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# The word “mathematics” has no generally accepted definition

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Joined: 23 Sep 2015
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The word “mathematics” has no generally accepted definition  [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2018, 23:48
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Difficulty:

55% (hard)

Question Stats:

59% (01:45) correct 41% (01:44) wrong based on 213 sessions

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The word “mathematics” has no generally accepted definition: the numerical and algebraic relationships, which is how the word is popularly understood, doesn’t have much to do with the issues at the forefront of the field.

A. the numerical and algebraic relationships, which is how the word is popularly understood, doesn’t have much to do with
B. what the word means for most people, numerical and algebraic relationships, do not have a relationship with
C. the popular definition of the word, numerical and algebraic relationships, both irrelevant to
D. what is popularly understood of the word—numerical and algebraic relationships—has little bearing on
E. what most people think about—numerical and algebraic relationships—are irrelevant to

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Thanks!
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Simple strategy:
“Once you’ve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

GMAT Ninja YouTube! Series 1| GMAT Ninja YouTube! Series 2 | How to Improve GMAT Quant from Q49 to a Perfect Q51 | Time management

My Notes:
Reading comprehension | Critical Reasoning | Absolute Phrases | Subjunctive Mood
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Joined: 30 Dec 2016
Posts: 231
GMAT 1: 650 Q42 V37
GPA: 4
Re: The word “mathematics” has no generally accepted definition  [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2018, 20:50
for me it was b/w B and D

B. what the word means for most people, numerical and algebraic relationships, do not have a relationship with
IMO changes the meaning by saying what the word means for most people. Also means to should have been correct here.

D. what is popularly understood of the word—numerical and algebraic relationships—has little bearing on
Correct.

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SandySilva

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SC Moderator
Joined: 23 Sep 2015
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Re: The word “mathematics” has no generally accepted definition  [#permalink]

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17 Sep 2018, 01:06

Official Explanation

A question about mathematics, a topic near and dear to Mike’s heart! The answer choices are very different, so each needs to be analyzed separately.

Choice (A): if the word “which” refers to “numerical and algebraic relationships,” then it’s plural and requires a plural verb, so the singular verbs “is” and “doesn’t” present SVA errors. Also, the construction “doesn’t have a relationship with” is very casual and sloppy: this would not appear in formal academic writing. For a variety of reasons, this choice is incorrect.

Choice (B): here, a clause is a subject of a verb. In general, a clause is construed as a singular subject. Here, the clause “what the word means for most people” is singular, but there’s a plural verb: another SVA error. This too has the unfortunately “have a relationship with” construction. For multiple reasons, this choice is incorrect.

Choice (C): this construction lacks a verb, so what follows the colon is not an independent clause. This is tricky. What follows a colon can simply be a noun or a noun-phrase if we are giving examples or providing an identity.

“... chamber music: string quartets, piano trios, and so forth.”

“... the second-largest country on Earth: Canada.”

Here, what immediately precedes the colon is the phrase “generally accepted definition.” What follows the clause is not going to be an example of this, because the first part says it doesn’t exist.

What we need here is additional clarification, precisely because the fact stated in the first part of the sentence may seems surprising to some people. For this, we need an explanation, and an explanation requires a full clause after the colon.

Thus, we need a full clause, and this choice commits the famous missing verb mistake. This choice is incorrect.

Choice (D): this version is elegant and sophisticated. It correctly sets off the examples in double em-dashes. The phrase “has little bearing on” is a very sophisticated phrase. This entire choice is problem-free.

Choice (E): the phrase “what most people think about” is colloquial and logically imprecise. Do most people out there think about numerical and algebraic relationships?? Furthermore, as a subject, this clause should be construed as singular, but it has a plural verb “are”—another SVA error. This choice is incorrect.

The only possible choice is (D).
_________________
Thanks!
Do give some kudos.

Simple strategy:
“Once you’ve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

GMAT Ninja YouTube! Series 1| GMAT Ninja YouTube! Series 2 | How to Improve GMAT Quant from Q49 to a Perfect Q51 | Time management

My Notes:
Reading comprehension | Critical Reasoning | Absolute Phrases | Subjunctive Mood
Manager
Joined: 16 Sep 2018
Posts: 83
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
Re: The word “mathematics” has no generally accepted definition  [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2019, 03:10
Option A has an SV issue( doesn’t is singular and relationships is plural), option b also has an SV error (the clause is the subject and singular but the verb is plural). C is missing a verb. D is entirely error free and perfectly clear, while E’s opening phrase ‘what most people think about’ is too imprecise.

D is the best option, quit clearly
Re: The word “mathematics” has no generally accepted definition   [#permalink] 10 Mar 2019, 03:10
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