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# In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o

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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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21 May 2016, 15:58
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This is one of those rare GMAT questions whose correct answer I happen to disagree with.

The noun here is "proportion," not "women," because "women" is preceded by a preposition ("of") and is thus an object, not a subject. "proportion (of women) works" = "it works" = correct. Thus, "works" should be the correct verb, not "work."

I will admit that Choice B is not a perfect choice either, because of the non-parallel structure of "in / with", but I would argue that this error is less eggregious than the verb tense error in the "correct" answer, Choice C.

In addition, the "of them" in choice C is unnecessary.

GMAC says C, but I say B.

So what's the take-away here? On the GMAT, if the subject refers to "a" ratio, proportion, percentage, or number, then you should conjugate it as you would a plural subject. If the subject refers to "the" ratio, proportion, percentage, or number, then you should conjugate it as you would a singular subject.

For example, "a proportion of women are..." vs. "the proportion of women is..."

I know that a number of people disagree with me that B is best choice, especially since it would sound weird if I were to write, "a number of people disagrees with me." However, that which is grammatically correct is not always that which sounds best. Choice C sounds best, but the Choice B follows the rules of grammar more strictly, at least with regard to verb conjugation.

There is a difference between that which is technically correct grammar, and that which is accepted usage. However, on this test, it doesn't matter what's technically and/or grammatically correct--it matters what the GMAC thinks is best.
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Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 08 Nov 2016, 14:36, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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21 May 2016, 20:50
mcelroytutoring wrote:
This is one of those rare GMAT questions whose correct answer I happen to disagree with.

The noun here is "proportion," not "women," because "women" is preceded by a preposition ("of") and is thus an object, not a subject. "proportion (of women) works" = "it works" = correct. Thus, "works" should be the correct verb, not "work."

I will admit that Choice B is not a perfect choice either, because of the non-parallel structure of "in / with", but I would argue that this error is less eggregious than the verb tense error in the "correct" answer, Choice C.

In addition, the "of them" in choice C is unnecessary.

GMAC says C, but I say B.

So what's the take-away here? On the GMAT, if the subject refers to a ratio, proportion, percentage, or number, then you should conjugate the object of the ratio, proportion, percentage, or number.

I know that a number of people disagree with me that B is best choice, especially since it would sound weird if I were to write, "a number of people disagrees with me." However, that which is grammatically correct is not always that which sounds best. Choice C sounds best, but the Choice B follows the rules of grammar more strictly, at least with regard to the verb conjugation.

Ultimately, on this test, it doesn't matter what's technically and/or grammatically correct--it matters what the GMAC thinks is best.

Hi,

GMAC is correct in this Q too and PROPORTION acts in similar way as NUMBER..
proportion preceded by 'the' makes it singular AS THE is literally talking of the ratio/fraction-

The proportion of women working from home IS higher than that of men.

Whereas 'A proportion' talks of the NOUN itself and not fraction..
A higher proportion of women VOTE in elections nowadays.
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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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27 May 2016, 20:02
mcelroytutoring wrote:
Ultimately, on this test, it doesn't matter what's technically and/or grammatically correct--it matters what the GMAC thinks is best.
Chetan is almost certainly right on this one.

The proportion of students... has changed.
A small proportion of students opt for...

This is not something that puts the GMAT in a minority. If anything, the insistence on singular usage would be the minority view.
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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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29 May 2016, 11:28
In my opinion, conjugating the object of a sentence instead of the subject is not an idiom--it's a grammatical error, related to the most basic structure of sentences (subjects and verbs).

Yes, it sometimes sounds awkward when used correctly, but that does not make it any less correct. If the writers at the GMAC want to consider that an "idiom," then that's fine, and of course GMAT students should take note. But that doesn't mean that I have to personally agree with them.

Although if I were forced to choose, I still would select Choice B (prioritizing correct grammar over awkwardness), I would say that there is no correct answer to this question, because Choice B is awkward (albeit correct) and non-parallel, and Choice C is grammatically incorrect. GMAC says (emphasis mine) "Select the answer that produces the most effective sentence; your answer should make the sentence clear, exact, and free of grammatical error. It should also minimize awkwardness, ambiguity, and redundancy." I don't see an answer choice here that fits all of those descriptions.

