Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting

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Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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06 May 2009, 17:55
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Analysts blamed May’s sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise as well as the weather, colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed sales of barbecue grills and lawn furniture.

(A) colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed
(B) which was colder and wetter than usual in some regions, slowing
(C) since it was colder and wetter than usually in some regions, which slowed
(D) being colder and wetter than usually in some regions, slowing
(E) having been colder and wetter than was usual in some regions and slowed
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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06 May 2009, 18:11
kt00381n wrote:
Analysts blamed May’s sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise as well as the weather, colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed sales of barbecue grills and lawn furniture.
(A) colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed
(B) which was colder and wetter than usual in some regions, slowing
(C) since it was colder and wetter than usually in some regions, which slowed
(D) being colder and wetter than usually in some regions, slowing
(E) having been colder and wetter than was usual in some regions and slowed

A and C out
which incorrectly refers to "regions" .. it means regions slowed the sales .

Its between B and D.

slowing modifies "unexcited merchandise and weather"

B looks good.
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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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07 May 2009, 10:53
I will go with A.

"slowing" begins adverbial clause and distorts the meaning. It was the weather, which slowed the sales. the clause between "weather" and "which" in the original sentence is a modifier to "weather".
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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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07 May 2009, 11:30
(A) colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed
(B) which was colder and wetter than usual in some regions, slowing
(C) since it was colder and wetter than usually in some regions, which slowed
(D) being colder and wetter than usually in some regions, slowing
(E) having been colder and wetter than was usual in some regions and slowed

Only B is clear. both "which" are wrong in A and C.
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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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07 May 2009, 12:02
kt00381n wrote:
Analysts blamed May’s sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise as well as the weather, colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed sales of barbecue grills and lawn furniture.
(A) colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed
(B) which was colder and wetter than usual in some regions, slowing
(C) since it was colder and wetter than usually in some regions, which slowed
(D) being colder and wetter than usually in some regions, slowing
(E) having been colder and wetter than was usual in some regions and slowed

which is referring to regions -- wrong-- A, C are out.

D out for being ( easy one)
E -- awkward ...

B wins.
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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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07 May 2009, 17:35
My pick is B.
which - this clearly refers to the weather and
slowing - this is acting like a Noun
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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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08 May 2009, 07:56
IMO B

Analysts blamed May’s sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise as well as the weather, colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed sales of barbecue grills and lawn furniture.
(A) colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed --> colder and wetter here will incorrectly modify for retail sales rather than weather. which after the commas also wrongly modifies for regions, meaning that regions slowed the sales
(B) which was colder and wetter than usual in some regions, slowing -->which best modifies for weather. Slowing ... also correctly modifies for unexciting merchandise
(C) since it was colder and wetter than usually in some regions, which slowed --> itdoes not clearly modify for any Noun. Besides, same error as A
(D) being colder and wetter than usually in some regions, slowing -->being is mostly wrong, usually is also wrong used
(E) having been colder and wetter than was usual in some regions and slowed -->complicated structure, distorted original meaning
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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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12 May 2013, 04:16
kt00381n wrote:
Analysts blamed May’s sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise as well as the weather, colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed sales of barbecue grills and lawn furniture.
(A) colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed
(B) which was colder and wetter than usual in some regions, slowing
(C) since it was colder and wetter than usually in some regions, which slowed
(D) being colder and wetter than usually in some regions, slowing
(E) having been colder and wetter than was usual in some regions and slowed

Hi,

I know the correct answer is B, but my understanding is that "slowing..." as a participial phrase modifies the entire main clause - "Analysts blamed...". Meaning analysts blame is the reason for slowing of sales. Or, is the participial phrase selectively modifying a part of the main clause? If so, could you please help me in a systemic way of identifying the noun modified by the participial phrase.

