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In California, a lack of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has

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Re: In California, a lack of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2017, 13:14
GMATNinja wrote:
rma26 wrote:
daagh GMATNinja carcass Sorry for tagging.
Can anyone tell me how option D is correct? The correct idiom is "consider A B". But it uses consider A to be B!

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No need to apologize for the tagging! As long as you're being reasonable about it, it's a totally legit way to get our attention. :)

Here comes some heresy: I don't ever really see idioms as absolute rules. (A long, unpopular rant about idioms can be found here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topi ... 41848.html) Sure, there are a few (older) official questions that feature "considered" without the "to be" -- but I'm not shocked that a counterexample appeared in OG 2017. Outside of the GMAT, I'm not sure that you'll find many grammar experts or editors who actually believe that "considered to be" is always wrong.

More importantly: you have no choice at all. "Considered... to be" appears in all five answer choices. So they've clearly made it a non-issue, and you definitely need to focus on other things, like the pronouns and the "due to", for example.

I'll let you enjoy the question from here, but let us know if you have more questions about this one!



I know there is no other correct option, but just out of curiosity I asked that. I checked mgmat book again and found that it listed consider ..to be.. as suspect ,not incorrect. Thanks!
btw, is there any rule or norm regarding the antecedent of pronoun after semicolon? Or after semicolon, pronoun can refer back to the other clause's noun?
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New post 13 Sep 2017, 00:46
Hey GMATNinja egmat

I eliminated A,C and E because we need a plural verb for the word "struggles"

But I was torn between B and C because of the word "its" in the non-underlined part. Isn't "its" referring back to the "ants"?
Can you help me understand the usage of "its" (in this sentence) in the non-underlined part?
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New post 30 Oct 2017, 12:43
option D uses "because they are so genetically similar to one another". Shouldnt the pronoun be singular than plural (they) as we are mentioning about species??
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New post 30 Apr 2018, 07:52
daagh wrote:
This is a good question, because one can learn the psyche of GMAT through this. Is this a GPREP question? If it is so, it seals any doubt that we have regarding the use of ‘consider to be’ as an authenticated idiom. If GPREP prefers to use ‘consider to be’ in all the five choices or even in its OA, then we must take it. However, who can confirm, that this is indeed a GPREP or official question? ‘Outside GMAT domain, ‘consider to be’ is accepted all over the world, but that may be irrelevant to us in GMAT.

Therefore, D springs to life once again. In B, the version drops out the phrase ‘to one another’ which is essential to point out that the comparison is extended to all the ants in Argentina and not limited to two of them or two species of them.

This wobbly question changes track often from singular in the beginning to plural in the middle and then back to singular in the end. If it is a genuine GPREP or official question, it is a beautiful one. If not, it is a dubious one.


daagh This is a question from OFFICIAL GMAT GUIDE 2018. I eliminated all answer choices one by one because of the IDIOM ERROR " Consider......to be ......", which as told to us is wrong, only to realize later that all the answers have same error in idiom (or not).
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New post 29 May 2018, 14:05
aviejay wrote:
I get confused with whether a plural verb should be used or a singular in these kind of sentences.
Here "limit" has been used for "the kind of fierce intercolony struggles". But should'nt "limits" be used as the noun is "the kind of fierce...", which is singular? Here "fierce intercolony struggles" have been bundled into a single entity which has been refered to using "the kind of fierce..."

Can you please explain with some examples?




Hello aviejay,

I am not if you still have this doubt. Here is the explanation nonetheless. :-)


Whenever we have the structure X of Y that + verb, the number of the verb will be decided by whether that modifies X or Y.

Now, the modification of that will depend upon the context of the sentence. We need to assess whether it makes sense for that to modify X or Y.

So let's apply this test on this official sentence. From the context of this sentence, we can understand that the noun modifier that modifies the immediate preceding noun struggles because the struggles limit the spread of the said species in Argentina.

It does not make sense to say that some kind limits the spread of the said species in Argentina.


Hence, the context helps us decide the logical meaning through logical modification. This logical modification helps us decide the correct number of verb.


Hope this helps. :-)
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New post 10 Jul 2018, 21:52
We can eliminate choice A and B since they use "due to".

In choice C, D, and E, C & E make the mistake of calling a bunch of the ant's fellow a close relative.

