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# Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and

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Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 04 Nov 2019, 02:08
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Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and passing bar examinations, the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women have not risen to a comparable extent.

(A) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women have not risen to a comparable extent

(B) the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms have not risen comparably

(C) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably

(D) yet the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms has not risen to a comparable extent

(E) yet the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably

Some important obstacles still remain. Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and passing bar exams,the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not kept pace. In New York, for example, where women represent more than 41 percent of the associates at law firms, fewer than 14 percent of the partners are women, according to the National Association of Law Placement.

Originally posted by Nsentra on 28 Oct 2006, 19:17.
Last edited by Bunuel on 04 Nov 2019, 02:08, edited 3 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2018, 11:21
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Quote:
(A) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women have not risen to a comparable extent

This one is a gift from the GMAT gods: “… the proportion of (blah blah)… HAVE not risen…”

Nope, that’s a classic subject-verb error. We can get rid of (A). Thank you for giving us something easy for once, GMAT!

Quote:
(B) the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms have not risen comparably

(B) has exactly the same subject-verb error as (A): “… the proportion… HAVE not risen…” So (B) is gone, too.

Isn’t this exciting?

Quote:
(C) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably

Well, this works just fine: “the proportion… has not risen comparably.” Let’s keep (C).

Quote:
(D) yet the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms has not risen to a comparable extent

Well, there are two things that are different in (D) than in (C). One is that the word “comparably” is used in (C), but “to a comparable extent” appears in its place in (D). Honestly, I don’t know if this is a big deal. “Comparably” seems more succinct to me, but I’m not sure that “to a comparable extent” is necessarily WRONG. I certainly wouldn’t eliminate (D) based on that alone, even though I mildly prefer the shorter version in (C).

The other weird issue is the use of “yet” at the beginning of the underlined portion. So that gives us “Despite the increasing number of women…, yet the proportion of women judges…” That’s wrong: both “yet” and “despite” begin dependent clauses, so now the sentence just consists of two dependent clauses in a row. That’s not OK.

So (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) yet the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably

And (E) has exactly the same problem as (D): two consecutive dependent clauses does NOT give us a legitimate sentence.

So we can eliminate (E), and (C) is our answer.
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2011, 08:00
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The issue here is not the right answer but the outlook of GMAC. We thought that the grammar of the relative pronouns’ obedience to the 'noun - touch' rule is an important one, rather even an inexorable one. But in this issue, OG has made it clear that grammar is compromisable to context.

The question is now whether how far can we go by such a blatant flexibility of OG? The irony is that even this may change tomorrow. But that is GMAT for you, the big boss.
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2017, 14:39
3
rekhabishop wrote:

But that should be the last principle, right? It doesn't take precedence over grammatical rules. I just feel that "who" is not modifying the correct nouns.

Hello rekhabishop,

Although you have already gotten quite few explanations for your doubt, I would just like to add my two cents. It might just help.

It is true that who and other relative pronoun modifiers modify the preceding noun entity. However, it is not necessary that this preceding noun entity will always be a single or double word noun entity. These modifier can also modify the preceding noun phrase.

This is what we see happening in Choice A and C of this official sentence.

In these choices, the noun modifier who modifies not the preceding noun word law firms but the preceding noun phrase judges and partners at major law firms.

There are two reasons for such modification:

Firstly, who cannot be used to refer to inanimate object. So who logically refers to judges and partners.

Secondly, this phrase at major law firms cannot be placed anywhere else in the sentence without violating the intended meaning. Since at major law firms is meant to modify judges and partners, at major law firms has to be written close to this entity. This is the reason why who can jump over at major law firms to refer to judges and partners.

There are many official sentences in which noun modifiers modify a slightly far-away noun.

For more details, explanations, and official examples, please review our very famous article named Noun Modifiers can Modify slightly far away noun in the following link:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/noun-modifiers-can-modify-slightly-far-away-noun-135868.html

Hope this helps.
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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25 May 2010, 21:32
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This is from OG12. OE is:

Agreement; Rhetorical construction

When a number of plural nouns appear in phrases between a singular subject and the verb, it can be easy to overlook the true subject of the verb. Here, judges, partners, firms, and women all occur between the singular subject, proportion, and the verb, which should also be singular, has risen. Concise expression is particularly important in a long construction; to a comparable extent may be more concisely expressed as comparably.

A Plural verb, have risen, does not agree with the singular subject, proportion.

B Have risen does not agree with proportion; here, women applies only to judges, not to partners at major law firms.

C Correct. In this sentence, has risen agrees with proportion, and comparably is more
concise than to a comparable extent. The modifying clause who are women follows
(1) judges and (2) partners at major law firms as closely as is possible given the content of the sentence; this positioning has the virtue of being clear in its meaning.

D The contrast has already been introduced by despite, so the addition of yet is illogical and ungrammatical; to a comparable extent is wordy.

E Despite introduces the contrast; adding yet is illogical and results in an ungrammatical construction.

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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2013, 09:31
2
[quote="papillon86"]Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and passing bar examinations, the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women have not risen to a comparable extent.

