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# According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment so

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Re: According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment so [#permalink]
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i can't really gasp why (D) is wrong, besides the unidiomatic way of saying this sentence.

I would choose (E) over (D) and this is simply because (D) just sounds wrong and ambiguous.
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TommyWallach wrote:
(D) to a two-year low level

There are two ways we could read this.

#1: "low level" is meant to be read as one thing, and two-year is modifying it (as in "It was a lovely barn dance", in which "lovely" is modifying the compound noun "barn dance). This doesn't make any sense, however, because there's no such thing as a "low level".

#2: "Two-year" is an adverb modifying the main adjective "low", which is describing "level" (as in "It was a dark green sweater", in which dark is modifying green, which is modifying sweater). This doesn't make any sense either, however, because there's no such thing as a level that is "two-year low".

Tommy, is the following construction correct? I've removed the word 'level' from choice D.

According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment to a two-year low suggests that the gradual improvement in the job market is continuing.
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Re: According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment so [#permalink]
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Hey Sidhu,

Yes, as far as I can see, your suggest construction would be correct.

-tommy
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According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment so that it was the lowest in two years suggests that the gradual improvement in the job market is continuing.

(A) so that it was the lowest in two years
(B) so that it was the lowest two-year rate
(C) to what would be the lowest in two years
(D) to a two-year low level
(E) to the lowest level in two years

Hi! I would like to clarify pronoun antecedent. It seems that as sentences become more difficult, pronoun antecedent eligbility becomes less clear-cut. I have read in some places that an antecedent cannot be an object of a preposition but elsewhere it says this is possible. Would anyone be able to help clarify please?

Thanks!

For example, for above, the OG says "it" is ambiguous because it can refer to either decrease or unemployment. I can see that if "it" refers to decrease, the sentence won't make sense. However, the OA does not say it's a wrong antecedent but an ambiguous one. Unemployment is part of a prep phrase. In OG13, the OA says that objects of prepositions can't be antecedents for pronouns?

Q: Fossils of the arm of a sloth found in Puerto Rico in 1991, and dated at 34 million years old, made it the earliest known mammal of the Greater Antilles islands.
OA: "Because sloth is the object of a preposition and not the subject of the sentence, there is no reasonable antecedent for "it"
Edit: by carcass
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Hi,

An object of a preposition can be a pronoun antecedent if the prepositional phrase is post-modifying the head noun.

Consider the following example of a noun phrase in which a prepositional phrase is used to post-modify the head noun: "the coat of many colors". The prepositional phrase is "of many colors." The head noun is coat. This head noun is pre-modified by the identifier the. In addition, it is post-modified by the prepositional phrase of many colors. It is a simple matter to determine if this complex structure is functioning as a complete noun phrase, as it is always possible to substitute a pronoun for a whole noun phrase. So, in the utterance the coat of many colors was beautiful a pronoun may be substituted for the noun phrase to produce the modified utterance it was beautiful.
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e-GMAT video explanation:

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Re: According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment so [#permalink]
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eybrj2 wrote:
50. According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment so that it was the lowest in two years suggests that the gradual improvement in the job market is continuing.

(A) so that it was the lowest in two years
(B) so that it was the lowest two-year rate
(C) to what would be the lowest in two years
(D) to a two-year low level
(E) to the lowest level in two years

Why D is wrong?

I Hope someone can help
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kassim wrote:
Why D is wrong?
I Hope someone can help

decrease ... to a two year low would have sufficed.

"level" is additionally/wrongly used in option 'D'
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eybrj2 wrote:
50. According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment so that it was the lowest in two years suggests that the gradual improvement in the job market is continuing.

(A) so that it was the lowest in two years
(B) so that it was the lowest two-year rate
(C) to what would be the lowest in two years
(D) to a two-year low level
(E) to the lowest level in two years

nice question.

"so that +clause" is a adverb clause of purpose. of course this clause need a main clause. There is no main clause. A and B are gone.

in c, "would be " show the certainty, not a fact. This is wrong. we need to show a fact. C is gone

in D, "two year low" is not idiomatic. This phrase is meaningless.
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Re: According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment so [#permalink]
Hello EGMAT, GMATNinja,

Could you please clarify the usage of lowest over here?

Ideally, if we have to compare between two, we use comparative form ("lower" in this case) and if we are to compare more than two, we use superlative form ("lowest" in this case)

IMO - We are comparing the unemployment between two years so we should be using - lower.

