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QOTD: After several years of rapid growth

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QOTD: After several years of rapid growth  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2018, 02:34
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 212: Sentence Correction


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After several years of rapid growth, the health care company became one of the largest health care providers in the metropolitan area, while it then proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in its payment to doctors and hospitals.

(A) while it then proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in its payment to

(B) while it then proved unable to handle the increase in business and fell months behind in its payment to

(C) but then it proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in its paying

(D) but then proving unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in paying

(E) but then proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in paying

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Re: QOTD: After several years of rapid growth  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2018, 02:35
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Quote:
A. while it then proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in its payment to

I see two problems with (A). For starters, I can’t quite understand why “payment” is singular. If the health care company is “months behind”, wouldn’t that suggest that there are multiple payments – like, monthly payments, at the very least?

Second, I don’t think the conjunction “while” quite works here. “While” could mean either “at the same time as” or “although.” (Fun fact: until very recently, some grammar geeks insisted that “while” could NOT be used as a synonym for “although,” even though that usage has been a common part of spoken English for decades. Some grammar geeks need better things to worry about, I guess?)

This is really subtle, but it makes more sense to draw a sharp contrast using “but” instead of “although.” “Although” is a gentle qualifier that doesn’t invalidate the previous phrase; “but” is more direct, and suggests that the health care company’s status might be in doubt.

And even if you don't believe a word I said in the last two paragraphs, the singular “payment” is illogical enough to disqualify (A).

Quote:
B. while it then proved unable to handle the increase in business and fell months behind in its payment to

(B) has the same two problems as (A): “while” is suspect, and the singular “payment” is completely illogical. See above for more on those.

There’s also a subtle parallelism issue in (B). Consider two versions of the sentence:

  • #1: “it then proved unable to handle the increase in business and fell months behind in its payments…”
  • #2: “it then proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in its payments…”

Grammatically, both are fine. It’s just that in #1, the two verbs are parallel to each other, meaning that they’re “equally weighted” in some sense: the company did two things, and those two things do not necessarily depend on one another. In #2, “falling” is now a modifier, so it gives more information about the previous clause, “it then proved unable to handle the increase in business.”

And in this case, #2 – with “falling” as a modifier – makes much more sense in terms of meaning. The fact that the company fell behind in its payments helps us to understand how the company “proved unable to handle the increase in business.”

So we have plenty of reasons to eliminate (B), including the fact that we’re better off with “falling” as a modifier than as a verb.

Quote:
C. but then it proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in its paying

(C) looks pretty good: “falling” is now a modifier (see part (B) above for more on that), and “payment” is no longer singular. But there’s a new problem: it doesn’t really make sense to use the possessive “its” in front of “paying.” In most cases, there’s no good reason why you would ever stick a possessive pronoun in front of an "-ing" word (for jargon fans: these are participles or gerunds, depending on the usage).

If you wanted to be conservative, you could hang onto (C), but we’ll have a better option below.

Let’s line (D) and (E) up side-by-side, since they’re so similar:
Quote:
D. but then proving unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in paying
E. but then proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in paying

There’s only one difference between these two answer choices: the form of the word “to prove.” (D) gives us an “-ing” modifier (“proving”), and (E) gives us a simple past tense verb (“proved”).

(E) makes much more sense: “… the company became… but then proved unable…” Great, that’s nice and parallel, and it makes perfect sense to contrast two past tense verb phrases with each other. In (D), we have “… the company became one of the largest health care providers in the area, but then proving unable…” -- and I just can’t think of a good reason to use the conjunction “but” in front of an “-ing” modifier.

Given the choice between those last two options, (E) is clearly the best we can do.
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Re: QOTD: After several years of rapid growth  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2018, 04:27
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After several years of rapid growth, the health care company became one of the largest health care providers in the metropolitan area, while it then proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in its payment to doctors and hospitals.

A. while it then proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in its payment to
We need but to show contrast

B. while it then proved unable to handle the increase in business and fell months behind in its payment to
We need but to show contrast

C. but then it proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in its paying
In its paying is wrong

D. but then proving unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in paying
Not a sentence

E. but then proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in paying
Correct
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Re: QOTD: After several years of rapid growth  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2018, 05:15
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After several years of rapid growth, the health care company became one of the largest health care providers in the metropolitan area, while it then proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in its payment to doctors and hospitals.

