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Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity

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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2018, 12:54
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Skywalker18 wrote:
Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

The original option is an inverted sentence and can be changed as -
General market inactivity, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance, has been making things even more difficult lately.

If we have a sentence structure "X is(or was) Y".
-If anything before the verb can be the subject, then that's the subject.
- If nothing before the verb can be the subject, then we have a backward construction/ inverted structure (in which subject follows the verb)

On the table are two cell phones --> Two cell phones are on the table ---> I just changed the order and since the sentence is simple -- it's easy

Can we convert a sentence from backward construction/ inverted structure to a normal construction(in which subject precedes the verb) by just changing the order to Y is X for the original sentence "X is Y" ?

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , VeritasPrepBrian, GMATGuruNY , VeritasKarishma , DmitryFarber , RonPurewal , ChiranjeevSingh , other experts - please enlighten

Hi Skywalker18,

This sentence cannot be broken down into "X is Y" -- "making" here needs to be interpreted either as a part of the verb ("has been making") or as a modifier (which cannot be the subject or object of a sentence). Consider this sentence:

Skywalker was studying for the test all night.

The verb here is "was studying", not just "was". If we invert this sentence:

Studying for the test all night was Skywalker.

we end up with a Yoda-like sentence (which is unfortunately not correct). Alternately, we could use "studying" as a modifier:

Studying for the test all night, Skywalker was determined to get a good score.

However, this only works because we have a separate independent clause (Skywalker was determined...).

I hope that helps!
-Carolyn
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2018, 18:51
Skywalker18 wrote:
Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

The original option is an inverted sentence and can be changed as -
General market inactivity, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance, has been making things even more difficult lately.

If we have a sentence structure "X is(or was) Y".
-If anything before the verb can be the subject, then that's the subject.
- If nothing before the verb can be the subject, then we have a backward construction/ inverted structure (in which subject follows the verb)

On the table are two cell phones --> Two cell phones are on the table ---> I just changed the order and since the sentence is simple -- it's easy

Can we convert a sentence from backward construction/ inverted structure to a normal construction(in which subject precedes the verb) by just changing the order to Y is X for the original sentence "X is Y" ?

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , VeritasPrepBrian, GMATGuruNY , VeritasKarishma , DmitryFarber , RonPurewal , ChiranjeevSingh , other experts - please enlighten
You should be able to do that, if you already have a correct Y is X in front of you. Just watch out for a few cases in which the X is a little longer than in your examples:

1. In no movie is he the villain.
Here we have to leave the villain where it is (He is the villain in no movie, and not He the villain is in no movie).

2. Rarely are tigers seen in the wild nowadays.
When the is or are is a helping verb, we need to take the rest of the verb into account.
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New post 29 Oct 2018, 16:01
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Hello Everyone!

Let's take a closer look at this question and tackle it, one problem at a time! Before we dive in, here is the original question with any major differences between the options highlighted in orange:

Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

(A) has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided
(B) there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided
(C) general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided
(D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided
(E) is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis, which provides

After taking a quick glance over the options, there are two main things we can focus on:

1. What comes before the phrase "if not paralysis"
2. What comes after the phrase "if not paralysis"

This sounds like too much to focus on, right? Let's think about this in a different way:

1. Proper placement/use of a non-essential phrase or interjection ("...,if not paralysis,...")
2. Modifier Placement (the phrase "Making things even more difficult" is a modifier)


Let's tackle #1 on our list: non-essential phrases or interjections. In this sentence, the phrase "if not paralysis" is considered an interjection. It's a phrase that's added in to sound more conversational or to add more detail that's not 100% vital to know. For non-essential phrases, they are always put in between commas to indicate that they're not necessary for the sentence to make sense.

To test this, we can cross out the non-essential phrase and check to see if what's left is both a complete sentence and retains its intended meaning. Let's take a look at each option, but with the non-essential phrase crossed out:

(A) Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis,which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance. --> INCORRECT
(What's left over is a run-on sentence, which means the phrase isn't in the right place or the wording in the rest of the sentence is wrong.)

