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general doubt

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bounce87 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Posted:
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general doubt

Post Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:26 am
why can't "outlining his strategy" modify the plan rather than the person himself?

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Post Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:10 pm

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Post Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:06 pm
I assume that you're referring to this question, #717 in OG2017. (In the future, please attach the full text of the question and cite your source):

Quote:
Outlining his strategy for nursing the troubled conglomerate back to health, the chief executive’s plans were announced on Wednesday for cutting the company’s huge debt by selling nearly $12 billion in assets over the next 18 months.

(A) executive’s plans were announced on Wednesday for cutting the company’s huge debt by selling nearly $12 billion in assets over the next 18 months
(B) executive’s plans, which are to cut the company’s huge debt by selling nearly $12 billion in assets over the next 18 months, were announced on Wednesday
(C) executive’s plans for cutting the company’s huge debt by selling nearly $12 billion in assets over the next 18 months were announced on Wednesday
(D) executive announced plans Wednesday to cut the company’s huge debt by selling nearly $12 billion in assets over the next 18 months
(E) executive announced plans Wednesday that are to cut the company’s huge debt by selling nearly $12 billion in assets over the next 18 months
It's possible (and would generally be considered acceptable) to say "the plans outlined a strategy..." Technically, the active voice would make more sense: the strategy is outlined (by someone) in the plan. Inanimate objects such as "plans" cannot really perform active verbs. However, conventional usage allows the active voice in these situations (there is an example in this very sentence!).

The GMAT will usually use the passive voice - or switch the subject altogether - in these cases, though.

Another issue is that when there is a pronoun in an opening modifier (in this case "his"), the SUBJECT that comes directly after the modifier should be the noun that this pronoun is replacing. If the sentence begins "outlining his strategy, ________..." the subject must be a person.

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