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# Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern

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Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2013, 05:02
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Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern Pakistan say the discovery of inscribed shards dating to circa 2800 - 2600 B.C. indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of inscribed seals impressed into clay for marking ownership, and the standardization of weights for trade or taxation occurred many decades, if not centuries, earlier than was previously believed.

a) indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of
b) indicate the the development of a Harappan writing system, using
c) indicates that their development of a Harappan writing system, using
d) indicates the development of a Harappan writing system, their use of
e) indicates that the development of a Harappan writing system, the use of
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2013, 06:07
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Hi tcsing,

I can understand your concern. I also used to wonder why that is not followed by this reporting word.

Well it is advisable to use a reporting word after say, not mandatory though. An answer choice would not be incorrect just because it is not using 'that' after a reporting verb i.e. it must be having other apparent errors.

The question that you have posted is and official one, so you can take it for granted the usage of say is correct as it is not in the underlined part.

To sum up if you have two grammatically and contextually correct answer choices, the only difference is that one contains "that" after a reporting verb another doesn't then choose the one with "that"

The below usages of the verb say are totally correct.

Senators say nursing home rule is not followed
Some teachers say MPS make-up class guidelines are not followed
Apple now says it is looking into how users can reset their account passwords to ensure that their data is protected

to answer the question, it tests parallel structure

the discovery.... indicates that the development, the use of ...and the standardization of...occurred earlier than was prev believed
Correct Answer -- (C)

Hope it helps,

Vercules
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2013, 06:50
Vercules wrote:
Hi tcsing,

I can understand your concern. I also used to wonder why that is not followed by this reporting word.

Well it is advisable to use a reporting word after say, not mandatory though. An answer choice would not be incorrect just because it is not using 'that' after a reporting verb i.e. it must be having other apparent errors.

The question that you have posted is and official one, so you can take it for granted the usage of say is correct as it is not in the underlined part.

To sum up if you have two grammatically and contextually correct answer choices, the only difference is that one contains "that" after a reporting verb another doesn't then choose the one with "that"

The below usages of the verb say are totally correct.

Senators say nursing home rule is not followed
Some teachers say MPS make-up class guidelines are not followed
Apple now says it is looking into how users can reset their account passwords to ensure that their data is protected

to answer the question, it tests parallel structure

the discovery.... indicates that the development, the use of ...and the standardization of...occurred earlier than was prev believed
Correct Answer -- (C)

Hope it helps,

Vercules

Thanks, that helps to clarify
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2013, 07:17
Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern Pakistan say the discovery of inscribed shards dating to circa 2800 - 2600 B.C. indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of inscribed seals impressed into clay for marking ownership, and the standardization of weights for trade or taxation occured many decades, if not centuries, earlier than was previously beliieved.

a) indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of
b) indicate the the development of a Harappan writing system, using
c) indicates that their delevelopment of a Harappan writing system, using
d) indicates the development of a Harappan writing system, their use of
e) indicates that the development of a Harappan writing system, the use of CORRECT
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2013, 08:14
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Just a few thoughts:-

You can drop "that" when it introduces or works as the direct object, but you can't do it if it works as the subject of the verb.

I thought (that) I was too shy
In this case, "I" is the subject of "thought", while "that" is a conjunction that introduces a subordinate clause that works as the direct object of the verb.
You can drop "that".

The car (that) I bought is red
In this sentence, we have a relative clause in which "I" is the subject of "bought", and "that" is a relative pronoun that is the direct object of bought. Therefore, you can drop it too.

The car that is parked outside is red.
In this case, there is another relative clause, but "that" works as the subject of "is", so you can't drop it.
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2013, 10:05
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Hi all,

When "that" is used to connect an IC with a DC, then it is not necessary to explicitly write "that" between the two clauses.
You can read the following the article to know more about various usages of "that":

learn-how-that-can-help-you-demystify-a-long-sentence-138358.html

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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20 Jan 2013, 20:34
Thanks e-GMAT, just to let u know, I love your articles, they're very helpfu!
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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20 Jan 2013, 21:17
tcsing wrote:
Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern Pakistan say the discovery of inscribed shards dating to circa 2800 - 2600 B.C. indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of inscribed seals impressed into clay for marking ownership, and the standardization of weights for trade or taxation occured many decades, if not centuries, earlier than was previously beliieved.

a) indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of
b) indicate the the development of a Harappan writing system, using
c) indicates that their delevelopment of a Harappan writing system, using
d) indicates the development of a Harappan writing system, their use of
e) indicates that the development of a Harappan writing system, the use of

This question isn't about the answer (which I have shared in the OA) but is about the sentence structure: "excavators... say the discovery"

I thought that a reporting verb (say) must always be followed by "that"? When can that be omitted and when is it mandatory? Thanks!

