SC Question. Verbal

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SC Question. Verbal

by sumanyu » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:55 am
Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of
1992, a greater proportion than it was in any previous election.

A. a greater proportion than it was
B. a greater proportion than
C. a greater proportion than they have been
D. which is greater than was so
E. which is greater than it has been

what is the correct answer and why?

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by [email protected] » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:57 am
Hi sumanyu,

You'll likely get more of a response if you post your question in the SC Forum:

https://www.beatthegmat.com/sentence-correction-f9.html,

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by beatthegmat » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:43 am
Hi Rich,

I've moved this post to the correct forum.

Thanks,

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by GMATGuruNY » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:20 am
Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992, a greater proportion than it was in any previous election.

(a) a greater proportion than it was
(b) a greater proportion than
(c) a greater proportion than they have been
(d) which is greater than was so
(e) which is greater than it has been
In A, it lacks a clear referent.
Eliminate A.

C: than they have been in any previous election
Here, they seems to refer to soaring television costs.
Conveyed meaning:
SOARING TELEVISION COSTS accounted for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992, a greater proportion than SOARING TELEVISION COSTS have been in any previous election.
Not the intended meaning:
The point of the sentence is that television costs were NOT soaring in previous elections.
Eliminate C.

In D and E, which seems to refer to either to the campaign or to 1992, implying that either the campaign or 1992 was GREATER.
The intended meaning is that SOARING TELEVISION COSTS were greater.
Eliminate D and E.

The correct answer is B.

Another error in C: HAVE BEEN in any previous election.
These previous elections took place BEFORE the campaign in 1992.
A present perfect verb such have been -- a form of the PRESENT tense -- cannot serve to refer to elections that took place BEFORE ANOTHER PAST ACTION (accounted).
Eliminate C.
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by aflaam » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:58 pm
hello Mitch,
can you confirm my understanding of omitted word and usage of past perfect

-->Omitted word in OA is accounted. Since accounted appears in earlier part, we can drop it second part.
-->Past perfect is not used because any previous elections make sequence of events abundantly clear.

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by GMATGuruNY » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:14 am
aflaam wrote:hello Mitch,
can you confirm my understanding of omitted word and usage of past perfect

-->Omitted word in OA is accounted. Since accounted appears in earlier part, we can drop it second part.
-->Past perfect is not used because any previous elections make sequence of events abundantly clear.
The OA implies the following:
Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992, a greater proportion than [the proportion] in any previous election.

The portion in red can be considered either a SUMMATIVE MODIFIER (which serves to SUM UP the preceding clause) or an APPOSITIVE (which serves to define the preceding noun phrase).
How we classify the phrase in red is of little importance.
What matters is how this phrase FUNCTIONS.

On the GMAT, it is VERY common for an SC to end with COMMA + COMPARISON PHRASE.
The comparison phrase will generally include than or as.
The purpose of the comparison phrase will be to EXPLAIN or DEFINE a data point discussed in the preceding clause.

Official examples:
Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992, a greater proportion than in any previous election.
In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than the 1978 harvest.
Lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined
.
Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, fewer than have been killed by bee stings.
Companies in the United States are providing job training and general education for nearly eight million people, as many as are enrolled in the nation's four-year colleges and universities.


In each of the OAs above, the comparison phrase in red serves to explain the data point in blue.
As noted above, whether these comparison phrases are classified as appositives, absolute phrases, or summative modifiers is irrelevant.
What matters is how they all function:
Each serves to explain a data point in the preceding clause.
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