GMAT Question of the Day - Daily to your Mailbox; hard ones only

It is currently 20 Nov 2018, 21:57

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Close

Request Expert Reply

Confirm Cancel
Events & Promotions in November
PrevNext
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301
Open Detailed Calendar
  • All GMAT Club Tests are Free and open on November 22nd in celebration of Thanksgiving Day!

     November 22, 2018

     November 22, 2018

     10:00 PM PST

     11:00 PM PST

    Mark your calendars - All GMAT Club Tests are free and open November 22nd to celebrate Thanksgiving Day! Access will be available from 0:01 AM to 11:59 PM, Pacific Time (USA)
  • Free lesson on number properties

     November 23, 2018

     November 23, 2018

     10:00 PM PST

     11:00 PM PST

    Practice the one most important Quant section - Integer properties, and rapidly improve your skills.

Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, of roughly

  new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
TAGS:

Hide Tags

GMAT Club Verbal Expert
User avatar
P
Status: GMAT and GRE tutor
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 2105
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V46
GMAT 2: 800 Q51 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, of roughly  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 13 May 2018, 11:16
NikMan wrote:
Hello GMATNinja,

Your patience and humility are a source of constant inspiration for me and so many others like me. I hope to learn a lot from you (about GMAT & about life).

Coming back to the question here, I have following specific queries. Please excuse me if these are too basic or non-sensical; I am learning slowly but surely.

Quote:
Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, of roughly a dozen of them, that consist of several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that tend to switch coteries frequently, and their new pups.

(B) of roughly a dozen animals, each with several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that switch coteries frequently, and their new pups.

"Each" seems to refer to "animals", and that makes no sense at all. And "their new pups" is shaky, too, as mentioned above. Eliminate (B).


1. "of roughly a dozen animals" is a prep modifier modifying colonies thus I thought that each clearly referred back to colonies especially since it doesn't make sense for each to modifiy animals. What is wrong in this?
2. Why exactly is "that" wrong in "several breeding females that often stay together"? Is it because that can't be used as a pronoun to refer back to animals? If that's the case, Can that ever be used as a pronoun?
3. Their is incorrect because it can refer to either males or females, right? I somehow considered that it modified both males & females since new pups should belong to both. I think I see my mistake here.

Thanks
Hitesh

Thank you for the kind words, NikMan! Glad to hear that my GMAT Club ramblings have been helpful. :-)

On to your questions...

    1. The trouble with the pronoun "each" is that it's placed right next to "animals", so it sounds like "each" refers to "animals." You're right that "each" logically needs to refer to "colonies", but the placement of "each" is confusing and not ideal. Notice that "each" isn't even present in the correct answer.
    2. The modifier is actually fine in the phrase you mentioned: "several breeding females that often stay together." The females stay together, right? So I don't see any issue there -- and that phrase is in the correct answer, too. But yes, "that" can definitely be used as a pronoun -- check out this article or this video for more on "that".
    3. Yeah, it's just clearer in this case if "their" is replaced with "the females'". Pronoun ambiguity isn't an absolute rule on the GMAT (more on that in this video), so we can debate whether "their" is DEFINITELY WRONG here, but it's definitely better to remove the ambiguity entirely since we have that option.

I hope this helps, and have fun studying!
_________________

GMAT Club Verbal Expert | GMAT/GRE tutor @ www.gmatninja.com (Now hiring!) | Instagram | Food blog | Notoriously bad at PMs

Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal
Reading Comprehension | Critical Reasoning | Sentence Correction

YouTube LIVE verbal webinars
Series 1: Fundamentals of SC & CR | Series 2: Developing a Winning GMAT Mindset

SC & CR Questions of the Day (QOTDs), featuring expert explanations
All QOTDs | Subscribe via email | RSS

Need an expert reply?
Hit the request verbal experts' reply button -- and please be specific about your question. Feel free to tag @GMATNinja in your post. Priority is always given to official GMAT questions.

Sentence Correction articles & resources
How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and other articles & resources
All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for $29.99 | Time management on verbal

Manager
Manager
User avatar
S
Joined: 01 Nov 2017
Posts: 95
GMAT 1: 700 Q50 V35
GMAT 2: 640 Q49 V28
GMAT 3: 680 Q47 V36
GMAT 4: 700 Q50 V35
CAT Tests
Re: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, of roughly  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 24 Jul 2018, 02:17
GMATNinja wrote:
This is a classic case of "I really don't like the right answer, but I found four wrong answer choices, so... I guess the GMAT doesn't care whether I like anything."

Quote:
(A) of roughly a dozen of them, that consist of several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that tend to switch coteries frequently, and their new pups.

