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# It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl's illness even

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It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl's illness even [#permalink]

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It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even after three hospitalizations, several months of therapy, and a near mental breakdown because no one medical professional – neither her therapist nor her doctors – were able to see the full scope of her symptoms.

A) neither her therapist nor her doctors – were able to see
B) not even her therapist nor her doctors – were able to see
C) including her therapist and her doctors – were able to see
D) not even her therapist nor her doctors – was able to see
E) neither her therapist nor her doctors – was able to see

(C) 2008 GMAT Club - v05#37
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2013, 03:13
Hi Zarroulou,

Is there any rule that clarify this : When choosing the Subject-Verb Pairs, one can omit the construction -- X -- between the SV?
i think it is matter of punctuation here .. what -- X -- represents here ?
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2013, 03:48
Rock750 wrote:
Hi Zarroulou,

Is there any rule that clarify this : When choosing the Subject-Verb Pairs, one can omit the construction -- X -- between the SV?
i think it is matter of punctuation here .. what -- X -- represents here ?

Hi Rock750,

subject and verb should always agree, no metter what is in the middle.
The construct "- (...) -" is an example, an explanation of something stated before.

BTW, am I right? is E the correct answer?
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2013, 08:11
Quote:
Is there any rule that clarify this : When choosing the Subject-Verb Pairs, one can omit the construction -- X -- between the SV?

thats right we need to to eliminate "dash" construction ."dash" is nothing but an elongated explanation

E is best here
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2013, 13:42
Not sure about the following, not infront of the book but:

I think I read in MGMAT SC book that in Either / Or & Neither / Nor, the tense [singular or plural] should follow what Or / Nor has.

Can any one confirm?

My guess was:

[neither] her therapist [nor] her doctors were able to see
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2013, 13:50
bcrawl wrote:
Not sure about the following, not infront of the book but:

I think I read in MGMAT SC book that in Either / Or & Neither / Nor, the tense [singular or plural] should follow what Or / Nor has.

Can any one confirm?

My guess was:

[neither] her therapist [nor] her doctors were able to see

I am not sure I've understood your question

I think you say A is correct.
A) neither her therapist nor her doctors were able to see

But here doctors is not the subject. Take a look at the final part of the sentence:
one medical professional – (...) – was

The verb refers to "professional" (Singular) so must be singular "was".

Hope that I've adressed your point, let me know
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2013, 16:07
Zarrolou wrote:
Rock750 wrote:
Hi Zarroulou,

Is there any rule that clarify this : When choosing the Subject-Verb Pairs, one can omit the construction -- X -- between the SV?
i think it is matter of punctuation here .. what -- X -- represents here ?

Hi Rock750,

subject and verb should always agree, no metter what is in the middle.
The construct "- (...) -" is an example, an explanation of something stated before.

BTW, am I right? is E the correct answer?

I am not sure how to use the "- -" construction but you mention something important. Subject-verb pairs must agree. This is my takeaway from this problem.
Can you also expalin how do you use the "- -" constructions?
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2013, 16:15
Rock750 wrote:
It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even after three hospitalizations, several months of therapy, and a near mental breakdown because no one medical professional – neither her therapist nor her doctors – were able to see the full scope of her symptoms.

A) neither her therapist nor her doctors – were able to see
B) not even her therapist nor her doctors – were able to see
C) including her therapist and her doctors – were able to see
D) not even her therapist nor her doctors – was able to see
E) neither her therapist nor her doctors – was able to see

IMO Its. E. Clearly the sentence has a subject verb disagreement issue. "No One Medical Professional" is a singular subject, which eliminates first 3 options. Out of the last two options, D looks weird and E looks usual and simple .
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2013, 02:12
So, Whenever you see something like -...- between the subject and the verb , it is likely to be a middleman and you should skip it when you agree the verb with its subject.

Now, is there any other type of punctuation that obey to this rule ?
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2013, 06:41
MGMAT - SC Latest version, Page 44, Subject - Verb Agreement Chapter: Either / Or and Neither / Nor section, said that the verb should match the nearest noun. That is why I was confused yesterday.

