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# Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned

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Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2019, 23:42
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Question Stats:

51% (01:06) correct 49% (01:10) wrong based on 338 sessions

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Project SC Butler: Day 125 Sentence Correction (SC1)

Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned experiments, it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years to complete the study on how low thyroid levels affect human memory.

A) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years

B) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me nearly three years

C) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I three years nearly

D) Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me will take three years

E) nearly three years will it take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I

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Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2019, 23:43
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OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

Highlights

• GIVEN (not given that)

In the construction Given X and Y → result
-- the word “given” identifies causes.
The whole sentence will connect those causes to a result or outcome

-- Given is usually a past participle (a verbED), but in this structure, “given” functions in a way that is similar to the way that considering and because of function

-- Because of the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned experiments [implied: nature = is of some kind that is not simple], we will need three years to complete the study on thyroid levels.

-- Given Fact A and Fact B [both of which do not lend themselves to short-term experimentation], we will need almost three years [a long time] to finish this study

Parallel example: Given the hostile climate in Antarctica, I have no desire to visit the place. (Ever. )
→ I have no desire to visit Antarctica, given its hostile climate.
Because of the hostile climate in Antarctica, I have no desire to visit the place.
→ I have no desire to visit Antarctica because of its hostile climate.
You can insert “considering” in the same way.

Given is not a past participle in any strict sense.

• PRONOUNS

Correct: It will take me a day to finish reading the book.
Wrong: It will take I a day to finish reading the book.

Take is a “transitive” verb. That is, take requires an object, a something.

Wrong: It [= completing this study] will take.
[take what? Effort? Time?]

In the IT constructions, the subject is IT and the verb is WILL TAKE.
Now we need objects. Not subjects.
-- It will take ___ [WHOM or WHAT] to finish this study.

-- often when we talk about how much time will be required for someone to do something, we use
EITHER: Task A will take [object pronoun, e.g. ME] an hour to finish.
OR: It will take [object pronoun, ME] an hour to finish Task A.

WHICH PRONOUN? Object (me) or subject (I)?
-- What or who is the subject?
In options A, B, C, and E, the subject is IT and the verb is will take.
Take requires an object or objects.
Three people follow "will take."
Those three people are the objects of the verb "take."
Use the object pronoun ME.
-- Think of a similar but easier verb, require
-- The study will require ___ to work hard.
-- The study will require I to work hard.
-- The study will require me to work hard.

In option D, the subjects are the three people.
When people are subjects, we use subject pronouns (I, he/she, we, they)

Test: remove the other people
In all options except D we have:
--wrong: It will take I nearly three years
--correct: It will take ME nearly three years

Option D? We do not have to contend with the IT construction. Same test -- remove the other two people.

me will take nearly three years
I will take nearly three years

THE PROMPT and ANSWER CHOICES

Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned experiments, it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years to complete the study on how low thyroid levels affect human memory.

Quote:
A) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years

• we need ME. It will take ...
ME nearly three years to complete the study.

Quote:
B) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me nearly three years

• This option fixes the problem in option A. It will take . . . ME is correct.

Quote:
C) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I three years nearly

• same pronoun problem as that in A
• "nearly" should be describing the time that will be needed. In this placement, it sounds as though the people will not fully complete the study. The study will be "nearly" completed. (You can't actually read the sentence that way, but that impression is conveyed.)

Quote:
D) Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me will take three years

• This time the subjects are the people, not IT.
• A subject is a doer of action. We need a subject pronoun [I, you, she/he, it, we, they]
(The object pronoun? Never. ME cannot do anything.)

Correct: I will take three years [to do XYZ]
• Same test. Remove the other people.
. . . me will take three years to complete the study. Ouch
• Option D should state " . . . .[and] I will take three years to complete the study."

