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"One of the..."

by sk8ternite » Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:25 pm
On one of the GMAT flash cards created by this site, it states that:

One of the + PLURAL NOUN + THAT/WHO + SINGULAR VERB.
"He is one of the persons who bakes special cakes." (beat the gmat notes)

Is this correct, I thought the proper structure was

One of the + PLURAL NOUN + that/who + PLURAL VERB
"He is one of the persons who make money." (Sahil Notes)

Please clarify?

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by som_frodo » Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:59 pm
"He is one of the persons who bakes special cakes."
I think, "who" doesn't refer to all the persons who bake special cakes, its referring to only one of them ("He"). So the verb will be singular when you're using "one of the".
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by lunarpower » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:54 am
nope. if this is what's in the BTG notes, then the BTG notes are 100% COMPLETELY WRONG on this point.

if you have just ONE OF THE + PLURAL NOUN + WHO/THAT + ______, and it's NOT "the only one", THEN "____" MUST be a PLURAL VERB.
zero exceptions.

example:
that's one of the birds that fly over my house at night.

here's the rationale, if you care about reasons: the idea is that there is a whole group of NOUNs (whatever they are) that do ______, and we're singling out one of them.

notice that the RED-COLORED RELATIVE PRONOUN (WHO/THAT) is absolutely crucial here.
if that isn't there - i.e., if "one of the NOUNs" is actually the SUBJECT of the ____ verb - then you take a singular verb instead.
example:
one of the birds flies over the house; the other one flies past it.

--

finally, to complicate things further, THE ONLY ONE OF THE + PLURAL NOUN + WHO/THAT + ______ requires a SINGULAR verb for the "_____".
in this case, only one of the NOUNs actually does whatever "_____" refers to, so we stick with the singular verb.

example:
marina is the only one of the girls who has ever been to india.
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Re: "One of the..."

by lunarpower » Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:01 am
sk8ternite wrote:On one of the GMAT flash cards created by this site, it states that:

One of the + PLURAL NOUN + THAT/WHO + SINGULAR VERB.
"He is one of the persons who bakes special cakes." (beat the gmat notes)

Is this correct, I thought the proper structure was

One of the + PLURAL NOUN + that/who + PLURAL VERB
"He is one of the persons who make money." (Sahil Notes)

Please clarify?
you are correct. see above.

you may want to double-check to make sure that the card didn't say "THE ONLY ONE". if that's the case, then the verb should indeed be singular.

the following examples are both correct:
(1) he is one of the people who bake special cakes.
(2) he is the only one of the people who bakes special cakes.

this actually isn't as hard as pure memorization might make it seem: all you have to do is think about the LITERAL MEANING of what you're writing.
in my #1, there are lots of people who bake special cakes, so "bake" should be plural.
in my #2, the man in question is the ONLY person who bakes special cakes, so the verb should be singular.

--

here's another way to think about it: you can DECONSTRUCT the sentence, and tell exactly which noun / construction the verb "belongs" to. (i have no idea whether this is a formal grammar concept or not, but it works.)

in my #1:
PEOPLE bake cakes. (--> plural "bake")
he is one of them.
(he is not "one who bakes cakes")

in my #2:
there are a bunch of PEOPLE.
he is THE ONE who BAKES cakes. (--> singular "bakes")
(there are not "people who bake cakes")

hope this helps
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by shyamprasadrao » Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:16 am
Nice trick. This is new to me.

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Re: "One of the..."

by goelmohit2002 » Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:50 pm
lunarpower wrote:
sk8ternite wrote:On one of the GMAT flash cards created by this site, it states that:

One of the + PLURAL NOUN + THAT/WHO + SINGULAR VERB.
"He is one of the persons who bakes special cakes." (beat the gmat notes)

Is this correct, I thought the proper structure was

One of the + PLURAL NOUN + that/who + PLURAL VERB
"He is one of the persons who make money." (Sahil Notes)

Please clarify?
you are correct. see above.

you may want to double-check to make sure that the card didn't say "THE ONLY ONE". if that's the case, then the verb should indeed be singular.

the following examples are both correct:
(1) he is one of the people who bake special cakes.
(2) he is the only one of the people who bakes special cakes.

this actually isn't as hard as pure memorization might make it seem: all you have to do is think about the LITERAL MEANING of what you're writing.
in my #1, there are lots of people who bake special cakes, so "bake" should be plural.
in my #2, the man in question is the ONLY person who bakes special cakes, so the verb should be singular.

