## GMAT Questions - Soaring television costs accounted for more

Verbal questions from mba.com and GMAT Prep software
zhuyujun
Forum Guests

Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:44 pm

### GMAT Questions - Soaring television costs accounted for more

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

GMAT Prep Question

D&E are obviously wrong.
I am very confused among A,B and C. What does it refer to in A, and what does they refer to in C? Can we use have been in C? Please help, thanks!
RonPurewal
Students

Posts: 19747
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:23 am

### Re: GMAT Questions - Soaring television costs accounted for more

zhuyujun wrote:What does it refer to in A

it doesn't stand for anything at all.

the only singular nouns that precede it are "spending" and "the presidential campaign of 1992". clearly, neither of these is an appropriate antecedent, so this choice is just wrong.

, and what does they refer to in C? Can we use have been in C? Please help, thanks!

"they" would have to refer to "soaring television costs", by elimination: there aren't any other plural nouns.

literally, this makes no sense, since television costs weren't "soaring" in OTHER elections.
(note that you MUST take the pronoun to stand for "soaring television costs"; you are NOT allowed to extract just "television costs" and pretend that the pronoun stands only for that.)

"have been" is an even bigger problem, though, since it implies the presence of "accounting". you can't do this unless the word "accounting" is actually present elsewhere in the sentence; it isn't.
zhuyujun
Forum Guests

Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:44 pm

### Re: GMAT Questions - Soaring television costs accounted for more

Thank you so much Ron! I was not aware that the Soaring television costs should be treated as a whole. So in this case C will still be out even if they have been is changed to they were, right?
RonPurewal
Students

Posts: 19747
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:23 am

### Re: GMAT Questions - Soaring television costs accounted for more

zhuyujun wrote:Thank you so much Ron! I was not aware that the Soaring television costs should be treated as a whole. So in this case C will still be out even if they have been is changed to they were, right?

yeah.

it'd be double wrong, actually.

"they" would still be incorrect for the aforementioned reasons.
"were" would ALSO be wrong, though, because it's not parallel to anything: no other form of "to be" appears in the first part of the sentence. you can't use "were" in parallel to "accounted for".
zhuyujun
Forum Guests

Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:44 pm

### Re: GMAT Questions - Soaring television costs accounted for more

Thank you Ron!
ashish.jere
Students

Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:21 pm

### Re: GMAT Questions - Soaring television costs accounted for more

So, the OA is B for this question?

Ron Purewal, could you please confirm?

Thanks.
RonPurewal
Students

Posts: 19747
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:23 am

### Re: GMAT Questions - Soaring television costs accounted for more

ashish.jere wrote:So, the OA is B for this question?

Ron Purewal, could you please confirm?

Thanks.

it is indeed (b)
victorgsiu

Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:29 pm

### Re: GMAT Questions - Soaring television costs accounted for more

zhuyujun wrote: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

GMAT Prep Question

D&E are obviously wrong.
I am very confused among A,B and C. What does it refer to in A, and what does they refer to in C? Can we use have been in C? Please help, thanks!

When should we choose "which" vs "," and more detail?
If D was: "which is a greater proportion than", then would D be a correct choice?
chuckberry007
Students

Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:43 pm

### Re: GMAT Questions - Soaring television costs accounted for more

Which is a relative clause and must refer back to a noun. Which indicates back to the noun that do not require much emphasis.

cheers
pmal04

Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:52 am

### Re: GMAT Questions - Soaring television costs accounted for more

Hi ,
In choice B, what two thing we're comparing (if it's not the cost)?
In choice B, it seems to me:
greater X than Y where X & Y are NOT similar things.
X=proportion Y=in any previous election

Can anybody please explain how B is making sense here?
selva.e
Students

Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:39 pm

### Re: GMAT Questions - Soaring television costs accounted for more

Last edited by selva.e on Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
selva.e
Students

Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:39 pm

### Re: GMAT Questions - Soaring television costs accounted for more

in B, the proportion of costs accounted by television is compared.

i have a questions,

1) the subject in the first line is "Soaring television costs", how does it correctly modifies the half the spending in the presidential campaign (proportion)

is D wrong because of which? if yes, even B will be wrong!

Ron - how to identify when to use "pronouns" such as when,where,which,who and when to ignore those "pronouns" and use modifiers directly.

RonPurewal
Students

Posts: 19747
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:23 am

### Re: GMAT Questions - Soaring television costs accounted for more

selva.e wrote:is D wrong because of which? if yes, even B will be wrong!

why?

choice (b) doesn't contain "which", so the reasons for eliminating (d) based on "which" are irrelevant to (b).

in other words, it seems as though you're trying to extend the rules for "which" to an answer choices that doesn't even contain "which".

--

by the way, this sort of modifier (COMMA + ABSTRACT NOUN) can be used to refer back to the WHOLE IDEA of the preceding clause.

let's say that scientists discover that X is 60 percent of Y, and that they are shocked by this finding.

then:
recent studies have shown that X is 60 percent of Y, which has shocked many in the scientific community.
incorrect.
this sentence implies that Y itself has shocked many in the scientific community. that's not true.

recent studies have shown that X is 60 percent of Y, a finding that has shocked many in the scientific community.
or
recent studies have shown that X is 60 percent of Y, a statistic that has shocked many in the scientific community.
these are correct.
the abstract noun "finding" or "statistic" may refer to the whole idea of the preceding clause.

in fact, that's the whole point of these modifiers. they are fatally awkward in spoken language (i.e., you can NEVER EVER say them out loud), but they do things that more "normal-sounding" modifiers (such as "which") aren't allowed to do.

for 2 problems that use this sort of modifier, see:
* #59 in the purple OG verbal supplement (in which this sort of modifier is present in the NON underlined section)
* #79 in the same source (in which it's present in the correct answer choice)
RonPurewal
Students

Posts: 19747
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:23 am

### Re: GMAT Questions - Soaring television costs accounted for more

pmal04 wrote:Hi ,
In choice B, what two thing we're comparing (if it's not the cost)?
In choice B, it seems to me:
greater X than Y where X & Y are NOT similar things.
X=proportion Y=in any previous election

Can anybody please explain how B is making sense here?

there's ellipsis here. the understood comparison is a repeated instance of "proportion".
in contexts in which you would repeat a noun, you don't have to include the repeated noun; you may merely imply it. this is known as ellipsis.

for instance:
this year's heavyweight champion is shorter than last year's.
here, the second half of the comparison is clearly "last year's heavyweight champion", but you don't have to say "heavyweight champion" again.
ashish.jere
Students

Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:21 pm

thanks ron.