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The data being collected in the current geological survey are providin

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The data being collected in the current geological survey are providin  [#permalink]

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The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance might lie in how they influence the upcoming decision by those same engineers on whether to retrofit 75 bridges in the survey zone.

(A) The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance

(B) The data being collected in the current geological survey provide a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but its greatest importance

(C) The data collected in the current geological survey is providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance

(D) The data collected in the current geological survey provides a strong warning for engineers in consideration of the new dam project, but its greatest importance

(E) The data collected in the current geological survey provide a strong warning for engineers in consideration for the new dam project, but the greatest importance

Originally posted by thelosthippie on 06 May 2013, 02:51.
Last edited by hazelnut on 24 Sep 2017, 06:06, edited 3 times in total.
Edited the question.
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The data being collected in the current geological survey are providin  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2014, 20:29
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A few things to note:

Technically, data is plural of datum. In academic writing it is almost always treated as plural. It is treated as singular in informal writing but GMAT favors treating it as plural. I do not have my OG12 at hand right now but if you look for references of data, it is used as plural.

Even if you do not know this, the use of "theyinfluence the upcoming" should tell you that data is used in plural form here.

There are many pronouns used here. Antecedent of each pronoun is present in the sentence. The usage clarifies which pronoun refers to data and which refers to engineers.

The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance might lie in how they influence the upcoming decision by those same engineers on whether to retrofit 75 bridges in the survey zone.

they - only engineers can consider
their, they - greatest importance will be of data, data will influence the decision

There is no ambiguity in the use of pronouns. The nouns are present and the usage clarifies the antecedent.

  • B and D use 'its' for data so they are incorrect.
  • C uses "is providing" for data so it is incorrect.
  • In option (E), "in consideration for the new dam project" is bad diction.
  • Answer is (A)


Here is a note on the use of being in this sentence by Brian:

Quote:
Don't get me wrong - if you eliminate "being" every time you'll be right on well over 90% of SC questions when you do so. But I know there are questions out there where it's used correctly, and they're bound to be among the more difficult since most students know the "being is wrong!" principle. So having that extra moment of caution when, like in this case, you don't like the other answer choices...that's a nice competitive advantage.

"Being" is properly used to express a temporary state. It's often used hideously on the GMAT as a modifier for something that isn't at all temporary:

Being the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong...

"Being" is wrong there - he wasn't "being" the first man on the moon...that's just who he is.

But you could correctly say:

While being driven to the shuttle launch, Neil Armstrong remarked to his chauffeur that...

Because "being driven" is a temporary state.

So in this question, which clearly denotes the "current geological survey", "being collected" is a temporary state. The data won't always be collected, but currently for a temporary period of time the data are being collected, so "being" is used properly here.

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Re: The data being collected in the current geological survey are providin  [#permalink]

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New post 07 May 2013, 01:58
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Solution: A

Everyone got the 'data' part so the choice was between A and E.

In (E) “in consideration for” is improper diction and the meaning is unclear in the second portion – without the possessive “their” it is unclear what “the greatest importance” is referring to thus (E) is incorrect. Only (A) – even though it may sound strange to your ear – properly matches the plural data with a plural verb and plural verbs. Answer choice (A) is correct.
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Re: The data being collected in the current geological survey are providin  [#permalink]

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New post 06 May 2013, 19:19
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First of all, "Data" can be used as either plural or singular. But the usage data as plural is more common.

Second. Because of "they", we should consider data plural noun.

The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance might lie in how they influence the upcoming decision by those same engineers on whether to retrofit 75 bridges in the survey zone.

A. The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance
>>> Wrong. "they" and "their" are not clear.

B. The data being collected in the current geological survey provide a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but its greatest importance
>>> Wrong.

C. The data collected in the current geological survey is providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance
>>> Wrong.

D. The data collected in the current geological survey provides a strong warning for engineers in consideration of the new dam project, but its greatest importance
>>> Wrong.

E. The data collected in the current geological survey provide a strong warning for engineers in consideration for the new dam project, but the greatest importance
>>> Correct.

Waiting for the OA.
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Re: The data being collected in the current geological survey are providin  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 31 Mar 2017, 05:56
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The OA is disputable; let’s see why because A GMAT question is just not one aspect; it is multi-dimensional.

