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GMAT Preparation Practice Question Bank

GMAT Verbal SC – Nouns Practice Question #1

Here’s an interesting practice question for you on countable and uncountable nouns! If you haven’t followed up on our article covering the same, click here. Then, attempt the question given below followed by a detailed solution to know the right approach:

Question –

A team of scientists from the Institute for Research in Cancer at Montréal have succeeded in producing a large amount of laboratory stem cells from a small number of blood stem cells obtained from bone marrow taking a giant step towards the development of a revolutionary treatment based on these stem cells.

(A) have succeeded in producing a large amount of laboratory stem cells from a small number of blood stem cells obtained from bone marrow taking

(B) have succeeded in producing a large amount of laboratory stem cells from a less number of blood stem cells obtained from bone marrow, taking

(C) having succeeded in producing a large number of laboratory stem cells from a small number of blood stem cells obtained from bone marrow, taking

(D) has succeeded in producing a huge amount of laboratory stem cells from a small number of blood stem cells obtained from bone marrow, taking

(E) has succeeded in producing a large number of laboratory stem cells from a small number of blood stem cells obtained from bone marrow, taking

Correct Answer: E

Solution –

STOP- Did you solve the question on your own first?

No? Let’s scroll back up!

Yes? Great!

Step 1: Understanding Intended Meaning

A team of scientists from the Institute for Research in Cancer at Montréal have succeeded

  • We are talking about a team of scientists. So the subject is a group noun “team” which is singular.
  • Ignoring the prepositional phrase “from….Montreal” modifying the noun “a team” we have the plural verb “have” for the singular noun “a team”
    • SV pair does not agree in number
  • Correct version: team….has succeeded in something

in producing a large amount of laboratory stem cells from a small number of blood stem cells

  • Incorrect modifier used
    • The use of the modifier “amount” is not accepted with countable nouns, in this case “stem cells”
    • Correct version: a large number of stem cells
  • So, a team…has succeeded in producing a large number of stem cells from a small number of blood stem cells

obtained from bone marrow taking a giant step towards the development of a revolutionary treatment based on these stem cells.

  • “Obtained” is a modifier modifying “blood stem cells”. So these blood stem cells were obtained from bone marrow
  • “taking” is a modifier modifying “bone marrow”.
    • MeM (modified entity +modifier) pair does not agree logically
    • The implied meaning is the bone marrow was taking a giant step.
    • Use a comma before “taking”. Then taking become a verb modifier, modifying the verb in the preceding clause – in this case “has succeeded”
    • Correct version: A team…has succeeded……. From bone marrow, taking a giant step towards the development of a revolutionary treatment based on these stem cells.

Intended meaning:

  • There is a team of scientists from the Institute for Research in Cancer at Montréal
  • This team has succeeded in producing a large number of stem cells from a small number of blood stem cells which were obtained from bone marrow.
  • The success has led the team to take a giant step towards the development of a revolutionary treatment based on these stem cells.

Step 2: Eliminate choices with identified errors

Checking for five aspects

  1. Golden rules
    1. SV pair does not agree in number
    1. MeM (modified entity +modifier) pair does not agree logically
    1. Incorrect modifier used
  2. Meaning
    1. Illogical
  3. Lists
    1. No error
  4. Tenses
    1. No error
  5. Idioms

Eliminate –

The following choice/s have one or more of the errors present in Choice A.

Choices B and D

Step 3: Evaluate meaning of remaining choices

To be done for Option C and E . Detailed out below each choice –

  • Choice A Analysis
    Incorrect and Eliminated in Step 2
  • Choice B Analysis
    Incorrect and Eliminated in Step 2
  • Choice C Analysis

Fitting in the original sentence:

A team of scientists from the Institute for Research in Cancer at Montréal having succeeded in producing a large amount of laboratory stem cells from a small number of blood stem cells obtained from bone marrow, taking a giant step towards the development of a revolutionary treatment based on these stem cells.

  • The subject “A team” does not have any verb in the entire sentence, thus making the above choice incorrect
    • SV does not exist in pairs

Incorrect Choice.

  • Choice D Analysis
    Incorrect and Eliminated in Step 2
  • Choice E Analysis

Fitting in the original sentence

A team of scientists from the Institute for Research in Cancer at Montréal has succeeded in producing a large number of laboratory stem cells from a small number of blood stem cells obtained from bone marrow, taking a giant step towards the development of a revolutionary treatment based on these stem cells.

  • Logical
  • Clear,
  • Same as the intended meaning

Correct Choice.

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