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# Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have

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Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2009, 17:40
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Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled automobile companies’ common stocks to new highs, several industry analysts expect automakers, in order to conserve cash, to set dividends more conservatively than they were.

(A) to set dividends more conservatively than they were

(B) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been

(C) to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends

(D) that they will be more conservative than they were in setting dividends

(E) that they will be more conservative than they have been to set dividends
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by hazelnut on 27 Sep 2017, 00:07, edited 2 times in total.
OA updated

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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2009, 17:58
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Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled automobile companies’ common stocks to new highs, several industry analysts expect automakers, in order to conserve cash, to set dividends more conservatively than they were.

a) to set dividends more conservatively than they were
b) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been
c) to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends
d) that they will be more conservative than they were in setting dividends
e) that they will be more conservative than they have been to set dividends

Between B and C, in B its not clear what they have been doing?
Pick C.

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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2009, 19:25
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ongste wrote:
Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled automobile companies’ common stocks to new highs, several industry analysts expect automakers, in order to conserve cash, to set dividends more conservatively than they were.

a) to set dividends more conservatively than they were
b) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been
c) to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends
d) that they will be more conservative than they were in setting dividends
e) that they will be more conservative than they have been to set dividends

I was confused by this one!
Will post OA later

In D,E
"that" is illogical here.

in A, B.

analyst to set dividends more conservatively than they were/have been

were/have been -- illogical here.. you need acton verb.. "did"

analyst to set dividends more conservatively than they "did/have done"--> logical

C is the best.
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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2009, 20:07
It all comes down to B and C because 'were' in A is incorrect. 'Have been' is correct.

Between B and C, I'll go with C. B is slightly awakward in that the sentence is not complete

Cheers,
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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2009, 20:22
unplugged wrote:
It all comes down to B and C because 'were' in A is incorrect. 'Have been' is correct.

Between B and C, I'll go with C. B is slightly awakward in that the sentence is not complete

Cheers,
Unplugged

yeah! thats what I meant ..

have been doing / have been setting.. would have been right.
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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2009, 14:44
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hi mates

IMO C

a) to set dividends more conservatively than they were
b) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been
c) to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends

D and E out because of basic grammar: " I expect you to do that"

A and B out: what does "they" refer to? dividens or automaker?

OA and Source?

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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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04 Jul 2011, 08:41
It all comes down to B and C because 'were' in A is incorrect. 'Have been' is correct.

Between B and C, I'll go with C. B is slightly awakward in that the sentence is not complete

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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2012, 14:38
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Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled automobile companies' common stocks to new highs, several industry analysts expect automakers, in order to conserve cash, to set dividends more conservatively that they were.

(A) to set dividends more conservatively than they were
(B) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been
(C) to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends
(D) that they will be more conservative than they were in setting dividends
(E) that they will be more conservative than they have been to set dividends

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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2012, 19:01
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C is the winner here.

Removing the modifier,

...several industry analysts expect automakers [strike], in order to conserve cash,[/strike] to set dividends more conservatively that they were.

"Expect XXXX to" is the correct usage

"XXXX expect that" would also be correct.

But expect XXXX that is absolutely wrong. => D and E are out.

A and B have faulty ellipsis and pronoun ambiguity => they can refer to dividends or automakers

C remains.

Crick

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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2012, 01:31
Totally confused on this one... Why is A wrong again... and why B vs C??

ongste wrote:
Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled automobile companies’ common stocks to new highs, several industry analysts expect automakers, in order to conserve cash, to set dividends more conservatively than they were.

a) to set dividends more conservatively than they were
b) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been
c) to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends
d) that they will be more conservative than they were in setting dividends
e) that they will be more conservative than they have been to set dividends

I was confused by this one!
Will post OA later

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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2012, 01:42
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rsaraiya wrote:
Totally confused on this one... Why is A wrong again... and why B vs C??

Lets look at the tested part of the sentence by removing the modifier

....several industry analysts expect automakers, [strike]in order to conserve cash[/strike], to set dividends more conservatively than they were.

Since the sentence ends with a helping verb, we should look at the ellipsis to check if it is correct.

several industry analysts expect automakers to set dividends more conservatively than they were... ? => Not clear
as to what needs to be added (ie what was left out by ellipsis), => A is out.

C removes any ambiguity in the sentence by clarifying what "they" refers to and what the automakers will be conservative about.

Crick

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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2012, 02:07
crick20002002 wrote:
rsaraiya wrote:
Totally confused on this one... Why is A wrong again... and why B vs C??

Lets look at the tested part of the sentence by removing the modifier

....several industry analysts expect automakers, [strike]in order to conserve cash[/strike], to set dividends more conservatively than they were.

Since the sentence ends with a helping verb, we should look at the ellipsis to check if it is correct.

several industry analysts expect automakers to set dividends more conservatively than they were... ? => Not clear
as to what needs to be added (ie what was left out by ellipsis), => A is out.

C removes any ambiguity in the sentence by clarifying what "they" refers to and what the automakers will be conservative about.

Crick

Here is my confusion...
several industry analysts expect automakers to set dividends more conservatively than they were...
-> When I read this, it seems to me that "they" in this context refers to the dividends (being that they are the closest plural noun)... so
...several industry analysts expect automakers to set dividends more conservatively then they [dividends] were.

Same goes for (B)
b) ...several industry analysts expect automakers to set dividends more conservatively than they [dividends] have been

(C) however, "they" refers to the automakers...
c) ...several industry analysts expect automakers to be more conservative than they [automakers] have been in setting dividends

I guess I'm confused because "they" referring to dividends in (A) and (B) sounds right to me...

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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2012, 10:23
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Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled automobile companies' common stocks to new highs, several industry analysts expect automakers, in order to conserve cash, to set dividends more conservatively that they were.

