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In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround

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Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2011, 02:16
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Before we decide the subjects and their agreement with their corresponding verbs, let us refresh some facts and ask some questions.

1. What is the verb in question? “Surround” –
2. What ‘surround’? It must be some plural subject.
3. What are the available plural subjects prior to surround? There is only one plural subject i.e. ‘green fields’.

In addition, as per the relative pronoun touch - rule, the relative pronoun modifies the noun just before it and assumes all the characteristics of its gender and number.

So there can be no doubt that the noun phrase ‘-green fields –' is the subject of ‘surround’.


Let us now go to the next verb ‘bustles’. This is a singular verb and its subject has to be singular.

What singular subjects are there before ‘bustles? They are the patch work and the town. But green fields are not even a contender because of its plurality.

The singular subject town is not a logical contender in the context, because the town is the object of the verb surround. We have to conclude that the ‘patch work’ is the only plausible subject of the verb ‘bustles’

I am interested in knowing any better logic than this .
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New post 22 Nov 2011, 18:31
MichaelS,

I've seen so many conflicting explanations (including from GMAT instructors) concerning what "that" or "which" refers to following a prepositional phrase. You are a SC God! Can you please affirm or dispel the below (below the examples). I think it would really clear things up for a lot of people!

3 Popular examples (all the correct version):

In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them in the area just for the season.

In an effort improve the quality of patient care, Dr. Lydia Temoscho is directing one of several clinical research projects that seek to determine how helpful psychological counseling is in supplementing the medical treatment of serious disease.

The use of lie detectors is based on the assumption that lying produces emotional reactions in an individual that, in turn, create unconscious physiological response.

1) That or which always refers to the first noun directly preceding it. (I'm 99.9% sure this is false)

2) That or which always refers to the entire noun phrase, and you should not pick any specific noun out of it.

3) That or which could refer to any noun in the noun phrase or the noun phrase as a whole, and you use the following verb to determine what the relative pronoun is referring to.

4) That or which could refer to any noun in the noun phrase or the noun phrase as a whole, and it is the reader's job to determine, based off what the sentence goes on to explain/describe, what the relative pronoun is referring to.

5) You can cross out the prepositional phrase when determining subject/verb agreement.

6) Contrary to what many believe, the relative pronoun that appears to prompt a subject/verb agreement issue, actually is rarely the cause of a SC split, and the error is usually something else.
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Re: The single most popular and ambiguous concept in SC!  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2011, 23:52
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Hmm, my answer is closest to #4, with a bit of 3 and 6 thrown in.

Let's use parentheses to clarify the meaning of your examples:

In good years, the patchwork (of green fields [that surround the San Joaquin Valley town]) bustles with farm workers, many of them in the area just for the season.
(By the way, I think this is a flawed problem, and not worthy of all the attention it gets on the forums.)

In an effort improve the quality of patient care, Dr. Lydia Temoscho is directing one (of several clinical research projects that seek to determine how helpful psychological counseling is in supplementing the medical treatment of serious disease).

The use of lie detectors is based on the assumption that lying produces emotional reactions (in an individual) that, in turn, create unconscious physiological responses. (I added a plural here; otherwise, you'd need to add "an" before "unconscious.")

. . . a patent for one (of Kirchoff's laws), an observation


So, in short, when you see a modifier following a prepositional phrase, there is no concrete rule saying whether the modifier applies to the original noun or to the object of the prepositional phrase. You need to use meaning to make the determination. As you said in #3, you may also use the following verb (among other clues) to help you decide. Here are a few more examples off the top of my head (all correct):

Police have captured one of a ring of drug smugglers who have been plaguing the area. (smugglers who)
Members of the committee who do not wish to vote may leave early. (Members . . . who)
The extensive network of caverns that lie beneath the city has yet to be thoroughly explored. (network . . . has yet, caverns that lie)
The price of steel, which had fluctuated wildly for many years, began a steady decline after the labor dispute. (price . . . which)

Notice that there isn't much ambiguity here. In each case, only one reading makes sense. You might make a case for "network (of caverns) that lies," but that's about it. If there is more than one valid way to read the sentence, there will probably be another split that makes the answer clear, or one of the choices will be a distinct departure from the intended meaning conveyed by the other choices.

I hope that helps. Dig up more examples for Supreme Court consideration if you like . . .
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Re: The single most popular and ambiguous concept in SC!  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2011, 18:28
haha. Well those are great examples and your response validated what I had believed, yet was uncertain of. Thank you very much. I hope more people see this relatively simple summary. I know I'm not the only one with these questions, especially seeing as the source of some of my confusion has been some of the explanations I've read.

