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Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated

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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2020, 01:09
nakib77 wrote:
Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.

(A) sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of

(B) sloth, that they found in Puerto Rico in 1991, has been dated at 34 million years old, thus making it the earliest mammal known on

(C) sloth that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, making this the earliest known mammal of

(D) sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on

(E) sloth which, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, made the sloth the earliest known mammal of


I found this an interesting question and marked it wrong at my first attempt.
(A) sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of - initially I thought that this has no errors and makes perfect sense because Fossils of a sloth [...] made it [the sloth] [...] made perfect sense to me and I held this choice.
(B) sloth, that they found in Puerto Rico in 1991, has been dated at 34 million years old, thus making it the earliest mammal known on - Not sure what they refers to
(C) sloth that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, making this the earliest known mammal of - No subject of was dated at 34 million years old
(D) sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on - Again, this is grammatically correct and made sense. There is a slight difference in meaning between (A) and this choice so held this option as well
(E) sloth which, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, made the sloth the earliest known mammal of - comma after which turned me off, again no subject of was dated at 34 million years old

So, Both (A) and (D) seemed perfect till you realise Fossils cannot make the sloth the earliest mammal, but the fact that they are dated at 34 million years old will make them the earliest known mammal. So, D is a winner here which perfectly tells how sloth is dated at 34 million years ago, making the sloth the earliest known mammal.

Great question where GMAT can catch us in meaning based approach and the fact that (A) is grammatically correct, most people will go for de-facto choice.
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Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2020, 02:52
laxieqv wrote:
nakib77 wrote:
Q28:
Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.
A. sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of
B. sloth, that they found in Puerto Rico in 1991, has been dated at 34 million years old, thus making it the earliest mammal known on
C. sloth that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, making this the earliest known mammal of
D. sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on
E. sloth which, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, made the sloth the earliest known mammal of


B,C,E out due to the S-V disagreement: fossils is a plural noun, thus it must be followed by a plural verb.
A is out with the wrong tense of "dated" ( it should be present perfect as the fact continues to the present.) . Besides, the use of "of" is wrong, "the earliest known mammal" must be the earliest of the same kind of thing, "islands" is not the same kind to " mammal".

D it is!


I think differently

"dated" in choice A is right. it is non tense verbal, a form of verb which, by definition, show action but dose not show time of the action because we do not want to know the tense. doing and do-ed is non tense verb forms which use a lot .choice A is wrong for the reason by Ninja expert.

choice A is wrong because an action , dating, make the sloth the earliest mammal . an object, fossil , can not make the sloth the earliest mammal.

a noun can refer to an object or an action. in our sentence, a noun can show an action. consider
the dating of the fossil at 35 milion year old make the sloth the earliest mammal
this is correct. what I say is both clause and noun can be the agent of action "making" provided that it show action.
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2020, 22:47
Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.

The first thing that should jump right away is the use of it in this sentence. If we try to find antecedent of "it", "it" will refer to a sloth and not the sloth. So, the use of it is totally wrong here.

(A) sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of
(B) sloth, that they found in Puerto Rico in 1991, has been dated at 34 million years old, thus making it the earliest mammal known on
(C) sloth that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, making this the earliest known mammal of - This cannot be used as pronoun in GMAT. It should always be used as an adjective.
e.g. This finding is helpful. or This statistic is perfect.
(D) sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on - Makes perfect sense
(E) sloth which, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, made the sloth the earliest known mammal of - Why is there a comma after which. Modifiers within a modifier? Awkward and (D) is always a better choice than (E)
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2020, 23:07
GMATNinja wrote:
I’ve always had a soft spot for this question, just because it has such a wide variety of issues and errors. It also has an interesting little verb tense thing that really doesn’t matter at all: you could easily fixate on the difference between "was dated" (past tense) and "has/have been dated" (present perfect tense), but you don't have to choose between them at all. There are plenty of other issues to worry about instead.

Quote:
(A) sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of

The “it” (which presumably refers back to the sloth) is the first thing that jumps out at me. “Fossils of the arm of a sloth… made [the sloth] the earliest known mammal…” Huh? That makes no sense. How the heck would the fossils of a sloth make the sloth the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles?

The much smaller issue is that I see no real need for that first comma, but that’s unlikely to ever be a deciding factor on a GMAT question. But the nonsensical main clause is enough to wipe out (A).

Quote:
(B) sloth, that they found in Puerto Rico in 1991, has been dated at 34 million years old, thus making it the earliest mammal known on

This time, the pronoun “they” is the first thing that catches my eye. Who the heck is “they”? The fossils?

Plus, we have a subject-verb problem: “fossils… has been dated” is spectacularly wrong. (B) is gone.

Quote:
(C) sloth that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, making this the earliest known mammal of

Subject-verb fail again: “fossils… was dated.” Nope.