Answer: D
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New post 11 Jul 2018, 10:40
siddreal wrote:
daagh wrote:
This is a good question, because one can learn the psyche of GMAT through this. Is this a GPREP question? If it is so, it seals any doubt that we have regarding the use of ‘consider to be’ as an authenticated idiom. If GPREP prefers to use ‘consider to be’ in all the five choices or even in its OA, then we must take it. However, who can confirm, that this is indeed a GPREP or official question? ‘Outside GMAT domain, ‘consider to be’ is accepted all over the world, but that may be irrelevant to us in GMAT.

Therefore, D springs to life once again. In B, the version drops out the phrase ‘to one another’ which is essential to point out that the comparison is extended to all the ants in Argentina and not limited to two of them or two species of them.

This wobbly question changes track often from singular in the beginning to plural in the middle and then back to singular in the end. If it is a genuine GPREP or official question, it is a beautiful one. If not, it is a dubious one.


daagh This is a question from OFFICIAL GMAT GUIDE 2018. I eliminated all answer choices one by one because of the IDIOM ERROR " Consider......to be ......", which as told to us is wrong, only to realize later that all the answers have same error in idiom (or not).


Best catch in this problem is:
"fellows to be a close relative" vs "fellows to be close relatives"

the 2nd one is the correct choice and only option D has that.

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New post 12 Jul 2018, 01:10
The struggles is a singular entity,
so shouldn't the limits that come after
struggles that limits/ struggles that limit agree on number. I thought struggle is singular so limits should be used and hence c.
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New post 29 Aug 2018, 04:44
aviejay wrote:
I get confused with whether a plural verb should be used or a singular in these kind of sentences.
Here "limit" has been used for "the kind of fierce intercolony struggles". But should'nt "limits" be used as the noun is "the kind of fierce...", which is singular? Here "fierce intercolony struggles" have been bundled into a single entity which has been refered to using "the kind of fierce..."

Can you please explain with some examples?


Hi,

I also have confusion about this.

Maybe, as per the meaning, THAT modifies fierce intercolony struggles, not the kind of.. part of the phrase?

Can someone please clarify how 'type of noun' and 'kind of noun' phrases work?

type of newspapers that clarify/ clarifies?
types of newspaper that clarify/clarifies?

Thank you in advance,
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New post Updated on: 19 Dec 2018, 12:43
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In California, a lack of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has allowed the species to spread widely; due to their being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce inter-colony struggles that limits the spread of this species in its native Argentina.

(A) due to their being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce inter-colony struggles that limits -- being as a modifier is wrong

(B) due to its being so genetically similar the ant considers all its fellows to be a close relative and thus does not engage in the kind of fierce inter-colony struggles that limit --being as a modifier is wrong

(C) because it is so genetically similar, the ant considers all its fellows to be a close relative and thus does not engage in the kind of fierce inter-colony struggles that limits--- struggles that limits -- basic S-V mismatch

(D) because they are so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be close relatives and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce inter-colony struggles that limit-- No being; no SV mismatch; "ants and close relatives" is ok - The best choice

(E) because of being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce inter-colony struggles that limits -- being is wrong

If one were to get this question in the exam, all one has to do is to kick out, A, B, and E for their inappropriate use of 'being' as a modifier. Then, between C and D, 'struggles that limits' disqualifies C. D is the choice all the way. No need to scratch the scalp.
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Originally posted by daagh on 03 Sep 2018, 08:39.
Last edited by daagh on 19 Dec 2018, 12:43, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 03 Sep 2018, 09:35
smmunna wrote:
When will be uses of 'Being' correct?

Check out this article for a long-winded answer: https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topi ... 42299.html
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Re: In California, a lack of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Nov 2018, 10:46
Only one catch to eliminate 4 options-> use of 'close relative' in all wrong choices.

Didn't notice it in my timed attempt of this question.
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New post 12 Dec 2018, 19:07
Am I the only one who is off put by a shift in scope that alters the meaning of sentence? (C) "because it is so genetically similar, the ant considers all its fellows to be a close relative and thus does not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits." So the Argentine Ant has spread because of a lack of genetic variation. We are then told that this is because members of the species(due to their being so genetically similar) views other members as cousins and thus intercolony struggles don't happen. However in C it shifts the scope to The Ant as in all species of ants? Is it logical that I am interpreting the answer choice in this way?. So the Argentine ant has spread because of lack of genetic variation. This is because The Ant- all species of ant? view each other as cousins. It should be the argentine Ant, or the sentence should describe members of this group using plural Ants, but the argentine ant has not in particular spread because all ants view other ants as cousins right? I know that C is still wrong because of the sneaky "struggles that limits', however is this something I should look for in the future, or am I over analyzing?
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New post 19 Dec 2018, 13:38
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
Hello Everyone!

