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The governement predicts that, for counsumers

by Guest Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:57 pm

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RonPurewal
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by RonPurewal Sat Oct 20, 2007 1:28 am

Please don't do this (attach verbal problems as image files). Also, please post some sort of question along with the problem (which answer choices do you see as possible candidates? which have you already eliminated?)

I'll assume that the question is "why A and not E?"

The problem with choice E is in the placement of the modifier ("For consumers and businesses making a large number of..."). Since this comes before the main clause, "the government predicts...", the implication is that the government is making a prediction for the sake of those consumers and businesses: the prediction is "for" them - and may not even mean that their rates will fall!

Choice A, on the other hand, correctly captures the intended meaning of the sentence: The government is making a general prediction (it's not a prediction aimed at anybody in particular), about the rate cuts that will be experienced by certain individuals.
rschunti
 
 

few clarifications

by rschunti Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:59 pm

Can we say that options "B" and "C" are out because of passive voice "will be greatly reduced". And option "D" is out because there is no verb-->"the government prediction that the Federal....".

In option "E" the only error is becasue propositional phrase "For....." comes before main clause? When you write a sentence like this <prepositional phrase>,<main clause> then why intended meaning of "will grately reduce cost" is not applicable to the "consumers and businesses.."? What is the rule that govern this?
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by RonPurewal Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:24 am

please re-type the question into the text window, for the benefit of both fellow users and moderators. thanks.
rschunti
 
 

I am re-typing the question in text format as mentioned

by rschunti Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:30 pm

The government predicts that, for consumers and businesses that make a large number of long-distance calls, the Federal communication's recent telephone rate cuts will greatly reduce costs, though some consumer groups disagree with the government's estimates, suggesting they are too optimistic.
A. The government predicts that, for consumers and businesses that make a large number of long-distance calls, the Federal communication's recent telephone rate cuts will greatly reduce costs,
B. The government predicts that costs will be greatly reduced for consumers and businesses that make a large number of long-distance calls by the Federal Communication Commission's telephone rate cuts,
C. The government's prediction is, for consumers and businesses making a large number of long-distance calls, costs will be greatly reduced by the recent telephone rate cuts made by the Federal Communications Commission,
D. For consumers and businesses that make large number of long-distance calls, the government prediction that the Federal Communication's recent telephone rate cuts will greatly reduce costs,
E. For consumers and businesses making a large number of long-distance calls, the government predicts that the recent telephone rate cuts that the Federal Communications Commission has made will greatly reduce costs,
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Re: few clarifications

by RonPurewal Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:57 am

rschunti wrote:Can we say that options "B" and "C" are out because of passive voice "will be greatly reduced". And option "D" is out because there is no verb-->"the government prediction that the Federal....".

In option "E" the only error is becasue propositional phrase "For....." comes before main clause? When you write a sentence like this <prepositional phrase>,<main clause> then why intended meaning of "will grately reduce cost" is not applicable to the "consumers and businesses.."? What is the rule that govern this?


the passive voice is indeed a problem, because it's unnecessary. (remember that the passive voice should only be employed when there's a fairly compelling reason to use it.) in choice b especially, there's also an unacceptably long distance between the passive-voice action (will be greatly reduced) and the agent of that action (by the ...).

one thing you should definitely notice in choice c is the wordiness of 'the government's prediction is'. constructions like that, which can easily be replaced by more compact forms ('the government predicts') with no change in meaning, are ALWAYS wrong. (also, you need the word 'that' after 'is'.)

the prepositional phrase at the beginning of choice e is an example of a dangling modifier: one isn't quite sure exactly what it's supposed to modify. according to the strict rules followed by the gmat, this phrase should technically modify the action directly following the comma (the government predicts), which doesn't make sense: the government is not making predictions for the benefit of consumers and businesses (rather, it is merely making projections).
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Comma after that

by virgo_rookie Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:16 am

Hi Ron,
I am a bit confused over the explanation given for choosing between A & E. Somehow both A & E limit the cost saving to consumers & business hence E that way sounds similar in meaning to A. Secondly in choice A, "that" is followed by a comma, is that correct? I am not too sure if we can use comma after that. Is there any other reason/explanation possible from your side? Except for that comma rest everythign looks fine. As for E not able to differentiate the meaning intended(or mis-intended)
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Comma

by esledge Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:17 pm

To see that the comma is OK in (A), you might try reading it without the phrase set off by commas:
"The government predicts that the Federal communication's recent telephone rate cuts will greatly reduce costs..."
= X predicts that Y will Z.

