The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and

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

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20 May 2004, 09:25
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The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and Altamira were occupied by Upper Paleolithic people <has been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are> the reason for their decoration, the use to which primitive people put the caves, and the meaning of the magnificently depicted animals.

A. has been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are
B. has been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to determine is

Please check the old post and try to explain in your own words.
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SVP
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20 May 2004, 09:44
http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/sv_agr.htm

Look at the following sentences

1) Either my father or my brothers are going to sell the house.
2) Neither my brothers nor my father is going to sell the house

In case of ambiguity ( where the verb modifies two nouns ) the verb takes the form of the noun it is closest to

For the question you have posted B is the correct answer.
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19 Aug 2005, 20:14
anandnk wrote:
http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/sv_agr.htm

Look at the following sentences

1) Either my father or my brothers are going to sell the house.
2) Neither my brothers nor my father is going to sell the house

In case of ambiguity ( where the verb modifies two nouns ) the verb takes the form of the noun it is closest to

For the question you have posted B is the correct answer.

How is this rule applicable here? Can some please elaborate? I still dont see why "what" is singular. I know that, "what" when used as a subject", can be either singular or plural.

Please explain how "what" is singular here.
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19 Aug 2005, 21:07
gmataquaguy wrote:
anandnk wrote:
http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/sv_agr.htm

Look at the following sentences

1) Either my father or my brothers are going to sell the house.
2) Neither my brothers nor my father is going to sell the house

In case of ambiguity ( where the verb modifies two nouns ) the verb takes the form of the noun it is closest to

For the question you have posted B is the correct answer.

How is this rule applicable here? Can some please elaborate? I still dont see why "what" is singular. I know that, "what" when used as a subject", can be either singular or plural. Please explain how "what" is singular here.

the rule is the same as usual: singular subject, singular verb no matter the object is singular or plural.. here the subject, "what is much more difficult to determine", is singular so we need is.
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20 Aug 2005, 09:48
HIMALAYA wrote:

the rule is the same as usual: singular subject, singular verb no matter the object is singular or plural.. here the subject, "what is much more difficult to determine", is singular so we need is.

I see what you're saying: The entire "clause" is the subject and therefore is singular.

Thanks a bunch HIMALAYA
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20 Aug 2005, 23:25

Explaination: Verb for the clause "what is much more difficult to determine" can be determined only by looking whom its referred. Here this is referred to "The Reason". Thats why "what is much more difficult to determine" is singular.
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Vipin Gupta

20 Aug 2005, 23:25
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