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# An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t

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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2010, 09:39
any other explanation why not E?
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2010, 05:50
nusmavrik wrote:
OA is C

This is very interesting thing I learnt and I will like to share.

Lets say X is singular and Y plural. Imagine this pattern :
X of Y, which is
------> which points to the noun before the comma. So X or Y??? In such case let GMAT be your guide. I haven't seen a foe helping! But here it does

1. If the verb after which is singular -> which refers to X
2. If the verb after which is plural -> which refers to Y

This rule overrides any rule about "which" referring to X [Reason - Ohhh so you didn't see the preposition "of"]
E.g. the box of nails, which is on the counter ---> which refers to box. I'd always say which refers to box since gmat was consistent in writing statements like this. But the truth is that the verb after "which" is singular "is" and seems to refer to X.

When I saw this sentence today I ignored the hints about "which" - they were right there in the sentence !

3:2 split leaves A,B and C as contenders. And I guess people already killed A and B

Option C. "which" refers to "employment rates" because the verb "cause" is plural. So subject has to be plural.
cycle of layoffs that lead ----> that refers to "layoffs" since the verb "lead" is plural.

• falling employment rates triggered by a drop in investment,
which cause cutbacks in consumer spending, starting a
cycle of layoffs that lead to even lower employment rates.

Great! Thanks for sharing.
Even i picked E, eliminated C.
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2010, 17:13
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Hey All,

So apparently people wanted a Manhattan instructor to weigh in. So here I am! BTW, could people start putting the part of the sentence that's underlined in an actual underline? It's easy to do, and it makes the questions so much easier to read.

An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates triggered by a drop in investment, which causes people to cut consumer spending and starts a cycle of layoffs leading back to even lower employment rates.

NOTE: Clearly this is some kind of modifier issue ("which causes..." "triggered by..."). Remember that noun modifiers MUST TOUCH the noun they modify. There also seems to be some parallelism issues at work (and).

A) a lowering of employment rates triggered by a drop in investment, which causes people to cut consumer spending
and start a cycle of layoffs leading back to even lower employment rates.
PROBLEM: "Results from a lowering" is not idiomatic. "A lowering" would imply that somebody actually did the "lowering", whereas "falling" has no initiator. "Which causes" is unclear, but seems to be modifying "investment", which is incorrect (seems this way because it would say "which cause (no s)" if "rates" were the modifiee). Next, "causes" should be parallel to "starts", because it isn't "people" who "start a cycle of layoffs". Next, it's not leading "back" to even lower rates (they're even lower...we were never there before). Finally, we don't need to say "people to cut consumer spending". "Consumer spending" already implies the people.

B) a lowering of employment rates triggered by dropping investment, which causes people to cut consumer spending
and starts a cycle of layoffs leading back to even lower employment rates.
PROBLEM: "A lowering" issue. "Causes" issue. "leading back" issue.

C) falling employment rates triggered by a drop in investment, which cause cutbacks in consumer spending, starting a
cycle of layoffs that lead to even lower employment rates.
ANSWER: Lots of modifiers, but all are correct. "triggered" modifies "rates". "which cause" modifies "rates" as well. "starting" modifies the cutbacks in consumer spending (which makes logical sense...people don't spend money...businesses don't make us much...they have to lay people off).

D) falling employment rates that are triggered by a drop in investment, causing people to cut consumer spending and
starting a cycle of layoffs that lead back to even lower employment rates.
PROBLEM: "lead back" issue. "people...consumer spending" issue.

E) falling employment rates that are triggered by a drop in investment, causing cutbacks in consumer spending and
starting a cycle of layoffs leading to even lower employment rates.
PROBLEM: Just one modifier goes wrong here. "starting a cycle of layoffs" is modifying the previous clause ("Recession can result from rates that are triggered by a drop in investment"). But it's actually the cutbacks in consumer spending that start the cycle of layoffs. Also, we need a comma before the final participle ("leading"), because it's representing the RESULT of the layoffs, rather than modifying it adjectivally (C uses a relative clause "that lead" to do this).

Hope that helps! Toughie!

-t
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2010, 21:54
Thanks tommy ! That was very helpful.
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2010, 22:17
Thanks Tommy and nusmavrik for explanation.
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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12 Jul 2010, 17:00
good question and explanation
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pls kudos if you're satisfied with the reply

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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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17 Jul 2010, 01:19
Quote:
C) falling employment rates triggered by a drop in investment, which cause cutbacks in consumer spending, starting a
cycle of layoffs that lead to even lower employment rates.
ANSWER: Lots of modifiers, but all are correct. "triggered" modifies "rates". "which cause" modifies "rates" as well. "starting" modifies the cutbacks in consumer spending (which makes logical sense...people don't spend money...businesses don't make us much...they have to lay people off).

can anyone explain, how gramatically in the sentence(not logically)-"starting modifies the cutbacks in economic spending"

An economic recession can result from falling employment rates triggered by a drop in investment, which cause cutbacks in consumer spending, starting a
cycle of layoffs that lead to even lower employment rates

I mean for example, in one of the earlier post, regarding which.
I came to know that we can find out what which modifies by
X(singular) , Y(plural), which singular/plural.
But we cannot apply this principle just as it is and assume its right because in option A, which causes would refer to investment, when 'which' refers to rates.
Similarly i am curious to know how starting modfies cutbacks in customer spending.