All sorts of weird stuff here. "Them" is a problem: if it refers to the most recent plurals ("coteries" or "colonies"), then it makes no sense. I suppose that it's possible that "them" reaches all the way back to "prairie dogs", but even then, it would be a little bit redundant ("prairie dogs live in colonies of roughly a dozen prairie dogs"). I'm also not crazy about "their new pups," because "their" would seem to refer to "coteries" (which makes no sense) or "males" (which doesn't make too much sense, since the males switch coteries frequently).

If you wanted to be really conservative, I suppose that you could hang onto (A), but there's a lot of crappy stuff here, and we'll have a better option below.

Quote:
(B) of roughly a dozen animals, each with several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that switch coteries frequently, and their new pups.

"Each" seems to refer to "animals", and that makes no sense at all. And "their new pups" is shaky, too, as mentioned above. Eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) that have roughly a dozen of them, with several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that tend to switch coteries frequently, and the females’ new pups.

"Them" has the same problem as in (A). Again, you could be conservative and keep this one for now if you really wanted to, but I think we can do better.

Quote:
(D) of roughly a dozen, consisting of several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that tend to switch coteries frequently, and the females’ new pups.

And this is better! We could argue that "of roughly a dozen" doesn't sound great, but nobody cares about sound here. There's no pronoun issue whatsoever -- and "the females' new pups" clarifies the end of the sentence, too. Keep (D).

Quote:
(E) with roughly a dozen animals, each coterie includes several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that tend to switch coteries frequently, and the females’ new pups.

I actually think that the first part of the sentence sounds good here, but we should never worry about "sound" on GMAT SC. More importantly: this is a classic comma splice, featuring two full sentences improperly separated by a full comma. So it's wrong, even if we think it sounds nice. Eliminate (E).

That leaves us with (D).


Hi,
I was taught that the Verb-ing modifier after a comma in answer (D) must have the subject of the main clause as a doer to either describe the consequence of the action or further explains the action from the main clause. Hence, this answer (D) should've written without the comma before "consisting" to correctly modify "colonies".
Source: e-gmat
Image
How is this acceptable in this situation?

If you have time please advise. Your help is highly appreciated

Thank you
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
G
Joined: 20 Sep 2016
Posts: 459
GMAT ToolKit User CAT Tests
Re: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, of roughly  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 11 Oct 2018, 21:51
VodkaHelps wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
This is a classic case of "I really don't like the right answer, but I found four wrong answer choices, so... I guess the GMAT doesn't care whether I like anything."

Quote:
(A) of roughly a dozen of them, that consist of several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that tend to switch coteries frequently, and their new pups.

All sorts of weird stuff here. "Them" is a problem: if it refers to the most recent plurals ("coteries" or "colonies"), then it makes no sense. I suppose that it's possible that "them" reaches all the way back to "prairie dogs", but even then, it would be a little bit redundant ("prairie dogs live in colonies of roughly a dozen prairie dogs"). I'm also not crazy about "their new pups," because "their" would seem to refer to "coteries" (which makes no sense) or "males" (which doesn't make too much sense, since the males switch coteries frequently).

If you wanted to be really conservative, I suppose that you could hang onto (A), but there's a lot of crappy stuff here, and we'll have a better option below.

Quote:
(B) of roughly a dozen animals, each with several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that switch coteries frequently, and their new pups.

"Each" seems to refer to "animals", and that makes no sense at all. And "their new pups" is shaky, too, as mentioned above. Eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) that have roughly a dozen of them, with several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that tend to switch coteries frequently, and the females’ new pups.

"Them" has the same problem as in (A). Again, you could be conservative and keep this one for now if you really wanted to, but I think we can do better.

Quote:
(D) of roughly a dozen, consisting of several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that tend to switch coteries frequently, and the females’ new pups.

And this is better! We could argue that "of roughly a dozen" doesn't sound great, but nobody cares about sound here. There's no pronoun issue whatsoever -- and "the females' new pups" clarifies the end of the sentence, too. Keep (D).

Quote:
(E) with roughly a dozen animals, each coterie includes several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that tend to switch coteries frequently, and the females’ new pups.

I actually think that the first part of the sentence sounds good here, but we should never worry about "sound" on GMAT SC. More importantly: this is a classic comma splice, featuring two full sentences improperly separated by a full comma. So it's wrong, even if we think it sounds nice. Eliminate (E).

That leaves us with (D).


Hi,
I was taught that the Verb-ing modifier after a comma in answer (D) must have the subject of the main clause as a doer to either describe the consequence of the action or further explains the action from the main clause. Hence, this answer (D) should've written without the comma before "consisting" to correctly modify "colonies".
Source: e-gmat
Image
How is this acceptable in this situation?

If you have time please advise. Your help is highly appreciated

Thank you


GMATNinja mikemcgarry DmitryFarber sayantanc2k chetan2u GMATNinjaTwo daagh


As the above person has highlighted the doubt about the modifier verb-ing , I request you to please comment on this.
Even I have the same understanding and need to clear out my doubts once and for all..


