Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore

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10 Feb 2011, 01:36
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Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was subsequently butchered by hominids have>> been recovered by paleontologists.

A. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was subsequently butchered by hominids have

B. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and then was subsequently butchered by hominids has

C. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago, which was subsequently butchered by hominids, has

D. having been beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and subsequently butchered by hominids, have

E. having beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and then subsequently were butchered by hominids have

This example was posted earlier, the oa is A
Can somebody explain why usage of <<was>> is correct?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
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10 Feb 2011, 02:40
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'That' is a relative pronoun which refers to the preceeding word. Therefore in this case that is refering to whales.

D & E are out - inadequate use of 'having been'.
Fossils is plural and requires have and not has - S&V agreement;B & C are out.
The sentence has a passive tone and requires simple past. Therefore 'was subsequently butchered' is used.

A overcomes all the mentioned errors
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Re: Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore [#permalink]

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17 Sep 2013, 23:11
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gmatter0913 wrote:
Great explanation!! Thanks a lot, and I promise this is the last post. Just need a confirmation from you.

So, you're saying:

1. Fossils of a [whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and butchered by hominids] have been recovered by palaeontologists.
The above sentence is wrong because "that" will be carried to the second part "[that] butchered by hominids". In such case, we have to use the verb "was butchered", and we cannot "that + past participle(butchered)". Is my understanding correct? - Correct. Either Participles or Relative Modifiers. Go by basics, relative modifiers requires verb, hence if you are using that+ participle, it will never work, defying the rules of grammar.

I didn't think that "that" would be carried to the second part "was butchered". "that" in ellipsis tricked me.
Lesson Learnt: Both of them have to be participles or verbs. Parallelism. - Bingo !

Following are the four cases on which I need your confirmation and comments.

1. participle + participle construction
Fossils of a [whale beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and butchered by hominids] have been recovered by palaeontologists.
In the above sentence, both "beached" and "butchered" are past participles.The above sentence is a right construction. -> Nopes.. It is not a correct construction. You require "beaching" here, if you want to write construction using Participles. Hence,
Fossils of a [whale beaching on an African shore more than a million years ago and butchered by hominids] have been recovered by palaeontologists.

Reason being
-ing form is used for doing the action.
-ed forms are used for recieiving the action. Thats pretty much about modifiers. Learn it by heart, and you'll be able to implement it.

2. verb+ verb construction
Fossils of a [whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and (that) was butchered by hominids] have been recovered by palaeontologists. This is correct construction. - Yes, this is correct.

3. verb + participle construction
Fossils of a [whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and butchered by hominids] have been recovered by palaeontologists. This is wrong as we require a verb in the second part because "that" is carried (ellipsis).Earlier, I thought this construction is valid. Lesson learnt. - Your reasoning is sound

4. participle + verb construction
Need your comment on the below

Fossils of a [whale beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was butchered by hominids] have been recovered by palaeontologists.
This is wrong as we don't have a object for "was butchered"

Why do you say so. For the sentence to be valid, you require only subject and verb. "I read", this is valid sentence and you don't require an object here. Moreover, Hominids is the object of the verb "was butchered". The sentence is wrong because of two issues-
One - beached is past participle and you require present participle, in case you want to write it in participle forms. As explained above - reasoning of -ing modifier.
Second - if you want to write it in verb forms, then you require "that", otherwise the sentence would be a fragment.

Fossils of a [whale beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and that was butchered by hominids] have been recovered by palaeontologists.
Is this a valid construction? Can "that" work as an object here? I assumed "beached" and "was" are parallel, and hence "that" may refer to "whale"

Again, this is not a valid construction- beached is not a verb here.
"That" is working as an object here. However, it has nothing to do with "beached" and "was" to be parallel.

Basically, all you need to see that of the construction is using participles then, they must be parallel.
Otherwise, if constructions is using "verb form", then that is being used in parallel forms and should not have "participles"
Thats pretty much of it.

Let me know if there is any doubt

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10 Feb 2011, 03:22
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@Lolaergasheva: Ask a simple question. What was butchered? You will know that the fossils were not butchered; it was the whale that was butchered. Can any other verb but ‘was’ suit the singular whale.
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10 Feb 2011, 18:20
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Lolaergasheva wrote:
Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was subsequently butchered by hominids have>> been recovered by paleontologists.

A. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was subsequently butchered by hominids have

B. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and then was subsequently butchered by hominids has

C. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago, which was subsequently butchered by hominids, has

D. having been beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and subsequently butchered by hominids, have

E. having beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and then subsequently were butchered by hominids have

This example was posted earlier, the oa is A
Can somebody explain why usage of <<was>> is correct?

You ask a good question here, and although others have given completely correct explanations I want to boil it down to a key point:

Unless there is a clear reason to use a more complex tense, you want to use the simplest tense possible. In this example, the whale beached (simple past tense) and was butchered (simple past tense). This is clear, parallel, and simple.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore [#permalink]

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17 Sep 2013, 08:22
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gmatter0913 wrote:
Could somebody help me on the below, please?

My doubt is related to the usage of "that" in this problem.

Is there any difference between the below two sentences? ( I intentionally removed "subsequently")

1. Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was butchered by hominids have been recovered by paleontologists.

2. Fossils of a whale beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and butchered by hominids have been recovered by paleontologists.

My doubt is: can we always replace a "that clause modifying a noun" with an "-ed modifier" ?

I want to quote another example from an official question.

1. Neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions.
2. Neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions.

I feel there is a difference in the above two sentences. Kindly comment.

Hello gmatter0913

Here is my take on your sentences. I hope you'll find my explanations useful.

Lets take these sentences first-

1. Neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions.
2. Neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions.

Now, your question is Can "That" be removed in this construction. The short answer is "Yes".
Because, "produced" in sentence 2 is working as Past Participle, and past participles "ed forms" are used for receiving the action i.e Nouns in question must act as Object.
If in doubt..Ask Did Elementary particles produced something?? The answer is No, rather they are being produced in Nuclear Reactions. Hence, "Produced" is working as Past Participle.
Second Trick: Whenever you see that+is/am/are/was/were, you can safely remove "that+ verb", because this is the construction used in passive voice, and ed modifiers just do the same. i.e represent Passive Voice.

Second Set - Lets analyze each sentence individually here,

1. Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was butchered by hominids have been recovered by paleontologists.

Here, beached is working as VERB- How?because "That " is a relative modifier modifying "Whale". If in doubt, who beached on African Shore -> Whale -> Subject.
was butchered -> verb.
Now, your question" Can That be Removed here"? -> I would say No, because then the sentence would be Fragment. I mean, subject Verb pair would not be same.
Lets Remove "That", so the sentence would become

Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was butchered by hominids have been recovered by paleontologists.

Lets Find - Subject verb pair -
Fossils - have been
What is the subject of beached ann was butchered? Fossils or Whale? It shoule be Fossils because subject doesn't reside in Prepositional phrase. Hence , the construction is wrong. Retrospectively, if you see, that is in ellipsis. See below.

Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and{that} was butchered by hominids have been recovered by paleontologists.

2. Fossils of a whale beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and butchered by hominids have been recovered by paleontologists.

Lets analyze this one -
Firstly, beached is following the same logic as above. i.e. what is the subject of this verb? Fossils or Whale.
Secondly- "butchered" here is working as Participle not verb. because the whole sentence is in passive voice. Have provided an explanation above.
Let me know if it makes sense.
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Re: Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore [#permalink]

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17 Sep 2013, 19:13
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1. You said that beached is a verb here [I agree.]
Clause: Whale(Subj) that beached(Verb) on an African shore more than a million years ago and [that] was(verb) butchered (verb) by hominids.

My question here is: Why is it "beached" and not "was beached"? Is there any change in the meaning if I say the below:
Fossils of a [whale that was beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was butchered by hominids] have been recovered by paleontologists. --> [color=#7b2e00]This is not making any sense. This means that Whale didn't do the action of beaching and someone else helped Whale in doing the action. Here, beached is equivalent to "Swam"

[/color]
I understand that it is the whale that did the action "beached", whereas "butchered" has to be in passive because it is done by "hominids". Am I correct? --> This is the correct understanding.

In such case, will the 3rd sentence (posted below) be wrong?
Fossils of a [whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and butchered by hominids] have been recovered by paleontologists. -> This is wrong because of Parallelism. We need verb not Participle. Butchered is Past Participle here

Because this sentence says - "whale butchered by hominids" - not, "whale [that] was butchered by hominids". Honestly, I am not seeing a difference between "whale butchered by hominids" and "whale [that] was butchered by hominids". --> that is how past participle works.

