GMATPaper : As measured by the Commerce

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GMATPaper : As measured by the Commerce

by NandishSS » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:28 pm

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As measured by the Commerce Department, corporate profits peaked in the fourth quarter of 1988 and have slipped since then, as many companies have been unable to pass on higher costs.

(A) and have slipped since then, as many companies have been unable to pass on higher costs
(B) and have slipped since then, the reason being because many companies have been unable to pass on higher costs
(C) and slipped since then, many companies being unable to pass on higher costs
(D) but, many companies unable to pass on higher costs, they have slipped since then
(E) yet are slipping since then, because many companies were unable to pass on higher costs

HI Guru/ Ceilidh

Can you pls help me with POE of this SC.

In D if we remove many companies unable to pass on higher costs does it not make sense?

Thanks
Nandish

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by [email protected] » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:16 pm

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Hello Nandish!

Thanks for your question! Since you want to focus on option D specifically, let's start there. Here is what option D would look like if we added it to the rest of the sentence:

As measured by the Commerce Department, corporate profits peaked in the fourth quarter of 1988 but, many companies unable to pass on higher costs, they have slipped since then.

If we remove the phrase "many companies unable to pass on higher costs," like you said, here is what we have left:

As measured by the Commerce Department, corporate profits peaked in the fourth quarter of 1988 but they have slipped since then.

While this does make sense without that phrase added in, there is still a punctuation error that hasn't been addressed:

As measured by the Commerce Department, corporate profits peaked in the fourth quarter of 1988 but they have slipped since then.

There should be a comma before the conjunction "but" in the sentence. So, even if we were to remove that nonsense phrase, it's still not the correct choice because it's missing a very important comma. We also have a problem with the vague pronoun "they." It's not clear if "they" is referring back to the Commerce Department, companies, or corporate profits.

I hope that helps!

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You also asked about the best POE to tackle this question, so here's my take on it:

Since this question mainly deals with punctuation with conjunctions, the best way to tackle it is to check that all conjunctions have proper punctuation. Here is how each option would break down:

(A) and have slipped since then, as many companies have been unable to pass on higher costs
This is CORRECT because "as" is coordinating conjunction that only needs a comma before it.

(B) and have slipped since then, the reason being because many companies have been unable to pass on higher costs
This is INCORRECT because there is no conjunction after the comma, and that creates a comma splice. To fix this, you would have to add a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so), or add in a semicolon or period to break it up into two independent clauses.

(C) and slipped since then, many companies being unable to pass on higher costs
This is INCORRECT because it's missing a conjunction after the comma. To fix this, you could add "with" after the comma to help it sound better.

(D) but, many companies unable to pass on higher costs, they have slipped since then
As we discussed above, D is INCORRECT because it needs a comma before the coordinating conjunction "but."

(E) yet are slipping since then, because many companies were unable to pass on higher costs
This is INCORRECT because it needs a comma before the coordinating conjunction "yet," and it does NOT need a comma before the subordinating conjunction "because."

I also hope this helps!


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by Nick0203 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:02 am

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B and C can be ruled out because of the unnecessary use of 'being'.
D is awkward in "but many...they have"
E is not parallel because of 'slipping' and 'were unable'.
A is the best choice.

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by ceilidh.erickson » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:54 am

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NandishSS wrote: HI Guru/ Ceilidh

Can you pls help me with POE of this SC.

In D if we remove many companies unable to pass on higher costs does it not make sense?

Thanks
Nandish
Hm, I'm inclined to think that the sentence would NOT work as you suggested:
... corporate profits peaked in the fourth quarter of 1988 but they have slipped since then

The word "peaked" already implies that it was a high point, naturally followed by lower values. The contrast word "but" wouldn't be necessary here, and "and" would be preferred.

That said, if I read that sentence in a newspaper, I wouldn't think it was illogical or incorrect. I really doubt that the GMAT would test you on meaning distinctions that subtle. I think this is one of those cases where either phrasing is acceptable: "they peaked in 1988 and have slipped since" or "they peaked in 1988 but have slipped since."

The real reasons to eliminate D are:
- "many companies unable" does not work as a modifier. We would have to turn it into a dependent clause ("because companies are unable...") or, less preferably, a prepositional phrase ("with companies unable...") to make it work as a modifier.
- "they" is ambiguous. Is it the companies or the profit?

The issue is not the comma. Coordinating conjunctions only need a comma before them when they are separating 2 independent clauses ("I tried, but I failed.") or a list of 3+ items (X, Y, and Z). We do not need a comma in a list of verbs that refer to the same subject: ("I tried but failed").

Hope this helps.
Ceilidh Erickson
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Harvard Graduate School of Education

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by vietnam47 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:39 am

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NandishSS wrote:As measured by the Commerce Department, corporate profits peaked in the fourth quarter of 1988 and have slipped since then, as many companies have been unable to pass on higher costs.

(A) and have slipped since then, as many companies have been unable to pass on higher costs
(B) and have slipped since then, the reason being because many companies have been unable to pass on higher costs
(C) and slipped since then, many companies being unable to pass on higher costs
(D) but, many companies unable to pass on higher costs, they have slipped since then
(E) yet are slipping since then, because many companies were unable to pass on higher costs

B is grammatical. we can use noun+noun modifier to modify a clause
I reduce using air con, with state increasing electricity price.
but B is wrong meaningly. we can not say
the reason is because the price is high
instead, we say
the reason is that price is high.
if we insert
the reason being that many companies....
B can be correct.