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Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the

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Re: Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2018, 16:17
1
Hello Everyone!

I already broke down some of the problems with each incorrect option earlier in the comments, but let's take a look at how you should tackle this question on the GMAT to answer it quickly! Here is the original question:

Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord’s several sets of strings are placed at right angles to its front edge.

(A) whose single set of strings runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord’s several sets of strings are
(B) with a single set of strings running parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the several sets of strings of the harpsichord are
(C) which has a single set of strings that runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, in the case of the harpsichord, several sets of strings are
(D) which has a single set of strings that run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord has several sets of strings
(E) in which a single set of strings run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord’s several sets of strings are

Right away, you should be able to recognize what type of sentence we're dealing with here: COMPARISON! Whenever we see a sentence comparing two things, the most important thing to look for is parallel structure!

Two items being compared MUST be parallel in structure.We know that the first half of the comparison is "Unlike the virginal," so the other item being compared must match that (it will likely be worded "the Y"). Let's see how they stack up:

(A) whose single set of strings runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord’s several sets of strings are

The virginal / the harpsichord's several sets of strings = WRONG / NOT PARALLEL

We're comparing the virginal to the harpsichord, not the virginal to strings! This isn't parallel, so this option is wrong.

(B) with a single set of strings running parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the several sets of strings of the harpsichord are

The virginal / the several sets of strings of the harpsichord = WRONG / NOT PARALLEL

Again, we're not comparing the virginal to strings - we're comparing it to the harpsichord, so this option is also wrong.

(C) which has a single set of strings that runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, in the case of the harpsichord, several sets of strings are

The virginal / several sets of strings = WRONG / NOT PARALLEL

Again, we're not comparing virginals to strings - those two things are not the same in kind. The other problem with this sentence is using the phrase "in the case of the harpsichord," which is a misplaced modifier! It's not clear if the modifier is supposed to be attached to the previous phrase "what has a single set of strings..." or the later phrase "several sets of strings are..."

(D) which has a single set of strings that run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord has several sets of strings

The virginal / the harpsichord = CORRECT / PARALLEL

This is the correct options because it is the only one that uses parallel structure to compare two types of instruments: the virginal & the harpsichord. Using "the" in front of each one also helps keep this parallel in structure.

(E) in which a single set of strings run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord’s several sets of strings are

The virginal / the harpsichord's several sets of strings = WRONG / NOT PARALLEL

This option has the same issue as option A - it compares the virginal to strings, which isn't parallel.


There you have it - option D is the correct choice because uses parallel structure!


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Re: Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2018, 12:48
1
Quote:
Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord’s several sets of strings are placed at right angles to its front edge.


(A) whose single set of strings runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord’s several sets of strings are

(B) with a single set of strings running parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the several sets of strings of the harpsichord are

(C) which has a single set of strings that runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, in the case of the harpsichord, several sets of strings are

(D) which has a single set of strings that run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord has several sets of strings

(E) in which a single set of strings run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord’s several sets of strings are


Here, there are 2 parts in this sentence correction: one is underlined part and the other is non-underlined part. In GMAT, the non-underlined part is always considered as legit. So, we need to take care of the underlined part.
In non-underlined part, its indicates something singular. So, its 's :) antecedent must be singular.
A) several sets of strings==> plural, so out
B) several sets of strings==> plural, so out
C) several sets of strings==> plural, so out
D) harpsichord ==> singular, keep it
E) several sets of strings==> plural, so out
So, the correct choice is


Hope it helps.
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Re: Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2018, 02:02
Quote:
Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord???s several sets of strings are placed at right angles to its front edge.


