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# In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut

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In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 22 Oct 2018, 00:53
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In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut prices; their wines have been priced to sell, and they are.

(A) have been priced to sell, and they are
(B) are priced to sell, and they have
(C) are priced to sell, and they do
(D) are being priced to sell, and have
(E) had been priced to sell, and they have

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Question No.: SC 91
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 123: Sentence Correction

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Originally posted by shygo on 04 Sep 2004, 12:27.
Last edited by Bunuel on 22 Oct 2018, 00:53, edited 3 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2013, 16:43
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KevinBrink wrote:
I agree with AdeelSilat, how on earth can wines sell themselves. So A can be the only correct answer. I know this is not OA however this questions is full of ****!

Hi KevinBrink,

In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut prices; their wines have been priced to sell, and they are.

This is an official question – OG13#91 – created by the creators of the GMAT. The quality of their questions is unparalleled. I guess, you are not able to understand the meaning of this problem, and that is why it is giving you a tough time. So let’s get started with meaning analysis.

Meaning Analysis:

Italian wine sellers have cut prices of their wines because they want to reduce their stock. They have priced their wine such so that they sell, and the wines actually sell because of this reduced price.

Error Analysis:

Now let’s look at the errors in the original sentence:
The first past of the underlined portion says the wines have been priced to sell. The second part says “they are”. So here we have ellipsis in play. Now, we can only make those words understood that have already appeared in the sentence in the same for. However, after “are” the verbs that can be used are “sold” or “selling”. However, none of these verb forms appear in the sentence anywhere. Hence, “are” is the incorrect helping verb.
Now, there can be a confusion regarding the usage of “sell”. “sell” means to “sell” something. When someone does the action of selling. There is another meaning of “sell” - to have a specific price; be offered for sale at the price indicated. For example: Leather boots sell for just \$30.
This is how “sell” has been used in the second part of the underlined portion.

PoE:

(A) have been priced to sell, and they are: Incorrect for the reason stated above.

(B) are priced to sell, and they have: Incorrect. “have” should be followed by “sold” but this word is not present anywhere in the sentence.

(C) are priced to sell, and they do: Correct. Helping verb “do” stands for “sell”, the word that already exists in the sentence.

(D) are being priced to sell, and have: Incorrect. Same error as choice B.

(E) had been priced to sell, and they have: Incorrect.
i. Use of past perfect tense “had been priced” is incorrect because there is no other event in past tense.
ii. Same error as in choice B.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2017, 12:22
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Heh. I kind of hate this question, and that’s exactly why we chose it for a QOTD. Yeah, it’s a verb tense question, but as with most GMAT SC verb tense questions, it’s mostly a question of thinking somewhat deeply about meaning. If you’re using different verb tenses, then the actions must logically happen at different times. (And we’ll have a lot more to say about GMAT verb tenses in an upcoming YouTube webinar.)

OK, so let’s start by figuring out WTF this sentence is trying to say. Before the semicolon, we have an action in present perfect tense (“vintners have cut prices”). The use of this tense suggests that the action began in the past, and continues into the present – or at least that the consequences continue in the present.

So whatever happens in the underlined portion, it has to be consistent – somehow – with the timeline that vintners started cutting prices sometime in the past, and then reaped the benefits later.

Quote:
(A) have been priced to sell, and they are

I’m not sure that the verb tenses are 100% wrong here, but they aren’t great. “Vintners have cut prices” (in the past, continuing into the present), the wines “have been priced to sell” (also in the past, continuing into the present), but then we have “they are.” Why is it that the “they are” is suddenly in the present, but the pricing stuff started in the past? I’m not sure that it’s wrong, but I don’t think it’s ideal.

The bigger issue: “they are” is the end of the sentence. “They are”… WHAT, exactly? “They are”… delicious? “They are”… cheap? “They are”… getting me drunk after I drink two bottles for breakfast?

(Oops, did I say that last part out loud? I don’t drink wine for breakfast… anymore. But there were some interesting times in Argentina…)

Anyway, you have to make a big, fat, weird leap to assume that the word “selling” is implied at the end of the sentence. There’s no grammatical reason why we would be able to make that assumption. And so we don’t actually know what the sentence is trying to say if the sentence just ends with “they are.”

So (A) is out, even if you’re able to give the verb tenses the benefit of the doubt.

Quote:
(B) are priced to sell, and they have

We have a very similar problem in (B) as in (A): “they have”… what, exactly? “They have”… been fermented from leftover potato pancakes instead of grapes? “They have”… caused Johnny Depp to destroy another hotel room in a drunken haze? “They have”… made Mike tipsy and happy after a long day of surfing?

