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# As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticat

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As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.

A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell
B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling
C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling
D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell
E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling

This question does not follow the idiom not only - but also. Why? And when is it acceptable to not use it? This is an OG2017 quesiton.

Hi,

It is not that But also would be wrong here, its only that the choices containing "not only ... but also" have other errors..
At times to lay more emphais, NOT ONLY is followed by a CLAUSE here .... so "but also" should have a clause..
But choices D and E are missing the SUBJECT, hence wrong..
even C does not have a subject..

A and B have "subject" but 'such as' is correctly used in A to give examples..

A
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Dear Friends,

Here is a detailed explanation to this question-
As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.

(A) they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell

(B) they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling

(C) also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling

(D) but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell

(E) but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling

Meaning is crucial to solving this problem:
Understanding the intended meaning is key to solving this question; the intended core meaning of this sentence is that thieves are not only able to divert cash from company bank accounts, but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and they can sell the data to competitors.

Concepts tested here: Meaning + Verb Forms + Tenses + Parallelism + Grammatical Construction

• Information that is permanent in nature is best conveyed through the simple present tense.
• If a list has only two elements, they must be joined by a conjunction.
• The infinitive verb form ("to + base form of verb" - "to + sell" in this case) is the preferred construction for referring to the purpose/intent of an action.
• “not only A but also B” is the correct, idiomatic usage; A must be parallel to B.

A: Correct. This answer choice includes the independent clause "they can also pilfer..and sell...to competitors" - this clause is independent, as it acts upon the independent subject "they" with the active verb "can" to form a complete thought - thus, the modifier "As criminal activity...sophisticated" has an independent clause to act upon, meaning Option A forms a complete sentence. Further, Option A uses the phrase "and sell", conveying the intended meaning - thieves can pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and as a separate action sell the data to competitors. Additionally, Option A correctly uses the simple present tense verbs "sell" and "pilfer" to refer to information that is permanent in nature. Besides, Option A avoids the parallelism errors seen in Options D and E, as it does not employ the "not only A but also B" construction. Moreover, Option A correctly uses conjunction ("and" in this sentence) to join two elements in a list - the actions "pilfer" and "sell".

B: This answer choice incorrectly uses the present participle ("verb+ing" - "selling" in this sentence) to refer to information that is permanent in nature; please remember, information that is permanent in nature is best conveyed through the simple present tense.

C: This answer choice fails to form a complete sentence; "As criminal activity...sophisticated", "not only are thieves...company bank accounts", and "also pilfering valuable information...competitors" are all dependent clauses, meaning there is no independent clause for the modifiers to act upon. Further, Option C incorrectly uses a comma to join two elements in a list - the actions of "pilfering" and "selling"; please remember, if a list has only two elements, they must be joined by a conjunction.

D: Trap. This answer choice alters the meaning of the sentence through the phrase "to sell"; the use of the infinitive verb form ("to + base form of verb" - "to + sell" in this case) incorrectly implies that thieves can pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans for the purpose of selling the data to competitors; the intended meaning is that thieves can pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and as a separate action sell the data to competitors; please remember, the infinitive verb form ("to + base form of verb" - "to + sell" in this case) is the preferred construction for referring to the purpose/intent of an action. Further, Option D fails to maintain parallelism between A ("are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts") and B ("pilfer valuable information...to competitors") in the idiomatic construction "not only A but also B; please remember, “not only A but also B” is the correct, idiomatic usage; A must be parallel to B.

E: This answer choice fails to maintain parallelism between A ("are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts") and B ("pilfering valuable information...to competitors") in the idiomatic construction "not only A but also B; please remember, “not only A but also B” is the correct, idiomatic usage; A must be parallel to B. Further, Option E incorrectly uses the present participle ("verb+ing" - "selling" and pilfering in this sentence) to refer to information that is permanent in nature; please remember, information that is permanent in nature is best conveyed through the simple present tense.

Hence, A is the best answer choice.

All the best!
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Re: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticat [#permalink]
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Thanks for replying. I was thrown off because, I always eliminate choices that don't contain but also when not only is present. This is the first question I have seen where but also has not been used with not only. So something to keep in mind for future questions. I went for the wrong choice because I was trying to find the idiom match.
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Re: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticat [#permalink]
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As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.

