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# NOT OBVIOUS CONSTRUCTION

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NOT OBVIOUS CONSTRUCTION [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2003, 23:07
An overwhelming majority of, if not all, of European small businesses have been put at the brink of bankruptcy by the recent economic decline.

(A) of, if not all, of European small businesses have
(B) of, if not all, of European small businesses has
(C) of, if not all, European small businesses have
(D) if not all, of European small businesses have
(E) if not all, of European small businesses has

I invented it by myself, and you know I am not a great verbalist. So, maybe all the options are wrong. However, I want to see your comments and discussion.
If you have any questions
you can ask an expert
New!
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Re: NOT OBVIOUS CONSTRUCTION [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2003, 23:36
stolyar wrote:
An overwhelming majority of, if not all, of European small businesses have been put at the brink of bankruptcy by the recent economic decline.

(A) of, if not all, of European small businesses have
(B) of, if not all, of European small businesses has
(C) of, if not all, European small businesses have
(D) if not all, of European small businesses have
(E) if not all, of European small businesses has

I invented it by myself, and you know I am not a great verbalist. So, maybe all the options are wrong. However, I want to see your comments and discussion.

D in my opinion.

The first three are clearly out because they begin with "of" which does not fit with "...of European small.....". E is out because "an overwhelming majority..... of small businesses __" would require "have" and not "has".
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07 Aug 2003, 00:43
I have heard that it is wrong to split standart constructions, such as infinitives, comparisons, and so on.

I want to fluently speak English. -- wrong
I want to speak English fluently. -- correct

He is as tall, or taller than, as is his brother. -- wrong
He is as tall as, or taller than, his brother is. -- correct

Maybe C?
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07 Aug 2003, 05:50
stolyar wrote:
I have heard that it is wrong to split standart constructions, such as infinitives, comparisons, and so on.

I want to fluently speak English. -- wrong
I want to speak English fluently. -- correct

He is as tall, or taller than, as is his brother. -- wrong
He is as tall as, or taller than, his brother is. -- correct

Maybe C?

Actually you are right.

I think of it this way. If you remove the part before "...all, __ European small businesses....", then the answer becomes clear. Choice D would say"All of European small businesses..." which seems awkward whereas choice C would say, "All European small businesses have....." which seems a much better construction. I think the answer is clearly C.

Nice one Stolyar !! I need to be more careful
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07 Aug 2003, 06:41
Akamaibrah,

you are invited to check this question!
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08 Aug 2003, 01:11
Discuss the following examples:

We saw many, though nearly not all, of mosques in the city.

Moscow University usually admits a very few, if any, of applicants from the moon.

They have just answered the lion's share, though not all, of the questions on the GMAT.

Some ideas, coupled with the fact that the Xenomorph has shown the capacity to learn, seem to indicate that very little, if any at all, of the creature's reasoning is based on its genetic make-up.

This plant will only grow in summer if at all.
GMAT Instructor
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Re: NOT OBVIOUS CONSTRUCTION [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2003, 15:04
stolyar wrote:
An overwhelming majority of, if not all, of European small businesses have been put at the brink of bankruptcy by the recent economic decline.

(A) of, if not all, of European small businesses have
(B) of, if not all, of European small businesses has
(C) of, if not all, European small businesses have
(D) if not all, of European small businesses have
(E) if not all, of European small businesses has

I invented it by myself, and you know I am not a great verbalist. So, maybe all the options are wrong. However, I want to see your comments and discussion.

The choice is obviously between C and D since B and E use "has" and A has "of .. of".

In this case, I would choice C because if you cover up everything before "all" you get "All European small businesses..." which sounds normal whereas in D you would get "All of European small businesses.." which does not.

Now suppose we change the words "European small businesses" to "Europe's small businesses." Then the distinction between the two is not so clear.

However, for THIS particular sentence, I would have to go with C.
_________________

Best,

AkamaiBrah
Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
Vice President, Midtown NYC Investment Bank, Structured Finance IT
MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993

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Re: NOT OBVIOUS CONSTRUCTION [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2003, 05:29
AkamaiBrah wrote:
stolyar wrote:
An overwhelming majority of, if not all, of European small businesses have been put at the brink of bankruptcy by the recent economic decline.