(A) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women have not risen to a comparable extent-- The proportion is singular, so it should be has and not have.

(B) the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms have not risen comparably--Same as A

(C) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably--Correct usage of sub-verb

(D) yet the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms has not risen to a comparable extent-- With Despite, yet is absolutely not required.

(E) yet the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably--Same as D
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2018, 10:23
2
+1 for option C. Clear explanation given in the post above. However , there is a point I would like to add.

There can be some confusion over pronoun who modifying law firms. Keep in mind that noun modifier (phrase following who) can modify slightly far away noun if the propositional phrase in between can't be placed anywhere else. Moreover in usage of pronouns be guided by logic. Just think - How can law firms be women ?? - Not possible. Hence who has to refer back to partners & judges. It is judges and partners who are women.

Pretty much all other options are a clear case of S-V agreement and use of despite-yet (wrong usage). Hence answer option C is correct.

Experts please correct my line of reasoning ...
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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12 Jan 2016, 23:31
1
‘Who’ refers to the partners and not to the firms. ‘At major law firms’ is an essential part of the partners. After all, the pronoun’ who’ cannot refer to the non-human term ‘firms’
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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13 Jan 2016, 21:11
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In D and E, is the presence of "yet" (which I understand is redundant) the only issue or is there any other issue as well, because this seems quite a tricky one to understand.
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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21 Feb 2017, 08:25
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Quote:
Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and passing bar examinations, the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women have not risen to a comparable extent.

(A) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women have not risen to a comparable extent
(B) the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms have not risen comparably
(C) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably
(D) yet the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms has not risen to a comparable extent
(E) yet the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably

Not an expert here but think I can help you with this one..

Despite X, Y is the form. Therefore delete D,E
Also "The proportion HAS not HAVE". Therefore delete A,B.

Who HAS to refer to a person Therefore the pronoun "who" refers to "partners", skipping over the propositional phrase "at major law firms." This is called as a noun modifier modifying a slightly far away noun. The prep phrase "at major law firm" has to be next to the "partners" because it modifies the noun "partners".

See more about noun modifier modifying a slightly far away noun here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/noun-modifie ... 35868.html. Really good article on it by e-gmat.
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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21 Feb 2017, 10:59
1
pallavi01 wrote:
Hi Expert,

I have a doubt in the option C
the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms "who" are women has not risen comparably.

The placement of who looks tricky in the sense, to what it is referring to, the law firms or the women.

I take was option D bit I ignored the 'yet' part.

The pronoun "who" can only refer to people. Therefore "firms" cannot be antecedent of "who". Hence "who" is not ambiguous.

In option D, "despite" and "yet" are redundant.
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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17 Jul 2017, 10:53
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Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and passing bar examinations, the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women have not risen to a comparable extent.

(A) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women have not risen to a comparable extent

- Important word here is proportion, and it should refer to a singular verb, here the usage of "have" is incorrect
- "to a comparable extent" is wordy and "comparably" can be preferred

(B) the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms have not risen comparably

- Again, usage of "have" is incorrect
- Proportion in this case only compares with women judges and partners at major law firms, note the missing reference of women for partners, which implies that the proportion is of all women judges and all partners (male or female) at major law firm

(C) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably

- CORRECT
- Proportion is clearly between "judges and partners at major law firms who are women"
- usage of comparably is correct

(D) yet the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms has not risen to a comparable extent

- As the word "despite" already brings in the contrast to this sentence, usage of "yet" is redundant here as it makes the sentence awkward.

(E) yet the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably

- As the word "despite" already brings in the contrast to this sentence, usage of "yet" is redundant here as it makes the sentence awkward.

Did you like the answer? Kudos
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2017, 04:45
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papillon86 wrote:
Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and passing bar examinations, the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women have not risen to a comparable extent.

(A) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women have not risen to a comparable extent
(B) the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms have not risen comparably
(C) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably
(D) yet the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms has not risen to a comparable extent
(E) yet the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably

And also explain wy the remianing options are incorrect.

Thanks

Responding to a pm:
Quote:
Can you please help me with this question. I'm confused with the usage of "who" here. As I know it should refer to "judjes and partners" but took place right after "law firms" which is in the answer choice C. How is that possible?

"who are women" is a noun modifier. It modifies "judges and partners".
Noun modifiers should be as close to the noun as possible but it is not necessary that they touch the noun. Also, the reference should not be ambiguous.
"who are women" can certainly not refer to law firms so this usage is correct.
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2018, 11:48
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souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 196: Sentence Correction

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Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and passing bar examinations, the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women have not risen to a comparable extent.

(A) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women have not risen to a comparable extent

(B) the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms have not risen comparably

(C) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably

(D) yet the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms has not risen to a comparable extent

(E) yet the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.

With (C) for the highlighted errors in the options...

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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2018, 12:44
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Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and passing bar examinations, the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women have not risen to a comparable extent.

