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# Neither my mother nor my father, both of whom are English

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Intern
Joined: 07 Sep 2012
Posts: 6
Neither my mother nor my father, both of whom are English  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 10 Dec 2018, 10:34
00:00

Difficulty:

(N/A)

Question Stats:

88% (00:38) correct 12% (01:19) wrong based on 45 sessions

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Neither my mother nor my father, both of whom are English professors, agree
with my contention that James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is overrated.

A. both of whom are English professors, agree with my contention that
James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is overrated.
B. both of whom are English professors, agrees with my contention that
James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is overrated.
C. both of whom are English professors, agree with my contention that
Ulysses, a novel by James Joyce is overrated.
D. each of whom is an English professor, agree with my contention that
James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is overrated.
E. English professors the both of them agrees with my contention that
James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is overrated.

I think answer is B, but 'Both' looks wordy. Many thanks.

Edit: This question is of poor quality. Its best answer, B, is not correct. This was previously in archive but moved back to main discussion to help those struggling with it.

Originally posted by rahulbsai on 19 Sep 2012, 11:34.
Last edited by bb on 10 Dec 2018, 10:34, edited 2 times in total.
Moving back to main SC forum
Senior SC Moderator
Joined: 22 May 2016
Posts: 2207
Neither my mother nor my father, both of whom are English  [#permalink]

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24 Feb 2018, 19:02
deucebigalow wrote:
Hi, is the OA B in this question??

Hi, deucebigalow -

This question has no good answer.

B is the best of a bad lot.
To the extent that this question tests subject/verb agreement, yes, Answer B is correct. The verb is agrees.

Answer B, however, oddly and incorrectly has "both of whom" referring only the second singular subject, "father."

This question is not official.
Hope that helps.
##### General Discussion
Intern
Joined: 10 Apr 2012
Posts: 28
Location: Venezuela
Concentration: General Management, Finance
GPA: 3.07
Re: Neither my mother nor my father, both of whom are English  [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2012, 13:21
neither ... nor. Such phrases link two nouns. These two nouns may come in singular or plural. If one of the nouns is singular and the other noun is plural, what verb form should be used? The answer is simple: find the noun nearest to the verb.

Neither my father nor my brothers are going to the beach
Neither my brothers nor my father is going to the beach.

So, in the example presented above: Neither my mother nor my father, both of whom are English professors, agree
with my contention that James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is overrated.

the singular subject father is nearest to the verb, so the verb takes the singular form is. For this reason the answer should be D.

D) Each of whom is an English professor, agree with my contention that James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is overrated.
Intern
Joined: 07 Sep 2012
Posts: 6
Re: Neither my mother nor my father, both of whom are English  [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2012, 14:05
santivilla wrote:
neither ... nor. Such phrases link two nouns. These two nouns may come in singular or plural. If one of the nouns is singular and the other noun is plural, what verb form should be used? The answer is simple: find the noun nearest to the verb.

Neither my father nor my brothers are going to the beach
Neither my brothers nor my father is going to the beach.

So, in the example presented above: Neither my mother nor my father, both of whom are English professors, agree
with my contention that James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is overrated.

the singular subject father is nearest to the verb, so the verb takes the singular form is. For this reason the answer should be D.

D) Each of whom is an English professor, agree with my contention that James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is overrated.

Many thanks for the explanation. But, can we use EACH in this case?

If the options are :

Both of whom an English professor, agree with my contention that
James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is overrated

Each of whom an English professor, agree with my contention that
James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is overrated

which one is correct?
Intern
Joined: 10 Apr 2012
Posts: 28
Location: Venezuela
Concentration: General Management, Finance
GPA: 3.07
Re: Neither my mother nor my father, both of whom are English  [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2012, 15:55
I would have used "both", if it had been a compound plural subject (The word "and" can unite two or more singular subjects).
Example: My father and my mother, both of whom, etc...

In the case you presented, the neither ... nor form and the verb depend on the nearest noun. If the subject is singular, what follows must also be singular, "each" explicitly states that the subject is singular and the verb "is" is in line with the Subject verb agreement rules.

Let me know if this makes any sense.
cheers
Intern
Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 49
GMAT Date: 11-02-2012
Re: Neither my mother nor my father, both of whom are English  [#permalink]

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26 Sep 2012, 07:18
santivilla wrote:
neither ... nor. Such phrases link two nouns. These two nouns may come in singular or plural. If one of the nouns is singular and the other noun is plural, what verb form should be used? The answer is simple: find the noun nearest to the verb.

Neither my father nor my brothers are going to the beach
Neither my brothers nor my father is going to the beach.

So, in the example presented above: Neither my mother nor my father, both of whom are English professors, agree
with my contention that James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is overrated.

the singular subject father is nearest to the verb, so the verb takes the singular form is. For this reason the answer should be D.

D) Each of whom is an English professor, agree with my contention that James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is overrated.

What you said above is right for subject verb agreement that verb takes the nearest noun.

Althought I believe the answer is B. look at the sentence below:

Neither my father nor my mother agrees....... We need to remove the portion within comma and then use the rule. Usage of both is absolutely tight here.

Experts please let me know if my reasoning is correct.
SVP
Joined: 06 Sep 2013
Posts: 1721
Concentration: Finance
Re: Neither my mother nor my father, both of whom are English  [#permalink]

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12 May 2014, 14:06
Has to be B. Agrees is fine in this case since antedecent is father.
Whom is also needed

Thanks!
Cheers
J
Manager
Joined: 27 Oct 2013
Posts: 212
Location: India
Concentration: General Management, Technology
GMAT Date: 03-02-2015
GPA: 3.88
Re: Neither my mother nor my father, both of whom are English  [#permalink]

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26 May 2014, 20:09
+1 for B.

Can anyone please post the OA?
Manager
Joined: 26 Sep 2016
Posts: 62
Re: Neither my mother nor my father, both of whom are English  [#permalink]

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24 Feb 2018, 12:18
Hi, is the OA B in this question??
Re: Neither my mother nor my father, both of whom are English &nbs [#permalink] 24 Feb 2018, 12:18
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