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MGMAT SC Question - Berlin Wall

This topic has 4 member replies
highflier_2000 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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MGMAT SC Question - Berlin Wall

Post Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:34 pm
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    Need help with this question , Difficulty (600 - 700)

    Since 1989, after the Berlin Wall had been demolished, one of the most problematic ethnic groups in the reunified Germany, in cultural and economic assimilation terms, were the former East Germans, who have had to acclimate to an entirely different political system.

    A. after the Berlin Wall had been demolished, one of the most problematic ethnic groups in the reunified German, in cultural and economic assimilation terms, were the former East Germans

    B. after the Berlin Wall was demolished, one of the most problematic ethnic groups in the reunified Germany, in cultural terms as well as those of economic assimilation, were the former East Germans

    C. when the Berlin Wall was demolished, one of the reunified Germany's most problematic ethnic groups, in terms of cultural and economic assimilation, was the former East Germans

    D. when the Berlin Wall was demolished, one of the most problematic ethnic groups in the reunified Germany, in terms of cultural and economic assimilation, has been the former East Germans

    E. after the Berlin Wall had been demolished, one of the most problematic ethnic groups in the reunified Germany, in both terms of cultural and economic assimilation, have been the former East Germans

    OA D



    The explanation given is The subject of the sentence is "one of the most problematic ethnic groups", a singular noun. The verb, however, is "were," which is plural. We need to find a choice that uses a singular verb instead.

    But what I don't understand is from the Beat the GMAT flash cards the item titled " One of the" suggests to use 'plural verb' with 'One of the'..

    Can someone explain this question so I can understand ? Appreciate it guys..

    Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums!
    chendawg Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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    Post Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:19 pm
    This topic was covered by the great lunarpower in a previous post. Here's the link:

    http://www.beatthegmat.com/one-of-the-t40356.html

    Cliffs notes version:

    Basically, it comes down to the intended meaning of the sentence.

    If the meaning of the sentence is that the "one of the" is the ONLY one, then the verb is supposed to be singular.

    I.E. Marina is the only one of the girls who has ever been to India.

    If the meaning of the sentence is that the "one of the" is PART of many, then the verb is plural.

    I.E. That's one of the birds that fly over my house at night.

    In answer choice D, the meaning of the sentence is that the former East Germans were THE most problematic, hence it has to be singular, since ONLY one group can be the most problematic.

    Hope this helps!

    highflier_2000 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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    Post Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:44 pm
    Thank you..

    pesfunk Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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    Post Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:12 pm
    "Since 1989" says that this is in continuous tense.
    Thus, option A, B and C eliminated.

    Between option D and E, chose D for "HAS BEEN".

    highflier_2000 wrote:
    Need help with this question , Difficulty (600 - 700)

    Since 1989, after the Berlin Wall had been demolished, one of the most problematic ethnic groups in the reunified Germany, in cultural and economic assimilation terms, were the former East Germans, who have had to acclimate to an entirely different political system.

    A. after the Berlin Wall had been demolished, one of the most problematic ethnic groups in the reunified German, in cultural and economic assimilation terms, were the former East Germans

    B. after the Berlin Wall was demolished, one of the most problematic ethnic groups in the reunified Germany, in cultural terms as well as those of economic assimilation, were the former East Germans

    C. when the Berlin Wall was demolished, one of the reunified Germany's most problematic ethnic groups, in terms of cultural and economic assimilation, was the former East Germans

    D. when the Berlin Wall was demolished, one of the most problematic ethnic groups in the reunified Germany, in terms of cultural and economic assimilation, has been the former East Germans

    E. after the Berlin Wall had been demolished, one of the most problematic ethnic groups in the reunified Germany, in both terms of cultural and economic assimilation, have been the former East Germans

    OA D



    The explanation given is The subject of the sentence is "one of the most problematic ethnic groups", a singular noun. The verb, however, is "were," which is plural. We need to find a choice that uses a singular verb instead.

    But what I don't understand is from the Beat the GMAT flash cards the item titled " One of the" suggests to use 'plural verb' with 'One of the'..

    Can someone explain this question so I can understand ? Appreciate it guys..

    Anaira Mitch Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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    Post Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:22 am
    The subject of the sentence is "one of the most problematic ethnic groups", a singular noun.
    The verb, however, is "were," which is plural. We need to find a choice that uses a singular
    verb instead.

    (A) This choice is the same as the original sentence.

    (B) This choice does not correct the subject-verb issue; it still uses "were" to refer to "group."

    (C) This choice uses the singular "was," but the simple past is not the appropriate tense here because
    of the ongoing nature of the problem. Moreover, "the reunified Germany's most problematic ethnic
    groups" is an awkward construction.

    (D) CORRECT. This choice uses the singular "has been," which is also in the present perfect tense,
    indicating the ongoing nature of the problem. Moreover, "in terms of cultural and economic
    assimilation" is a more idiomatic and elegant phrasing than that of the original.

    (E) This choice does not correct the subject-verb issue; it uses "have been" to refer to "group."

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