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Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr

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Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr [#permalink]

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Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species is safe from the ice ages that have wiped out its populations on other continents.

A. had migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species is safe from the ice ages that have wiped out its

B. migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species was safe from the ice ages that wiped out its

C. had migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species was safe from the ice ages that wiped out their

D. migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to be much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species has been safe from the ice ages that wiped out its

E. migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species is safe from the ice ages that wiped out their

[Reveal] Spoiler:

OFFICIAL SOLUTION



This problem offers a variety of decision points related to verb tenses and pronouns, and the key to solving it correctly lies in determining which decisions are fatally flawed - they provide an illogical, incorrect meaning - and which are more a matter of preference.

For example, the first major difference - "had migrated" vs. "migrated" - is really just a matter of preference. The past-perfect "had migrated" puts extra emphasis on the sequence of events, but the simple past "migrated" works just as well (think about it - saying "after I finished at the gym, I took a shower" works just as well as "after I had finished at the gym, I took a shower").

One completely illogical verb choice in this problem, however, is the "were thought to be" (or "were thought to have been") in choices A and E. The time period in question is more than 100,000 years ago, so "were" puts that "thought to be" in that timeframe. And clearly no one was thinking about sea level comparisons back then - that's current scientific analysis, so you must have "when sea levels are thought" with the "are" putting the thinking in the present.

Choice D commits a similar error: while the thinking "are thought to be" is in the proper, current tense, the verb "to be" there is incorrect. While the thinking is in the present tense, the lower water levels themselves were in the past, so a past-tense verb such as "are thought to have been" is required.

From there you might consider the pronoun decision between "its" and "their." The antecedent is "the species," requiring the singular "its" and helping you eliminate choice C.

Choice B uses logical verb tense and accurate pronouns throughout, and is therefore correct.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr [#permalink]

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Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species is safe from the ice ages that have wiped out its populations on other continents.

A. had migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species is safe from the ice ages that have wiped out its

B. migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species was safe from the ice ages that wiped out its

C. had migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species was safe from the ice ages that wiped out their

D. migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to be much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species has been safe from the ice ages that wiped out its

E. migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species is safe from the ice ages that wiped out their

Answer is B

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Re: Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr [#permalink]

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New post 25 Apr 2017, 10:19
Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species is safe from the ice ages that have wiped out its populations on other continents.

A. had migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species is safe from the ice ages that have wiped out its

B. migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species was safe from the ice ages that wiped out its

C. had migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species was safe from the ice ages that wiped out their

D. migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to be much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species has been safe from the ice ages that wiped out its

E. migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species is safe from the ice ages that wiped out their

I eliminated B, C, and D due to the use of 'are' as the time period in consideration is 100,000 years ago. Can someone please point out the flaw in my understanding? Thanks a lot!

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Re: Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2017, 01:21
I eliminated B, C, and D due to the use of 'are' as the time period in consideration is 100,000 years ago. Can someone please point out the flaw in my understanding? Thanks a lot!

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Re: Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2017, 02:49
ziyuen wrote:
Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species is safe from the ice ages that have wiped out its populations on other continents.

A. had migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species is safe from the ice ages that have wiped out its

Use of had Migrated is wrong


B. migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species was safe from the ice ages that wiped out its

Correct Choice

C. had migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species was safe from the ice ages that wiped out their

Same as A

D. migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to be much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species has been safe from the ice ages that wiped out its

Has been safe - Wrong

E. migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species is safe from the ice ages that wiped out their

Species is singular and hence singular verb.
Species is safe is present tense. Does not go with verb migrated in Past tense.


[Reveal] Spoiler:

OFFICIAL SOLUTION



This problem offers a variety of decision points related to verb tenses and pronouns, and the key to solving it correctly lies in determining which decisions are fatally flawed - they provide an illogical, incorrect meaning - and which are more a matter of preference.

For example, the first major difference - "had migrated" vs. "migrated" - is really just a matter of preference. The past-perfect "had migrated" puts extra emphasis on the sequence of events, but the simple past "migrated" works just as well (think about it - saying "after I finished at the gym, I took a shower" works just as well as "after I had finished at the gym, I took a shower").

One completely illogical verb choice in this problem, however, is the "were thought to be" (or "were thought to have been") in choices A and E. The time period in question is more than 100,000 years ago, so "were" puts that "thought to be" in that timeframe. And clearly no one was thinking about sea level comparisons back then - that's current scientific analysis, so you must have "when sea levels are thought" with the "are" putting the thinking in the present.

Choice D commits a similar error: while the thinking "are thought to be" is in the proper, current tense, the verb "to be" there is incorrect. While the thinking is in the present tense, the lower water levels themselves were in the past, so a past-tense verb such as "are thought to have been" is required.

From there you might consider the pronoun decision between "its" and "their." The antecedent is "the species," requiring the singular "its" and helping you eliminate choice C.

Choice B uses logical verb tense and accurate pronouns throughout, and is therefore correct.