The earlier posts say that
"Consisting is modifying colonies"

Now even if we drop "called coteries " and rewrite the sentence :

Prairie dogs live in tight knit colonies that have roughly a dozen, consisting....

Now while solving the question I knew that consisting has to refer back to colonies, but the COMMA before " consisting" threw me off as I've been taught that if verb ING modifier follows a comma , then it either present the result of the he preceding clause or information about the action ( here-"live")

A fellow member said that the forgeries is just a modifier and hence can be dropped but even when we drop it there is still one more comma which is potential error in the sentence as per my learning.
Please comment on this.
I've suffered a great loss due to this rule

Posted from my mobile device
GMAT Club Verbal Expert
User avatar
P
Status: GMAT and GRE tutor
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 2105
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V46
GMAT 2: 800 Q51 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, of roughly  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 13 Oct 2018, 16:30
1
Quote:
As the above person has highlighted the doubt about the modifier verb-ing , I request you to please comment on this.
Even I have the same understanding and need to clear out my doubts once and for all..


The earlier posts say that
"Consisting is modifying colonies"

Now even if we drop "called coteries " and rewrite the sentence :

Prairie dogs live in tight knit colonies that have roughly a dozen, consisting....

Now while solving the question I knew that consisting has to refer back to colonies, but the COMMA before " consisting" threw me off as I've been taught that if verb ING modifier follows a comma , then it either present the result of the he preceding clause or information about the action ( here-"live")

A fellow member said that the forgeries is just a modifier and hence can be dropped but even when we drop it there is still one more comma which is potential error in the sentence as per my learning.
Please comment on this.
I've suffered a great loss due to this rule

I feel your pain. What this comes down to is that any "rule" involving commas is going to have exceptions, both because modifiers are so often set off by commas and because commas can be used in unconventional ways to improve the clarity of a sentence.

Take a silly example: "Much to my dismay, I found my child gnawing a hole in a box of dish detergent." Here, "gnawing" modifies "child" and there's no comma, so this is the construction we're accustomed to.

But now imagine that I want to insert another modifier describing where I found my child: "Much to my dismay, I found my child in the linen closet gnawing a hole in a box of dish detergent." At first read, it kind of sounds as though the linen closet is eating the box of detergent! To make it clearer to the reader that this isn't the case, I'd likely include a comma after "closet." An absolute rule? No. But it's a reasonable choice.

It's more or less the same thing in this example. Consider the relevant clause without the comma: "Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, of roughly a dozen consisting of several breeding females." We've got the two modifiers in red between "colonies" and "consisting," so in this instance it seems as though "consisting" is referring to the closest noun, "dozen." By including the comma after "dozen," the writer is signaling to the reader that we can't assume "consisting" is modifying "dozen," but rather, that we have a series of modifiers ("called coteries," "of roughly a dozen," and "consisting"), all of which refer back to "colonies." Is this ideal? No. But it also isn't definitively wrong, and the other four answer choices all contain more severe errors.

The big takeaway: no comma rule is absolute, and commas aren't generally a deciding factor on official GMAT questions. And when there is a violation of what seems to be fairly standard comma usage, it's almost certainly because a non-essential modifier has made the sentence more difficult to understand, and the comma is there to create a clearer meaning. If a comma is tripping you up, look for other decision points.

I hope that helps!
_________________

GMAT Club Verbal Expert | GMAT/GRE tutor @ www.gmatninja.com (Now hiring!) | Instagram | Food blog | Notoriously bad at PMs

Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal
Reading Comprehension | Critical Reasoning | Sentence Correction

YouTube LIVE verbal webinars
Series 1: Fundamentals of SC & CR | Series 2: Developing a Winning GMAT Mindset

SC & CR Questions of the Day (QOTDs), featuring expert explanations
All QOTDs | Subscribe via email | RSS

Need an expert reply?
Hit the request verbal experts' reply button -- and please be specific about your question. Feel free to tag @GMATNinja in your post. Priority is always given to official GMAT questions.

Sentence Correction articles & resources
How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and other articles & resources
All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for $29.99 | Time management on verbal

Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
S
Joined: 08 Aug 2017
Posts: 257
Re: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, of roughly  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 13 Oct 2018, 18:57
Though I marked this question correct by using POE method, still, I have few doubts.

(D) of roughly a dozen, consisting of several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that tend to switch coteries frequently, and the females’ new pups.

First doubt:
Here, we have used "that" to modify a plural noun. eg. females that, males that..
Before attempting this question, I was told that "that" is used to modify singular noun.

Second doubt:
This sentence seems as below structure.
Clause, consisting of x, y and z. Is it so?

