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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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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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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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31 Jan 2018, 20:29
2
Hi GMATNinja generis GMATNinjaTwo

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

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

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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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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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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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07 Nov 2018, 11:19
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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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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in  [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2019, 16:32
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:

Reducing : Is the action is still continuing (NO). So this is wrong. it reduced long back.

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

Correct answer: That (refer to the genetic homogeneity evident in the world's people is the result of a "population bottleneck")
2. suffered an event that greatly: So the event that is greatly reduces the number

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

so that their numbers were greatly: using of so that is wrong. No one forcibly reduced the number. As one event happened which reduced the number. So WRONG

(D) some time in the past our ancestors suffered an event from which their numbers were greatly reduced

their numbers were greatly reduced: seems like someone reduced their number.WRONG

(E) some time in the past, that our ancestors suffered an event so as to reduce their numbers greatly,

so as to reduce their numbers greatly,: It seems like the ancestors only reduced their number. WRONG
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in  [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2019, 03:51
Skywalker18 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 -- 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

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

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15 Aug 2019, 06:40
hazelnut wrote:
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 evident in  [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2019, 06:42
Skywalker18 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 -- 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

Dear egmat GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , VeritasPrepBrian, GMATGuruNY , VeritasKarishma , DmitryFarber , RonPurewal , ChiranjeevSingh please enlighten

Can we reject option A because we are joining 2 independent clauses using —(dash) ?

Also, I understand that in option 'A', it does not makes sense that the doer of the actions, 'suffered an event' and 'greatly reducing their numbers', is 'our ancestors' even though the 2nd action is clearly a result of the first.

Please correct me if I am wrong

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

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22 Sep 2019, 09:45
1
Sarjaria84 wrote:

Can we reject option A because we are joining 2 independent clauses using —(dash) ?

Also, I understand that in option 'A', it does not makes sense that the doer of the actions, 'suffered an event' and 'greatly reducing their numbers', is 'our ancestors' even though the 2nd action is clearly a result of the first.

Please correct me if I am wrong

Thanks
Saurabh
Hi Sarjaria84,

Although some people feel that a dash should not be used to join two independent clauses, I don't think we should regard that as a (reliable) rule. The GMAT doesn't really test punctuation all that much, so we'd be taking a risk if we were to apply something like that.

We could instead remove A because it drops the that that is supposed to describe ("limit") an event:
... our ancestors suffered an event... ← This doesn't make any sense. What kind of event? We would never say something like "they suffered an event" and end the sentence there, without adding anything to event.
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Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in  [#permalink]

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09 May 2020, 00:40
Dachivo wrote:
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).

Hi,
I am bit confused about your explanation, I thought that a participle phrase (gerund) will modify the entire independent clause - in this case the fact that "our ancestors suffered an event"
Example (Taken from MGMAT just to make sure I don't introduce something estrange):
Crime has recently decreased in our neighborhood, leading to a rise in property values

I may be missing something in your explanation, so it will be great if you can expand a bit more on it.

I originally had chosen A, not thinking about the required parallelism: Anthropologist believed that x - that y. I didn't think it made sense to make those two clauses parallel because of the lack of 'and', and thus I figured that the clause after the dash ('=') was just emphasizing the definition of a 'population bottleneck'.

I hope this thread is not to old.

Thanks,

"I am bit confused about your explanation, I thought that a participle phrase (gerund) will modify the entire independent clause - in this case the fact that "our ancestors suffered an event"
Example (Taken from MGMAT just to make sure I don't introduce something estrange):
Crime has recently decreased in our neighborhood, leading to a rise in property values"

May I request someone to kindly explain the above query (highlighted in red within the quote).
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in  [#permalink]

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27 May 2020, 12:48

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

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27 May 2020, 20:42
I chose option A rather than B on the grounds of verb-ing modifier. In option A verb-ing modifier modifies verb 'suffered" which according to me is right rather than saying that an "event" reduced the numbers of ancestors as in option B.
Can anyone tell me where i went wrong?
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in  [#permalink]

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31 May 2020, 08:36
1
1
hridaybector wrote:
I chose option A rather than B on the grounds of verb-ing modifier. In option A verb-ing modifier modifies verb 'suffered" which according to me is right rather than saying that an "event" reduced the numbers of ancestors as in option B.
Can anyone tell me where i went wrong?

The act of suffering wouldn't, by itself, reduce the numbers. So, with choice (A), we are left wondering, "What, exactly, caused the reduction?"

A catastrophic event (i.e. an earthquake, a volcanic eruption, a meteor impact) could certainly kill many people and reduce the numbers of a group.
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in  [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2020, 15:54
PUNEETSCHDV wrote:
COMMA + VERBing should refer to the SUBJECT of the preceding clause. In A, reducing seems to refer to our ancestors, implying that OUR ANCESTORS were greatly reducing their numbers. The intended meaning here is that an EVENT greatly reduced their numbers. Eliminate A.

So that (in C) and so as (in E) imply PURPOSE. The result is a strange meaning: that our ancestors suffered for the PURPOSE of reducing their numbers. Not the intended meaning. Eliminate C and E.

In D, which seems to refer to an event, implying that our ancestors' numbers were reduced FROM an event -- a nonsensical meaning. Eliminate D.

I thought it was COMMA + VERBing should refer to the CLOSET NOUN of the preceding clause??

And COMMA + NOUN refers to the SUBJECT of the preceding clause??

Any help? Do you have a good source for your reference?
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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in  [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2020, 12:54

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Re: Some anthropologists believe that the genetic homogeneity evident in   [#permalink] 10 Jul 2020, 12:54

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