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In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround

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

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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.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: SC- Good Years [#permalink]

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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


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: SC- Good Years [#permalink]

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"The patchwork of green fields"--->Singular
hence Surrounds
-->only B and E remain
farm workers-->Modified correctly by "many of whom"
IMO B

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
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Re: SC- Good Years [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2010, 03:20
Its confusing :(

i have two Doubts here.

1) That is restrictive so does it modify the immediate precedent Noun or the Subject?


2) With This Question my understanding on modifiers is completely trashed.

I have read in some book.

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.

if there is single comma Should`nt the modifier always modify the subject ???


and if there are 2 comma the modifier modifies the object?



Can some one please explain me in detail abt this

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Re: SC- Good Years [#permalink]

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While the sentence has a singular subject ("patchwork"), the antecedent of "surround/s" (which is part of the relative clause "that surround/s the San Joaquin Valley town") can be either "fields" or "patchwork" depending on the author's intention. Thus, since there's nothing grammatically amiss with either "surround" or "surrounds," you can reject neither and must instead consider other parts of the sentence to eliminate the four wrong options.

Eliminate D right away, because both "bustle" and "which" are wrong--"farm workers" being people and not inanimate objects. Get rid of C because "who" should be "whom" (object of a preposition) and E because "many are" would create a comma splice, which is when two complete sentences are connected by only a comma.

We're left with A and B, then, which differ in just two ways: (1) "surround"/"surrounds" and (2) "them"/"whom are." (1) won't help us winnow the choices, so (2) must be our final determinant. Which is better, "many of them in the area just for the season" or "many of whom are in the area just for the season"? Well, both are grammatical, so how do we decide between them? What's the difference between them? A is briefer by one word. That's pretty much it. A is therefore the better choice because it is more concise--its verb is understood ("many of them [being] in the area just for the season"), whereas B's is explicit.

It's a fine distinction, no doubt--but A is slightly better than B.

-C. Rhudy

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Re: SC- Good Years [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2011, 19:44
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In search for further evidence to support B, I found these information in the MGMAT SC book.

For your reference, the original problem and the first two alternatives are here:
-------------------------------
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
-------------------------------

I have 4th edition of the MGMAT SC. On page 234, under "Modifiers: Exception to the Touch Rule"

1) A "mission-critical modifier falls between. This is modifier is often an Of-phrase that defines the noun. Example: He had a way OF DODGING OPPONENTS that impressed the scouts.

Without the Of-phrase, the sentence is meaningless.

In our problem, "patchwork" is meaningless without the of-phrase. So I would qualify this as a valid exception for the touch rule.

On page 236, under "subgroup modifiers"

Right: This model explains all known subatomic particles, SOME OF WHICH WERE only recently discovered
Wrong: This model explains all known subatomic particles, SOME OF WHICH only recently discovered

In other words, this construction requires a verb. As A lacks a verb, I would conclude this ungrammatical, a la MGMAT.
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Re: SC- Good Years [#permalink]

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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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Re: SC- Good Years [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2011, 16:57
I'm leaning towards B because between A and B I feel it does the best job of clearing up the ambiguity of the word many.

Easy POE first:
C) Incorrect: uses "who", nominative case, as an object of the preposition "of". should be whom which is objective
D) Incorrect: "which" is a relative pronoun used to introduce a subordinate clause which means it would require a verb. something it doesn't have
E) Incorrect: "many" doesn't have a clear antecedent.

Many is a plural indefinite pronoun that in this sentence can have "green fields" or "farm workers" as an antecedent. Depending on what is planted on it a field can be green year round or seasonaly. So an indefinite amount of green fields are capable of being "in the area just for the season". By the same token a farm worker can work on one farm year round or migrate from one farm to another depending on the season. So an indefinite amount of farm workers are capable of being "in the area just for the season".

Choice (A) clears up the ambiguity by placing the phrase that many is a part of next to the word "workers". Choice (B) clears up this ambiguity because it uses the word "whom" as an object of the preposition "of" and whom can only be used to refer to people. It seems to me that (B) clears up the ambiguity the best. But there might be a problem with usage in (B) that no one has mentioned.

There is yet another problem with ambiguity in this problem. An argument that no one has resolved is what the number of "surround" should be. The so called "touch rule" says the relative pronoun that introduces an adjective phrase is always next to the noun it modifies. "That" is next fields in this situation so surround should be pural according to this rule and choice (A) is correct. However the Manhattan SC guide vol. 3 on pg. 104 says an exception to this rule occurs when, "1) A 'mission-critical' modifier falls between. This modifier is often an Of-phrase that defines the noun". So, is the prepositional phrase "of green fields" "mission-critical"? If it was non-essential it would be between two commas. So according this rule the adjective phrase could modify the singular "patchwork" making choice (B) correct. This rule doesn't disqualify choice (A) from being correct either.

There might be another issue with "surround" that would help to clear this up. Can a "patchwork" "surround"? A patchwork is incongruous which would seem to make it incapable of envelping something. So choice (A) would be correct. But taken in a metaphorical sense with the "mission-critical modifier" "of green fields" it would be capable of enveloping something. So choice (B) would be correct.