Kudos for the post, it helped me learn about which.
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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17 Jul 2010, 10:28
Hey BlueRobin,

It's actually a bit more complicated than that. Generally when we use a participle (-ing or -ed words), the resulting modifier modifies the ENTIRE preceding clause in some way (often explaining the RESULT of that clause). Here's an example:

I just got a job, making my mother very proud.

In that sentence, "making" is NOT modifying "job". It is modifying the FACT that I got a job.

This example is the same:

"starting" is actually modifying the ENTIRE preceding clause here. It's showing how the result of the triggered drop in investment causing cutbacks in spending starts a cycle of layoffs. Does that make sense? The most important takeaway is that participles with commas are VERY free (they have a lot of options for how they modify).

Let me know if you have any follow up questions!

-t
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2010, 23:01
Got it wrong ..went with E ........great explanation Tommy
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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23 Nov 2010, 09:05
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35. An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates triggered by a drop in investment, which causes people to cut consumer spending and starts a cycle of layoffs leading back to even lower employment rates.

a lowering of employment rates triggered by a drop in investment, which causes people to cut consumer spending and start a cycle of layoffs leading back to even lower employment rates.

a lowering of employment rates triggered by dropping investment, which causes people to cut consumer spending and starts a cycle of layoffs leading back to even lower employment rates.

falling employment rates triggered by a drop in investment, which cause cutbacks in consumer spending, starting a cycle of layoffs that lead to even lower employment rates.

falling employment rates that are triggered by a drop in investment, causing people to cut consumer spending and starting a cycle of layoffs that lead back to even lower employment rates.

falling employment rates that are triggered by a drop in investment, causing cutbacks in consumer spending and starting a cycle of layoffs leading to even lower employment rates.
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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23 Nov 2010, 11:51
I thought it was "E"

"A" through "C" have "investment, which". According to the rule "which" has to refer to the noun that it follows.("investments"cannot "cause cutbacks in consumer spending", while "drop" can).
I guess there are exceptions when "which" refers to the preceding noun phrase "drop in investment".
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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23 Nov 2010, 11:56
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I agree with you here, Fijisurf - that "which" next to "investment" bothers me about C...that's a pretty fatal error.

E looks pretty good - the only potential pitfall I see in that one is the "starting a cycle of layoffs leading to even lower employment rates." portion, in which "layoffs leading" may be slightly awkward compared to "layoffs that lead", but I don't think it's a fatal flaw at all, especially not compared to C's misuse of "which". I'd live and die with E on this one...do we know that C is the true official answer? Could it possibly be mistyped here?
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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23 Nov 2010, 22:37
I remember this one from MGMAT

I think C is the answer as "which cause" relates back to the "rates" (singular-plural agreement). Other options use "which causes" leading to a potential argument that "causes" relates to "investment" before the comma - which can't be right.

When I re-tried the question just now I picked E as it really does sound the best. But C is not wrong but I guess "that lead" vs. use of "leading" in E is a little off-putting? But is there any technical reason why "leading" in E is wrong?
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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23 Nov 2010, 22:48
actually re-reading the question, it comes down to: what causes even lower employment rates?
- Is it the circle of layoffs (as in C)?
- Is it the economic recession (as in E)? E seems to say:
An economic recession recession can result... causing X and starting Y leading to even lower employment rates (I think there should be a comma in this option right before "leading")

It really comes down to what the author had in mind when he wrote this sentence...
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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24 Nov 2010, 00:16
@Brian..
The source is Brutal SC questions . Even I picked up E and discarded C for similar reasons as yours . I have posted this question to resolve the doubts which are as follows.

1 . Can relative pronoun-Which , who , that etc- modify a noun which are not adjacent to it . For eg : "a lowering of employment rates triggered by a drop in investment, which" . Now I felt that which should modify investment but that didn't make any sense , so i dropped such options . But I have been seeing such structure where nouns which are actually to be modified by the relative pronouns are followed by prepositional phrase- drop in investment , which- and we tend to discard such options because the noun to be modified-drop in this case- is not adjacent . Are such structures grammatically sound .

2. What is this phrase causing cutbacks in consumer spending and starting a cycle of layoffs leading to even lower employment rates. modifying in option E . I thought that it is modifying the following phrase but I am not sure.

falling employment rates that are triggered by a drop in investment
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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24 Nov 2010, 00:21
@Brian...I have copy-pasted it from the source , so I don't think that question is wrongly posted , but I will still look into it .
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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24 Nov 2010, 08:27
gmat1011 wrote:
It really comes down to what the author had in mind when he wrote this sentence...

I hope real GMAT exam will not have ambiguity in meaning similar to this one.
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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24 Nov 2010, 08:45
IMO it should be C.
D and E use 'that are' which is redundant as it's referring to 'falling employment rates'.
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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24 Nov 2010, 11:50
The gist of the sentence lies in understanding that the cycle leads to itself.
Y is caused by x.Y causes something that leads to more Y.This is how inflation or any other cycle works.
In E , causing ... is a modifier that modifies Inflation.
In C, which clause modifies low employment rates.
This is What conforms to Y is caused by x.Y causes something that leads to more Y.
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t [#permalink]

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24 Nov 2010, 19:37
C is wrong because if you remember in the MGMAT SC book, it explicitly states that when using ", which" whatever comes after "which" directly refers to whatever it is before the comma.

So in C, it is saying that "investments" causes "cutbacks in consumer.....blah blah blah" when it is really the "drop in investments" that causes this.

So, I go with E. clear & concise.
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Re: An economic recession can result from a lowering of employment rates t   [#permalink] 24 Nov 2010, 19:37

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