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# Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2012, 12:20
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Question Stats:

60% (00:41) correct 40% (00:47) wrong based on 659 sessions

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Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.
(A) are debated about in no less than
(B) are debated in no less than
(C) is debated about in no fewer than
(D) is debated in no fewer than
(E) is debated in no less than

See a full discussion of the grammar involved at:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/substantiv ... -the-gmat/
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2013, 18:34
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Expert's post
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Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.
(A) are debated about in no less than
(B) are debated in no less than
(C) is debated about in no fewer than
(D) is debated in no fewer than
(E) is debated in no less than

For a complete discussion of substantive clauses (a.k.a nominal clauses, a.k.a noun clauses) ---including the very tricky issue of noun-clauses and subject-verb agreement --- as well as a full explanation of this particular question, see this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/substantiv ... -the-gmat/

Mike
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Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2014, 17:26
2
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honchos wrote:
Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.

are debated about in no less than
are debated in no less than
is debated about in no fewer than
is debated in no fewer than --> CORRECT.
is debated in no less than

The rule is: if the subject is a clause, it's always singular

The main subject here is "Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee", which is considered singular. Thus, A and B are out.

C is wrong because of redundant problem - "debated about"

E is wrong because it uses "less", whereas "five hundred journals" is countable and plural noun.

D is correct.

Hope it helps.
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Why the various Generals of the Army [#permalink]

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17 May 2015, 09:05
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Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.

a)are debated about in no less than
b)are debated in no less than
c)is debated about in no fewer than
d)is debated in no fewer than
e)is debated in no less than

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army before Grant [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2013, 07:33
1
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I like this sentence with multiple modifiers.

Basically the key words is generals so plural and this can lead us to think "are" but is misleading.

hre we are talking about a question so the right verb is $$"is"$$

Then we have to take in account generals so fewer (countable) and C is ackward

D is the best

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army before Grant [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2013, 21:08
1
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mikemcgarry wrote:
Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.
(A) are debated about in no less than
(B) are debated in no less than
(C) is debated about in no fewer than
(D) is debated in no fewer than
(E) is debated in no less than

"Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee" is a single fact and should proceed with singular verb is. Eliminating A,B

As five hundred is countable number, So, we can't use less than. Eliminate E.

Between C & D, Usage debated in is correct as we are only referring the time. So, Option D looks correct.

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2013, 10:34
1
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mikemcgarry wrote:
Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.
(A) are debated about in no less than
(B) are debated in no less than
(C) is debated about in no fewer than
(D) is debated in no fewer than
(E) is debated in no less than

For a complete discussion of substantive clauses (a.k.a nominal clauses, a.k.a noun clauses) ---including the very tricky issue of noun-clauses and subject-verb agreement --- as well as a full explanation of this particular question, see this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/substantiv ... -the-gmat/

Mike

subject is singular + historical journals can be counted. In C about and in both are prepositions. That's incorrect, we want a noun phrase after a preposition. This eliminates C. D wins.

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2013, 22:54
1
KUDOS
Chose C and it's wrong

eliminated A and B because of "are"
eliminated E because of "less"

had to choose between C and D, but did not know which one is right.

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army [#permalink]

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17 May 2015, 09:26
1
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tia2112 wrote:
Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.

are debated about in no less than
are debated in no less than
is debated about in no fewer than
is debated in no fewer than
is debated in no less than

A clause is always singular. So A and B are eliminated. Journals are countable. So fewer has to be used. E is eliminated. It should be debated in and not about.
Hence D.

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2012, 12:59
Clearly fewer refers to journals that are countable

C is ackward and not fluent

D it is

Ciao Mike
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Last edited by carcass on 05 Dec 2012, 09:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2012, 14:25
mikemcgarry wrote:
Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.
(A) are debated about in no less than
(B) are debated in no less than
(C) is debated about in no fewer than
(D) is debated in no fewer than
(E) is debated in no less than

See a full discussion of the grammar involved at:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/substantiv ... -the-gmat/

Why X were so singularly successful against Y IS blah blah. Therefore "are" is incorrect and hence A & B are out.

C - "Is debated about" is unidiomatic, wordy and just plain awkward

E - "is debated in no less than" is incorrect since we are using numbers (five hundred) so "fewer" is preferred.

D is the only remaining choice that fixes all the errors.

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2012, 14:27
Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before Ulysses S. Grant were so singularly unsuccessful against Robert E Lee are debated about in no less than five hundred historically oriented journals.
(A) are debated about in no less than should be singular is instead of are
(B) are debated in no less than should be singular is instead of are
(C) is debated about in no fewer than debated about is unidiomatic. should be debated
(D) is debated in no fewer than Correct!!!
(E) is debated in no less thanless should not be used with countable quantity

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2012, 08:53
Subject Verb error :
is/are -- "is" is correct as the subject is Singular. This cancels option A and B
less/ fewer -- "fewer" is to be used in case of countable quantity. This cancels option E
We are now left with C and D.

Debated about could be unidiomatic or awkward construction. Hence the incorrect choice.
The choice D conveys the correct meaning.
Hence D is correct
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army before Grant [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2013, 20:41
I go with (C) , though I still wonder the need for "about"

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army before Grant [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2013, 23:15
vickymancer07 wrote:
I go with (C) , though I still wonder the need for "about"

What is your logic for picking (C) over (D)?
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army before Grant [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2013, 00:11
Hi Mike,

With my initial round of POE , it was either (C) or (D) but I was not sure whether to go for "Debate"or "Debate about".

From your blog I just read that "debate about"is awkward and not idiomatic , so then its (D)

Cheers!

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2013, 22:05
Picked C over D. I knew "debate about" is the idiom.

With this I got a silly question - Do I say "I knew "debate about" was/is the idiom". Because the truth of the idiom still holds in present.

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2013, 09:53
aim730 wrote:
Subject Verb error :
is/are -- "is" is correct as the subject is Singular. This cancels option A and B
less/ fewer -- "fewer" is to be used in case of countable quantity. This cancels option E
We are now left with C and D.

Debated about could be unidiomatic or awkward construction. Hence the incorrect choice.
The choice D conveys the correct meaning.
Hence D is correct

I had the right answer by eliminating the less/ fewer option, but what is the subject of this sentence? Can't spot it.

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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2013, 12:31
I had the right answer by eliminating the less/ fewer option, but what is the subject of this sentence? Can't spot it.

I'm happy to respond.

The subject is hard to spot because the main subject of the sentence is not an individual noun, but an entire clause. This is called a "substantive clause" --- sometimes also called a "noun clause" or a "relative nominal clause". This is a kind of clause that can act in the role of a noun and hence be the subject of the sentence.

See this blog for a full explanation:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/substantiv ... -the-gmat/

Mike
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2013, 22:09
'Is' brings me down to C, D, and E. 'Fewer' brings me down to C and D. Never heard of 'debated about', so D it is!
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Re: Why the various Generals of the Army of the Potomac before   [#permalink] 29 Nov 2013, 22:09

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