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Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the

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Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly because of the difficulty of distinguishing between a language and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found about five thousand.

A. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found

B. and the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried counting typically finding

C. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried counting it typically find

D. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, but those who tried to count them typically found

E. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried to count typically finding
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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Error Analysis:

Questions to ask here are

1) what are the X & Y for between (between X & Y).
2) what does IT refer to.


B: THEM reference is wrong(it should be IT) - referring to Language
D: "between X or Y" is wrong. THEM reference is wrong(it should be IT) - referring to Language
E: "between X or Y" is wrong. "but those who have tried to Count" is not Clause t
C: but those who have tried to Count(Present Continuous) , typically find (Simple Present) - Wrong

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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly because of the difficulty (of? ) distinguishing between a language and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found about five thousand.

A. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found -- It correctly refers to languages - CORRECT

B. and the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried counting typically finding -- them is incorrectly refering to singular language + " with those who have " - wordy construction

C. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried counting it typically find -- IT corrcetly refers to singular language in first part, second IT incorrectly refers to " MANY LANGUAGES"

D. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, but those who tried to count them typically found -- Incorrect use of between - correct use is " between X and Y " not " between X or Y "

E. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried to count typically finding -- Incorrect use of between - correct use is " between X and Y " not " between X or Y "
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2012, 19:16
I have chosen A for this question:

There are many ways to split the answer choices. Firstly, the use of "or" is incorrect because you are trying to distinguish between 2 elements - a language and sublanguage/dialect. You can also see the use of "with those..." which makes no sense because this prepositional phrase doesn't create a logical connection. Finally, pronoun usage of "it" versus "them."

A. This answer choices uses the correct pronoun "it" to refer to language. It also uses the correct coordinating conjunction "but" to show a contrast between the separate thoughts in the sentence. Finally, the tenses make sense - present perfect for both "have tried" and "have found."

B. The use of the pronoun "them" is incorrect because this word is supposed to refer to the singular language. Also, "with..." is a prepositional phrase that becomes confusing and does not state the contrast in thoughts. Finally, the modifier "finding" should in fact be a verb - I'm not sure what it modifies.

C. The use of the second "it" refers back to the "languages" in the first portion of the sentence. This is an error.

D. The use of "or" is incorrect here. Also, the use of "them" is incorrect because it is supposed to refer to the singular language.

E. Again, the use of "or" is wrong here. "Them" refers to the singular language - this is incorrect.
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly because of the difficulty (of? ) distinguishing between a language and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found about five thousand.

A. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found
B. and the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried counting typically finding
C. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried counting it typically find
D. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, but those who tried to count them typically found
E. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried to count typically finding


There are 2 clauses in the SC

1.Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly .because of the difficulty (of? ) distinguishing between a language and the sub-languages or dialects within it

2. but those who have tried to count typically have found
about five thousand.

In the first clause subject is 'languages' and verb is 'are', SV agreement is correct .Between is used for comparing two things ,here the usage is correct since because in in underlined portion so the comparison between "a language and languages is correct ".

From the above explanation we can zero down A,B and C.

In the second clause the split is within found/find/finding.... in the second clause the verb "tried" is past tense so using found is appropriate in this context

SO finally the answer is "A"


note: Sorry if I am wrong in explanation ,please correct.I have tried my level best.
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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pavanpaone wrote:
Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly because of the difficulty (of? ) distinguishing between a language and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found about five thousand.

A. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found
B. and the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried counting typically finding
C. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried counting it typically find
D. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, but those who tried to count them typically found
E. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried to count typically finding


There are 2 clauses in the SC

1.Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly .because of the difficulty (of? ) distinguishing between a language and the sub-languages or dialects within it

2. but those who have tried to count typically have found
about five thousand.

In the first clause subject is 'languages' and verb is 'are', SV agreement is correct .Between is used for comparing two things ,here the usage is correct since because in in underlined portion so the comparison between "a language and languages is correct ".

From the above explanation we can zero down A,B and C.

In the second clause the split is within found/find/finding.... in the second clause the verb "tried" is past tense so using found is appropriate in this context

SO finally the answer is "A"


note: Sorry if I am wrong in explanation ,please correct.I have tried my level best.


Hi pavan,

Note the following:

Glad to see your explanation mostly correct, just a few tweakings
There are actually 3 clauses (see the one highlighted above)

We can take down choices to only A or C - reason if you note carefully, the highlighted clause, the pronoun must refer to "a language" - think carefully, is the author referring to dialects withing "the sub languages" or is he/she referring to "sublanguages/dialects within language" - the answer is the latter part, thus we need to use "it"

Hope I could help
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2013, 15:13
sunainaluthra wrote:
I selected correct answer choice A. But my doubt is if one of the answer choice was:

and the sub languages or dialects within it. but those who tried to count found

would this be correct in the context of the question? I feel am overlooking a very simple concept but just not able to get my head around this. Any help is much appreciated.