Thanks.
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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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12 May 2013, 04:28
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kiranck007 wrote:
Hi,

I know the correct answer is B, but my understanding is that "slowing..." as a participial phrase modifies the entire main clause - "Analysts blamed...". Meaning analysts blame is the reason for slowing of sales. Or, is the participial phrase selectively modifying a part of the main clause? If so, could you please help me in a systemic way of identifying the noun modified by the participial phrase.

Thanks.

"which (the weather) was colder and wetter than usual in some regions, slowing"

"slowing" refers to the weather, not to the analysts. How could analysts slow sales of barbecue grills?

Generally speaking the ING form can be found in two ways:
1)COMMA + -ING, in this case it modifies the preceding clause (it is used to show the results of an action as in this case most of the times)
2)"ONLY" -ING, in this case modifies the preceding noun or noun phrase.

Both ing forms refers to the preceding clause/name. Hope it's clear
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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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12 May 2013, 08:16
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The concept of the present participle (verb+ing) modifying with or without the comma preceding it has the following significance IMO. Of course, as Zorralou has rightly said, without the comma, there is not much confusion, as it forthrightly modifies the preceding noun.
But in the case of the comma preceding, we all know it modifies the entire preceding clause. What exactly is meant by the preceding clause? Some have said it is the subject, some others say it is the verb because it is an adverbial modifier. May be they are correct in their own right. But more importantly, and very often, it highlights the gist of the entire preceding clause and not just a part of it.
Let’s see how in this given case; Now, slowing is the participle under question. Something has caused the slowing. Is it the weather alone or the unexciting merchandise alone or both put together? You will appreciate it is both together that have contributed to the slowing. Logically analysts cannot contend for being modified as, their job is just to pass appropriate comments. So the modified parts are really the merchandise and the weather put together, both noun forms objects of the verb blamed; so, the whole gist is about the result of some things impeding something collectively in the context.

In the light of the above, we have to dump all the choices that pinpoint something with a relative pronoun, (which) Choices A and C fall under this category. Choice E uses the verb –slowed- as an action of the noun weather, which is a fractured meaning from the original intent.
Between B and D, both use the verb+ ing preceded by a comma. But the use of ‘being’ colder and wetter in D is unnecessarily superfluous; being used as a modifier of weather, is not acceptable; B even without the word being is crisp and tidy.
So B overrides D.
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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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12 May 2013, 20:19
daagh wrote:
The concept of the present participle (verb+ing) modifying with or without the comma preceding it has the following significance IMO. Of course, as Zorralou has rightly said, without the comma, there is not much confusion, as it forthrightly modifies the preceding noun.
But in the case of the comma preceding, we all know it modifies the entire preceding clause. What exactly is meant by the preceding clause? Some have said it is the subject, some others say it is the verb because it is an adverbial modifier. May be they are correct in their own right. But more importantly, and very often, it highlights the gist of the entire preceding clause and not just a part of it.
Let’s see how in this given case; Now, slowing is the participle under question. Something has caused the slowing. Is it the weather alone or the unexciting merchandise alone or both put together? You will appreciate it is both together that have contributed to the slowing. Logically analysts cannot contend for being modified as, their job is just to pass appropriate comments. So the modified parts are really the merchandise and the weather put together, both noun forms objects of the verb blamed; so, the whole gist is about the result of some things impeding something collectively in the context.

In the light of the above, we have to dump all the choices that pinpoint something with a relative pronoun, (which) Choices A and C fall under this category. Choice E uses the verb –slowed- as an action of the noun weather, which is a fractured meaning from the original intent.
Between B and D, both use the verb+ ing preceded by a comma. But the use of ‘being’ colder and wetter in D is unnecessarily superfluous; being used as a modifier of weather, is not acceptable; B even without the word being is crisp and tidy.
So B overrides D.

