nouns are almost always singular in American English.
One (very obscure) exception is the proper name of a sports team.
Such a name is plural. Please see my post HERE.

Although we can generalize about quite a few patterns with respect to collective nouns,
because names of sports teams are an exception, the analogy does not really apply.
The proper name of a sports team is different from the proper name of a country.

Your question raised a good issue.
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Re: Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2019, 10:18
1
generis wrote:
Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to check the score to be sure.

A. Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners;

B. Either the Pirates or the Orioles will be the winners;
Future tense is incorrect.
Although the sentence could refer to the future if a person did not know which teams were playing, the more reasonable meaning is that the teams have already played the game.

C. Either [the] Pirates or [the] Orioles are winners;
The definite article "the" is required.

D. Either the Pirates or the Orioles is the winner;
Team names are plural. The verb should be ARE and the subject complement should be "the winners," as in option A.

E. Either the Pirates or the Orioles is the winners;
Same as D. "Winners" correctly matches the named teams but does not agree with the verb IS

Just below option E, please write
Source: ____________
It is really hard for admins and mods to cope with questions that have no source.

Mahmoudfawzy83 , jrk23 , georgethomps , arorni , and Mauriciopettinato

Although I highly doubt that GMAC will ever test this issue, concern about the issue is understandable.
It is hard to know how much time to spend on an issue.
On this one? Not much.
The issue is obscure.

• Sports teams' names are plural in North American English,
but the nouns "a team" or "the team" are singular.

• If referred to by the team's proper name, the noun is plural.
-- Correct: The Yankees have not been [to the World Series] in a decade ...*
-- Correct: Granted, the Red Sox have barely resembled the 2018 version of themselves, losing 10 of their first 16 games.**

• The word "team" is singular
-- Correct: The team has [singular] been undermined by its pitching staff’s 5.80 E.R.A.
— 13th in the American League even after David Price shone in a 4-0 win over Baltimore on Sunday.**

• Another source: Mike McGarry (who may be the New York Mets' biggest fan )
mikemcgarry writes:
[S]ome collective nouns, especially sports teams names (e.g. “the New York Mets!!!”) are expressed as plurals, . . .

Subject-Verb Agreement on GMAT Sentence Correction, found HERE

• I found no official questions that test the issue
-- I scanned all the questions from OG 13 to OG 2019 and from OG VR 2017, 2019, and 2019
to see whether a question tested the issue. No question did so.
-- Older official questions are part of a sentence correction initiative for forum members called
Project SC Butler, HERE
and no question tests the issue.

**
Process of elimination

• Split #1: Sports teams' names are plural
Options D and E incorrectly use the singular verb IS.

Eliminate D and E

• Split #2: proper names for sports teams are preceded by THE
Option (C) erroneously omits the definite article.

Eliminate C

• Split #3: Future tense is either not correct or not as appropriate as present tense
Option B's use of future tense is incorrect or not as accurate as the tense used in (A).
Four of five options indicate that one of the teams has ALREADY won.
I could argue that in a very specific circumstance, about which you do not need to worry,
(B) could be correct.
Even so, (A)'s present tense phrase "are the winners" fits better.

Hope that helps, all.

*Kepner, Tyler. "For the Yankees, Even the ‘Next Guy Up’ Is Plenty Dangerous." The New York Times 18 April 2019. Accessed April 18, 2019 (as subscriber). HERE.

** Klapisch,, Bob. "James Paxton of Yankees, Already Struggling, Will Face Crucial Test in Red Sox." The New York Times 14 April 2019. Accessed April 14, 2019 (as subscriber). HERE.

This full paragraph from the Klapisch article illustrates the standard way to talk about named sports teams:

Granted, the Red Sox have barely resembled the 2018 version of themselves, losing 10 of their first 16 games. The team has been undermined by its pitching staff’s 5.80 E.R.A. — 13th in the American League even after David Price shone in a 4-0 win over Baltimore on Sunday. The Yankees have not fared much better. Their 5-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday was their fifth in six games. Except for a three-game wipeout of Baltimore last weekend, the Yankees have dropped every series this season.

Thanks a lot generis for such detailed explanation..
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Re: Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2019, 10:22
arorni wrote:
Thanks a lot generis for such detailed explanation..

You're very welcome. I'm glad I could help.
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Re: Either the Pirates or the Orioles are the winners; we’ll have to che   [#permalink] 18 Apr 2019, 10:22
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