Quote:
E) nearly three years will it take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I

• same pronoun problem as that in A and C
-- I'll use a question so that the inverted structure sounds somewhat normal:
How long will it take ME to finish?
NOT, "How long will it take I to finish?
• we are not Yoda. The phrasing "will it" is silly and convoluted. (E) sounds as though it should be a question. Aside from the pronoun error, compare E to B.
The IT construction is not straightforward to begin with. Let's not make the situation worse.
(B) is better than (E). In (B), the IT construction is NOT made more complicated. (B) does not use an inverted subject and verb.

The answer is B

ayush19 , welcome.

This question tests the use of subject and object pronouns.

I was very glad to see Arvind42 's question.
It's a good question. For a non-native speaker, nothing about "given" at the beginning of this kind of sentence is obvious or simple.

I'm a native speaker and I am used to this somewhat "idiomatic" usage of "given."
I did not even think about how weird "given" could appear. The question helped improve the topic thread.
I give kudos for good questions and I will do so today.

The answers all get kudos.

Happy kudos!
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Re: Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2019, 00:03
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My answer is B. I always use POE for CR questions. It took me 56 seconds to answer this question.

Issue with (A): I immediately noticed that "Me”, instead of "I", should be used as object of verb "Take".
Issue with (C): (1) The same issue with A remains. (2) "three years nearly" should be "nearly three years."
Issue with (D): Here, as subject, "I" should be used instead of "Me".
Issue with (E): inversion is used here. “Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I (Should be ME)” are still the object of verb "Take".
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Re: Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2019, 02:57
1
generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 125 Sentence Correction (SC1)

Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned experiments, it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years to complete the study on how low thyroid levels affect human memory.

A) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years

B) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me nearly three years

C) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I three years nearly

D) Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me will take three years

E) nearly three years will it take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I

A- "I" needs to be "me" as it is in place of the object and "it" is the subject (placeholder pronoun)
B- Correct
C - Placement of nearly and same error as A
D-"I" to replace "me" as I here will be the subject along with Dr. Watts and Dr. Taggert
E- Placement of nearly.

generis Could you please explain the structure of the entire sentence and the role of "Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned experiments"
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Re: Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2019, 12:32
1
generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 125 Sentence Correction (SC1)

Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned experiments, it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years to complete the study on how low thyroid levels affect human memory.

A) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years
This is incorrect because "me" has to be used in place of "I" since here, "I" is acting as an object and not the subject. (quick trick - to check I or me, always replace them in the sentence and test, "it will take I nearly three years" or should it be "it will take me nearly three years").
B) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me nearly three years
This is correct because of the reasoning provided in A.
C) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I three years nearly
This is incorrect because, again, refer A. Also, it should be nearly three years and not three years nearly.
D) Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me will take three years
This is incorrect because, here, "me" is being used as a subject so "I" should come (refer the trick used in A).
E) nearly three years will it take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I
This is incorrect because, again, refer A.

P.S. - I am still learning the nuances of SC so if you find my reasoning faulty, do point out the mistake(s). Thanks in advance.
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Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2019, 18:05
3
Arvind42 wrote:
generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 125 Sentence Correction (SC1)

Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned experiments, it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years to complete the study on how low thyroid levels affect human memory.

A) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years

B) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me nearly three years

C) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I three years nearly

D) Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me will take three years

E) nearly three years will it take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I

generis Could you please explain the structure of the entire sentence and the role of "Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned experiments"

Arvind42 - sure.

The sentence contains two unusual features:
(1) a causal structure created by "given." (Given is a past participle (a verbED), but in this setup the word functions differently.)
(2) a pronoun, it, that does not have a traditional antecedent

• GIVEN fact A and fact B →
[conclusion, result, outcome]
Given identifies causes or causal factors.
Given is close to considering and because of

We say Given [this fact] A and [this fact] B, we should expect THAT result XYZ.

We mean
-- because of [those facts]
-- in light of [those facts]
-- in view of [those facts]
-- considering [those facts]
-- taking [those facts] into account

Some dictionaries classify given used this way as a preposition. I agree.
-- heated debate exists about what part of speech it is (preposition? adverbial modifier? adjective?)
-- I don't care what we call it. Given identifies causes that underlie an outcome.