If option "c" could be read as "indicates that the development...", then C fits the best. Or I would go with "E" ( very much aware it is not the best one )
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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21 Jan 2013, 00:45
tcsing wrote:
Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern Pakistan say the discovery of inscribed shards dating to circa 2800 - 2600 B.C. indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of inscribed seals impressed into clay for marking ownership, and the standardization of weights for trade or taxation occured many decades, if not centuries, earlier than was previously beliieved.

a) indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of
b) indicate the the development of a Harappan writing system, using
c) indicates that their delevelopment of a Harappan writing system, using
d) indicates the development of a Harappan writing system, their use of
e) indicates that the development of a Harappan writing system, the use of

This question isn't about the answer (which I have shared in the OA) but is about the sentence structure: "excavators... say the discovery"

I thought that a reporting verb (say) must always be followed by "that"? When can that be omitted and when is it mandatory? Thanks!

it's a 2:3 split,"indicate should modify "Indus valley" which is singular, so we should use singular verb "indicates.So, A,B are out and in C and D the development is "Indus valley " development so we should usage of "their" is wrong.Finally answer is E.
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2014, 11:55
tcsing wrote:
Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern Pakistan say the discovery of inscribed shards dating to circa 2800 - 2600 B.C. indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of inscribed seals impressed into clay for marking ownership, and the standardization of weights for trade or taxation occured many decades, if not centuries, earlier than was previously beliieved.

a) indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of
b) indicate the the development of a Harappan writing system, using
c) indicates that their delevelopment of a Harappan writing system, using
d) indicates the development of a Harappan writing system, their use of
e) indicates that the development of a Harappan writing system, the use of

This question isn't about the answer (which I have shared in the OA) but is about the sentence structure: "excavators... say the discovery"

I thought that a reporting verb (say) must always be followed by "that"? When can that be omitted and when is it mandatory? Thanks!

subject is discovery, so verb needs to be singular. Thus, A/B gone.

C) "their" makes no sense in the context, we're not refering to someone specific with "their", so C is wrong
D) again with "their", there's no need for their especially considering the following words have "the", thus their is not parallel
E) Correct use of "the", this makes the underlined portion parallel to what is said later on
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2014, 12:03
pavanpaone wrote:
tcsing wrote:
Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern Pakistan say the discovery of inscribed shards dating to circa 2800 - 2600 B.C. indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of inscribed seals impressed into clay for marking ownership, and the standardization of weights for trade or taxation occured many decades, if not centuries, earlier than was previously beliieved.

a) indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of
b) indicate the the development of a Harappan writing system, using
c) indicates that their delevelopment of a Harappan writing system, using
d) indicates the development of a Harappan writing system, their use of
e) indicates that the development of a Harappan writing system, the use of

This question isn't about the answer (which I have shared in the OA) but is about the sentence structure: "excavators... say the discovery"

I thought that a reporting verb (say) must always be followed by "that"? When can that be omitted and when is it mandatory? Thanks!

it's a 2:3 split,"indicate should modify "Indus valley" which is singular, so we should use singular verb "indicates.So, A,B are out and in C and D the development is "Indus valley " development so we should usage of "their" is wrong.Finally answer is E.

No, the subject is "discovery", not indus valley. Indus valley simply describes the excavators, and excavators already has its own verb (say), so you need not worry about excavators nor indus valley. Sure, this process worked for you this time, but if we would've had a plural word after excavators, you'd get the wrong answer. So be careful and methodical when trying to find the correct subject to connect a verb to.
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Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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26 Feb 2014, 13:51
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Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern Pakistan say the discovery of inscribed shards dating to circa 2800 - 2600 B.C. indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of inscribed seals impressed into clay for marking ownership, and the standardization of weights for trade or taxation occurred many decades, if not centuries, earlier than was previously believed.

a) indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of
b) indicate that the development of a Harappan writing system, using
c) indicates that their development of a Harappan writing system, using
d) indicates the development of a Harappan writing system, their use of
e) indicates that the development of a Harappan writing system, the use of
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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26 Feb 2014, 14:26
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goodyear2013 wrote:
Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern Pakistan say the discovery of inscribed shards dating to circa 2800 - 2600 B.C. indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of inscribed seals impressed into clay for marking ownership, and the standardization of weights for trade or taxation occurred many decades, if not centuries, earlier than was previously believed.

a) indicate their development of a Harappan writing system, the use of
b) indicate that the development of a Harappan writing system, using
c) indicates that their development of a Harappan writing system, using
d) indicates the development of a Harappan writing system, their use of
e) indicates that the development of a Harappan writing system, the use of

Dear goodyear2013,
I'm happy to help with this.

