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While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s

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While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 13 Nov 2018, 08:08
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While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.


(A) seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than

(B) seem more likely that it will inflame debates over the origin of birds at this stage than

(C) seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than

(D) seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to

(E) seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to


The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 2016

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 124


https://www.nytimes.com/1997/04/25/us/in-china-a-spectacular-trove-of-dinosaur-fossils-is-found.html

Many of the excavated specimens seem to bear on the question of kinship between dinosaurs and birds, although the wealth of enigmatic fossils seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to settle them.

Originally posted by amatya on 11 Sep 2015, 03:23.
Last edited by Bunuel on 13 Nov 2018, 08:08, edited 3 times in total.
Edited the question.
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While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2019, 11:53
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Hello Everyone!

This is a great example of a GMAT question that focuses on verb tenses and idioms! Let's start by taking a quick look at the question and highlight any major differences between the options in orange:

While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.

(A) seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than
(B) seem more likely that it will inflame debates over the origin of birds at this stage than
(C) seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than
(D) seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to
(E) seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to

After a quick glance over the options, we have a few things we can focus on:

1. seem vs. seems (Subject-Verb Agreement)
2. they will inflame / it will inflame / to inflame (Subject-Verb Agreement & Idioms)
3. than vs. than to (Idioms)


Let's start with #1 on our list, which focuses on subject-verb agreement. The verb we're dealing with here is seem/seems, so we need to look to the original sentence to find our subject:

While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.

Since "wealth" is singular, we need to find the options that use the singular "seems," and then rule out the ones that use the plural "seem."

(A) seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than
(B) seem more likely that it will inflame debates over the origin of birds at this stage than
(C) seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than
(D) seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to
(E) seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to

We can eliminate options A & B because the subject and verb don't agree. Now that we have this narrowed down to only 2 options, let's move on to the idiom issue. Again, if we look at the entire sentence, we can figure out which idiom we're working with:

While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.

The idiom we're dealing with is:

more likely to X than to Y

Let's see which options use the correct idiom, and rule out those that don't:

(C) seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than --> more likely to X than Y = WRONG
(D) seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to --> more likely to X than to Y = CORRECT!
(E) seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to --> more likely that it will X than to Y = WRONG


There you go - option D is the only one that uses the idiom correctly and has proper subject-verb agreement!


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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2015, 03:39
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The subject of the main clause is Wealth (of... fossils).So we need a singular verb 'seems' for subject -Wealth. A and B options are out.

In C and E there is a misplaced modifier 'at the stage ' which should modify the timing/stage of discovery of the fossils not the origin of birds. Only D has this right. Also, to maintain parallelism 'than to' should be used not 'rather than'. Answer is D
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2015, 06:23
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amatya wrote:
While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.

(A) seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than
(B) seem more likely that it will inflame debates over the origin of birds at this stage than
(C) seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than
(D) seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to
(E) seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to

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Shouldn't the underline start from the second "seem"?

The wealth (singular) needs "seems" to properly modify it. Use of "seem" is incorrect. So (A) and (B) are wrong.

In (C), "more likely to X rather than Y" is incorrect usage. Also, "birds at this stage" is incorrect. The stage is not about birds.

(D) correctly uses "seems". It also has the right usage of "more likely to X than to Y". Additionally, "at this stage" is correctly placed.

(E) seems more likely that is incorrect here. "more likely that.... than to" is ALSO incorrect.

Hence, (D).

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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2015, 15:52
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This question is not correctly underlined. Could you please change the underlined portion as stated in the original version:
While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2015, 23:46
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While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.

(A) seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than

Subject .........wealth (singular ) ............verb .....seem ( plural ) ........should be seems ( singular )


(B) seem more likely that it will inflame debates over the origin of birds at this stage than

Subject .........wealth (singular ) ............verb .....seem ( plural ) ........should be seems ( singular )



(C) seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than

correct idiom .......MORE ......X...... THAN .....Y ...................... NOT .......... MORE .........RATHER THAN

(D) seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to

CORRECT .............SUBJECT VERB

MORE .......TO INFLAME ( INFINITY VERB ) || THAN TO SETTLE ( INFINITY VERB )


(E) seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to



MORE X THAN Y MUST BE PARALLEL

MORE LIKELY ( VERB ) .................THAN TO SETTLE ( INFINITY VERB ) ...........NOT ||




CORRECT ANSWER D
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2015, 09:14
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amatya wrote:
While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.

(A) seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than
(B) seem more likely that it will inflame debates over the origin of birds at this stage than
(C) seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than
(D) seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to
(E) seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to

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(Edited the question stem.)

"The wealth of something" is singular and therefore needs a singular verb form. This eliminates A and B.

In both C and E the modifier "at this stage" is misplaced as it incorrectly modifies the birds.

Moreover, there are additional errors in C and E:

In C, "more likely to do X RATHER than do Y" is both unidiomatic and not parallel (Infinitive + Working Verb).