• ways to think about "given A and B"

-- If these facts are a given, THEN that thing happens, will happen, needs to happen.
-- Given these facts, that thing happens, will happen, needs to happen.
-- These facts explain that result.

• Examples
-- Given the reluctance of soldiers to report injury and the absence of outward signs of harm from traumatic brain injury (TBI), the rate of TBI among them is hard to estimate.
-- Because of the reluctance of soldiers to report injury and the absence of outward signs of harm from TBI, the rate of TBI among them is hard to estimate.
-- The rate of TBI among soldiers is hard to estimate because of their reluctance to report injury and the absence of outward signs of harm from TBI.
-- Because soldiers are reluctant to report injury and outward signs of harm from TBI are absent, the incidence of TBI among soldiers is hard to estimate.

Fact: soldiers are reluctant to report injury
Fact: TBI does not present signs of injury on the outside
Result: estimating the rate of TBI among soldiers is difficult

• Given the late hour, we should excuse ourselves and let them sleep.
• Given the hostile climate of Antarctica, I have no desire to visit the place. (Ever.)

• IT - dummy, placeholder, prop, delayed antecedent, expletive, non-referential PRONOUN
(This weird-looking IT has a lot of names. I think I got most of them.)

It is snowing.
It is never a good idea to ignore bullies.

→ Ignoring bullies is never a good idea
It is time to leave.

I call this IT pronoun a placeholder.
Its antecedent is not traditional.
Sometimes there isn't an antecedent. (It is snowing.)
This construction is fairly rare on the GMAT but a similar construction, there are or there is, is fairly common.

When we will require time to complete something, frequently we use the construction in this sentence:

it will take us three years to complete this study.
→ Completing this study will take us three years.

Given the icy roads and gusty winds, it will take us five hours to get home.

I am not sure whether I covered your concerns. If not, ask a slightly more specific question, please?
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Re: Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 15 Jun 2019, 20:32
1
generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 125 Sentence Correction (SC1)

Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned experiments, it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years to complete the study on how low thyroid levels affect human memory.

A) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years

B) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me nearly three years

C) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I three years nearly

D) Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me will take three years

E) nearly three years will it take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I

First of all "I" should not be there. Me should be there instead. As I is playing object's role. So options A,C and E are out of consideration.

Between B and D , nearly is missing in D that's makes B correct option.

IMHO , B is the correct answer.
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Originally posted by gadde22 on 15 Jun 2019, 20:26.
Last edited by gadde22 on 15 Jun 2019, 20:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2019, 20:27
1
generis wrote:
Arvind42 wrote:
generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 125 Sentence Correction (SC1)

Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned experiments, it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years to complete the study on how low thyroid levels affect human memory.

A) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years

B) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me nearly three years

C) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I three years nearly

D) Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me will take three years

E) nearly three years will it take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I

generis Could you please explain the structure of the entire sentence and the role of "Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned experiments"

Arvind42 - Sure.

The sentence contains two unusual features:
(1) a causal structure created by "given" ( given is a past participle (a verbED), but in this setup the word functions differently.)
(2) a pronoun, it, that does not have a traditional antecedent

• GIVEN fact A and fact B, [conclusion, result, outcome]
Given identifies causes.
Given is close to considering and because of

We say Given this fact A and this fact B, we should expect THAT result XYZ.
we mean
Because of [those facts], in light of [those facts], in view of [those facts], considering [those facts], taking [those facts] into account
-- some dictionaries classify given used this way as a preposition. I agree.
-- heated debate exists about what part of speech it is (preposition? adverbial modifier? adjective?)
-- I don't care what we call it. Given identifies causes and ties them to an outcome.

• ways to think about "given A and B"

If these facts are a given, THEN that thing happens, will happen, needs to happen.
Given these facts, that thing happens, will happen, needs to happen.
These facts explain that result.