See, whale butchered by Hominids. Ask.. who butchered.. and you l get the reply.. Homininds.. so, who done the action --> Hominids and whom the action have been done..? Its on WHALE. .. right.. So, Whale is not the subject... IT is the object who is recieving the ACTION(butchered).. right. So, the phrase butchered by Hominids is nothing but a modifier.

So, in that case why can't we also say "whale that was beached"?

Here, -- "was beached" is Passive Voice, depicting the action of beached is done by someone else not by WHALE. However,the action is done by "Whale", and you need a VERB. Hence, it is incorrect.

Generally, two issues usually go hand in hand in such questions --
One is parallelism and another is verb.

Let me know if it makes sense, else feel free to post your doubts. [/color]
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Re: Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore [#permalink]

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18 Sep 2013, 02:09
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gmatter0913 wrote:
Fantastic reply... One of the best replies I received on this forum. 1000 Kudos to you!! --> Thank you. but everything I ve written here can be assimilated from this forum. I just posted you the summary..

I understood the concepts clearly. Simply, its either participles or verbs.

Basis your explanation, I got another tangential doubt regarding "beached" and "beaching" as participle forms.

Two reasons why I am confused about "beached" as the participle form are:

Reason 1: I felt that "beach" is an action that happens on something. I don't know why I feel so, may be because of colloquial usage. I feel a whale cannot beach itself, it can only be beached by the sea. Otherwise, it is called the "whale swam". Thankfully when I did this question, I didn't see an option with "whale that was beached", so I assumed that whale is doing the action. --> Assumed?? Its there in the question itself...? I don't think that GMAT is ever going to test you whether a subject is behaving as a Subject or an Object.

But, let us suppose there was an answer option saying "whale that was beached", how can I be sure of who is doing the action? Is there a way for it?

If we say anything in passive such as "whale was beached", then is it mandatory in GMAT grammar to mention the doer. For example, "whale that was beached by the sea". Or Does GMAT accept "whale that was beached"? --> As far as my RnD goes on, its not super important to present you an Object. I can see where are you going with the concept. You are trying to get some formula out so that its become mechanical to see if it is participle of verb. That is going to be suicidal. You have to think. This question that we are discussing, I ve also got this wrong while taking test, but we need to think else exam will not be of any use.
Having said that, I ve seen a pattern where you have present adn past participle both are in parallel form, past participle usually have phrase "by someone"... remember I ve posted one sentence in above post, having both present adn past participle, that is the construction you would like to see.

However, that was beached.. is Incorrect for the reasons mentioned earlier.

Reason 2: As the sentence is describing the past, I need to use the past participle form (verb-ed).
If I say - Fossils of a [whale beaching on an African shore more than a million years ago and butchered by hominids] have been recovered by palaeontologists. (Isn't the use of present participle changing the meaning?) -- >
NO.. Verbing and Verbed modifiers, these are tenseless. They take the tense from the clause to which it is attached.

[color=#0000ff]Winning World Cup 2012, Dhoni felt relaxed.
--> When Dhoni felt relaxed..? when he won the World Cup. It happened in past.

For some reason, I feel it is changing the meaning of the sentence that the whale was beaching when it was butchered. ..
No, if this is your understanding, then it is incorrect. Had that been the case you have mentioned, it would have been When X, Y (construction) .. not parallelism using "AND"

Though I understand what you're saying here, I am finding it difficult under this context.
Ex: Amy protected a man walking on the street and attacked by dogs. <-[color=#7b2e00]Doesn't this mean that Amy protected when he was walking? --> this doesn't mean that the attack and walking was simultaneous. Moreover, here is a big time ambiguity .. who is attacked by the dogs? Amy or a man..? If I assume that a man is attacked by the dogs, then it just meant that protect and attack are two random events. This can be thought of that AMy protected a man walking on the street however attack on the man could have been a thing of distant past as well.
[/color]
We won't say - Amy slapped a man walked on the street and attacked by dogs. <-- I understand that -ed is not the right modifier. But I am struggling with the above meaning change, if any.

Without using relative clauses (who/that) and using only participles, can we bring the below meaning?
Amy protected a man who walked on the street and was attacked by the dogs. <-- this doesn't mean that Amy protected when he was walking on the street. -
Here you go-
Amy protected a man attacked by the dogs while walking down the street.
If you are looking for and relationship that will not work in this scenario

Kindly help me on this.

