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# Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with hi

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with hi  [#permalink]

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10 May 2016, 13:45
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25% (medium)

Question Stats:

68% (01:16) correct 33% (01:38) wrong based on 460 sessions

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Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with his extraordinary intuition in negotiations, he would not have needed such a brilliant expert in finance as his CFO.

(A) Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with his extraordinary intuition in negotiations

(B) If the Boustrophedon’s CEO’s quantitative skills equaled his extraordinary negotiation intuition

(C) In the case that the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO were comparable to his extraordinary skill of using intuition in negotiations

(D) If Boustrophedon’s CEO’s skills for quantitative material were on par to his extraordinary intuition in negotiations

(E) If the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO were a comparable ability for his extraordinary intuition in negotiations

The past perfect tense can be tricky, especially in some of its more sophisticated uses. For a complete discussion, as well as the OE of this particular question, see
Past Perfect on GMAT Sentence Correction

Mike

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Re: Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with hi  [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2017, 20:59
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Quote:
Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with his extraordinary intuition in negotiations, he would not have needed such a brilliant expert in finance as his CFO.

(A) Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with his extraordinary intuition in negotiations

(B) If the Boustrophedon’s CEO’s quantitative skills equaled his extraordinary negotiation intuition

(C) In the case that the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO were comparable to his extraordinary skill of using intuition in negotiations

(D) If Boustrophedon’s CEO’s skills for quantitative material were on par to his extraordinary intuition in negotiations

(E) If the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO were a comparable ability for his extraordinary intuition in negotiations

This is a classic conditional 3 type, in which when the past perfect tense such as 'had been' is used in the conditional clause, one has to follow it up with a perfect conditional namely ' would + have ' format in the main clause. Reversely, when the perfect conditional namely 'would have ' is used in the main clause, one has to look forward to the past perfect in the conditional clause. Any other simple past will not work with the 'would have' structure in conditional sentences.
As per the above template,

[/color](A) Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with his extraordinary intuition in negotiations --- The past perfect in the conditionals is the perfect foil for the 'would have' in the main clause. -- Correct choice.

(B) If the Boustrophedon’s CEO’s quantitative skills equaled his extraordinary negotiation intuition -- equaled is simple past and does not go with the 'would have'

(C) In the case that the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO were comparable to his extraordinary skill of using intuition in negotiations--- were comparable is simple past, incompatible with the ' would have' in the main

(D) If Boustrophedon’s CEO’s skills for quantitative material were on par to his extraordinary intuition in negotiations -- were on par is incompatible-- same error as in B and C

(E) If the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO were a comparable ability for his extraordinary intuition in negotiations -- 'were a comparable' is simple past and per se wrong as per the format of conditional 3 type.

Beautiful concept, thanks to Mike
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Re: Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with hi  [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2017, 07:25
it will be of great help if you post SC qns more frequently as nowadays there many qns on gmatclub which are not gmat like and misguide the students.
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Re: Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with hi  [#permalink]

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09 Oct 2017, 02:12
This is a sub-600 level question.
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Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with hi  [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2017, 02:01
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KDPathak33 wrote:
This is a sub-600 level question.

Hi KDPathak33 ,

I think it's a bit more advanced than sub-600
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Re: Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with hi  [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2017, 05:29
Hello Mike,
Could you please explain it a bit more why B is wrong ans A is correct?
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Re: Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with hi  [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2017, 07:11
1
Prashant10692 wrote:
Hello Mike,
Could you please explain it a bit more why B is wrong ans A is correct?

Hi Prashant10692,

Sorry not Mike here :D but Here are my 2 cents :

A Vs B:

Verb Tense Issue in B:

The verb used in the if clause here has to be according to main clause, which is NON UNDERLINED.

When If clause uses PAST PERFECT (verb - HAD) then main clause has to use WOULD HAVE/COULD HAVE/MIGHT HAVE. choice A correctly uses "HAD".

Choice B uses Past tense (verb - equaled) for if clause and that is wrong. It could be correct if main clause had used COULD/WUOLD.

Modifier issue in B:

In choice A extraordinary (adjective) correctly modifies intution (NOUN), which is modified by "in negotiations" (a prepositional phrase - here as an adjective phrase)
so simply noun is modified by two adjectives and that is correct. so meaning wise this modification makes sense.

in choice B extraordinary (adjective) incorrectly modifies negotiation and two nouns "negotiations & intution" are placed together. So complete nonsensical meaning because of wrong modification.

Hope this helps you
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Re: Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with hi  [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2017, 14:43
1
Prashant10692 wrote:
Hello Mike,
Could you please explain it a bit more why B is wrong ans A is correct?

Dear Prashant10692

I see that HKD1710 already chimed in, but I will add a few additional thoughts. I'm happy to respond.

First of all, I would call the verb tense in (B) "fishy"--it's not black-and-white incorrect, but it's suspect. That's problem #1.

I would disagree with part of what HKD1710 said about "extraordinary negotiation intuition." First of all, in some context, it's appropriate to have [noun #1][noun #2], and it's understood that the first noun plays the role of a modifier.
"a fire truck"
"he's a baseball guy"
"a tree specialist"
This structure is very common in casual English conversation, but it's not always inappropriate in a formal academic content. Usually, though, the first noun, the noun in the role of modifier, is a short noun, a common noun. It sounds inherently awkward to have a long four-syllable formal-sounding noun in this role. Tacking on a long adjective in front of it makes it even worse: "extraordinary negotiation intuition." That's very awkward sounding: that's problem #2.

Then, in my mind, the crowning-jewel problem: it sounds sloppy and awkward to have a series of possessives:
[noun #1's](noun #2's][noun #3] = very awkward
This is precisely what we have in the structure: "the Boustrophedon’s CEO’s quantitative skills." Yuck! Very awkward! That's problem #3, perhaps the biggest problem.

With all three of those, it's very clear that (B) cannot be the answer.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with hi  [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2017, 23:06
Yes sir.
Thank you so much for such an amazing explanation.

p.s I am really a big ban of your CR stories. The way you connect the CR argument to a normal daily life scenario,by adding a context to it, is really superb.
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When nothing seem to help, I would go and look at a Stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred time without as much as a crack showing in it.
Yet at the hundred and first blow it would split in two.
And I knew it was not that blow that did it, But all that had gone Before
.
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Re: Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with hi  [#permalink]

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13 Jan 2019, 03:12
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Re: Had the quantitative skills of Boustrophedon’s CEO been on par with hi   [#permalink] 13 Jan 2019, 03:12
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