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Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly

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

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New post 01 Apr 2020, 07:11
Was I right to eliminate D & E because 'Between X or Y' is non-idiomatic and that it should be 'Between X and Y'?
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New post 01 Apr 2020, 07:30
firsttimenoob wrote:
Was I right to eliminate D & E because 'Between X or Y' is non-idiomatic and that it should be 'Between X and Y'?

Yes that is correct.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses most frequently tested "idioms", their application and examples in significant detail. If you or someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2020, 00:52
EducationAisle wrote:
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.


Hi Ashish,

I am not able to figure out what "It" refers to in the correct answer choice A. “It” must refer to language (singular) but in the sentence. Languages (plural) is present.
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New post 27 Apr 2020, 01:26
amarprajapati92 wrote:
I am not able to figure out what "It" refers to in the correct answer choice A. “It” must refer to language (singular) but in the sentence. Languages (plural) is present.


Hi Amar, it refers to a language (which is present in the sentence)
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2020, 01:30
Hi @amarprajati92

Thank you for posting the question ? Let me try and help you out!
The Important thing first. Let’s start by looking at the intended logical meaning.

Meaning Analysis:
The author in the sentence starts by saying that no one has been able to know exactly how many languages are there in the world. Even those people who tried counting these languages could find only five thousand languages. Now why nobody knows how many languages are there? The author says that this happens because it is very difficult to differentiate between a language and its sub-languages or dialects.

Now if you understand the meaning carefully, the people are unable to know the exact number of languages because when one tries to differentiate between one language and the part within the same language, they are not able to. Hence it can be inferred that a language is made up of sub-languages or dialects. So these dialects are within a language. So people are unable to find difference between a language and its (language) sub parts.

Therefore, 'it' actually refers to the language and not languages
distinguishing between a language and the sub-languages or dialects within it

I hope it helps :)
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly  [#permalink]

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New post 11 May 2020, 08:07
Dear Experts,

Please help me to figure out why in first part "it" is more suitable then "them---
------Quote------
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

------Unquote------

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New post 11 May 2020, 08:14
ShailendraSYadav wrote:
Dear Experts,

Please help me to figure out why in first part "it" is more suitable then "them---

Hi Shailendra, I addressed this issue in this post.

Let me know if something is still not clear.
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly  [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2020, 12:19
Hey GMATNinja, I agree with your explanation totally, however, in option A - is 'count typically' the correct usage? I feel that it means that the counting was typical. I'm sorry if I make no sense, but while reading the sentence, that specific part sounded really weird.
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2020, 07:34
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apoorv1031 wrote:
Hey GMATNinja, I agree with your explanation totally, however, in option A - is 'count typically' the correct usage? I feel that it means that the counting was typical. I'm sorry if I make no sense, but while reading the sentence, that specific part sounded really weird.

I understand your point! Does "typically" modify "have found" or "to count"?

Well, the first thing to realize is that, even if this is a problem, there is no way around it: we have something similar in all five answer choices, so it's not worth worrying about.

That said, does it make more sense for "typically" to modify "have found" or "to count"? If "typically" modifies "have found", that means that, in most cases, the people who have tried to count have found about five thousand languages. This makes perfect sense: it tells us what MOST of those people have found when they have tried to count.

Now if "typically" modifies "to count", that means that there must be a "typical" way of counting and an "atypical" way of counting. What exactly are those ways? We have no idea -- this is certainly not common knowledge, and the sentence doesn't give us any other relevant information.

So can "typically" modify "to count"? Technically, yes. But it makes much more sense for it to modify "have found".

Again -- and much more importantly -- we run into this apparent dilemma in all five choices, so we don't have to worry too much about it. :)

I hope that helps!
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Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2020, 20:49
Dear GMATGuruNY AjiteshArun MartyTargetTestPrep DmitryFarber VeritasPrepHailey VeritasPrepBrian,

Can PRONOUN refer to NOUN CLAUSE?

Some expert explains that choice C. is wrong because (https://www.beatthegmat.com/one-billion ... l?start=30)
Quote:
Personal pronouns (it, they, he, etc.) refer to NOUNS and nouns only. If "it" in a sentence logically refers to a clause, for example, or an action denoted by a verb, then you can eliminate such choice.

problem 93, OG 13:
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 counting it typically find about five thousand.

