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QOTD: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 81: Sentence Correction


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As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.

A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell
B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling
C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling
D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell
E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling

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As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.


A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell ---- There are two acts the thieves do such as 1. pilfer X, Y, and Z and 2. sell the date. The best choice as I see.

B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling ---and selling is unparallel

C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling -- also preferring is an outright fragment

D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell -- not only are thieves' is not parallel to 'but also pilfer'

E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling -- 'but also pilfering' is a fragment.

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Last edited by daagh on 14 Aug 2017, 22:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: QOTD: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more [#permalink]

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As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.


A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell
B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling
C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling
D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell
E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling

Correct idiom is "Not only X but also Y" or "Not only X but Y"
In options D and E, X and Y are not parallel to each other, in both the options, X is a noun and Y is a verb/action, so not parallel
Also in the actual sentence, thieves are doing 3 things: divert, pilfer, and sell--> hence these should be parallel
In option B and C, selling is not parallel

Hence A is the best answer which avoids all the above-mentioned problems

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Hi,

can someone further explain why the answer choice is not D?

Not only are (verb) but also Pilfer (verb)

Isnt this the correct idiom?

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New post 15 Aug 2017, 01:20
As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.

A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell -Not only but also is correct idiom
B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling -Not only but also is correct idiom
C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling -Not only but also is correct idiom
D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell -Correct
E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling -and selling is not parallel

However, "D" is also not parallel to "not only thieves" .... Waiting for the OE.

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daagh wrote:
As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.


A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell ---- There are two acts the thieves do such as 1. pilfer X, Y, and Z and 2. sell the date. The best choice as I see.

B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling ---and selling is unparallel

C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling -- also preferring is an outright fragment

D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell -- not only are thieves' is not parallel to 'but also pilfer'

E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling -- 'but also pilfering' is a fragment.


Hello daagh,

Isn't the highlighted part wrong? The three things in red are a list while the "and" after list depicts the second action of the thieves. Shouldn't the second "and" come without a comma?

We have a general structure in the following way:
I bought papaya,apples, and orangeand ate ice cream.

Please throw some light.
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Ashokshiva wrote:
Hi,

can someone further explain why the answer choice is not D?

Not only are (verb) but also Pilfer (verb)

Isnt this the correct idiom?


While the idiom "Not Only...But Also" is correct, note the placement of "thieves" in the first portion

"Thieves" is placed after Not Only. As such, we need another subject for the second part of the sentence as well. D is missing this.

For example we can say "Not only are thieves....but they can also" OR we can say "Thieves not only are.....but also pilter"

There's also a second error with D that relates to the meaning/parallelism of the sentence
There are 3 actions of parallelism that thieves in from the original sentence: divert cash.....pilter new information....and sell the data
In D, the meaning changes to divert cash....pilter new information including....contract bidding plans to sell the data
Note that now there's only 2 actions that is parallel. The original meaning of the sentence is that thieves sell the data to companies. In D the meaning changes to that the thieves pilter new information including contract bidding to sell the data to new companies. This is illogical since contract bidding are not used to sell data to new companies.

Hope this helps explain why D is incorrect! Please leave kudos if you like the explanation!

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Hi
I do not think that a convention cannot be broken for the sake of clarity. Of course, we are led to think that between just two items in a list, there is no need to use a comma. However, if you wish to ensure that the second item is certainly a disparate item from the prior one, then there may be no harm in using that comma. However, I would have an open mind, if at least in GMAT some choice has been disqualified for using or misusing the Oxford comma. As you may see, this very OG question is a case in point that GMAT couldn't care less about it.
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Re: QOTD: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2017, 07:14
gmatexam439 wrote:
Hello daagh,

Isn't the highlighted part wrong? The three things in red are a list while the "and" after list depicts the second action of the thieves. Shouldn't the second "and" come without a comma?

We have a general structure in the following way:
I bought papaya,apples, and orangeand ate ice cream.

Please throw some light.
Regards



Hi!
The orginal sentence says:
Not only are thieves able to do X, they can also do Y such as examples, and Z.

In your example, I will arrange the sentence as this:
I bought
    papaya, apples, and orange, (here comma is necessary-called Oxford Comma as pointed out by daagh)
and ate
    ice cream
Effectively, the sentence is I bought something and ate something.

Without the comma, your sentence would be
I bought
    papaya, apples, and oranges and ate ice cream
Above structure means that you bought
1. Papaya
2. Apples
3. Oranges and ate ice cream.