Split #1: the pronoun problem. What is the antecedent of "their" --- who are "they"??? Certainly not the excavators, the only plural group of people mentioned in the sentence. Presumably, the "they" are the ancient Harappan people, but those folks are not mentioned explicitly. We mention their civilization, but not the people themselves, and on the GMAT, every pronoun must have an antecedent mentioned explicitly in the sentence. See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-pronoun-traps/
Here, the choices with "their", choices (A) & (D), are incorrect.

Split #2: the use of "that". In casual colloquial language, we can drop the word "that" after a cognitive verb such as "indicate" ---- "He indicates he's not going to movies with us." That would be understandable in colloquial language, but it doesn't measure up to the formal standards of the GMAT. We need the word "that" after the word "indicate." Choices (A) & (D) omit the word "that", and are incorrect.

That leaves us with (B) & (E). Both of these are grammatically correct, and the split is entirely predicated on logic. Choice (B) takes the form
... indicates that P, modifier of P, and R occurred many decades ....
Choice (E) takes the form
... indicates that P, Q, and R occurred many decades ....
In both of these,
P = the development of a Harappan writing system
R = the standardization of weights for trade or taxation
So the question is, that middle element, about using "inscribed seals impressed into clay for marking ownership" is a description of or modifier of P, or is it its own separate thing? Well, notice that P, the development of a Harappan writing system, is a cultural intellectual thing --- what alphabet, what grammar & syntax, etc. etc. The middle element is more tangible and more economic. If the middle element were purely writing, about making marks in clay that were clearly a form of writing, then we could imagine that the (B) structure would be correct. But, the middle element is about making impressions to mark ownership. This is not necessarily anything linguistic. These impressions might be analogous to the symbols used, say, in branding cattle. The value of marking ownership is a different kind of value, an economic value, different from the cultural/intellectual value of expressing language through writing. Therefore, we have to consider this a separate, independent element. Thus, the structure in (E) is correct, and the structure in (B) is not correct.

Remember, GMAT SC is not just about grammar. GMAT SC is also about logic, and logic always trumps grammar. For more on logic on the GMAT, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/logical-pr ... orrection/

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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26 Feb 2014, 19:39
Mike - Thanks for your detailed response. I believe, with choice B, we also have Subject Verb agreement issue as compared to choice E. Right ?
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2014, 12:34
rahulsehgal wrote:
Mike - Thanks for your detailed response. I believe, with choice B, we also have Subject Verb agreement issue as compared to choice E. Right ?

Dear rahulsehgal
Actually, my friend, that's not correct. Both (B) & (E) are 100% grammatically correct. The only thing that distinguishes them is logic and meaning. Choice (B) has a plural subject, P and R, which is in full agreement with the verb "occurred" --- past tense verbs don't change for singular & plural anyway.
Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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24 May 2014, 12:37
mikemcgarry wrote:
rahulsehgal wrote:
Mike - Thanks for your detailed response. I believe, with choice B, we also have Subject Verb agreement issue as compared to choice E. Right ?

Dear rahulsehgal
Actually, my friend, that's not correct. Both (B) & (E) are 100% grammatically correct. The only thing that distinguishes them is logic and meaning. Choice (B) has a plural subject, P and R, which is in full agreement with the verb "occurred" --- past tense verbs don't change for singular & plural anyway.
Does all this make sense?
Mike

Hello Mike,

Thanks a lot for the explanation. I was just wondering what is the subject of Choice B? I was wondering if "discovery" is the subject (which is Singular) and hence if it needs to have a plural verb. I was under the impression that for Simple Present sentences like this one the rule is that a Singular subject should be followed by a plural verb. Also for the following:

Sandy plays with her friends

is it correct here that Sandy is the (singular) subject and plays is the (plural) verb? I was kind of using this sentence as an example while solving the above.

