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# The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and

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The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2012, 21:01
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Difficulty:

5% (low)

Question Stats:

74% (01:37) correct 26% (00:36) wrong based on 161 sessions

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The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and Altamira were occupied by Upper Paleaolithic peoples has been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are the use to which primitive peoples put the caves, the reason for their decoration, and the meaning of the magnificently depicted animals.

A. has been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are
B. have been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are
C. have been established by carbon dating, but that which is much more difficult to determine is
D. has been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine is
E. are established by carbon dating, but that which is much more difficult to determine is

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I marked answer as A. But was surprised to see the OA as D. The ques is from GMat Prep, and hence am totally confused why GMat has marked the OA as D. This clearly is a backward construction and here the subject is a compound subject, thereby requiring a plural verb.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
New!
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Re: The period when the great painted caves [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2012, 21:33
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The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and Altamira were occupied by Upper Paleaolithic peoples has been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are the use to which primitive peoples put the caves, the reason for their decoration, and the meaning of the magnificently depicted animals.

ERROR ANALYSIS
DIVIDE THE WHOLE SENTENCE INTO TO CLAUSES N THEN TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE S-V PAIR , YOU WILL FIND THE CORRECT ANSWER .
1.The period
2.when the great painted caves at Lascaux and Altamira were occupied by Upper Paleaolithic peoples
1.has been established by carbon dating,
3.but
4.what is much more difficult to determine (Singular Subject)
3.are (IS) the use to
5.which primitive peoples put the caves, the reason for their decoration, and the meaning of the magnificently depicted animals.

A. has been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are (IS) :WRONG
B. have (HAS) been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are (IS) :WRONG
C. have (HAS) been established by carbon dating, but that which is much more difficult to determine is :WRONG
D. has been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine is :CORRECT
E. are (IS) established by carbon dating, but that which is much more difficult to determine is :WRONG
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KUMAR GAURAB

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Re: The period when the great painted caves [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2012, 21:46
Now read what you have mentioned:

what is much more difficult to determine (IMO, this is not the subject. Listen to Ron Purewal's first video on Compound Subject, Actually this ques is discussed there)

3.(is the use to) which primitive peoples put the caves
(is the use to) the reason for their decoration
and (is the use to) the meaning of the magnificently depicted animals.

IMO D is wrong. Need an expert to answer this question.
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Re: The period when the great painted caves [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2012, 21:57
Because according to Ron Purewal, Option D is wrong. In his discussion, option A is the right option but Gmat Prep software mentions option D as the right option. So as per the experts, its 1-1 between options A and D. Now this is something in which I think a third expert's opinion is required.
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Re: The period when the great painted caves [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2012, 22:09
Re: The period when the great painted caves [#permalink] Oct 29, 2012 10:16 am
Now read what you have mentioned:

what is much more difficult to determine (IMO, this is not the subject. Listen to Ron Purewal's first video on Compound Subject, Actually this ques is discussed there)

3.(is the use to) which primitive peoples put the caves
(is the use to) the reason for their decoration
and (is the use to) the meaning of the magnificently depicted animals.

IMO D is wrong. Need an expert to answer this question.

@ABI: if u check option A : If its right then , you must have to tell the subject of that Aux verb "ARE"
Manhattan says : Clause may behave as singular subject .....IF official ans given by "GMAC" , then we must have to belive ...because most of the other sources are based on this official sources on ...
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KUMAR GAURAB

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Re: The period when the great painted caves [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2012, 22:26
As mentioned in the spoiler, what i feel is that its a backward construction, so the subject for this clause is
"the use to which primitive peoples put the caves, the reason for their decoration, and the meaning of the magnificently depicted animals"

Plus, GMAC had made mistakes in the past, so grammar wont change because of these mistakes. So I need some help in this regard. You are right, clauses can act as Singular Subject, but the clause mentioned in this case IMO can't act as a subject.
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Re: The period when the great painted caves [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2012, 22:40
consider the example:

What is placed on the table is pen, pencil and paper.
What is placed on the table are pen, pencil and paper.

What do you think which one is right?

