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

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

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New post Updated on: 28 Aug 2018, 00:30
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The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2017

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 747
Page: 698

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

https://www.nytimes.com/2000/05/30/science/observatory.html

Nothing quite that creepy is going on in California, but the state has been overrun by a species of ant that, researchers say, has essentially formed a single giant colony from San Diego to San Francisco and beyond. The researchers, from the University of California at San Diego, discovered a lack of genetic variation in the insect, the Argentine ant, which has allowed the species to spread to nooks and crannies up and down the state, particularly in coastal areas.

Individual ants are so close genetically, the researchers report in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that they consider all their fellows to be close relatives and thus do not engage in the kind of fierce intercolony death matches that limit the ants in their native Argentina.

The Argentine Ant

(A) Subject-Verb (struggles that limits); Noun-Noun (fellows … a close relative)

(B) Comparison (similar); Noun-Noun (fellows … a close relative)

(C) Comparison (similar); Subject-Verb (struggles that limits);

(D) CORRECT

(E) Subject-Verb (struggles that limits); Noun-Noun (fellows … a close relative)


First glance

The answer choices begin with either due to or because of. Generally-accepted grammar rules state that due to is used with nouns or noun phrases and because of is used with clauses, though the distinction can sometimes be a judgment call.

For this reason, perhaps, the GMAT does not appear to test this issue formally; the Official Guide explanations for all problems dealing with because of vs. due to do not address these differences. Therefore, ignore this issue.

Issues

(1) Subject-Verb: struggles that limits

The original sentence says the following: the kind of struggles that limits the spread of this species. The word that, when preceded by a noun, is a noun modifier. In this case, it is referring to the noun just before, struggles: the struggles limit the spread of the species. Answer (A) pairs a plural noun with a singular verb; eliminate it. Also eliminate answers (C) and (E), which repeat this error.

(2) Noun-Noun: fellows … a close relative

The original sentence contains the language the ants consider all their fellows to be a close relative.

All their fellows cannot be a single relative; rather, they would be close relatives. Eliminate choices (A), (B), and (E) for this error.

(3) Comparison: similar

If one thing is similar to another, it is necessary to include the another portion of the comparison. Answers (B) and (C) do not actually indicate what the ant is similar to. (Note: it is possible to omit the separate mention of another if a plural construction is used. For example, this is correct: The twins are so similar! Since there are two twins, the comparison is to each other.)

The Correct Answer

Correct answer (D) properly pairs the plural noun struggles with the plural verb limit and the plural noun fellows with the plural description close relatives.

Note: this correct answer contains a tempting trap that might cause someone to cross it off. The plural pronoun they appears not to match the singular Argentine ant mentioned at the beginning of the sentence. It’s true that this pronoun does not go with this noun; rather, it goes with the plural word ants that appears after the pronoun they.

Originally posted by jerrywu on 09 Sep 2006, 23:30.
Last edited by hazelnut on 28 Aug 2018, 00:30, edited 5 times in total.
adding source & merging
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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, 12:54
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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!
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Re: In California, a lack of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2010, 11:17
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I was hung up in this sentence because I thought the sentence has "this species" and "its" (which is singular ) in non-underlined part and hence we need singular subject in the underlined part as well. (big mistake on my part).

The "its" in the end of the sentence refers to "this species" and the subject of this phrase is 'struggles'......struggles that limits the spread of this species in its native Argentina

"considers to be" which is present in all options seems really awkward to me. "consider to be" or 'consider as" is a big no-no in GMAT.

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 - we need 'limit' because 'struggles' is plural. Also we need 'Because' in the beginning of the sentence.

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 - 'it' cannot be genetically similar to itself. 'being' is not accepted. we need 'Because' in the beginning of the 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 - 'it' cannot be genetically similar to itself. we need 'limit' because 'struggles' is plural

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

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

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New post 11 Sep 2006, 04:34
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Clear D.
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 - SV agreement. stuggles - that limits , to be (not good on the GMAT)
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 - genetically simillar to what?
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 - genetically simillar to what?
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 : genetically similar to one another, they - the ants, 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 - WRONG. S-V agreement : fellows - close relative, to be (not good on the GMAT)
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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.
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New post 31 Aug 2016, 22:23
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Because vs Because of

The key to understanding grammar is patience. So bear with me on this one.

Because is a subordinating conjunction.
What is a subordinating conjunction? It is used to introduce a subordinating clause.
What is a subordinating clause? A complete statement with a subject and a verb - subordinating because it is not the main idea of the statement.
So, because is to be followed up with a complete statement.
And yes, some statements may start with because, as long as they have a complete statement attached to it.
Because I think I am a genius, I wrote this comment.

Because of is a compound preposition.
Grammar Alert! Prepositions were conceived by mankind to follow ONLY NOUNS.
Because of knowledge, man dropped out from paradise.

Due to is often interchangeably used with Because of. However, I found this post that helps out on due to v/s because of. Thanks to guys Magoosh.

http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-idiom ... nsequence/
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Sachinrpat wrote:
Q) Whether "consider to be" is correct; also whether "consider X Y/ X consider Y etc" where consider doesn't follow any preposition/infinitive, is ALWAYS correct?