A. The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance ----- ‘they consider’ who consider? Data or Engineers? Not definitely data because data do not consider; only people do it. But the second pronoun ‘does’ not refer to engineers. But data for sure. This kind dual reference is not acceptable. I am not even disputing whether data is singular or plural; Data can very well be singular in the context since it is the totality of the data as a collective unit that is being considered here.

B. The data being collected in the current geological survey provide a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but its greatest importance –discordant as far as the number agreement of the data is considered. First, data seems to imply that it is plural because they provide but the pronoun ‘its’ seems to suggest singularity. Is this permissible?.


C. The data collected in the current geological survey is providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance -- discordant as far as the number agreement of the data is considered. First, data seems to imply that it is singular because it is providing but the pronoun ‘their’ seems to suggest plurality. Is this permissible? It is obvious that their greatest importance does not refer to the Engineers’ importance

D. The data collected in the current geological survey provides a strong warning for engineers in consideration of the new dam project, but its greatest importance – This is the only choice, where pronouns fit in smugly without room any ambiguity; But there is a sly pitfall here. In consideration may also mean - at a price of- or -in return for-. Like we say the hijackers agreed to release the hostages in consideration of a ransom $10 m. This is what thelosthippie pointed out I suppose.
E. The data collected in the current geological survey provide a strong warning for engineers in consideration for the new dam project, but the greatest importance – ----the greatest importance is too general to specify a purpose, in addition, the tricky issue of the ‘in consideration of,

I would go with D as the least objectionable choice

Hold, hold, even D is not correct. The 'they' in the non - underlined part is plural; it is not tallying with the singular 'its' and the singular 'provides'

Maybe we will have to take E as the answer in spite the idiom error
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Originally posted by daagh on 07 May 2013, 08:18.
Last edited by daagh on 31 Mar 2017, 05:56, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The data being collected in the current geological survey are providin  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2014, 01:20
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Note: data is plural form; datum is singular form.

The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance might lie in how they influence the upcoming decision by those same engineers on whether to retrofit 75 bridges in the survey zone.

A. The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance
Correct. I agree A is the best among the lot, but I'm still not satisfied with "they" (as they consider......) because "they" may refer to subject data (plural) or engineers.

B. The data being collected in the current geological survey provide a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but its greatest importance
Wrong. "data" is plural --> "its" is wrong.

C. The data collected in the current geological survey is providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance
Wrong. "data" is plural.

D. The data collected in the current geological survey provides a strong warning for engineers in consideration of the new dam project, but its greatest importance
Wrong. "data" is plural.

E. The data collected in the current geological survey provide a strong warning for engineers in consideration for the new dam project, but the greatest importance
Wrong. "in consideration for" is unidiomatic. "in consideration of" is correct.

Hope it helps.
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New post 04 Jan 2015, 13:01
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You can narrow down to A and E pretty easily. Intuitively, I find both a little problematic, but in option A, the use of 'they' to refer the engineers and 'their' to refer to data, followed by 'they' to refer to data and 'those' to refer to engineers is very unclear. That leaves us with answer E, which has a very cumbersome construction (especially the in consideration... part) but can't find anything specifically incorrect with it. My answer by elimination is E. The best way would be to use the antecedents in sentence A, but that isn't amongst the choices.
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New post 04 Jan 2015, 21:13
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aviram wrote:
You can narrow down to A and E pretty easily. Intuitively, I find both a little problematic, but in option A, the use of 'they' to refer the engineers and 'their' to refer to data, followed by 'they' to refer to data and 'those' to refer to engineers is very unclear. That leaves us with answer E, which has a very cumbersome construction (especially the in consideration... part) but can't find anything specifically incorrect with it. My answer by elimination is E. The best way would be to use the antecedents in sentence A, but that isn't amongst the choices.


(E) is incorrect. The correct answer is (A)
You should check out these two posts:
http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2014/11 ... s-part-ii/
http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2014/10 ... -sc-myths/

The first one discusses this question and the second one discusses a similar question with multiple pronouns.
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The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance might lie in how they influence the upcoming decision by those same engineers on whether to retrofit 75 bridges in the survey zone.

they in non underlined portion they influence the upcoming decision is plural indicating that data is plural.