I would advise you to study from OG, and this way u'll learn everything you require for GMAT.
Let me know if doubt persists.
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10 Feb 2011, 03:22
@Lolaergasheva: Ask a simple question. What was butchered? You will know that the fossils were not butchered; it was the whale that was butchered. Can any other verb but ‘was’ suit the singular whale.
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10 Feb 2011, 20:15
'was' or 'were' will depend on whether the subject is plural or singular.

Here the subject is 'a whale' , essentially singular.

hence, was.
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Re: Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore [#permalink]

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14 Sep 2013, 08:50
My doubt is related to the usage of "that" in this problem.

Is there any difference between the below two sentences? ( I intentionally removed "subsequently")

1. Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was butchered by hominids have been recovered by paleontologists.

2. Fossils of a whale beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and butchered by hominids have been recovered by paleontologists.

My doubt is can we always replace a "that clause modifying a noun" with an "-ed modifier" ?

I want to quote another example from an official question.

1. Neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions.
2. Neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions.

I fee there is a difference in the above two sentences. Kindly comment.
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Re: Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2013, 00:08
Lolaergasheva wrote:
Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was subsequently butchered by hominids have>> been recovered by paleontologists.

A. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was subsequently butchered by hominids have

B. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and then was subsequently butchered by hominids has

C. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago, which was subsequently butchered by hominids, has

D. having been beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and subsequently butchered by hominids, have

E. having beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and then subsequently were butchered by hominids have

This example was posted earlier, the oa is A
Can somebody explain why usage of <<was>> is correct?

this is a case in which a modifier is far away from the noun. ex :
Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was subsequently butchered by hominids have been recovered by paleontologists.
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Re: Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2013, 02:42
Could somebody help me on the below, please?

My doubt is related to the usage of "that" in this problem.

Is there any difference between the below two sentences? ( I intentionally removed "subsequently")

1. Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was butchered by hominids have been recovered by paleontologists.

2. Fossils of a whale beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and butchered by hominids have been recovered by paleontologists.

My doubt is: can we always replace a "that clause modifying a noun" with an "-ed modifier" ?

I want to quote another example from an official question.

1. Neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions.
2. Neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions.

I feel there is a difference in the above two sentences. Kindly comment.
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Re: Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2013, 21:28
Kindly help me..Really waiting for an answer to the q posted above.
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Re: Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2013, 19:48
Kindly help me..Really waiting for an answer to the q posted above.
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Re: Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore [#permalink]

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17 Sep 2013, 05:56
FOSSILS-- plural subject.. therefore verb should be plural .. So HAVE INSTEAD OF HAS.
Secondly, the keyword subsequently , its telling you the sequence of events so no need to use present or past participle. Therefore, A is best for me.
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Re: Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore [#permalink]

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17 Sep 2013, 15:25
Firstly, I really appreciate that you took time to write a detailed reply. Thank you.

Thanks a lot for the confirmation on the below.

Quote:
Lets take these sentences first-

1. Neutrinos are harmless elementary particles that are produced in nuclear reactions.
2. Neutrinos are harmless elementary particles produced in nuclear reactions.

Now, your question is Can "That" be removed in this construction. The short answer is "Yes".
Because, "produced" in sentence 2 is working as Past Participle, and past participles "ed forms" are used for receiving the action i.e Nouns in question must act as Object.
If in doubt..Ask Did Elementary particles produced something?? The answer is No, rather they are being produced in Nuclear Reactions. Hence, "Produced" is working as Past Participle.
Second Trick: Whenever you see that+is/am/are/was/were, you can safely remove "that+ verb", because this is the construction used in passive voice, and ed modifiers just do the same. i.e represent Passive Voice.

Coming to the second set...

Quote:
1. Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was butchered by hominids have been recovered by paleontologists.

1. You said that beached is a verb here [I agree.]
Clause: Whale(Subj) that beached(Verb) on an African shore more than a million years ago and [that] was(verb) butchered (verb) by hominids.

My question here is: Why is it "beached" and not "was beached"? Is there any change in the meaning if I say the below:
Fossils of a [whale that was beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was butchered by hominids] have been recovered by paleontologists.