Would you say "a group of exchange students are coming to visit."? No, you would say "a group of exchange students is coming to visit, because "a group" is the subject, not "students." What's the difference between "a group" and "a proportion?" Essentially, nothing.

I think we need to stop treating the GMAC question-writers as infallible gods, and realize that they are also human, and whether they will admit it or not, they make mistakes sometimes too.

From the 2016 Official Guide, page 667:

"Sentence correction questions may include English-language idioms, which are standard constructions not derived from the most basic rules of grammar and vocabulary, but idioms are not intended to measure any specialized knowledge of colloquialisms or regionalisms."

In real life, when having conversations, I do prioritize avoiding awkwardness over grammatical correctness (for example, "It's me"--incorrect but accepted--vs. "It's I"--correct but awkward--when speaking on the phone), and I think that most of us do to avoid seeming pretentious in the company of our friends who are not necessarily grammar experts. But on the GMAT, the language provided by the GMAC suggests that correct grammar should be prioritized over a lack of awkwardness.
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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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29 May 2016, 22:01
mcelroytutoring wrote:
Yes, it sometimes sounds awkward when used correctly, but that does not make it any less correct. If the writers at the GMAC want to consider that an "idiom," then that's fine, and of course GMAT students should take note. But that doesn't mean that I have to personally agree with them.

Although if I were forced to choose, I still would select Choice B (prioritizing correct grammar over awkwardness), I would say that there is no correct answer to this question, because Choice B is awkward (albeit correct) and non-parallel, and Choice C is grammatically incorrect. GMAC says (emphasis mine) "Select the answer that produces the most effective sentence; your answer should make the sentence clear, exact, and free of grammatical error. It should also minimize awkwardness, ambiguity, and redundancy." I don't see an answer choice here that fits all of those descriptions.

Would you say "a group of exchange students are coming to visit."? No, you would say "a group of exchange students is coming to visit, because "a group" is the subject, not "students." What's the difference between "a group" and "a proportion?" Essentially, nothing.
I'm not sure how strongly you feel about this, so I'd like to leave the GMAT item writers/gods/human bit out.

You're welcome not to "personally agree with them", but you may be going overboard on grammatical concord. There are situations in which going "singular only" would be unacceptable.

A majority are Russians.
A majority is Russians.

mcelroytutoring wrote:
I know that a number of people disagree with me that B is best choice, especially since it would sound weird if I were to write, "a number of people disagrees with me." However, that which is grammatically correct is not always that which sounds best.
mcelroytutoring wrote:
The noun here is "proportion," not "women," because "women" is preceded by a preposition ("of") and is thus an object, not a subject. "proportion (of women) works" = "it works" = correct. Thus, "works" should be the correct verb, not "work."
I'm not sure how these statements can be defended. A number of is used here as many, and going plural on a number of people is, in fact, correct. Going plural on an overwhelming proportion of women is also correct. The point you make about appearing to be pedantic ("It is I/me") is secondary, because I don't think the GMAT would lose if this went to a usage panel.

Also, the (extremely broad) conclusion that "Ultimately, on this test, it doesn't matter what's technically and/or grammatically correct" is uncalled-for. The GMAT does not have a secret set of rules. There is almost complete overlap between what the GMAT tests and what is widely considered acceptable (if formal) usage.
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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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30 May 2016, 06:42
Good example. Although both conjugations are acceptable in different instances, "A majority is Russian" is the most correct version. Majority is a singular noun in this case, because being Russian is common to of all of them collectively.

Likewise, the correct answer should be "a majority of women work," not "a majority of women works."

http://www.grammar.com/Group-Nouns-majority-do-or-majority-does

In your "Russian" example, the answer is crystal-clear, but I will concede that on this actual GMAT question there is more wiggle room. You could argue that they are not all working together, since they don't all perform the same jobs.

In addition, on second glance, I did notice one extra aspect of Choice A that I do not like: the word "them." If we use the singular conjugation early in the sentence, then we must preserve the singular reference later in the sentence.

My corrected version: "In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion of women work, mostly in middle management and light industry."
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Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 30 May 2016, 07:07, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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30 May 2016, 07:04
Hi,

Quote:
Would you say "a group of exchange students are coming to visit."? No, you would say "a group of exchange students is coming to visit, because "a group" is the subject, not "students." What's the difference between "a group" and "a proportion?"Essentially, nothing.

