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# QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies

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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2017, 04:18
I rejected option A because it uses a comma before 'that'.

Is there an exception to this rule if the ',that' is preceded by an appositive phrase, or is it a rule with no exceptions?

example: (phrase), appositive phrase, that...
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2017, 04:43
ameyaprabhu wrote:
I rejected option A because it uses a comma before 'that'.

Is there an exception to this rule if the ',that' is preceded by an appositive phrase, or is it a rule with no exceptions?

example: (phrase), appositive phrase, that...

Hi ameyaprabhu ,

There is no such exception to this rule. The rule has been used as it is.

Notice that we have some extra information between two commas. So, if we remove that information, we still have that joined to colonies.

Look at below sentence:

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.

Notice that such kind of modifiers/phrases can come like this between two commas.

Let me know in case you have more concerns.
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2017, 05:17
Hi abhimahna,

What I understand from your statement is that the sentence is fine, so do you mean to say that it is okay if 'that' is preceded by an appositive phrase (which means there will be a comma before 'that')?
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2017, 05:24
ameyaprabhu wrote:
Hi abhimahna,

What I understand from your statement is that the sentence is fine, so do you mean to say that it is okay if 'that' is preceded by an appositive phrase (which means there will be a comma before 'that')?

Hi ameyaprabhu ,

Yes, this form is absolutely fine and there is nothing wrong in it.
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2017, 13:18
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 31: Sentence Correction

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.

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.
(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' is referring to whom? Plus, in A, 'their' refers to? Both of these options are OUT.

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.
(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.

B - I love how 'each' is referring to animals. Plus, the same issue as in A with 'their'.
E - 'each.....lives' is a full on sentence and is separated by another full on sentence 'Prairie.... colonies' by a comma and that's incorrect.

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.

No grammatical issues with D, so that should be the answer.
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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01 Nov 2017, 17:54
this question is hard. Nevertheless, there is a short way to find the right answer here. That is to say, "their new pubs" is wrong -> A and B are out.
"with" are wrong -> eliminate C and E.
D is left.
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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02 Nov 2017, 15:30
GMATNinja Don't you think there is meaning issues with D

that tend to switch coteries frequently, and the females’ new pups.

I understand male dogs switching coteries ( colonies) but the and in between switch coteries frequently AND the females’ new pups means male dogs switch the females' new pups.. How does that make sense though? Not sure what the author is trying to say?How can dogs switch the females new pups
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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11 Nov 2017, 10:53
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.

(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. - what does "them" refer back to?

(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 with references back to "animals"... doesn't make sense

(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. - same issue as A

(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.

(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. with roughly a dozen animals seems to logically say to me that the prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies with roughly a dozen animals... so the dozen animals are living with the prairie dogs? The meaning of the sentence is that the colonies consists of roughly a dozen animals... so this meaning doesn't make sense to me.
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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20 Nov 2017, 20:15
Turkish wrote:
GMATNinja Don't you think there is meaning issues with D

that tend to switch coteries frequently, and the females’ new pups.

I understand male dogs switching coteries ( colonies) but the and in between switch coteries frequently AND the females’ new pups means male dogs switch the females' new pups.. How does that make sense though? Not sure what the author is trying to say?How can dogs switch the females new pups

I'm not 100% sure that I'm interpreting your question correctly, but I'll give it a shot!

Basically, the idea is that the word "and" indicates a parallel list of three nouns in this case -- and any of the modifiers beginning with the word "that" modify ONLY the preceding noun. So if we highlight just the parallel elements in the sentence, it seems pretty clear: "Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, 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.

That seems OK to me, because it's just saying that the colonies consist of those three types of prairie dogs: several breeding females, one or two breeding males, and the females' new pups. The rest of the stuff just gives us extra information about certain types of prairie dogs (the males frequently switch colonies, but the females don't), and that information does nothing to disrupt the parallel list.

Does that help at all?
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2018, 11:47
What does roughly a dozen modify in option D? Is it the colonies or the dogs?
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2018, 14:49
techiesam wrote:
What does roughly a dozen modify in option D? Is it the colonies or the dogs?