(B) Making things even more difficult there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided little in the way of pricing guidance. --> INCORRECT
(What's left over is a run-on sentence, so this is also wrong.)

(C) Making things even more difficult general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided little in the way of pricing guidance. --> INCORRECT
(This can't stand alone because it needs a comma between "difficult" and "general" to separate the modifier from the subject.)

(D) Making things even more difficult lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis,has provided little in the way of pricing guidance. --> CORRECT

This is our CORRECT option because it's the only one that uses the non-essential phrase and modifiers correctly!

(E) Making things even more difficult is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis,which provides little in the way of pricing guidance. --> INCORRECT
(This is actually a very long sentence fragment! If it cannot stand alone as a complete sentence without the non-essential phrase, it's not the right choice.)

There you have it - option D is the correct choice! It's the only that uses a non-essential phrase correctly, which is a common problem on the GMAT you can easily spot and test out!


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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2019, 23:09
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
Hello Everyone!

Let's take a closer look at this question and tackle it, one problem at a time! Before we dive in, here is the original question with any major differences between the options highlighted in orange:

Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

(A) has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided
(B) there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided
(C) general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided
(D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided
(E) is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis, which provides

After taking a quick glance over the options, there are two main things we can focus on:

1. What comes before the phrase "if not paralysis"
2. What comes after the phrase "if not paralysis"

This sounds like too much to focus on, right? Let's think about this in a different way:

1. Proper placement/use of a non-essential phrase or interjection ("...,if not paralysis,...")
2. Modifier Placement (the phrase "Making things even more difficult" is a modifier)


Let's tackle #1 on our list: non-essential phrases or interjections. In this sentence, the phrase "if not paralysis" is considered an interjection. It's a phrase that's added in to sound more conversational or to add more detail that's not 100% vital to know. For non-essential phrases, they are always put in between commas to indicate that they're not necessary for the sentence to make sense.

To test this, we can cross out the non-essential phrase and check to see if what's left is both a complete sentence and retains its intended meaning. Let's take a look at each option, but with the non-essential phrase crossed out:

(A) Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis,which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance. --> INCORRECT
(What's left over is a run-on sentence, which means the phrase isn't in the right place or the wording in the rest of the sentence is wrong.)

(B) Making things even more difficult there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided little in the way of pricing guidance. --> INCORRECT
(What's left over is a run-on sentence, so this is also wrong.)

(C) Making things even more difficult general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided little in the way of pricing guidance. --> INCORRECT
(This can't stand alone because it needs a comma between "difficult" and "general" to separate the modifier from the subject.)

(D) Making things even more difficult lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis,has provided little in the way of pricing guidance. --> CORRECT

This is our CORRECT option because it's the only one that uses the non-essential phrase and modifiers correctly!

(E) Making things even more difficult is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis,which provides little in the way of pricing guidance. --> INCORRECT
(This is actually a very long sentence fragment! If it cannot stand alone as a complete sentence without the non-essential phrase, it's not the right choice.)

There you have it - option D is the correct choice! It's the only that uses a non-essential phrase correctly, which is a common problem on the GMAT you can easily spot and test out!


Don't study for the GMAT. Train for it.




Hello EMPOWERgmatVerbal,

Thanks for such detailed explanation. I have a doubt in your explanation of why option D is wrong of this problem. As far as I understand, gmac won't create a wrong option just based on a punctuation mark, here ", ". Can you please enlighten us on that matter.


Thanks,
Tamal

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New post 24 Apr 2019, 23:47
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tamal99 wrote:
Hello EMPOWERgmatVerbal,

Thanks for such detailed explanation. I have a doubt in your explanation of why option D is wrong of this problem. As far as I understand, gmac won't create a wrong option just based on a punctuation mark, here ", ". Can you please enlighten us on that matter.


Thanks,
Tamal
Did you mean option C (or maybe B)?

Punctuation is tested on the GMAT. What we don't have to worry about too much is style. So, for example, there is no (reliable) way to remove an option just because it has (or does not have) a comma before an and. Different people have different recommendations on how to handle style issues, but the need for a comma in C is not that kind of an issue.