The Supreme Court is just.
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Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2012, 03:28
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Many have argued that the object pronoun ‘them’ may refer to either the fields or the workers. But, can it logically referto the fields? If we accept that premise, then we have to accept that the fields appear around the San Joaquin Valley town for the season, and then disappear or take a vacation in the non- season or in not so good years, and then reappear. Can this logic hold well?

On the contrary, in the context, we can assign such mobility only to workers; so I see no dilemma of ‘them’ referring to the fields.


Can we delve into these points? We can’t crack such hard nuts, unless there is an official version to this kind of hair- pullers.
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Re: The single most popular and ambiguous concept in SC!  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Apr 2013, 09:31
Beware of certainty. I can come up with an exception to almost any rule you care to cite, and the GMAT is sometimes "flexible" (if you want to be nice) or inconsistent (if you don't). SC doesn't just test your ability to mechanically apply rules--you have to look at the sentence as a whole, consider the intended meaning, and prioritize. Some issues turn out not to be as important as they look. I've certainly seen a problem on the real test in which every single answer choice violated something that we state as a rule. Sadly, the GMAT makes the rules, and we have to follow along after them trying to explain their decisions. Most of the time, they are consistent and sensible, but every now and then they're not!
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Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2013, 00:07
In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them in the area just for the season.


(A) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them
Correct. S-V agreement.
- The patchwork --> bustles (singular vs singular)
- green fields that surround (plural vs plural)

(B) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of whom are
Wrong. "green fields" is plural ==> "surrounds" is wrong

(C) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of who are
Wrong. "many of who" is grammatically incorrect. The correct one is "many of them"

(D) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustle with farm workers, many of which
Wrong. "the patchwork" is singular ==> "bustle" is wrong. Should be "bustles"

(E) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many are
Wrong. "green fields" is plural ==> "surrounds" is wrong

Hope it helps.
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Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2016, 20:08
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ts30 wrote:
seofah wrote:
A.
1."surround" refers to a plural "fields"
2. "bustles" refers to a singular "patchwork"
3. We are left with A and C.
4. C would be correct if we had "many of whom", in which case the modifying phrase would serve as appositive
5. Modifying phrase in A is absolute phrase


I dont get the logic for the 1st point. To elaborate, please answer these-
1. Members of an organization is/are protesting.
2. Group of girls is/are partying.


If the answer to any of the above is dependent on the X in the X of Y construction, then how can a patchwork of green fields be plural?


1. Members of an organization are protesting...correct
2. Group of girls is partying... correct

However the subject question is somewhat different from the examples you have given.

The patchwork of green fields is singular.

Nonetheless the modifier that surround the San Joaquin Valley town refers to green fields, which is plural - the relative pronoun that is used to refer to fields, not patchwork. Hence the usage of plural verb surround is alright.

The main subject of the sentence is patchwork, which is singular. Hence it takes the main singular verb bustles.
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Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2016, 07:17
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Himanshu9818 wrote:
10. In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them in the area just for the season.
(A) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them
(B) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of whom are
(C) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of who are
(D) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustle with farm workers, many of which
(E) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many are



Meaning : There are some green fields surround the S J V valley and here farmers are working out and many of them are here just for the season.

The patch work can't surround the town but it is green fields that surround the town and here some patch work is taking place. So, options B and E get eliminated.

In A : Them correctly refers to farmers.
C : Who must refer to the subject and Whom to the object, here farmers are object.
D : Which cannot refer to people but instead it can refer to place.

IMO A is the correct answer.
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New post 18 Jul 2016, 04:30
IMO !!

There are two subjects
1.fields ---plural subject and the corresponding verb is a plural verb -surround
2.patchwork ---singular subject and the corresponding verb is singular verb bustles

there seems no problem with A

(A) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them
Correct answer !!

(B) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of whom are
No need to check any further as the singular verb surrounds do not agree with the plural subject fields

(C) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of who are
The usage of Who are is incorrect

(D) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustle with farm workers, many of which
the plural verb bustle does not agree with the singular subject patchwork

(E) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many are
error same as B
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Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Oct 2016, 08:17
GmatDestroyer2013 wrote:
priyankur_saha@ml.com wrote:
In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them in the area just for the season.

(A) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them
(B) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of whom are
(C) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of who are
(D) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustle with farm workers, many of which
(E) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many are

Detail explanations are welcome.



My answer to the above is Option B : Can someone please confirm what should be the subject as per my understanding Patchwork must be the subject ... but looking at the OA it is confirmed that it actually Green fields that is being discussed.

Please help !!!


“that surround the San Joaquin Valley town” is ambiguous because the “that” could refer to “patchwork” or “green fields.”

In A the verb surround is plural, so “that” must refer to “green fields”. In this case, does “many of them” refer to “workers” or to “green fields?”

In B surrounds is singular, so “that” must refer to “patchwork”. “Many of whom” clearly refers to “workers”

I believe that B has more clarity than A. On the other hand, “that surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town” (choice B) refers to “patchwork” instead of “green fields”, changing the meaning of the original sentence.

