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Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u

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Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2018
Practice Question
Sentence Correction
Question no. 268

Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and thrushes.

(A) a female cowbird lays up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including
(B) a female cowbird will use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including those of
(C) female cowbirds use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including those of
(D) female cowbirds lay up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including
(E) up to 40 eggs a year are laid by female cowbirds in the nests of other birds, including

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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2017, 14:24
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AbdurRakib wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2018
Practice Question
Sentence Correction
Question no. 268

Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and thrushes.

A. a female cowbird lays up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including
B. a female cowbird will use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including those of
C. female cowbirds use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including those of
D. female cowbirds lay up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including
E. up to 40 eggs a year are laid by female cowbirds in the nests of other birds, including


The first major problem is the modifier "Unable to build nests or care for their young". This modifier must be followed by 'female cowbirds'. Notice that the modifier says "care for their young" so needs the plural form of cowbird. Options A and B are out. E is out incorrect modification.

In C and D, at the end of the sentence we see "including.." this must modify the birds, giving examples of birds,whose nests cowbirds lay their eggs in. In C, the including incorrectly modifies year. D is the best choice.
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2017, 11:44
Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and thrushes.

A. a female cowbird lays up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including
Pronoun number agreement error : Non-underlined part "their" must agree in number with "a female cowbird"..
B. a female cowbird will use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including those of
Same error as A
E. up to 40 eggs a year are laid by female cowbirds in the nests of other birds, including
Non-underlined part "Unable to build...." so immediately after the comma the entity which is unable to do that activity should come.... The female cowbirds must come immediately after the comma ...

So, straight away option A, B and E are out..
Now my analysis of option C and D are as follows : Though I got this question wrong, on spending few more minutes this is what occurred to me :

C. female cowbirds use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including those of
as per this sentence, the meaning becomes "the birds take help of the nests of other birds to lay eggs" - which seems a bit illogical as it means "the action of laying is aided by nests"
Hence, I think this option changes the meaning of the original sentences ...
However, I feel "those" correctly refers to "the nests" and there is NO error in this modification


D. female cowbirds lay up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including
Pronoun agreement error in option A is rectified here and the meaning error in C is not present as the sentence avoided the usage of verb "use".


Hi mikemcgarry,

Sir can you please confirm whether my analysis of option C is correct here ?

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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2017, 04:09
Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and thrushes.
A. a female cowbird lays up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including – Pronoun agreement issue – there is plural and thus singular cowbird is incorrect
B. a female cowbird will use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including those of – Pronoun agreement issue – there is plural and thus singular cowbird is incorrect
C. female cowbirds use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including those of – usage of including is illogical as it should modify what come before the comma ; also the cowbirds lay eggs in is correct
D. female cowbirds lay up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including – Correct
E. up to 40 eggs a year are laid by female cowbirds in the nests of other birds, including – Illogical modifier
Answer D
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2017, 04:41
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Choice C is plain wrong in meaning that the cowbirds use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, eggs that include the eggs of warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and thrushes. This is absurd.
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2017, 08:24
daagh wrote:
Choice C is plain wrong in meaning that the cowbirds use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, eggs that include the eggs of warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and thrushes. This is absurd.


Hello Daagh Sir,

I have 2 queries here

1. The word "including" is modifying the preceding clause - right? A few people on the thread commented it is modifying the nearest noun i.e.
- in Option C, "including" ----> year
- in option D, "including" ----> birds
2. How did you conclude that "those of" in option C is referring to "eggs" and not referring to "nests" ?
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2017, 08:39
AbdurRakib wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2018
Practice Question
Sentence Correction
Question no. 268

Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and thrushes.

A. a female cowbird lays up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including
B. a female cowbird will use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including those of
C. female cowbirds use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including those of
D. female cowbirds lay up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including
E. up to 40 eggs a year are laid by female cowbirds in the nests of other birds, including


'their' indicates we need a plural subject.
A,B are OUT.
E is out as 'up to 40 eggs' cannot be the subject.
Between C and D.
C has a weird meaning i.e. cowbirds use the nests of other birds to lay eggs. Did the nests help? OUT.

D is the answer.
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2017, 10:22
Can someone explain the usage of "including" here in C and D?
It doesn't look like typical VERB+ing modifier (present participle) that modified the previous clause. It appears to be used to list examples (such as is typically used for).
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2017, 10:48
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pikolo wrote

Quote:
Hello Daagh Sir,

I have 2 queries here

1. The word "including" is modifying the preceding clause - right? A few people on the thread commented it is modifying the nearest noun i.e.
- in Option C, "including" ----> year
- in option D, "including" ----> birds
2. How did you conclude that "those of" in option C is referring to "eggs" and not referring to "nests" ?





