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Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity

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

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New post 15 Jun 2016, 05:03
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A
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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.

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

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New post 29 Mar 2017, 11:26
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TheRzS 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

Hi mikemcgarry

I am having difficulty in getting my head around this one; I would really appreciate if you could give your expert explanation.

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

What I can understand, D is a succinct version of the following sentence

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

Where the words I added in parentheses are omitted. Effectively,

“general market inactivity” is the subject
“if not paralysis”, is a non-essential modifier, making it possible to defy modifier touch rule and allowing “(which) has provided little in the way…” to refer back to the subject of the sentence.

If my understanding is not correct then, well, this one is too hard for me and it is time for me to move on.

Your time is appreciated.

Cheers

Dear TheRzS,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, I disagree with your interpretation of (D). The words you think are implied are not necessary, and the sentence words much better without them. This is what I would say:
Making things even more difficult lately, = participial phrase, acting as a noun-modifier, modifying the subject
general market inactivity, = MAIN SUBJECT
if [it is] not paralysis, = noun modifying clause, modifying the subject (implied pronoun & auxiliary verb pair)
has provided = MAIN VERB
little in the way of pricing guidance = object

The core sentence, without the participial phrase and the qualifying clause, is:
General market inactivity has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

This is a fabulous question. The OG really contains some gems.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2016, 09:18
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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
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2016, 05:24
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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
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2016, 21:52
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



Intention of the sentence is to convey that General market inactivity are making things difficult, if not causing paralysis, and this whole thing has resulted in providing little for pricing guidance.
Subject of this entire sentence is General Market inactivity.
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 wrongly refers to “paralysis” that is not what sentence means.
B) there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided => Making things even more difficult there is general market inactivity =>: no verb, no sense of connectivity and then new sentence start just like that.
C) general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided => Same error
D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided
E) is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis, which provides
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jul 2016, 02:52
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I generally go right to the answer choices. I notice there is a lot of variation in the word lately. What makes sense? Where is it supposed to go? Difficult lately (D) is the only option that has a logical placement of the word lately. A and E would need to say “recent general market inactivity,” all the other placements are totally nonsensical or unclear as to what it refers.

To give an alternative explanation.

-We have *market inactivity* in B/D/E that we can compare to *paralysis*.

-Market inactivity lately in A. Cannot compare market inactivity “lately” to paralysis. Elim A

-This is an illustration of what I call the fork concept. The verb "provided" needs to be the handle and "market activity" & "paralysis" are the prongs.
For this reason, we need the verb directly after market activity & paralysis. No clear antecedent for “it” either. Elim B

- In C, has lately provided little in the way of guidance makes it sound like a contrast with formerly providing lots of guidance. Also, "even more difficult general activity," makes no sense.

-E would need to say “recent general market inactivity,” here is sounds like “lately” is a type of general market inactivity

-D gets the *lately* issue sorted and the activity vs. paralysis issue is a clean comparison
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2016, 21:30
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- which should be next to general market inactivity
B- Run on sentence - 2 independent clauses joined by comma
C- Initial modifier "Making things more difficult " should be followed by a comma
E- not a sentence

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

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New post 22 Oct 2016, 06:46
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


A - X
- uses an inverted subject - verb sentence (a correct one).
- You can read it as: "General market inactivity has been making things even more difficult, if not paralysis,which..."
- Nothice that the mentioned above does not make any sense. It's parts are not properly connected ("more difficult", "paralysis" - are not parallel).

B - X
- V-ing modier clause/phrase requiers a comma in the end of it. since we do not have it here, this option is out.

C - X
- Same as B

D - Makes sense. it connect all the proper parts of the sentence together. (market activity & paralysis are both nouns, and here parallelism is kept).

E - That is not requiered. using that takes away the subject of "is". E is out.
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2017, 10:23
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 Noun (Subject) is missing,who or what has made things difficult.
B) there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided wrong construction,illogical
C) general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided wrong construction
D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided
E) is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis, which provides wrong construction
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2017, 09:02
Wow, this one got me! From my error log:
No need to rush and try to solve an easy question in 30 sec.
C - needs comma after initial modifier - an interesting thing to check for.
Also, I could have seen that positioning of lately is in an issue by noticing that it is positioned across answer choices.
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2017, 00:32
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



Hi mikemcgarry

I am having difficulty in getting my head around this one; I would really appreciate if you could give your expert explanation.

In D

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

What I can understand, D is a succinct version of the following sentence

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

Where the words I added in parentheses are omitted. Effectively,

“general market inactivity” is the subject
“if not paralysis”, is a non-essential modifier, making it possible to defy modifier touch rule and allowing “(which) has provided little in the way…” to refer back to the subject of the sentence.


