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Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so

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

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New post 15 Oct 2015, 02:16
C / D / E are our right away because of "they" in the underlined portion

A is out because of "apes," which can refer to "they" in the underlined portion

Look at B.. very sharp use of singular noun "vocal tract" as not to refer to "they" and use of possessive "ape's" as not to refer to pronoun "they"

One of the most beautiful questions I have ever seen.

I keep in mind that the correct answer choice in GMAT is the one that is air tight. Every pronoun has a clear referent. The moment you think twice the antecedent of the pronoun in the answer choice is the exact moment you should have doubts about it.

KUDOS pls
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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New post 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 apes and so  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2016, 12:32
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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.

Before i start i look at the Sentence and see a"they" this needs to have a proper antecedent

And the vocal tract part needs to be parallel as well

(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes :- This can be re written as Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled "the vocal tract - This is singular and Those is Plural" --- Hence incorrect
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape's :- Neanderthals give proper antecedent to they and Vocal tract resembling an ape's vocal tract ---- an gives a marker that it is singlular hence on all accounts its correct
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape's :- They becomes ambiguous in this
(D) The Neanderthal's vocal tracts resembled the apes’ :- They directs to vocal tracts here, hence wrong
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes :- They directs to what?? Neaderthals ?? or Vocal Tracts???
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2016, 00:46
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reply2spg 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

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 apes and so  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 11:29
(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

Subject of the sentence should be Neanderthal so C,D, and E are out
A is using those instead of that so wrong.
B is best but it also has issue that it uses " ape's " and not " apes' " or this use is correct?
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2017, 12:05
dabhishek87 wrote:
(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

Subject of the sentence should be Neanderthal so C,D, and E are out
A is using those instead of that so wrong.
B is best but it also has issue that it uses " ape's " and not " apes' " or this use is correct?




Hello dabhishek87,


I would be glad to help you resolve your doubt. :)

In Choice B, use of ape's is absolutely fine for two reasons.

Firstly, the sentence intends to present comparison between the vocal tract of Neanderthals and that of apes. The expression ape's stands for ape's vocal tract. If we change ape's to apes, then the sentence will present illogical comparison between the vocal tract of Neanderthals and the apes themselves.

Secondly, the choice uses singular article an that cannot be followed by the plural noun apes.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Oct 2017, 10:19
Past perfect tense correct in option b?

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

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New post 12 Oct 2017, 12:25
santro789 wrote:
Past perfect tense correct in option b?

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Hello santro789,


I will be glad to help you with this one. :-)


The helping verbs have, has, and had act as a perfect tense verbs only when they are followed by another verb in its past participle form. Take a look at the following sentences:

They have bought the movie tickets. --> Present Perfect Tense.

He has bought the movie tickets. --> Present Perfect Tense.

They/He had bought the movie tickets. --> Past Perfect Tense.



When these helping verbs (have, has, and had) are used just by themselves and are not followed by any other verb, then act as simple tense verbs. For example:

They have the movie tickets. --> Simple Present Tense.

He has the movie tickets. --> Simple Present Tense.

They/He had the movie tickets. --> Simple Past Tense.



Similar is the usage of had in this official sentence. Please note that in Choice B, had is not followed by any other verb in its participle form. Hence. had is NOT a past perfect tense verb in Choice B. It is rightly a simple past tense verb.


Hope this helps. :-)
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Dec 2017, 11:18
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 -SV agreement (tract ... those)
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s - Correct
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s - Meaning error (tracts ... without language)
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’ - Meaning error (tracts ... without language)
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes - Meaning error (tracts ... without language)
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2018, 09:43
Can someone please explain me in detail why option E is incorrect. For me the intended meaning seems like that the sentence is comparing the vocal tract of the Neanderthals to the vocal tract of the apes and so those in A is incorrect
In B i thought since the sentence uses the past perfect Had and the continuous tense Resembling the use is incorrect and so i choose option E
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2018, 10:12
longhaul123 wrote:
Can someone please explain me in detail why option E is incorrect.

Hi longhaul123, notice that E (and options C and D as well) change the subject of the sentence from Neanderthals to vocal tracts. So, C, D, and E seem to erroneously suggest that vocal tracts were probably without language (while the meaning of the original sentence is that Neanderthals were without language).

