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# In business, a conflict of interests can occur when a firm puts itself

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In business, a conflict of interests can occur when a firm puts itself  [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2015, 12:27
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In business, a conflict of interests can occur when a firm puts itself in a position with its own interests are at odds with its commitments to its clients.

A. interests can occur when a firm puts itself in a position with
B. interest can occur when a firm puts itself in a position where
C. interests can occur if a firm puts itself in a position with
D. interests can occur with a firm putting itself in a position of
E. interest can occur when a firm is put in a position where

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Re: In business, a conflict of interests can occur when a firm puts itself  [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2015, 07:02
The question should be
In business, a conflict of interests can occur when a firm puts itself in a position with its own interests are at odds with its commitments to its clients.
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In business, a conflict of interests can occur when a firm puts itself  [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2015, 14:50
Can I use "where" when it is not refering to a physical location? If so, why is b) correct?
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Re: In business, a conflict of interests can occur when a firm puts itself  [#permalink]

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12 Jul 2015, 03:00
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Pags wrote:
Can I use "where" when it is not refering to a physical location? If so, why is b) correct?

Yes. "Where" is a normal conjunction which can be used here.

http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2014/06 ... -the-gmat/
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Re: In business, a conflict of interests can occur when a firm puts itself  [#permalink]

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12 Jul 2015, 21:45
Pags wrote:
Can I use "where" when it is not refering to a physical location? If so, why is b) correct?

Hi,

I think "puts itself in a position" by itself is an implied location.. hence where is ok..

Regards,
Dom.
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Re: In business, a conflict of interests can occur when a firm puts itself  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2019, 04:53
Why "interest" is correct, and "interests" is wrong ?
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Re: In business, a conflict of interests can occur when a firm puts itself  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2019, 05:15
daagh
generis

--Usage of where (how is it right to use when it is not referring to a place)
--When vs If for condition
--Interest vs Interests

Posted from my mobile device
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09 Apr 2019, 19:06
reto wrote:
In business, a conflict of interests can occur when a firm puts itself in a position with its own interests are at odds with its commitments to its clients.

A. interests can occur when a firm puts itself in a position with
B. interest can occur when a firm puts itself in a position where
C. interests can occur if a firm puts itself in a position with
D. interests can occur with a firm putting itself in a position of
E. interest can occur when a firm is put in a position where [not wrong, but not as good as B]

I would ignore the split between conflict of interest and conflict of interests.
I discuss that split in this post, here.
I cannot imagine that GMAC would ever test the controversial issue.

• Split #1: The prepositions WITH and OF cannot be followed by an independent clause

With a few exceptions, prepositions must be followed by nouns, pronouns, or noun phrases,
Prepositions may not be followed by clauses that contain a subject (its own interests) and a verb (are)

(The exceptions are words that function as both prepositions and subordinating conjunctions:
after, as, before, since, and until are the most common of these words.
They head up subordinate clauses and so will have a subject and verb.)

See, for example, OG 2018, SC # 794 (C).

Eliminate options A, C, and D

• Split #2: Active voice conveys clearer meaning than passive voice does

Options B and E remain.
I think this choice is a close call.

B) In business, a conflict of interest can occur when a firm puts itself in a position where its own interests are at odds with its commitments to its clients.

E) In business, a conflict of interest can occur when a firm is put in a position where its own interests are at odds with its commitments to its clients.
Nothing is wrong with this sentence (except probably for "where," but where is not a decision point).
Another entity or person can make it so that the firm is put in the position in which its own interests conflict with those of its clients.

Back to the law I go: a conflict of interest almost always
connotes a knowable and foreseeable conflict that a firm must avoid.

I do not think that answer B is a slam dunk.
Passive voice is not necessarily worse than active voice in this case.

For one thing, firms are not human agents.
If an inanimate thing is "doing" something that requires agency,
such as "putting itself in a position" of XYZ
we often use passive construction to downplay agency.
For another thing, many external players can put a firm in a conflict of interest situation.

I would choose (B) because conflict of interest in this sentence seems to be used in the
"intentional" sense: the firm puts itself in that position.

• The where issue:
(1) "Where" turns out not to be a decision point. The last two answers, B and E, both contain "where."

(2) I am not convinced that "putting in position" constitutes a standard enough use of location, one that would be acceptable on the GMAT.

The official explanation in OG 2018 SC #755 notes, for example, that "where is a nonstandard way to refer to a noun that does not name a location." You can find the question here. (I quoted the OE from the book.)

position in which would be better than position where, but where is not a decision point.

Where can be used as a subordinating conjunction. That usage is rare and not the case in this sentence — where is a relative pronoun used to modify and describe "position."

Usage changes, though. I have not seen a single exception to the "where is a location" rule on the GMAT. But if this question were to show up on on the GMAT, I would not be rattled.

Collins Dictionary (not my favorite dictionary) notes [THIS QUOTE DOES NOT APPLY TO THE GMAT AT THIS MOMENT],
"It was formerly considered incorrect to use 'where' as a substitute for 'in which' after a noun which did not refer to a place or position, but this use is now acceptable [NOT on the GMAT]: we now have a situation where/in which no further action is needed." Collins Online Dictionary, HERE.
I include that note because GMAC may decide to use "where" in the sense just described.

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In business, a conflict of interests can occur when a firm puts itself  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2019, 19:07
1
UdayPratapSingh99 wrote:
Why "interest" is correct, and "interests" is wrong ?

UdayPratapSingh99 , the phrase should not be a decision point.

