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## Qs Pack 1 - The airline's proposed purchases of as many as 2

tagged by: ceilidh.erickson

This topic has 4 expert replies and 3 member replies
ngk4mba3236 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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#### Qs Pack 1 - The airline's proposed purchases of as many as 2

Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:59 pm
The airline's proposed purchases of as many as 250 medium-range planes will probably be the basis of an overhaul of its routes; it is expected that they will increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, instead of continue to use feeder aircraft to bring passengers to major hubs.

(A) it is expected that they will increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, instead of continue
(B) it is expected that it will increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, rather than to continue
(C) it is expected that the number of direct point-to-point flights will increase, instead of their continuing
(D) the airline is expected to increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, rather than continue
(E) the airline is expected to increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, instead of its continuing

OA is D

hi experts,
please share your analysis on B.
what are the errors in B ? is there any pronoun ambiguity for the pronoun "it" ?

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GMATGuruNY GMAT Instructor
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Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:19 am
ngk4mba3236 wrote:
ngk4mba3236 wrote:
ceilidh,
on GMAT SC, an OA can contain both a placeholder "it" and a pronoun "it" with clear logical referent.

such grammatical construction WON'T be considered INCORRECT. right ?
ceilidh,
so you essentially mean that though it's very unlikely that a GMAT OA will contain the abovementioned grammatical construction, we simply can't right away eliminate an answer choice solely based on this grammatical construction, rather we should look for other valid errors in that answer choice,if possible.

did I understand you properly ?
On the GMAT, a "placeholder" it -- also known as an EXPLETIVE -- will always have a clear referent.
For an explanation, check my second post here:
http://www.beatthegmat.com/sentence-structure-t282034.html
The first OA in this post combines an expletive usage of it with a typical usage of it.
As long as the referent for each usage is crystal clear, this sort of construction should be considered viable.

B: The airline's proposed purchases of as many as 250 medium-range planes will probably be the basis of an overhaul of its routes; it is expected that it will increase the number of direct point-to-point flights.
Here, the referent for the first usage of it is the that-clause in red.
Conveyed meaning:
That it will increase the number of direct point-to-point flights is expected.
One issue here is that the referent for the it in red is unclear.
The intended referent seems to be airline, but a reader might logically construe that the it in red serves to refer to overhaul, conveying that the OVERHAUL will increase the number of direct point-to-point flights.
Since the it in red lacks a clear referent -- and an alternate answer choice avoids this ambiguity and is free of errors -- eliminate B.

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ngk4mba3236 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:11 am
gmatguru,
with reference to the above discussion on "placeholder" or "EXPLETIVE" it, can you please clarify why the use of it as "placeholder" is wrong in option B of this sc - Restorers say that ?

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ceilidh.erickson GMAT Instructor
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Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:27 pm
"IT" is a tricky issue in SC!

Generally, we're told that every pronoun must have a clear and present antecedent. However, in English, "it" is also used in set expressions, or to describe general states of being. We can think of it as a placeholder for "the situation" or "things":

It is raining
It seems like you're unhappy.
It's a shame that you couldn't come
It pays to learn grammar
It doesn't matter
Forget about it!
It isn't as bad as you think

All of these usages are perfectly correct.

It's rare (<-- see what I did there?) to see this vague, general "it" tested in GMAT SC, though, because it doesn't always conform to (easily expressed) rules. In the few examples of SC sentences that have this usage of "it" in the underlined portion, most of the time the right answer switches the structure to get rid of "it." There are a few examples that have this usage in correct answers, though (I'll link to those later).

Much of the time, a set expression with "it" will create a PASSIVE structure that might otherwise be ACTIVE.
It is expected that the test will be hard --> The test will likely be hard. or Students expect the test to be hard.
It seems like you're angry with me. --> You seem angry with me. or I perceive that you're angry with me.

Remember, though, that PASSIVE IS NOT WRONG! Active is simply preferred when the meaning is otherwise equal.

Now to your example sentence...

Quote:
The airline's proposed purchases of as many as 250 medium-range planes will probably be the basis of an overhaul of its routes; it is expected that they will increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, instead of continue to use feeder aircraft to bring passengers to major hubs.