I understand that it is the whale that did the action "beached", whereas "butchered" has to be in passive because it is done by "hominids". Am I correct?

In such case, will the 3rd sentence (posted below) be wrong?
Fossils of a [whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and butchered by hominids] have been recovered by paleontologists.

Because this sentence says - "whale butchered by hominids" - not, "whale [that] was butchered by hominids". Honestly, I am not seeing a difference between "whale butchered by hominids" and "whale [that] was butchered by hominids".

So, in that case why can't we also say "whale that was beached"?
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Re: Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore [#permalink]

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17 Sep 2013, 22:21
Great explanation!! Thanks a lot, and I promise this is the last post. Just need a confirmation from you.

So, you're saying:

1. Fossils of a [whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and butchered by hominids] have been recovered by palaeontologists.
The above sentence is wrong because "that" will be carried to the second part "[that] butchered by hominids". In such case, we have to use the verb "was butchered", and we cannot "that + past participle(butchered)". Is my understanding correct?

I didn't think that "that" would be carried to the second part "was butchered". "that" in ellipsis tricked me.
Lesson Learnt: Both of them have to be participles or verbs. Parallelism.

Following are the four cases on which I need your confirmation and comments.

1. participle + participle construction
Fossils of a [whale beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and butchered by hominids] have been recovered by palaeontologists.
In the above sentence, both "beached" and "butchered" are past participles.The above sentence is a right construction.

2. verb+ verb construction
Fossils of a [whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and (that) was butchered by hominids] have been recovered by palaeontologists. This is correct construction.

3. verb + participle construction
Fossils of a [whale that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and butchered by hominids] have been recovered by palaeontologists. This is wrong as we require a verb in the second part because "that" is carried (ellipsis).Earlier, I thought this construction is valid. Lesson learnt.

4. participle + verb construction
Need your comment on the below

Fossils of a [whale beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was butchered by hominids] have been recovered by palaeontologists.
This is wrong as we don't have a object for "was butchered"

Fossils of a [whale beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and that was butchered by hominids] have been recovered by palaeontologists.
Is this a valid construction? Can "that" work as an object here? I assumed "beached" and "was" are parallel, and hence "that" may refer to "whale"
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Re: Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore [#permalink]

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18 Sep 2013, 01:12
Fantastic reply... One of the best replies I received on this forum. 1000 Kudos to you!!

I understood the concepts clearly. Simply, its either participles or verbs.

Basis your explanation, I got another tangential doubt regarding "beached" and "beaching" as participle forms.

Two reasons why I am confused about "beached" as the participle form are:

Reason 1: I felt that "beach" is an action that happens on something. I don't know why I feel so, may be because of colloquial usage. I feel a whale cannot beach itself, it can only be beached by the sea. Otherwise, it is called the "whale swam". Thankfully when I did this question, I didn't see an option with "whale that was beached", so I assumed that whale is doing the action.

But, let us suppose there was an answer option saying "whale that was beached", how can I be sure of who is doing the action? Is there a way for it?

If we say anything in passive such as "whale was beached", then is it mandatory in GMAT grammar to mention the doer. For example, "whale that was beached by the sea". Or Does GMAT accept "whale that was beached"?

Reason 2: As the sentence is describing the past, I need to use the past participle form (verb-ed).
If I say - Fossils of a [whale beaching on an African shore more than a million years ago and butchered by hominids] have been recovered by palaeontologists. (Isn't the use of present participle changing the meaning?)

For some reason, I feel it is changing the meaning of the sentence that the whale was beaching when it was butchered.

Though I understand what you're saying here, I am finding it difficult under this context.
Ex: Amy protected a man walking on the street and attacked by dogs. <-- Doesn't this mean that Amy protected when he was walking?
We won't say - Amy slapped a man walked on the street and attacked by dogs. <-- I understand that -ed is not the right modifier. But I am struggling with the above meaning change, if any.

Without using relative clauses (who/that) and using only participles, can we bring the below meaning?
Amy protected a man who walked on the street and was attacked by the dogs. <-- this doesn't mean that Amy protected when he was walking on the street.

Kindly help me on this.
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Re: Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore [#permalink]

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18 Sep 2013, 03:57
Appreciate your detailed responses. Thanks a lot.
Re: Fossils of a whale <<that beached on an African shore   [#permalink] 18 Sep 2013, 03:57

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