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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 05 Dec 2019, 13:53
Also answered on our Ask Me Anything About SC thread, but reposting here in case it helps somebody:

09173140521 wrote:
Hi Mr.Charles
I would be happy if you answer this question.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/neanderthals ... l#p2335090



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



please explain how "resembling" can modify a thing in the past ??????? I SAW "-ing" modifier only in present tense be correct and many question wrong because of using -ing modifier in past .......BUT in this case it use for past tense !

in other word = "a vocal tract that resemble an ape's" or "a vocal tract that resembled an ape's" which is correct.? :please
tnx in advance.

I think I see the confusion. The key here is that "-ing" words such as "resembling" are usually not verbs at all. (They can be verbs, of course, but that's not the case here.) In this context, "resembling" is an adjective, just modifying "a vocal tract." And adjectives NEVER have a tense, so you really don't have to worry about the timeline at all. It's fine to say "a vocal tract resembling an ape's" -- and it would also be fine to say "a vocal tract that resembled an ape's."

This article on the various uses of "-ing" words might help with this issue. And here's another example of the word "resembling" in a really tough GMATPrep question.

I 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 29 Apr 2020, 07:13
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


My POE:

[....] and so were probably without language [....] - the subject has to be Neanderthals, it cannot be the vocal tracts.

Hence (C), (D) and (E) are out.


(A) Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes - vocal tract is singular and those of is plural. The comparison is wrong. It should be "vocal tract that resembled that of the apes"

Hence (A) is out.

IMO (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 30 Apr 2020, 03:34
In (E), isn't it "those of" referring to "vocal tracts", and if we replace it in the original sentence, it compares correctly?
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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 30 Apr 2020, 06:59
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lakshya14 wrote:
In (E), isn't it "those of" referring to "vocal tracts", and if we replace it in the original sentence, it compares correctly?

Agree. However, E seems to suggest that the vocal tracts were probably without language, while the intended meaning is that Neanderthals were probably without language (in any case, vocal tracts cannot have a 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 30 Apr 2020, 15:02
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Yes, and if we look further, we also see that "they" were supplanted by our species. If we make vocal tracts the subject, then the default interpretation is that "they" means vocal tracts. We want "they" to refer to Neanderthals, so it's best to make them the subject of the sentence rather than part of a modifier.

EducationAisle wrote:
lakshya14 wrote:
In (E), isn't it "those of" referring to "vocal tracts", and if we replace it in the original sentence, it compares correctly?

Agree. However, E seems to suggest that the vocal tracts were probably without language, while the intended meaning is that Neanderthals were probably without language (in any case, vocal tracts cannot have a 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 15 May 2020, 06:29
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


Looking at the question, I questioned Who/What (so) were probably without language ? And the obvious answer is "Neanderthals".

Thus, I could eliminate C, D and E. And in between option A and option B, Option A has pronoun error. Therefore B is correct.

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 24 May 2020, 12:29
HI GMATNinja , Charles, can we have a detailed explanation to this problem?
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Re: Neanderthals had a vocal tract that resembled those of the apes and so   [#permalink] 24 May 2020, 12:29

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