--

here's another way to think about it: you can DECONSTRUCT the sentence, and tell exactly which noun / construction the verb "belongs" to. (i have no idea whether this is a formal grammar concept or not, but it works.)

in my #1:
PEOPLE bake cakes. (--> plural "bake")
he is one of them.
(he is not "one who bakes cakes")

in my #2:
there are a bunch of PEOPLE.
he is THE ONE who BAKES cakes. (--> singular "bakes")
(there are not "people who bake cakes")

hope this helps
Hi Ron,

Looks like there is something more to it.....

Please see the link below:

https://www.beatthegmat.com/one-of-the-f ... 41375.html

Till now I too had the opinion similar to yours i.e. the set of rules for GMAT are like:

1. One of the Xs that/who <plural>
2. One of the Xs <singular>
3. only One of the Xs that/who <singular>
4. only One of the Xs that/who <singular>

But the above question seems not be following this case....can u please tell what indeed is the case ?

Thanks
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by scoobydooby » Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:54 pm
3) and 4) above seem to be same

guess 3) and 4) should read

3) the only One of the Xs that/who <singular>
(of the several people, he is the only one who does Y)

4) only One of the Xs that/who <plural> (4 is similar to 1)
(several people do Y, he is one of them)

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Re: "One of the..."

by lunarpower » Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:51 am
goelmohit2002 wrote:But the above question seems not be following this case....can u please tell what indeed is the case ?
no, the above question follows the same rule. it's actually our question (i.e., written by mgmat). the correct answer is (b).

i'll go post something over on that thread, even though it's already 3 pages long.
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Re: "One of the..."

by goelmohit2002 » Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:27 am
lunarpower wrote:
goelmohit2002 wrote:But the above question seems not be following this case....can u please tell what indeed is the case ?
no, the above question follows the same rule. it's actually our question (i.e., written by mgmat). the correct answer is (b).

i'll go post something over on that thread, even though it's already 3 pages long.
Thanks a lot Ron.

Can you please tell how to modify the below list based on your thoughts.....After so much looking around I was able to compile this set of rules. Basically can you please tell ?

a) which of the following ones are always correct
b) which ones are wrong.
c) and which ones have exceptions

==================================
1. One of the Xs that/who <plural>
2. One of the Xs <singular>
3. only One of the Xs <singular>
4. only One of the Xs that/who <singular>

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Re: "One of the..."

by lunarpower » Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:28 pm
@ goelmohit

i'll address this list, but i'll give you a warning / suggestion first.

CAVEAT:
this is one of those things that are RIDICULOUSLY hard to memorize, but is actually pretty easy just to deduce from context. so, unless you're prepared to memorize a whole lot of easily confused, easily forgotten rules that are extremely subtle, you should just think about the context and go from there.

* for instance, given
X is only one of the factors, albeit an important one, that (keep/keeps) the market from spinning out of control
it's clear that there are MANY factors, ALL of which keep the market from doing blah blah blah, and that X is just one of them.
since there are MANY factors keeping...., we should use the plural "keep".

* on the other hand, given
X is the only one of the factors that (keep/keeps) the market from spinning out of control
it's clear that there are many factors, but NONE OF THEM EXCEPT X keeps the market from doing blah blah blah.
since X is the ONLY factor keeping...., we should use the singular "keeps".

in 99.9% of these, you'll be able to just think about the context in this way, saving yourself a horrendous amount of time and effort.

