Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the

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Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the [#permalink]

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06 Nov 2010, 20:09
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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

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Major confusion what is the correct answer among A, B, C and why?

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Re: Soaring television costs [#permalink]

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25 Jan 2011, 14:04
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Suchoudh, since you eliminated D and E, I'm guessing you know the "which" modifier/touch rule, which knocks out those two choices. ("Which" would refer back to 1992--that doesn't make sense!)

The phrase "greater...than" lets us know that we're comparing two things--remember that compared items must be logically comparable and structurally similar.

A, B, and C look very similar, except for their tail ends. A and C both contain prepositions.

(A) contains "it"-- what could be the antecedent for that pronoun? We have two singular options-- "campaign" and "spending." That's a problem-- ambiguity! Even if you're super versed in the GMAT and know that a certain degree of pronoun ambiguity can sometimes be tolerated (although typically not in the situation seen here), there is ANOTHER reason for eliminating (A): we are comparing a phrase and a clause--"the spending" versus "the spending was." ELIMINATE

In (B), "than" would be immediately followed by "in any previous election"...so the things we are comparing are "the spending IN" the 1992 campaign versus IN any previous election. This is ok.

In (C), we have the plural pronoun "they," which could only refer back to "costs"--- but we want to refer back to some form of "spending" (because we have "more than half the spending..." as the first chunk of that comparison). We also have the same phrase/clause issue that exists in (A)--ELIMINATE

That leaves B.
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Re: Soaring television costs [#permalink]

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18 Oct 2011, 09:01
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Of course, Parker, et al have brought out beautifully the fine points of the issue. Kudos to Parker and scheol79. I thought I would weigh in a different aspect of approaching the issue.

The subject is the plural ‘costs’ and hence the use of any pronoun such as ‘it’ or a singular verb as ‘is’, or ‘has been’ is wrong. As such one can dump A,D and E; Between B and C,C is wrong because it uses a wrong tense of present perfect for a bygone thing. In fact, a past perfect should have been used in this case, because the reference is for proportion prior to 1992 campaign.

B is left.
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Re: Soaring television costs [#permalink]

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06 Nov 2010, 21:08
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A. a greater proportion than it was
'It' doesn't have a clear referent.

B. a greater proportion than
Concise.

C. a greater proportion than they have been
'have been' is wrong tense. 'had been' or 'were' would have been correct.
D. which is greater than was so
'which' modifies presidential campaign and 'was so' is redundant.
E. which is greater than it has been
'which' modifies presidential campaign and 'has been' is wrong tense.

Even if there was another answer choice, written 'a greater proportion than they had been,' I would have still chosen B as the sentence does not need any further specification on what's being compared.

This is another example from an OG question.

Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than in previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.
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Re: Soaring television costs [#permalink]

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18 Oct 2011, 09:50
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suchoudh 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

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Major confusion what is the correct answer among A, B, C and why?

Source: GMATPrep.

A. 'Than it was' is wordy
B. Concise and clear comparison
C. 'They' seems to point 'Costs' rather than proportion
D. 'Which' modifies noun before comma in this case campaign
E. 'Which' modifies noun before comma in this case campaign
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Re: Soaring television costs [#permalink]

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11 Nov 2010, 19:44
suchoudh 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

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Major confusion what is the correct answer among A, B, C and why?

Source: GMATPrep.

D and E are out in first place because of modifier issues.
C is awkward
A is out coz 'it' doesn't have a clear referrent.
So B wins...

IMO B
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Re: Soaring television costs [#permalink]

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12 Nov 2010, 03:59
'It' is wrong is A and E.
"Which" is ambiguous in D and E.
"they have been" is the wrong usage in C.
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Re: Soaring television costs [#permalink]

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25 Jan 2011, 16:51
IMO B. A and C have pronoun problem, while D and E have modifier problem.
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Re: Soaring television costs [#permalink]

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18 Oct 2011, 04:01
parker wrote:
Suchoudh, since you eliminated D and E, I'm guessing you know the "which" modifier/touch rule, which knocks out those two choices. ("Which" would refer back to 1992--that doesn't make sense!)

The phrase "greater...than" lets us know that we're comparing two things--remember that compared items must be logically comparable and structurally similar.

A, B, and C look very similar, except for their tail ends. A and C both contain prepositions.

(A) contains "it"-- what could be the antecedent for that pronoun? We have two singular options-- "campaign" and "spending." That's a problem-- ambiguity! Even if you're super versed in the GMAT and know that a certain degree of pronoun ambiguity can sometimes be tolerated (although typically not in the situation seen here), there is ANOTHER reason for eliminating (A): we are comparing a phrase and a clause--"the spending" versus "the spending was." ELIMINATE

In (B), "than" would be immediately followed by "in any previous election"...so the things we are comparing are "the spending IN" the 1992 campaign versus IN any previous election. This is ok.

In (C), we have the plural pronoun "they," which could only refer back to "costs"--- but we want to refer back to some form of "spending" (because we have "more than half the spending..." as the first chunk of that comparison). We also have the same phrase/clause issue that exists in (A)--ELIMINATE

That leaves B.

PLS, HELP, I do not understand why A is wrong because " comparing phrase and clause". Pls, explain and give example.
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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2011, 20:24
This is discussed at manhantan forum with higher quality. the problem is harder.
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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2014, 05:52
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Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2014, 09:01
B wins here.

It is concise & to the point. C has tense problem while D,E suffer from modifier problems. Option A is ruled out because we don't get to know what is "it" referring to.
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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the [#permalink]

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11 Jan 2017, 16:33
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the   [#permalink] 11 Jan 2017, 16:33
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