Quote:
For me the intended meaning seems like that the sentence is comparing the vocal tract of the Neanderthals to the vocal tract of the apes and so those in A is incorrect

Indeed. The main issue with A is that the pronoun those is intended to refer to vocal tracts (plural), but option A only has vocal tract (singular). So, the pronoun those doesn't really have a valid antecedent in option A.

Quote:
In B i thought since the sentence uses the past perfect Had and the continuous tense Resembling the use is incorrect and so i choose option E

The presence of had in B does not make this sentence past perfect. had is used as a verb in this sentence (to depict the act of possession). The verb had is used as a simple past tense of the verb have. This confusion arises because both, the simple past tense and the past participle, of the verb have, are had.

Let's see few examples:

John has a car.
- Simple present

John had a car.
- Simple past

John has had a car for five years.
- Present perfect

John had had a car for five years before he sold it off.
- Past perfect

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

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New post 12 Feb 2018, 23:29
longhaul123 wrote:
Can someone please explain me in detail why option E is incorrect. For me the intended meaning seems like that the sentence is comparing the vocal tract of the Neanderthals to the vocal tract of the apes and so those in A is incorrect
In B i thought since the sentence uses the past perfect Had and the continuous tense Resembling the use is incorrect and so i choose option E


Hi longhaul123

Adding to the explanation given in the above post, I would like to point out that the word "resembling" acts a modifier for the noun "vocal tract". For instance, in the following sentence, the "-ing" word acts not as a verb but as a modifier.

He made a sculpture resembling the famous Renaissance sculpture, David.

The verb in the above sentence is "made", and "resembling" acts as a modifier for the noun "sculpture".

Let's take an even simpler example. I am sure you have used sentences such as the following:

Students studying for the GMAT need to be very focused.

As you can see, the word "studying" modifies the noun "students", giving you information about the students you are referring to.

Hope that helps! :)

Cheers!
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2018, 19:35
Why is it wrong to compare vocal tract to vocal tracts of apes (plural)?
still comparing the same organ right?
Or is it because "those" has no plural antecedent to refer to
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2018, 11:24
reply2spg 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



generis your SC majesty :) pls advise.

(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s

Neanderthals is in plural form and an ape’s is in singular --- isnt it a parallelism issue :?

thanks and enjoy a day :-)
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New post 16 May 2018, 15:21
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dave13 wrote:
reply2spg 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

generis your SC majesty :) pls advise.

(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s

Neanderthals is in plural form and an ape’s is in singular --- isnt it a parallelism issue :?

thanks and enjoy a day :-)

(1) No, there is not a parallelism issue.

Why not? Option B leaves out the words
that would help. Those omitted words constitute a singular noun. In other words, we have a case of ellipsis.

The possessive noun "ape's" contains the hint:
the comparison is between singular "vocal tract" that Neanderthals had,
and another singular "vocal tract" that an ape has.

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

The second vocal tract is implied.
Vocal tract and vocal tract are both singular.
Neither instance of "vocal tract" is the subject of the sentence.
Neither instance is referred to with the wrong possessive pronoun, as in Option A:
a vocal tract that resembled those [that] of

In other words, the issue of parallelism in Option B is
not between Neanderthals and ape(s), but rather
between a singular vocal tract and another unstated singular vocal tract.
Option B is correct. Option A is wrong.

Finally, I wonder whether you were tempted by another answer?
If so, which answer choice tempted you?

If not, I assume you want to understand the (non)issue
in option B in case that issue arises in another SC question.

TIP: If you see a possessive noun or pronoun that is not followed
by a "something" (either what the possessive noun/pronoun "owns" or is related to)
if the issue arises, fill in the something.


Filling in the "something" will clear up most issues.

The ape's WHAT? The ape's vocal tract.
My laugh is similar to yours. Your WHAT? Your laugh.
Their president may be even worse than ours. Our WHAT? Our president.

This suggestion will help often.
Remembering and analyzing what we can see is hard enough under pressure,
never mind what we cannot see.

2) If you still believe Option B is wrong, read on. Otherwise, skip.

Split #1: vocal tracts become the subject of the sentence, such that
both meaning is changed and logic is defied.
"Vocal tracts" should not be taking the highlighted verbs.

