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The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri

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The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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The famous team of molecular biologists, James Watson and Francis Crick, were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration in the early 1950s that showed how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.


A) were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
B) was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but collaborating
C) was not the first attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
D) was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
E) was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Please help with explaining the OA.

I will wait for the answers and then put forward my chain of thoughts for this question
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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2015, 10:25
In the beginning the "Team" is being talked about -The famous team of molecular biologists.... So, the pronoun referring to it is incorrect "were not the first scientists who"...

"Team" is taken as a Singular ... So start would be - "was not the first"

Next up is - "collaboration" - The way I saw it was, what are they collaborating on? is not clear from the Rest of the choices... So "collaborative work" in Option E would be best choice...

Ans - E

Please feel free to correct me (anyone), this is the way I understood it. :)

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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2015, 10:38
If the correct choice falls over E instead of D for the reason that it is not their collaboration but their collaborative work that showed how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together, then the author is skating on thin ice; If what they were 'collaborating on' is not clear, what their 'collaborative work was on' is also not clear. The distinction should be strong enough to say this is GMAT-like question.
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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2015, 13:28
Whats wrong with A?
the intended meaning is the scientists individually were not the first to attempt to decipher it but it was thier collaboration.
?
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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2015, 14:45
goforgmat wrote:
Whats wrong with A?
the intended meaning is the scientists individually were not the first to attempt to decipher it but it was thier collaboration.
?
daagh


goforgmat

Here is the sentence with option A

The famous team of molecular biologists, James Watson and Francis Crick, were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration in the early 1950s that showed how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

A has subject verb disagreement error. Look at the subject highlighted in blue. Team is singular. Therefore you need to have a singular verb 'was'. You need to remove the modifiers highlighted in green, to clearly see what is the subject. "of molecular biologists" is basically prepositional modifier describing the subject: team.
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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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The subject of this question is: "famous team", which is singular. I thought "their" should refer back to subject of this sentence. Where am I getting wrong?


The basic trick (as mentioned in MGMAT SC): prefer adjective to noun (VAN) worked for me. collaboration is noun form and collaborative is adjective form. :)
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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2015, 20:35
The OA as shared by Economist GMAT is (E).

This is a subject verb agreement question. My Chain of thoughts:

Mistake (1) - All collective nouns on the GMAT are singular. Hence "The famous team of molecular biologists" is a singular subject as we are talking about a team here.
Hence we need the use of the verb "was" and NOT "were".

Eliminate option (A).

Now on to other options.

(B) Here the verb "was" is used correctly. But collaborating is incorrect. It's incorrect usage of Verb-ing form.
(C) Here the verb "was" is used correctly. However, the phrase "The team was not the first attempt" is illogical. By eliminating the necessary "to", the option becomes illogical.
(D) Here the verb "was" is used correctly. Here collaboration is used incorrectly as its not their collaboration that showed how all the puzzles fit together. It should be their collaborative work that could show how the puzzle fits together.

Think about this. If two scientists collaborate with each other, it does not automatically help us understand how the pieces of a mystery could fit together.
But, if they collaborate and work on that puzzle, it is possible, that this collaborative work could help us understand how the pieces of puzzle could fit together.

Hence option (E).

Pls. correct me if I am wrong in my understanding somewhere.

svijayaug12 wrote:
The famous team of molecular biologists, James Watson and Francis Crick, were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration in the early 1950s that showed how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.


A) were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
B) was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but collaborating
C) was not the first attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
D) was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
E) was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work

Please help with explaining the OA.

I will wait for the answers and then put forward my chain of thoughts for this question

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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2015, 20:46
svijayaug12 wrote:

Think about this. If two scientists collaborate with each other, it does not automatically help us understand how the pieces of a mystery could fit together.
But, if they collaborate and work on that puzzle, it is possible, that this collaborative work could help us understand how the pieces of puzzle could fit together.

Hence option (E).

Pls. correct me if I am wrong in my understanding somewhere.



Hi svijayaug12, Your understanding is perfectly fine here and this is the difference between choices D and E.
It is the collaborative work that showed how the pieces of the puzzle fit together and not just their collaboration as a team.
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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2015, 20:49
Does their refer to the 2 biologists?

Why can't we use its to refer to the team?

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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2015, 21:07
Good Question:

For a task to be done through collaboration, it requires atleast 2 entities.

PN: A team is regarded as one entity. Though logically you may say team means 2 or more people but grammatically it is just one entity.