The other doubt i have is "What is placed....." vs "What are placed....". Dont know which one is the correct expression.
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Re: The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and [#permalink]

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06 Nov 2012, 10:53
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Expert's post
Hi,
I received a PM to respond to this one. So here goes my analysis.

The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and Altamira were occupied by Upper Paleaolithic peoples has been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are the use to which primitive peoples put the caves, the reason for their decoration, and the meaning of the magnificently depicted animals.

Since the meaning of this sentence is very straight-forward, let me directly get to the error analysis of this question.

Error Analysis: The only error in this sentence is the SV number agreement error in the IC that begins after comma + FANBOYS. The subject of the IC after but is “what is much more difficult to determine”. This subject is a dependent clause. Whenever a clause or a phrase acts as a subject of a clause, it is always singular. So we have a singular subject here. But the verb for this subject is “are”, which is plural in number. Hence we have SV number agreement error here. This verb should be “is”.

PoE:
A. has been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are: Incorrect for the reason stated above.

B. have been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are: Incorrect.
1. Repeats the same SV number agreement error as in A.
2. Subject “The period” is singular and the verb used for it is plural “have been established”. We have another SV number agreement error here.

C. have been established by carbon dating, but that which is much more difficult to determine is: Incorrect.
1. Repeats the “have been established” SV error as in choice B.
2. Use of “that which” is incorrect as comma + FANBOYS should be followed by an IC.

D. has been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine is: Correct. This choice rectifies the error of choice A.

E. are established by carbon dating, but that which is much more difficult to determine is: Incorrect. Incorrect
1. Plural verb “are” does not agree in number with singular subject “The period”.
2. Repeats the comma + FANBOYS error as in choice C.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and [#permalink]

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06 Nov 2012, 12:35
Thanks a lot Shraddha for clearing my doubts. I can sleep properly now.
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Re: The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2012, 02:30
The period - Singular - Has been established - Singular
what is - Singlular - much more difficult to determine - Should take singular - is

D is the right choice.
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Re: The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2012, 22:03
egmat wrote:
Hi,
I received a PM to respond to this one. So here goes my analysis.

The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and Altamira were occupied by Upper Paleaolithic peoples has been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are the use to which primitive peoples put the caves, the reason for their decoration, and the meaning of the magnificently depicted animals.

Since the meaning of this sentence is very straight-forward, let me directly get to the error analysis of this question.

Error Analysis: The only error in this sentence is the SV number agreement error in the IC that begins after comma + FANBOYS. The subject of the IC after but is “what is much more difficult to determine”. This subject is a dependent clause. Whenever a clause or a phrase acts as a subject of a clause, it is always singular. So we have a singular subject here. But the verb for this subject is “are”, which is plural in number. Hence we have SV number agreement error here. This verb should be “is”.

PoE:
A. has been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are: Incorrect for the reason stated above.

B. have been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are: Incorrect.
1. Repeats the same SV number agreement error as in A.
2. Subject “The period” is singular and the verb used for it is plural “have been established”. We have another SV number agreement error here.

C. have been established by carbon dating, but that which is much more difficult to determine is: Incorrect.
1. Repeats the “have been established” SV error as in choice B.
2. Use of “that which” is incorrect as comma + FANBOYS should be followed by an IC.

D. has been established by carbon dating, but what is much more difficult to determine is: Correct. This choice rectifies the error of choice A.

E. are established by carbon dating, but that which is much more difficult to determine is: Incorrect. Incorrect
1. Plural verb “are” does not agree in number with singular subject “The period”.
2. Repeats the comma + FANBOYS error as in choice C.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

Dear Shraddha -As we are already on the topic of FANBOYS and ICs,

Machines powered by hydraulics are not driven by the steam produced by boiling water, but rather, high-pressure fluids are transmitted throughout the machine to various motors and hydraulic cylinders.

a) water, but rather
d) water; rather
e) water; but

1/Could you please let us know why D is wrong in the below sentence.

2 / Is the usage if "but" in A and B wrong?
Take for example - I not a mechanic but I can fix your car.
I not a mechanic, but rather a doctor.
So when I used comma but rather OR Comma but instead we need a noun right?

Cheers
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Re: The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2014, 11:48
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2016, 03:12
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
Re: The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and   [#permalink] 14 Feb 2016, 03:12
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