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

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New post 18 Feb 2013, 08:32
I chose B because I felt the pronoun "them" was ambiguous and could have referred to the workers or the fields. I felt "whom" cleared up the ambiguity because it can only refer to a person or people. I also felt that the subject should have been "patchwork", not "fields" and chose "surrounds" but I'm less sure of that.

I was torn between B and A though because, "many of them in the area just for the season" does immediately follow "workers" and could mean there should be no ambiguity between the pronoun and anticedent.

I would be swayed to A if someone could clear up my pronoun concerns

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

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New post 18 Feb 2013, 15:32
There are no grammatical issues (including S/V agreement inside the modifying clause) between A and B. It all comes down to meaning of the beginning and the modifier at the end. Proof:

The box of pencils that is on the table is mine.
The box of pencils that are all broken is mine.

In the first example, the pronoun in the relative clause is modifying the box because it is discussing the location of the container of the pencils, not the pencils themselves. There is no S/V agreement error because the pronoun "that" starting the relative clause is the subject of the verb "is" inside of the relative clause and the pronoun "that" refers to the box, which is singular.

In the second example, the pronoun in the relative clause is modifying the pencils because it is discussing the broken state of many objects. There is no S/V agreement error because the pronoun "that" starting the relative clause is the subject of the verb "are" inside of the relative clause and the pronoun "that" refers to the pencils, which are plural.

Therefore, in the posted question, consider the meaning of the modifying relative clause or rely on the modifier at the end to decide between A and B. Personally, I think A has a better meaning in the initial modifier (though a "patchwork" can surround a valley, it is probably the fields that are surrounding the valley), but B has a more clear ending (and clarity is much better than brevity - stop using length to justify answers). Therefore, in my book it's a wash and this is a bad question.

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

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New post 09 Aug 2015, 00:23
sudhirmadaan wrote:
Hi All, I will go with the meaning first.
SO in this question confusion is whether that refers to greenfield or patchwork.
First question is the patchwork of xyz surrounds something by itself. Answer is NO. so basically its the green fields which surround the ABC, and patchwork of that greenfield bustles. hence B cannot be the answer.


I hope I am correct in my analysis !!!!

B is wrong because what follows after comma- many of whom are......- is a clause and it needs a connector .

As far as the use of that is concerned....In such cases it is best to decide what' that' refers to by tallying the verb that follows' that'.

On the GMAT , it is always prudent to note the verb that follows that - it will help decide what that actually refers to- not to say that we ignore what comes before that.
Such a strategy helps us overcome the ambiguity.So look both ways around that. :-D :-D :-D :-D

Choice A conveniently avoids the use of verb , making the info. that follows the comma a noun-modifier.


Hope the above helps!!

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#Top150 SC: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround [#permalink]

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New post 14 Oct 2015, 13:30
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.

The given sentence is correct as is. Even if I prefer many of whom compared to many of them.

There is 3-2 split among choices surround vs surrounds.
green fields is plural noun and needs plural verb surround.
patchwork is singular subject and needs singular verb bustles.


B. surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of whom are
verb surrounds plays the spoilsport here.

C. surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many of who are
relative pronoun who can only refer subject whereas here we are using it to refer object.

D. surround the San Joaquin Valley town bustle with farm workers, many of which
verb bustle does not match its antecedent patchwork.
which cannot refer to people.


E. surrounds the San Joaquin Valley town bustles with farm workers, many are
surrounds plays the spoilsport here.
many are in area missed the needed info and is incorrect.

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

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adalfu wrote:
misterchipper wrote:
The answers to these questions are almost confusing me more than helping...

I believe the answer is B and I am unsure how it could not be....

Help?



First of all, you can't even use whom in that construction.

review the whom/who distinction... a simple way to know which one to use is to ask and answer the question: whom/who are in the area? you would say they are in the area and not them are in the area... they = subject so you'll use who

who = subject
whom = object


now, you just have to know that when you're using a subgroup modifier, you can only use 3 forms of construction (see my previous post above)... you just gotta learn and memorize those... just like how you should learn and memorize all your if...then... constructions (usually 5 forms according to the MGMAT SC book -- refer to book if you have it).

adalfu The subgroup modifier rule from MGMAT makes perfect sense here but your application of who/whom distinction is completely wrong

First, the correct answer choice has 'them', which is an indication that you have applied the distinction incorrectly.
Second, here if you answer the question: Who/Whom are in the area? Your answer should be: 'Many of them are in the area' not 'many of they are in the area'.

An easy way to use this distinction is to decide what is the pronoun 'who/whom' referring to. In this case, 'who/whom' is clearly referring to farm workers and they are the object, hence whom is correct. B is wrong because of the verb 'surrounds' which does not agree with its subject- green fields.

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

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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 [#permalink]

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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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In good years, the patchwork of green fields [#permalink]

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

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New post 02 Nov 2016, 00:00
A is the correct answer

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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Re: In good years, the patchwork of green fields that surround   [#permalink] 02 Nov 2016, 00:00

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