This structure doesn't make sense, but I've seen the use of Oxford Comma in questions from various sources-official and non official

Hope I helped :)

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Re: QOTD: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2017, 07:16
souvik101990 wrote:
As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.



Quote:
D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell
E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling

The idiom 'not only.... but also' needs to be parallel => The sentences can either be "the thieves are not only able to.... but also pilfer..." or if the sentence remains as is, we require a subject after 'but also.
On that account both of these options are OUT!


Quote:
B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling
C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling

B is not parallel. 'They can also pilfer.... and selling'. OUT
C - 'also pilfering....' doesn't connect with the rest of the sentence. Plus, the verb-ing modifier 'selling....competitors' is incorrect. It needs to be part of the list. OUT!


Quote:
A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell

Only option remaining, and the correct answer :)


I think there is another GMAT Prep Question testing the 'Not Only... But Also' idiom in a similar fashion. Once I find the link, I'll share it here.
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Re: QOTD: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2017, 07:47
AkshayKS21 wrote:
gmatexam439 wrote:
Hello daagh,

Isn't the highlighted part wrong? The three things in red are a list while the "and" after list depicts the second action of the thieves. Shouldn't the second "and" come without a comma?

We have a general structure in the following way:
I bought papaya,apples, and orangeand ate ice cream.

Please throw some light.
Regards



Hi!
The orginal sentence says:
Not only are thieves able to do X, they can also do Y such as examples, and Z.

In your example, I will arrange the sentence as this:
I bought
    papaya, apples, and orange, (here comma is necessary-called Oxford Comma as pointed out by daagh)
and ate
    ice cream
Effectively, the sentence is I bought something and ate something.

Without the comma, your sentence would be
I bought
    papaya, apples, and oranges and ate ice cream
Above structure means that you bought
1. Papaya
2. Apples
3. Oranges and ate ice cream.

This structure doesn't make sense, but I've seen the use of Oxford Comma in questions from various sources-official and non official

Hope I helped :)


Hello Bruh,

I think you got your understanding wrong. What i wrote is absolutely correct.
Go through Thursdays with Ron video once, you will understand the difference. An oxford comma is used to segregate 2 independent events. Ideally we should use a full stop to separate the independent non-related sentences, but an oxford comma+and can also be used to depict the same.

Regards

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New post 15 Aug 2017, 12:54
I understand why option D is wrong due to parallelism. But what about the idiomatic structure in A? is it valid to say "not only...." and than do not follow the idiomatic structure ("not only...but also" or "not only....but)?

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Re: QOTD: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2017, 01:25
daagh wrote:
As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.


A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell ---- There are two acts the thieves do such as 1. pilfer X, Y, and Z and 2. sell the date. The best choice as I see.

B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling ---and selling is unparallel

C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling -- also preferring is an outright fragment

D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell -- not only are thieves' is not parallel to 'but also pilfer'

E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling -- 'but also pilfering' is a fragment.


As in the available option A is best.

just for knowledge, if there is another option as following would it be better than option A :

but also they pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell

Thanks,
J

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Re: QOTD: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2017, 01:36
A for me


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Re: QOTD: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2017, 05:47
jwang516 wrote:
Ashokshiva wrote:
Hi,

can someone further explain why the answer choice is not D?

Not only are (verb) but also Pilfer (verb)

Isnt this the correct idiom?


While the idiom "Not Only...But Also" is correct, note the placement of "thieves" in the first portion

"Thieves" is placed after Not Only. As such, we need another subject for the second part of the sentence as well. D is missing this.

For example we can say "Not only are thieves....but they can also" OR we can say "Thieves not only are.....but also pilter"

There's also a second error with D that relates to the meaning/parallelism of the sentence
There are 3 actions of parallelism that thieves in from the original sentence: divert cash.....pilter new information....and sell the data
In D, the meaning changes to divert cash....pilter new information including....contract bidding plans to sell the data
Note that now there's only 2 actions that is parallel. The original meaning of the sentence is that thieves sell the data to companies. In D the meaning changes to that the thieves pilter new information including contract bidding to sell the data to new companies. This is illogical since contract bidding are not used to sell data to new companies.

Hope this helps explain why D is incorrect! Please leave kudos if you like the explanation!


Hello,

"contract bidding plans" to sell data to new companies...................is it logical?

Regards,

Manuel

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Re: QOTD: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2017, 07:43
daagh wrote:
As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell the data to competitors.


A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell ---- There are two acts the thieves do such as 1. pilfer X, Y, and Z and 2. sell the date. The best choice as I see.

