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Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department

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Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 16 Oct 2018, 03:09
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Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department staff members were instructed to store their files on secure servers.


(A) Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department staff members were instructed to store their files on secure servers.

(B) Because diplomatic work was highly sensitive, the State Department’s staff had been instructed to store all files on secure servers.

(C) Whereas diplomatic work was highly sensitive, the State Department’s staff was instructed to store their files on secure servers.

(D) Because of the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department staff members were instructed to store their files on secure servers.

(E) The State Department’s staff had been instructed to store their files on secure servers, since their work was highly sensitive.


Verbal Question of The Day: Day 18: Sentence Correction


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Originally posted by souvik101990 on 24 May 2017, 06:36.
Last edited by Bunuel on 16 Oct 2018, 03:09, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department  [#permalink]

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New post 24 May 2017, 06:38
12
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This looks like a nice, clear, straightforward, mechanical question, with lots of nice pronoun and verb tense and modifier issues. I like it.

Quote:
(A) Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department staff members were instructed to store their files on secure servers.

Whenever you see "due to", you'll want to ask: what does the phrase "due to _______" modify? In this sentence, "due to the highly sensitive nature of their work" is trying to describe "were instructed" -- but that doesn't work, since "due to _____" can only modify a noun. And it definitely doesn't make sense to say that "all State Department staff members... were due to the highly sensitive nature of their work." Eliminate (A).

Quote:
(B) Because diplomatic work was highly sensitive, the State Department’s staff had been instructed to store all files on secure servers.

The verb tenses don't make any sense in (B). Whenever you see "had + verb" (past perfect tense, if you like jargon), the action has to occur before some other time marker in the past (usually, another action in simple past tense). In this case, the sentence seems to be saying that the staff had been instructed to use secure servers first, and then the diplomatic work became highly sensitive later. That doesn't make sense, so we can get rid of (B).

Quote:
(C) Whereas diplomatic work was highly sensitive, the State Department’s staff was instructed to store their files on secure servers.

"Staff" is singular, but "their" is plural, so (C) can be eliminated easily enough.

Quote:
(D) Because of the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department staff members were instructed to store their files on secure servers.

This looks fine to me. Pronoun agreement is fine, and we don't have any issues with "due to" or verb tenses. We'll keep this one.

Quote:
(E) The State Department’s staff had been instructed to store their files on secure servers, since their work was highly sensitive.

(E) gives us nicer-sounding versions of the errors in (B) and (C). (D) is the winner.
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Re: Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department  [#permalink]

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New post 24 May 2017, 22:33
I chose D. The following is my reasoning:

Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department staff members were instructed to store their files on secure servers.

(A) Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department staff members were instructed to store their files on secure servers.
=> Wrong. "highly sensitive nature of their work" explains why "all State Department staff members were instructed..." But when we use "due to", it turns out that "highly sensitive nature of their work" explains "all State Department staff members". Illogical meaning!
(B) Because diplomatic work was highly sensitive, the State Department’s staff had been instructed to store all files on secure servers.
=> Wrong. Usage of past perfect "had been" is wrong. Past perfect is used only when an action happened before another action occurring in the past. In this question, the action "be instructed" does not happen before any other past action. That "diplomatic work was highly sensitive" must happen before or during the main action.
(C) Whereas diplomatic work was highly sensitive, the State Department’s staff was instructed to store their files on secure servers.
=> Wrong. Intended meaning expresses a causal relationship (Because of A, B happened). But in this option, as indicated by "whereas", A is contrasted by B. Intended meaning is changed!
(D) Because of the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department staff members were instructed to store their files on secure servers.
=> CORRECT!
(E) The State Department’s staff had been instructed to store their files on secure servers, since their work was highly sensitive.
=> Wrong. This option is eliminated for the same reason as in option (B)
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Re: Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department  [#permalink]

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New post 27 May 2017, 21:07
GMATNinja wrote:
This looks like a nice, clear, straightforward, mechanical question, with lots of nice pronoun and verb tense and modifier issues. I like it.

Quote:
(A) Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department staff members were instructed to store their files on secure servers.

Whenever you see "due to", you'll want to ask: what does the phrase "due to _______" modify? In this sentence, "due to the highly sensitive nature of their work" is trying to describe "were instructed" -- but that doesn't work, since "due to _____" can only modify a noun. And it definitely doesn't make sense to say that "all State Department staff members... were due to the highly sensitive nature of their work." Eliminate (A).

Quote:
(B) Because diplomatic work was highly sensitive, the State Department’s staff had been instructed to store all files on secure servers.

The verb tenses don't make any sense in (B). Whenever you see "had + verb" (past perfect tense, if you like jargon), the action has to occur before some other time marker in the past (usually, another action in simple past tense). In this case, the sentence seems to be saying that the staff had been instructed to use secure servers first, and then the diplomatic work became highly sensitive later. That doesn't make sense, so we can get rid of (B).

Quote:
(C) Whereas diplomatic work was highly sensitive, the State Department’s staff was instructed to store their files on secure servers.

"Staff" is singular, but "their" is plural, so (C) can be eliminated easily enough.

Quote:
(D) Because of the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department staff members were instructed to store their files on secure servers.

This looks fine to me. Pronoun agreement is fine, and we don't have any issues with "due to" or verb tenses. We'll keep this one.

Quote:
(E) The State Department’s staff had been instructed to store their files on secure servers, since their work was highly sensitive.

