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Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroi

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Re: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroi  [#permalink]

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New post 26 May 2019, 03:21
The whole sentence deals with the past,
The end of the sentence should be marked(past tense) how could it be just mark?
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Re: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroi  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2019, 23:35
GMATNinja EXPERT
in option "E" that is a singular pronoun referring to plural "Extinctions" isnt it incorrect.

or is "that" acting as a modifier ?
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Re: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroi  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2019, 21:09
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hero_with_1000_faces wrote:
GMATNinja EXPERT
in option "E" that is a singular pronoun referring to plural "Extinctions" isnt it incorrect.

or is "that" acting as a modifier ?
Hi hero_with_1000_faces,

Yes, the that is a modifier. It refers to an event.

... an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions...
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Re: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroi  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2019, 21:29
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AjiteshArun wrote:
hero_with_1000_faces wrote:
GMATNinja EXPERT
in option "E" that is a singular pronoun referring to plural "Extinctions" isnt it incorrect.

or is "that" acting as a modifier ?
Hi hero_with_1000_faces,

Yes, the that is a modifier. It refers to an event.

... an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions...



Thanks Ajitesh, for clearing my doubt!
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Re: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroi  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2019, 23:32
AjiteshArun wrote:
hero_with_1000_faces wrote:
GMATNinja EXPERT
in option "E" that is a singular pronoun referring to plural "Extinctions" isnt it incorrect.

or is "that" acting as a modifier ?
Hi hero_with_1000_faces,

Yes, the that is a modifier. It refers to an event.

... an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions...


The whole sentence deals with the past,
The end of the sentence should be marked(past tense) how could it be just mark?
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Re: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroi  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2019, 19:15
Anirudddh wrote:
The whole sentence deals with the past,
The end of the sentence should be marked(past tense) how could it be just mark?
Hi Anirudddh,

A case can be made for the past tense marked, but we'll need to look at the intended meaning to see why this sentence uses the present tense mark.

...the plant and animal extinctions that mark the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period.

The that mark... is used to describe the plant and animal extinctions. These extinctions still "mark" the end of the Cretaceous Period. That's why the sentence uses the present tense mark instead of the past tense marked. If we use extinctions that marked the end of the Cretaceous Period, a reader might end up thinking that the extinctions no longer mark the end of the Cretaceous Period.
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Re: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroi  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2019, 09:58
GMATNinja wrote:
This one isn't too awful, compared to some of the QOTDs we'll inflict on you later this week. For the most part, this is a nice story about straightforward uses of "that" and "which" modifiers, with some meaning stuff thrown in.

The uses of "that" and "which" can get nastier, though. Check out last Monday's YouTube webinar for more on the various uses of "that" on the GMAT... and we'll feature the other examples from the webinar as QOTDs later this week.

Quote:
A. which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks

"Which" can only modify "North America" here, and that makes no sense at all: "North America, which... marks the end of the geologic era"?! The placement of the "-ing" modifier doesn't seem great, either. Eliminate (A).

Quote:
B. which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking

Again, the modifier beginning with "which" is modifying "North America" again, and that makes no sense: "North America, which caused the plant and animal extinctions..." Eliminate (B).

Quote:
C. and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark

I'm OK with the use of "that" here, but the parallelism doesn't work. The parallelism marker "and" is followed by "causing plant and animal extinctions", and I can't find anything in the sentence that could possibly be parallel to "causing." (C) is gone.

Quote:
D. an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks

The last part of the underlined portion makes me hesitate: "it" could refer to "event", I guess. So "...an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and the event marks the end of the geologic era..." That's not awful, but I really don't understand why we're starting a whole new clause there, with "event" as the subject. It makes a whole lot more sense when the end of the sentence says "... marks the end of the geologic era..." function as a modifier for "extinctions" -- and that's exactly what (E) does.

Since "it" is the subject of the second clause, you could also argue that it refers back to the subject of the first clause: "an asteroid bigger than Mount Everest." But that wouldn't really make much sense, either: the asteroid marks the end of the geologic era? Hm, not so sure about that one. But either way: even if you're OK with the pronoun, (E) does a much better job of conveying the meaning of the sentence.

Incidentally, there's another version of this answer choice in the verbal guide (any edition): "an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks..." Clearly, that's wrong for a different reason: "extinctions... marks" is a clear subject-verb error.

Either way, (D) is gone.

Quote:
E. an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark

(E) has two "thats", and they're both perfectly fine. The event caused the plant and animal extinctions, and the extinctions mark the end of the geologic era. Nice and clear. (E) wins.


GMATNinja - i find the use of the present tense 'mark' to be a bit bizarre; in my opinion it would make mone sense to say 'marked' instead, as the events we're talking about are clearly in the past. Does that make sense? Tks! :)
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Re: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroi  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2019, 10:05
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GMATNinja - i find the use of the present tense 'mark' to be a bit bizarre; in my opinion it would make mone sense to say 'marked' instead, as the events we're talking about are clearly in the past. Does that make sense? Tks! :)

Good question! If we have more than one action in a sentence, it's possible that those actions could have different tenses - it all depends on logic and context. Here, have an example:

    "Tim, who once loved thrash metal but now prefers polka with just a hint of clarinet, has always had eclectic taste."