1. If you have a comma before including, then it will never modify the noun before.

2. C. female cowbirds use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including those of

Let's replace the pronoun with both nouns:

1. C. female cowbirds use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including the eggs of
2. female cowbirds use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including the nests of

Both choices are equally weird, the second being more bizarre
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2017, 23:48
', including warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and thrushes.' is modifying previous noun 'birds' or the whole clause 'female cowbirds lay up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds'

do we really need ',' before including for option D to be correct
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2017, 01:03
daagh wrote:
pikolo wrote

Quote:
Hello Daagh Sir,

I have 2 queries here

1. The word "including" is modifying the preceding clause - right? A few people on the thread commented it is modifying the nearest noun i.e.
- in Option C, "including" ----> year
- in option D, "including" ----> birds
2. How did you conclude that "those of" in option C is referring to "eggs" and not referring to "nests" ?





1. If you have a comma before including, then it will never modify the noun before.

2. C. female cowbirds use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including those of

Let's replace the pronoun with both nouns:

1. C. female cowbirds use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including the eggs of
2. female cowbirds use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including the nests of

Both choices are equally weird, the second being more bizarre


Hello daagh & other Experts,

Could someone explain the role of V-ing Modifier "including" in option C & D. How can we use that to eliminate C?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2017, 01:06
Hello Daagh & other Experts (e-Gmat/GmatNinja/Mike),

Could someone explain the role of V-ing Modifier "including" in option C & D. How can we use that to eliminate C?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2018, 17:49
Unable to build nests or care for their young

We need plural

(C) (D) left
(C) "use the nest" is incorrect meaning. Literally means birds use nest to lay eggs

(D) is correct
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 02 May 2018, 08:20
Only C and D are contenders here.
those in C can refer to nests or eggs.hence, it is ambiguous and out.
D is the Answer.

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AbdurRakib wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2018
Practice Question
Sentence Correction
Question no. 268

Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and thrushes.

(A) a female cowbird lays up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including
(B) a female cowbird will use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including those of
(C) female cowbirds use the nests of other birds to lay up to 40 eggs a year, including those of
(D) female cowbirds lay up to 40 eggs a year in the nests of other birds, including
(E) up to 40 eggs a year are laid by female cowbirds in the nests of other birds, including

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Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 27 May 2018, 19:45
GMATNinja VeritasPrepKarishma egmat

In option (C), why can not those refer to nests?

How do I take including ? As a noun or as a modifier?
Is there any difference of placement of coma before including and
its absence that would lead to change of role it plays?

Is there any twist in intended meaning in (C)?

I was able to correctly strike off A and B because of paying attention to
their in non-underlined portion which must have a plural noun antecedent.

E has clear subject placement issue since after unlike... , the phrase after coma
must open with subject/ noun it is comparing.
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2018, 01:55
What is the role of 'including' in the choice D?

Sounds like it is an 'ing' modifying the previous clause. But as per the meaning, it should modify 'birds'.
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Re: Unable to build nests or care for their young, a female cowbird lays u [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2018, 06:05
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adkikani wrote:
GMATNinja VeritasPrepKarishma egmat

In option (C), why can not those refer to nests?

How do I take including ? As a noun or as a modifier?
Is there any difference of placement of coma before including and
its absence that would lead to change of role it plays?

Is there any twist in intended meaning in (C)?

I was able to correctly strike off A and B because of paying attention to
their in non-underlined portion which must have a plural noun antecedent.

E has clear subject placement issue since after unlike... , the phrase after coma
must open with subject/ noun it is comparing.


"including" is a preposition used to show that certain elements are a part of the whole. Here, it is a non essential part of the sentence since the sentence without it gives the same idea and hence a comma is used before including.

Look at this sentence:
Send me a message including your travel dates.
"message" is very generic and including is an essential part of the sentence. It tells us what to include in the message.

In (C), since "including" is placed right after "40 eggs a year", it seems we are talking about eggs.

... 40 eggs a year, including those of warblers ...

Hence (C) is incorrect.

To give examples of "other birds", we need to write it as:
... of other birds, including warblers ...
as done in (D). (D) is correct.
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