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# Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise

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Manager
Joined: 04 Dec 2016
Posts: 112
Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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08 Dec 2017, 23:23
laxieqv wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 10th Edition, 2003

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 253
Page: 693

Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise as well as the weather, colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed sales of barbecue grills and lawn furniture.

(A) colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed

(B) which was colder and wetter than usual in some regions, slowing

(C) since it was colder and wetter than usually in some regions, which slowed

(D) being colder and wetter than usually in some regions, slowing

(E) having been colder and wetter than was usual in some regions and slowed

Weather, itself, is not going to slow down the sales hence eliminate A , C & E

Between B & C.... B is better.

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Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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21 Jan 2018, 02:42
Hello
sayantanc2k and
mikemcgarry

1) As in option A. can 'which' jump over a modifier phrase to modify a preceding noun? For instance, in option A. can which jump over the modifying phrase - 'colder and wetter than was usual in some regions' to modify 'weather'? If not in this sentence, do we ever get to see such a usage of 'which' from GMAT perspective?

2) Is 'slowing' in option B modifying the entire previous clause - 'which was colder and wetter than usual in some regions' or is it modifying 'weather'? Going by the rule that a verb-ing modifier, when used after a comma, attaches itself to the complete clause preceding the comma, I feel that 'slowing' is modifying the previous clause by attaching itself to 'which', and because 'which' further modifies 'weather', it gives a correct meaning.

3) Lastly, do you see 'slowing' in option B as a verb-ing modifier with comma? or a verb-ing modifier without a comma (as commas are actually used for the preceding modifier clause and we can omit the clause and sentence would still make sense --> Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise as well as the weather *omit* slowing sales of barbecue grills and lawn furniture. ? By this , my intention is to understand if you see 'slowing' as a modifier to 'weather' used without a comma or as a modifier for previous dependent clause used with a comma.
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Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4664
Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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22 Jan 2018, 14:42
Norgay wrote:
Hello
sayantanc2k and
mikemcgarry

1) As in option A. can 'which' jump over a modifier phrase to modify a preceding noun? For instance, in option A. can which jump over the modifying phrase - 'colder and wetter than was usual in some regions' to modify 'weather'? If not in this sentence, do we ever get to see such a usage of 'which' from GMAT perspective?

2) Is 'slowing' in option B modifying the entire previous clause - 'which was colder and wetter than usual in some regions' or is it modifying 'weather'? Going by the rule that a verb-ing modifier, when used after a comma, attaches itself to the complete clause preceding the comma, I feel that 'slowing' is modifying the previous clause by attaching itself to 'which', and because 'which' further modifies 'weather', it gives a correct meaning.

3) Lastly, do you see 'slowing' in option B as a verb-ing modifier with comma? or a verb-ing modifier without a comma (as commas are actually used for the preceding modifier clause and we can omit the clause and sentence would still make sense --> Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise as well as the weather *omit* slowing sales of barbecue grills and lawn furniture. ? By this , my intention is to understand if you see 'slowing' as a modifier to 'weather' used without a comma or as a modifier for previous dependent clause used with a comma.

Dear Norgay,

I'm happy to respond. Thank you for writing such a thoughtful question.

1) A "which" modifier can "jump over" a vital noun-modifier, which takes precedent over a "which" phrase. Here, in (A), the intervening phrase is not vital.

2) My friend, the terminology "verb-ing modifier" is sloppy and imprecise: please learn the word participle. In option (B), the participle "slowing" modifies the action of the previous "which" clause. My friend, be highly suspicious about any "rule" about participles. Participles are incredibly flexible and can modify in an astonishing variety of ways. Any "rule" about them is virtually worthless.

3) Because the participle "slowing" is modifying the action of the previous phrase, it is acting as a verb-modifier, not a noun-modifier. Only noun-modifiers are subject to the Modifier Touch Rule. Verb modifiers are considerably freer in their placement.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Joined: 24 Nov 2015
Posts: 15
Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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24 Jan 2018, 12:48
mikemcgarry wrote:
Norgay wrote:
Hello
sayantanc2k and
mikemcgarry

1) As in option A. can 'which' jump over a modifier phrase to modify a preceding noun? For instance, in option A. can which jump over the modifying phrase - 'colder and wetter than was usual in some regions' to modify 'weather'? If not in this sentence, do we ever get to see such a usage of 'which' from GMAT perspective?

2) Is 'slowing' in option B modifying the entire previous clause - 'which was colder and wetter than usual in some regions' or is it modifying 'weather'? Going by the rule that a verb-ing modifier, when used after a comma, attaches itself to the complete clause preceding the comma, I feel that 'slowing' is modifying the previous clause by attaching itself to 'which', and because 'which' further modifies 'weather', it gives a correct meaning.

3) Lastly, do you see 'slowing' in option B as a verb-ing modifier with comma? or a verb-ing modifier without a comma (as commas are actually used for the preceding modifier clause and we can omit the clause and sentence would still make sense --> Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise as well as the weather *omit* slowing sales of barbecue grills and lawn furniture. ? By this , my intention is to understand if you see 'slowing' as a modifier to 'weather' used without a comma or as a modifier for previous dependent clause used with a comma.

