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# Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the

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09 Feb 2009, 20:17
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Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.

(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes

Can someone explain this one?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by Narenn on 19 Sep 2013, 08:18, edited 1 time in total.
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09 Feb 2009, 20:41
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Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.

(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes

Can someone explain this one?

C,D,E out.. vocal tracts.. were probably without language.. --> completely wrong.. Neanderthals were without language is correct.

A -- we are comparing vocal tract with "those" (vocal tracts) of apes.. Wrong comparision.

B is perfect.

Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s [vocal tract] ...
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12 Feb 2009, 06:23
Should it not be Neanderthals had vocal tracts (plural)?

by having plural 'vocal tracts', we are decribing the inherent nature of the vocal tracts (of the Neanderthals) in general, which I think what the sentence is all about.

From the OA, Neanderthals had a vocal tract... seems to refer to a single vocal tract 'shared' by all Neanderthals which I find illogical.

Correct me if I am wrong, but my thinking is that the vocal tracts(plural) of Neanderthals should be compared to the apes' vocal tracts (plural).

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20 Sep 2009, 06:08
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Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.
IN THIS QUESTION,WE NEED TO LOOK AT THE CLUES PROVIDED BY THE LATER PART OF THE SENTENCE.CONCENTARTE ON THE PARTS "AND SO WERE" AND "WHY THEY WERE"..WHAT DO THESE PLURAL FORM SUGGEST;THAT THERE HAS TO BE A VERY CEAR PLURAL SUBJECT PRESENT IN THE EARLIER HALF OF THE SENTENCE..AND ALSO THAT THESE SUBJECTS SHOULD BE CERTAIN LIVING BEINGS WHO POSSESED THESE CHARACTERISTICS.LETS LOOK AT THE OPTIONS
(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
YES,THIS SENTENCE HAS SUBJECTS BUT 2 OF THEM NEANDERHALS/APES..WHICH ONES
IS THE LATER HALF REFERRING TO? A LITTLE CONFUSION..RIGHT!!! SUSPECT..LETS SEE OTHERS

(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s
NEANDERTHALS ARE A CLEAR SUBJECT
APE'S (VOAL TRACTS) CANNOT BE A SUBJECT SINCE WE HAVE DECIDED EALRLIER THAT IT HAS TO BE A LIVING ENTITY ..SO IS BETTER THAN A...ELIMINATE A AND KEEP THIS
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s
VOCAL TRACTS OF NEANDRTHALS IS THE SUBJECT.FIRST THIS IS SINGULAR AND SECOND
THIS IS NOT OUR APPROPRAITE CHOICE OF SUBJECT....THROW THIS OUT
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’
BY NOW IM SURE WE CAN MAKE OUT THAT THIS ALSO LACKS A SUITABLE SUBJECT
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes
SAME AS ABOVE

HENCE B IS THE CREDITED OPTION.HOPE THAT HELPED
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20 Sep 2009, 07:04
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tejal777 wrote:
This is a an important question and has not been discussed adequately.Keep getting it wrong..
I had straight away eliminated B,C,D because of "resembling an ape's.." resembling an ape's what?!which body part?hand,leg?!

The comparision is between the vocal tract of Neanderthals with the vocal tracts of ape's..

some possible comparisons:

- Netherlands' vocal tract <==> Apes' vocal tract
- vocal tract of Netherlands <==> vocal tract of Apes
- vocal tract of Netherlands <==> Apes' vocal tract.

Third one is used in case of B.

In cases of comparisons:

Unlike X of A, B's (X) is/are ... (here, X is implicit and is not necessary in the sentence)

HTH.
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01 Jan 2011, 05:25
(B)

(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the [#permalink]

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31 Jan 2013, 06:16
Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.
(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes - should be THAT
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s - It means that vocal tract is similar to Ape in appearance
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s - It means that vocal tract is similar to Ape in appearance
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’ - It means that vocal tract is similar to Ape in appearance
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes - CORRECT

Thus the answer has to be E

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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2013, 03:32
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Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.
(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes

Two Independent clauses connected by co-ordinating conjunction ('AND' in this case) should have a parallel structure.

Clause 1 :- Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of apes ------> Subject - InTransitive Verb - Predicate
Clause 2 :- so were probably without language --------> Subject - InTransitive Verb - Predicate

The logical antecedent of 'So', which is the Subject of second clause, is 'Neanderthals'. Hence 'Neanderthals' should be a subject of the First clause.

Only Choice A and B have their subject as 'The Neanderthal'. So C, D, E are out.

In Choice A has the Pronoun Agreement Error. 'Those of Apes'(plural) can not refer to the 'Vocal Tract of Neanderthals'(Singular)

Choice B Wins.
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the [#permalink]

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26 Sep 2013, 11:11
If nothing else, B seems to be the only option using the proper tense--'resembling' which is parallel with the tense later 'so they were probably with language, a shortcoming' ...etc.
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the [#permalink]

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31 Aug 2014, 08:13
C,D,E wrong modification of "neatherdals"
B - correct
A- those
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2014, 06:59
Interesting.

Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language

In the 2nd part of the sentence (so were) .. what does that refer to then. That should refer to Neanderthals so subject should be neanderthals.... Thats what my confusion is...

I still think that the subject is Neanderthals..not the vocal tract.. Correct me please if i am wrong...
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04 Dec 2014, 07:38
Of course, Neanderthals is the subject and "were" is the verb of the second independent clause, which is connected by "and". Is that what you were asking?

