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Shilapentokh's study indicated that, in Soviet Union, women's absentee

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Shilapentokh's study indicated that, in Soviet Union, women's absentee  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 26 Jul 2018, 01:52
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Shilapentokh's study indicated that, in Soviet Union, women's absenteeism from their jobs, despite their home duties and their child-care responsibilities, were only a fifth of men .


A. were only a fifth of men

B. were only a fifth of men's

C. was only a fifth of men's

D. was only a fifth of men

E. was a fifth of only of that of men

Originally posted by guerrero25 on 29 Sep 2013, 03:00.
Last edited by Bunuel on 26 Jul 2018, 01:52, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Shilapentokh's study indicated that, in Soviet Union, women's absentee  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2013, 03:11
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shilapentokh's study indicated that ,in soviet union ,women's absenteeism from their jobs ,despite their home duties and their child-care responsibilities ,were only a fifth of men .
a)were only a fifth of men- Singular verb WAS must be used since the subject "Absenteeism" is singular. Moreover, the comparison is logically incorrect as this option compares "women's absenteeism" with "men" & not "men's absenteeism". Thus Incorrect.

b)were only a fifth of men's
- Singular verb WAS must be used since the subject "Absenteeism" is singular. Thus Incorrect.

c)was only a fifth of men's - Correct

d)was only a fifth of men
- The comparison is logically incorrect as this option compares "women's absenteeism" with "men" & not "men's absenteeism". Thus Incorrect.

e)was a fifth of only of that of men
Placement of ONLY changes the meaning of the sentence. Thus Incorrect.
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Re: Shilapentokh's study indicated that, in Soviet Union, women's absentee  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2013, 03:13
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Shilapentokh's study indicated that ,in soviet union ,women's absenteeism from their jobs ,despite their home duties and their child-care responsibilities ,were only a fifth of men.

a)were only a fifth of men ---> Subject-Verb agreement error. "women's absenteeism" is singular, so use of were is incorrect. And absenteeism is incorrectly compared with "a fifth of men"

b)were only a fifth of men's ---> Subject-Verb agreement error. "women's absenteeism" is singular, so use of were is incorrect.

c)was only a fifth of men's ---> CORRECT

d)was only a fifth of men ---> absenteeism is incorrectly compared with "a fifth of men"

e)was a fifth of only of that of men ---> awkward. Comparison is not clear

Answer: C
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Re: Shilapentokh's study indicated that, in Soviet Union, women's absentee  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2013, 04:58
fameatop wrote:
shilapentokh's study indicated that ,in soviet union ,women's absenteeism from their jobs ,despite their home duties and their child-care responsibilities ,were only a fifth of men .
a)were only a fifth of men- Singular verb WAS must be used since the subject "Absenteeism" is singular. Moreover, the comparison is logically incorrect as this option compares "women's absenteeism" with "men" & not "men's absenteeism". Thus Incorrect.

b)were only a fifth of men's
- Singular verb WAS must be used since the subject "Absenteeism" is singular. Thus Incorrect.

c)was only a fifth of men's - Correct

d)was only a fifth of men
- The comparison is logically incorrect as this option compares "women's absenteeism" with "men" & not "men's absenteeism". Thus Incorrect.

e)was a fifth of only of that of men
Placement of ONLY changes the meaning of the sentence. Thus Incorrect.


I think we should use "were" as we are having subjunctive form "indicated that".

B should be the answer..!!!!
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Re: Shilapentokh's study indicated that, in Soviet Union, women's absentee  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2013, 05:13
guerrero25 wrote:
shilapentokh's study indicated that ,in soviet union ,women's absenteeism from their jobs ,despite their home duties and their child-care responsibilities ,were only a fifth of men .

a)were only a fifth of men
b)were only a fifth of men's
c)was only a fifth of men's
d)was only a fifth of men
e)was a fifth of only of that of men


Restating the sentence:

Shilapentokh's study indicated that ,in soviet union ,women's absenteeism from their jobs ,despite their home duties and their child-care responsibilities ,were only a fifth of men .
So the actual sentence comes down to S's study indicated that women's absenteeism were only a fifth of men.
Usage of were:
i) in hypothetical situations
ii) for plurality

