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QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies

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QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 3: Sentence Correction


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Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of which consists of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her.

A. each of which consists
B. with each of them consisting
C. each colony consisting
D. and each of them consist
E. and each colony consisting

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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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Ah, “each.” One of the GMAT’s favorite little things.

There’s some nuance to this, but the quick version is that when “each” is used as a subject, it’s always singular. (Note that “each” can also function as an adverb, though it’s fairly rare on the GMAT – see this thread if you want to torment yourself with those details. Or check out this thread for a more “normal” use of “each.”)

So in this case, we can eliminate (D) right away: “each… consist” is wrong, since “each” is singular.

The other thing that jumps out at me is the word “them” in answer choices (B) and (D). The most recent plural noun is “animals” – but that doesn’t make any sense. “Each of the animals consisting of a single reproductive female and workers…”?? Nope. So (B) is gone, too.

(A) has a nearly identical issue: “each of which” seems to refer back to “animals” as well, and that’s illogical. Our last two choices, (C) and (E), clarify the meaning by using the phrase “each colony.”

The only difference between (C) and (E) is the word “and” -- and that doesn’t quite work in (E). We’d need a full clause after the “and” in this case: “and each colony consisted…” would be OK, but “consisting” is a participle (modifier) here, so we definitely don’t need the “and.”

So our winner is (C). “each colony consisting” is just a modifier – and it makes perfect sense as a source of extra information for that initial clause, “Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals…”
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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 08:00
I would like to go with option C.

Removes pronoun ambiguity.

Incorrect usage of 'and' in option E. The phrase is acting as a modifier offering additional information.

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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 08:23
I like C too. Using the appositive / noun modifier. But I prefer consists over consisting, so A is a close contender.

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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 08:40
Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of which consists of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her.

A. each of which consists
B. with each of them consisting
C. each colony consisting (looks correct and concise)
D. and each of them consist
E. and each colony consisting (no need of and)

Hence, C should be the answer.

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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 08:46
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 1: Sentence Correction



Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals,each of which consistsof a single reproductive female and workers that defend her.

A. each of which consists
B. with each of them consisting
C. each colony consisting
D. and each of them consist
E. and each colony consisting

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Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each colony consisting of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her.

Correct answer must be (C) for the highlighted errors in he other options....
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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 08:51
souvik101990, I feel this is a duplicate post. Can we merge them?

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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 08:55
murarkam wrote:
I like C too. Using the appositive / noun modifier. But I prefer consists over consisting, so A is a close contender.

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Don't you think "which" is suspicious here?

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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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murarkam wrote:
I like C too. Using the appositive / noun modifier. But I prefer consists over consisting, so A is a close contender.

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Which could refer colonies or animals. So, we have pronoun ambiguity here. That is the reason A is incorrect.

Note: Rejecting on the basis of preference could be risky, my friend. :)
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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 09:09
abhimahna wrote:
murarkam wrote:
I like C too. Using the appositive / noun modifier. But I prefer consists over consisting, so A is a close contender.

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Which could refer colonies or animals. So, we have pronoun ambiguity here. That is the reason A is incorrect.

Note: Rejecting on the basis of preference could be risky, my friend. :)



is "consisting" in option C acting as -ing modifier?

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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 09:18
warriorguy wrote:

is "consisting" in option C acting as -ing modifier?


Yes, it does.

And "each of which consists of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her." is an absolute phrase.
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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 10:24
If concept about absolute modifier is clear, then one can easily crack this question.
Vote for Option C.

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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 21:49
C removes ambiguity of pronouns them. which in A is logically wrong each animal can't contain a female and workers. My take is C

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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 22:56
Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals,each of which consists of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her.

A. each of which consists (Which has no clear referent. It may indicate animals or colonies)
B. with each of them consisting (Usage of them is ambiguous. It may indicate animals or colonies)
C. each colony consisting (Correct)
D. and each of them consist (Same as B and usage of comma before and is wrong)
E. and each colony consisting (Usage of comma before and is wrong)

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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 04 May 2017, 06:41
The answer must be option C.

Meaning : Naked moles form colonies that consist of 20 animals. These colonies consist of single reproductive female and workers that defend her.

POE : Which in option A (or the original sentence) is wrongly used. Which could refer to colonies or animals.

a) wrong for aforementioned reason
b) them is ambiguous. Does it refer to colonies or animals
c) Correct
d) , and is used to join two ICs. Phrase after " , and" not an IC.
e) Same as d

The answer must be option C
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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of which consists of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her.

A. each of which consists ---- note the part after comma contains a verb and its subject is each (of which is a prepositional middle man); it is indeed an IC and therefore this passage is a comma splice

B. with each of them consisting -- 'with each of them consisting' is an adverbial modifier modifying the singular rat's action of forming colonies rather than pointing out to any plural subject or object.


C. each colony consisting -- Now the whole maze is cleared. No doubts about what is the single female and her defendant are modifying.

D. and each of them consist … each… consist is S-V error.

E. and each colony consisting-- This is an unparallel fragment
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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 04 May 2017, 08:15
Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of which consists of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her.

A. each of which consists - the which in the option seems to modify animals and is incorrect
B. with each of them consisting - pronoun them is ambiguous - both colonies and animals are plural - incorrect
C. each colony consisting - seems good
D. and each of them consist- same as B
E. and each colony consisting- similar to C but and isn't necessary

Hence, C should be the answer

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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 04 May 2017, 08:48
abhimahna wrote:
murarkam wrote:
I like C too. Using the appositive / noun modifier. But I prefer consists over consisting, so A is a close contender.

Posted from my mobile device


Which could refer colonies or animals. So, we have pronoun ambiguity here. That is the reason A is incorrect.

Note: Rejecting on the basis of preference could be risky, my friend. :)



And this is why C was considered over A - the last thing to judge for a better option (pronoun ambiguity)

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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 04 May 2017, 12:57
daagh wrote:
Naked mole rats form colonies of approximately 20 animals, each of which consists of a single reproductive female and workers that defend her.

A. each of which consists ---- note the part after comma contains a verb and its subject is each (of which is a prepositional middle man); it is indeed an IC and therefore this passage is a comma splice

B. with each of them consisting -- 'with each of them consisting' is an adverbial modifier modifying the singular rat's action of forming colonies rather than pointing out to any plural subject or object.


C. each colony consisting -- Now the whole maze is cleared. No doubts about what is the single female and her defendant are modifying.

D. and each of them consist … each… consist is S-V error.

E. and each colony consisting-- This is an unparallel fragment

The option B is wrong because it is a adverbial modifer, but I cannot readon why

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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies [#permalink]

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New post 04 May 2017, 20:34
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This choice wrongly says that each of the rats is trying to form colonies consisting female and other defenders. 'Them' stands here as an object case of the rats rather than as the subject "rats". This is not the intent of the passage.
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Re: QOTD: Naked mole rats form colonies   [#permalink] 04 May 2017, 20:34

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