• Examples
-- Given the reluctance of soldiers to report injury and the absence of outward signs of harm from TBI, the incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among them is hard to estimate.
-- The incidence of traumatic brain injury among soldiers is hard to estimate [i]because of their reluctance to report injury and the absence of outward signs of harm from TBI.[/i]
-- The incidence of TBI among soldiers is hard to estimate because they are reluctant to report injury and outward signs of harm from TBI are absent.
-- Because soldiers are reluctant to report injury and outward signs of harm from TBI are absent, the incidence of TBI among them is hard to estimate.

Fact: soldiers are reluctant to report injury
Fact: TBI does not present on the outside
Result: estimating the rate of TBI among soldiers is difficult

Given the late hour, we should excuse ourselves and let them sleep.
Given its hostile climate, I have no desire to visit Antarctica. (Ever.)

• IT - dummy, placeholder, prop, delayed antecedent, expletive, non-referential PRONOUN
(This weird-looking IT has a lot of names. I think I got most of them.)

It is snowing.
It is never a good idea to ignore bullies.

→ Ignoring bullies is never a good idea
It is time to leave.

I call this IT pronoun a placeholder.
Its antecedent is not traditional.
Sometimes there isn't an antecedent. (It is snowing.)
This construction is fairly rare on the GMAT but a similar construction, there are or there is, is fairly common.

When we will require time to complete something, frequently we use the construction in this sentence:

it will take us three years to complete this study.
→ Completing this study will take us three years.

Given the icy roads and gusty winds, it will take us hours to get home.

I am not sure whether I covered your concerns. If not, ask a slightly more specific question, please?

generis thanks. My query wants on usage of given only. Great explanation.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2019, 22:30
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Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned experiments, it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years to complete the study on how low thyroid levels affect human memory.

Focus on the structure--> Causal sentence: Given X, it( acts as a placeholder and does not have any antecedent) will take W, T, and me(correct usage) three years.

pretty straightforward sentence.

IMHO B
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Re: Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2019, 08:01
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generis, maybe I am not getting something... But I don't understand how E is better than B. Your lengthy reply does not seem to explain why E is correct... Sorry, I am quite confused.
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Re: Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2019, 09:08
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generis I get that missed the correct placement of " nearly three years". W, T and I should be followed by 'to complete'.
So, the sentence is more clear.

But deciding between Me and I is confusing.

Can you elaborate on this point?
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Re: Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2019, 09:32
1
I posted the official explanation HERE
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Re: Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2019, 09:37
mykrasovski wrote:
generis, maybe I am not getting something... But I don't understand how E is better than B. Your lengthy reply does not seem to explain why E is correct... Sorry, I am quite confused.

mykrasovski , that answer was not the official explanation.

I was answering a specific question.

Please read the official explanation posted HERE and if you still have doubts, let me know.
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Re: Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2019, 09:39
amitanshumaity wrote:
generis I get that missed the correct placement of " nearly three years". W, T and I should be followed by 'to complete'.
So, the sentence is more clear.

But deciding between Me and I is confusing.

Can you elaborate on this point?

amitanshumaity , that decision is confusing. Native and non-native speakers find it challenging.

Please read the official explanation posted HERE and if you still have doubts, let me know.
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Re: Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2019, 09:50
1
generis wrote:
mykrasovski wrote:
generis, maybe I am not getting something... But I don't understand how E is better than B. Your lengthy reply does not seem to explain why E is correct... Sorry, I am quite confused.

mykrasovski , that answer was not the official explanation.

I was answering a specific question.

Please read the official explanation posted HERE and if you still have doubts, let me know.

generis thank you.
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Re: Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned  [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2019, 04:57
Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned experiments, it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I nearly three years to complete the study on how low thyroid levels affect human memory.

A) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and Inearly three years --> it will take me three years

B) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me nearly three years --> correct: it will take me three years

C) it will take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I three years nearly --> same as A

D) Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and me will take three years --> I will take three years

E) nearly three years will it take Dr. Watts, Dr. Taggert, and I --> same as A: also awkward
Re: Given the complexity of the human brain and the nature of our planned   [#permalink] 17 Jun 2019, 04:57
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