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Thread: GMAT SC (S/V Agreement): one of the people who bake or bakes

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    should it be

    he is one of the people who bake bread
    or
    he is one of the people who bakes bread

    one bakes bread
    people bake bread

    but isnt "of the people" a prepositional phrase you can remove?
    or is people intrinsically attached to the breadmakers?

    thanks
    Dora

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    Ankylosaurus Forum Admin Erin's Avatar
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    Arrow

    This question has come up three times in as many days, so I've made it a FAQ.

    Here's what you need to know:

    Here is the pattern you need to become familiar with:

    one of the NOUN + that/who +PLURAL VERB

    For example:

    • She is one of the few people who know how to speak Esperanto.
    • This is one of the cars that run on hydrogen.
    The reasoning is as follows: we are saying that this person (or thing, or whatever) is a member of a group. What group? Te group of people (or things) that do or are whatever.

    So far, every single time I've seen this on GMAT SC, it's been set off by "one of..." So keep an eye out for "one of"!!

    And this one's tricky because we become sort of trained to ignore the stuff inside of prepositional phrases, but as we've just seen, it's important to remember that a modifier can modify any noun, no matter where it is.
    ☼ Waiting for Godot

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    so then "each of the men was an engineer" is correct? or should it be "each of the men were engineers"?

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    Ankylosaurus Forum Admin Erin's Avatar
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    Originally posted by dorafang

    so then "each of the men was an engineer" is correct? or should it be "each of the men were engineers"?
    This pattern is a bit different:

    Each of the men was an engineer. (The most acceptable form.)

    The essential parts of the sentence are in red: each... was... engineer.

    The "of the men" part is a prepositional phrase, and in this sentence, this prepositional phrase has no influence on the subject or verb. Remember, there are a few cases in which the prep phrase can influence the subject and verb, specifically when the subject is a pronoun that can be used with either count or non-count nouns (all of the water is/all of the people are, for example).

    In the original example, our situation was a bit different--we had two nouns and one modifier:

    He is one of the people who bake bread.

    Grammatically, who bake bread is an adjective clause (and therefore modifies a noun) and could grammatically modify either people or one, since these are both nouns. Let me show you two examples:
    [*]The woman on the bike who is talking to the security guard is a friend of mine.

    In this case, the adjective clause who is talking to the security guard clearly modifies woman because it is illogical to say that a bike is talking to a security guard.

    Let's compare a similar sentence:
    [*]The woman on the bike that has custom graphics is a friend of mine.

    In this case, the adjective clause that has custom graphics clearly modifies bike, again since it's illogical to talk about a woman having custom graphics.

    So again, the key here is to figure out which noun the adjective clause modifies, and as I stated in my response to your original question, this grammar point is usually used with one of.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!
    ☼ Waiting for Godot

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    Eager!
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    That was a great explanation Erin..

    But i have a question here which is driving me nuts. Would be reallly grateful to you if you would help me clarify this.

    According to scientists at the University of California, the pattern of changes that have occurred in human DNA over the millennia indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who lived in Africa sometime between 140,000 and 280,000 years ago.

    (A) indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who
    (B) indicate that everyone alive today might possibly be a descendant of a single female ancestor who had
    (C) may indicate that everyone alive today has descended from a single female ancestor who had
    (D) indicates that everyone alive today may be a descendant of a single female ancestor who
    (E) indicates that everyone alive today might be a descendant from a single female ancestor who

    Now the official answer given for this is "D". I chose "B".

    Now if i see the answer from tense point of view then "D" sounds to be more better.

    But according to the list of examples which you explained above, the subject pattern of changes followed by relative pronoun that says that the verb comin up next should be plural since it is changes and not change. This is then rightly followed by have and not has .

    But later the sentence according to choice "D" fails to follow the rule, that is it says indicates which is singular and not indicate which is plural.

    Now this really confuses me. Is it that this rule is followed only in examples where we say one of the causes, types.

    Please help ....[xx(]

    Thanks a ton in advance...



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    The noun that is in the limelight here is 'pattern' and not 'changes'. 'pattern' is singular and hence the correct verb form is 'indicates' and not 'indicate'.

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    Eager! go2venkat's Avatar
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    Feynman is correct. The noun in question is "the pattern" and in addition to it here "Changes" is not a verb but a noun too. Hence Erin's explanation holds water. Read it as "the Pattern... Indicates"

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    Is there a rule for 'One in 5 people'
    What would the answer to this question be. Appreciate your help

    1) One in five Americans who work shorter hours at their job in order to provide care for an elderly relative save society millions of dollars that would ordinarily be required for nursing homes or other long care facilities.

    A) One in five Americans who work shorter hours at their job in order to provide care for an elderly relative save
    B) One in five Americans working shorter hours at their jobs in order to provide care for an elderly relative saves
    C) The one in five Americans who work shorter hours at a job in order to provide care for an elderly relative saves
    D) Those Americans, approximately one-fifth of all employs, who work shorter hours at a job in order to care for an elderly relative save

    Should it be 'save' or 'saves' here?
    thx

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    B: One in five Americans saves society millions of dollars.


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    So, the following sentence is correct?

    Only one of the President's nominees was confirmed.

    Please advise. Thanks.

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