Wikipedia definition of collaboration: "Collaboration is working with others to do a task and to achieve shared goals. It is a recursive[1] process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, "

Wrong: Microsoft collaboratively developed Windows.
Right: Microsoft collaborated with many companies to develop Windows.

So the usage of "its" is unjustified over here.

Hope it helps :)

Aves wrote:
Does their refer to the 2 biologists?

Why can't we use its to refer to the team?

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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2015, 21:12
Yes, "their" refers to the two biologists. Technically, we could refer to the two-person team using "its," but that's a usage that just doesn't occur in English, especially when we are talking about the two men working together. "Its collaborative work" would seem to imply that the team was collaborating with someone else.

In any case, this is not a great sentence. E is the best option we have, but it is inelegant to say the least, and the singular/plural switch is really only there to cause trouble for test-takers.
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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2015, 21:40
Aves wrote:
Does their refer to the 2 biologists?

Why can't we use its to refer to the team?


Yes, their refers to the biologists and it there were an option with its, it would have been fine too.
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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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The famous team of molecular biologists, James Watson and Francis Crick, were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration in the early 1950s that showed how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

A were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
B was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but collaborating
C was not the first attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
D were not the first who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work
E was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work

Last edited by broall on 22 Sep 2017, 07:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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dejavu619 wrote:
The famous team of molecular biologists, James Watson and Francis Crick, were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration in the early 1950s that showed how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

A were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
B was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but collaborating
C was not the first attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
D were not the first who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work
E was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work



Team is the subject so a and d are out.
b) but collaborating in the early 1950 that bshowed--- out
c) The famous team was not the first attempt-- out

E remains

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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2017, 08:56
dhardubey wrote:
dejavu619 wrote:
The famous team of molecular biologists, James Watson and Francis Crick, were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration in the early 1950s that showed how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

A were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
B was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but collaborating
C was not the first attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
D were not the first who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work
E was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work



Team is the subject so a and d are out.
b) but collaborating in the early 1950 that bshowed--- out
c) The famous team was not the first attempt-- out

E remains


Should E not be ruled out for using contradictory verbs?

Quote:
was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work

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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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dejavu619 wrote:
dhardubey wrote:
dejavu619 wrote:
The famous team of molecular biologists, James Watson and Francis Crick, were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration in the early 1950s that showed how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

A were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
B was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but collaborating
C was not the first attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
D were not the first who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work
E was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work



Team is the subject so a and d are out.
b) but collaborating in the early 1950 that bshowed--- out
c) The famous team was not the first attempt-- out

E remains


Should E not be ruled out for using contradictory verbs?

Quote:
was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work

Read it this way- The famous team of molecular biologists,was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their (biologists) collaborative work in the early 1950s that showed how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
This means: Although they were not the first one to attempt, their work solved the puzzle eventually.
I guess its ok. may be some expert may throw some light.

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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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The famous team of molecular biologists, James Watson and Francis Crick, were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration in the early 1950s that showed how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

A were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
B was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but collaborating
C was not the first attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
D were not the first who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work
E was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work[/quote]


The famous team of molecular biologists, James Watson and Francis Crick, were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration in the early 1950s that showed how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

Team is singular - Hence, the verb should be "was" not "were" - Options A and D are out

B - Usage of "collaborating" is incorrect - It was not the collaborating that showed - how all the piece of the puzzle fit together

C - Usage of "collaboration" is incorrect - It was not the collaboration that showed - how all the piece of the puzzle fit together

E - Correct - It tells us that it was their "collaborative work" that showed - how all the piece of the puzzle fit together

Hence - Answer is E
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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri [#permalink]

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dejavu619 wrote:
dhardubey wrote:
dejavu619 wrote:
The famous team of molecular biologists, James Watson and Francis Crick, were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration in the early 1950s that showed how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

A were not the first scientists who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
B was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but collaborating
C was not the first attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaboration
D were not the first who attempted to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work
E was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work



Team is the subject so a and d are out.
b) but collaborating in the early 1950 that bshowed--- out
c) The famous team was not the first attempt-- out

E remains


Should E not be ruled out for using contradictory verbs?

Quote:
was not the first to attempt to decipher the structure of DNA, but it was their collaborative work


James Watson and Francis Crick, a plural subject, is the antecedent of THEIR.
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Re: The famous team of molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Cri   [#permalink] 21 Sep 2017, 18:30
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