We can’t just assume that the word “sold” would magically appear after the “have.” Again, there’s no grammatical reason why we can just carry another form of the verb “to sell” to the end of the sentence.

(B) is gone, too.

Quote:
(C) are priced to sell, and they do

OK, this is a weird aspect of the English language: various forms of the verb “to do” functions sort of like a pronoun, except that it can refer back to a verb instead of a noun. Consider the following examples:

• Mike always wanted to surf in Chile, and last year, he did. → “did” refers back to the verb “to surf”
• Charlie wanted to eat nine pretzels in one day, and on his last trip to Munich, he did. → “did” refers back to the verb phrase “to eat nine pretzels in one day”, and that sounds awesome

So in (C), the meaning actually makes sense: if “do” refers back to the verb “to sell”, we’re OK. “... the wines are priced to sell, and they [sell].” No problem.

The verb tenses also work pretty well here: vintners “have cut prices” (starting in the past, continuing into the present), and THEN we see the consequences in the present (“the wines are priced to sell, and they [sell]”).

We probably can’t do much better than (C).

Quote:
(D) are being priced to sell, and have

(D) has the same general issue as in (A) and (B): “they have”… what, exactly? Plus, the verb tenses aren’t great here. Why would we use the present progressive “are being priced” – which emphasizes that an action is happening right now – only to switch back to “have”… which is presumably present perfect tense, if it were followed by a participle (i.e., “have sold”).

In other words, even if we assume that the word “have” magically implies the entire phrase “have sold”, the timeline would still be illogical. So (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) had been priced to sell, and they have

(E) has the same “they have… what?” issue as (D), but now the verb tenses are even worse. “Had been priced to sell” suggests that they had been priced to sell in the distant past, before some other past action. So, um, the wines “had been priced to sell” before “vintners have cut prices”, I guess? I’m not sure that you could use the past perfect “had been” before the present perfect “have cut” – but either way, the timeline is completely illogical.

(E) can be eliminated, and we’re left with (C). Tough question, no?
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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02 Nov 2009, 11:49
35
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(A) have been priced to sell, and they are selling

the omitted word is selling

(B) are priced to sell, and they have sold
Wrong tense the omitted word is Sold

(C) are priced to sell, and they do sell

best answer, do is correctly used in place of the full verb do sell; in this verb, do is a conjugated
form and sell is in the infinitive form

(D) are being priced to sell, and have sold

Wrong tense the omitted word is Sold

(E) had been priced to sell, and they have sold

Wrong tense the omitted word is Sold
##### General Discussion
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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05 Sep 2004, 00:17
21
10
In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut prices; their wines have been priced to sell. and they are.

(A) have been priced to sell, and they are
(B) are priced to sell, and they have
(C) are priced to sell, and they do
(D) are being priced to sell, and have
(E) had been priced to sell, and they have

this question is an ellipsis question and therefore verbs must match
(A) have been priced to sell, and they are selling

(B) are priced to sell, and they have sold(

C) are priced to sell, and they do sell
(
D) are being priced to sell, and have sold

(E) had been priced to sell, and they have sold

Only C makes the good elipsis.
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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14 Sep 2009, 19:10
1
1
given the choice needs something || to sell

(A) have been priced to sell, and they are -- Selling not ||
(B) are priced to sell, and they have - will have sold, not ||
(C) are priced to sell, and they do - sell, and || -> correct choice
(D) are being priced to sell, and have - sold same as B, no subject
(E) had been priced to sell, and they have - sold same as B

So C.
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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02 Nov 2009, 12:12
3
If you rewrite using proper noun then it will be

Italian vintners wines are priced to sell, and Italian vintners do sell
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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04 Jan 2011, 18:30
2
6
87. In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners
have cut prices; their wines have been priced to sell,
and they are
.

(A) have been priced to sell, and they are
(B) are priced to sell, and they have
(C) are priced to sell, and they do
(D) are being priced to sell, and have
(E) had been priced to sell, and they have

In the OG explanation "the second verb does not need to repeat the word sell because it is understood from the previous verb phrase priced to sell..."