Group is a collective noun ...
In american english and therefore in GMAT, collective nouns are taken as singular and therefore have SINGULAR verb.. In british english, the VERB depends on usage.

And group is like TEAM, ARMY in its usage and not like PROPORTION..
Proportion comes in same category as 'Number' and hence has the same usage-
A number or a proportion.... plural verb..
The number or the proportion ..... singular verb.

REASON-
proportion preceded by 'the' makes it singular AS THE is literally talking of the ratio/fraction-
The proportion of women working from home IS higher than that of men.

Whereas 'A proportion' talks of the NOUN itself and not fraction..
A higher proportion of women VOTE in elections nowadays.

Quote:
I think we need to stop treating the GMAC question-writers as infallible gods, and realize that they are also human, and whether they will admit it or not, they make mistakes sometimes too.

Firstly GMAC is not wrong here..
But say they were wrong here, I would still ask students to follow them..
Remember- we are here for scoring well and not questioning GMAC's wisdom
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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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30 May 2016, 07:16
Sorry, but I just don't agree.

The word "ratio" or "proportion" does not take a plural verb.

The best examples I can give are the many Official GMAT quant questions that follow this rule precisely:

Notice how the question says "the ratio was" (singular verb) instead of "the ratio were" (plural verb).

"In a certain district, the ratio of the number of registered Republicans to the number of registered Democrats was 3/5. After 600 additional Republicans and 500 additional Democrats registered, the ratio was 4/5. After these registrations, there were how many more voters in the district registered as Democrats than as Republicans?"

http://gmatclub.com/forum/in-a-certain-district-the-ratio-of-the-number-of-registered-143983.html
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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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30 May 2016, 07:20
mcelroytutoring wrote:
Sorry, but I just don't agree.

The word "ratio" or "proportion" does not take a plural verb.

The best example I can give are the many Official GMAT math questions that follow this rule precisely:

Notice how the question says "the ratio was" (singular verb) instead of "the ratio were" (plural verb).

In a certain district, the ratio of the number of registered Republicans to the number of registered Democrats was 3/5. After 600 additional Republicans and 500 additional Democrats registered, the ratio was 4/5. After these registrations, there were how many more voters in the district registered as Democrats than as Republicans?

http://gmatclub.com/forum/in-a-certain-district-the-ratio-of-the-number-of-registered-143983.html

Yes that is what my point is too...
"the proportion...." will act as ''the number...", so will be followed by a SINGULAR verb...
and that is exactly what examples you have given
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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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30 May 2016, 07:28
That's mostly correct, but I believe that we need to clarify the "a number" vs. "a number" distinction. On the GMAT, this is only true if it's put in the form: "A number of _____ are ...."

I still don't personally agree with this choice, but I agree it's clear that "a number of (plural)" and "a proportion of (plural)" and "a fraction/majority/minority of (plural)" is always conjugated using the plural verb form on the GMAT. And yes for the purposes of this forum, the GMAC is king.

Otherwise, "a number," like all other singular subjects, is conjugated in singular form. For example:

"A palindrome is a number that reads the same forward and backward. For example. 2442 and 111 are palindromes. If 5-digit palindromes are formed using one or more of the digits, 1, 2, 3, how many such palindromes are possible?

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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2016, 21:59
mcelroytutoring wrote:
That's mostly correct, but I believe that we need to clarify the "a number" vs. "a number" distinction. On the GMAT, this is only true if it's put in the form: "A number of _____ are ...."

I still don't personally agree with this choice, but I agree it's clear that "a number of (plural)" and "a proportion of (plural)" and "a fraction/majority/minority of (plural)" is always conjugated using the plural verb form on the GMAT. And yes for the purposes of this forum, the GMAC is king.

Otherwise, "a number," like all other singular subjects, is conjugated in singular form. For example:

"A palindrome is a number that reads the same forward and backward. For example. 2442 and 111 are palindromes. If 5-digit palindromes are formed using one or more of the digits, 1, 2, 3, how many such palindromes are possible?

that is the entire point here-
a number of ..... OR a proportion of .... takes a plural verb and it takes a plural verb because the usage demands it and also more importantly GMAC finds it correct
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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2016, 22:50
If 'as' is to be used, don't we also need to add in a verb in there?
Otherwise, I don't see why we are not using 'like' instead.