Vocal tracts can neither be without language nor be supplanted by anatomically modern homo sapiens (our species).

(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s [vocal tract] and were probably without language . . .[and] were supplanted by [us].

(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’ [vocal tracts] and were probably without language . . .[and] were supplanted by [us].

(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes and were probably without language . . .[and] were supplanted by [us].

Eliminate C, D, and E.

2) Split number two: agreement

(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes
The non-agreement here is prominent.
The noun is A vocal tract, which then gets referred to incorrectly by those

If you feel short on time: by POE, choose B and move on.
If you have a few seconds, read Option B. Insert "vocal tract" after "ape's"
in your mind or write it on your paper.

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


dave13, I hope that helps. :-)

"your SC majesty" :razz: Actually, I think I'm your straight man - a foil. You may know these terms. Just in case:
Straight man: a member of a comedy team who feeds lines to a partner who in turn replies with usually humorous quips, see here. FOIL: a person or thing that makes another seem better by contrast:
The straight man was an able foil to the comic. see here.

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

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New post 16 May 2018, 16:13
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lary301254M7 wrote:
Why is it wrong to compare vocal tract to vocal tracts of apes (plural)?
still comparing the same organ right?
Or is it because "those" has no plural antecedent to refer to

lary301254M7 , sorry! I didn't see your recent question when
I answered dave13 's first.

I assume you refer to Option A?
First, yes, "those" should be "that."
The antecedent in Option A is "vocal tract." That antecedent does not agree with the plural pronoun "those." A subtle detail exists; the pronoun is wrong, not the antecedent. The antecedent, as an anatomical term, is typically singular.

That is, reference to anatomical parts typically is singular except in
obvious cases such as wings or antennae.
This preference is stylistic and arcane.

A hyena's jaw, not hyenas' jawbones.
A hornet's stinger, not hornets' stingers.
The trunk of an elephant, not the trunks of elephants.

The preference is just that -- a preference, not a hard rule.

You do not need to know this stylistic inclination toward
anatomical references. The options will give you other reasons
to eliminate the options.

Hope that helps. :-)
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2018, 02:12
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 --> comparison between singular vs plural
B. Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape's --> correct
C. The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape's --> meaning issue " the vocal tracts .... & so were w/o language"
D. The Neanderthal's vocal tracts resembled the apes’ --> meaning issue " vocal tracts .... & so were w/o language"
E. The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes --> meaning issue " the vocal tracts .... & so were w/o language"
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2019, 01:34
C D and E incorrectly imply that the Neanderthal’s vocal cords were without language.

A is too wordy.

B is the right option.
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New post Updated on: 02 Apr 2019, 00:16
this is one of the toughest and one of the easiest question on the fourm, if you will not remian literal and will not look for the small details you are definetly going to mark it wrong. One thing after practicing so many questions and after reading every answer explanations of GMATNinja in this forum have taught me that rather than finding one right answer, it is better to find four wrong answers.

With that being said let's try to find the errors.
One thing to notice is here "and" is not underlined therefore whatever comes after it is definetly correct and we need to find what is it parallel to.
AND so were ok so we need some verb to be parallel to it

Quote:
(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes What does "those" refer to, we need something plural now the only thing plural is Neanderthals. But here we are comparing vocal tract


Quote:
(B) Neanderthals had a vocal tract resembling an ape’s This seems fine, there is proper comparison of vocal tract of Neanderthals with the vocal tract of app, and now the parallelism order is also sorted. Even if you are unable to find it in first glance, just by eliminating at the other answer choices, you will be left with this answer choice only ;)


Quote:
(C) The vocal tracts of Neanderthals resembled an ape’s we need a verb to be parallel to "AND so were" and clearly resembled is a modifier.


Quote:
(D) The Neanderthal’s vocal tracts resembled the apes’ same as C


Quote:
(E) The vocal tracts of the Neanderthals resembled those of the apes. -- Here those refers correctly to vocal tracts but we need a verb to be parallel to "AND so were" and clearly resembled is a modifier

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Last edited by rraman on 02 Apr 2019, 00:16, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 01 Apr 2019, 23:15
Can anyone please explain to me why so can refer to the subject? I never see "so" can use as a pronoun
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