Working quickly, he did something. ← This sentence is okay.
Working quickly he did something. ← This sentence is incorrect, and there is no real debate about it. That is, we won't find a significant number of people arguing that the sentence is fine without a comma.
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New post 26 Apr 2019, 10:34
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tamal99 wrote:
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
Hello Everyone!

Let's take a closer look at this question and tackle it, one problem at a time! Before we dive in, here is the original question with any major differences between the options highlighted in orange:

Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

(A) has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided
(B) there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided
(C) general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided
(D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided
(E) is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis, which provides

After taking a quick glance over the options, there are two main things we can focus on:

1. What comes before the phrase "if not paralysis"
2. What comes after the phrase "if not paralysis"

This sounds like too much to focus on, right? Let's think about this in a different way:

1. Proper placement/use of a non-essential phrase or interjection ("...,if not paralysis,...")
2. Modifier Placement (the phrase "Making things even more difficult" is a modifier)


Let's tackle #1 on our list: non-essential phrases or interjections. In this sentence, the phrase "if not paralysis" is considered an interjection. It's a phrase that's added in to sound more conversational or to add more detail that's not 100% vital to know. For non-essential phrases, they are always put in between commas to indicate that they're not necessary for the sentence to make sense.

To test this, we can cross out the non-essential phrase and check to see if what's left is both a complete sentence and retains its intended meaning. Let's take a look at each option, but with the non-essential phrase crossed out:

(A) Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis,which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance. --> INCORRECT
(What's left over is a run-on sentence, which means the phrase isn't in the right place or the wording in the rest of the sentence is wrong.)

(B) Making things even more difficult there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided little in the way of pricing guidance. --> INCORRECT
(What's left over is a run-on sentence, so this is also wrong.)

(C) Making things even more difficult general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided little in the way of pricing guidance. --> INCORRECT
(This can't stand alone because it needs a comma between "difficult" and "general" to separate the modifier from the subject.)

(D) Making things even more difficult lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis,has provided little in the way of pricing guidance. --> CORRECT

This is our CORRECT option because it's the only one that uses the non-essential phrase and modifiers correctly!

(E) Making things even more difficult is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis,which provides little in the way of pricing guidance. --> INCORRECT
(This is actually a very long sentence fragment! If it cannot stand alone as a complete sentence without the non-essential phrase, it's not the right choice.)

There you have it - option D is the correct choice! It's the only that uses a non-essential phrase correctly, which is a common problem on the GMAT you can easily spot and test out!


Don't study for the GMAT. Train for it.




Hello EMPOWERgmatVerbal,

Thanks for such detailed explanation. I have a doubt in your explanation of why option D is wrong of this problem. As far as I understand, gmac won't create a wrong option just based on a punctuation mark, here ", ". Can you please enlighten us on that matter.


Thanks,
Tamal

Posted from my mobile device


Hello tamal99!

Thank you for your question. While I do understand that the GMAT doesn't focus too much on punctuation errors, it DOES sometimes deal with grammar concepts that include punctuation. In this example, the commas aren't really the main problem we're trying to focus on - the incorrect use of interjections is.

Any time you use an interjection (a phrase added in and surrounded by commas), it needs to be non-important to the original meaning. In this example, if we remove the phrase ",if not paralysis," from option D, commas included, the sentence we're left with still works. When we deal with interjections, the commas go along with it! The other options in this exercise are either incomplete sentences or run-on sentences if we take both the phrase and commas out of it. While there won't be too many questions on the GMAT that focus on punctuation, this is one example of when they will.

I hope this helps! I know that punctuation can be tricky on the GMAT questions!
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Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2019, 09:04
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AbdurRakib wrote:
GMAT® Official Guide 2018

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 726
Page: 691

Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

(A) has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided
(B) there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided
(C) general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided
(D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided
(E) is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis, which provides



(A) Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

if not paralysis is an interjection. It adds color to the sentence.
which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance is a modifier. It tells us more about INACTIVITY
If we ignore the interjection and the modifier, we get: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately

Here's a similar sentence: Standing on the corner has been Joe.
While we can say Joe has been standing on the corner, the sentence Standing on the corner has been Joe illogically makes the modifier (Standing on the corner) the subject of the sentence.
Answer choice A shares the same illogical construction.
ELIMINATE A
------------------------------------