(A) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women have not risen to a comparable extent -SV agreement

(B) the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms have not risen comparably -SV agreement

(C) the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably

(D) yet the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms has not risen to a comparable extent -Despite ...... yet ... --> incorrect construction

(E) yet the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women has not risen comparably -[color=#ff0000]Despite ...... yet ... --> incorrect
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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14 Jan 2018, 22:28
1
piyush1995 wrote:
I understand that C is the best option among all but doesn't "who" in C refer incorrectly to firms rather than the proportion of women ? It is a strict rule when it comes to relative pronouns such as who, which etc.

Hi piyush1995, who just cannot refer to firms, because grammatically, who cannot refer to non-persons (and firm is a non-person).

In fact, who is not intended to refer to proportion either. who is actually referring to judges and partners.
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2019, 08:50
1
the question is about SV number agreement and logic.
splitting the choices into 3-2

the proportion is singular-- hence A,B are out

Coming to c,D,E ..
the first one starts with despite which is a dependent Clause.
the use of yet in the second sentence is not logical as it will become a dependent clause too..
D and E are out.
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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20 Jan 2019, 04:35
1
GKomoku wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:

Well, there are two things that are different in (D) than in (C). One is that the word “comparably” is used in (C), but “to a comparable extent” appears in its place in (D). Honestly, I don’t know if this is a big deal. “Comparably” seems more succinct to me, but I’m not sure that “to a comparable extent” is necessarily WRONG. I certainly wouldn’t eliminate (D) based on that alone, even though I mildly prefer the shorter version in (C).

The other weird issue is the use of “yet” at the beginning of the underlined portion. So that gives us “Despite the increasing number of women…, yet the proportion of women judges…” That’s wrong: both “yet” and “despite” begin dependent clauses, so now the sentence just consists of two dependent clauses in a row. That’s not OK.

So (D) is out.

Good day Sir Charles GMATNinja

I'm a little confused with "despite" and "yet"
As far as I know "comma + FANBOYS" starts new IC, why "yet" in (D) is DC?
I considered that "Despite" is firts dependent clause, then "comma+yet"-IC so structure of the sentence is fine...
To me (D) was more appetitive that (C) with "who" modifier...

Could you please enlighten my doubts?

Worry less about the terminology and more about the logic of the construction.

Consider a simple example: "Timmy screamed all night, yet his father still attended the whiny kid's birthday party the next day." Technically, "yet" is a conjunction creating the expectation of a contrast (in this case, between two clauses). This is fine.

I could also write, "Despite Timmy screaming all night, his father still attended the whiny kid's birthday party the next day." "Despite" is also a kind of conjunction that sets up an expectation of contrast, except that in this case, "Timmy screaming all night" is not itself a clause. No problems here, either.

But it would be wrong to write "Despite Timmy screaming all night, yet his father still attended the whiny kid's birthday party the next day", because "despite" and "yet" are both performing the same function. Logic and meaning are the important things here -- not the technical grammar terms.

Quote:
Without "yet" (D) will be correct from meaning and grammar standpoint?
Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and passing bar examinations, the proportion of women judges and partners at major law firms has not risen to a comparable extent

This version fixes the major error. I'd still prefer "comparably" to "to a comparable extent" though I wouldn't say that the second phrase is technically wrong, and I doubt the difference would ever be the major decision point in an official question.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 27 Jan 2019, 21:25
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Top Contributor
Andi

andi

Where do you have a choice among the five, having women as the subject? Our job is to find the correct choice among the given five unless we are trying to create our own topics? I am afraid this approach is simply out of scope.

Now that this is an official question, are we going to say that we cannot answer this question, as there are no correct answers?
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Originally posted by daagh on 27 Jan 2019, 09:36.
Last edited by daagh on 27 Jan 2019, 21:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and  [#permalink]

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24 Oct 2019, 19:07
1
Quote:
Isn't C ambiguous in that it looks as if who are women modifies law firms.
Best could have been "at law firms. the proportion of blah blah who are women blah blah". Please guide.

You always want to eliminate concrete errors first. Ideally, you'd never consider pronoun ambiguity at all, but if you did, it would be as a last resort. In this particular question, we have some nice, juicy decision points.

First, there's the question of whether "yet" is correct. I can write, "Despite Tim's tendency to shower once a month, he often smells of vanilla and lavender." Or I can write, "Tim tends to shower once a month, yet he often smells of vanilla and lavender." But I can't write, "Despite Tim's tendency to shower once a month, yet he often smells of vanilla and lavender."

Put another way, I can introduce a contrasting modifier with "despite," or I can connect contrasting clauses with "yet," but I can't do both. Eliminate (D) and (E).

Next, there's choice between "have" and "has" in the second part of the sentence. The subject is "proportion," which is singular, so we want "has." That leaves us with (C). No need to waste brainpower on the usage of "who."

Also, bear in mind that "who" has to refer to people. If you look at the relevant clause, "the proportion of judges and partners at major law firms who are women, the only element "who" could be describing is "judges and partners," so there's no real ambiguity here. (And again, even if there were, pronoun ambiguity alone is not a good reason for eliminating an answer choice.)

I hope that helps!
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Re: Despite the increasing number of women graduating from law school and   [#permalink] 24 Oct 2019, 19:07

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