If my understanding is not correct then, well, this one is too hard for me and it is time for me to move on.

Your time is appreciated.

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

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New post 29 Mar 2017, 02:30
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TheRzS wrote:

Hi mikemcgarry

I am having difficulty in getting my head around this one; I would really appreciate if you could give your expert explanation.

In D


Here is D:
Making things even more difficult lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.
Making things even more difficult lately - present participle modifier, referring the preceding subject "general market inactivity" and acting as an adverb for the main action "has provided...",
general market inactivity,if not paralysis, has provided little in the way of pricing guidance - the main clause.

TheRzS wrote:
D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided

What I can understand, D is a succinct version of the following sentence

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

Where the words I added in parentheses are omitted. Effectively,

“general market inactivity” is the subject
“if not paralysis”, is a non-essential modifier, making it possible to defy modifier touch rule and allowing “(which) has provided little in the way…” to refer back to the subject of the sentence.

We cannot omit the main finite verb in such scenario, specially in the main clause - there are cases when we can do so, for instance in ellipses or in verbless clause, but not here. Moreover, also note that there is a comma after "lately" in D, and your version of D does not consider that.

In addition to the above, considering "general market inactivity" as a noun predicate alters the meaning too/illogical meaning, but as you are concerned only with the structure, I am not discussing the meaning aspect.
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2017, 09:37
Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity lately, if not paralysis, which has provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

'making things.......difficult' is modifying general market inactivity which has provided little ................

comma+which structure modifies the closest noun and it is modifying paralysis here which is not correct. Choice D is correct...
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2017, 21:47
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
--> wordy and awkward.

C) general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided
--> two adjectives difficult general are not properly joined.

D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided
--> correct.

E) is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis, which provides
--> fragment.
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2017, 03:22
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 - "which" refers to paralysis + "has been" is not required I believe because it says "lately"
B) there is general market inactivity, if not paralysis, lately it has provided - complete mess, "it" refers to what is not clear + "general market inactivity lately.." not a valid sentence
C) general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has lately provided - missing comma b/w ".. difficult" and "general market .."
D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided - CORRECT.. "general market inactivity" is rightly placed
E) is that lately general market inactivity, if not paralysis, which provides - this goes in present tense but we are talking present perfect + "which" refers to paralysis
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Feb 2018, 16:18
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


Hello GMATNinja

Although I dont find any error in D but I'm having a little trouble understanding why option C is wrong. I would really appreciate if you could give your expert replies.

As per the above posts I see that option C does not have a verb, but if I cancel out the modifier (as it's rightly placed) and then read the rest of the sentence as a whole I find a verb 'has' in it. So in option C why do I need a verb in the initial phase i.e. 'Making things even more difficult 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 15 Feb 2018, 16:32
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Hi Deepit,

Thank you for your question! Let's tackle what the issues are with answer C. To make this easier to explain, I'm going to add in answer C to the original sentence:

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

The main problem here is that we have no subject. We have two modifiers and a verb phrase:

Modifier #1: Making things even more difficult general market inactivity
(This is also a problem because, as a phrase, it doesn't sound right. It sounds like a run-on.)

Modifier #2: if not paralysis

Verb Phrase: has lately provided little in the way of pricing guidance.

If you were to write this sentence out in your own writing, the easiest way to fix it would be to put a comma after the word "difficult," which sets apart the subject "general market inactivity" instead of lumping it in with the modifier. However, they didn't give you that option, so it's unfortunately wrong.

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

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New post 10 Mar 2018, 05:55
GMATNinja generis VeritasPrepKarishma

Can experts comment on usage of LATELY in C / D ?

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


My understanding:
For C:

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


Lately is an adverb modifying verb - provided

For D:
Quote:
D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided

Lately is adjective modifying noun - difficult.

How does my grammar knowledge help me in reasoning to perform PoE effectively?
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2018, 16:58
adkikani wrote:
GMATNinja generis VeritasPrepKarishma

Can experts comment on usage of LATELY in C / D ?

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


My understanding:
For C:

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


Lately is an adverb modifying verb - provided

For D:
Quote:
D) lately, general market inactivity, if not paralysis, has provided

Lately is adjective modifying noun - difficult.

How does my grammar knowledge help me in reasoning to perform PoE effectively?




Same question,
Can the experts discuss the role of Lately here.
To best of my knowledge Lately in opt D is an adverb helping us answer the question - where has General Market Inactivity made things more Difficult ??? when ?? Lately !!!

Also is there a rule of placement of Adverbs ?
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Re: Making things even more difficult has been general market inactivity &nbs [#permalink] 30 Jul 2018, 16:58
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