Can you please help? Thank you very much.

Best Regards,
Sri
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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24 May 2014, 17:20
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gmattesttaker2 wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
rahulsehgal wrote:
Mike - Thanks for your detailed response. I believe, with choice B, we also have Subject Verb agreement issue as compared to choice E. Right ?

Dear rahulsehgal
Actually, my friend, that's not correct. Both (B) & (E) are 100% grammatically correct. The only thing that distinguishes them is logic and meaning. Choice (B) has a plural subject, P and R, which is in full agreement with the verb "occurred" --- past tense verbs don't change for singular & plural anyway.
Does all this make sense?
Mike

Hello Mike,

Thanks a lot for the explanation. I was just wondering what is the subject of Choice B? I was wondering if "discovery" is the subject (which is Singular) and hence if it needs to have a plural verb. I was under the impression that for Simple Present sentences like this one the rule is that a Singular subject should be followed by a plural verb. Also for the following:

Can you please help? Thank you very much.

Best Regards,
Sri

Dear Sri,
You know, in my above analyses, and even in my response to rahulsehgal, I totally overlooked the split at the very beginning of the underlined section. I was so focused on the SVA within the "that" clause that I missed the most obvious thing at the beginning! Yes, yes, yes, singular subject "discovery" absolutely must take the singular verb "indicates." That is clearly a BIG problem with (B), which is wrong for both grammatical and logical reasons.

Thank you very much for pointing this out, and many apologies to rahulsehgal.

Mike
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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24 May 2014, 19:09
mikemcgarry wrote:
rahulsehgal wrote:
Mike - Thanks for your detailed response. I believe, with choice B, we also have Subject Verb agreement issue as compared to choice E. Right ?

Dear rahulsehgal
Actually, my friend, that's not correct. Both (B) & (E) are 100% grammatically correct. The only thing that distinguishes them is logic and meaning. Choice (B) has a plural subject, P and R, which is in full agreement with the verb "occurred" --- past tense verbs don't change for singular & plural anyway.
Does all this make sense?
Mike

Hello Mike,

Thank you very much for your prompt reply to my earlier post. I wanted to know if there is any rule that a Singular subject should always take a Singular Verb or if a Plural Subject should always take a Plural verb. This is something that confuses me. I was under the impression that when Simple Present tense is used, a Singular Subject will take a Plural Verb and vice-versa. Is this correct? Thanks a lot for your valuable time and help.

Best Regards,
Sri
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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25 May 2014, 15:31
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gmattesttaker2 wrote:
Hello Mike,

Thank you very much for your prompt reply to my earlier post. I wanted to know if there is any rule that a Singular subject should always take a Singular Verb or if a Plural Subject should always take a Plural verb. This is something that confuses me. I was under the impression that when Simple Present tense is used, a Singular Subject will take a Plural Verb and vice-versa. Is this correct? Thanks a lot for your valuable time and help.

Best Regards,
Sri

Dear Sri,
I'm happy to respond. What you are asking concerns the topic of Subject-Verb Agreement, one of the major areas on the GMAT SC. In the Simple Present, a singular subject (the box) always takes a singular verb (is/ weighs), and a plural subject (the boxes) always takes a plural verb (are/ weigh). Again, this is a crucially important rule on the GMAT SC. Here's an article:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/subject-ve ... orrection/

Does this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern [#permalink]

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26 May 2014, 01:58
Hi Mike,

I have a small here. While discarding option B you used the following reasoning ,

You simplified the question to a parallel structure of the form, indicates that P, modifier of P, and R.

I want to ask, can't we consider the second entity in the parallel structure as a gerund phrase instead of thinking of it as a modifier that modifies the first entity P.

Can we ever have a construction where we have 3 parallel structure X, Y, and Z where

X = participial phrase in a verb-ed form.
Y = participial phrase in a verb-ing form.
Z= participial phrase in a verb-ed form again similar to X.

Will in this case Y be still considered as a modifier of the X instead of as a participial phrase parallel to the other two entities?

I discarded option B based on the subject-verb disagreement problem and not on the modifier problem. I considered the second entity as a gerund phase and since gerund phrases act as nouns , I thought it keeps the parallelism intact by being parallel with the other two entities which are Noun phrases.

Please clarify my reasoning here.

Many Thanks.
Re: Excavators at the Indus Valley site of Harappa in eastern   [#permalink] 26 May 2014, 01:58

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