Can someone look at this chapter?

Maybe this is a flawed question to begin with...
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2013, 06:49
bcrawl wrote:
MGMAT - SC Latest version, Page 44, Subject - Verb Agreement Chapter: Either / Or and Neither / Nor section, said that the verb should match the nearest noun. That is why I was confused yesterday.

Can someone look at this chapter?

Maybe this is a flawed question to begin with...

Hi Bcrawl,

Yes, whenever you see "either/or" and "neither/nor" you should match the nearest noun with the verb.

But in this case, neither/nor is not acting as a subject; it is considered to be a middleman because you have - ...- , which actually not account for a subject.

That's why i put the question so that if you happen to see this on you G-Day, you will not be caught by the trap
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl's illness even [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2013, 11:35
rpmodi wrote:
It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even after three hospitalizations, several months of therapy, and a near mental breakdown because no one medical professional – neither her therapist nor her doctors – were able to see the full scope of her symptoms.

(A) neither her therapist nor her doctors – were able to see
(B) not even her therapist nor her doctors – were able to see
(C) including her therapist and her doctors – were able to see
(D) not even her therapist nor her doctors – was able to see
(E) neither her therapist nor her doctors – was able to see

kanusha wrote:
hello sir... pls clarify my doubts in VERBAL section... pls reply to these messages... my GMAT IS ON SEP 10...
MY answer is A.... in neither..nor.. we should see the subject that is nearest to the verb.... so doctors(plural)...were(plural)....
what is the correct answer.... and pls explain....
Thank you..

Dear Kanusha,
For figuring out the verb split, "was"/"were", we need to set aside the part within the dashes. That part, "neither her therapist nor her doctors", is an additional clarification, but not part and parcel of the grammatical backbone of the sentence. The subject of the verb is "no one medical professional", and both "no one" and "no one X" are singular. These demand a singular verb --- "no one was", not "no one were".
Does this make sense?
Mike
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2013, 14:59
Zarrolou wrote:
Rock750 wrote:
It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even after three hospitalizations, several months of therapy, and a near mental breakdown because no one medical professional – neither her therapist nor her doctors – were able to see the full scope of her symptoms.

A) neither her therapist nor her doctors – were able to see
B) not even her therapist nor her doctors – were able to see
C) including her therapist and her doctors – were able to see
D) not even her therapist nor her doctors – was able to see
E) neither her therapist nor her doctors – was able to see

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Soon

The corret idiom is "neither ... nor". We can easly eliminate all but A and E.
If we look at the phrase, it says "no one medical professional ( SINGULAR)" so the next part must mantain this structure.
IMO E

Zarrolou & MIke,

Dont you think in all the answer choices, pronoun "her" doesnt have an antecedent. The sentence talks abiout "girl's illness" but "girl" was no where mentioned.

Is this usage correct? If so why?
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2013, 16:53
maaadhu wrote:
Zarrolou & MIke,
Don't you think in all the answer choices, pronoun "her" doesn't have an antecedent. The sentence talks about "girl's illness" but "girl" was no where mentioned.
Is this usage correct? If so why?

Dear maaadhu,
You are perfectly correct. The word "girl's" is in the possessive, and therefore absolutely cannot serve as an antecedent. Therefore the pronoun "her" has no antecedent. You are 100% correct: this construction is absolutely unacceptable in GMAT terms. I was focusing on the underlined splits only, so I missed this, but this is a clear and unambiguous mistake. It's very hard to write high quality GMAT SC practice questions, and whoever wrote this fell short of the mark on this particular question.

Here's a higher quality SC practice question for you:
http://gmat.magoosh.com/questions/3225

Mike
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl's illness even [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2013, 17:29
I thought her is a possessive pronoun that can refer to girl’s illness.

Any comments?
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl's illness even [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2013, 23:19
nt2010 wrote:
I thought her is a possessive pronoun that can refer to girl’s illness.

Any comments?

Nice question!

I think you are referring to the "possessive poison" rule of MGMAT SC Guide, according to which something like
"Marc's house"(...)"his"<== cannot refer to Marc because the name Marc does not appear as such in the sentence.