I seem to constantly miss these problems types where key words do not need to be repeated. Any suggestions of improving on these question types?
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2011, 15:59
3
1
In general, words being left out or ellipsed is one of the most difficult tricks that English grammar plays, and certainly one of the weirdest that shows up in SC. A couple of general tips:

1) Think as often as you can of the rules of parallel structure. Many different kinds of words can "distribute" to all parts of parallel constructions. The most common are auxiliary (helping) verbs, but other words can also be ellipsed comfortably. For instance:

"My sisters, brothers, and cousins all are coming over." (the adjective "my" is distributed)
"I am, was, and always will be, living in the shadow of my father." (the "living" completes all three verbs -- it's like it's distributed backwards)

2) Think of the word "do" as a "pro-verb." Much as pronouns stand in for nouns, "do" often stands in for a present-tense verb. This is especially common in comparisons:

"As do crickets in the countryside, cars fill up the cityscape with constant background noise." Here, the entire second phrase, but mostly the verb "fill up," is contained within the simple word "do." It may seem weird, but it's very common and totally legitimate.

Please keep in mind that there's no such thing as a "pro-verb" -- it's just something I made up to simplify the explanation of sentences like these. Please don't tell the folks at the Modern Language Association or I'll be in big trouble!
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2012, 23:17
6
1
A: wines...priced to SELL, and they are [SELLING].
Selling and sell are different forms.
Eliminate A.

B, D, and E: wines...priced to SELL, and they have [SOLD].
Sold and sell are different forms.
Eliminate B, D and E.

The correct answer is C:
wines priced to SELL, and they do [SELL].
Here, do is standing in for sell.
Both verbs are in the same form.
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2013, 11:15
I agree with AdeelSilat, how on earth can wines sell themselves. So A can be the only correct answer. I know this is not OA however this questions is full of ****!
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2013, 00:17
1
sprtng wrote:
by POE, got C, but dont know how this is correct...i still think it should be past tense...

(A) have been priced to sell, and they are -have been/are tense mismatch
(B) are priced to sell, and they have -they have what?
(C) are priced to sell, and they do -tense wise are ok, but i dont know why this could be right
(D) are being priced to sell, and have -and who have what? are being is also awkward
(E) had been priced to sell, and they have -had been? tense incorrect

The word " sell" is not in the last part because of ellipsis (where certain words can be omitted without breaking parallelism). However, the omitted word(s) must already appear in the sentence and must make sense when substituted back in (sub in and check).

Regarding what you mentioned about tense mismatch, parallelism can be done in a variety of ways, so it doesn't always hold that the tenses must be parallel (but they must be logical)

Just looking at parallelism:
(A) have been priced to sell, and they are (priced to sell -> repeating info in first bit so redundant)
(B) are priced to sell, and they have (priced to sell -> nonsense when slotted back in)
(C) are priced to sell, and they do (sell- makes sense)
(D) are being priced to sell, and have (priced to sell -> again nonsensical)
(E) had been priced to sell, and they have (been priced to sell -> ditto)
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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23 Feb 2013, 07:02
3
Question from OG, seeking explanation to the OG explanation

Q. In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners
have cut prices; their wines have been priced to sell,
and they are
.

(A) have been priced to sell, and they are
(B) are priced to sell, and they have
(C) are priced to sell, and they do
(D) are being priced to sell, and have
(E) had been priced to sell, and they have

OG says wrt answer D : omitting the subject they requires that the comma be omitted as well.

that means D (if correct) should be:
"are being priced to sell and have sold"

Can someone explain me the omission of comma + that , theory ?
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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23 Feb 2013, 09:14
3
1
eski wrote:
Question from OG, seeking explanation to the OG explanation

Q. In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners
have cut prices; their wines have been priced to sell,
and they are
.

(A) have been priced to sell, and they are
(B) are priced to sell, and they have
(C) are priced to sell, and they do
(D) are being priced to sell, and have
(E) had been priced to sell, and they have

OG says wrt answer D : omitting the subject they requires that the comma be omitted as well.

that means D (if correct) should be:
"are being priced to sell and have sold"

Can someone explain me the omission of comma + that , theory ?

Hi eski,

There are two uses of comma before "and"

i) As a serial comma, used in lists with three or more items.

e.g. Our supermarket sells eatables, cosmetics, hardware, and furniture.

ii) To join (or coordinate) two clauses; this usage is mentioned in the OG.

To illustrate lets consider a simple example:

Joan went to the supermarket, and she bought groceries. --> Correct, comma + and is used to join two clauses. As OG mentioned, subject is required after and
if comma is used.

Joan went to the supermarket and bought groceries. --> Correct, comma is omitted so is the subject after "and"

Joan went to the supermarket; she bought groceries. --> Correct, Semicolon correctly connects independent clauses.

Joan went to the supermarket, and bought groceries. --> Incorrect, this sentence has the same problem as in (D)

Joan went to the supermarket, she bought groceries. --> Incorrect, only a comma can not join two independent clauses. Comma or semicolon should be used.