So I would choose A because meaning is essential.
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New post 28 Nov 2017, 03:24
I think except (a )and (d) all are separating two independent clauses with comma. D contains which so A wins
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New post 28 Nov 2017, 08:09
rajatkataria14@gmail.com wrote:
I think except (a )and (d) all are separating two independent clauses with comma. D contains which so A wins


Only option E has two independent clauses - in all others, the latter clause is dependent.

This is a question on subgroup modifier - the two correct structures of such modifiers are:

main clause (ending with a noun to be modified), many/some/all etc. of them + NO verb
main clause (ending with a noun to be modified), many/some/all etc. of whom (person) /which (thing) + verb

With the above structure in mind, we are left with options A and B only.

Now the task reduces to determine whether singular or plural verb is correct. (already discussed in the thread.)
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New post 27 Nov 2018, 08:05
priyankur_saha@ml.com wrote:
In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them in the area just for the season.

(A) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them
(B) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of whom are
(C) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of who are
(D) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustle with farm workers, many of which
(E) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many are



At first when i saw that only 27% got this one correct, i got a bit intimidated.
However, i was able to solve it within 37 seconds. I'd like to share what I did.

1. Glanced over, found two spits. Surround/surrounds (SVA error that means) and who/them/ whom (need to find the proper pronoun)
2. Just asked myself one question- What SURROUNDS ? and the phrase "with farm workers" i felt was the most essential bit in the sentence because that makes it clear that the subject is green fields and not the path work, because farm workers can't stay on a patchwork.

Thus B, D out because of surrounds
From A,C,E ...A is the only one with a pronoun correctly referring to workers. Thus A
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New post 27 Nov 2018, 20:01
Who in option C looks correct. Because the subject or the doer is “farm workers”, using “who” is correct. In option A, them can refer to fields.

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New post 28 Nov 2018, 03:14
2019800aspirant wrote:
Who in option C looks correct. Because the subject or the doer is “farm workers”, using “who” is correct. In option A, them can refer to fields.

Posted from my mobile device


Yes correct, who in C is correct, but then cannot refer to fields. Read the last part of the sentence again it says "in the area just for the season.", ask yourself can fields be in the area just for a season? NO, thus them correctly refers to plural workers only

Many of who is wrong usage, the correct usage is many of them

Hope it makes sense :)
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New post 28 Nov 2018, 04:19
In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of them in the area just for the season.

(C) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of who are

SaraiGMAT EducationAisle DmitryFarber generis
please clear my doubt :
Who - refers to te subject / the doer of the action
Whom- refer to the object / receiver of the action

In this example , the reason i chose C is that "many of who ARE IN the area.. " . Here "are" is helping verb so does "who " act as a subject her?? I mean when we ask a questio we would say : who are in the area??
i agree that "whom " modifies the noun "farmer, which itself is an object , but the latter part in the "underlined part "in option C appropriately use "are" and thus this structure validates the usage of "who" .
for eg : Patrick punished Marco who in fact was innocent. James talked to Lidia, who is an expert on the topic. (Here Lidia is the object , but the modifier that follows is using "who")
Please correct me .
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New post 28 Nov 2018, 04:35
Hi Aditya, whom is an object pronoun while who is the subject pronoun.

An easy rule to remember is that whenever a pronoun appears as part of prepositional phrase, the pronoun always takes the object form.

In the phrase many of whom, clearly the pronoun whom appears as part of prepositional phrase (of whom) and hence takes the object form (rather than the subject form who).

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses Pronoun case, its application and examples in significant detail. If you or someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.
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New post 28 Nov 2018, 04:52
EducationAisle wrote:
Hi Aditya, whom is an object pronoun while who is the subject pronoun.

An easy rule to remember is that whenever a pronoun appears as part of prepositional phrase, the pronoun always takes the object form.

In the phrase many of whom, clearly the pronoun whom appears as part of prepositional phrase (of whom) and hence takes the object form (rather than the subject form who).

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses Pronoun case, its application and examples in significant detail. If you or someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.


EducationAisle
Thank you for your response.
My doubt is regarding the helping verb "are" after the pronoun
For eg: the judge punished Michelle, who was in fact innocent

Here "who" is used . Which is followed by helping verb "is" .now why isn't "whom" used here?? Please explain. Thank you

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New post 28 Nov 2018, 05:00
AdityaHongunti wrote:
Here "who" is used . Which is followed by helping verb "is" .now why isn't "whom" used here??

Because in this case, who is not part of prepositional phrase!

So, following sentences (though not great from a meaning perspective) illustrate correct usage of pronouns:

The judge punished people who were very educated.

The judge punished people, all of whom were very educated.

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