But there’s more: the phrase “that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991” seems to modify the sloth itself, and that makes no sense. Unless you think that the sloth had actually been alive for 34 million years. Maybe moving really slowly helps you live longer?

Finally, the word “this” is used as a singular pronoun, and that’s an unacceptable use of the word “this” on the GMAT. I’ve only ever seen “this” used as an article on the GMAT (“this week” or “this magnificent GMAT forum”), but never as a pronoun.

So we have lots of good reasons to eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on

This one looks pretty good. The subject-verb agreement works: “fossils… have been dated at 34 million years old…” Cool. The modifier “found in Puerto Rico in 1991” is nicely set apart with commas, so it seems to refer to the entire phrase “fossils of the arm of a sloth”, and not just the sloth itself, as we saw in (C).

And the last part of the underlined portion (“making the sloth the earliest known mammal…”) actually names the sloth instead of using a pronoun, and that adds a bit of extra clarity. It might not be strictly necessary, but it’s nice. We can keep (D).


Quote:
(E) sloth which, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, made the sloth the earliest known mammal of

Thanks to the modifier “which”, which typically modifies the immediately preceding noun, it really sounds like the sloth itself was found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and that makes no sense. (I also can’t make much sense of the comma placement in that part of the sentence, but again, comma placement isn’t really a major emphasis on GMAT SC.)

We also have the same problem that we had in (A): “fossils… made the sloth the earliest known mammal…” That’s nonsense, too.

So we can ditch (E), and (D) is our answer.


Can we reject (A) and (B) because of the use of "it" referring to a sloth. As in, the sentence is trying to say that a particular sloth was the earliest known mammal and not the whole species. To represent the whole species, the phrase the sloth should be used. Honestly I didn't realise the meaning on the basis of fossils and rejected (A) and (B) because of the difference between a sloth and the sloth. Can someone please tell me if this strategy or POE is correct?
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2020, 00:30
pqhai wrote:
honchos wrote:
This is OG13 Q81

Fossils is Plural, hence B C and E can be eliminated immediately subject verb agreement issue.

D seems to be correct, But can some faculty give in depth explanation WHY A is wrong D is correct.


Hi honchos.

A is wrong because of the comma.

A) Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.
The green part is modifier that should be blocked off both sides by commas. However, there is only a comma on the right, not on the left. Grammatically, this is wrong structure.

D). sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on
The modifier is blocked off perfectly both sides by two commas. Hence, D is a correct sentence.

Hope it's clear.


I eliminated A based on pronoun error. Since "it" to me referred back to fossil (rather than sloth) which made no sense if you read the rest of the sentence.

Is this approach right?

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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2020, 07:27
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Quote:
Can we reject (A) and (B) because of the use of "it" referring to a sloth. As in, the sentence is trying to say that a particular sloth was the earliest known mammal and not the whole species. To represent the whole species, the phrase the sloth should be used. Honestly I didn't realise the meaning on the basis of fossils and rejected (A) and (B) because of the difference between a sloth and the sloth. Can someone please tell me if this strategy or POE is correct?

Interesting! I think you've got a point - you could make the argument that this particular sloth was, in fact, the earliest (and very lonely) mammal, but it certainly makes more sense to claim that it's the species that came first, as (D) does.

That said, I don't know if we can say that this logic is definitively wrong. It's definitely wrong to suggest that the sloth fossils somehow made the sloth the earliest mammal, as (A) does. It's the dating of the fossils that allows us to determine this; the fossils themselves don't spring to life and whisper their secrets to researchers, right? :)

And in (B), we have a nice concrete, subject-verb error, "fossils...has." There's not much reason to spend time thinking about anything else in (B).

Put another way: if you ever encounter logic that seems shaky, but is potentially justifiable, keep pushing until you find an error that's more concrete.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2020, 09:52
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ravigupta2912 wrote:
pqhai wrote:
honchos wrote:
This is OG13 Q81

Fossils is Plural, hence B C and E can be eliminated immediately subject verb agreement issue.

D seems to be correct, But can some faculty give in depth explanation WHY A is wrong D is correct.


Hi honchos.

A is wrong because of the comma.

A) Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.
The green part is modifier that should be blocked off both sides by commas. However, there is only a comma on the right, not on the left. Grammatically, this is wrong structure.

D). sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on
The modifier is blocked off perfectly both sides by two commas. Hence, D is a correct sentence.

Hope it's clear.


I eliminated A based on pronoun error. Since "it" to me referred back to fossil (rather than sloth) which made no sense if you read the rest of the sentence.

Is this approach right?

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That's not quite right: "fossils" is a plural noun, so "it" can't possibly refer back to the fossils. It's pretty clear that "it" has to refer back to the sloth.

The main issue is that (A) has a pretty significant meaning problem, as described here.

I hope this helps a bit!
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated   [#permalink] 30 Mar 2020, 09:52

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