(A) whose single set of strings runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord???s several sets of strings are

(B) with a single set of strings running parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the several sets of strings of the harpsichord are

(C) which has a single set of strings that runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, in the case of the harpsichord, several sets of strings are

(D) which has a single set of strings that run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord has several sets of strings

(E) in which a single set of strings run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord???s several sets of strings are


Hi My honorable expert,
I'm totally lost finding the meaning of this sentence! In choice D, which one run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, actually?
Is it:
1/ strings?
or,
2/ a single set of strings?
Thanks_
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Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 15 Mar 2019, 06:38
1
Quote:
Hi My honorable expert,
I'm totally lost finding the meaning of this sentence! In choice D, which one run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, actually?
Is it:
1/ strings?
or,
2/ a single set of strings?
Thanks_

Good question! Whenever "that" is used as the subject of a modifying clause, the verb associated with "that" will tell us whether the antecedent is singular or plural.

In (D) we have "a single set of strings that run parallel to the front edge of the instrument." Because "run" is a plural verb, this tells us that I'm searching for a plural antecedent - in this case, "strings."

However, imagine that we'd had "a single set of strings that runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument." Now "runs" is a singular verb, and so "that" must modify a singular antecedent. The closest one is "set."

I hope that helps!
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Originally posted by GMATNinja on 10 Jan 2019, 15:45.
Last edited by GMATNinjaTwo on 15 Mar 2019, 06:38, edited 1 time in total.
corrected typo
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Re: Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jan 2019, 08:13
Quote:
Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord’s several sets of strings are placed at right angles to its front edge.

(A) whose single set of strings runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord’s several sets of strings are
(B) with a single set of strings running parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the several sets of strings of the harpsichord are
(C) which has a single set of strings that runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, in the case of the harpsichord, several sets of strings are
(D) which has a single set of strings that run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord has several sets of strings
(E) in which a single set of strings run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord’s several sets of strings are

Here the official answer is

Hi my honorable expert,
RonPurewal, MartyMurray, GMATNinja, DmitryFarber, egmat, AjiteshArun, EMPOWERgmatRichC

The official answer choice makes me crazy!
I'm starting my reasoning with 2 examples.
Here are the examples:
1) I took pictures of my dog, which are so adorable that they make everyone smile.----->correct. Because "dog" can describe "pictures". Most importantly, "pictures of my dog" is just "one unit"
2) I took pictures of my dog, which is so adorable that it protects security in our house.-----> Correct.
3) I took pictures in 2018, which are so adorable that blah blah blah ------>incorrect. "in 2018" does not describe the "pictures" at all, because "pictures in 2018" is not a UNIT; it describes when "I took pictures".
So, from the example 1 and 2, I can safely say that if something is group of one unit, then the modifier can jump.

Unlike the beatthegmat, which has _______________(I must fill up the blank by giving info other than 'premier member', because 'premier member' is fixed for GMATClub), the GMATClub has 'premier member' opportunity.

Now, here is the main official question:

Unlike the virginal, which has a single set of strings that run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord has several sets of strings placed at right angles to its front edge.

In apparently, it seems that we're going to make comparison between 'virginal' and 'harpsichord'; we're going to make comparison between what they possess, actually.

In this official example, 'Harpsichord' possesses something which is different from 'Virginal' does.
But, in this example, 'strings' is SAME for both instruments. We're just going to make creativity/comparison in 'single set' and in 'several sets'.
So, how can we actually fill up the blank?
Simple answer: single set of strings.
Why "single set of strings" is in the blank? Because, it (single set of strings) is possessed by 'Virginal'. And the "single set of strings' is just ONE unit, here at least.
As 'several sets of strings' is compared with 'a single set of strings', then we should introduce 'a single set of strings' (NOT only 'strings') by 'that', because 'single set of strings' is just ONE unit.
So, if this is the case (if the logic is right), we should use singular verb (runS) for the subject 'a single set of strings' in choice D like the below one.

Unlike the virginal, which has a single set of strings that runS parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord has several sets of strings placed at right angles to its front edge.

I'll be very glad if I've some experts' comments.
Thank you___
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Re: Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jan 2019, 20:23
AsadAbu wrote:
In apparently, it seems that we're going to make comparison between 'virginal' and 'harpsichord'; we're going to make comparison between what they possess, actually.