Ok, IMO, If the participial phrase is at the beginning of a sentence set off by a comma then there is no confusion as it modifies the subject of the following clause. Problem is when participial phrase is at the end of a sentence set off my by a comma. Just one additional question, If a participial phrase comes in the middle of a sentence set off by commas, will it modify the preceding clause or the subject of a following clause: I may not have an appropriate example here, please help.
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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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12 May 2013, 21:46
As I see the issue, as long as it does not start a sentence, the present participial, whether in the middle or at the end of a sentences, should fall in line with modifying the entire gist.
EG: The tribal of the pre-agro era who knew no other means of food preparation, hunting and eating the docile animals of the wild such as the cattle and other quadrupeds, resorted to controlled fires for cooking their staple diet.
Here the modifier - hunting and eating the docile animals of the wild such as the cattle and other quadrupeds-placed in the middle modifies not only the tribal but also their lack of knowledge of other means of food preparation. You might call it a noun phrase, but that modified part should carry the gist of the clause or phrase in toto.
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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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12 May 2013, 22:27
daagh wrote:
As I see the issue, as long as it does not start a sentence, the present participial, whether in the middle or at the end of a sentences, should fall in line with modifying the entire gist.
EG: The tribal of the pre-agro era who knew no other means of food preparation, hunting and eating the docile animals of the wild such as the cattle and other quadrupeds, resorted to controlled fires for cooking their staple diet.
Here the modifier - hunting and eating the docile animals of the wild such as the cattle and other quadrupeds-placed in the middle modifies not only the tribal but also their lack of knowledge of other means of food preparation. You might call it a noun phrase, but that modified part should carry the gist of the clause or phrase in toto.

My Question had one more point. Does "hunting and eatin....." always modifies "The tribal" or it can also modify "resorted to controll....". It may not make sense here.
Putting it in general, does participial phrase in the middle of a sentence modifies the preceding clause or a following clause? Getting my point? Because, I have seen examples( i don't have them now) where participial phrase modifies the following clause. Is there a standard rule? Or is it case dependent?
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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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12 May 2013, 23:29
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It may not be a general rule since many rules can bend to the need of the context in question. Here in this case, how can hunting animals in the wild modify -resorted to controlled fire. Both are totally different factors. But if you have seen some examples where a middle-sentence modifier modifies what comes what after, then we have to definitively see the context. Even before seeing the premises, how can we formulate the conclusion? Modification means a definite change in the nature of the thing modified, either in the form of additional info, or leading to an outcome from the facts mentioned etc etc; modification isn't just indication. It is inter-relation.

I do see, my professments may have lot of contrarian happenings. I am interested in knowing them.
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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2013, 10:44
Got it Correct.

Which modifies the noun preceeding it, in this case it is the 'regions', which is incorrect. So A n C go off
in E, 'and' creates a new sentence with no subject so it is a fragment.
in D, 'being' is used which is wrong
So B is correct
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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2013, 10:48
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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2013, 20:42
As I can see the posts there is a confusion on -Ing modifier:

So here it is used in 3 ways

(1). To Modify NOUN

Using high technology, the engineer fixed the machine.

(2). To modify Verb and Verb's subject

I fought with my friend, making him cry.

Action of fighting made him cry = fought

(3). To present the result of the main clause

The company is in debt after loss in first quarter,minimizing its costs in the second quarter.

minimizing=action
The company.... First quarter is considered a NOUN PHRASE

So NOUN PHRASE + ACTION

Hope it helps

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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2016, 16:55
SPLIT1) The adjective usual, rather than the adverb usually, is required when modifying a noun. C AND D ARE OUT.

SPLIT2) RELATIVE PRONOUN "WHICH" MUST BE AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE TO THE NOUN IT MODIFIES. A AND C ARE OUT.

SPLIT3) THE PARTICIPLE PHRASE IN THE PUNCTUATION "PARTICIPLE PHRASE + COMMA (,) + MAIN CLAUSE" IS BETTER SERVED WITH WORD "SLOWING" REFERRING TO BOTH MERCHANDISE AND WEATHER IN THE PARTICIPLE PHRASE. C AND E ARE OUT.
Re: Analysts blamed Mays sluggish retail sales on unexciting   [#permalink] 21 Sep 2016, 16:55
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