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Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity

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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 07 Jul 2016, 04:40
ChrisLele

I have a doubt regarding your explanation of answer 'A'. According to my understanding, Greatly reducing is a -ing modifier preceded by comma which generally modifies the entire clause or is used to indicate the result of preceding statement. So in this case the modifier modifies the entire clause that at some time ancestors suffered an event and this led to great reduction in their number. So, according to me the modifier usage is correct. Can you please point out the flaw in my understanding?

Thanks in advance.

ChrisLele wrote:
In answer choice (A) there is a problem with modification. (A) is implying that our ancestors greatly reduced their own numbers (this is incorrect because it was the event that greatly reduced ancestors). When we have an independent clause followed by a participle phrase (one that starts with a gerund and serves as an adjective clause), the participle phrase modifies the subject of the sentence.

In non-grammarese: 'ancestors' is the subject of the independent clause, 'at some time...' and because of the comma after event, we have the incorrect meaning. It was not the ancestors but an event that 'reduced their numbers.'

Therefore, we want to make sure that it is clear that 'event' is 'greatly reducing the numbers.' One way to fix that is by using the relative pronoun 'that.' In (B), we have 'an event that greatly reduced their numbers' that does a good job of correcting the error in (A).

Therefore (B) is the answer.

Originally posted by jjindal on 07 Jul 2016, 01:27.
Last edited by jjindal on 07 Jul 2016, 04:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2016, 09:59
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iMyself wrote:
macjas wrote:
Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in the world's people is the result of a "population bottleneck"-at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event, greatly reducing their numbers and thus our genetic variation.

A at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event, greatly reducing their numbers
B that at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event that greatly reduced their numbers
C that sometime in the past our ancestors suffered an event so that their numbers were greatly reduced
D some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event from which their numbers were greatly reduced
E some time in the past, that our ancestors suffered an event so as to reduce their numbers greatly,

In the question, I can't understand WHY A is wrong? In A, didn't 'event' modify '' greatly reducing their numbers''?
In B, their indicates what? does it indicate ''anthropologists'', "people" or "ancestors
also, HOW an 'event' greatly reduced their number?
If I say:
They killed their father. [/i] Here, their is the pronoun of they. So, in the sentence B, .....event reduced their number. Here, their is plural but event is singular. I should not say that He killed their father. How the sentence matched its pronoun in B?
Thanks...


1. Following is the official explanation for A:
The omission of that after the dash makes the function of the final clause unclear. The structure makes that clause appear to be an awkward and rhetorically puzzling separate assertion that the writer has appended to the prior claim about what the anthropologists believe. The agent or cause of reducing is unclear.

2. I do not understand your query "HOW an 'event' greatly reduced their number?" Why do you think that an event cannot reduce their number?

3. This query is also not clear - why do you consider that " He killed their father" is not correct? Why only "they" can kill their father and a single person (or a single event) can't?
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity [#permalink]

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New post 28 Dec 2016, 12:14
ChrisLele wrote:
In answer choice (A) there is a problem with modification. (A) is implying that our ancestors greatly reduced their own numbers (this is incorrect because it was the event that greatly reduced ancestors). When we have an independent clause followed by a participle phrase (one that starts with a gerund and serves as an adjective clause), the participle phrase modifies the subject of the sentence.

In non-grammarese: 'ancestors' is the subject of the independent clause, 'at some time...' and because of the comma after event, we have the incorrect meaning. It was not the ancestors but an event that 'reduced their numbers.'

Therefore, we want to make sure that it is clear that 'event' is 'greatly reducing the numbers.' One way to fix that is by using the relative pronoun 'that.' In (B), we have 'an event that greatly reduced their numbers' that does a good job of correcting the error in (A).

Therefore (B) is the answer.


I just read ChrisLele's comment.
Why is the logic which he has mentioned not applicable to following question?
http://gmatclub[dot]com/forum/five-fledgling-sea-eagles-left-their-nests-in-western-130847.html
Using bringing would mean that eagles themselves are bringing down the numbers. But the fact is their action of leaving the nests is bringing down numbers.

sayantanc2k Can you please share your insights on this?
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2017, 01:18
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macjas wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2017

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 736
Page: 695

Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in the world's people is the result of a "population bottleneck"—at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event, greatly reducing their numbers and thus our genetic variation.

A at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event, greatly reducing their numbers
B that at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event that greatly reduced their numbers
C that sometime in the past our ancestors suffered an event so that their numbers were greatly reduced
D some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event from which their numbers were greatly reduced
E some time in the past, that our ancestors suffered an event so as to reduce their numbers greatly,

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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2017, 05:50
Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in the world's people is the result of a "population bottleneck"—at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event, greatly reducing their numbers and thus our genetic variation.

