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# Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt

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Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2013, 01:00
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I faced the following question in the assessment test of e-gmat and I am unable to understand why I am wrong?

Question : A May study in Nature found that 65 percent of autistic children share a set of mutations that regulates genes known to influence communication among brain cells.

A) Regulates

B) Regulate

I thought it should be mutations that regulate but my answer was wrong and correct answer is regulates .

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Re: Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2013, 01:19
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skmbaaspirant wrote:
I faced the following question in the assessment test of e-gmat and I am unable to understand why I am wrong?

Question : A May study in Nature found that 65 percent of autistic children share a set of mutations that regulates genes known to influence communication among brain cells.

A) Regulates

B) Regulate

I thought it should be mutations that regulate but my answer was wrong and correct answer is regulates .

Here "a set of mutations" is collective noun like "a pride of lions".
Collective nouns are singular.
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Re: Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2013, 15:23
skmbaaspirant,

In the sample question you provided that skips the mutations and refers to the noun a set in the phrase a set of mutations.

To infer what that refers, one need to clearly understand the meaning of the sentence.

If you read the sentence mutations by themselves don't regulate but a set of mutations regulates make sense for what is noted subsequently - genes known to influence communication among brain cells

This is one of those question types that is always challenging for me... Similar challenges with which as well, though less frequently. E.g. refer to OG13 Q29

Hope this helps
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Re: Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2013, 12:20
The subject attached to a verb can never be contained in a prepositional phrase - thus the subject for this verb is "a set" not mutations. the only time when the prepositional phrase matters is when the subject discusses a portion, percent, fraction etc... in this case the noun in the prepositional phrase controls plural or singular.
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Re: Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2016, 20:32
Hello,

Whenever you wish to see the subject verb agreement, just eliminate all the prepositional phrases. In this example,eliminate 'of mutations' along with other prepositional phrases and then try to focus on S-V Agreement.

Thanks
Akash

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Re: Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2016, 22:54
@AkashKashyap totally agree! This is part of what I teach. Just focusing on the subject in the verb and putting the rest of it in the background. I would give you Kudos but I'm on my phone and can't seem to do that on here.

Farrell Dyan Hehn, MBA
Admissions Consultant & Verbal Strategist MBAPrepCoach.com
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Re: Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2016, 23:59
AkashKashyap wrote:
Whenever you wish to see the subject verb agreement, just eliminate all the prepositional phrases. In this example,eliminate 'of mutations' along with other prepositional phrases and then try to focus on S-V Agreement.

Hi AkashKashyap, there is a catch to it.

Prepositional phrases need to eliminated when determining the subject in a respective clause. This rule cannot be applied across clauses. For example:

One of the many buildings that are unstable is owned by the FTR Group.

We have two clauses in this sentence:

i) One of the many buildings is owned by the FTR Group - In this clause, since buildings is a part of Prepositional phrase (of the many buildings), buildings cannot be the subject. Hence, one is the subject and the verb is singular (is).

ii) that are unstable - What does that modify? Well, that follows the regular rules and in this case, will modify buildings. Hence, in this clause, the appropriate verb will be are.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses this concept, its application and examples in significant detail. If someone is interested, PM me your email-id, I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2016, 04:51
MBAPrepCoach wrote:
AkashKashyap totally agree! This is part of what I teach. Just focusing on the subject in the verb and putting the rest of it in the background. I would give you Kudos but I'm on my phone and can't seem to do that on here.

Farrell Dyan Hehn, MBA
Admissions Consultant & Verbal Strategist MBAPrepCoach.com

Hey Farrell,

Thanks a ton, but please do keep one catch in mind as explained by Ashish below.

Thanks again.
Akash

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Re: Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2016, 04:57
EducationAisle wrote:
AkashKashyap wrote:
Whenever you wish to see the subject verb agreement, just eliminate all the prepositional phrases. In this example,eliminate 'of mutations' along with other prepositional phrases and then try to focus on S-V Agreement.

Hi AkashKashyap, there is a catch to it.

Prepositional phrases need to eliminated when determining the subject in a respective clause. This rule cannot be applied across clauses. For example:

One of the many buildings that are unstable is owned by the FTR Group.

We have two clauses in this sentence:

i) One of the many buildings is owned by the FTR Group - In this clause, since buildings is a part of Prepositional phrase (of the many buildings), buildings cannot be the subject. Hence, one is the subject and the verb is singular (is).

ii) that are unstable - What does that modify? Well, that follows the regular rules and in this case, will modify buildings. Hence, in this clause, the appropriate verb will be are.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses this concept, its application and examples in significant detail. If someone is interested, PM me your email-id, I can mail the corresponding section.

Hello Ashish,

I completely agree. This concept is of 'Quantity prepositional phrases'.

For example:

1) Some of the students are discussing about yesterday's tennis match.

2) Most of the artists are doing well in northern India.

In short, we only refer to the subject in the prepositional phrase when the prepositional phrase expresses some quantity.

Thanks
Akash

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Re: Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt [#permalink]

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19 Mar 2017, 16:39
MBAPrepCoach wrote:
AkashKashyap totally agree! This is part of what I teach. Just focusing on the subject in the verb and putting the rest of it in the background. I would give you Kudos but I'm on my phone and can't seem to do that on here.

Farrell Dyan Hehn, MBA
Admissions Consultant & Verbal Strategist MBAPrepCoach.com

Hey Farrell,

Quick question what is the plural of 'found'? 'A May study' is singular and so does the verb attached to it. However I thought 'found' is plural.

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Re: Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt [#permalink]

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19 Mar 2017, 22:34
There seems to be a lot of agreement here, but somehow I don't see any valid arguments in this case for choosing one option over the other. A set of mutations that regulates/regulate? This question (if the question is actually testing this) is patently flawed, and it is not possible to take a call on this one.
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Re: Subject verb agreement -- in number e-gmat question doubt   [#permalink] 19 Mar 2017, 22:34
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