In this example, Tim "loved" one kind of music in the past, but "prefers" a different kind in the present. That's totally fine.

In the OA, it's true that the asteroid slammed into earth in the past, but the extinctions still "mark" the end of that geological era today. Put another way, if we'd used the past tense, "marked" it would suggest that those extinctions no longer mark the end of the era in question, and the timeline of events had been reevaluated. There's no reason to believe this is the case. Perhaps more importantly, the other answer choices don't give us the option of "marked," so there's no reason to use this as a decision point.

For more on verb tenses on the GMAT in general, check out this video.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroi  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2019, 07:02
I don't quite get why GMATNinja is talking about a subject / verb agreement error on this answer choice:

(D) an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks


Isn't the event the subject? "event .. marks"
I don't get the comparision "exctinctions .. marks"

"Animal extinctions" isn't that the object?
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Re: Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroi  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2019, 20:12
chrtpmdr wrote:
I don't quite get why GMATNinja is talking about a subject / verb agreement error on this answer choice:

(D) an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks


Isn't the event the subject? "event .. marks"
I don't get the comparision "exctinctions .. marks"

"Animal extinctions" isn't that the object?

I think the confusion is that there are two different versions of this question:

Quote:
(D) an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks
(D) an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks

The first one appears on this thread; the second appears in multiple editions of the verbal guide.

The first version doesn't really have a subject-verb issue at all, for the reasons you mentioned. It's only the second version that does. Here's the excerpt from my explanation above, applied only to that second version:
GMATNinja wrote:
Incidentally, there's another version of this answer choice in the verbal guide (any edition): "an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, which marks..." Clearly, that's wrong for a different reason: "extinctions... marks" is a clear subject-verb error.

In the second version, "which marks..." seems to modify the nearest noun, "extinctions." And that would be a clear subject-verb error. Sure, I suppose you could argue that the phrase "which marks..." modifies the entire preceding mess ("an event that caused plant and animal extinctions"), but at minimum, that's confusing, because "an event" is so far back in the sentence. (E) is much clearer in that version of the question.

I hope that helps at bit!
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Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroi  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2020, 04:51
Don't worry if you got this one wrong, people! Once you understand a few of the fundamental concepts at play here, you’ll be able to knock out questions such as this in under a minute going forward.

The first thing that should jump out at you in these answer choices is the word which. On the GMAT the correct usage of this word is quite specific yet also simple to understand. Remember “,which” ALWAYS refers to the noun or compound noun before it. No exceptions. Be very careful when this word is used without a comma!
As such, in the first two answer choices which refers to North America. Once you get the hang of how this word works you would probably check off (A) and (B) right there and then, since the meaning of the sentence would make no conceivable sense:

(A) which, causing plant and animal extinctions, marks

In this answer choice North America seemingly marks the end of an era. But how could the land itself mark the end of an era? It clearly couldn’t, so it’s out. The verb causing also poses an issue, but we’ll get to that a bit later.

(B) which caused the plant and animal extinctions marking

In this answer choice North America caused plant and animal extinctions. Nope, the asteroid did! Out again.

(C) and causing plant and animal extinctions that mark

Similar to what we saw in (A) what jumps out here to me is the word causing. You see, technical terms aside, the timeline doesn't make sense. The asteroid slammed into North America in the past — and it is still causing (in the present) the end of an era that is...itself in the past? Out again. An answer choice that may work is as follows — ,and it caused the plant and plant extinctions that mark the end of the geologic era known as the Cretaceous Period — though you could still make the argument here that “it” is ambiguous (Note that the GMAT is somewhat flexible when it comes to pronoun ambiguity, though). Timelines and verb tenses are generally important to keep note of during SC. Also keep in mind that the last part of (C) isn’t complete as it stands; it requires a subject.

(D) an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and it marks

This is a close one. The beginning of this sentence is clear and has clarity. The event clearly refers to the asteroid slamming into North America, and the event clearly caused the plant and animal extinctions. The problem here is with the word it. You see, the event didn't mark end of the era - the extinctions did. But the extinctions are plural first off and the word it is singular. If you went through every singular noun in the entire sentence that it could possibly refer to none would make any sense in terms of overall meaning. You would need “an event that caused plant and animal extinctions, and THEY mark” to keep things grammatical. But this would just make the sentence too awkward. Sorry, people, this answer falls short.

(E) an event that caused the plant and animal extinctions that mark

Looks like we got a winner here. It starts off clearly with the word event. It uses the word caused so it makes sense time-wise and is also parallel with slammed. And it also finally and clearly attributes the extinctions as marking the end of the era. Remember that refers to the noun (or compound noun) it is directly attached.

Whew, this took more words than I thought it would. But, like I said, once you grasp the few concepts at play here, a question such as this shouldn’t take you more than a minute to solve.
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Sixty-five million years ago, according to some scientists, an asteroi   [#permalink] 20 Feb 2020, 04:51

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