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Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in

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

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New post 11 Sep 2016, 08:59
1
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 evident in  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2017, 22:31
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 evident in  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2018, 20:29
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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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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2018, 09:11
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 evident in  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2018, 14:16
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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.
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2018, 20:36
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 -- Can we reject this option because we are joining 2 independent clauses using — ?

(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 -- usage of so that

(D) some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event from which their numbers were greatly reduced - we need a preposition with some time ; “from which” construction stands for “their numbers were greatly reduced from the event”. Clearly, the numbers were reduced not FROM the event but BY the event.

In general, “sometime” means “at some point”, and “some time” means “a period of time”.

(E) some time in the past, that our ancestors suffered an event so as to reduce their numbers greatly, - we need a preposition with some time ; “so as to” indicates purpose. This option illogically means that the ancestors suffered with an intention to reduce their numbers.


1. Is the punctuation that follows the phrase "population bottleneck" is a hyphen or a dash? Can you list uses of both of them?

2. Can we reject option A because we are joining 2 independent clauses using — ?

3. In option A, DOES verb-ing modifier need to make sense with the subject of the preceding clauses our ancestors?

At some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event, greatly reducing their numbers and thus our genetic variation. -- here verb-ing modifier reducing does explain the entire action of preceding clause but does not make sense with the subject.

I dropped the bags onto the floor, scaring the dogs---> here I did not directly scare the dogs but my action of dropping the bags did.

As per the official question in the following link -

https://gmatclub.com/forum/between-14-0 ... l#p1868115

Between 14,000 and 8,000 b.c. the ice cap that covered northern Asia, Europe, and America began to melt, uncovering vast new areas that were to be occupied by migrating peoples moving northward.

An observation from this question is that the verb-ing ‘uncovering’ does not make sense with the subject ‘ice cap’: ice cap didn’t do the action of ‘uncovering’. ‘Uncovering of the areas’ happened on its own as a direct consequence of ‘melting’. Thus, we can learn from this question that in ‘comma+verb-ing structure’, verb-ing doesn’t need to always make sense with the subject as long as it provides a direct consequence of the action of the clause.

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , VeritasPrepBrian, GMATGuruNY , VeritasKarishma , DmitryFarber , RonPurewal , ChiranjeevSingh , other experts - please enlighten
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2018, 11:19
Hello Everyone!

While it seems that the original question came with a pretty thorough explanation, let's see if we can figure out how you would tackle this question if you found in on the GMAT! To get started, let's look at the original question, and highlight any major differences in orange:

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,

After a quick glance over the options, there are a couple things we can focus on:

1. at some time / that at some time / that sometime / some time
2. Their endings (intended meaning)


Let's start by taking a closer look at #1 on our list: how to begin! We know that the phrase starts directly after an em dash, so we need to follow the rules concerning em dashes. In this sentence, the em dash is used to show that what follows is a more detailed explanation of a "population bottleneck." You could replace the em dash with the phrase "in other words" and it should still make sense because both the original explanation and the "rewording" of it should be parallel:

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,

We can eliminate options A, D, & E because they don't have the word "that" to create a parallel structure to the original explanation.

Now that we only have 2 options to choose from, let's add in the rest of the sentence and check for other problems:

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

This is CORRECT! It uses parallel wording by starting both explanations with the word "that." It also uses parallel structure to list the two things that were greatly reduced: their numbers / our genetic variation. It uses the structure "greatly reduced X and Y," where X and Y were both written using parallel structure (pronoun + noun).

(C) Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in the world's people is the result of a "population bottleneck"—that sometime in the past our ancestors suffered an event so that their numbers were greatly reduced and thus our genetic variation.

This is INCORRECT! While it does use parallelism to start both explanations with "that," there is a parallelism problem later on:

their numbers were greatly reduced and thus our genetic variation = X was greatly reduced and Y = NOT PARALLEL

To fix it, we would have to repeat the verb:

their numbers were greatly reduced and thus our genetic variation was greatly reduced = X was greatly reduced and Y was greatly reduced = PARALLEL

There you have it - option B is the correct choice because it uses parallel structure throughout the sentence!


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