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# The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a

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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink]

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31 May 2012, 23:48
Isn't there a pronoun reference problem as well.
We have lawmaker's earlier and then we have him.
Can him refer to lawmaker's ?
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2012, 02:38
A should be correct man..causes is the right word here instead of cause..
:-S
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18 Feb 2013, 12:30
devinawilliam83 wrote:
Tommy,

A half dozen flowers was sent to the girl
half dozen flowers were sent to the girl

Doesent the a in statement 1 necessiate a singular?

TommyWallach wrote:
Hey All,

Lots of ideas on this one, but no one's taken it apart yet. That's what I'm here for!

The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a single impassioned constituent may sway a lawmaker’s opinion, whereas a half-dozen banded together only causes him alarm.

This is clearly a verb tense and subject-verb agreement question. We notice the former in the split between "causes" and "has been caused". We notice the latter int he split between "causes" and "cause" (or "has" and "have"). For subject-verb agreement, we check the subject and make sure it matches. "Half-dozen (constituents)" is plural, so we need "cause" or "have". As for verb tense, you always check it against some context verb in the sentence. In this case, we have "is", a present tense verb. Then we ask ourselves, is there any good reason to change tense? In this case, there is not.

 a half-dozen banded together only causes him alarm
Problem: "Causes" doesn't match the subject "half dozen (constituents)"

 only alarm is caused by a half-dozen banded together
PROBLEM: This is actually a concision issue. No reason to switch to the passive voice here. While this is a rule, it's VERY rare on the real test, and comes up way more when people are trying to build questions. DO NOT cross something off just because it's passive. We're only doing it here because there's a perfectly great answer WITHOUT the passive voice elsewhere.

 only alarm has been caused by a half-dozen banded together
PROBLEM: No reason to switch to the present perfect tense ("has been caused").

 a half-dozen banded together only cause him alarm
ANSWER: Correct tense, correct subject-verb agreement.

 a half-dozen have caused him only alarm when banded together
PROBLEM: No reason to switch to the present perfect tense ("have caused").

Hope that helps!

-t

+1

half-dozen banded together => implies that the subject is singular because basics say that we have to understand the context how the subject is potrayed
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2014, 04:32
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I have a doubt: to whom this pronoun him is referring in the sentence.

As per the meaning it should refer to Lawmaker but sentence doesn't have such noun antecedent.

Further only his and her are allowed to refer back noun in possessive noun case.
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2014, 07:06
I concur, the pronoun issue in A, D, and E eliminates them.
Between B and C, C is out because of tense issues already discussed, leaving B as the best and only choice.
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2014, 07:20
PiyushK wrote:
I have a doubt: to whom this pronoun him is referring in the sentence.

As per the meaning it should refer to Lawmaker but sentence doesn't have such noun antecedent.

Further only his and her are allowed to refer back noun in possessive noun case.

A pronoun can refer to a possessive. That's acceptable in GMAT. Here 'him' refer to the lawmaker from lawmaker's.
A is correct.
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2014, 23:40
In the Sentence 'him' is included which leads to (possessive) pronoun ambiguity to avoid this I prefer B to A.

Experts can you please mention in such cases should we overlook the small errors ????
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2014, 23:43
ConnectTheDots wrote:
PiyushK wrote:
I have a doubt: to whom this pronoun him is referring in the sentence.

As per the meaning it should refer to Lawmaker but sentence doesn't have such noun antecedent.

Further only his and her are allowed to refer back noun in possessive noun case.

A pronoun can refer to a possessive. That's acceptable in GMAT. Here 'him' refer to the lawmaker from lawmaker's.
A is correct.

According to Aristotle SC -- him can not refer to the noun(subject) in the sentence where as we can use his/her to refer to the noun or possessive pronoun. Please correct me ..
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink]

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24 Jun 2014, 05:43
I am confused ,according to me " a half-dozen banded together" should be singular as it shows a collection.
Pls help
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2014, 12:23
bibha wrote:
The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a single impassioned constituent may sway a lawmaker’s opinion, whereas a half-dozen banded together only causes him alarm.
 a half-dozen banded together only causes him alarm
 only alarm is caused by a half-dozen banded together
 only alarm has been caused by a half-dozen banded together
 a half-dozen banded together only cause him alarm
 a half-dozen have caused him only alarm when banded together

The rule for collective nouns is this: Use a singular verb when the group is considered as a unit acting together. Use a plural verb when the individual members of the group are acting separately.

now banded together literally means combined, so the option A becomes

(A) a half-dozen (constituents) combined only causes him alarm
here the half-dozen constituents are acting collectively, hence a singular verb causes is appropriate.

Other examples are

(a) The committee insists on having its proposal presented to the mayor.
(b) The committee are still arguing over whom to send as their representative to the mayor.
P.S. : You need more than 1 person to have an argument.
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a [#permalink]

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12 Jul 2014, 04:16
bibha wrote:
The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a single impassioned constituent may sway a lawmaker’s opinion, whereas a half-dozen banded together only causes him alarm.
 a half-dozen banded together only causes him alarm
 only alarm is caused by a half-dozen banded together
 only alarm has been caused by a half-dozen banded together
 a half-dozen banded together only cause him alarm
 a half-dozen have caused him only alarm when banded together

How can "him" a pronoun be correct here ? since the subject is possessive , is the usage of him/he/etc correct ? I know wthat possessive noun such as "his" is correct. Where's the gap in my understanding ?
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Re: The idea behind the Personal Long Letter campaign is that a   [#permalink] 12 Jul 2014, 04:16

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