Quote:
A at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event, greatly reducing their numbers
D some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event from which their numbers were greatly reduced
E some time in the past, that our ancestors suffered an event so as to reduce their numbers greatly,

'-' indicates that the author is going to rephrase what was mentioned in the first clause, so we need what comes after '-' to maintain parallelism => We require a 'that' immediately after the '-'
So A,D,E are out on this account.
A - States the ancestors reduced their own numbers
D - 'from which' is just plain awkward
E - 'so as to' indicates intent on the ancestors part and that was not the case.


Quote:
C that sometime in the past our ancestors suffered an event so that their numbers were greatly reduced

This alters the meaning and it seems like the ancestors suffered an event in order to reduce their numbers and that is clearly incorrect. OUT!


Quote:
B that at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event that greatly reduced their numbers

Maintains parallelism + 'that greatly...' correctly refers to 'an event'

So B is the answer.
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Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2017, 23:31
Hi GMATNinja generis GMATNinjaTwo

Can you help to differentiate between function of a hyphen and semicolon?
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2018, 21:29
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adkikani wrote:
Hi GMATNinja generis GMATNinjaTwo

Can you help to differentiate between function of a hyphen and semicolon?



Hello Arpit @adikikani,

I will be glad to help you out with this one. :-)


To begin with, this official sentence uses a dash and not a hyphen.

Now generally, both hyphens and semi-colons are used to connect two independent clauses.

However, in the correct answer choice of this official question, the hyphen is followed by a dependent clause.

Personally, I see this usage just as an exception to the rule, an atypical usage in a one-off case.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2018, 15:03
Comma+Ving will modify the nearest subject which is Ancestor in A. Hence, incorrect.

Comma+Ving can be the logical outcome of preceding clause, however not in this case. Because "scientist believed...." is NOT the logical outcome of reduced population. It is "the event" that reduces the population.
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Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2018, 10:11
egmat

1. I understand that "that" is needed after the "-" in order to maintain the parallelism between " that the genetic homogeneity evident in the world's people is the result of a "population bottleneck" and "that at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event" as the portion after the "-" simply elaborates the portion before "-" and adds some more information. Please tell me if my understanding is correct.

2. However, please explain why is ", greatly reducing their numbers" wrong as I understand that ",-ing" modifies the preceeding clause and either presents the result of the action done in the preceeding clause or describes how the action is being done in the preceeding clause. Here, we can see that "greatly reducing their numbers" clearly presents the result of "past our ancestors suffered an event". Please explain
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2018, 10:22
egmat wrote:
kinjiGC wrote:
Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in the world's people is the result of a "population bottleneck"—at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event, greatly reducing their numbers and thus our genetic variation.

(A) at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event, greatly reducing their numbers
(B) that at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event that greatly reduced their numbers
(C) that some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event so that their numbers were greatly reduced,
(D) some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event from which their numbers were greatly reduced
(E) some time in the past, that our ancestors suffered an event so as to reduce their numbers greatly,

Meaning: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in the world's people is the result of a "population bottleneck". Population bottleneck – an event that occurred sometime back in the past which greatly reduced their numbers and thus our genetic variation.

Option A) “greatly reducing their numbers” – Verb-ing modifier comma separated, so presenting (modifying) more information about the preceding clause “at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event” which is incorrect as the event reduced their numbers.

Option C) so that presents reason which is incorrect.

Option D) “from which” is incorrect. The correct sentence would be “some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event that greatly reduced their numbers”.

Option E) “so as” provides an intent.

My confusion is “that” in Option B)
that should replace “population bottleneck”
So the sentence becomes “population bottleneck at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event that greatly reduced their numbers” – doesn’t look correct to me.

I know after the hyphen “-” the modifier comes which provides more information about the preceding noun.

Can you please clarify about the usage of hyphen?


Dear Kinjal,

Thank you for your query. :)

The punctuation mark referred to by you is technically called a “dash”. Yes, it has a slightly less fancy name than the “hyphen”. :)

Moving on, the dash can be used in multiple ways. In the sentence at hand, it has been used to elaborate on what the author has mentioned before the dash. If you observe, the portion after the dash not only expands on the “bottleneck” bit but also on how the genetic homogeneity is the result of the mentioned bottleneck. Accordingly, if I were to draw a parallel structure it would be something on the following lines:

Mariana believes that altruism exists even in today’s day and age — that people can help others without any selfish motives is not an idea that is too unrealistic to exist in a society that thrives on rewarding individualism.

In the example sentence above, the portion after the dash reiterates the point stated earlier while elaborating a bit more on the same. Not only does it tell you more about the concept of altruism, as perceived by the author, but also about the whole statement made earlier. This is very similar to how the dash has been used in the correct choice of the question referred to by you in your post.

Of course, the above question does not limit the universe of the uses of this punctuation mark. You can also use the dash in various other forms, but the idea remains the same: to separate parts of the sentence while adding information. To enhance your understanding, you could refer to some other OG questions in your research - OG 13: Q#98 & Q#132.

