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# Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the

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Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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01 Apr 2018, 21:02
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65% (01:28) correct 35% (01:35) wrong based on 464 sessions

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Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the evolutionary spectrum have a keen sense of quantity, able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but two from four, four from ten, forty from sixty.

(A) able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but
(B) able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, and
(C) which are able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but
(D) have the ability to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but
(E) distinguishing not just bigger from smaller or more from less, and

Please if experts can comment on the official answer, it would be helpful. I could figure out four wrong ones but I am not sure about the structure of the OA.
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Re: Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2018, 09:39
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rishirajnarooka wrote:
Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the evolutionary spectrum have a keen sense of quantity, able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but two from four, four from ten, forty from sixty.

A. able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but
B. able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, and
C. which are able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but
D. have the ability to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but
E. distinguishing not just bigger from smaller or more from less, and

Please if experts can comment on the official answer, it would be helpful. I could figure out four wrong ones but I am not sure about the structure of the OA.

B and E can be eliminated as "not just..X..., and...Y..." is incorrect. The correct usage is "not just..X..., but...Y..."

A. "a keen sense of quantity, able to distinguish" is correct usage. "the sense of quantity" is able to distinguish not just ...X..., but ...y..

B.Aforementioned reason
C. "a keen sense of quantity" incorrectly modified by which.
D. "have a....X..., have the.... Y..." is wrong usage
E. Aforementioned reason
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Re: Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2018, 09:48
Can someone help explain why D is incorrect or how "able to distinguish" be better choice than "have the ability to"?
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Re: Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2018, 20:30
rishirajnarooka wrote:
Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the evolutionary spectrum have a keen sense of quantity, able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but two from four, four from ten, forty from sixty.

A. able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but
B. able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, and
C. which are able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but
D. have the ability to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but
E. distinguishing not just bigger from smaller or more from less, and

Please if experts can comment on the official answer, it would be helpful. I could figure out four wrong ones but I am not sure about the structure of the OA.

egmat, could you explain sentence structure of option A
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Re: Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2018, 20:43
Tapesh03 wrote:
Can someone help explain why D is incorrect or how "able to distinguish" be better choice than "have the ability to"?
D is incorrect because have does not contain a subject.
Look for subject verb pairs.

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Re: Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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11 Apr 2018, 19:28
D is incorrect because it uses have again whereas have which was already used act as verbal for both keen sense and able to distinguish.

A is correct as it follows not...but construction.. not..and construction is wrong..

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Re: Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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12 Apr 2018, 08:07
In my opinion A is correct as others have rightly pointed out the mistakes in other 4 options

Reg Option A structure
[Scientists at oxford] Subject
Have recently found [verb]
That [subordinate clause] animals across the evolutionary spectrum have a keen sense of quantity.

This is whole sentence on its own.

The next portion after the comma is a modifier that modifies this previous clause.

Within the modifier question is testing us on the usage of idiom “not just” X but “y”

Hope it helps.Kudos if it was useful.

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Re: Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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17 Apr 2018, 10:17
What is the mistake in option 'C'? Here 'which' correctly modifies ' a keen sense of quantity'!
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Re: Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2018, 06:44
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rakeshlochansarma wrote:
What is the mistake in option 'C'? Here 'which' correctly modifies ' a keen sense of quantity'!

who are able to distinguish -> the animals.

Hence, animals should be placed in front of ", which".

cheers
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Re: Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2018, 10:04
Here is my two cents:

Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the evolutionary spectrum have a keen sense of quantity, able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but two from four, four from ten, forty from sixty.

A. able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but ( able to idiom is correct. Also idiom Not just X but Y is correct other similar idiom is not X but Y. There seem to be no other error. Hence correct)
B. able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, and (Idiom Not Just X and Y is wrong Idiom)
C. which are able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but (which seems to modify quantity and that illogical)
D. have the ability to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but ( We can say that animals have X, Y and Z. However, sentence structure in this answer choice does not maintain that parallelism)
E. distinguishing not just bigger from smaller or more from less, and ( Distinguishing is acting as a verb-ing modifier and is modifying animals but animals are not the main subject of the sentence. Also using a verb-ing here followed by But at the end does not convey a clear structure) - also if someone else can shed some light on the reasoning of this option. I will appreciate that.

