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Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise

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

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New post Updated on: 29 Nov 2018, 03:06
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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


The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 10th Edition, 2003

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 253
Page: 693

Originally posted by laxieqv on 05 Oct 2005, 21:12.
Last edited by Bunuel on 29 Nov 2018, 03:06, edited 2 times in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2007, 14:00
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avomc wrote:
In B, How can blamed and slowing be parallel?

it is NOT a parallel concept.


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

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

slowing is modifying the subject of the relative clause. the subject is which. which is modifying weather.
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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2005, 21:18
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The answer is B.

"which" clearly refers to the weather which was "slowing" the sales during the month.

I remember this from the OG (Hope I remembered the answer and reason right!)
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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2005, 02:15
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bravo to all!!!! B is OA
Explanation is : It is concise and idiomatic, and which has a clear referent, the weather. In A, the insertion of was is unnecessary, and the referent of which is not clear because regions, not weather, is the nearest noun. In C, the adjective usual is needed in place of the adverb usually, and the referent of which is unclear because regions, not weather, is the nearest noun. In D and E, the verb phrase( being colder..., having been colder...) do not refer as clearly to the noun weather as the pronoun which does. Choice D needs the adjective usual in place of the adverb usually, which choice E fails to maintain parallelism in verb tense( having been ...and slowed).
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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2007, 17:23
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[quote="laxieqv"]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
Which modifies Regions.

B. which was colder and wetter than usual in some regions, slowing
I go for B.

C. since it was colder and wetter than usually in some regions, which slowed
Usually is incorrect.

D. being colder and wetter than usually in some regions, slowing
Usually is unidiomatic

E. having been colder and wetter than was usual in some regions and slowed
Wordy.
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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2009, 07:56
IMO B

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 --> colder and wetter here will incorrectly modify for retail sales rather than weather. which after the commas also wrongly modifies for regions, meaning that regions slowed the sales
(B) which was colder and wetter than usual in some regions, slowing -->which best modifies for weather. Slowing ... also correctly modifies for unexciting merchandise
(C) since it was colder and wetter than usually in some regions, which slowed --> itdoes not clearly modify for any Noun. Besides, same error as A
(D) being colder and wetter than usually in some regions, slowing -->being is mostly wrong, usually is also wrong used
(E) having been colder and wetter than was usual in some regions and slowed -->complicated structure, distorted original meaning
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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2013, 04:16
kt00381n 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



Hi,

I know the correct answer is B, but my understanding is that "slowing..." as a participial phrase modifies the entire main clause - "Analysts blamed...". Meaning analysts blame is the reason for slowing of sales. Or, is the participial phrase selectively modifying a part of the main clause? If so, could you please help me in a systemic way of identifying the noun modified by the participial phrase.

Thanks.
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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2013, 04:28
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kiranck007 wrote:
Hi,

I know the correct answer is B, but my understanding is that "slowing..." as a participial phrase modifies the entire main clause - "Analysts blamed...". Meaning analysts blame is the reason for slowing of sales. Or, is the participial phrase selectively modifying a part of the main clause? If so, could you please help me in a systemic way of identifying the noun modified by the participial phrase.

Thanks.


"which (the weather) was colder and wetter than usual in some regions, slowing"

"slowing" refers to the weather, not to the analysts. How could analysts slow sales of barbecue grills?

Generally speaking the ING form can be found in two ways:
1)COMMA + -ING, in this case it modifies the preceding clause (it is used to show the results of an action as in this case most of the times)
2)"ONLY" -ING, in this case modifies the preceding noun or noun phrase.

Both ing forms refers to the preceding clause/name. Hope it's clear
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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2013, 08:16
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The concept of the present participle (verb+ing) modifying with or without the comma preceding it has the following significance IMO. Of course, as Zorralou has rightly said, without the comma, there is not much confusion, as it forthrightly modifies the preceding noun.
But in the case of the comma preceding, we all know it modifies the entire preceding clause. What exactly is meant by the preceding clause? Some have said it is the subject, some others say it is the verb because it is an adverbial modifier. May be they are correct in their own right. But more importantly, and very often, it highlights the gist of the entire preceding clause and not just a part of it.
Let’s see how in this given case; Now, slowing is the participle under question. Something has caused the slowing. Is it the weather alone or the unexciting merchandise alone or both put together? You will appreciate it is both together that have contributed to the slowing. Logically analysts cannot contend for being modified as, their job is just to pass appropriate comments. So the modified parts are really the merchandise and the weather put together, both noun forms objects of the verb blamed; so, the whole gist is about the result of some things impeding something collectively in the context.

In the light of the above, we have to dump all the choices that pinpoint something with a relative pronoun, (which) Choices A and C fall under this category. Choice E uses the verb –slowed- as an action of the noun weather, which is a fractured meaning from the original intent.
Between B and D, both use the verb+ ing preceded by a comma. But the use of ‘being’ colder and wetter in D is unnecessarily superfluous; being used as a modifier of weather, is not acceptable; B even without the word being is crisp and tidy.
So B overrides D.
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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2013, 20:19
daagh wrote:
The concept of the present participle (verb+ing) modifying with or without the comma preceding it has the following significance IMO. Of course, as Zorralou has rightly said, without the comma, there is not much confusion, as it forthrightly modifies the preceding noun.
But in the case of the comma preceding, we all know it modifies the entire preceding clause. What exactly is meant by the preceding clause? Some have said it is the subject, some others say it is the verb because it is an adverbial modifier. May be they are correct in their own right. But more importantly, and very often, it highlights the gist of the entire preceding clause and not just a part of it.
Let’s see how in this given case; Now, slowing is the participle under question. Something has caused the slowing. Is it the weather alone or the unexciting merchandise alone or both put together? You will appreciate it is both together that have contributed to the slowing. Logically analysts cannot contend for being modified as, their job is just to pass appropriate comments. So the modified parts are really the merchandise and the weather put together, both noun forms objects of the verb blamed; so, the whole gist is about the result of some things impeding something collectively in the context.