Please help me clear these doubts.
GMAT Club Verbal Expert
User avatar
P
Status: GMAT and GRE tutor
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 2105
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V46
GMAT 2: 800 Q51 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, of roughly  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 17 Oct 2018, 21:30
1
gvij2017 wrote:
Though I marked this question correct by using POE method, still, I have few doubts.

(D) of roughly a dozen, consisting of several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that tend to switch coteries frequently, and the females’ new pups.

First doubt:
Here, we have used "that" to modify a plural noun. eg. females that, males that..
Before attempting this question, I was told that "that" is used to modify singular noun.

Second doubt:
This sentence seems as below structure.
Clause, consisting of x, y and z. Is it so?

Please help me clear these doubts.

If "that" is used as a modifier -- technically a relative pronoun, if you like jargon -- it can absolutely be used to describe a plural noun. For example, "The blood-spattered halloween costumes that my daughter picked out were all entirely inappropriate for a toddler." Here, "that" is correctly modifying "costumes."

If "that" is used as a nice, normal pronoun -- a demonstrative pronoun, if you're into terminology -- it must refer to a singular noun. For a plural noun, we'd use "those." "The costumes my daughter is considering are far more blood-spattered than those of her squeamish peers." Here, "those," a conventional pronoun, refers to "costumes."

For a more in-depth look at the various uses of "that," check out this article.

I hope that helps!
_________________

GMAT Club Verbal Expert | GMAT/GRE tutor @ www.gmatninja.com (Now hiring!) | Instagram | Food blog | Notoriously bad at PMs

Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal
Reading Comprehension | Critical Reasoning | Sentence Correction

YouTube LIVE verbal webinars
Series 1: Fundamentals of SC & CR | Series 2: Developing a Winning GMAT Mindset

SC & CR Questions of the Day (QOTDs), featuring expert explanations
All QOTDs | Subscribe via email | RSS

Need an expert reply?
Hit the request verbal experts' reply button -- and please be specific about your question. Feel free to tag @GMATNinja in your post. Priority is always given to official GMAT questions.

Sentence Correction articles & resources
How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and other articles & resources
All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for $29.99 | Time management on verbal

Manager
Manager
User avatar
S
Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 186
Reviews Badge CAT Tests
Re: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, of roughly  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 17 Oct 2018, 21:58
GMATNinja

Quote:
of roughly a dozen of them, that consist of several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that tend to switch coteries frequently, and their new pups.


Apart from the pronoun errors you mentioned in option A, is the "that" after the first comma correct.
Can this be a decision point.

I personally feel that this "that" is not wrong. Can you please help.
_________________

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
All the Gods, All the Heavens, and All the Hells lie within you.

Manager
Manager
User avatar
S
Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 186
Reviews Badge CAT Tests
Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, of roughly  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 24 Oct 2018, 10:04
GMATNinja

Please help
_________________

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
All the Gods, All the Heavens, and All the Hells lie within you.

GMAT Club Verbal Expert
User avatar
P
Status: GMAT and GRE tutor
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 2105
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V46
GMAT 2: 800 Q51 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, of roughly  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 25 Oct 2018, 08:26
1
warrior1991 wrote:
GMATNinja

Quote:
of roughly a dozen of them, that consist of several breeding females that often stay together for their entire lives, one or two breeding males that tend to switch coteries frequently, and their new pups.


Apart from the pronoun errors you mentioned in option A, is the "that" after the first comma correct.
Can this be a decision point.

I personally feel that this "that" is not wrong. Can you please help.

Good question! I wouldn't say the "that" is incorrect. It's certainly confusing, as there are multiple modifiers separating "that" from the word it modifies, "colonies." But you could argue that the same confusion applies to "consisting" referring to "colonies" in (D), which we know is correct. So I'd rely on the pronoun problems and the resulting confusion to eliminate (A).

I hope that helps!
_________________

GMAT Club Verbal Expert | GMAT/GRE tutor @ www.gmatninja.com (Now hiring!) | Instagram | Food blog | Notoriously bad at PMs

Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal
Reading Comprehension | Critical Reasoning | Sentence Correction

YouTube LIVE verbal webinars
Series 1: Fundamentals of SC & CR | Series 2: Developing a Winning GMAT Mindset

SC & CR Questions of the Day (QOTDs), featuring expert explanations
All QOTDs | Subscribe via email | RSS

Need an expert reply?
Hit the request verbal experts' reply button -- and please be specific about your question. Feel free to tag @GMATNinja in your post. Priority is always given to official GMAT questions.

Sentence Correction articles & resources
How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and other articles & resources
All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for $29.99 | Time management on verbal

GMAT Club Bot
Re: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, of roughly &nbs [#permalink] 25 Oct 2018, 08:26

Go to page   Previous    1   2   [ 29 posts ] 

Display posts from previous: Sort by

Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, of roughly

  new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  


Copyright

GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group | Emoji artwork provided by EmojiOne

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.