Let's take a closer look at this question to figure out the best course of action! First, here is the original question with the major differences between the options highlighted in orange:

In California, a lack of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has allowed the species to spread widely; due to their being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits the spread of this species in its native Argentina.

(A) due to their being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits
(B) due to its being so genetically similar the ant considers all its fellows to be a close relative and thus does not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limit
(C) because it is so genetically similar, the ant considers all its fellows to be a close relative and thus does not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits
(D) because they are so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be close relatives and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limit
(E) because of being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits

After a quick glance over the options, a few key differences jump out:

1. due to their being / due to its being / because it is / because they are / because of being
2. a close relative / close relatives
3. that limit / that limits


Since all of the options for #1 are different, it will be hard to eliminate more than one at a time. With options 2 & 3, we can eliminate several at once, so let's start with one of these. We'll start with #3 on our list (limit/limits) because it's an issue of subject-verb agreement, which should be pretty easy to handle quickly.

To determine which verb we need, we must first figure out what this verb is referring to. What is causing the spread of the species to be limited? The intercolony struggles. Since "struggles" is a plural word, we now know that we need a plural verb to go with it. Let's see how each option breaks down:

(A) due to their being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits
(B) due to its being so genetically similar the ant considers all its fellows to be a close relative and thus does not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limit
(C) because it is so genetically similar, the ant considers all its fellows to be a close relative and thus does not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits
(D) because they are so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be close relatives and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limit
(E) because of being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits

We can eliminate options A, C, and E because they use the singular "limits" with a plural subject "struggles."

See - that was quick! Now we're only left with 2 options, so let's move on to #2 on our list: a close relative / close relatives. The key here is to look for the words "all of" or "each of" to figure out which one we need here:

consider all of X to be Y = plural noun for Y (I consider all of my friends to be brothers.)
consider each of X to be Y = singular noun for Y (I consider each of my sisters to be a friend.)

(B) due to its being so genetically similar the ant considers all its fellows to be a close relative and thus does not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limit

This is INCORRECT because the idiom structure doesn't agree in number. Whenever we refer to "all of" something, we need to use a plural to match. In this case, it uses the singular "a close relative," which is singular.

(D) because they are so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be close relatives and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limit

This is CORRECT! It uses the proper subject-verb agreement with "limit," and the use of the plural "relatives" agrees with the plural "all their fellows."

There you have it - option D is the correct choice! If you were to tackle #1 on our list first, it would have taken much longer to narrow down your options. Finding the "either this or that" problems will help you eliminate 2-3 options at once, which is much faster!


Don't study for the GMAT. Train for it.


Thank you so much for explanation. Empower subscriber here. Something I have been realizing lately, as you have inferred here, is that reading for meaning is a lot easier, if you can try to eliminate some answer choices due to grammar/parallelism/etc first. I am going to try to do that going forward
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New post 07 Jun 2019, 00:11
In California, a lack of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has allowed the species to spread widely; due to their being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits the spread of this species in its native Argentina.

What does its refer to here?
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New post 07 Jun 2019, 04:58
darshak1 wrote:
In California, a lack of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has allowed the species to spread widely; due to their being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits the spread of this species in its native Argentina.

What does its refer to here?
In

... fierce intercolony struggles that limit the spread of this species in its native Argentina.

its refers to this species (the Argentine ant).
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New post 02 Jul 2019, 00:52
In California, a lack of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has allowed the species to spread widely; due to their being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits the spread of this species in its native Argentina.

(A) due to their being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits

When we are using due to means cause and effect should be there. So here there is not cause and effect, so using of due to is wrong. (WRONG).

(B) due to its being so genetically similar the ant considers all its fellows to be a close relative and thus does not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limit

same as A. And use of IT is wrong. We can't use IT for ants.

(C) because it is so genetically similar, the ant considers all its fellows to be a close relative and thus does not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits

Same use of It is wrong. Limits (SVC): Correct is : struggles that limit not limits

(D) because they are so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be close relatives and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limit

Correct one.

(E) because of being so genetically similar to one another, the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony struggles that limits

Same as C. Limits.
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Re: In California, a lack of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jul 2019, 02:16
possessive+doing is normally wrong on gmat.
their being similar to one another.

possessive+doing is correct only when doing is noun purely. if doing is gerund, which can take direct object, or participle which show an action of an agent in the sentence, it can not be preceded by possessive.

their learning of english in us is better. this is correct.

"being similar to one another " is not a noun, so, is wrong. we do not care weather the phrase is gerund or participle.
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