In E, "X seems more likely THAT it will do X than to do Y" is both unidiomatic and not parallel (Simple Future + Infinitive)

This leaves D: The verb seems has the correct form, the modifier "at this stage" is placed correctly, "X is more likely to do Y than to do Z" is idiomatic and parallel (Infinitive + Infinitive).
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2016, 10:46
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amatya wrote:
OG16 SC124
While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.

(A) seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than
(B) seem more likely that it will inflame debates over the origin of birds at this stage than
(C) seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than
(D) seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to
(E) seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to

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'the wealth' is singular subject and hence requires 'seems'. Option A and B are out.

The idiom must be 'X rather than Y'

More likely TO inflame debates than TO settle them. C is out.

E is wordy.

Hence D is the answer
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.

(A) seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than
(B) seem more likely that it will inflame debates over the oirigin of birds at this stage than
(C) seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than - Idiom error: miss a "to" in the later half of the sentence for a proper sentence.
(D) seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to
(E) seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2017, 08:00
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amatya wrote:
OG16 SC124
While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.

(A) seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than
(B) seem more likely that it will inflame debates over the origin of birds at this stage than
(C) seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than (no to)
(D) seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to (keep for now)
(E) seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to

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+1 D

A and B are for plural nouns but the wealth of xyz is singular. These two options can be removed

C is not || and birds at this stage changes meaning

D looks good. It is parallel and corrects the error with the placement of at this stage

E is similar to C. not parallel and at this stage modifies birds. Not the intention of the original sentence.
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2017, 09:58
While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the
kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that
they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.

A. seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than
Plural verb “seem” & plural pronoun “they” does NOT agree in number with singular subject “wealth”

B. seem more likely that it will inflame debates over the origin of birds at this stage than
Plural verb “seem” does NOT agree in number with singular subject “wealth”.
Location of “at this stage” is incorrectly suggesting that the phrase is modifying “the origin of birds”

C. seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than
Location of “at this stage” is incorrectly suggesting that the phrase is modifying “the origin of birds”
The phrase should modify the verb “seems”

D. seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to
Correctly change the verb to singular (seems) and use the correct form of idiom “debate over”

E. seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to
Same error as option C

Question to Experts mikemcgarry GMATNinja egmat :
Is there a difference between Debate Over and Debate On ?
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2017, 01:18
mihir0710 wrote:
While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the
kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that
they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.

A. seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than
Plural verb “seem” & plural pronoun “they” does NOT agree in number with singular subject “wealth”

B. seem more likely that it will inflame debates over the origin of birds at this stage than
Plural verb “seem” does NOT agree in number with singular subject “wealth”.
Location of “at this stage” is incorrectly suggesting that the phrase is modifying “the origin of birds”

C. seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than
Location of “at this stage” is incorrectly suggesting that the phrase is modifying “the origin of birds”
The phrase should modify the verb “seems”

D. seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to
Correctly change the verb to singular (seems) and use the correct form of idiom “debate over”

E. seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to
Same error as option C

Question to Experts mikemcgarry GMATNinja egmat :
Is there a difference between Debate Over and Debate On ?


mikemcgarry GMATNinja egmat
Is there a difference between Debate Over and Debate On ? Can someone elaborate on this?
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2017, 08:58
amatya wrote:
OG16 SC124
While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.

(A) seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than
(B) seem more likely that it will inflame debates over the origin of birds at this stage than
(C) seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than
(D) seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to
(E) seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to

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The sentence presents a contrast using the word ‘while’. It says whereas many recently found dinosaur fossils seem to provide evidence of kinship between dinosaurs and birds, these fossils seem:

more likely to inflame debates over the origin of birds
than settle these debates

There are four errors in the given sentence:

1. In the main clause, “the wealth of enigmatic fossils” is the subject – ‘the wealth’ is singular – and the verb is “seem”, which is plural. Therefore, there is a subject verb agreement error.

2. The structure X seems more likely that X will do something is incorrect. Either of the below two structures is correct:
A. It seems more likely that X will do something…
B. X seems more likely to do something

3. Given the context of the sentence, “they” should refer to “the wealth of enigmatic fossils”. So, we have a plural pronoun “they” for the singular antecedent.

4. We are making a comparison using “more” in the sentence. “more” should be followed by “than” and never by “rather than”.
In many SC questions you will find similar errors where more is followed by compared to, compared with, when compared to.. etc.. All these structures are wrong.
More... Compared To... INCORRECT
More... Compared With... INCORRECT
More... When Compared To... INCORRECT
More... Rather Than... INCORRECT

Option Analysis
(A) Incorrect. For the errors described above.

(B) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

Singular subject “the wealth” and plural verb “seem” – Same error as in the original sentence
The structure error “X seems more likely that X will do something” – Same error as in the original sentence.
(C) Incorrect. “more” is followed by “rather than” – Same error as in the original sentence.

(D) Correct. All the errors in the original sentences have been corrected without introducing any new errors.