In this official example, 'Harpsichord' possesses something which is different from 'Virginal' does.
But, in this example, 'strings' is SAME for both instruments. We're just going to make creativity/comparison in 'single set' and in 'several sets'.
This is not creativity. The comparison is strictly between the nouns virginal and harpsichord. To check the comparison being made in this sentence, you should check only the noun introduced by (the object of) unlike (the virginal) and the subject of the clause (the harpsichord).

Unlike the virginal, which has a single set of strings that run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord has several sets of strings placed at right angles to its front edge.
or
Unlike the virginal, the harpsichord has several sets of strings placed at right angles to its front edge.

The portion that you seem to be worried about just has extra information that has nothing to do with our checking whether the comparison is logical. For example:

Unlike cars, planes have two wings.
Here the comparison is fine, although the reader could think that cars also have (1, 3, 4...) wings.

Unlike cars, which have wheels, planes have two wings.
Here the comparison is fine, and the reader is not likely to think that cars have wings.

Unlike cars, which have four wheels, planes have two wings.
The comparison is fine, and the reader is not likely to think that cars have wings.

The comparison is fine in all 3 sentences (ignore the fact that some cars do have wings :)). Adding additional information about cars does not make the comparison incorrect.
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Re: Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2019, 16:36
AjiteshArun wrote:
AsadAbu wrote:
In apparently, it seems that we're going to make comparison between 'virginal' and 'harpsichord'; we're going to make comparison between what they possess, actually.

In this official example, 'Harpsichord' possesses something which is different from 'Virginal' does.
But, in this example, 'strings' is SAME for both instruments. We're just going to make creativity/comparison in 'single set' and in 'several sets'.
This is not creativity. The comparison is strictly between the nouns virginal and harpsichord. To check the comparison being made in this sentence, you should check only the noun introduced by (the object of) unlike (the virginal) and the subject of the clause (the harpsichord).

Unlike the virginal, which has a single set of strings that run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord has several sets of strings placed at right angles to its front edge.
or
Unlike the virginal, the harpsichord has several sets of strings placed at right angles to its front edge.

The portion that you seem to be worried about just has extra information that has nothing to do with our checking whether the comparison is logical. For example:

Unlike cars, planes have two wings.
Here the comparison is fine, although the reader could think that cars also have (1, 3, 4...) wings.

Unlike cars, which have wheels, planes have two wings.
Here the comparison is fine, and the reader is not likely to think that cars have wings.

Unlike cars, which have four wheels, planes have two wings.
The comparison is fine, and the reader is not likely to think that cars have wings.

The comparison is fine in all 3 sentences (ignore the fact that some cars do have wings :)). Adding additional information about cars does not make the comparison incorrect.

Thank you for your kind feedback AjiteshArun. Honestly speaking, I did not get the answer of my queries, because I had so many queries in my previous post. :)

By the by, could you explain a bit the following sentences on the basis of its legitimacy?
One important thing/info to know:
--> GMAT Club has kudos point
--> ManhattanPrep GMAT forum doesn't have any kudos point.

1/ Unlike GMAT Club, ManhattanPrep GMAT forum does not have any kudos point.

or,

2/ Unlike ManhattanPrep GMAT forum, GMAT Club has kudos point.

If you find any error in these 2 examples, could you help me by fixing that/those sentence(s)?
Thanks__
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Re: Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2019, 09:27
AsadAbu wrote:
Thank you for your kind feedback AjiteshArun. Honestly speaking, I did not get the answer of my queries, because I had so many queries in my previous post. :)
Let's not give up just yet :)

AsadAbu wrote:
As 'several sets of strings' is compared with 'a single set of strings', then we should introduce 'a single set of strings' (NOT only 'strings') by 'that', because 'single set of strings' is just ONE unit.
So, if this is the case (if the logic is right), we should use singular verb (runS) for the subject 'a single set of strings' in choice D like the below one.
1. Again, the comparison is not between several sets of strings and a single set of strings. The comparison is between the virginal and the harpsichord. Focus on that, and don't take the logical comparison tested in like X, Y type questions on the GMAT where it was never meant to go.