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Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2017, 05:08
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Whatever the attempt to justify the use of a present tense to say ' are thought to have been' to describe the sea levels', it is still jarring to hear that "more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to have been".
The thought about sea levels is also not an eternal factor, as the thought itself is dependent upon the changing sea levels.
In that same vein, can we also say that ' where the species is (instead of was) safe from the from the ice ages that wipe out its" since we can say that the species is safe now from the ice ages that can wipe it out at any point of time?
All the same, I agree that VERITAS knows better
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Last edited by daagh on 18 May 2017, 08:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2017, 09:02
hi experts,

could you please explain how the usage of "are" in option b is correct ?

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Re: Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2017, 10:09
From the official solution above:
Quote:
One completely illogical verb choice in this problem, however, is the "were thought to be" (or "were thought to have been") in choices A and E. The time period in question is more than 100,000 years ago, so "were" puts that "thought to be" in that timeframe. And clearly no one was thinking about sea level comparisons back then - that's current scientific analysis, so you must have "when sea levels are thought" with the "are" putting the thinking in the present.


This was in a "spoiler", so it was easy to miss. Let me know if this doesn't address your question, Aketa!
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Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2017, 01:04
Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species is safe from the ice ages that have wiped out its populations on other continents.

A. had migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species is safe from the ice ages that have wiped out its

B. migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species was safe from the ice ages that wiped out its

C. had migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species was safe from the ice ages that wiped out their

D. migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels are thought to be much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species has been safe from the ice ages that wiped out its

E. migrated from North America to Asia more than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were thought to have been much lower, they quickly spread to Africa, where the species is safe from the ice ages that wiped out their
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Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2017, 18:57
mikemcgarry, GMATNinjaTwo, GMATNinja

Could anyone of you moderators please explain to me why option B is correct? I choose option E instead. I am confused with the following things:

1. The usage of "are thought to have been"- I was wondering why are we using "are thought..." instead of "were thought to have been"? The sentence says, "100,000 years ago" which is in the past.

2. Usage of "its"- Species is plural I believe. I thought the usage of "their" would have been correct. Please explain why we are using "its" instead of "their"?

Would immensely appreciate it!

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Re: Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr [#permalink]

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csaluja wrote:
mikemcgarry, GMATNinjaTwo, GMATNinja

Could anyone of you moderators please explain to me why option B is correct? I choose option E instead. I am confused with the following things:

1. The usage of "are thought to have been"- I was wondering why are we using "are thought..." instead of "were thought to have been"? The sentence says, "100,000 years ago" which is in the past.

2. Usage of "its"- Species is plural I believe. I thought the usage of "their" would have been correct. Please explain why we are using "its" instead of "their"?

Would immensely appreciate it!

Three thoughts on this:

    1. Like all non-official questions, this one should be taken with a grain of salt. Your questions are totally legit, but.... well, when in doubt, don't lose too much sleep over this one.

    2. You could argue that "are thought to have been" is OK here, since the act of thinking is occurring now -- not 100,000 years ago. That's clearly what the question-writers were thinking, but it seems like we would typically use the past tense in this case, since the grammatical subject is technically the "sea levels" from 100,000 years ago. At the very least, I can't think of any actual GMAT questions that make you choose in circumstances like these. In other words: you have a point, and don't worry about it too much.

    3. The question has it right on the "species" issue, though! There are plenty of weird nouns in English that can be either singular or plural (media or data or deer or diabetes or starfish), but the GMAT will always give you a hint about whether the word is used as a singular or plural in that specific case. And in this question, "species" is clearly singular, since all five answer choices use a singular verb ("is" or "was") with "species." So the singular pronoun "its" is appropriate later in the sentence.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr [#permalink]

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New post 16 Nov 2017, 13:14
Hello GMATNinja,

I have a doubt regarding the use of "lower". Isn't it a GMAC standard that whenever we use a comparative form a "than" must be used to show the comparison. In all the choices this comparison is missing.

Am I right in my understanding?

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Re: Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2018, 07:13
can someone explain the grammar behind it this one is really bugging me! please exlpain the grammar

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Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2018, 10:38
saarthak299 wrote:
can someone explain the grammar behind it this one is really bugging me! please exlpain the grammar


I think the quickest way to solve this one is to look for the items that make answers definitely wrong (or to look at differences in the answer choices and realize which option is correct):

- the species is single and has to refer to its, not their. this eliminates C and E immediately
- the verb before safe from the ice ages has to be past tense, not present, since the ices ages refers to a time period in the past. this eliminates A ("is safe") and D ("has been")

You're left with B. If you can immediately identify simple differences that make sentences definitely wrong (I think the two examples above qualify), then you don't have to think about more ambiguous differences for each sentence.

For example, I wasn't sure if had migrated or migrated was correct, because it seemed like one event happened before the other. But this was irrelevant after I was able to eliminate answers based on these other issues.

hope this helps.

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Genetic research suggests that after cheetah ancestors had migrated fr   [#permalink] 19 Jan 2018, 10:38
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