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# Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a millio

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Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a millio  [#permalink]

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06 Jul 2014, 17:52
1
In this Question, how is "beached" parallel to "was butchered"

Also "Whale beached on an African shore" is in active voice whereas ""Whale was subsequently butchered by hominids" is in passive voice.

So how is this construction correct?
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Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a millio  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2014, 04:44
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jrashish wrote:
In this Question, how is "beached" parallel to "was butchered"

Also "Whale beached on an African shore" is in active voice whereas ""Whale was subsequently butchered by hominids" is in passive voice.

So how is this construction correct?

Hi jrashish,

Thank you for posting your query here.

Let’s take a look at the sentence structure of this sentence:

Fossils of a whale (Clause-I)
o that (Clause-II)
beached on an African shore more than a million years ago (Clause-II)
• and was subsequently butchered by hominids (Clause-II)
have been recovered by paleontologists. (Clause-I)

So, this sentence has two clauses as shown. The subject verb pairs in both the clauses are highlighted.

Now, the dependent clause starting with “that” tells us two things about a whale:
1. It beached on an African shore at a certain time in the past
2. It was butchered by hominids.
So, the verbs "beached" and "was butchered" are parallel to each other.

Note that, active and passive verbs can be parallel to each other if their subject is the same. Let’s take another official example (correct version) with similar structure:

• Dressed as a man and using the name Robert Shurtleff, Deborah Sampson, the first woman to draw a soldier's pension,
o joined the Continental Army in 1782 at the age of 22,
o was injured three times,
o and was discharged in 1783 because she had become too ill to serve.

Here, the list of the verbs for the subject Deborah Sampson is:
1. joined (Active Voice)
2. was injured (Passive Voice)
3. was discharged (Passive Voice)

As we can see, first verb is written in active voice while second and third verbs are in passive voice. However, these verbs are parallel. Similarly in the given sentence, "beached" and "was butchered" are parallel.

Hope this helps!
Deepak
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Re: Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a millio  [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2016, 00:28
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 palaeontologists.

The subject of the sentence is "FOSSILS" which is plural, so the use of a corresponding plural verb "have" is must.

A. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was subsequently butchered by hominids have
CORRECT:- correct verb "have" and correct simple past tense "beached". "that" correctly refers to the "fossils of the whale"

B. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and then was subsequently butchered by hominids has
WRONG:- has is incorrect tense

C. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago, which was subsequently butchered by hominids, has
WRONG:- has is incorrect tense. placement of "which" is incorrect. Here "which" is modifying million years instead of "whale"

D. having been beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and subsequently butchered by hominids, have
WRONG:- "ing+been+past" is incorrect . Simple past is sufficient

E. having beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and then subsequently were butchered by hominids have
WRONG:- "ing+past" is incorrect . Simple past is sufficient.
Meaning change :- The fossils were not butchered. The whale was butchered and then the whale become a fossil after thousands of years.

sudeep 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

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Re: Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a millio  [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2017, 10:16
mikemcgarry chetan2u Can you please help me with my doubt of why the answer is :A: because FOSSILS are plural and in option A it is clearly violating the S-V Agreement with :WAS:

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Re: Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a millio  [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2017, 14:01
1
siddyj94 wrote:
mikemcgarry chetan2u Can you please help me with my doubt of why the answer is :A: because FOSSILS are plural and in option A it is clearly violating the S-V Agreement with :WAS:

Dear siddyj94,

I'm happy to respond.

With all due respect, my friend, I think you have gotten lost in the architecture of the sentence, because you have paired a noun with a verb even though they are at different levels of the sentence. Here's (A), with the big noun=modifying clause in green.

Fossils = noun, plural, main subject
of a whale = prepositional phrase, modifies "fossils"
that = relative pronoun, begins a large noun-modifying relative clause, targeting the singular noun "whale"
Because the target noun, "whale," is singular, the relative pronoun "that" is singular, and all the verbs in the relative clause referring to it have to be singular
//beached on an African shore more than a million years ago = first branch of parallelism, singular verb inside clause
and
//was subsequently butchered by hominids
= second branch of parallelism, singular verb inside clause
have been recovered = main verb of sentence, with plural subject "fossils"
by paleontologists.

You see, my friend, the GMAT loves to nest structures inside each other, and it can put parallelism at any level. It's very important, with each and every verb, to know where it is situated in the architecture of the sentence overall. See:
Nested Grammatical Structures on the GMAT Sentence Correction

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a millio  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 31 Mar 2018, 13:52
Top Contributor
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

CHOICE A: Correct. Notice that the VERB TENSES ARE PARALLEL here. Normally, you might assume that "fossils" is the subject, but clearly the meaning of the sentence doesn't support that conclusion (fossils can't be "butchered", only whales can).

CHOICE B: Incorrect. The "then was" is not a big deal; it's functionally equivalent to "was subsequently" in Choice A. However, "has" is incorrect, because at that point we have stopped modifying the object (whale) and have returned to modifying the subject (fossils). We can't say "fossils has" ("they has"), so we move on.