(A) to set dividends more conservatively than they were
(B) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been
(C) to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends
(D) that they will be more conservative than they were in setting dividends
(E) that they will be more conservative than they have been to set dividends

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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2012, 10:47
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Should be C in my opinion.

(A) to set dividends more conservatively than they were
Were is wrong tense and the sentence is an awkward constructed.

(B) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been
Meaning issues. They have been implies automakers are to be setting themselves more conservatively.

(C) to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends
Looks ok to me.

(D) that they will be more conservative than they were in setting dividends
That here is incorrect
Will + were. Wrong tense match

(E) that they will be more conservative than they have been to set dividends
Will + past (continous) verb is again a wrong match.

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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2012, 19:47
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sudi03 wrote:
Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled automobile companies' common stocks to new highs, several industry analysts expect automakers, in order to conserve cash, to set dividends more conservatively thatthan they were.

(A) to set dividends more conservatively than they were
(B) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been
(C) to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends
(D) that they will be more conservative than they were in setting dividends
(E) that they will be more conservative than they have been to set dividends

Good Question.
lets try to understand what author wants to say.

Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled automobile companies' common stocks to new highs, several industry analysts expect automakers, in order to conserve cash,to set dividends more conservatively that they were.
Serveral industry analysts expect automaker to set dividends more conservatively that they were [......].

Author wants to compare that automaker needs to set dividends more conservatively than they are doing now. In comparsion unstated part is called ecllipses which is generally assumed.

Ex. My car is bigger than your car. --> My car is bigger than your car [is].

so in same way,
1. several industry analysts expect automakers to set dividends more conservatively that they were. Were can not work, it has to be do, have done or did because first part of comparision has action so we need [action not linking] verb.

2. Expert is suggesting to automakers to change their way to set dividends which they are doing at presently so past tense will not work. option A, D & E(future) can not be answer.

between B and C, I think C is more clear. In B , "they" can refer to both automobile and dividends but in c by adding in setting dividends it is clear that they will refer automakers.
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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2012, 21:54
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At first glance b seemed perfect to me , but on more analysis there seems to be a problem with it .

structure is somewhat like this :

A expect B to set dividends more conservatively than they(A or B) have been .

here there is a pronoun issue . we cant tell whether 'they' refer to analysts or automakers .

now considering option c :

the way i c this again has a problem

structure :

A expect B to be more conservative than they(A or B) have been in setting dividends .

i have 2 issue here :
1. Pronoun reference as is marked out above , that is , whether 'they' refer to A or B .
2. even if the pronoun reference were clear , then also the sentence could be read as :

[B is expected to be more conservative ] than [A or B was when they were setting dividends]

ps : i still have a lot to learn , so excuse me if my questions seem too stupid

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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2012, 23:17
Quote:
At first glance b seemed perfect to me , but on more analysis there seems to be a problem with it .

structure is somewhat like this :

A expect B to set dividends more conservatively than they(A or B) have been .

here there is a pronoun issue . we cant tell whether 'they' refer to analysts or automakers .

you are thinking wrong here. A pronoun, generally, should be referring to the closest noun. In the above statement, "they" should be referring to the nearest noun which is NOT the automakers, thus making it ambiguous in nature.

Quote:
now considering option c :

the way i c this again has a problem

structure :

A expect B to be more conservative than they(A or B) have been in setting dividends .

i have 2 issue here :
1. Pronoun reference as is marked out above , that is , whether 'they' refer to A or B .
2. even if the pronoun reference were clear , then also the sentence could be read as :

[B is expected to be more conservative ] than [A or B was when they were setting dividends]

ps : i still have a lot to learn , so excuse me if my questions seem too stupid

They here refers to the nearest noun B, no problems with clarity. An unambiguous statement.

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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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13 Aug 2012, 00:23
@anilisanil :

"you are thinking wrong here. A pronoun, generally, should be referring to the closest noun. In the above statement, "they" should be referring to the nearest noun which is NOT the automakers, thus making it ambiguous in nature"

isn't this the same as what i said that "they" does not have a clear antecedent , ie , it can either refer to the analysts or the automakers ??

Also , if u say that in option c "they" refers to the B correctly and in case of option b it doesnt then is it so because in option b the line "to set more conservatively comes in between" ??

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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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13 Aug 2012, 00:43
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In this issue, whatever the structure, the pronoun they can refer only to automakers. It is only they who can set dividends for their companies and not the analysts nor any other plural words such as dividends. So we can rest at store all doubts about the pronoun reference.

More importantly the underlying principle here as a previous writer has pointed out, is the rule of ellipsis that disqualifies the choices A and B.

(A) to set dividends more conservatively than they were( in setting dividends )
(B) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been ( in setting dividends)

The phrase in bracket is the elliptical understanding ; an important requirement of such a supposition is that the phrase that is so understood, must be existent somewhere before in the same sentence and the ellipsis is resorted more for brevity than for anything else. One can see that the phrase –in setting dividends – is not available verbatim in the previous part of thefirst two choices. That is the reason, C, which mentions –in setting dividends- explicitly, wins over the other choices.
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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have [#permalink]

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05 Mar 2013, 07:35
Could someone please explain how the they, in choice A and B are ambiguous? To me they are right next to a the noun they are referring to, and automakers is seperated by a comma.

I limited the answer to B or C and chose B.

The only doubt in retrospect I have about B is I feel like the sentence leaves at an incomplete thought (missing 'setting' as the last word)

I am not understanding how the 'they' in C is any less ambiguous than in A or B

I would never have the ambiguity that people are seeing in A and B in this problem.
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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have   [#permalink] 05 Mar 2013, 07:35

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