Answer choice B is a total word salad. I doubt many students choose B :)
------------------------------------

(E)Making things even more difficult is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis, which provides little in the way of pricing guidance.

if not paralysis is an interjection. It adds color to the sentence.
which provides little in the way of pricing guidance. is a modifier. It tells us more about INACTIVITY
If we ignore the interjection and the modifier, we get: Making things even more difficult is that lately general market inactivity
This sentence is incomplete. Where's the verb that should accompany the noun ACTIVITY?
ELIMINATE E
------------------------------------

We're left with C and D

With answer choice D we get: Making things even more difficult lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.
Here, we start with a modifier Making things even more difficult lately,,
When a sentence begins with a with noun modifier (as it does in the above sentence), stop at the comma and ask the question that the modifier raises.

So, once we read, Making things even more difficult lately, we should stop and ask . . . WHAT is making things more difficult lately?
Keep reading.... general market inactivity
Ah! general market inactivity is making thing more difficult.
Make perfect sense
Keep D.


With answer choice C we get: Making things even more difficult general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

It LOOKS like we're starting the sentence with the modifier Making things even more difficult but the omission of a comma tells us that this, alone, is not the modifier.
Keep going until the comma...."Making things even more difficult general market inactivity, "
What?!?!
ELIMINATE C


Answer: D

Cheers,
Brent
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New post 15 Jun 2019, 01:49
Making things even more difficult// has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided// little in the way of pricing guidance.

(A) has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided
(B) there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided
(C) general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided
(D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided
(E) is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis, which provides

we are here because og explanation is not clear enough.
choice A.
'lately" is in wrong place. we need 'inactivity ' and "paralysis" stand together. 'paralysis" is appositive of " inactivity". why "lately" is inserted here. this is clear error
choice B
"making things...." need to refer to subject in the following clause. "there is" is not subject/agent of the main action in the main clause. this is first error.
the second error is "there is" and "it has" are two clauses , which has not connection words. this is wrong.
choice C
"making ...dificult" is not separated by a comma. so, the sentence is
"making things inactivity has provided". this meaning make no sense.
choice E
"lately" is an adverb but it can not modifies "general" logically. so, lately is wrong.

honestly, we can not know whether "lately" should modifies "making" or "provided", using our common sense of meaning. but luckily, we do not need to know this point
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New post 27 Jun 2019, 02:16
Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

(A) has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided

Use of Which is wrong.

(B) there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided

There is refer to ? Not clear. amigious

(C) general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided

No verb use. So sentence fragment

(D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided

Correct one.

(E) is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis, which provides

Same error as A.
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New post 29 Jun 2019, 00:02
chetan2u wrote:
AbdurRakib wrote:
Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

A) has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided
B) there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided
C) general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided
D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided
E) is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis, which provides


OG 2017 New Question


Issues -



1) Making things even more difficult MODIFIES general market inactivity , so should be followed by it..
2) Pronoun error - general market inactivity REQUIRES a verb...


BOTH above error are corrected ONLY by D

D

Sir what about option C it has verb after coma and it is also modifying general market activity
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New post 30 Jun 2019, 21:21
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rishabhmishra wrote:
Sir what about option C it has verb after coma and it is also modifying general market activity
Option C doesn't have a comma after making things even more difficult.

Making things even more difficult_general market inactivity has lately provided little in the way of pricing guidance.
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New post 04 Dec 2019, 19:50
Divyadisha wrote:
AbdurRakib wrote:
Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

A) has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided
B) there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided
C) general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided
D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided
E) is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis, which provides


OG 2017 New Question


Making things even more difficult lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

A) has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided. 'Which' refers to paralysis.
B) there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided 'there' refers to what?
C) general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided Making things even more difficult general market inactivity. No verb is used.
D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided
E) is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis, which provides. which refers to paralysis


Although the answer choice is correct, I believe the sentence should be understood in a different way:
Making things even more difficult lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.
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New post 06 Apr 2020, 06:34
Hi GMATNinja,