If answer to first question is YES, please elaborate it with few examples.


1. I consider you my friend. (consider X Y)...... correct
2. I consider you to be my friend. (consider X to be Y)... suspect (I have seen at least one official example in which this usage was in the correct option - if I find it, I shall post it here.)
3. The employer did not consider his application. (X consider Y).... correct
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Re: In California, a lack of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jan 2017, 22:21
However, I selected the right choice. I just want to know the reason of rejecting choice B.

It seems that usage of "being" is incorrect in choice b. Correct me if I am wrong.

1. If a choice were below, would it be correct? In other words, usage of singular form of the ANT will be correct in this sentence?

because it is so genetically similar to one another,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


2. What is the use of "being" other than in passive voice of continuous tense?
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New post 14 Jan 2017, 08:58
AR15J wrote:
However, I selected the right choice. I just want to know the reason of rejecting choice B.

It seems that usage of "being" is incorrect in choice b. Correct me if I am wrong.

1. If a choice were below, would it be correct? In other words, usage of singular form of the ANT will be correct in this sentence?

because it is so genetically similar to one another,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


2. What is the use of "being" other than in passive voice of continuous tense?


The use of "due to" in option B is wrong. "Due to" may refer to a noun, not a verb - here "due to" wrongly refers to verb "considers".

1. Yes, it would be correct. "The ant" would then mean the species as a whole.

2. "Being" is the verb+ing form of the verb "to be". So, like all other verb+ing forms, it can be used as a present participle, a gerund or continuous form of the verb.

"Because of" / "due to" followed by a gerund is considered awkward - hence " Because of being.." and "due to being" are wrong.
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New post 28 Jul 2017, 12:26
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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New post 28 Jul 2017, 12:53
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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!

***************
Plz give kudos!



Hello rma26,

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

A good look at all the answer choices and we see that consider/s X to be Y has been used in all the answer choices.

Moreover, since the correct answer choice uses this idiom, we must make a note of the this fact that the idiom consider/s X to be Y is NOT incorrect. Hence, we must not reject any answer choice ONLY because of the presence of this idiom because here is an official sentence that uses this idiom in the correct answer choice.


Hope this helps. :-)
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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!

***************
Plz give kudos!

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

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New post 28 Jul 2017, 13:19
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rma26 wrote:
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?

Nope! It's completely fine for a pronoun to refer to an antecedent in the previous clause, even if there's a semicolon separating the two clauses. The semicolon doesn't really do anything to change the fundamental pronoun rules.
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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 13 Sep 2017, 16:04
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pikolo2510 wrote:
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?

Ooh, interesting question. The tricky thing here is that "species" can be plural or singular -- and in this case ("...spread of this species in its native Argentina"), we know that "species" is singular, since it's preceded by the singular article "this." So "its" just refers back to "species." No problem there at all.

Quote:
(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


But for whatever it's worth, there are plenty of other problems with (B), if that was the answer choice that tempted you. "Due to" can only modify a noun, not a verb -- and in (B), it looks like "due to its being so genetically similar" is trying to modify the verb phrase "the ant considers". And that doesn't work.

Also, it's awfully awkward to say "its being." "Being" is apparently a gerund here, and it is preceded by the possessive pronoun "its." I don't understand how it makes sense for something ("the ant", presumably) to possess "being." (More on the use of "being" in this long rant.) And we also don't know what, exactly, the ant is genetically similar to. And it doesn't make sense to say that "all of its fellows [plural!] are a close relative [singular!]."

So even if you weren't super-certain about the "its native Argentina" in (D), the hope is that you'd hesitate -- for plenty of other reasons -- before picking (B).

I hope this helps!
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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 13 Nov 2017, 08:50
kartzcool wrote:
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??


kartzcool,

You have a point about 'species' and 'they', but let's analyze a little further.

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.

-- Please note the semicolon, highlighted in blue. This indicates that the second part of the sentence is either an independent clause or a list. Given the context, the semicolon is clearly acting as a break between two independent clauses. This means that the semicolon is acting as a period, of sorts, which means it is attempting to join two closely related topics.
https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/Semicolons.html
-- Given this, the first part of the sentence is referring to the species itself. Now, after the semicolon, the focus shifts to the ants themselves, which are plural.

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

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

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New post 01 Apr 2018, 02:15
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?
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Re: In California, a lack of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2018, 22:11
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. [/quote]

The main splits here are :

1. Due to vs Because of (we need "because of")

2. Struggles that limit and Struggles that limits. (we need "struggles that limit" for correct SV pair)

A and B are out for using "due to being" which is nonsensical.

We are comparing "species" and not "Argentine ant" so we need "they at place of "it". C is out.

C is also out for reason 2 mentioned above.

E is out for reason 2 mentioned above (we need "struggles that limit" for correct SV pair)



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

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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).
Re: In California, a lack of genetic variation in the Argentine ant has &nbs [#permalink] 30 Apr 2018, 07:52

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