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# After sending the broken computer to the shop for repairs, the enginee

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After sending the broken computer to the shop for repairs, the enginee  [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2018, 06:56
5
00:00

Difficulty:

45% (medium)

Question Stats:

65% (01:15) correct 35% (01:24) wrong based on 268 sessions

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After sending the broken computer to the shop for repairs, the engineer realized that one of its many malfunctions were caused by too little of memory.

A. its many malfunctions were caused by too little

B. their many malfunctions were caused by a shortage

C. the computer's many malfunctions had been the outcome of too little

D. a computer's many malfunctions had been due to a shortage

E. its many malfunctions had been caused by a shortage

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Re: After sending the broken computer to the shop for repairs, the enginee  [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2018, 18:59
3
aragonn wrote:
After sending the broken computer to the shop for repairs, the engineer realized that one of its many malfunctions were caused by too little of memory.
A. its many malfunctions were caused by too little .
S/V: the subject is the singular "one."
"of its . . . malfunctions" is a prepositional phrase.
Malfunctions are the objects of the preposition "of," not the subjects of the verb. ONE . . . was.
That "one" cause of malfunction? Shortage of memory.

Little. See below

B. their many malfunctions were caused by a shortage
S/V: same problem as A
• Pronoun: a computer is singular. The possessive pronoun should be "its,"
not
"their."
(GMAT question writer is trying to trick us; "malfunctions" is both the wrong antecedent
and not a subject -- see S/V in A and B)

C. the computer's many malfunctions had been the outcome of too little
Little. See below.
computer's vs. its? I think that the repetitiveness/redundancy of computer's
instead of its would not be enough, on its own,
to eliminate this choice, except in one case.
If this option were identical to Answer E,
but (C) had "computer's" and (E) had "its," you would choose E.
True redundancy is something such as "new innovations" or "close proximity."

D. a computer's many malfunctions had been due to a shortage
Article: indefinite vs. definite. "The" introduces "computer" the first time.
All other mentions must follow the first mention's particularity. The issue of a/the encompasses
both parallelism and meaning. We know the computer belongs to the engineer.
It is not just any computer. THE computer, not
A computer.
• Redundancy? computer's vs. its. If this were the single difference between D and E, pick E.
Otherwise, the redundancy is not fatal.
The indefinite article is fatal.
Due to? "Due to" is okay. Not as good as "caused by,"
but that's a stylistic choice and not a decision point. ("Due to" here is called a predicate adjective,
for those who like jargon. I don't.)

E. its many malfunctions had been caused by a shortage

This sentence means: An engineer's computer malfunctioned in many ways. He dropped it off at the repair shop.
After he left the repair shop, he realized that the computer's memory shortage caused one of the computer's malfunctions.

Split #1: little vs. shortage
There can be "too little memory" or "a shortage OF memory."
We have an "of" with which to contend.
LITTLE is incorrect. Eliminate A and C

Split #2: S/V agreement. One . . . was, not one . . . were
The subject is ONE of the [causes of the] computer's malfunctions. One is singular, and takes a singular verb.
Eliminate B. (A is already eliminated, but A, too, has S/V problem.)

Split #3: Indefinite/definite article. THE, not A.
First mention of computer has "the." All other references to the computer must use "the."
The computer is specific; it belongs to the engineer and it malfunctions. The use of "a" is fatal.
Eliminate D.

NOTE: We could get into the issue of simple past vs. past perfect. It is not necessary.
There are easier bases upon which to eliminate answers, and
I do not believe the sentence presents verb tense problems.
"Y was caused by X" and "X had caused Y" are both okay.
Other people would argue differently. Verb tense in this particular sentence is too subtle an issue to worry about;
other elements are unquestionably wrong.
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Re: After sending the broken computer to the shop for repairs, the enginee  [#permalink]

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18 Jul 2018, 08:32
aragonn wrote:
After sending the broken computer to the shop for repairs, the engineer realized that one of its many malfunctions were caused by too little of memory.
A. its many malfunctions were caused by too little
B. their many malfunctions were caused by a shortage
C. the computer's many malfunctions had been the outcome of too little
D. a computer's many malfunctions had been due to a shortage
E. its many malfunctions had been caused by a shortage

A. One of malfunctions was (were) caused
B. The broken computer - singular ---> we can not use "their"
C. It is a little tricky for me. My first thought was that "the computer's" is better then "its" because it avoids the ambiguity what does it refer too. The computer or engineer. But we have obvious BUT. Sure we talk about the computer, so it is no ambiguity in "its" -----> "its" is better than "the computer's". It is shorter. And we know that GMAT does not like the needless repetiton of words. So E is better than C.
D. The same reasoning as in C. And moreover: we can not use article "a", because we talk about not some comuter but about the one that is broken. We need "the".
And "caused" sonds better than "due".

E - good.
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Re: After sending the broken computer to the shop for repairs, the enginee  [#permalink]

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18 Jul 2018, 09:28
1
Top Contributor
After sending the broken computer to the shop for repairs, the engineer realized that one of its many malfunctions were caused by too little of memory.

A. its many malfunctions were caused by too little ---- 'were' is S-V error
B. their many malfunctions were caused by a shortage ---same as in A.
C. the computer's many malfunctions had been the outcome of too little --It is redundant and awkward to mention the computer in the later part. Add to this the unidiomatic 'too little of memory.'

D. a computer's many malfunctions had been due to a shortage -- This looks more like a generalization than a specific instance.

E. its many malfunctions had been caused by a shortage-- short and crisp - correct choice.

Incidentally, what I could not get was what the broken computer (physically I suppose) has to a shortage of memories.
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Re: After sending the broken computer to the shop for repairs, the enginee   [#permalink] 18 Jul 2018, 09:28
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