2. Even if that were not the case, we cannot go ahead and make the singular/plural decision on the basis of something in some other part of the sentence. This will come down to what the author wants to say. For example:

Unlike a car, which has a single set of wheels that rotate independently, a plane has multiple sets of wings that...

This is just a quick (and far from perfect) sentence I made right now to show that we will not go with the singular rotates, as a single set of wheels that rotates independently would mean that the set of wheels rotates as a unit. What the author wants to say is that the wheels do not affect each other.

TL;DR: there is no reason for the GMAT to treat single set of strings as one unit, and therefore the run does not need to be singular.
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Re: Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2019, 08:12
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
Hi My honorable expert,
I'm totally lost finding the meaning of this sentence! In choice D, which one run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, actually?
Is it:
1/ strings?
or,
2/ a single set of strings?
Thanks_

Good question! Whenever "that" is used as the subject of a modifying clause, the verb associated with "that" will tell us whether the antecedent is singular or plural.

In (D) we have "a single set of strings that run parallel to the front edge of the instrument." Because "run" is a plural verb, this tells us that I'm searching for a plural antecedent - in this case, "strings."

However, imagine that we'd had "a single set of strings that runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument." Now "sets" is a singular verb, and so "that" must modify a singular antecedent. The closest one is "set."

I hope that helps!


I think you meant "runs" not "sets" in the bolded part
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Re: Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2019, 11:03
AsadAbu wrote:
In this official example, 'Harpsichord' possesses something which is different from 'Virginal' does.
But, in this example, 'strings' is SAME for both instruments. We're just going to make creativity/comparison in 'single set' and in 'several sets'.
So, how can we actually fill up the blank?
Simple answer: single set of strings.
Why "single set of strings" is in the blank? Because, it (single set of strings) is possessed by 'Virginal'. And the "single set of strings' is just ONE unit, here at least.
As 'several sets of strings' is compared with 'a single set of strings', then we should introduce 'a single set of strings' (NOT only 'strings') by 'that', because 'single set of strings' is just ONE unit.
So, if this is the case (if the logic is right), we should use singular verb (runS) for the subject 'a single set of strings' in choice D like the below one.

Unlike the virginal, which has a single set of strings that runS parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord has several sets of strings placed at right angles to its front edge.

I'll be very glad if I've some experts' comments.
Thank you___


Regardless of whether the sets are being compared, it could still make sense to describe the strings within each set as running parallel and placed at right angles.
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Re: Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2019, 12:28
AsadAbu wrote:
AjiteshArun wrote:
AsadAbu wrote:
In apparently, it seems that we're going to make comparison between 'virginal' and 'harpsichord'; we're going to make comparison between what they possess, actually.

In this official example, 'Harpsichord' possesses something which is different from 'Virginal' does.
But, in this example, 'strings' is SAME for both instruments. We're just going to make creativity/comparison in 'single set' and in 'several sets'.
This is not creativity. The comparison is strictly between the nouns virginal and harpsichord. To check the comparison being made in this sentence, you should check only the noun introduced by (the object of) unlike (the virginal) and the subject of the clause (the harpsichord).

Unlike the virginal, which has a single set of strings that run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord has several sets of strings placed at right angles to its front edge.
or
Unlike the virginal, the harpsichord has several sets of strings placed at right angles to its front edge.

The portion that you seem to be worried about just has extra information that has nothing to do with our checking whether the comparison is logical. For example:

Unlike cars, planes have two wings.
Here the comparison is fine, although the reader could think that cars also have (1, 3, 4...) wings.

Unlike cars, which have wheels, planes have two wings.
Here the comparison is fine, and the reader is not likely to think that cars have wings.

Unlike cars, which have four wheels, planes have two wings.
The comparison is fine, and the reader is not likely to think that cars have wings.

