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SeC Question

Astronomers at the Palomar Observatory have discovered a distant supernova explosion, one that they believe is a type previously unknown to science.

(A) that they believe is
(B) that they believe it to be
© they believe that it is of
(D) they believe that is
(E) they believe to be of

My Question

Hello guys,

I’m not quite comfortable with choice E, even I somehow get the meaning. Why “of” in E is necessary? If it is reason that “explosion” cannot be a “type”? Also if my explanation is positive, can “that they believe is of” be a correct answer? Thanks a lot !

Best,
Roy

Roy, I explained this question in our video. If necessary, you should watch it again.

Basic knowledge 1: Idiom - believe (you can find this in our handout)
(1) believe in sb
(2) believe + that (object clause)
(3) believe sth to be

believe + double objects such as believe sth sth, believe sth that (object clause) is wrong

Basic knowledge 2: attributive clause
Example: This is a movie I like.
This is a correct sentence. “I like” is the attributive clause in this sentence.
This sentence is composed of 2 simple sentences:
This is a movie. I like the movie.
Then, combined as “This is a movie that I like” where the word “that” refers to “movie”

In formal written English, when “that” serves as object in the attributive clause, such as the example above, we MUST omit it. Therefore, we come up with our final sentence: This is a movie I like.

Similarly for Choice E
, one they believe to be of a type
"they believe to be of a type…" is the attributive clause used to modify “one”=explosion.

So before omitting "that"
it is like the following:
“one that they believe to be of a type…” where “that” serves as the object of “believe” - even it is omitted but it is still there!

Thus, if you put the attributive clause back to simple sentence it is:
they believe that (=one=explosion) to be of a type - right idiom.

Similarly, you can analyze why the other choices are wrong.

I hope your intention is not to ask me why "believe sth to be " is the right idiom. For idioms, there is no why. It is commonly accepted in the development of the language and then becomes a standard. All you need to do is to memorize it.

No, I understand that idiom is simply what it is. My confusion was on the usage of “of”.

Thanks for this comprehensive explanation, I really appreciate! However, my question is: Can I get rid of the “of” in choice E. Why is that “of” necessary?

I think I didn’t explain my question well. I’m sorry about that.

Thank you again for volunteering your time to help me.

Have a wonderful night!

Best,
Roy

A be of B, “of B” services as the predicative (表语)of “be”, “be of a type” thus means A “belongs to” and thus necessary.

“explosion is a type” is illogical.

Rather than spending time on these details that are not tested in GMAT, you are recommended to spend more time on the “testing points” such as present participle (doing), pronoun, tense, comparative degree and so on.

Sure thing.