This is quite a controversial rule, and I think has been removed in the latest edition of the book.
In the official questions I know that this rule has been mentioned by GMAC, but the in the problem (just one) in which something similar appeared, the explanation did not mention it as the reason why the option was incorrect. So I would suggest not to bother about it, as its importance is minimal .

Hope this helps a bit
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2013, 10:51
mikemcgarry wrote:
maaadhu wrote:
Zarrolou & MIke,
Don't you think in all the answer choices, pronoun "her" doesn't have an antecedent. The sentence talks about "girl's illness" but "girl" was no where mentioned.
Is this usage correct? If so why?

Dear maaadhu,
You are perfectly correct. The word "girl's" is in the possessive, and therefore absolutely cannot serve as an antecedent. Therefore the pronoun "her" has no antecedent. You are 100% correct: this construction is absolutely unacceptable in GMAT terms. I was focusing on the underlined splits only, so I missed this, but this is a clear and unambiguous mistake. It's very hard to write high quality GMAT SC practice questions, and whoever wrote this fell short of the mark on this particular question.

Here's a higher quality SC practice question for you:
http://gmat.magoosh.com/questions/3225

Mike

Thank You Mike & Zarralou.
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl's illness even [#permalink]

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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl's illness even [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2014, 23:43
hi Zarrolou and mikemcgarry
I understood that as per S-V agreement we need to use singular "was". but I am confused with the use of
Including vs. NeitherX nor Y
if the optn C would have been :
C) - including her therapist and her doctors – WAS able to see
E) - neither her therapist nor her doctors – was able to see

in this case will we still prefer E over C ??
I guess as the sentce says "NO ONE medical professional" - the use of neitherX norY is redundant & "Including" will correctly modify professional.

Please explain

Thanks in advance
Cheers...
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl's illness even [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2014, 11:42
GuptaDarsh wrote:
hiZarrolou and mikemcgarry
I understood that as per S-V agreement we need to use singular "was". but I am confused with the use of
Including vs. NeitherX nor Y
if the optn C would have been :
C) - including her therapist and her doctors – WAS able to see
E) - neither her therapist nor her doctors – was able to see

in this case will we still prefer E over C ??
I guess as the sentce says "NO ONE medical professional" - the use of neitherX norY is redundant & "Including" will correctly modify professional.

Please explain

Thanks in advance
Cheers...

Dear GuptaDarsh,
I'm happy to respond.

If option (C) had the singular verb, both (C) & (E) would be perfectly correct, and there really would be no good way to choose. Yes, "no one medical professional" is unambiguously clear, but for added rhetorical emphasis, we add what's between the dashes --- again, either (C) or (E) would be fine on that issue.

You have to understand: this question is of OK quality, but not an excellent question. Most of the questions from the OG and other official sources are truly excellent: this means that many different issues are at play among the answer choices. In this question, many of the answer choices are "one-trick ponies" --- there's just one problem, and if we fix that one problem, then the answer choice is perfectly correct. This is a characteristic of SC questions that I would call "second tier," that is, a notch below the standard of excellence that characterizes official questions.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl's illness even [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2014, 22:54
It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl’s illness even after three hospitalizations, several months of therapy, and a near mental breakdown because no one medical professional – neither her therapist nor her doctors – were able to see the full scope of her symptoms.

A) neither her therapist nor her doctors – were able to see --> "must use was "
B) not even her therapist nor her doctors – were able to see -->"not even her x not her y wrong idiom usage"
C) including her therapist and her doctors – were able to see--> "including x and y are wrong idiom "
D) not even her therapist nor her doctors – was able to see --> "not even her x nor her y wrong idiom usage"
E) neither her therapist nor her doctors – was able to see correct -->"eliminate the part between dash and read the sentence you will get your ans -->because no one medical professional (dash part is used to modify the subject "medical professional")\

Now read because no one 'Subject' - dash part - was able to see.
Hence E.

Kindly correct if i am wrong !!

Rgrds
SG
Re: It was nearly impossible to diagnose the girl's illness even   [#permalink] 27 Nov 2014, 22:54

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