Is there any exception to this rule? Or I am getting it wrong?

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ydmuley, you're right that we wouldn't want to use "lowest" to compare two figures, such as the levels for two entire years. However, "the lowest level in two years" means that if we look at all the levels over a two year period, this would be the lowest point. Imagine a graph of daily, weekly, or monthly values for the past two years. We're talking about the absolute lowest point on that graph.
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Hello seekmba,

Thank you for your question. To answer your specific question of why D can't be the correct answer, we need to look at what both D & E (the correct answer) actually mean:

(D) to a two-year low level
By saying "low level," it doesn't tell us this is the lowest level in two years - just that it's low. It could have been just as low at some other point in the past two years, and that this is just one of those times. Since that's not specific enough for readers to understand quickly, it's not the best answer.

(E) to the lowest level in two years
By saying "the lowest level," it's clear that the unemployment level has not been this low at any other point in the past two years. This is the intended meaning of the sentence, so it's the better answer.
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Re: According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment so [#permalink]
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According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment so that it was the lowest in two years suggests that the gradual improvement in the job market is continuing.

(A) so that it was the lowest in two years - SO THAT is used to give reasons. Is the reason for decrease in employment that it was the lowest in two years?

(B) so that it was the lowest two-year rate - Here, lowest acts as an adjective modifying two year rate. The original sentence intends to say that the rate was the lowest in two years, NOT that there were many two year rates and this one was the lowest.

(C) to what would be the lowest in two years - The usage of would suggests that the rate is not actually the lowest. It sounds as if it is a prediction.

(D) to a two-year low level - same as B

(E) to the lowest level in two years - BEST.

Thanks
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Re: According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment so [#permalink]
(A) so that it was the lowest in two years
(1) changes meaning: almost sounds like there’s some intentional argument here – “the July decrease in unemployment SO THAT it was the lowest” (intentionally the lowest by someone)

(B) so that it was the lowest two-year rate
(1) changes meaning: almost sounds like there’s some intentional argument here – “the July decrease in unemployment SO THAT it was the lowest” (intentionally the lowest by someone); (2) changes meaning/false concision: “two-year rate” sounds as though this a TYPE of rate and not a rate that is “two years” long, in terms of duration

(C) to what would be the lowest in two years
(1) changes meaning: almost sounds as though the “decrease” was the lowest in two years, but it should be the “unemployment” that was the lowest

(D) to a two-year low level
(1) changes meaning/false concision: “two-year low level” sounds as though this a TYPE of low level and not a low level that happens to be “low”

(E) to the lowest level in two years
Best option
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Re: According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment so [#permalink]
seekmba wrote:
According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment so that it was the lowest in two years suggests that the gradual improvement in the job market is continuing.

(A) so that it was the lowest in two years

(B) so that it was the lowest two-year rate

(C) to what would be the lowest in two years

(D) to a two-year low level

(E) to the lowest level in two years

Let me try to show my approach. IMO E.
Option A: The usage of "SO THAT" is used to show some intention. Here economists are just concluding/predicting some results.
e.g. Minister spoke slowly SO THAT dictators can note each aspect of speech.
here for the sentence, such intention is missing.

Option B: same as A

Option C: The usage of the word "WOULD" is creating a logical gap. Once the data is in front of the economist then the deductions are certain in nature. There shall not be such usage of the word "WOULD" needed. Besides this, "LOWEST IN TWO YEARS", what is the lowest? Population? Food? Water? again this mistake creates a logical gap.

Option D: "TO A TWO YEAR LOW LEVEL" the july ... to a level, which is low, which is two year! Again improper modifier usage.

Option E: The only worrier left out hence, E is the winner.
the july ... to the lowest level in two years. The levels achieved are the lowest level. the lowest level of two years.

The compound adjectives can use a hyphen.
Noun can have plural, hence a hyphen not needed.
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Re: According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment so [#permalink]
AndrewN AjiteshArun
I didn't get two year low level vs tovthe lowest level in two years

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Re: According to some economists, the July decrease in unemployment so [#permalink]
saby1410 wrote:
AndrewN AjiteshArun
I didn't get two year low level vs tovthe lowest level in two years

Hi saby1410,

It'd be great to see other opinions on this, but I think a two-year low level is unidiomatic.
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