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 Post subject: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are
 Post Posted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 10:56 pm 
On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed to be the rate that trees grow, as seen in the rings visible in the cross sections of their trunks.


A. On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are believed to be the rate that trees grow
B. On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are, it is believed, the rate of tree growth
C. On Earth, the rate at which trees grow is believed to be among the surest indications of sunspot cycles
D. Among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles, believed to be the tree growth rate
E. Among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles is believed to be the rate at which trees grow


In this question how do I decide between A/E. I understand that Rate That is not GREAT but even surest indications on Earth of sunspot ( This means that a different earth exists that belongs to Sunspot cycles).

The other split is IS/ARE if this is a Inverted Subject-verb combo. How do I spot this inversion?


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:30 am 
regarding the is/are split, you can flip it around by saying 'the rate IS among the surest indicators...'


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:02 pm 
Any specific tip/trick to spot the inversion ---Generally in passive sentences? as it's her "ARE BELIEVED?


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:57 am 
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ManhattanGMAT Staff


Posts: 13165
you can spot the inversion because there is nothing before 'are' that could possibly be a subject. the entire preceding portion of the sentence is a giant prepositional phrase.

the placement of 'on earth' is also much better in e than in a.
- e says what it's supposed to say: we're looking at indications that are on earth. (this answer choice implies that better indicators are available elsewhere - presumably closer to the sun.)
- a says that tree growth is believed to be a good indicator by people on earth (--> martians beg to differ).

and finally, yes, 'the rate that' is simply... wrong. things don't 'happen a rate'; they happen at a rate, so that preposition has to stay. same reason you can say 'the grocery store at which i bought that food', and not 'the grocery store that i bought that food'.


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:28 pm 
tutor
but why is C wrong?


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:24 am 
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ManhattanGMAT Staff


Posts: 13165
some things wrong with c:
* the placement of 'on earth' is just as problematic as in choice a (again, the sentence seems to be saying that residents of other planets disagree with us).
* 'as seen in the rings...' is a modifier that must be placed next to the thing that it modifies, which is 'the rate at which trees grow'. the way choice c is currently written, it says that indications of sunspot cycles can be seen directly in the rings - and it also implies that sunspot cycles (instead of trees) have rings!


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:53 pm 
I am still confused.
What does the sentence look like without the inversion?

Like this?
The rate at which trees grow, as seen in the rings visible in the cross sections of their trunks, is believed to be among the surest indications on Earth of sunspot cycles.

The rate at which tree grow...is believed to be among the surest indications...is kind of weird to me.

Did I construct it incorrectly?

Thanks in advance.


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:52 pm 
bump =P


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 Post subject: QA PLEASE
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:25 am 
what is q? what does bump mean? What is still wrong with C. I dont see it.


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:25 am 
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Posts: 7707
Location: San Francisco
bump just means the person was posting to lift the problem in the queue.

Hei, just FYI, we work from oldest to newest. So don't bump the problem or you'll be later in the queue! :)
(Unless it falls to the second page - then do bump it or it will get lost.)

An inversion is when the subject of the sentence comes after the verb. In many of the choices, this occurs. If we look at A, we have the following prepositional phrases:
"on earth"
"among the surest indications"
"of sunspot cycles"

Prepositional phrases don't contain the main subjects of sentences, but these are the only words before "are believed to be" - so the subject must come after the verb.

What is or are believed to be? If I strip it down: The rate is believed to be among the indications...
I agree it sounds kind of weird, but it's grammatically correct.

As for C, it implies first that this belief is only true "on earth" - but maybe people living on other planets have different views. That's nonsensical. The ending "indications of sunspot cycles, as seen in the rings visible..." also implies that the rings are in the indications of sunspot cycles (the stuff after the comma modifies the stuff before the comma). That's also nonsensical - we see evidence of the tree growth rate in the rings, not sunspot cycles.

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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:00 pm 
Can someone flesh out the below concept? I feel like i only know enough to be dangerous.

"and finally, yes, 'the rate that' is simply... wrong. things don't 'happen a rate'; they happen at a rate, so that preposition has to stay. same reason you can say 'the grocery store at which i bought that food', and not 'the grocery store that i bought that food'."


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:10 am 
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ManhattanGMAT Staff


Posts: 13165
Anonymous wrote:
Can someone flesh out the below concept? I feel like i only know enough to be dangerous.

"and finally, yes, 'the rate that' is simply... wrong. things don't 'happen a rate'; they happen at a rate, so that preposition has to stay. same reason you can say 'the grocery store at which i bought that food', and not 'the grocery store that i bought that food'."


in general, you can't say "the X that NOUN VERB" unless X is the direct object of the VERB. by definition, this means that you should be able to turn around the sentence so that it says "NOUN VERB X".

for instance, i can say "james hit the ball", so this can be turned around to "the ball that james hit..."

on the other hand, i can't say that "this process happens rate X", so, therefore, i can't write "the rate that this process happens".
instead, i have to use the preposition "at", because that preposition occurs in the idiomatically correct version of the first sentence:
"this process happens at rate X" --> "the rate at which this process happens"

hth


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 Post subject: Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:43 pm 
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Course Students


Posts: 144
Is believe followed by TO BE?
I have seen many sentences with the structure "I believe THAT" or "It is believed TO BE"....

Is there any difference? I assume that both are correct


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 Post subject: Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:50 am 
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ManhattanGMAT Staff


Posts: 13165
cesar.rodriguez.blanco wrote:
Is believe followed by TO BE?
I have seen many sentences with the structure "I believe THAT" or "It is believed TO BE"....

Is there any difference? I assume that both are correct


they're both correct. they are, however, very different.

the first is in the active voice, so the subject refers to the person holding the belief.
ex:
i believe that the moon is square.
in this case, i hold the belief that the moon is square.

the second is in the passive voice, so the subject refers to the thing about which the belief is held.
ex:
the moon is believed to be square by certain people.
in this case, the mentioned beliefs are held about the moon.

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 Post subject: Re: On Earth, among the surest indications of sunspot cycles are
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:20 am 
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Students


Posts: 5
RonPurewal wrote:
you can spot the inversion because there is nothing before 'are' that could possibly be a subject. the entire preceding portion of the sentence is a giant prepositional phrase.


refrering to above reasoning I selected option D, which is incorrect, in the following SC:
[edited out OG #86]

I right away crossed A,B&C using the same reason that 'in its profits' is a prepositional phrase so rel. pronoun 'which cannot refer to 'profits'

Anybody please help me on this


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