(A) it is expected that they will increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, instead of continue
(B) it is expected that it will increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, rather than to continue
(C) it is expected that the number of direct point-to-point flights will increase, instead of their continuing
(D) the airline is expected to increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, rather than continue
(E) the airline is expected to increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, instead of its continuing
There is no issue with using "it is expected..." to complete that sentence. A, B, and C each had other issues:

(A) it is expected that they will increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, instead of continue
- We cannot use "they" to refer to "the airline."
- the idiomatic construction "instead of" should only take a NOUN as its object, not a verb.

(B) it is expected that it will increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, rather than to continue
- violation of parallelism. "... that it will increase... rather than to continue..." is not parallel.
- the "it" in "it is expected" is fine. The "it" in "it will increase" refers back to "airline." But... when the word "it" appears twice in one sentence, they should both refer to the same antecedent. The grammatical jury is out on whether the generic "it" counts toward this rule... but whenever the jury is out on a particular rule, the GMAT is highly unlikely to test it.

(C) it is expected that the number of direct point-to-point flights will increase, instead of their continuing
- "their" is incorrectly trying to refer to "airline"
- the parallelism is both illogical and grammatically incorrect: "flights will increase... instead of their continuing..."

(D) the airline is expected to increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, rather than continue
Correct!

(E) the airline is expected to increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, instead of its continuing
- not parallel: "to increase... instead of its continuing..."

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ceilidh.erickson GMAT Instructor
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Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:37 pm

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ngk4mba3236 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:29 am
ceilidh.erickson wrote:
(B) it is expected that it will increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, rather than to continue
- violation of parallelism. "... that it will increase... rather than to continue..." is not parallel.
- the "it" in "it is expected" is fine. The "it" in "it will increase" refers back to "airline." But... when the word "it" appears twice in one sentence, they should both refer to the same antecedent. The grammatical jury is out on whether the generic "it" counts toward this rule... but whenever the jury is out on a particular rule, the GMAT is highly unlikely to test it.
ceilidh,
thanks for your detail explanations. few concerns to be clarified:

therefore, on GMAT SC, an OA can contain both a placeholder "it" and a pronoun "it" with clear logical referent.

such grammatical construction WON'T be considered INCORRECT. right ?

ceilidh.erickson wrote:
(D) the airline is expected to increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, rather than continue
Correct!
here in the OA, the parallelism is maintained as "to increase...rather than [to] continue".

"to" after rather than is dropped here as ellipsis. am I correct ?

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ceilidh.erickson GMAT Instructor
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Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:21 am
ngk4mba3236 wrote:
ceilidh,
thanks for your detail explanations. few concerns to be clarified:

therefore, on GMAT SC, an OA can contain both a placeholder "it" and a pronoun "it" with clear logical referent.

such grammatical construction WON'T be considered INCORRECT. right ?
This is a hard-to-answer question! I have seen examples of such a thing in major publications (NYTimes, etc) that are sticklers for grammar; some people would consider this acceptable and others would not. So, it's *possible* that you could see this in an OA on the GMAT. But I highly, highly doubt it. The GMAT OA's almost always avoid these grammatical gray areas. Again, there are always exceptions, but this isn't something I would worry about if I were you.

Quote:
ceilidh.erickson wrote:
(D) the airline is expected to increase the number of direct point-to-point flights, rather than continue
Correct!
here in the OA, the parallelism is maintained as "to increase...rather than [to] continue".

"to" after rather than is dropped here as ellipsis. am I correct ?
Correct! In parallel constructions with a single parallel marker (e.g. "rather than" or "and," as opposed to two part parallel markers such as "both... and..." or "either... or..."), we can either repeat the "to" or drop it with infinitives.

More on that here:
http://www.beatthegmat.com/survey-parallel-structure-t162831.html#557998
http://www.beatthegmat.com/sentence-correction-t275203.html#714768
http://www.beatthegmat.com/help-manhattan-sc-when-to-repeat-and-when-not-to-t274893.html#713882
http://www.beatthegmat.com/the-financial-crash-of-october-1987-demonstrated-t292750.html#782629

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ngk4mba3236 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:02 am
ngk4mba3236 wrote:
ceilidh,
on GMAT SC, an OA can contain both a placeholder "it" and a pronoun "it" with clear logical referent.

such grammatical construction WON'T be considered INCORRECT. right ?
ceilidh,
so you essentially mean that though it's very unlikely that a GMAT OA will contain the abovementioned grammatical construction, we simply can't right away eliminate an answer choice solely based on this grammatical construction, rather we should look for other valid errors in that answer choice,if possible.

did I understand you properly ?

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