Also without the fluff, the meaning of the sentence and structure seems something along these lines:

Scientists have found that animals have a keen sense of quantity, Also that animals are able to distinguish not just X but Y (a prepositional phrase explaining more about animal's senses.)
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Re: Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2018, 10:19
Hi
GMATNinja , mikemcgarry
I want to knw the diffrence between A and C
I think
In C which refers to animalsbecase which has a verb are so it will refer to plural and
In that animals are plural and also it containsable to as well as not just butconstruction .
Above all seems perfact to me ..
So plz advice how to choose between A and C
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23 Apr 2018, 09:13
viv007 Just wanted to ask you a clarification question. Isn't there is a rule that a relative pronoun usually modifies the closest noun and it can only modify a far away noun if the information closest to the relative pronoun cannot be placed anywhere else in the sentence? if this rule is correct then would option C still be correct?
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Re: Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2018, 10:14
Rocket7 wrote:
viv007 Just wanted to ask you a clarification question. Isn't there is a rule that a relative pronoun usually modifies the closest noun and it can only modify a far away noun if the information closest to the relative pronoun cannot be placed anywhere else in the sentence? if this rule is correct then would option C still be correct?

yes, correct but the thing is that when we have same verb for the subjects(for example if verb is singular and we have two singular subjects) then we follow that i think, but here verb is plural and for that only animals is true,
so as far as my understanding this option is also correct.
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Re: Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2018, 22:35
Able is an adjective and should modify the nearest noun. So what does "able" modify?
Is it modifying sense ?
If Able modifies animals then it means that modifier touch rule is ignored for the sake of meaning and clarity. Similarly why can't "which " skip and refer to animals.
Yes, I understand that Which can only jump to far of its antecedent when there is no verb in between its intended antecedent and which.
But here the predicate is short and i guess i read it in some blog (magoosh) that if the predicate is short the modifier touch rule can be ignored for the sake of clarity
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Re: Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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13 May 2018, 14:38
viv007 wrote:
Rocket7 wrote:
viv007 Just wanted to ask you a clarification question. Isn't there is a rule that a relative pronoun usually modifies the closest noun and it can only modify a far away noun if the information closest to the relative pronoun cannot be placed anywhere else in the sentence? if this rule is correct then would option C still be correct?

yes, correct but the thing is that when we have same verb for the subjects(for example if verb is singular and we have two singular subjects) then we follow that i think, but here verb is plural and for that only animals is true,
so as far as my understanding this option is also correct.

Sorry to join the party so late!

This is a non-official question, and like all non-official questions... this one needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The GMAT spends somewhere between \$1500-3000 developing each GMAT question, and even the very finest test-prep companies can't compete, unfortunately.

With that in mind, here's (C) again:

Quote:
Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the evolutionary spectrum have a keen sense of quantity, able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but two from four, four from ten, forty from sixty.

C. which are able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but

Logically, the phrase "which are able to distinguish..." modifies the animals -- and those are an awfully long way from the "which" modifier. In most cases, phrases beginning with "which" modify the immediately preceding noun. Sure, there are exceptions, but they aren't all THAT common -- and in most of those exceptions, the "which" modifier only "reaches behind" a prepositional phrase. It's very, very rare to see a "which" modifier reach behind a verb.

So the writers of this question were definitely thinking that the "which" is misplaced in (C), since "which are able to distinguish..." can't possibly modify the nearest noun, "keen sense of quantity." I see their point: (C) definitely isn't ideal, and it's hard to find many official GMAT examples that would place a "which" modifier so far from the thing it modifies.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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15 May 2018, 20:56
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rishirajnarooka wrote:
Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the evolutionary spectrum have a keen sense of quantity, able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but two from four, four from ten, forty from sixty.