-- this is one of the incorrect answers. "It" on the GMAT can't refer to an idea of "how many languages there are".

However, I think PRONOUN can refer to NOUN CLAUSE
(Knewton says the same during the first 5 seconds in this VDO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5I2_ryz1r4 + MGMAT expert Tim says "it" can refer to "what" CLUASE https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/foru ... 14194.html)

What's your take on this?

I think what makes choice C. wrong is rather "count HOW MANY LANGUAGES there are..." is illogical.
On the other hand, "count LANGUAGES" is logical. We count THINGS.
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2020, 22:48
[quote="nightwing79"]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 {A and B or sub within it (A) ie them is incorrect}

(C) and the sub-languages or dialects within it, but those who have tried counting it typically find (-ing form as a verb not justified in case of a claim and also we are not sure about the antecedent of it)

(D) or the sub-languages or dialects within them, but those who tried to count them typically found (Same as B)

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

Errors
Noun-Pronoun agreement
pronoun reference ambiguous
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New post 30 May 2020, 23:34
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varotkorn What you're describing can certainly happen, but in this case "how many languages are in the world" is not a thing that can be replaced by "it." We're not saying that "how many languages are in the world" is an object or concept that nobody knows. Rather, we're saying that people have been unable to count the number of languages, in part because what constitutes a language is not entirely clear. But yes, I could use it for a phrase or clause that clearly represents a noun: "What I ate for breakfast was hard to describe, but it was very filling."
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New post 31 May 2020, 00:02
DmitryFarber wrote:
Rather, we're saying that people have been unable to count the number of languages, in part because what constitutes a language is not entirely clear.

Dear DmitryFarber,

According to your previous explanation on this page
https://gmatclub.com/forum/nobody-knows ... 76-20.html
DmitryFarber wrote:
We definitely need to count languages (plural). zoezhuyan is right that we can't "count the number" of something.

Why can't we count "the number of" something?
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New post 31 May 2020, 00:17
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A number is a way to describe what we count. I can't count "100." I can count some languages and determine that there are 100 of them. I'm counting the languages, not the number itself. Similarly, I can measure your foot to see what shoe size you are, but I can't measure your shoe size, which is an abstract concept.
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2020, 04:30
In option A - Is the clause ??? but those who have tried to count ....??? Independent clause .
It says tried to count ,but to count ???what ???is not mentioned .
Please clarify .
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New post 15 Jun 2020, 08:00
ankith10 wrote:
In option A - Is the clause ??? but those who have tried to count ....??? Independent clause .

Well, the Independent clause is:

those typically have found about five thousand.

who have tried to count is a dependent clause (relative clause) modifying those.

You can watch our video on Independent & Dependent clauses.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses Independent & Dependent clauses, their application and examples in significant detail. If you or someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2020, 19:43
Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly because of the difficulty of distinguishing between a language and the sublanguages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found about five thousand.

Can someone please explain to me what the antecedent of "those" is? Is it an implied group of people?
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New post 02 Jul 2020, 19:58
miiicho wrote:
Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly because of the difficulty of distinguishing between a language and the sublanguages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found about five thousand.

Can someone please explain to me what the antecedent of "those" is? Is it an implied group of people?


yes "those" refer to people who tried to count the languages
hint: who ; who refers to people only
meaning: languages can not count by themselves . if statement was in passive voice( those were counted) then it would have referred to "languages".

I hope it is clear.
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New post 02 Jul 2020, 20:22
itsSKR wrote:
miiicho wrote:
Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly because of the difficulty of distinguishing between a language and the sublanguages or dialects within it, but those who have tried to count typically have found about five thousand.

Can someone please explain to me what the antecedent of "those" is? Is it an implied group of people?


yes "those" refer to people who tried to count the languages
hint: who ; who refers to people only
meaning: languages can not count by themselves . if statement was in passive voice( those were counted) then it would have referred to "languages".

I hope it is clear.


itsSKR yes, it is more clear. I guess my follow up question is: Are there rules regarding when it is appropriate for a pronoun to have an "implied" antecedent? Every single question I've seen so far, the pronoun always has an antecedent and i don't want to make the mistake in the future of thinking that a pronoun has an "implied" antecedent when the answer choice is incorrect because the aforementioned pronoun actually is a missing antecedent.
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Re: Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly   [#permalink] 02 Jul 2020, 20:22

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