See example below:
Correct: As John once did, Jane is now starting her training (as + verb)
Correct: Like John, Jane is now starting her training (like + no verb)

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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2016, 23:41
Can sum1 pls explain in this question In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion of women work, many of which are in middle management and light industry. should we not use like because hungary and eastern europe is being compared

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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2016, 23:58
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shonakshi

shonakshi wrote:
Can sum1 pls explain in this question In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion of women work, many of which are in middle management and light industry. should we not use like because hungary and eastern europe is being compared

Like must be followed by noun, pronoun or a noun phrase BUT never by a clause or prepositional phrase

Moreover the comparison is between women in Hungary and women across eastern Europe... option d and e seem to compare Hungary and Europe
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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2016, 13:07
shonakshi wrote:
Can sum1 pls explain in this question In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion of women work, many of which are in middle management and light industry. should we not use like because hungary and eastern europe is being compared

Check this link , you will find good explanation

in-hungary-as-in-much-of-eastern-europe-an-overwhelming-89643.html#p748730

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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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11 Feb 2017, 12:16
blueseas wrote:
fozzzy wrote:
Can someone provide a detailed explanation on this one. Thanks in advance!

as the sentence is starting with IN HUNGARY...
IN = PREPOSITION...
now LIKE is never followed by prepositional phrase...so we cannot use LIKE ...
So we can eliminate option containing LIKE.
more over in options containing LIKE ..much of is followed by like....hence the comparison is also not correct.

according to parallel structure necessity..we need:
in hungary, AS IN....

basing this we can eliminate option B.
MOREOVER option B HAS singular verb WORKS for plural subject ,,hence incorrect.

OPTION A everything correct except...use oF WHICH.
now we know we can never USE which /that for human beings....
so MANY OF WHICH...this is wrong..

hence left with OPTION C

hope it helps

Which can only be used on nouns correct? isn't "women" a noun? why cant we use "which" on human beings (men, women, children, Bob, Andrew, Samantha?)

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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2017, 23:55
shizzleplum wrote:
blueseas wrote:
fozzzy wrote:
Can someone provide a detailed explanation on this one. Thanks in advance!

as the sentence is starting with IN HUNGARY...
IN = PREPOSITION...
now LIKE is never followed by prepositional phrase...so we cannot use LIKE ...
So we can eliminate option containing LIKE.
more over in options containing LIKE ..much of is followed by like....hence the comparison is also not correct.

according to parallel structure necessity..we need:
in hungary, AS IN....

basing this we can eliminate option B.
MOREOVER option B HAS singular verb WORKS for plural subject ,,hence incorrect.

OPTION A everything correct except...use oF WHICH.
now we know we can never USE which /that for human beings....
so MANY OF WHICH...this is wrong..

hence left with OPTION C

hope it helps

Which can only be used on nouns correct? isn't "women" a noun? why cant we use "which" on human beings (men, women, children, Bob, Andrew, Samantha?)

Dear friend ,
You can find the explanation in manhattan SC.
Below is the excerpt from the book.
Relative pronouns are subject to several restrictions.The pronouns 'who and whom' must modify people. On the other hand, the pronoun
'which' must modify things.According to the GMAT, clauses led by the pronoun 'that' cannot modify people.

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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2017, 02:06
this is really shocking to see that even after this much discussion still no update on the actual question from "n Hungary" to "In Hungary".
I keep on thinking that how to attach Hungary(w/o 'in' my case as i ignored 'n' from question.) to any part of sentence so it create a complete sentence.

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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2017, 02:23
jokschmer wrote:
this is really shocking to see that even after this much discussion still no update on the actual question from "n Hungary" to "In Hungary".
I keep on thinking that how to attach Hungary(w/o 'in' my case as i ignored 'n' from question.) to any part of sentence so it create a complete sentence.

Hi jokschmer ,

Thanks for reporting. It has been updated now.

Thanks
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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2017, 08:22
The question is from GMAT prep practice exam 1. Legal authority of GMAT developed it. How they used such term " Proportion of women"

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Re: In Hungary, as in much of Eastern Europe, an overwhelming proportion o   [#permalink] 11 Sep 2017, 08:22

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