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# SC confusion: what are/is

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Manager
Joined: 02 Jul 2004
Posts: 217

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02 Aug 2004, 05:14
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1. The work of mathematician Roger Penrose in the early 1970s, on the geometry of <WHAT ARE CALLED aperiodic tiles, turned out to describe> the architecture of a previously unknown class of crystals.
(correct A) what are called aperiodic tiles, turned out to describe

2. The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and Altamira were occupied by Upper Paleolithic people <has been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are> the reason for their decoration, the use to which primitive people put the caves, and the meaning of the magnificently depicted animals.
(A) has been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are
(correct B) has been established by carbon-14 dating, but WHAT is much more difficult to determine IS

Here is an excerpt from OG explanation for the second question: â€œTwo instances of subject-verb agreement must be observed in this sentence: The PERIOD ... HAS been established and WHAT is much more difficult to determine ... IS. Both clauses have SINGULAR SUBJECTS and must have singular verbsâ€

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Senior Manager
Joined: 06 Dec 2003
Posts: 366

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Location: India
Re: SC confusion: what are/is [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2004, 05:59

1. The work of mathematician Roger Penrose in the early 1970s, on the geometry of <WHAT ARE CALLED aperiodic tiles, turned out to describe> the architecture of a previously unknown class of crystals.
(correct A) what are called aperiodic tiles, turned out to describe

2. The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and Altamira were occupied by Upper Paleolithic people <has been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are> the reason for their decoration, the use to which primitive people put the caves, and the meaning of the magnificently depicted animals.
(A) has been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are
(correct B) has been established by carbon-14 dating, but WHAT is much more difficult to determine IS

Here is an excerpt from OG explanation for the second question: â€œTwo instances of subject-verb agreement must be observed in this sentence: The PERIOD ... HAS been established and WHAT is much more difficult to determine ... IS. Both clauses have SINGULAR SUBJECTS and must have singular verbsâ€
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Manager
Joined: 28 Jul 2004
Posts: 179

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02 Aug 2004, 19:41
Easier way to handle this confusion is the introduce the invisible words.

In the first question, introduce the word 'objects' in between the word what and are. Since those tiles are some objects, its understood when we write it in this form.

In the second question, introduce the word 'reason' in between the word what and is. Obviously the sentence explains that we are unable to find the reason why those painting were made.

Correct me if i am wrong.

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02 Aug 2004, 19:41
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