Hope that helps! :)

Regards,
Neeti.


What is the difference between a dash and a hyphen? Do we need to bother about it in GMAT?
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2018, 15:16
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aviejay wrote:
egmat

1. I understand that "that" is needed after the "-" in order to maintain the parallelism between " that the genetic homogeneity evident in the world's people is the result of a "population bottleneck" and "that at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event" as the portion after the "-" simply elaborates the portion before "-" and adds some more information. Please tell me if my understanding is correct.

2. However, please explain why is ", greatly reducing their numbers" wrong as I understand that ",-ing" modifies the preceeding clause and either presents the result of the action done in the preceeding clause or describes how the action is being done in the preceeding clause. Here, we can see that "greatly reducing their numbers" clearly presents the result of "past our ancestors suffered an event". Please explain



Hello aviejay,

Thank you for the query and the PM. :-)


1. Yes, your understanding is correct.

2. It is true that the comma + verb-ing modifier presents either the how aspect or the result of the modified action. However, in modifying the preceding action, the comma + verb-ing modifier must also make sense with the doer of the modified action.

You are correct in saying that that comma + verb-ing modifier reducing seems to present the result of the action suffered. But, comma + reducing fails to make sense with doer - our ancestors - of the modified action.

Choice A seems to suggest that our ancestors suffered an event and as a result reduced their numbers. This meaning is certainly not logical.

From the context of the sentence, we know that the event that our ancestors suffered reduced their numbers.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2018, 22:32
egmat wrote:
aviejay wrote:
egmat

1. I understand that "that" is needed after the "-" in order to maintain the parallelism between " that the genetic homogeneity evident in the world's people is the result of a "population bottleneck" and "that at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event" as the portion after the "-" simply elaborates the portion before "-" and adds some more information. Please tell me if my understanding is correct.

2. However, please explain why is ", greatly reducing their numbers" wrong as I understand that ",-ing" modifies the preceeding clause and either presents the result of the action done in the preceeding clause or describes how the action is being done in the preceeding clause. Here, we can see that "greatly reducing their numbers" clearly presents the result of "past our ancestors suffered an event". Please explain



Hello aviejay,

Thank you for the query and the PM. :-)


1. Yes, your understanding is correct.

2. It is true that the comma + verb-ing modifier presents either the how aspect or the result of the modified action. However, in modifying the preceding action, the comma + verb-ing modifier must also make sense with the doer of the modified action.

You are correct in saying that that comma + verb-ing modifier reducing seems to present the result of the action suffered. But, comma + reducing fails to make sense with doer - our ancestors - of the modified action.

Choice A seems to suggest that our ancestors suffered an event and as a result reduced their numbers. This meaning is certainly not logical.

From the context of the sentence, we know that the event that our ancestors suffered reduced their numbers.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha


This totally helps Shraddha. Thanks a lot :)
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Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2018, 00:22
sayantanc2k wrote:
deepak268 wrote:
egmat
Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in the world's people is the result of a "population bottleneck"-at some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event, greatly reducing their numbers and thus our genetic variation.

I still dont get why A is not correct ?
"ing" plays 2 role first is describing the action with subject and second it can be an effect of a cause mentioned earlier in the clause.
here why cant "greatly reducing their numbers and thus our genetic variation" be an effect of " ancestors suffering from event "
It can mean " ancestors suffered from event and thus suffering from that event led to reducing their....blabla " clear cause and effect.
if "ing" can play second role clearly why one has to check for the first role "ing" plays( i.e. describing with subject) ??
If option A is incorrect it has to be some other reason.
thanks


Without "that", the latter clause ( " at some time....greatly reduced their numbers") does not have much meaningful bearing to the first clause as the author intended. It is required to establish that the scientists believe even the latter clause and hence "that" is required to be repeated.




In that case , dont be require an "and" b/w "believe that the genetic homogeneity......" and " that at some time....greatly reduced their numbers"

pls. help
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2018, 19:13
A - greatly reducing modifies Ancestors --> distorts.
c,d - Root word "reduced" should come before their numbers so that it
can be parallel for both "their numbers" and "genetic variation"
E - "so as to" distorts the meaning

Hence, B is the Answer.
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2018, 08:18
It might be helpful to understand the difference between commonly confused words.
Sometimes is a one-word adverb that means “occasionally” or “now and then.”
Sometimes I just don’t understand what that man is saying.

When some time is two words, it refers to a span of time. In fact, it often means “a long time.”
For some time, humans have known that the world is round.

When you use sometime as an adverb, it refers to an unspecified point in time. It doesn’t refer to a span of time—that’s what some time is for.
I’ll get around to finishing that book sometime.
Albert, a sometime cab driver, now flies aeroplanes for a living.

At some time = sometime
Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity   [#permalink] 13 Jul 2018, 08:18

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