B. The data being collected in the current geological survey provide a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but its greatest importance(it is used for plural subject data)

C. The data collected in the current geological survey is providinga strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance (plural subj-singular verb)

D. The data collected in the current geological survey provides a strong warning for engineers in consideration of the new dam project, but its greatest importance (plural subj-singular verb)

left with A and E,

A. The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance

E. The data collected in the current geological survey provide a strong warning for engineers in consideration for the new dam project, but the greatest importance
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Re: The data being collected in the current geological survey are providin  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2017, 09:04
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I hate to say this, but I wouldn't lose too much sleep over this particular example. My usual disclaimer: this isn't an official GMAT question, and it's extraordinarily difficult for test-prep companies to perfectly copy the style of real GMAT questions. After all, the GMAT spends somewhere in the neighborhood of $1500-$3000 to develop each question. Even the very best test-prep companies can't compete with that.

And in this particular case, I think the question has some ambiguities that wouldn't appear on the actual exam.

First, let's talk about the issue of whether data is plural or singular. Reasonable and highly educated people disagree on this point. When I was in PhD school, my professors disagreed about whether data was singular or plural. Most editors treat it as singular now. Technically, I suppose that "datum" is singular, and "data" is plural, but most people would say "data is awesome" not "data are awesome" -- and that's how it would appear in most credible publications. So it's a grey area.

But guess what? That doesn't matter. The GMAT will never test you on something this ambiguous. Plenty of other nouns (media, fish, deer, etc.) could be either singular and plural, and the GMAT was always give you some other clue that tells you whether the noun is singular or plural. Here's a good example from the GMATPrep: https://gmatclub.com/forum/analyzing-ca ... 56-40.html

So no, you don't need to know if "data" or "media" are inherently singular or plural, because there's no standard answer, and it's not going to be an issue on the exam. If you think it's an issue on a question, look closely: the GMAT will give you another hint somewhere else.

I'm skeptical of this language in (A), to be honest: "The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning..." It's not necessarily wrong, but the GMAT is unlikely to use "are providing" (progressive tense, if you like that jargon) unless there's a darned good reason for it.

The pronouns are dodgy, but arguably OK. The first "they" clearly refers to engineers; you could argue that "their" refers unambiguously to "data," since "their" is the subject of the second clause, and must refer back to the subject of the first clause. But it's hard to find official questions with pronouns that sound this murky, with several variations of "they" and "their" referring to different antecedents. Again, it's not necessarily wrong, but it's also not a typical construction that you'd see on the actual test.

In other words: don't worry too much about this one. I can see why (A) is the OA, but I see at least three issues that don't quite smell like the real thing.
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Re: The data being collected in the current geological survey are providin  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2017, 10:56
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GMATNinja wrote:
I hate to say this, but I wouldn't lose too much sleep over this particular example. My usual disclaimer: this isn't an official GMAT question, and it's extraordinarily difficult for test-prep companies to perfectly copy the style of real GMAT questions. After all, the GMAT spends somewhere in the neighborhood of $1500-$3000 to develop each question. Even the very best test-prep companies can't compete with that.

And in this particular case, I think the question has some ambiguities that wouldn't appear on the actual exam.

First, let's talk about the issue of whether data is plural or singular. Reasonable and highly educated people disagree on this point. When I was in PhD school, my professors disagreed about whether data was singular or plural. Most editors treat it as singular now. Technically, I suppose that "datum" is singular, and "data" is plural, but most people would say "data is awesome" not "data are awesome" -- and that's how it would appear in most credible publications. So it's a grey area.

But guess what? That doesn't matter. The GMAT will never test you on something this ambiguous. Plenty of other nouns (media, fish, deer, etc.) could be either singular and plural, and the GMAT was always give you some other clue that tells you whether the noun is singular or plural. Here's a good example from the GMATPrep: https://gmatclub.com/forum/analyzing-ca ... 56-40.html

So no, you don't need to know if "data" or "media" are inherently singular or plural, because there's no standard answer, and it's not going to be an issue on the exam. If you think it's an issue on a question, look closely: the GMAT will give you another hint somewhere else.

I'm skeptical of this language in (A), to be honest: "The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning..." It's not necessarily wrong, but the GMAT is unlikely to use "are providing" (progressive tense, if you like that jargon) unless there's a darned good reason for it.