A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell
B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling
C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling
D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell
E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling

This question does not follow the idiom not only - but also. Why? And when is it acceptable to not use it? This is an OG2017 quesiton.

Hi,

It is not that But also would be wrong here, its only that the choices containing "not only ... but also" have other errors..
At times to lay more emphais, NOT ONLY is followed by a CLAUSE here .... so "but also" should have a clause..
But choices D and E are missing the SUBJECT, hence wrong..
even C does not have a subject..

A and B have "subject" but 'such as' is correctly used in A to give examples..

A

If we had a construction as;;;As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, thieves not only are able to divert cash from company bank accounts, but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell the data to competitors.
Would this be a right construction? I asked this question because I want to understand the reasoning for the end part of 2 options,
A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell
VS
D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell
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If we had a construction as;;;As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, thieves not only are able to divert cash from company bank accounts, but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell the data to competitors.
Would this be a right construction? I asked this question because I want to understand the reasoning for the end part of 2 options,
A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell
VS
D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell
Hi Ratnesh, generally with a not only...but also structure, the verb is outside of the idiomatic construct. So, a better sentence would be:

....thieves can not only divert cash from company bank accounts but also pilfer valuable information...

Even in the sentence that you have suggested, at the very least, I would add a can to the second part, so as to not change the meaning of the original sentence.

...thieves not only are able to divert cash from company bank accounts, but also can pilfer valuable information....
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Re: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticat [#permalink]
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RatneshS
If we had a construction as;;;As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, thieves not only are able to divert cash from company bank accounts, but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell the data to competitors.
Would this be a right construction? I asked this question because I want to understand the reasoning for the end part of 2 options,
A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell
VS
D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell
Hi Ratnesh, generally with a not only...but also structure, the verb is outside of the idiomatic construct. So, a better sentence would be:

....thieves can not only divert cash from company bank accounts but also pilfer valuable information...

Even in the sentence that you have suggested, at the very least, I would add a can to the second part, so as to not change the meaning of the original sentence.

...thieves not only are able to divert cash from company bank accounts, but also can pilfer valuable information....

This clarifies 1st part of my doubt. I want to ask about the last part of sentence
thieves pilfer to sell VS thieves pilfer and sell;; which is more correct form?

I thought that pilfer to sell calls out an objective for a thief to do something while pilfer and sell are two different actions unrelated to each other. I found former one more standard.
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thieves pilfer to sell VS thieves pilfer and sell;; which is more correct form?

I thought that pilfer to sell calls out an objective for a thief to do something while pilfer and sell are two different actions unrelated to each other. I found former one more standard.
Hi Ratnesh, you are right that infinitives (to sell in this case) show intent.

However, in this case, the use of infinitive seems to be slightly changing the meaning of the original sentence. The original sentence says that thieves can do two things: They can -

i) pilfer data and
ii) sell the data

So, the original sentence suggests that the pilfered data can be sold.

On the other hand, D suggests that the data is pilfered with the sole intent of being sold. That's a slight change in meaning.
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This is supposedly an official question - hence it is clear that GMAT allows the construction without "but".

All the following forms are correct depending on usage:

not only..., but also....
not only.., but (also)... ( also optional).
not only..., (but) also... (but optional).
not only... (but) (also).. (both but and also optional)

Please refer to the following post for discussion on this particular question (omission of but):
https://gmatclub.com/forum/as-criminal- ... l#p1714185

You may also find a detailed discussion on this concept here:
https://stancarey.wordpress.com/2009/04 ... -but-also/
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I agree with eddy8700... parallelism is an issue in choice D because "not only" is followed by a subject and a verb (subject: "thieves", verb: "are"); therefore, "but also" would also need to be followed by a subject and a verb. In choice D, "but also" is followed only by the verb "pilfer", but no subject. Consider the following example: "Not only do you play tennis, but also coach rugby." This is incorrect for the same reason. Instead, you could use "Not only do you play tennis, but you also coach rugby." or "You not only play tennis but also coach rugby."

Similarly, the following sentence, which mimics choice D, is acceptable: "Thieves not only divert cash from company bank accounts but also pilfer valuable information." ("not only" + verb... "but also" + verb)
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As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.

This is supposed to be choice A, the OA.

Let me now rephrase it for easy understanding by flipping the subject and verb.

1. As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, thieves are not only able to divert cash from company bank accounts,
2. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.