Please give your explanation on this question.
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New post 10 Apr 2020, 03:11
Dear GMATNinja @Ajitesharjun

in option A Except WHICH part rest of the sentence, which is written in INVERTED VERB-SUB formet, is correct?

thanks and regards
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New post 10 Apr 2020, 06:06
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ramuramu1838 wrote:
Dear GMATNinja @Ajitesharjun

in option A Except WHICH part rest of the sentence, which is written in INVERTED VERB-SUB formet, is correct?

thanks and regards
Hi ramuramu1838,

That is correct. The original sentence is indeed in the inverted form. Normally, the subject precedes the verb, but that is not the case here. We cannot remove option A just because it uses this structure.
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New post 03 May 2020, 00:00
817. Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

Meaning:
Making things even more difficult has been = Something is making the things even more difficult than actually is.
“has been” is present perfect shows that the event started in past and still we can feel its effect in present. So, look out for any time marker which suggest event no longer has any effect on present.
general market inactivity lately = general market inactivity is making things more difficult
, if not paralysis, = appositive phrase. Additional information we can ignore about the situation.
which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance. = has provided is verb for General Market Inactivity. Using present perfect as the effects can still be felt. Which is referring to paralysis?
Finally,
So, stop for a second and think why we are here? The sentence is stating,
the general market in inactivity is making things difficult
It has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.
Can we condense this? Maye use -ing modifier + subject +verb?
So this sentence is odd if you read couple of times, you will find the subject is not very direct which I guess GMAT focus on
Only D makes it clear.
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New post 28 May 2020, 11:21
AjiteshArun wrote:
ramuramu1838 wrote:
Dear GMATNinja @Ajitesharjun

in option A Except WHICH part rest of the sentence, which is written in INVERTED VERB-SUB formet, is correct?

thanks and regards
Hi ramuramu1838,

That is correct. The original sentence is indeed in the inverted form. Normally, the subject precedes the verb, but that is not the case here. We cannot remove option A just because it uses this structure.


Can you please suggest a few questions that has similar, inverted, sentence structure structure ?
Thanks
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New post 28 May 2020, 11:25
MagooshExpert wrote:
Skywalker18 wrote:
Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

The original option is an inverted sentence and can be changed as -
General market inactivity, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance, has been making things even more difficult lately.

If we have a sentence structure "X is(or was) Y".
-If anything before the verb can be the subject, then that's the subject.
- If nothing before the verb can be the subject, then we have a backward construction/ inverted structure (in which subject follows the verb)

On the table are two cell phones --> Two cell phones are on the table ---> I just changed the order and since the sentence is simple -- it's easy

Can we convert a sentence from backward construction/ inverted structure to a normal construction(in which subject precedes the verb) by just changing the order to Y is X for the original sentence "X is Y" ?

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , VeritasPrepBrian, GMATGuruNY , VeritasKarishma , DmitryFarber , RonPurewal , ChiranjeevSingh , other experts - please enlighten

Hi Skywalker18,

This sentence cannot be broken down into "X is Y" -- "making" here needs to be interpreted either as a part of the verb ("has been making") or as a modifier (which cannot be the subject or object of a sentence). Consider this sentence:

Skywalker was studying for the test all night.

The verb here is "was studying", not just "was". If we invert this sentence:

Studying for the test all night was Skywalker.

we end up with a Yoda-like sentence (which is unfortunately not correct). Alternately, we could use "studying" as a modifier:

Studying for the test all night, Skywalker was determined to get a good score.

However, this only works because we have a separate independent clause (Skywalker was determined...).

I hope that helps!
-Carolyn


What do you mean when you say "Studying for the test all night was Skywalker.

we end up with a Yoda-like sentence (which is unfortunately not correct)" ?

