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# Sorry to open a new thread: factory-outlet-stores-69678.html

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Senior Manager
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27 Mar 2010, 21:40
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Sorry to open a new thread:
factory-outlet-stores-69678.html

Factory outlet stores, operated by manufacturers, are usually located miles from downtown and regional shopping centers so as not directly to be competitive against department stores in the same trading area.
(A) so as not directly to be competitive against
(B) in order for them not to have direct competition with
(C) so that they do not compete directly with
(D) in order that they are not directly competitive against
(E) for the purpose of not competing directly with

I always get these kind of questions wrong with pronoun ambiguity. Here they may refer to Factory outlet stores or manufacturers or regional shopping centers.
Reading on some forums, I got to know that logically here They refers to Factory outlet stores. So the answer is C. Is this the sole reason or there is some other reason too?
If you have any questions
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28 Mar 2010, 00:22
In parallel structures (such as this one, with "so that" marking the parallelism), a pronoun-subject ("they" in this case) in one clause may often be presumed to refer to the subject ("Factory outlet stores" in this case) of a parallel clause.

In other words, since "Factory outlet stores" is the 'noun subject' of the first clause and "they" is the pronoun-subject (if you will) of the second clause, 'they' can be unambiguously assumed to refer to 'factory outlet stores' and not to 'manufacturers'.

Hope this makes things clear.
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28 Mar 2010, 04:54
rohitgoel15 wrote:
Sorry to open a new thread:
factory-outlet-stores-69678.html

Factory outlet stores, operated by manufacturers, are usually located miles from downtown and regional shopping centers so as not directly to be competitive against department stores in the same trading area.
(A) so as not directly to be competitive against
(B) in order for them not to have direct competition with
(C) so that they do not compete directly with
(D) in order that they are not directly competitive against
(E) for the purpose of not competing directly with

I always get these kind of questions wrong with pronoun ambiguity. Here they may refer to Factory outlet stores or manufacturers or regional shopping centers.
Reading on some forums, I got to know that logically here They refers to Factory outlet stores. So the answer is C. Is this the sole reason or there is some other reason too?

Correct ---- They refers to 'Factory outlet stores' and in addition C is short, concise and in active voice when compared to other options.
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09 Apr 2010, 11:32
I am learning many new things that I should have learned long back ....
Good question ...great discussion ...
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11 Apr 2010, 10:40
Hey All,

Good point made by education aisle on the pronoun ambiguity. Always be careful of ambiguity in general, because there are some cheap ways for GMAC to get around it. I would add that it's a bit odd to describe "so as" as a parallelism trigger, considering that it's more of a modifier:

"I hurried so as to be on time."

That is not parallelism. If it were "hurried" and "to be" would not be allowed to be parallel (You cant say "I hurried and to eat.") It is a verbal modifier, answering the question "Why did he hurry?" Either way, the point stands that if you have a modifier, a pronoun within that modifier must refer to the main subject of the main clause. So let's go through the question, ignoring any pronoun issues.

Factory outlet stores, operated by manufacturers, are usually located miles from downtown and regional shopping centers so as not directly to be competitive against department stores in the same trading area.

(A) so as not directly to be competitive against
PROBLEM: The ordering of the words here is illogical: "so as not directly to be competitive". They are located where they are "so as not to compete directly against...". The adverb directly should be modifying "compete". Here, it modifies...nothing.

(B) in order for them not to have direct competition with
PROBLEM: IDIOMATIC. You can't say "in order for", only "in order to".

(C) so that they do not compete directly with
ANSWER: Here, compete is modified by directly in the correct way.

(D) in order that they are not directly competitive against
PROBLEM: Again, directly is now modifying "competitive", which is odd. You can "compete directly" but what does it mean to be "directly competitive"? Also, IDIOMATICALLY, you can't be "competitive against" something, only competitive "with".

(E) for the purpose of not competing directly with
PROBLEM: This is a subtle meaning issue. They don't locate their stores there for the purpose of not competing directly, but so that they don't compete directly.

Hope that helps!

-t
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Re: Factory outlet stores   [#permalink] 11 Apr 2010, 10:40
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