(E) gives us nicer-sounding versions of the errors in (B) and (C). (D) is the winner.



=============================================

Very nice Explanation but I have 1 doubt.

In option D-) and also in most of the options, we have "nature of there work" in the 1st clause. but its antecedent is afterwords, Is it fine for Sentence structure???
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Re: Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2017, 11:46
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kawaljeet wrote:
Very nice Explanation but I have 1 doubt.

In option D-) and also in most of the options, we have "nature of there work" in the 1st clause. but its antecedent is afterwords, Is it fine for Sentence structure???


Thank you, kawaljeet! And yes, it can be OK to have a pronoun come before its antecedent on the GMAT, as long as the two are close enough to each other to avoid ambiguity. So something like this is generally acceptable: "Because of their frustration with the president's policies, leftists protested in the streets for four years."

And here's an official example: https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-first-de ... 77464.html
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Re: Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2017, 03:12
GMATNinja wrote:
This looks like a nice, clear, straightforward, mechanical question, with lots of nice pronoun and verb tense and modifier issues. I like it.

Quote:
(A) Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department staff members were instructed to store their files on secure servers.

Whenever you see "due to", you'll want to ask: what does the phrase "due to _______" modify? In this sentence, "due to the highly sensitive nature of their work" is trying to describe "were instructed" -- but that doesn't work, since "due to _____" can only modify a noun. And it definitely doesn't make sense to say that "all State Department staff members... were due to the highly sensitive nature of their work." Eliminate (A).

Quote:
(B) Because diplomatic work was highly sensitive, the State Department’s staff had been instructed to store all files on secure servers.

The verb tenses don't make any sense in (B). Whenever you see "had + verb" (past perfect tense, if you like jargon), the action has to occur before some other time marker in the past (usually, another action in simple past tense). In this case, the sentence seems to be saying that the staff had been instructed to use secure servers first, and then the diplomatic work became highly sensitive later. That doesn't make sense, so we can get rid of (B).

Quote:
(C) Whereas diplomatic work was highly sensitive, the State Department’s staff was instructed to store their files on secure servers.

"Staff" is singular, but "their" is plural, so (C) can be eliminated easily enough.

Quote:
(D) Because of the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department staff members were instructed to store their files on secure servers.

This looks fine to me. Pronoun agreement is fine, and we don't have any issues with "due to" or verb tenses. We'll keep this one.

Quote:
(E) The State Department’s staff had been instructed to store their files on secure servers, since their work was highly sensitive.

(E) gives us nicer-sounding versions of the errors in (B) and (C). (D) is the winner.



can anyone differentiate between due to and because of?
I'm really confused between the two.
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Re: Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department  [#permalink]

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Re: Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2018, 05:40
GMATNinja wrote:
This looks like a nice, clear, straightforward, mechanical question, with lots of nice pronoun and verb tense and modifier issues. I like it.

Quote:
(A) Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department staff members were instructed to store their files on secure servers.

Whenever you see "due to", you'll want to ask: what does the phrase "due to _______" modify? In this sentence, "due to the highly sensitive nature of their work" is trying to describe "were instructed" -- but that doesn't work, since "due to _____" can only modify a noun. And it definitely doesn't make sense to say that "all State Department staff members... were due to the highly sensitive nature of their work." Eliminate (A).

Quote:
(B) Because diplomatic work was highly sensitive, the State Department’s staff had been instructed to store all files on secure servers.

The verb tenses don't make any sense in (B). Whenever you see "had + verb" (past perfect tense, if you like jargon), the action has to occur before some other time marker in the past (usually, another action in simple past tense). In this case, the sentence seems to be saying that the staff had been instructed to use secure servers first, and then the diplomatic work became highly sensitive later. That doesn't make sense, so we can get rid of (B).

Quote:
(C) Whereas diplomatic work was highly sensitive, the State Department’s staff was instructed to store their files on secure servers.

"Staff" is singular, but "their" is plural, so (C) can be eliminated easily enough.

Quote:
(D) Because of the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department staff members were instructed to store their files on secure servers.

This looks fine to me. Pronoun agreement is fine, and we don't have any issues with "due to" or verb tenses. We'll keep this one.

Quote:
(E) The State Department’s staff had been instructed to store their files on secure servers, since their work was highly sensitive.

(E) gives us nicer-sounding versions of the errors in (B) and (C). (D) is the winner.


Hello GMATNinja
I may be naive to this explanation, but please help me here:-
In this sentence, "due to the highly sensitive nature of their work" is trying to describe "were instructed" -- but that doesn't work, since "due to _____" can only modify a noun
Here how "due to" is modifying "were instructed". Please enlighten me.
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Re: Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2018, 10:49
chandra004 wrote:
Hello GMATNinja
I may be naive to this explanation, but please help me here:-
In this sentence, "due to the highly sensitive nature of their work" is trying to describe "were instructed" -- but that doesn't work, since "due to _____" can only modify a noun
Here how "due to" is modifying "were instructed". Please enlighten me

The key is to think about what the phrase "due to _________" is trying to tell us. In this case, you want to ask yourself what, exactly happens "due to the highly sensitive nature of their work." Logically, the consequence of "the highly sensitive nature of their work" is that the staff members "were instructed" (to store their files on a secure server). And since that's a verb phrase -- and not a noun -- "due to" is inappropriate here.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Due to the highly sensitive nature of their work, all State Department &nbs [#permalink] 01 Jul 2018, 10:49
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