In the question above if (C) would have been worded as "are priced to sell and do" then also this choice would have been correct.

Hope that helps,

Vercules
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2013, 01:55
1
"Have been priced to sell, and they do" will still be incorrect. ‘Have been priced’ means, they have been priced from quite some time. ‘Are priced’ means, they are priced at the moment, (after the prices have been slashed). The logic is that if they have been priced to sell from the past, why did they not then sell in the past, necessitating a price slash” It is clear that the wines are selling only now. So the use of present perfect tense ‘have been priced’ changes the intent of the clause.
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2013, 05:14
daagh wrote:
"Have been priced to sell, and they do" will still be incorrect. ‘Have been priced’ means, they have been priced from quite some time. ‘Are priced’ means, they are priced at the moment, (after the prices have been slashed). The logic is that if they have been priced to sell from the past, why did they not then sell in the past, necessitating a price slash” It is clear that the wines are selling only now. So the use of present perfect tense ‘have been priced’ changes the intent of the clause.

Hi daagh,

Request you to please validate my reasoning on the question posted above.

In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut prices; their wines have been priced to sell.
and they do(sell).

I believe, that their wines have been priced to sell is correct usage of tense, since it shows the time frame of pricing the wines is same as that of cutting the prices. Obviously, Dealers must have cut prices in order to have a new discounted price that will cause the wines to sell. i.e Both actions must happen simultaneously.
However, the problem is with "do sell". Now, the phrase " do sell" shows that the action is happening at this moment. This is incorrect. The action must have started when the action of "pricing" started. i.e Cause -Effect must have started at the same time.

Thanks
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2013, 09:46
To answer your query, let ma ask you 1. to give a suitable verb that describes your reasoning. 2. Is that verb is applied in any of the choices here. 3 what verb you will use for a generalization that happened in the past or started in the past, continues today and is likely to do so in the future too. Let me give you some examples

The first example will be “ Messi has played well in the past, plays well now too and will do so in the future. Are we right in saying that Messy plays well;

The second example will be: The Sun rose in the east in the past; it rises in the east everyday and it will rise in the future too in the east. How can we describe such a phenomenon? Which is a better sentence?
The Sun has been rising in the east (or)
The Sun rises in the east
Apart from the nit-picking of the grammar issue here, I do believe that the modern concise writing style will take chocie C as the most appropriate.
Finally, isn't this Sentence Correction rather than Critical Reasoning?
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2018, 10:05
Hi,

Though it is clear why C is the correct answer, I would like to know if "their" in their wines and "they" could refer to two entirely different nouns.

IMO, their would refer to Italian Vintners while they would refer to wines, & since both the pronouns refer to different nouns, is the structure of the sentence as per GMAT rules (pronoun ambiguity) acceptable?

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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2018, 19:22
1
1
578vishnu wrote:
Hi,

Though it is clear why C is the correct answer, I would like to know if "their" in their wines and "they" could refer to two entirely different nouns.

IMO, their would refer to Italian Vintners while they would refer to wines, & since both the pronouns refer to different nouns, is the structure of the sentence as per GMAT rules (pronoun ambiguity) acceptable?

Thanks GMATNinja GMATNinjaTWO

Public Service Announcement: anytime you're asking whether the construction in an official, correct answer is acceptable, the answer is always "yes."

There are two things you ideally want to notice here. First, four of the five answer choices contain "they." If you can see that (D) has both a verb tense and a logic issue, this option is out, and you know that you're going to be left with "they" in the correct answer. So there's no reason to waste brain cells worrying about "they", because you basically don't have a choice once you eliminate (D).

Secondly, the construction might not be ideal, but it's pretty logical. Often, when we use a pronoun in the subject of a clause, that pronoun will refer back to the subject of the previous clause (see this video for more on this particular pronoun issue). The sentence starts with "Italian vintners have cut prices; their wines are..." "Their wines" is the subject of the second clause, and the subject of the first clause was "Italian vintners". So there's no problem there.

Next, we have: "their wines are priced to sell, and they do." Again, "they" is the subject of a clause, and the subject of the previous clause was "their wines." Makes sense for "they" to refer to those wines. (And it's worth reiterating: if we'd been able to get rid of (D), we wouldn't waste any time with the above analysis.)

I hope that helps!
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Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut  [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2018, 08:56
A) have been priced to sell, and they are
(B) are priced to sell, and they have
(C) are priced to sell, and they do
(D) are being priced to sell, and have
(E) had been priced to sell, and they have
Re: In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut   [#permalink] 05 Dec 2018, 08:56

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# In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut

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