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Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled au

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

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A
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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

Originally posted by ongste on 30 Jan 2009, 16:40.
Last edited by Bunuel on 04 Dec 2018, 04:24, edited 3 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled au  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2012, 23:43
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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 propelled au  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2009, 18:25
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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

ask question what analysts were? .. no answer... so not correct

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

analyst to set dividends more conservatively than they "did/have done"--> logical
ask question what analysts did? answer -->they set dividends.


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

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New post 30 Jan 2009, 16:58
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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 propelled au  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Feb 2009, 13:44
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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 propelled au  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2012, 18:01
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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.

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

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New post 04 Mar 2012, 00:31
Totally confused on this one... Why is A wrong again... and why B vs C??

Please help!!!

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 propelled au  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2012, 00:42
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rsaraiya wrote:
Totally confused on this one... Why is A wrong again... and why B vs C??

Please help!!!


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.

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

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New post 12 Aug 2012, 09:47
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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 propelled au  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2012, 18:47
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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 propelled au  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2012, 20:54
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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 propelled au  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2013, 06:35
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 propelled au  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2013, 09:49
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Imo, there is no ambiguity about the pronoun – they - in any of the choices. Dividends cannot set dividends upon themselves. Nor for that matter no other plural noun can stand in competition with the subject of the sub- clause namely—automakers – for being the referent. In pronoun references, logic is more important than any other.

(A) to set dividends more conservatively than they were --- they were is wrong—it should be they did.
(B) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been ---- they have been is wrong ; it have been doing is the correct usage.
(C) to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends --- correct choice
(D) that they will be more conservative than they were in setting dividends ---wrong because of the faulty idiom expect x that as already pointed out
(E) that they will be more conservative than they have been to set dividends--- same as in D

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

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New post 22 Mar 2013, 03:27
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daagh wrote:
Imo, there is no ambiguity about the pronoun – they - in any of the choices. Dividends cannot set dividends upon themselves. Nor for that matter no other plural noun can stand in competition with the subject of the sub- clause namely—automakers – for being the referent. In pronoun references, logic is more important than any other.

(A) to set dividends more conservatively than they were --- they were is wrong—it should be they did.
(B) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been ---- they have been is wrong ; it have been doing is the correct usage.
(C) to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends --- correct choice
(D) that they will be more conservative than they were in setting dividends ---wrong because of the faulty idiom expect x that as already pointed out
(E) that they will be more conservative than they have been to set dividends--- same as in D

Sorry how is B wrong?

Could someone also explain how B is wrong with regards to the parallism with the 'than'

As far as I'm concerned, B and C are equally ambiguous in their use of they. Not just gramatically logiically I feel like they are both equally ambiguous to their antecedents
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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled au  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2013, 04:11
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DAAGH wrote :to set dividends more conservatively than they have been ---- they have been is wrong ; it have been doing is the correct usage.


this explanation is not right .the main reason why B is wrong is because the usage "they have been ...." requires the word "setting" ,which does not exist in the main clause
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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled au  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2013, 05:25
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The previous post is exactly right about 'setting'. In order to omit 'setting' at the end of the sentence, that exact word must appear earlier in the sentence.

A word about pronoun ambiguity. The GMAT is surprisingly tolerant of pronoun ambiguity, so don't use it for eliminations. You will eliminate incorrect pronouns if they don't agree in number or it the reference appears to change during the sentence.

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

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New post 10 Feb 2014, 16:05
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First look: Verb tense, comparative clause (more conservatively). In case you want to know more about a comparative clause, follow the link http://www.tu-chemnitz.de/phil/english/chairs/linguist/real/independent/eafrica/Diss_Diana/dissch4-5.htm

(A) to set dividends more conservatively than they were Wrong - ellipses is needed.

(B) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been Wrong - ellipses is needed.

(C) to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends Best answer - comparison clause is okay, and setting dividends is okay.

(D) that they will be more conservative than they were in setting dividends Wrong - Verb tense of "will be" and "were" are not consistent. Only the present tense can accompany a future tense in the same sentence.

(E) that they will be more conservative than they have been to set dividends Wrong - Verb tense is wrong, for the same reason above.

IMO C.
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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled au  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2014, 07:39
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Meaning
it should be clear from the sentence that analysts expect automakers to be more conservative.
Only answer choice C does that

a) to set dividends more conservatively than they were – Incorrect. They is ambiguous.
b) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been - Incorrect. They is ambiguous.
c) to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends - correct
d) that they will be more conservative than they were in setting dividends - use of that is incorrect
e) that they will be more conservative than they have been to set dividends – Incorrect. Same as D
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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled au  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2014, 08:41
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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 --- Xs expect Ys to set Ms ... than they were --> they can refer back to Ms or Ys. Pronoun ambiguity exist.
b) to set dividends more conservatively than they have been -- similar error -- they is referring to dividends or automakers
c) to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends -- dividends moved at the end thus pronoun reference is better.
d) that they will be more conservative than they were in setting dividends -- Ears say wrong --- that is awkward.
e) that they will be more conservative than they have been to set dividends -- Ears say wrong --- that is awkward.
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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled au  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2014, 06:11
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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.



to set dividends more conservatively than they were
to set dividends more conservatively than they have been
to be more conservative than they have been in setting dividends
that they will be more conservative than they were in setting dividends
that they will be more conservative than they have been to set dividends





A) incorrect.

First, i thought that they is ambiguous, but it is not.Here they is referring to dividends. "analysts expect automakers to set dividends more conservatively than dividends were set".

if they would refer to automakers than the sentence would be" analysts expect automakers to set dividends more conservatively than automakers have been setting".

neither setting can be assumed nor have been is used.

b) incorrect.

they refers to dividends.

it can not refer to automakers because we need setting at the end. but we can only assume set,as setting is not used anywhere in the sentence.

C) correct.

they can only refer to automakers.

D) were is incorrect verb.They is not ambiguous.

e) in setting should be used. they is not ambiguous.



please correct me if i am wrong and also let me know if i missed anything.
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Re: Despite recent increases in sales and cash flow that have propelled au   [#permalink] 24 Jul 2014, 06:11

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