The pronouns are dodgy, but arguably OK. The first "they" clearly refers to engineers; you could argue that "their" refers unambiguously to "data," since "their" is the subject of the second clause, and must refer back to the subject of the first clause. But it's hard to find official questions with pronouns that sound this murky, with several variations of "they" and "their" referring to different antecedents. Again, it's not necessarily wrong, but it's also not a typical construction that you'd see on the actual test.

In other words: don't worry too much about this one. I can see why (A) is the OA, but I see at least three issues that don't quite smell like the real thing.


Dear Charles,

Through my English study, teachers told us that 'Data' is sigular but I found that OG 12 may treats 'Data' as Plural.

SC36, p. 40:
New DATA from United States Forest Service ecologists SHOW that for every dollar spent on controlled small- scale burning, forest thinning, and the training of fire-management personnel, seven dollars are saved that would have been spent on extinguishing big fires.

p. 360:
They ruled out local bias because breakage DATA obtained from other Pleistocene sites WERE similar to the La Brea data.

p. 366:
These DATA HAVE established a strong connection between variations in the Earth’s orbit and the periodicity of the ice ages.

what do you think?
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Yes -- the GMAT has a history of treating both "data" and "media" as plural. But I think it's a non-issue. Notice that in each of the examples you cited, you don't have any choice: in the first one, "New data... show" isn't even underlined, so it has no impact on the answer. The other two examples are CR, and the subject-verb agreement isn't our problem.

So you deserve 20 points for attention to detail! (Hopefully the GMAT folks will apply those points directly to your score!) But I still don't think it's anything to worry about: I still haven't seen an official question that requires you to actually know whether potentially ambiguous nouns (data, media, fish, deer...) are singular or plural. If it's an issue, they'll give you another clue to tell you whether "data" is singular or plural.

And I also agree with your English training: at least in the United States, "data" is singular. So please hug your teachers for me. :)
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Re: The data being collected in the current geological survey are providin  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2017, 19:50
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Mo2men wrote:
Dear Charles,

Through my English study, teachers told us that 'Data' is sigular but I found that OG 12 may treats 'Data' as Plural.

SC36, p. 40:
New DATA from United States Forest Service ecologists SHOW that for every dollar spent on controlled small- scale burning, forest thinning, and the training of fire-management personnel, seven dollars are saved that would have been spent on extinguishing big fires.

p. 360:
They ruled out local bias because breakage DATA obtained from other Pleistocene sites WERE similar to the La Brea data.

p. 366:
These DATA HAVE established a strong connection between variations in the Earth’s orbit and the periodicity of the ice ages.


Mo2men, Another concrete example taken from Official Guide Verbal Review 2017. Reading Comprehension Question 62 explanation.

No data are offered to support an assumption.
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Re: The data being collected in the current geological survey are providin  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2017, 10:37
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The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning for engineers as "they" consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance might lie in how "they" influence the upcoming decision by those same engineers on whether to retrofit 75 bridges in the survey zone.

Here the two they are referring to engineers and data respectively. isnt it creating pronoun ambiguity?
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New post 10 Sep 2017, 11:16
dhardubey wrote:
The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning for engineers as "they" consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance might lie in how "they" influence the upcoming decision by those same engineers on whether to retrofit 75 bridges in the survey zone.

Here the two they are referring to engineers and data respectively. isnt it creating pronoun ambiguity?


Hi dhardubey

To clearly understand pronoun antecedents, it is helpful to break the sentences into its clauses. here we have two clauses -

Clause 1: "The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project" ----in this clause, antecedent of "they" is engineers

Clause 2: "but their greatest importance might lie in how they influence the upcoming decision by those same engineers on whether to retrofit 75 bridges in the survey zone"-----here we have two relative pronouns "their" and "they". as is clear "their" refers to "data" and if you replace "they" with engineers, it will read as "engineers influence the upcoming......" which does not make sense. Hence in the second clause "their" and "they "both refer to "data "only.

Hence no pronoun ambiguity :-)
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New post 17 Nov 2017, 17:34
I am working in IT industry for many years now. And we have always used 'data' as a singular term. Eg - Data your team has given is raw. I do not understand why the answer is not 'D'. Can anyone pls explain
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New post 17 Nov 2017, 23:01
twister68 wrote:
I am working in IT industry for many years now. And we have always used 'data' as a singular term. Eg - Data your team has given is raw. I do not understand why the answer is not 'D'. Can anyone pls explain


Let me try to address your question :-)

Data, as it comes from Latin, is the plural form of 'datum'. Traditionally the form of verb depended on the sentence these words were used in but today, esp. in non-scientific communications, 'data is used a mass noun. The usage of data has become similar to that of words like information, news, and others. Information - no plural form. news - no plural form (e.g., news - you get one story or multiple - it still is news).