(E) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

This option has the structure error “X seems more likely that X will do something” – same error as in the original sentence.
The part after 'than' - “to settle them” - is not parallel to anything.
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2017, 12:59
While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.

(A) seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than -We need to use singular words
(B) seem more likely that it will inflame debates over the origin of birds at this stage than -We need to use singular words
(C) seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than -we need a "to" after than to maintain parallelism
(D) seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to -Correct
(E) seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to -"to" is not required. It makes the sentence non-parallel
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2017, 13:18
aceGMAT21 wrote:
mikemcgarry GMATNinja egmat
Is there a difference between Debate Over and Debate On ? Can someone elaborate on this?




Hello aceGMAT21,

I am not sure if you still have this doubt. Here is the explanation nonetheless. :-)


The word debate is not necessarily followed by a particular preposition. The context of the sentence decides which preposition will appears after debate.

IMHO, in the context of this sentence, both the phrases debates over and debates on work equally fine.


Hope this helps. :-)
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2017, 13:29
egmat wrote:
aceGMAT21 wrote:
mikemcgarry GMATNinja egmat
Is there a difference between Debate Over and Debate On ? Can someone elaborate on this?




Hello aceGMAT21,

I am not sure if you still have this doubt. Here is the explanation nonetheless. :-)


The word debate is not necessarily followed by a particular preposition. The context of the sentence decides which preposition will appears after debate.

IMHO, in the context of this sentence, both the phrases debates over and debates on work equally fine.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha


Hi egmat,

Thanks for the reply! :)

Can you please elaborate more on the context part, on the basis of which we can decide whether to use DEBATE OVER or DEBATE ON? As I am still not clear about that. You can take examples to explain the same.

Thanks,
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2017, 13:44
aceGMAT21 wrote:

Hi egmat,

Thanks for the reply! :)

Can you please elaborate more on the context part, on the basis of which we can decide whether to use DEBATE OVER or DEBATE ON? As I am still not clear about that. You can take examples to explain the same.

Thanks,
-Varun




Hello Varun aceGMAT21,


Well, as I have already mentioned, the word debate need not be followed by any particular preposition.


So we can say:

The debate on the Education Bill is attracting a lot of attention. OR The debate over the Education Bill is attracting a lot of attention.



But I certainly do not mean to say that debate over and debate on can be used interchangeably.

The debate on Tuesday will have a lot of participants.

We can never replace on with over in the above-mentioned sentence.


Moreover, I do not think on GMAT SC, such expressions are tested any which way.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2018, 03:16
While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.

(A) seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than - subject verb agreement issue - "the wealth seems to," not "seems that." "They" is also ambiguous
(B) seem more likely that it will inflame debates over the origin of birds at this stage than - Same issues as with A, and "it" is also ambiguous here

(C) seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than - the modifier "at this stage" seems to indicate that the birds are at a particular stage - illogical. We want to say that it "seems likely at this stage."
(D) seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to - Correct

(E) seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to - the construction "the wealth... seems... that it will" is both non-idiomatic and illogical.

Answer D
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2018, 20:22
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The sentence presents a contrast using the word ‘while’. It says whereas many recently found dinosaur fossils seem to provide evidence of kinship between dinosaurs and birds, these fossils seem:

more likely to inflame debates over the origin of birds
than settle these debates
There are four errors in the given sentence:

In the main clause, “the wealth of enigmatic fossils” is the subject – ‘the wealth’ is singular – and the verb is “seem”, which is plural. Therefore, there is a subject verb agreement error.
The structure “X seems more likely that X will do something” is incorrect. Either of the below two structures is correct:
It seems more likely that X will do something…
X seems more likely to do something
Given the context of the sentence, “they” should refer to “the wealth of enigmatic fossils”. So, we have a plural pronoun “they” for the singular antecedent.
We are making a comparison using “more” in the sentence. “more” should be followed by “than” and never by “rather than”.
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2018, 22:11
ping1 wrote:
amatya wrote:
While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.

(A) seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than
(B) seem more likely that it will inflame debates over the origin of birds at this stage than
(C) seems more likely to inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage rather than
(D) seems more likely at this stage to inflame debates over the origin of birds than to
(E) seems more likely that it will inflame debates on the origin of birds at this stage than to

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(Edited the question stem.)

"The wealth of something" is singular and therefore needs a singular verb form. This eliminates A and B.




In both C and E the modifier "at this stage" is misplaced as it incorrectly modifies the birds.

Moreover, there are additional errors in C and E:

In C, "more likely to do X RATHER than do Y" is both unidiomatic and not parallel (Infinitive + Working Verb).




In E, "X seems more likely THAT it will do X than to do Y" is both unidiomatic and not parallel (Simple Future + Infinitive)

This leaves D: The verb seems has the correct form, the modifier "at this stage" is placed correctly, "X is more likely to do Y than to do Z" is idiomatic and parallel (Infinitive + Infinitive).



perfect..

Also more ..rather than is incorrect idiom..
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Re: While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China s   [#permalink] 15 Oct 2018, 22:11

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