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

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

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 14:04
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gmat4varun wrote:
How In option D, "have been dated at 34 million years old' is correct? "Has/Have been" is used for any action which was initiated in past and still continuing? here we are talking about dating age of the fossils which if continue to present then 34 would not be constant and by now it might has been 200 years, isn't it?



Hello gmat4varun,

I will be glad to help you with this one. :-)

Present perfect tense verb is also used when the there is no definite time frame of the action.

In the given official sentence, we do not know when exactly the fossils have been dated. In case of such an indefinite time frame, use of present perfect tense is correct.

Let's see a simple sentence to understand this usage:

He has visited France twice.

From the above-mentioned sentence, we cannot say whether "he" visited France long back in the past or in the recent past. All we get to know that he has been to France twice.


Hope this helps. :-)
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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gmat4varun wrote:
How In option D, "have been dated at 34 million years old' is correct? "Has/Have been" is used for any action which was initiated in past and still continuing? here we are talking about dating age of the fossils which if continue to present then 34 would not be constant and by now it might has been 200 years, isn't it?

Hi gmat4varun, in this portion of the sentence, the sentence is not really talking about dating age, but the act of dating.

So, the act of dating has been done (at some unspecified time before now, and hence the use of present perfect).

The result of that act (of dating) was that the fossils were found to be 34 million years old (at the time when this act of dating was done).

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses Present perfect tense, its application and examples in significant detail. If someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2017, 05:02
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 - Though this sentence has not grammatical errors, option D gives much clear and better understanding of the sentence.

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 ==> What does "they" refer to? Also, the plural subject fossils does not go with singular "has" - Hence, Incorrect

C. sloth that was found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, making this the earliest known mammal of ==> Changes the meaning, it is not that they found "sloth" it should be fossils and the plural subject fossils does not go with singular "was" - Hence, Incorrect

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

E. sloth which, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, was dated at 34 million years old, made the sloth the earliest known mammal of - the plural subject fossils does not go with singular "was" - Hence, Incorrect

Hence - D
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2017, 11:06
GMATNinja wrote:
KARISHMA315, the issue here is that in (B), (C), and (E), we have the noun modifiers ("relative pronouns", if you like grammar jargon) "which" and "that." With rare exceptions, these modifiers will point to the immediately preceding noun. So if we look at (B), (C), and (E) very strictly and literally, the sentences are saying that the sloth was found. And that doesn't make sense, unless you think that sloths live for millions of years. :)

When participles (often an "-ed" or "-ing" word, such as "found" or "making" or "including") are used as modifiers -- and that's exactly what "found" is doing in (A) and (D) -- they're much more forgiving in terms of their placement. It's fine for the participle "found" to modify the entire phrase that precedes it. So the phrase beginning with "found" can modify "fossils of the arm of a sloth", and not necessarily just the sloth.

I hope this helps!




Hi,

According to OG explanation to a similar problem (OG2017, problem 723), comma ing modifier must have distinct object to refer.

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.

I don't understand why in this example "outnumbering" does not have a distinct object to refer to but "..., making the sloth" is considered to have a clear referent, which is "fossils"
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2017, 12:00
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According to OG explanation to a similar problem (OG2017, problem 723), comma ing modifier must have distinct object to refer.

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.

I don't understand why in this example "outnumbering" does not have a distinct object to refer to but "..., making the sloth" is considered to have a clear referent, which is "fossils"

The Dickinson letters case has a deep meaning issue. The crux of the matter is that the letters outnumbered the letters she wrote to anyone else. The out number factor has to be expressed in a finite rather than expressed as an additional info. That is the reason A is rejected but E is preferred.
However, the sloth case is very different. Herein 'making' does modify the fossils and their standing testimony to the ancientness (it is better to call it a subject and its action rather than an object)
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2017, 05:23
A and D were close.
I was stuck at A for a long time but the explanation for D is good enough :)
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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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 it here is a little vague but workable.

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 who found? what does they refer 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 that was is singular and fossils is plural

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 use of which is wrong here

Question: in option D, have been refers to something that is still happening now from the past. Is that right to use here?
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Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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

In this option can anyone explain is the use of that correct?

Except for subject mismatch. Can that refer to the the sloth in the prepositional phrase?
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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nakib77 wrote:
Edit: This discussion has retired. Find the new thread HERE.

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



main clause+comma+doing is a dificult pattern which gmat alway want to test us.

whenever we see this pattern, ask ourself : is the previous action make the action of doing.

realizing this point is hard, even very hard in the test room.

in this problem, we have to realize that the action of "have been dated" make the sloth the earliest of known mammal. it is not the fossiles themself that make the sloth the earliest mammal.
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Re: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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Still confused why answer A is incorrect ?
can somebody explain why A incorrect ?
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Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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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

It appears that (A) is saying Fossils ... (modifier) ... made it the earliest known mammal.
I believe "dated at 34 million years old" makes the sloth the earliest known mammal.
Therefore (A) is incorrect.

D. sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on
Here ", making" is modifying the preceding clause "have been dated at 34 million years old". What has been dated? The fossils have, the fossils of the arm of a sloth.

Please correct me if my explanations are incorrect.
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Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, [#permalink]

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lary301254M7 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

It appears that (A) is saying Fossils ... (modifier) ... made it the earliest known mammal.
I believe "dated at 34 million years old" makes the sloth the earliest known mammal.
Therefore (A) is incorrect.

D. sloth, found in Puerto Rico in 1991, have been dated at 34 million years old, making the sloth the earliest known mammal on
Here ", making" is modifying the preceding clause "have been dated at 34 million years old". What has been dated? The fossils have, the fossils of the arm of a sloth.

Please correct me if my explanations are incorrect.


You are correct. One other thing to notice is that if you read A without modifiers, it will read something like - Fossils of the arm of sloth made it (the sloth) the earliest known mammal of... -- this is awkward and absurd meaning. D is much better and you are right in that the present participle modifier does modify the previous clause. It makes sense with the subject and shows the result of the action "dated".

Also read GMATNinja explanations for other choices here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/qotd-fossils ... l#p1953669
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