The phrase "colonies... of roughly a dozen" definitely states that there's a roughly a dozen of something in each colony -- and presumably, "roughly a dozen" means "roughly a dozen prairie dogs."

In all honesty, I would like (D) a little bit better if it said something like "colonies... of roughly a dozen animals", but I'm OK with the idea that the phrase "roughly a dozen" means roughly a dozen prairie dogs. Nothing else could possibly make sense, so the omitted word isn't an absolute error in this case.

I hope this helps!
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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30 Mar 2018, 05:24
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.

(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.

HI GMATNinja, mikemcgarry, MagooshExpert

In option D what does consisting (-ing modifier) modifies?

Is it not modifies Subject of preceding clause or does it modify the whole clause?
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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30 Mar 2018, 09:27
1
NandishSS wrote:
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.

(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.

HI GMATNinja, mikemcgarry, MagooshExpert

In option D what does consisting (-ing modifier) modifies?

Is it not modifies Subject of preceding clause or does it modify the whole clause?

Sorry for pitching in, just wanted to share my understanding..It modifies "tight-knit colonies". The information within the comma set makes a non-essential modifier part which can be ignored too. Hence the modifier goes back to the noun - tight-knit colonies.
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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30 Mar 2018, 19:54
1
NandishSS wrote:
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.

(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.

HI GMATNinja, mikemcgarry, MagooshExpert

In option D what does consisting (-ing modifier) modifies?

Is it not modifies Subject of preceding clause or does it modify the whole clause?

Hi NandishSS!

Here, "consisting ..." is simply modifying "colonies", which is just the subject of the clause (not the whole clause). urvashis09 explained this well

Hope that helps!
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QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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19 Apr 2018, 05:34
GMATNinja

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.

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.

How is the phrase - one or two.. linked with entire sentence? Is it a noun (one or two breeding males) + noun modifier (that) ?
coma + consisting is correct usage of verb-ing modifier describing how aspect of earlier clause.

Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies, called coteries, of roughly a dozen of them,
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.

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.

When you talked about coma splice, I hope you meant that the clause - each catorie needs to be connector with earlier clause with coma + FANBOYS
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2018, 09:00
1
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.

How is the phrase - one or two.. linked with entire sentence? Is it a noun (one or two breeding males) + noun modifier (that) ?
coma + consisting is correct usage of verb-ing modifier describing how aspect of earlier clause.

Nope, that phrase "one or two..." is just part of a parallel list. The coteries consist of three types of prairie dogs (three parallel nouns): "several breeding females..., one or two breeding males..., and the females' new pups."

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.

When you talked about coma splice, I hope you meant that the clause - each catorie needs to be connector with earlier clause with coma + FANBOYS

A comma splice happens when two independent clauses are joined by a comma. So in (E), we have: "Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies (... modifiers, blah blah...), each coterie includes several breeding females..." Two full, independent clauses, with just a comma separating them. Not cool.

I hope this helps!
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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05 May 2018, 16:38
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
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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13 May 2018, 12:16
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.

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!
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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19 May 2018, 22:34
The verb-ing modifier construction if the modifier is modifying noun is-
1.verb-ing modifier, Noun...
2. noun, verb ing mod, ...
3. Noun verb-ing modifier...(no comma between noun and verbing mod)

The construction - NOUN, VERBING MOD is wrong, right?
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Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies  [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2018, 21:28
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 31: Sentence Correction

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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.

(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.

(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.

(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.

(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.

(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.

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.

POE: 1: Pronoun Ambiguity:
(A) Their Could be Females’, animals’ or dogs’. Eliminate A & B.
(B) “Them” could refer to the Prairie dogs, the colonies or the Coteries. Eliminate A & C.
POE 2: Run On Sentence: Option E starts with an IC, ………. , ………. , IC, Absolute Phrase, Noun.
Eliminate E.
POE 3: Idiom Usage: Though I am not big fan of it,yet It may be used as one of the elimination point. Right usage is “Colonies OF X,Y…Z”. Eliminate C & E.

Re: QOTD: Prairie dogs live in tight-knit colonies &nbs [#permalink] 15 Jul 2018, 21:28

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