In a strict grammatical sense that is rarely followed,
the term conflict of interest is always singular
because it describes one and only one situation.

If one party is internally conflicted (a CEO may not dump her company stock, for example)
she has a conflict of interest and faces a conflict of interest.
If two parties or ten parties are involved, the phrase is still conflict of interest.

I am 99.9% certain that GMAC will never test this issue; it is too controversial and too convoluted.
I found no examples in official questions. I did not expect to find any.

These forms of conflict of interest all show up in respectable sources:
conflicts of interest, conflict of interests, conflicts of interests
See, for example, Cambridge Dictionary online, here and Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English online, here.

Find a different split.

I have written and edited a lot of legal prose at very formal and elite levels, so
I know that the term is singular whether one person is internally conflicted
or 10 parties are involved in [an always singular] conflict of interest
but I would never eliminate A, C, and D for using "conflict of interestS."

We can eliminate A, C, and D, which use "interests," on a much more standard basis:
Prepositions cannot be followed by independent clauses. See my post above.

I hope that helps.
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In business, a conflict of interests can occur when a firm puts itself  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2019, 19:31
1
anvesh004 wrote:
daagh
generis

--Usage of where (how is it right to use when it is not referring to a place)
--When vs If for condition
--Interest vs Interests

Posted from my mobile device

anvesh004 , sure.

• Usage of where:
Please see my (long) footnote in my reply above, which is HERE.

• conflict of interest vs. conflict of interests:

• when vs. if for condition

We can always use "if" in any type of conditional (cause/effect, condition/result) statement.

We can always substitute "when" for "if" in cases called zero conditionals (general truths, established facts).

In zero conditionals, the situation is possible and real.

The time frame is now and always. A general truth can use WHEN because it is always true. . . . at any time.

In other types of conditionals (Types 1, 2, and 3, and Mixed), we cannot use when in place of if.
In those situations, the statement is not always true.

A zero conditional often uses IF and THEN, but there really is no doubt: a zero conditional expresses a general truth.

IF this thing happens, THEN that thing happens.
WHEN this thing happens, [THEN] that thing happens.

The IF or conditional clause is always in simple present tense.
The RESULT or MAIN clause is always in simple present tense.

Correct: If it rains, the ground gets wet.

Correct: When it rains, the ground gets wet.

Correct: The ground gets wet when it rains.

In this case, the zero conditional is

IF a firm puts itself in a position where [in which] its own interests are at odds with its commitments to its clients, THEN a conflict of interest can occur.

-- now just change IF to WHEN and eliminate the "then" if you want to do so.

WHEN a firm puts itself in a position where [in which] its own interests are at odds with its commitments to its clients, a conflict of interest can occur.

You caught the hidden zero conditional.
I wrote a post about zero conditionals
HERE.
That post contains a link to an excellent source about conditionals that includes the different types.

Takeaway: we can use when in cases that express general truths.

One way to decide: Are the condition and result clauses both in simple present tense? If they are, then the statement is a zero conditional.
In that case we can use "if" OR "when." And that situation is the only conditional in which when can be substituted for if.

Hope that helps.
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Re: In business, a conflict of interests can occur when a firm puts itself  [#permalink]

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10 Apr 2019, 00:19
generis wrote:
anvesh004 wrote:
daagh
generis

--Usage of where (how is it right to use when it is not referring to a place)
--When vs If for condition
--Interest vs Interests

Posted from my mobile device

anvesh004 , sure.

• Usage of where:
Please see my (long) footnote in my reply above, which is HERE.

• conflict of interest vs. conflict of interests:

• when vs. if for condition

We can always use "if" in any type of conditional (cause/effect, condition/result) statement.

We can always substitute "when" for "if" in cases called zero conditionals (general truths, established facts).

In zero conditionals, the situation is possible and real.

The time frame is now and always. A general truth can use WHEN because it is always true. . . . at any time.

In other types of conditionals (Types 1, 2, and 3, and Mixed), we cannot use when in place of if.
In those situations, the statement is not always true.

A zero conditional often uses IF and THEN, but there really is no doubt: a zero conditional expresses a general truth.

IF this thing happens, THEN that thing happens.
WHEN this thing happens, [THEN] that thing happens.

The IF or conditional clause is always in simple present tense.
The RESULT or MAIN clause is always in simple present tense.

Correct: If it rains, the ground gets wet.

Correct: When it rains, the ground gets wet.

Correct: The ground gets wet when it rains.

In this case, the zero conditional is

IF a firm puts itself in a position where [in which] its own interests are at odds with its commitments to its clients, THEN a conflict of interest can occur.

-- now just change IF to WHEN and eliminate the "then" if you want to do so.

WHEN a firm puts itself in a position where [in which] its own interests are at odds with its commitments to its clients, a conflict of interest can occur.

You caught the hidden zero conditional.
I wrote a post about zero conditionals
HERE.
That post contains a link to an excellent source about conditionals that includes the different types.

Takeaway: we can use when in cases that express general truths.

One way to decide: Are the condition and result clauses both in simple present tense? If they are, then the statement is a zero conditional.
In that case we can use "if" OR "when." And that situation is the only conditional in which when can be substituted for if.

Hope that helps.

Thank you for the response.
"When vs If" explanation is pretty clear. While I am trying to relate it to known use cases, it reminded me of a conversation in La La Land movie
Emma stone prompts to use "If" while Ryan considers "When"

00:40 - 00:50
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Re: In business, a conflict of interests can occur when a firm puts itself   [#permalink] 10 Apr 2019, 00:19
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