A. while it then proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in its payment to- While is used to show simultaneous actions and no simultaneous actions are taking place here. If we check the meaning closely, we will see that a contrast is what required because at first Company became largest health care then it did something contrary to this. We need a contrast word.

B. while it then proved unable to handle the increase in business and fell months behind in its payment to. Same as A.

C. but then it proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in its paying- Fixes the error by using "BUT", however in its paying sounds awkward.

D. but then proving unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in paying- But is also a parallelism marker. Here But should be followed by either verb (to be parallel to became) or a clause ( parallel to previous clause). The usage of proving here is incorrect. Also if we intend to check we can put the subject before proving. but then the health care company proving unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in paying. As we can see this is not even a complete sentence.

E. but then proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in paying- correct. But is followed by a verb. Now if we check, but then the health care company proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in paying. This is a proper sentence.
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Re: QOTD: After several years of rapid growth  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2018, 08:42
After several years of rapid growth, the health care company became one of the largest health care providers in the metropolitan area, while it then proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in its payment to doctors and hospitals.

A. while it then proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in its payment to
Though usage of while is correct but contrast is required, hence wrong

B. while it then proved unable to handle the increase in business and fell months behind in its payment to
Though usage of while is correct but contrast is required, hence wrong

C. but then it proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in its paying
not concise as after but it is not required as there is only a single countable noun is described, in its paying looks awkward

D. but then proving unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in paying
parallelism mistake, x(became) ...but y(proving, should have been proved)...

E. but then proved unable to handle the increase in business, falling months behind in paying
concise, parallelism in place, modifier is right ...this is right answer
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Re: QOTD: After several years of rapid growth  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2018, 11:09
E seems correct but wouldn't the correct construction be: {DC,IC, but IC}? Without subject in second IC, this looks odd.

A. Grammatically correct but fails to show contrast.

B. Fails to show contrast and coordinating conjunction for cause and effect doesn't fit.

C. "in its paying" awkward construction.

D. "then proving" awkward construction.
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Re: QOTD: After several years of rapid growth  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2018, 15:59
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urvashis09 wrote:
E seems correct but wouldn't the correct construction be: {DC,IC, but IC}? Without subject in second IC, this looks odd.

A. Grammatically correct but fails to show contrast.

B. Fails to show contrast and coordinating conjunction for cause and effect doesn't fit.

C. "in its paying" awkward construction.

D. "then proving" awkward construction.




Hello urvashis09,

I will glad to help you out with this one. :-)


It is true that generally comma + and/but is used to join two independent clause. However, this is not the only usage of this connector. They are also used to join parallel elements in a parallel list. This is the function of comma + but we see in the correct answer choice.

Since the parallel entities are long phrases starting withe verbs, comma + but indicate the presence of the second parallel entity in the list. This is a valid structure and is employed in may official correct sentences.

Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: QOTD: After several years of rapid growth  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2018, 22:26
egmat wrote:
urvashis09 wrote:
E seems correct but wouldn't the correct construction be: {DC,IC, but IC}? Without subject in second IC, this looks odd.

A. Grammatically correct but fails to show contrast.

B. Fails to show contrast and coordinating conjunction for cause and effect doesn't fit.

C. "in its paying" awkward construction.

D. "then proving" awkward construction.




Hello urvashis09,

I will glad to help you out with this one. :-)


It is true that generally comma + and/but is used to join two independent clause. However, this is not the only usage of this connector. They are also used to join parallel elements in a parallel list. This is the function of comma + but we see in the correct answer choice.

Since the parallel entities are long phrases starting withe verbs, comma + but indicate the presence of the second parallel entity in the list. This is a valid structure and is employed in may official correct sentences.

Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha




Totally missed out on the parallel structure. Thank you!
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Re: QOTD: After several years of rapid growth  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Feb 2018, 11:34
Statement one is IC, statement two can start with but only because if we use while it became Dependent clause
'not possible as a verb is there". A&B out.

In option C its create ambiguity, out.
In option D, tense is not corect. Out.
Option E is correct.
Re: QOTD: After several years of rapid growth &nbs [#permalink] 01 Feb 2018, 11:34
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