All the S-V pairs are highlighted below:

Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape's
and
so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2014, 08:06
govind440 wrote:
In the 2nd part of the sentence (so were) .. what does that refer to then. That should refer to Neanderthals so subject should be neanderthals....

Hi Govind, I am assuming you mean to ask what does that refer to in this part:

a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.

that actually refers to a shortcoming.

The structure a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species is actually called an absolute modifier and is in fact quite frequently tested on GMAT (though it is not explicitly tested in this question, since the entire absolute modifier is in the non-underlined portion).

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses Absolute modifiers, their application and examples in significant detail. If someone is interested, PM me your email-id, I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the [#permalink]

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16 May 2015, 00:51
gaurav1083 wrote:
IMO B

C,D,E are out because we need Neanderthals as the subject of sentence. Neanderthals should be the subject because "so were probably without language" is referring to Neanderthals.
A is out because it is using "those" to refer Vocal tract and that is wrong.

correct

but think more simple.

"they" at the end must have it headword . so, "neanderthat' or vocal tract should be a subject. if neanderthal is subject there is no ambiguity

this is a hard question and takes me a long time to go to correct answer.

before I worked for a Japanese company, I had a quarel with it and said some bad about Japanese product sometime. now , some company, I do not know, hire 5 or 6 persons to follow me whenever I go out of my house. they prevent me from looking for the British girl I met in Halong bay. I do not think Japanese companies is so bad that they do this job.

I feel not safe.
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the [#permalink]

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16 May 2015, 01:26
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reto wrote:
Baten80 wrote:
Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.
(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape's
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape's
(D) The Neanderthal's vocal tracts resembled the apes’
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes

Could anyone explain this question, I don't really see why E is not correct. Thank you

Hi Baten80,

If you check option E for meaning, you will realize the mistake. Option E suggests that :The vocal tracts...resembled ... and were probably without language.... This meaning is absurd 'vocal tracts were without language' ? Also, the final "they" in the final clause: 'they were supplanted by our own species' refers to the vocal tract in option E, suggesting that vocal tracts were supplanted by our own species. Hence, option E is wrong on account of wrong meaning, though it corrects the pronoun reference issue of option A.
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the [#permalink]

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13 Apr 2016, 02:49
dina98 wrote:
(A) "they" in the latter part of the sentence should refer to Neanderthals. This option leaves room for ambiguity. INCORRECT.

Actually GMAT has exhibited tolerance to pronouns way more ambiguous than this:).

A big issue with A is the presence of demonstrative pronoun those (...resembled those of the apes...).

The intent obviously is that those should refer to vocal tracts, but the issue is that vocal tracts doesn't appear in the sentence; only vocal tract does. So, in that sense, those does not have any valid antecedent.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses this aspect of Pronoun, its application and examples in significant detail. If someone is interested, PM me your email-id, I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2016, 00:46
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Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.

(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes

Can someone explain this one?

IMO B.
Let me try explaining this one in detail..

Meaning: The Neanderthals had a vocal chord similar to the vocal chord of apes, this fact indicates that the Neanderthals were without language and thus were supplanted(replaced) by our species.

Now lets look at the options
We'll first answer why the other options are wrong..and this will lead us to B.

C. The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.[part of the question]

In this option:
1. The subject of the sentence is "vocal tracts".
2. The two underlined words are acting as the verb of the subject(vocal tracts)

This doesn't make sense. The vocal tracts cannot be without any language and this is thus nonsensical.Considering parallelism, the highlighted "were" is parallel to these verbs and again, nonsensically indicates that the "vocal tracts" were replaced by "our species".
Eliminated.

D. The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’
This option too, like C, makes the vocal tracts the subject, by using the possessives(apostrophes--> Neanderthal's vocal tracts).
Eliminated.

E. The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes
Does the same mistake that C and D do.
Eliminated.

A. Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes.
All is good with this option, but it has a subtle mistake. It has compared two non similar things; in other words, it has compared a singular entity("vocal tract") with a plural entity("those of the apes"). This is considered wrong in the GMAT world.
Eliminated.

B. Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species. [Part of the question]

Correct.
What makes it correct?
1. The subject is Neanderthals.
2. The underlined verbs have the correct logical subject, and this also makes the two portions on the either sides of "and" parallel.
3. resembling is a Linking Verb, and a Linking Verb demands parallelism. The two entities on the either sides of "resembling" are singular entities(and are thus "comparable").

Hope it helps. I have done my best to explain

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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the [#permalink]

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13 Mar 2017, 10:57
Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so were probably without language, a shortcoming that may explain why they were supplanted by our own species.

(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes

The neanderthals is the subject and vocal tract should be compared with vocal tract of apes,not with apes

for that reason option B is correct while rest are incorrect.

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19 Apr 2017, 07:23
Hi sayantanc2k
Can you explain why we use two coordinating conjuntions and , so in the original sentence?

In my understanding FANBOYS (coordinating conjuntion) are used to join two independent clauses (Subject + Verb), but in original sentence, we lack subject for the second clause!!! Please elaborate!

Many thanks

PS: I love your reasoning so much
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the [#permalink]

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19 Apr 2017, 19:39
Merged topics. Please, search before posting questions!
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the   [#permalink] 19 Apr 2017, 19:39

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