Is this inverse structure essentially wrong ?? Can't we have such OVS structure in English, GMAt in particular?
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2020, 21:33
AbdurRakib wrote:
GMAT® Official Guide 2018

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 726
Page: 691

Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

(A) has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided
(B) there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided
(C) general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided
(D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided
(E) is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis, which provides

https://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/05/garden/05appraisal.html

Even in the best of times, it’s hard for individuals to objectively value their homes, which often reflect their sense of self and personal style. Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance. But by using online resources, investigating neighborhood trends, consulting real estate experts and perhaps even asking the opinions of brutally honest friends, homeowners can arrive at a reasonably accurate appraisal even in these uncertain times.

General Market Inactivity

(A) Modifier (comma which); Topic (question text)

(B) Sentence Structure; Modifier (lately)

(C) Sentence Structure; Modifier (lately)

(D) CORRECT

(E) Modifiers (comma which; lately); Sentence Structure


First glance

The beginning part of each answer choice changes significantly. This problem doesn’t contain any great clues to be picked up on the first glance. Possibly the large differences at the beginning signal a problem with the overall sentence structure.

Issues

(1) Modifier: comma which

This sentence has a rare inverted structure; inverted sentences are quite hard to read and generally sound very awkward. Look for something more concrete to tackle: a comma-which modifier should refer to the closest main noun before the comma.

The original sentence indicates that paralysis is what has provided little in the way of guidance.

It would make the most sense to say that general market inactivity is offering little in the way of guidance, but the noun paralysis is closer to the comma-which modifier. Eliminate answers (A) and (E) for this comma which error.

(2) Sentence Structure

The significant changes at the beginning of the answers were the first signal that sentence structure could be an issue. The weird inverted sentence structure in the original is your second clue: check the sentence structure of these answers!

Answer (B) is a run-on, or comma splice: There is inactivity, lately it has provided. Answer (E) is a fragment: Making things more difficult is that lately inactivity. The subject inactivity is missing a verb. Eliminate answers (B) and (E).

Answer (C) is tricky. In the original sentence, the opener Making things even more difficult was part of an inverted sentence structure, in which the subject appears after the verb. A more conventional sentence might read: General market inactivity has been making things even more difficult. The verb (has been making) must appear between the subject (general market inactivity) and the description (things even more difficult). In answer (C), the description and the subject are adjacent: Making things even more difficult general market inactivity has provided. This word order is acceptable only if the description is turned into a modifier and separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma: Making things even more difficult, general market inactivity... If you spot this, you can eliminate answer (C).

(3) Modifier: lately

While examining these other issues, you may have noticed that the word lately keeps jumping around the sentence. Lately is an adverb. What happened lately?

Lately could go with more difficult: making things more difficult lately. It can’t go just with inactivity, which is a noun. Adjectives modify nouns; you’d need to say something like recent market inactivity. Eliminate answer (A). (Note: the placement of lately in this choice creates another issue: when you are stating a contrast in the form general market inactivity, if not (general market) paralysis, it is preferable not to place other words in between the contrasted elements. It’s best to say X, if not Y, where X and Y are parallel terms.)

Answers (B) and (C) move lately near the verb provided. So this general market inactivity has only lately or recently had the effect of providing little in the way of guidance? Why didn’t it have that effect before? It would make more sense to apply lately to making things more difficult. Eliminate answers (B) and (C).

In answer (E), lately should apply to the subject and verb pairing after the word that. In this case, the verb itself doesn’t exist; this is a sentence fragment, so the adverb lately has no verb or action to modify. Eliminate (E).

The Correct Answer

Correct answer (D) removes the which modifier error and properly places lately next to making things even more difficult.




What do we make out from this NYT article in the spoiler??? NYT is wrong in writing it this way? By this logic, most of my preparation, which is based on reading NYT articles has gone down the drain, hasnt it?
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2020, 23:45
shubhampathak1sp wrote:
What do we make out from this NYT article in the spoiler??? NYT is wrong in writing it this way? By this logic, most of my preparation, which is based on reading NYT articles has gone down the drain, hasnt it?
Hi shubhampathak1sp,

I know that I'm addressing only the broader question you raised, but the Times is one of the best resources for people preparing for the GMAT. Mistakes do slip through, and given the sheer amount of content involved, I don't see how they could not. This is still almost certainly a "net positive" for you, though.

Also, give this quiz a shot!
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity   [#permalink] 30 Jun 2020, 23:45

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