CHOICE C: When we write in English ".... _______, which was ..." , then the "was" is presumably modifying a subject before the comma. However, this doesn't work because it was the whale that was butchered, not years or an African shore.

CHOICE D: "Having" is not by itself an actual verb, and should never be used as the main verb of a sentence, only as a modifier.

CHOICE E: Same problem as E.

PERFECT VERSION: Fossils of a whale, one which beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and was subsequently butchered by hominids, have been recovered by paleontologists.

-Brian

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Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 20 Mar 2018, 14:38.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 31 Mar 2018, 13:52, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a millio  [#permalink]

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31 Mar 2018, 08:40
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 - CORRECT as SV agreement, Subject Fossils agrees in number with plural have

B. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and then was subsequently butchered by hominids has - Usage of has is incorrect , SV agreement error as Fossils is Plural. Also then usage is incorrect as redundant here

C. that beached on an African shore more than a million years ago, which was subsequently butchered by hominids, has - Usage of has is incorrect , SV agreement error as Fossils is Plural

D. having been beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and subsequently butchered by hominids, have - Having been" is incorrect here. Participle cannot be used as it is not parallel to butchered

E. having beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and then subsequently were butchered by hominids have - "Having been" is incorrect here. Participle cannot be used as it is not parallel to butchered. Second point what was butchered? Of course it is the whale that was butchered hence usage of were is incorrect
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Re: Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a millio  [#permalink]

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31 Jan 2019, 11:02
Hi GMATNinja GMATNinjaTwo,

As I was doing my analysis on this question, I noticed that the sentence didn't include "that" after the "and" (Fossils of a whale (that) beached on an African shore more than a million years ago and (that) was subsequently butchered by hominids....). I was wondering is there any specific reason to eliminate the second "that"? There are multiple OG questions that I have come across where the correct answer choice is usually along the lines of "XYZ that....and that...." because of the parallelism indicator "and". Would appreciate if you could please share your thoughts on this.
Thank you!
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Re: Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a millio  [#permalink]

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31 Jan 2019, 15:31
2
csaluja There's no strict rule about the repetition of structuring words such as "that." The basic idea is that if the meaning is clear, we don't need to repeat. If we want to emphasize a statement's place in the overall logical structure, repetition may be helpful. A few examples:

The committee found that the costs of the program would exceed any possible gains, even if substantial cost-cutting measures were taken, and that certain elements of the program would not be technically achievable for at least twenty years.

Here, it was helpful to repeat "that," since so much text (including a long dependent clause) had intervened. If we just said "and certain elements," it wouldn't be clear if this were the author's opinion or a second finding of the study.

She thinks that the economy will recover and job opportunities will increase.

These seem very related. In fact, it seems likely that she is saying that job opportunities will increase as a result of the economic recovery. In that case, there is no need for a second "that." This is all one clear sequence. Saying "and that" isn't wrong--it's just unneeded.

She thinks that the economy will recover and that disco was an annoying fad.

Huh? These seem like two unrelated opinions. Saying "and that" gives them some separation.

I want to sing and dance.

No need to add a second "to" here. The meaning is clear. However, if these were two separate goals that I did not want to pursue at the same time, a second "to" might help to clarify that. Either way, the "to" wouldn't be wrong. It would just seem very formal for our purpose here.

I want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and to attend business school.

The second "to" helps to make it clear that these are two separate goals. Without it, one might think I am going to go to school on the mountain top!
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Re: Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a millio  [#permalink]

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04 Feb 2019, 06:52
DmitryFarber wrote:
csaluja There's no strict rule about the repetition of structuring words such as "that." The basic idea is that if the meaning is clear, we don't need to repeat. If we want to emphasize a statement's place in the overall logical structure, repetition may be helpful. A few examples:

The committee found that the costs of the program would exceed any possible gains, even if substantial cost-cutting measures were taken, and that certain elements of the program would not be technically achievable for at least twenty years.

Here, it was helpful to repeat "that," since so much text (including a long dependent clause) had intervened. If we just said "and certain elements," it wouldn't be clear if this were the author's opinion or a second finding of the study.

She thinks that the economy will recover and job opportunities will increase.

These seem very related. In fact, it seems likely that she is saying that job opportunities will increase as a result of the economic recovery. In that case, there is no need for a second "that." This is all one clear sequence. Saying "and that" isn't wrong--it's just unneeded.

She thinks that the economy will recover and that disco was an annoying fad.

Huh? These seem like two unrelated opinions. Saying "and that" gives them some separation.

I want to sing and dance.

No need to add a second "to" here. The meaning is clear. However, if these were two separate goals that I did not want to pursue at the same time, a second "to" might help to clarify that. Either way, the "to" wouldn't be wrong. It would just seem very formal for our purpose here.

I want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and to attend business school.

The second "to" helps to make it clear that these are two separate goals. Without it, one might think I am going to go to school on the mountain top!

Thank you every much for a detailed explanation! Perfectly understood now.
Re: Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a millio   [#permalink] 04 Feb 2019, 06:52

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