Going back to your query, Data your team has given is raw - used in a strictly non-scientific way and as a mass noun (same way as 'team is here' but it is not just one person). Also, we do have a habit of referring to one or two entries as data points, which kind of allows us to go around without creating a lot of confusion. Needless to say, that is quite colloquial.

Hope this helps :thumbup:
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Re: The data being collected in the current geological survey are providin  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2018, 10:53
The word data is plural. The singular form is datum. Hence, data...are...but their....

Therefore, only option A is left.
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Re: The data being collected in the current geological survey are providin  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2018, 21:19
Loved this.

Concept tested- Meaning and Pronoun antecedent.

Note- Data can be used both in singular and in plural form.
Here data is plural.

The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance might lie in how they influence the upcoming decision by those same engineers on whether to retrofit 75 bridges in the survey zone.

Meaning- Part 1: The data that is BEING collected (the action is still is going on . how do we know? the nest verb "providing " correctly tells us that as we keep on getting the data the picture is becoming clearer for the engineers to asses.) ARE providing ( how do we know data is plural? hold on ) warning to engineers ( "as they consider " is right as simultaneous actions are going on") .
Part 2: The greatest importance of that data lies in how THEY influence the UPCOMING decision by THOSE SAME ENGINEERS. (now we know why data is flural ! here THEY refer back to DATA . not sure? replace THEY with engineers.
but engineers' greatest importance might lie in how engineers' influence the upcoming decision by those same engineers on >> how can E influence themselves with E's greatest importance? Wat the...? So THEY refer to data and hence data is plural.

Errors-
1. Pronoun-antecedent.
2. Verb - Being is right as we need a continuation of tense . Clue? the decision is UPCOMING (not yet taken).
3. Idiom- As they consider- Right. In consideration of- sounds like WITH RESPECT TO"
4. Their greatest importance- Their is necessary to ensure whose importance his greatest.

(A) The data being collected in the current geological survey are providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance

(B) The data being collected in the current geological survey provide a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but its greatest importance

(C) The data collected in the current geological survey is providing a strong warning for engineers as they consider the new dam project, but their greatest importance

(D) The data collected in the current geological survey provides a strong warning for engineers in consideration of the new dam project, but its greatest importance

(E) The data collected in the current geological survey provide a strong warning for engineers in consideration for the new dam project, but the greatest importance
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Re: The data being collected in the current geological survey are providin  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2018, 04:52
A quick scan of answer choices shows that this problem hinges primarily on numerical agreement (subject verb agreement and pronoun agreement). There is a choice between verbs: “are providing” and “provide” are plural verbs requiring a plural subject and “is providing” and “provides” are singular verbs requiring a singular subject. “Data” is a difficult noun that can be treated either as the plural of “datum” or as a singular mass noun. While students may wrack their brain trying to determine whether “data” is singular or plural in this sentence, that is a classic false decision point! It is accepted commonly as either plural or singular so there must be other important issues in the sentence. In (B) if “data” is being used with a plural verb (“provide”) then it must be used as a plural noun throughout the sentence. Therefore, the “its” is incorrect as it has no singular antecedent so (B) is incorrect. In (C) “data” is used with a singular verb “is providing” so it must be singular throughout the sentence. The pronouns “their” and “they” further in the sentence are incorrectly referring to the singular “data” so (C) is also wrong. In (D) “data” is again used with a singular verb “provides” so it must be singular throughout the sentence. While the pronoun “its” is now correct in (D), the pronoun “they” in the non-underlined portion of the sentence is incorrectly referring to the singular “data” so (D) is also wrong. In (E) “in consideration for” is improper diction and the meaning is unclear in the second portion – without the possessive “their” it is unclear what “the greatest importance” is referring to thus (E) is incorrect. Only (A) – even though it may sound strange to your ear – properly matches the plural data with a plural verb and plural verbs. Answer choice (A) is correct.
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