The question is about the structure of this sentence. Isn't part 1 a complex sentence with a dependent clause and an independent clause?
2. For all that, part 2 seems to be an IC. Therefore, the whole scheme is that this is a complex- compound sentence with two ICs. Eventually when there are two ICs, then there should a valid conjunction or punctuation such as semi colon or period to conjugate both the ICs. If a comma alone conjugates both, then it will turn out to be a comma splice.

Is my reasoning missing something n error or does this sentence belong to some other type of sentence structure that I haven't known.

P.S:It has been pointed out that GMAC spends anywhere from \$1500 to \$3000 on each of these questions. Therefore, I feel strongly that I must be wrong.
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Daagh, you're bringing this to a whole new level of grammar intensity! Always fun. (And yes, apparently I'm a grammar nerd or something. I guess it says that in my job title...?)

Disclaimer: unless you really love grammar, just stop reading right now. This isn't an important rant for most test-takers -- there are dozens (hundreds?) of far more important things to worry about on the GMAT.

OK, so answer choice (A) has three components:

Quote:
As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated

So component #1 is clearly a dependent clause. On to #2:

Quote:
not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts

Ah, here it is: this can't stand alone as a sentence, either. Sure, it doesn't have a standard "marker" that "turns" an independent clause into a dependent clause (although, but, and, because, etc.), but it's still a dependent clause: it has a subject and a verb, but can't stand alone -- at least not the way it's written in (A).

So we have two dependent clauses so far. On to part #3:

Quote:
they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.

And there's our independent clause. So we don't have a comma splice here, and GMAC didn't actually make a mistake in this case -- it's just that the middle clause is super-sneaky.

I hope this helps! And seriously: if you're not daagh and you didn't follow this explanation, please don't worry about it. Again, parallelism and other issues are way more important here.
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GMATNinja,
Hi
Welcome and best wishes. Thanks for the response
Yes true! In GMAT, I agree we should not too bother about such flexible things as sentence structure, correlatives etc as much as we would do with the broader things such as list parallelism, verb parallelism or modifications etc to name a few. It also seems to be a trick that the entire attention has been diverted to the use of a popular idiom, while the real errors have been obscured though not deliberately in the incorrect choices. Test takers must be wary of this not so uncommon ploy.
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As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.

A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell ---- There are two acts the thieves do such as 1. pilfer X, Y, and Z and 2. sell the date. The best choice as I see.

B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling ---and selling is unparallel

C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling -- also preferring is an outright fragment

D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell -- not only are thieves' is not parallel to 'but also pilfer'

E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling -- 'but also pilfering' is a fragment.

Originally posted by daagh on 14 Aug 2017, 14:44.
Last edited by daagh on 14 Aug 2017, 22:20, edited 1 time in total.
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As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.

A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell
B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling
C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling
D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell
E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling

Correct idiom is "Not only X but also Y" or "Not only X but Y"
In options D and E, X and Y are not parallel to each other, in both the options, X is a noun and Y is a verb/action, so not parallel
Also in the actual sentence, thieves are doing 3 things: divert, pilfer, and sell--> hence these should be parallel
In option B and C, selling is not parallel

Hence A is the best answer which avoids all the above-mentioned problems
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Re: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticat [#permalink]
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Hi,

can someone further explain why the answer choice is not D?

Not only are (verb) but also Pilfer (verb)

Isnt this the correct idiom?
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Re: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticat [#permalink]
As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.

A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell -Not only but also is correct idiom
B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling -Not only but also is correct idiom
C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling -Not only but also is correct idiom
D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell -Correct
E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling -and selling is not parallel

However, "D" is also not parallel to "not only thieves" .... Waiting for the OE.
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Re: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticat [#permalink]
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As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.

A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell ---- There are two acts the thieves do such as 1. pilfer X, Y, and Z and 2. sell the date. The best choice as I see.

B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling ---and selling is unparallel

C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling -- also preferring is an outright fragment

D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell -- not only are thieves' is not parallel to 'but also pilfer'

E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling -- 'but also pilfering' is a fragment.

Hello daagh,

Isn't the highlighted part wrong? The three things in red are a list while the "and" after list depicts the second action of the thieves. Shouldn't the second "and" come without a comma?

We have a general structure in the following way:
I bought papaya,apples, and orangeand ate ice cream.