Dear Norgay,

I'm happy to respond. Thank you for writing such a thoughtful question.

1) A "which" modifier can "jump over" a vital noun-modifier, which takes precedent over a "which" phrase. Here, in (A), the intervening phrase is not vital.

2) My friend, the terminology "verb-ing modifier" is sloppy and imprecise: please learn the word participle. In option (B), the participle "slowing" modifies the action of the previous "which" clause. My friend, be highly suspicious about any "rule" about participles. Participles are incredibly flexible and can modify in an astonishing variety of ways. Any "rule" about them is virtually worthless.

3) Because the participle "slowing" is modifying the action of the previous phrase, it is acting as a verb-modifier, not a noun-modifier. Only noun-modifiers are subject to the Modifier Touch Rule. Verb modifiers are considerably freer in their placement.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Dear mikemcgarry,

Thank you so much for an amazing explanation.
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Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2018, 06:02
daagh mikemcgarry Sir, Although I do understand that B is the correct answer choice, I have couple of queries regarding the usage of "slowing", in particular, as follows:

1)How to determine whether "slowing" is a verb-ing modifier without a comma modifying the noun,"weather", from the main clause?
2)How to determine whether "slowing" is acting as a verb-ing modifier with a comma to modify the action in either the main clause or the relative clause?
("Analysts blame...." or "...was colder....")

(Reason for confusion: As per my understanding,slowing can be used to modify either the action in the main clause/relative clause or the noun "weather" and each type of modification is presenting a relevant meaning)

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Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2018, 08:34
Top Contributor
Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise as well as the weather, colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed sales of barbecue grills and lawn furniture.

(A) colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed

(B) which was colder and wetter than usual in some regions, slowing

(C) since it was colder and wetter than usually in some regions, which slowed

(D) being colder and wetter than usually in some regions, slowing

(E) having been colder and wetter than was usual in some regions and slowed

Quote:
daagh mikemcgarry Sir, Although I do understand that B is the correct answer choice, I have couple of queries regarding the usage of "slowing", in particular, as follows:

1)How to determine whether "slowing" is a verb-ing modifier without a comma modifying the noun,"weather", from the main clause?

When there is no comma before the verb+ing modifier, it is a thumb rule that it is an adjectival modifier and not an adverbial modifier. The modified noun is going to be the noun just in front in case you find the verb+ing in the latter part of the clause. If it is at the start of the sentence, then it is going to modify an appropriate noun after the modifier phrase ends.
Please do not confuse this verb=ing with a gerund, which may not also have a comma before it. However, Gerunds are nouns and no modifiers.

Quote:
2)How to determine whether "slowing" is acting as a verb-ing modifier with a comma to modify the action in either the main clause or the relative clause?
("Analysts blame...." or "...was colder....")

The reason a comma is provided before the verb+ing is to prevent it from modifying the noun in front. So now, we know the author wants the modifier to modify an action rather than a subject. Whether it is the main clause or a relative clause is irrelevant. The definition only says 'the previous clause"

This much is as far as I could go, understanding what you meant
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Posts: 20
Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2018, 08:55
Thanks a lot for the explanation; it did clear my doubts
daagh wrote:
Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise as well as the weather, colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed sales of barbecue grills and lawn furniture.

(A) colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed

(B) which was colder and wetter than usual in some regions, slowing

(C) since it was colder and wetter than usually in some regions, which slowed

(D) being colder and wetter than usually in some regions, slowing

(E) having been colder and wetter than was usual in some regions and slowed

Quote:
daagh mikemcgarry Sir, Although I do understand that B is the correct answer choice, I have couple of queries regarding the usage of "slowing", in particular, as follows:

1)How to determine whether "slowing" is a verb-ing modifier without a comma modifying the noun,"weather", from the main clause?

When there is no comma before the verb+ing modifier, it is a thumb rule that it is an adjectival modifier and not an adverbial modifier. The modified noun is going to be the noun just in front in case you find the verb+ing in the latter part of the clause. If it is at the start of the sentence, then it is going to modify an appropriate noun after the modifier phrase ends.
Please do not confuse this verb=ing with a gerund, which may not also have a comma before it. However, Gerunds are nouns and no modifiers.

Quote:
2)How to determine whether "slowing" is acting as a verb-ing modifier with a comma to modify the action in either the main clause or the relative clause?
("Analysts blame...." or "...was colder....")

The reason a comma is provided before the verb+ing is to prevent it from modifying the noun in front. So now, we know the author wants the modifier to modify an action rather than a subject. Whether it is the main clause or a relative clause is irrelevant. The definition only says 'the previous clause"

This much is as far as I could go, understanding what you meant

_________________

"Winning is all about right strategy"

Set S.M.A.R.T Objectives : Specific | Measurable | Attainable | Relevant | Time-Bound

Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise &nbs [#permalink] 03 Jul 2018, 08:55

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