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# In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround

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

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19 Oct 2016, 07:17
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.

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

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01 Nov 2016, 23:00

The sentence has many noun plurality issues. It means that:

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

patchwork is singular and should refer to bustles (singular)
workers is plural and should refer to surround (plural) instead of surrounds
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In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2017, 08:33
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.

'that surround the San Joaquin Valley town' refers to the green fields in particular instead of 'patchwork' grammatically as well as logically. Many green fields surround the town. Moreover, that is an essential modifier which modifies the immediate preceding noun 'green fields'. So, plural surround is applicable. However, these many green fields form a singular noun - patchwork. So, it takes singular verb bustles.
Hence, the original one is correct and the OA is A.

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

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28 May 2017, 05:22
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
(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

C,D and E can be eliminated for above reasons.
B rejected for above marked reason.
A remains.

I have one question though,
B has ...farmers, many of whom are.... .Can B be rejected for comma splice?
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Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround [#permalink]

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18 Jun 2017, 04:43
daagh wrote:
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.

Sir,
I think the pronoun "them" can only refer back to the farmers because of the word many.Farmers are countable but the patchwork of green field are not.Is the reasoning correct?
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Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2017, 05:46
daagh wrote:
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 .

Hi daagh, I am thoroughly confused, because I selected B. I was assuming 'surround' to be a verb for 'the patchwork'.
Just want to know, if this is a genuine GMAT-like question.
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Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround [#permalink]

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13 Nov 2017, 07:44

Even option B corrects the subject-verb agreement error "surrounds" -> surround, still choice B will be wrong, because "many of whom are " is proper independent clause leading to run-on, Choice B needs to get rid of the verb "are" to compete with choice A.
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Re: 379 out of 1000 [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2017, 02:24
I think except (a )and (d) all are separating two independent clauses with comma. D contains which so A wins
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Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2017, 07:09
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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Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2017, 03:09
Very high quality question. I feel for the b trap.
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In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2018, 14:20
[Reveal] Spoiler:
TommyWallach wrote:
Hey All,

This is a very bizarre question, and I'm afraid I have to disagree with everyone who's saying the answer is "obviously" A. I see nothing wrong with B (which makes this problematic as an official answer). Also, there are serious problems with GMAT Tiger's explanation, which many people have been describing as sensible.

He wrote:

A is correct. "That" in the sentence refers to "green fields", which is plural and so does "that" too. [What in the world does this mean? How can something "do 'that'"?

When "that" is plural, the verb that follows "that" should be also plural (surround), which is only in A and D. [THAT is a relative pronoun, and has no plurality. There is no such thing as a singular or plural "that".

"many of them" is better than "many of whom". -- [This is NOT true. "Them" is a subject pronoun and "whom" is an object pronoun. They have totally different uses. In fact, our ears prefer "them", so GMAT will often encourage you towards "whom".]

OKAY! Now that we've dealt with that bit of confusion, we can look at the question.

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
PROBLEM: The writing of this sentence makes it impossible to work out what the subject of surrounds is. It could be fields (because relative pronouns like "that" typically modify whatever they touch), but it could also be patchwork (because "of green fields" is a modifier, just as we could say the King of Spades IS a good card). This sentence is extra confusing because "surround" and "bustle" are both verbs. The A folks in the room seem to want to argue that the "fields" surround the valley, but the "patchwork" bustles. But why? The same subject could just as easily do both.

(B) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of whom are
CORRECT: Whom is correct here, because we need the object of a preposition ("of"). I prefer this answer myself, but I see no actual reason to cross it off.

(C) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of who are
PROBLEM: You can't say "many of who", you need an object pronoun to be the object of the preposition "of".

(D) surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustle with farm workers, many of which
PROBLEM: This verb arrangement is odd, as is "many of which". We prefer who/whom for people.

(E) surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many are
PROBLEM: This starts a new sentence after the comma, which isn't allowed.

Hope that helps, and I'm definitely up for argument! : )

-tommy

+1

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.

Them in this phrase could refer to fields or workers?
If this is the case, would it be consider the ambiguity a factor to discard choice A?
I ask because there would be change in the meaning and clarity in the answer is always a god symptom of a right answer.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
daagh wrote:
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.

Maybe the patchwork could be lost in winter, as there could be an ambiguity in the meaning because of them A IMO should be discarded.

Have a nice day.

Last edited by PaterD on 18 Jan 2018, 14:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround [#permalink]

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20 Jan 2018, 00:18
How is 'Fields' is the subject of 'SOROUNDING ' not 'patchwork'
Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround   [#permalink] 20 Jan 2018, 00:18

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