A. able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but
B. able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, and
C. which are able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but
D. have the ability to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but
E. distinguishing not just bigger from smaller or more from less, and

Please if experts can comment on the official answer, it would be helpful. I could figure out four wrong ones but I am not sure about the structure of the OA.

VERITAS PREP OFFICIAL SOLUTION:

In examining the answer choices, you see obvious differences in the structures (modifier or verb) following the comma at the start, and you see the choice between “and” and “but” at the end. While you could start with either decision point, first look at the choice of “and” versus “but”. This sentence is saying that the animals are “able to distinguish NOT just this from this or this from this…BUT these things from these things.” By reading the core elements of the sentence, you see that the use of “and” is incorrect. You must have the contrasting conjunction “but” or the sentence is illogical. This allows you to eliminate (B) and (E).

Next, you should examine the “which” clause in (C) – with the plural verb after “which,” this clause must have a plural noun close by to logically modify, but it does not so (C) is incorrect.

In (D), you have the verb “have the ability…” but this would have to be linked to the previous verb “have a keen sense…” with some type of conjunction. Also, “have the ability” is a classic diction error: you “are able to do” something, you don’t “have the ability to do something.”

For correct answer (A), remember that anytime you have modifiers tacked on to the end of a sentence, their usage can be quite broad. Here the correct answer (A) is analogous to the following: John is a genius, able to do enormous calculations in his head and solve incredibly complex problems. The entire modifier starting with “able” is helping us to better understand how or why John is a genius. In this sentence, the whole underlined portion is helping the reader better understand how animals have a keen sense of quantity and is thus correct.
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Re: Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2019, 10:56
ammuseeru wrote:
rishirajnarooka wrote:
Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the evolutionary spectrum have a keen sense of quantity, able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but two from four, four from ten, forty from sixty.

A. able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but
B. able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, and
C. which are able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but
D. have the ability to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but
E. distinguishing not just bigger from smaller or more from less, and

Please if experts can comment on the official answer, it would be helpful. I could figure out four wrong ones but I am not sure about the structure of the OA.

egmat, could you explain sentence structure of option A

Hi ammuseeru,

Here is the correct choice A again in the quotation. It'll be easy to comprehend A if we can find out the core of the sentence. Now, I'm going to delete the non-essential part to figure out the core.
Quote:
Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the evolutionary spectrum have a keen sense of quantity, able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but two from four, four from ten, forty from sixty.

So, the core is:
Animals have a keen sense of quantity. ---> This is pure and simple.
But, we need to take care of the green part, because the green part is under the underlined part-the underlined part treat as correct or wrong format, mutually,
In the core of this sentence the main verb is "have". After the word quantity "able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but" has been used as "modifier". But, how do you know that this part is modifier?

Okay, here we go for it's explanation. The word "able" is NOT a verb; the verb is actually "be able". So, as there is no "be" before able, then we've to consider the main verb "have" before "able" for some moment, because it doesn't make sense. Then, the sentence looks like "Animals have able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less, but two from four, four from ten, forty from sixty", which doesn't make sense anymore. So, the green part is nothing but a modifier, which express how animals have a keen sense of quantity. So, the correct choice is

Hope it helps.
Thanks__
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Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the  [#permalink]

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22 Jan 2019, 06:16
GMATNinja, GMATNinjaTwo, mikemcgarry
I have a doubt regarding modifiers here. What kind of modifier is " able to distinguish not just bigger from smaller or more from less.." i know it gives us additional information regarding "animals across the evolutionary spectrum have a keen sense of quantity". The modifier appears to be neither a verb-ing modifier nor a noun+noun modifier. Can you please elaborate the structure such modifiers follow and the ways to identify them.
Scientists at Oxford have recently found that animals across the   [#permalink] 22 Jan 2019, 06:16
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