(A) of, if not all, of European small businesses have
(B) of, if not all, of European small businesses has
(C) of, if not all, European small businesses have
(D) if not all, of European small businesses have
(E) if not all, of European small businesses has

I invented it by myself, and you know I am not a great verbalist. So, maybe all the options are wrong. However, I want to see your comments and discussion.

The choice is obviously between C and D since B and E use "has" and A has "of .. of".

In this case, I would choice C because if you cover up everything before "all" you get "All European small businesses..." which sounds normal whereas in D you would get "All of European small businesses.." which does not.

Now suppose we change the words "European small businesses" to "Europe's small businesses." Then the distinction between the two is not so clear.

However, for THIS particular sentence, I would have to go with C.

do i dare to open my miserable mouth?

'majority' is singular. and it is subject here. 'small businesses' just modifies the subject. thus 'majority has been put', not 'businesses have been put'...

if it's not E, your more thorough explanation is much obliged.
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Re: NOT OBVIOUS CONSTRUCTION [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2003, 07:05
surat wrote:
AkamaiBrah wrote:
stolyar wrote:
An overwhelming majority of, if not all, of European small businesses have been put at the brink of bankruptcy by the recent economic decline.

(A) of, if not all, of European small businesses have
(B) of, if not all, of European small businesses has
(C) of, if not all, European small businesses have
(D) if not all, of European small businesses have
(E) if not all, of European small businesses has

I invented it by myself, and you know I am not a great verbalist. So, maybe all the options are wrong. However, I want to see your comments and discussion.

The choice is obviously between C and D since B and E use "has" and A has "of .. of".

In this case, I would choice C because if you cover up everything before "all" you get "All European small businesses..." which sounds normal whereas in D you would get "All of European small businesses.." which does not.

Now suppose we change the words "European small businesses" to "Europe's small businesses." Then the distinction between the two is not so clear.

However, for THIS particular sentence, I would have to go with C.

do i dare to open my miserable mouth?

'majority' is singular. and it is subject here. 'small businesses' just modifies the subject. thus 'majority has been put', not 'businesses have been put'...

if it's not E, your more thorough explanation is much obliged.

Majority is not always singular. In this case, it acts as a plural because it refers to the individual businesses that comprise the majority, not the majority as a single entity.
_________________

Best,

AkamaiBrah
Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
Vice President, Midtown NYC Investment Bank, Structured Finance IT
MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993

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Re: NOT OBVIOUS CONSTRUCTION [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2006, 06:49
AkamaiBrah wrote:
surat wrote:
AkamaiBrah wrote:
stolyar wrote:

'majority' is singular. and it is subject here. 'small businesses' just modifies the subject. thus 'majority has been put', not 'businesses have been put'...

if it's not E, your more thorough explanation is much obliged.

Majority is not always singular. In this case, it acts as a plural because it refers to the individual businesses that comprise the majority, not the majority as a single entity.

I thought a majority was always singular Still think (E) looks best here
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16 Aug 2006, 07:47
B

(A) of, if not all, of European small businesses have
out- majority sing
(B) of, if not all, of European small businesses has
OK - POE
(C) of, if not all, European small businesses have
out- majority sing
(D) if not all, of European small businesses have
out- majority sing
(E) if not all, of European small businesses has
out - "a majority if not all" incorrect. Cd mean all the majority , what doesn't make sense.
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16 Aug 2006, 08:28
It is C.

Appositive: When you remove the appositive, you see two "of of" statements in A and B, which you can eliminate. The second "of" is redundant and unnecessary.

Idiomatic Structure: "A majority of" is correct. Choices D and E introduce an appositive without the prerequisite comma. You can eliminate those choices.

* By now you should see that there is only one answer choice left*

Hope this helps!

Answer choices (in complete sentence format) with the appositives removed (where applicable):
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(A) An overwhelming majority of of European small businesses have been put at the brink of bankruptcy by the recent economic decline.

(B) An overwhelming majority of of European small businesses has been put at the brink of bankruptcy by the recent economic decline.

(C) An overwhelming majority of European small businesses have been put at the brink of bankruptcy by the recent economic decline.

(D) An overwhelming majority if not all, of European small businesses have been put at the brink of bankruptcy by the recent economic decline.

(E) An overwhelming majority if not all, of European small businesses has been put at the brink of bankruptcy by the recent economic decline.
16 Aug 2006, 08:28
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# NOT OBVIOUS CONSTRUCTION

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