You could also read it as if that limiting phrase is parenthetical:
"The government predicts that (for consumers and businesses that make a large number of long-distance calls) the Federal communication's recent telephone rate cuts will greatly reduce costs... "
= X predicts that (just for some people) Y will Z.

The meaning difference boils down to the placement of the "for" phrase. What exactly is FOR the people and companies mentioned? If it is the fact that the rate cuts will reduce their costs, then place the phrase close to that, as in (A). If it is the government, or the government prediction, then place the phrase next to "the government predicts," as in (E).
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H
 
 

by H Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:31 am

Hi, I wonder why the "that" in A is okay.
I think that I have read in OG (not 100% positive) that "that" as a relative pronoun to introduce a relative clause can only refer to a person.
Am I misunderstanding it?
Thanks in advance.
H
 
 

by H Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:02 am

correction: "can only refer to a person" should read "can only refer to something other than a person"
sorry...
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by RonPurewal Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:42 am

H wrote:Hi, I wonder why the "that" in A is okay.
I think that I have read in OG (not 100% positive) that "that" as a relative pronoun to introduce a relative clause can only refer to a person.
Am I misunderstanding it?
Thanks in advance.


that's a really good question. this is what i'm going to call a "cyborg noun": a compound noun of which one component is a person and another component isn't.

i'm going out on a limb here (i.e., guessing), but my best hypothesis is that, for such "cyborg nouns", you should use the relative pronoun that works for the CLOSER component of the compound noun.
in other words, if it says "persons and businesses", you should follow it up with "that", corresponding to "businesses".
if it says "businesses and persons", you should follow it up with "who", corresponding to "persons".

in other words, my rule works in much the same way as does the singular/plural verb choice for nouns joined by "either/or" or "neither/nor".

i'll see if there are other opinions from our staff.
H
 
 

by H Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:00 am

Indeed, I have another general question related to this topic.

For sure, there isn't a problem to use "who" as a relative pronoun to refer to a person or people.

However, is it okay to use "that" as a relative pronoun to refer to something (non-cyborg noun) that is not a person?

When I flipped couple books, I found:

Garner's Modern American Usage: "That, of course, is permissible when referring to humans." examples he offered: 1. the people that were present... 2. the people who were present... Then, the author said, "Editiors tend, however, to prefer the latter phrasing".

Hand Book of Good English: "That as a relative pronoun can refer to a person, as in the child that I saw."

I tried to find out in OG10/11 and Prep, but it is hard to find out, and I don't remember if any OG explanation explicitly states something related to my question.

If anyone happens to remember that OG/Prep has such example or explanation, please post. Really appreciate..

Thanks in advance.
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by JonathanSchneider Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:04 pm

It is clearly okay to use "that" to refer to a non-person.

Do you mean to ask if it is okay to use "that" to refer to a person?

I doubt that you will be tested strictly on "that" versus "who" when refering to a person, as this could be seen as debatable. If I were to see a split like that, I would pick "who" only if there were no other choices. However, I imagine in such a case there would be something more definitively wrong with one choice or the other.
H
 
 

by H Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:38 am

Umm...yes, I made a typo, my question should be "is it okay to use "that" as a relative pronoun to refer to something (non-cyborg noun) that is a person?"
thanks Jonathan.
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Re: The governement predicts that, for counsumers

by deadpig1987hahaha Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:12 am

I have more problems about passive voice and the concept of "agent"
In choice B:
...will be greatly reduced...by the FCC's recent telephone rate cuts.
the agent of that action "˜reduce" is "telephone rate cuts" here.
But in my understanding, "FCC" is the agent of this action while "telephone rate cuts" is the cause\reason of this action. But I don't know if I have correct understanding of "˜the agent"

Can you tell me that this usage here in option B "reduced by rate cuts" is:
(A). Okay
(B). Just a little awkward
(C). definitely wrong
??
Last edited by deadpig1987hahaha on Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.