--

nevertheless, IF you still feel like killing yourself with memorization, then i'll indulge you.
1. One of the Xs that/who <plural>
if this is NOT preceded by "the" or "the ADJ", then this is always plural.
(context hint: if there's no "the" or "the ADJ", then there are many X's who do this)
2. One of the Xs <singular>
if this is "one of the Xs VERB"
and NOT one of the Xs THAT verb",
then yes, this is always singular.
(context hint: nothing to indicate that any of the other Xs do this; only one is known to do it)
3. only One of the Xs <singular>
correct, as long as it's not "only one of the X's THAT..."
4. only One of the Xs that/who <singular>
this is 2 different cases.

if it's "THE only one of the X's that/who...", then it should be SINGULAR.

if it's JUST "only one of the X's that/who...", then it should be PLURAL.

--

let me emphasize again that memorizing these rules is about 65,535 times as hard as deducing the correct form from context.
Last edited by lunarpower on Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "One of the..."

by hemanth28 » Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:19 pm
lunarpower wrote:@ goelmohit

i'll address this list, but i'll give you a warning / suggestion first.

CAVEAT:
this is one of those things that is RIDICULOUSLY hard to memorize, but is actually pretty easy just to deduce from context. so, unless you're prepared to memorize a whole lot of easily confused, easily forgotten rules that are extremely subtle, you should just think about the context and go from there.

* for instance, given
X is only one of the factors, albeit an important one, that (keep/keeps) the market from spinning out of control
it's clear that there are MANY factors, ALL of which keep the market from doing blah blah blah, and that X is just one of them.
since there are MANY factors keeping...., we should use the plural "keep".

* on the other hand, given
X is the only one of the factors that (keep/keeps) the market from spinning out of control
it's clear that there are many factors, but NONE OF THEM EXCEPT X keeps the market from doing blah blah blah.
since X is the ONLY factor keeping...., we should use the singular "keeps".

in 99.9% of these, you'll be able to just think about the context in this way, saving yourself a horrendous amount of time and effort.

--

nevertheless, IF you still feel like k!II!ng yourself with memorization, then i'll indulge you.
1. One of the Xs that/who <plural>
if this is NOT preceded by "the" or "the ADJ", then this is always plural.
(context hint: if there's no "the" or "the ADJ", then there are many X's who do this)
2. One of the Xs <singular>
if this is "one of the Xs VERB"
and NOT one of the Xs THAT verb",
then yes, this is always singular.
(context hint: nothing to indicate that any of the other Xs do this; only one is known to do it)
3. only One of the Xs <singular>
correct, as long as it's not "only one of the X's THAT..."
4. only One of the Xs that/who <singular>
this is 2 different cases.

if it's "THE only one of the X's that/who...", then it should be SINGULAR.

if it's JUST "only one of the X's that/who...", then it should be PLURAL.

--

let me emphasize again that memorizing these rules is about 65,535 times as hard as deducing the correct form from context.

great post Ron ... Really appreciate your help. I got the rules a little wrong and chose option C. This detailed explanation clarifies everything.
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by goelmohit2002 » Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:46 pm
Thanks Ron. Based on the above discussion, I suppose that the set of rules becomes like:

1. One of the Xs that/who <plural>
2. One of the Xs <singular>
3. only One of the Xs <singular>
4. only One of the Xs that/who <plural>
5. "the" only One of the Xs that/who <singular>

Please tell if I am missing something here.

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by beatthegmat » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:46 pm
Sorry about this error guys. I've updated the flashcards right now. :)
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by VikingWarrior » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:23 pm
et me emphasize again that memorizing these rules is about 65,535 times as hard as deducing the correct form from context.
Roger that!
CAVEAT:
this is one of those things that is RIDICULOUSLY hard to memorize, but is actually pretty easy just to deduce from context. so, unless you're prepared to memorize a whole lot of easily confused, easily forgotten rules that are extremely subtle, you should just think about the context and go from there.
Shouldn't it be "this is one of those things that ARE RIDICULOUSLY hard to memorize...?

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by lunarpower » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:05 am
VikingWarrior wrote:Shouldn't it be "this is one of those things that ARE RIDICULOUSLY hard to memorize...?
heh. yes.
nice.

i shall go edit that.

you get a virtual beer for that one.
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