B cannot be the answer.
@Jaituteja...can you please mention the rule regarding the relation of subjunctive and "were".
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Re: Shilapentokh's study indicated that, in Soviet Union, women's absentee  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2013, 08:46
jaituteja wrote:
fameatop wrote:
shilapentokh's study indicated that ,in soviet union ,women's absenteeism from their jobs ,despite their home duties and their child-care responsibilities ,were only a fifth of men .
a)were only a fifth of men- Singular verb WAS must be used since the subject "Absenteeism" is singular. Moreover, the comparison is logically incorrect as this option compares "women's absenteeism" with "men" & not "men's absenteeism". Thus Incorrect.

b)were only a fifth of men's
- Singular verb WAS must be used since the subject "Absenteeism" is singular. Thus Incorrect.

c)was only a fifth of men's - Correct

d)was only a fifth of men
- The comparison is logically incorrect as this option compares "women's absenteeism" with "men" & not "men's absenteeism". Thus Incorrect.

e)was a fifth of only of that of men
Placement of ONLY changes the meaning of the sentence. Thus Incorrect.

I think we should use "were" as we are having subjunctive form "indicated that".


Hey Jai,

Don't get it wrong, but I think you are not well verse with subjunctive mood. Subjunctive mood is used only in DEPENDENT clause and mood is of 2 types:
Present subjunctive- Independent clause indicates some sort of Command or Order
Past Subjunctive- Independent clause indicates some sort of Wish

If we remove all the non-restrictive modifiers we get
Shilapentokh's study indicated that women's absenteeism from their jobs WERE only a fifth of men.
The underlined portion is dependent clause

First of all INDICATED does not indicate any sort of command or order. Even if we want to represent this sentence in subjunctive mood, we must use Present Subjunctive:
Shilapentokh's study indicated that women's absenteeism from their jobs WAS only a fifth of men.

Thus option B is incorrect.

I hope this clarifies your doubt.
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Re: Shilapentokh's study indicated that, in Soviet Union, women's absentee  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2017, 21:02
i admit: very stupid question, but how does one know "women's absenteeism" is singular?

through slash and burn, i read:

Shilapentokh's study indicated that, in soviet union, women's absenteeism from their jobs, despite their home duties and their child-care responsibilities, were only a fifth of men.

are there any clues in the passage i'm missing that leads to "women's absenteeism" being singular or is this part of another, larger concept to know?
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Re: Shilapentokh's study indicated that, in Soviet Union, women's absentee  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2018, 14:06
LakerFan24 wrote:
i admit: very stupid question, but how does one know "women's absenteeism" is singular?

through slash and burn, i read:

Shilapentokh's study indicated that, in soviet union, women's absenteeism from their jobs, despite their home duties and their child-care responsibilities, were only a fifth of men.

are there any clues in the passage i'm missing that leads to "women's absenteeism" being singular or is this part of another, larger concept to know?


There are some nouns that, even though they are related conceptually to multiple people, are always singular. These nouns are often related to states of being or things in which people are involved or in which they engage.

For instance, a foolish person is in a state of foolishness. "Foolishness" would not be plural, even if many people were foolish.

Here are some other examples:

unemployment - Unemployment among teens has been a problem. (The teens are involved in unemployment or are in a state of unemployment.)

rowdiness - The rowdiness of the band members is getting out of hand. (Rowdiness is a state of being or something in which people engage.)

skepticism - The jurors' skepticism was apparent. (Skepticism is a state of being or something in which people engage.)

"Absenteeism" is such a word. Absenteeism is something that people engage in.

His absenteeism is costing him money. (He is engaging in absenteeism.)

Their absenteeism is costing them money. (They are engaging in absenteeism.)

Any "-ism" word will be singular even if many people are engaging in it or exhibiting it.

The professionalism of the staff is amazing.

The intellectualism of the country's citizens is serving them well.
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Re: Shilapentokh's study indicated that, in Soviet Union, women's absentee  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2018, 01:43
Please improve the formatting.
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Re: Shilapentokh's study indicated that, in Soviet Union, women's absentee  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2018, 01:53
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Re: Shilapentokh's study indicated that, in Soviet Union, women's absentee &nbs [#permalink] 26 Jul 2018, 01:53
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