The comparison is fine in all 3 sentences (ignore the fact that some cars do have wings :)). Adding additional information about cars does not make the comparison incorrect.

Thank you for your kind feedback AjiteshArun. Honestly speaking, I did not get the answer of my queries, because I had so many queries in my previous post. :)

By the by, could you explain a bit the following sentences on the basis of its legitimacy?
One important thing/info to know:
--> GMAT Club has kudos point
--> ManhattanPrep GMAT forum doesn't have any kudos point.

1/ Unlike GMAT Club, ManhattanPrep GMAT forum does not have any kudos point.

or,

2/ Unlike ManhattanPrep GMAT forum, GMAT Club has kudos point.

If you find any error in these 2 examples, could you help me by fixing that/those sentence(s)?
Thanks__

Hi MartyMurray,
Sir, could you explain a bit here?
Thanks__
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Re: Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2019, 02:20
nausherwan wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
Hi My honorable expert,
I'm totally lost finding the meaning of this sentence! In choice D, which one run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, actually?
Is it:
1/ strings?
or,
2/ a single set of strings?
Thanks_

Good question! Whenever "that" is used as the subject of a modifying clause, the verb associated with "that" will tell us whether the antecedent is singular or plural.

In (D) we have "a single set of strings that run parallel to the front edge of the instrument." Because "run" is a plural verb, this tells us that I'm searching for a plural antecedent - in this case, "strings."

However, imagine that we'd had "a single set of strings that runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument." Now "sets" is a singular verb, and so "that" must modify a singular antecedent. The closest one is "set."

I hope that helps!


I think you meant "runs" not "sets" in the bolded part

@nausherwan, thanks for picking up on that typo! The original post has been corrected. Good eye!
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Re: Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2019, 06:12
AbdurRakib wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2018

Practice Question
Sentence Correction
Question No.: 680


Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord’s several sets of strings are placed at right angles to its front edge.


(A) whose single set of strings runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord’s several sets of strings are

(B) with a single set of strings running parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the several sets of strings of the harpsichord are

(C) which has a single set of strings that runs parallel to the front edge of the instrument, in the case of the harpsichord, several sets of strings are

(D) which has a single set of strings that run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord has several sets of strings

(E) in which a single set of strings run parallel to the front edge of the instrument, the harpsichord’s several sets of strings are


Can 'whose' modify inanimate subjects?

Press +1 kudos if you have a similar doubt
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Re: Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2019, 06:16
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Raj30 wrote:
Can 'whose' modify inanimate subjects?
Yes. We can use whose to refer to inanimate objects as well.
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Re: Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2019, 13:31
AjiteshArun wrote:
Raj30 wrote:
Can 'whose' modify inanimate subjects?
Yes. We can use whose to refer to inanimate objects as well.

Thanks AjiteshArun!

To illustrate that point, consider the following example:

  • "The building whose roof collapsed during last month's snow storm has been repaired and reopened."

This is a perfectly fine example of using "whose" to modify an inanimate object.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Unlike the virginal, whose single set of strings runs parallel to the  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2019, 22:58
So you logically analyze that the strings are the ones that run parallel to the violin and not the set, so you use "run".

How about if you say the set of strings is/are missing, what do you use?

The set as a group is missing, so do I use singular here?

Or is it more of the presence of THAT that makes the sentence refer logically to the strings, hence making it plural?

Thanks.

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New post 20 Apr 2019, 04:49
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The golden rule in tackling comparisons is to verify whether parallel things are compared. To make life simple, the first arm names a noun, namely, Virginal, a musical instrument and it is not underlined. Now, therefore, we have to look forward consciously or unconsciously to another musical instrument in the second arm. Fortunately, by design or chance, all choices except D mention either several sets or its equivalents. The comparison ends there. In addition, we can verify that D has no errors too.
This is a valid comparison between two bare nouns and not with their attributes. This is the basic tenet of legal comparisons.

D is the choice in just a flick of the finger.

I am curious to know the difficulty level of this question.
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