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November is traditionally the strongest month for sales of light truck

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Re: November is traditionally the strongest month for sales of light truck  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Feb 2020, 21:03
JarvisR wrote:
November is traditionally the strongest month for sales of light trucks, but sales this past November, even when compared with sales in previous Novembers, accounted for a remarkably large share of total vehicle sales.

(A) but sales this past November, even when compared with sales in previous Novembers,

(B) but even when it is compared with previous Novembers, this past November’s sales

(C) but even when they are compared with previous Novembers, sales of light trucks this past November

(D) so that compared with previous Novembers, sales of light trucks this past November

(E) so that this past November’s sales, even compared with previous Novembers’ sales,

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 187: Sentence Correction


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The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 2016
Practice Question
Question No.: SC 116
Page: 695


November Sales

(A) CORRECT

(B) Pronoun (it); Comparison (compared with)

(C) Comparison (compared with)

(D) Meaning (so that); Comparison (compared with)

(E) Meaning (so that)


First glance

The underline starts with the conjunction but, so this sentence may be testing sentence structure, meaning, or an idiom.

Issues

(1) Pronoun: it

Answers (B) and (C) both use a pronoun in the same location in the sentence, but (B) uses it and (C) uses they. Check for a singular-plural match.

In both cases, logically, the pronoun should refer to the plural noun sales (later in the sentence); in other words, the pronoun should be plural. Eliminate answer (B).

Note: if you say that it refers to the singular November in answer (B), then the comparison is faulty. Previous Novembers aren’t supposed to be compared with the month of November in general; they are supposed to be compared with this past November.

(2) Comparison: X compared with Y

When you see a comparison marker, make sure that the comparison is apples to apples.

(A) sales this past November… compared with sales in previous Novembers

(B) it [sales] is compared with previous Novembers

(C) they [sales] are compared with previous Novembers

(D) compared with previous Novembers, sales…this past November

(E) this past November’s sales, …compared with previous Novembers’ sales

Fix: Answers (B), (C), and (D) compare sales to previous Novembers. This is a faulty comparison. Answers (A) and (E) correctly compare sales from one period to sales from another period. Eliminate answers (B), (C), and (D).

(3) Meaning: so that

Answers (A), (B), and (C) all start with but; answers (D) and (E) start with so that. What’s the difference?

The sentence is trying to convey a surprising fact. It is already the case that November is typically a strong month for light truck sales. Surprisingly, this past November was even stronger than usual. The contrast word but can appropriately link these two sentence together: you already knew something was true, but it was even more true this past November!

The phrase so that conveys a cause-effect relationship: She studied hard so that she would get a good score on the test. This isn’t the right meaning for the official sentence; it isn’t the case that November is traditionally the strongest month so that (in order to cause) it would be even stronger this past November. Eliminate answers (D) and (E) for faulty meaning.

The Correct Answer

Correct answer (A) makes a valid comparison between sales this past November and sales in previous Novembers. Note that some people may dislike this choice because it can seem wordy; wordiness by itself is not a good enough reason to cross off an answer. Look for errors in grammar or meaning!


egmat In the comparisons chapter, it was taught that the usage of when compared with is wrong but option (A) does exactly the same. Can you guys please explain?
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Re: November is traditionally the strongest month for sales of light truck  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2020, 08:43
A looks correct.

Rest of the sentences have "SO that " errors , or Pronoun errors.
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Re: November is traditionally the strongest month for sales of light truck  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2020, 23:26
November is traditionally the strongest month for sales of light trucks, but sales this past November, even when compared with sales in previous Novembers, accounted for a remarkably large share of total vehicle sales.

(A) but sales this past November, even when compared with sales in previous Novembers,
Looks good.

(B) but even when it is compared with previous Novembers, this past November’s sales
Pronoun error 'it'

(C) but even when they are compared with previous Novembers, sales of light trucks this past November
Pronoun error 'they'

(D) so that compared with previous Novembers, sales of light trucks this past November
Wrong comparison 'so that'

(E) so that this past November’s sales, even compared with previous Novembers’ sales,
Similar to D. Wrong comparison.

Answer: A
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November is traditionally the strongest month for sales of light truck  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2020, 05:29
(B) but even when it is compared with previous Novembers, this past November’s sales
The word “it” is the first thing that jumps out at me in (B), so we need to look for a nice, singular noun that “it” could refer back to. The only thing that could possibly make sense is for “it” to refer to “this November”, but that’s not an option, because of the structure of the phrase after the comma: “this past November’s sales” is plural, and “November’s” is possessive.

So “it” can’t refer to “this November” since that phrase is possessive, and “it” can’t refer to “this November’s sales” because “sales” is plural. For that reason, (B) is out.

And for what it’s worth: even if you do assume that “it” somehow refers to “this past November”, the sentence still wouldn’t be great. We’d have “…even when [this past November] is compared with previous Novembers, this past November’s sales…” That’s weird: it would be sooooooo much more direct to just compare the sales to each other, instead of comparing the “Novembers”, and then restarting the sentence about the sales.

Hi,
Can someone please explain the highlighted part, on why "it" can't refer to this november because a possesive phrase follows it.
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November is traditionally the strongest month for sales of light truck   [#permalink] 04 Jun 2020, 05:29

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November is traditionally the strongest month for sales of light truck

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