In the light of the above, we have to dump all the choices that pinpoint something with a relative pronoun, (which) Choices A and C fall under this category. Choice E uses the verb –slowed- as an action of the noun weather, which is a fractured meaning from the original intent.
Between B and D, both use the verb+ ing preceded by a comma. But the use of ‘being’ colder and wetter in D is unnecessarily superfluous; being used as a modifier of weather, is not acceptable; B even without the word being is crisp and tidy.
So B overrides D.


Ok, IMO, If the participial phrase is at the beginning of a sentence set off by a comma then there is no confusion as it modifies the subject of the following clause. Problem is when participial phrase is at the end of a sentence set off my by a comma. Just one additional question, If a participial phrase comes in the middle of a sentence set off by commas, will it modify the preceding clause or the subject of a following clause: I may not have an appropriate example here, please help.
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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2013, 21:46
As I see the issue, as long as it does not start a sentence, the present participial, whether in the middle or at the end of a sentences, should fall in line with modifying the entire gist.
EG: The tribal of the pre-agro era who knew no other means of food preparation, hunting and eating the docile animals of the wild such as the cattle and other quadrupeds, resorted to controlled fires for cooking their staple diet.
Here the modifier - hunting and eating the docile animals of the wild such as the cattle and other quadrupeds-placed in the middle modifies not only the tribal but also their lack of knowledge of other means of food preparation. You might call it a noun phrase, but that modified part should carry the gist of the clause or phrase in toto.
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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2013, 22:27
daagh wrote:
As I see the issue, as long as it does not start a sentence, the present participial, whether in the middle or at the end of a sentences, should fall in line with modifying the entire gist.
EG: The tribal of the pre-agro era who knew no other means of food preparation, hunting and eating the docile animals of the wild such as the cattle and other quadrupeds, resorted to controlled fires for cooking their staple diet.
Here the modifier - hunting and eating the docile animals of the wild such as the cattle and other quadrupeds-placed in the middle modifies not only the tribal but also their lack of knowledge of other means of food preparation. You might call it a noun phrase, but that modified part should carry the gist of the clause or phrase in toto.


My Question had one more point. Does "hunting and eatin....." always modifies "The tribal" or it can also modify "resorted to controll....". It may not make sense here.
Putting it in general, does participial phrase in the middle of a sentence modifies the preceding clause or a following clause? Getting my point? Because, I have seen examples( i don't have them now) where participial phrase modifies the following clause. Is there a standard rule? Or is it case dependent?
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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2013, 23:29
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It may not be a general rule since many rules can bend to the need of the context in question. Here in this case, how can hunting animals in the wild modify -resorted to controlled fire. Both are totally different factors. But if you have seen some examples where a middle-sentence modifier modifies what comes what after, then we have to definitively see the context. Even before seeing the premises, how can we formulate the conclusion? Modification means a definite change in the nature of the thing modified, either in the form of additional info, or leading to an outcome from the facts mentioned etc etc; modification isn't just indication. It is inter-relation.

I do see, my professments may have lot of contrarian happenings. I am interested in knowing them.
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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2013, 20:42
As I can see the posts there is a confusion on -Ing modifier:

So here it is used in 3 ways

(1). To Modify NOUN

Using high technology, the engineer fixed the machine.

(2). To modify Verb and Verb's subject

I fought with my friend, making him cry.

Who made him cry= I
Action of fighting made him cry = fought

(3). To present the result of the main clause

The company is in debt after loss in first quarter,minimizing its costs in the second quarter.

minimizing=action
The company.... First quarter is considered a NOUN PHRASE

So NOUN PHRASE + ACTION

Hope it helps

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

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New post 12 Feb 2014, 18:07
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A. colder and wetter than was usual in some regions, which slowed Wrong - "which slowed" cannot modify regions because it modifies the entire clause prior; it's an adverbial modifier

B. which was colder and wetter than usual in some regions, slowing Correct - comparison is okay, since "[weather] was colder and wetter than usual [weather]"; words can be omitted if understood

C. since it was colder and wetter than usually in some regions, which slowed Wrong - "which slowed" cannot modify regions because it modifies the entire clause prior; it's an adverbial modifier; "usually" is an adverb and cannot modify noun "weather"

D. being colder and wetter than usually in some regions, slowing Wrong - "being" is not used correctly; "usually" is an adverb and cannot modify noun "weather"

E. having been colder and wetter than was usual in some regions and slowed Wrong - participle phrase "having been" changes the meaning of the sentence because "having been" can describe the verb as well as the entire clause

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New post 16 Aug 2017, 22:18
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B is correct - The sentence is concise, correct, and idiomatic, and which has a clear referent, the weather
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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jan 2018, 01:42
Hello
sayantanc2k and
mikemcgarry

Please help, I have three doubts related to usage of which:
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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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2018, 13:42
Norgay wrote:
Hello
sayantanc2k and
mikemcgarry

Please help, I have three doubts related to usage of which:
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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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2018, 05:02
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)

Please share your views.
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Re: Analysts blamed May's sluggish retail sales on unexciting merchandise  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2018, 07:34
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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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