Source: Official Guide for the GMAT 13th Ed. Sentence Correction; #1 Official Guide for the GMAT 2015 14th Ed. Sentence Correction; #1

24

In a review of 2,000 studies of

In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s, two Swiss psychologists, declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.

6 Explanations

3

ZOE ZHUYAN

Hi every,
is here anyone knows the difference between "fail in doing" and "fail to do" ?

thanks a lot
have a nice day, everyoen

Apr 7, 2016 • Comment

Cydney Seigerman, Magoosh Tutor

Hi there :)

Happy to help! First, I'd recommend checking out the idiomatic expressions with the word fail here: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/fail

Overall, the idiom "fail in something" is typically used with a noun (e.g. I have failed in my efforts to get a job.) and not with the present participle of a verb. On the other hand, "fail to" is followed by the unconjugated form of a verb (e.g. I failed to do my homework or I failed to get a job).

Hope this helps :)

Apr 17, 2016 • Reply

1

arun sharma

Hi Mike !

In correct answer choice i.e.
"In a review of 2,000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s?two Swiss psychologists declared that since most of the studies had failed to control for variables such as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously. "

what is the role of "none could be taken seriously."
Is it a clause modifier modifying noun variables?

Regards,
Arun

Dec 22, 2015 • Comment

Adam

Hi Arun,

This is an independent clause. "None" refers to "studies":

None [of the studies] could be taken seriously.

Most of the studies had failed to control for variables. [Therefore/because of this], none [of the studies] could be taken seriously.

Hope that helps!

Adam

Dec 26, 2015 • Reply

1

Can we eliminate option D for using 'such variables like' instead of 'such as' construct?

Also in option C, if we remove the modifier 'having failed....family size', the sentence does not make sense and hence can be eliminated.

Does this work?

Aug 28, 2015 • Comment

Adam

Hi Ashwin,

First, yes, we can eliminate (D) for the use of "such variables like."

Second, yes, you are again correct!

"In a review of 2000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940's, two Swiss psychologists declared that since most of the studies, none could be taken seriously."

This is nonsensical and we can eliminate it.

Nov 3, 2015 • Reply

1

Richa Chandra

I have a doubt if mike garry sir can reply -
E psychologists declared that since most of the studies had failed to control for variables such as social class and family size,

had failed is a verb for studies, Right?
But most of the studies is an phrase, right? So how come subject to the verb had failed is studies. i am quite confused, probably I have some Knowledge Gap.

Jul 8, 2015 • Comment

Jonathan , Magoosh Tutor

Hi Richa,
"studies" alone is not the subject. We can say "Most" or "Most of the studies" is the subject. "of the studies" is a prepositional phrase that describes "Most." When we have:

Noun + prepositional phrase ....verb

The Noun before the prepositional phrase is the subject. A difficult SC may have a long prepositional phrase with many nouns to distract you from the subject.

Also, see this article on Subject-Verb Agreement:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/subject-verb-agreement-on-gmat-sentence-correction/

Jul 10, 2015 • Reply

Richa Chandra

I have one mote question the reason for eliminating Option A and Option B is that Psychologist, the subject doesn't have a bonafide verb in Option A and Option B.

Mike Mc Garry sir has given the same explanatio in Options C as the subject most of the studies...having...

Here having is not a bonafide verb.

Can we look at this with another picture.
Having is a Verb+Ing Modifier.

This sort of modifier should actually satisfy TWO requirements:

1) It should apply most nearly to the subject of the preceding clause; and, even more importantly,
2) It should have one of the following RELATIONSHIPS to that clause:
* Immediate consequence
* Simultaneous, but lower-priority, action

So here having is actually modifying the action - Psychologist declaration (psychologists declared). That could be one of the another way to visualize this. Am I right?

Jan 1, 2016 • Reply

Adam

Hi Richa,

I think you're referring to "declaring" in (A) and (B), which, you are correct, is not a bonafide verb. It is serving as participle here. So, yes, we can eliminate (A) and (B) for their lack of a real verb.

This is a bit different from what is happening in C:

... psychologists declared that since most of the studies, having failed to control for such variables as social class and family size, none could be taken seriously.

"Since most of the studies" wants a real verb to follow, but "having" is a participle, just like "declaring" in (A) and (B).

Here, we get one real verb (declared), but we are missing another one that should follow "since most of the studies."

"Having failed to control" refers to "most of the studies." In (A) and (B), "declaring" refers to "psychologists."

Hope that helps!

Jan 4, 2016 • Reply

1

Between (D) and (E):

Notice also how the examples are introduced:

(D) such like ??

(E) such as

So, E) introduce the proper idiom to list (an) example(s).

* * * * *

A point to consider in (C) could be that "since" introduces a new subordinate: "since" + dep. cluase , indep. clause.

Since in (C), the first part of the sub. (dep. clause) has no verb (but a participle), it is not a proper clause, (but a phrase).

So, as it was previously stated , C is incorrect.

Apr 30, 2015 • Comment

7

Gravatar Mike McGarry, Magoosh Tutor

May 22, 2013 • Comment

Add Your Explanation

You must have a Magoosh account in order to leave an explanation.

Learn More About Magoosh

Official GMAT Material

Official Guide for GMAT Review 2016

Official Guide for the GMAT 2015 14th Ed.

Official Guide for the GMAT 13th Ed.

Nova's GRE Prep

Official Guide for the GMAT 12th Ed.

Revised GRE PDF 2nd Ed.


Section 9.6 Sentence Correction

Section 9.6 Sentence Correction

Improve Your Score

Magoosh GMAT is an affordable online course for studying the GMAT.

Learn More About Magoosh

Share Post

Email

Facebook