Dear sunainaluthra,
That's a great question, and I am happy to help. :-)
In the phrase "those who tried to count typically found ...", those verbs are in the simple past tense. This contains the subtle implication that these efforts took place in the past, but no one is even trying to answer this question any more. It's a done deal. In other words, academically, it's a dead question, no longer pursued in any way.

In the phrase those "who have tried to count typically have found ... ", those verb are in the present perfect tense. See this blog article on the perfect tenses:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-verb- ... ct-tenses/
This has the subtle implication that the effort to count was started in the past but still, somehow, is under way --- that folks today are still, in some way, wrestling with this question. Academically, it's a living question.

Within the context of the question, we don't have much way to decide between these two, other than what's in the underlined section. If (A) contained the present perfect tenses but were incorrect for some unrelated reason, so that we had to look for another answer, then I would say that a choice with the simple past would change the meaning too much to be a correct answer, but the GMAT is not going to have a subtle connotation such as this as the only deciding factor separating answer choices. If the prompt and the answers consistent made one of these two choices, either one would be grammatically correct.

I imagine, since the OG opted for the present perfect, that the question is still an open, living, debated question in academia today. The GMAT SC sentences usually reflect real-world facts. Of course, there would be absolutely no way you would be expected to know this real-world fact independently.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2014, 14:35
My Approach - difficulty of distinguishing between a language and the sub languages or dialects within it.
Use of It is correct, that eliminates B, D, E.
Between A and C, the use of have tried to count typically have found is better than
tried counting it typically find
C is changing the tense in this part and is incorrect.
Hence A is correct
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2014, 22:17
cs2209 wrote:
C is changing the tense in this part and is incorrect.
Hence A is correct

Yes, and there is another substantial issue with C. It says:

...but those who have tried counting it typically find...

No instance of the infamous it should never go unnoticed. What does it refer to here? Well perhaps one of the following two entities:

a) Languages (plural): If the intent of it is to refer to languages, then the usage of it is incorrect, since it (a singular pronoun) cannot refer to languages (a plural noun). So, the least that should have been present in the sentence is them and not it.

Or

b) Number of languages (singular): If the intent of it is to refer to number of languages, then the usage of is again incorrect, since the phrase number of languages is not present anywhere in the sentence. Note that pronouns can only refer to nouns that are present in the sentence; number of languages is not present.

p.s. Our book SC Nirvana discusses this concept of pronouns, its application and examples in significant detail. If you can PM you email, I can send you the corresponding section.
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2015, 12:15
Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly because of the difficulty distinguishing between a language and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found about five thousand.

A. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found
Correct
B. and the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried counting typically finding
Usage of "them" is not correct must be singular + with those who have is wordy consttruction + tried in past must settle down with found instead of finding.
C. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried counting it typically find
Usage of second "it" is wrong.+ find must be found.
D. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, but those who tried to count them typically found
Idiom is between.....and +usage of "them" is wrong
E. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried to count typically finding
Same as D

Hence A
Ans!

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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2015, 23:18
apoorv601 wrote:
Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly because of the difficulty of distinguishing between a language and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found about five thousand.

A. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found

Can somebody explain i option A - ",but" makes the second clause as independent clause but i don't think it is independent as it does not complete in itself?


It is an independent clause. Let's break the structure:

Subject verb
those who have tried to count typically have found

Who have found..? those who have tried to count
Here the subject is a clause.

Relate this structure with "he has found". "He has found" is an independent clause. Similarly, this one too is an independent clause.

Does it help?

Dolly Sharma

Last edited by DollySharma on 16 Jun 2015, 03:23, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2015, 15:00
"Between" is always coupled with "and"; so we are left with options A, B and C.
In option B, the segment "counting typically finding", is wrong, because a continuous tense should be followed by a simple tense.
In option C, the segment "but those who have tried counting it typically find" is wrong. It says people who have already tried, indicating that the action has taken place in the past, hence, the placement of a present tense, "find" is wrong.

Option A has no such errors. Hence, it is the answer.


A. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found
B. and the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried counting typically finding
C. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried counting it typically find
D. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, but those who tried to count them typically found
E. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried to count typically finding
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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New post 14 May 2016, 23:57
Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly because of the difficulty of distinguishing between a language and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found about five thousand.

1) Distinguishing between a language and sub-languages or dialects within it -> it is correct as the sub-languages or dialects are under a single language.

A. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found
Correct

B. and the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried counting typically finding
1) Point number 1
2) Finding is a gerund and not a verb. We require a verb here

C. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried counting it typically find
1) "Count it". It refers to a single language. How a person count a single language.
2) Find -> Simple present and it provides a meaning as if the number of count will always be true. So it I count the number of languages 10 years from now, we will still get 5000. Which is not the meaning of the sentence.

D. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, but those who tried to count them typically found
1) them -> Point # 1 above
2) Between takes "And" and not "or"

E. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried to count typically finding
1) them -> Point # 1 above
2) Between takes "And" and not "or
3) Finding is a gerund and not a verb. We require a verb here
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2016, 11:58
apoorv601 wrote:
Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly because of the difficulty of distinguishing between a language and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found about five thousand.


A. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found - Correct

B. and the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried counting typically finding

1. Them - sub-languages or dialects are within LanguagE and not LanguagES.
2. With - We need Contrast here.
3. Finding - We need a verb and finding is not a verb

C. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried counting it typically find

1. Counting - Should be infinitive - to count. As it is, "counting" is a participle modifying the verb - have tried.
2. it - The referent here is LanguageS.

D. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, but those who tried to count them typically found

1. Or - Changing the meaning. Should be - and.
2. them - Same as option B.
3. but those who tried to count them typically found - Change in Tense means that those who are trying to count the # of languages at Present are not included.

E. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried to count typically finding

1. Or - Same as D
2. them - Same as B
3. With - Same as B
4. Finding - Again, same as B
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2016, 05:28
dear experts,

I have a question that confused me a lot .

because I got an idea that pronoun in modifier is incorrect,

for example:
The book that I read it yesterday was exciting-- pronoun "it" is redundant, because that stands for "the book", it stands for "the" book as well, -- incorrect
this my understanding for this rule.

I am not sure whether the rule is always incorrect?
are they correct, if
nobody knows how many languages in the world, but those who try to count the languages have found five thousand.
nobody knows how many languages in the world, but those who try to count them have found five thousand.

thanks a lot.
have a nice day
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2016, 07:14
PLURAL, SINGULAR, PLURAL.

SPLIT1) IDIOM. BETWEEN X AND Y. D AND E ARE OUT.

SPLIT2) SVA. THE FIRST SINGULAR PRONOUN "IT" REFERS TO THE SINGULAR NOUN "LANGUAGE". B, D AND E ARE OUT.

SPLIT3) IDIOM. TRIED+INFINITIVE. B AND C ARE OUT.

SPLIT4) THE SECOND "IT" IN THE SECOND PART OF THE SENTENCE IS WRONG BECAUSE IN THE 2ND PART WE ARE REFERRING TO NOUN "LANGUAGES" SO THE PRONOUN "THEM" IS THE CORRECT PRONOUN. C IS OUT.
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jan 2017, 19:11
Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly because of the difficulty of distinguishing between a language and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found about five thousand.

A. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found

B. and the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried counting typically finding them changes meaning, it's not people

C. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried counting it typically find tense issue

D. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, but those who tried to count them typically found ( x and y language or dialects )

E. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried to count typically finding ( same as D )

Distinguishing between x and y Idiom
A
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2017, 08:28
Hi, I could narrow down between Options A and C. Then I selected C because I thought the use of HAVE in the underlined part is wrong in option A.

A. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found

C. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried counting it typically find

According to me the second part should be : HAVE tried to count typically find

Have connects past and present. Thus something happened in past (the process of counting) and the result (find it) is in present.

Please suggest where am I wrong?
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2017, 10:05
Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly because of the difficulty (of? ) distinguishing between a language and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found about five thousand.

A. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found

B. and the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried counting typically finding

C. and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried counting it typically find

D. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, but those who tried to count them typically found

E. or the sub-languages or dialects within them, with those who have tried to count typically finding


first do 2-3 split with A,B and C having 'and' and D and E having 'or' not 'between......and' is correct not 'between or'
so we eliminate D and E and are left with A,b and C

In option B there is subject verb disagreement as language is singular and them is plural so eliminate B ,in option C the triend counting is improper usage,so eliminate

left with A which is correct

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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2017, 21:01
sunainaluthra wrote:
Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly because of the difficulty of distinguishing between a language and the sub languages or dialects within it. but those who have tried to count typically have found about five thousand

A) and the sublanguages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found
B) and the sublanguages or dialects within them, with those who have tried counting typically finding
C) and the sublanguages or dialects within it, but those who have tried counting it typically find
D) or the sublanguages or dialects within them, but those who tried to count them typically found
E) or the sublanguages or dialects within them, with those who have tried to count typically finding


I selected correct answer choice A. But my doubt is if one of the answer choice was:


and the sub languages or dialects within it. but those who tried to count found


would this be correct in the context of the question? I feel am overlooking a very simple concept but just not able to get my head around this. Any help is much appreciated.


your question is good.

the difference between simple past and present perfect is basic and is explained a lot in grammar book. this is a textbook case.
to fully understand this point, I recommend you read the book "advanced grammar in used".

present perfect can be used to say: a past action without a point of time, a past action relating to present, and a past action which happened recently. present perfect can be used to say about an action which continue to present.

So, we have 4 cases of uses of present perfect. if we read a grammar book, we can know these 4 cases. But to remember these 4 cases, we have to practice realizing each case whenever you read text. in short, you have to see grammar points in the text. this is the only way to master grammar.

because we can not master the difference between have done and did, we are confused when facing them. but this is basic point.

whenever I see a tense in the text I read, I try to realize the grammatical role of it. it refers to a past action or an action continuing to present. this way help me master the tense easily. consult the grammar books when reading the text is normal.
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the   [#permalink] 28 Mar 2017, 21:01

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