B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling ---and selling is unparallel

C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling -- also preferring is an outright fragment

D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell -- not only are thieves' is not parallel to 'but also pilfer'

E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling -- 'but also pilfering' is a fragment.


Dear Expert,

In choice A, the structure is as follow:

............not only VERB + Subject (an inversion).............+ subject CAN ALSO..................In this answer, the marker is incomplete and also does not follow the due order: Not only Subject + Verb.........but also Subject + verb. Is this structure: Not only X, also Y possible?

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Re: QOTD: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more [#permalink]

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Sorry, I'm late to the party on this one!

So I've seen a lot of test-takers make mistakes on this question, usually because of overreliance on an idiom “rule” that doesn’t really exist. If you see the phrase “not only”, that does NOT automatically mean that you need to have a “but also” somewhere else in the sentence! There’s no reason why you couldn’t use the phrase “not only” by itself, as long as it makes logical sense with the context of the sentence.

Don’t get me wrong: “not… but” phrases are pretty important on the GMAT, but only because they require parallelism. Basically, whatever follows the word “not” (or “not only”) must be structurally parallel to whatever follows the word “but” (or “but also”). (Similar parallelism rules apply to both/and and either/or constructions – more on these in an upcoming Topic of the Week.)

But again, there’s nothing wrong with having “not only” without the “but also.”

Quote:
A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell

“They” jumps out at me right away, but I think it’s fine, since it refers to “thieves.” I suppose “they” could also refer to “bank accounts,” but I don’t think the pronoun is automatically wrong. Ambiguity isn’t an absolute rule (see our YouTube webinar on this pronouns for more), and “they” isn’t particularly confusing here.

The parallelism also seems OK, even if it doesn’t sound great. We have two different lists going on in (A). First, we have a pair of parallel verbs: “…they can also pilfer information… and sell data…” That seems fine. We also have a list of the types of information that thieves pilfer: “…such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans…” That’s just three parallel nouns – no problem. Keep (A).

Quote:
B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling

(B) is very similar to (A), except that the final “and” is followed by “selling.” And that’s a problem, because I don’t know what “selling” is parallel to: nothing in the sentence is in the same format. Logically, “selling” should be parallel to “pilfer”, but in that case, it should be “…they pilfer… and sell…”, as in answer choice (A). (B) can be eliminated.

Quote:
C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling

The big change here is that “pilfering” and “selling” are now “-ing” words – modifiers, in this case. (Feel free to check out our guide to “-ing” words for more on this topic.)

But that doesn’t really make any sense. “As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, pilfering valuable information…” For this to be correct, “pilfering valuable information” would have to modify “not only are thieves able to divert cash…” – and it simply doesn’t. These are completely different types of criminal activity, and the “pilfering valuable information” does not modify “diverting cash.”

Similarly, “selling” is basically hanging out on its own. I guess it’s trying to modify the previous phrase beginning with “pilfering”, but I can’t make much sense of that, either. (C) is out.

Quote:
D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell

OK, now we really do have a “not only… but also” structure, which means that we need to think about parallelism again. There’s not much wiggle-room here: whatever follows “not only” needs to be parallel to whatever follows “but also.”

So we have: “not only are thieves able to divert cash… but also pilfer valuable information…” This isn’t awful, but it doesn’t quite seem parallel to me: “not only are thieves” gives us a subject and a verb, but the “but also” is followed only by a verb.

Plus, “to sell” seems to only modify “contract bidding plans”, and that’s not quite right: the thieves are selling the strategies and specifications, too. (A) makes much more sense than (D).

Quote:
E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling

The parallelism is much more thoroughly flawed in (E). We have: “not only are thieves able to divert cash… but also pilfering valuable information…” Definitely not parallel. (E) is out, and (A) is the correct answer.
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Re: QOTD: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2017, 09:27
GMATNinja wrote:
Sorry, I'm late to the party on this one!

So I've seen a lot of test-takers make mistakes on this question, usually because of overreliance on an idiom “rule” that doesn’t really exist. If you see the phrase “not only”, that does NOT automatically mean that you need to have a “but also” somewhere else in the sentence! There’s no reason why you couldn’t use the phrase “not only” by itself, as long as it makes logical sense with the context of the sentence.

Don’t get me wrong: “not… but” phrases are pretty important on the GMAT, but only because they require parallelism. Basically, whatever follows the word “not” (or “not only”) must be structurally parallel to whatever follows the word “but” (or “but also”). (Similar parallelism rules apply to both/and and either/or constructions – more on these in an upcoming Topic of the Week.)

But again, there’s nothing wrong with having “not only” without the “but also.”

Quote:
A. they can also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and sell

“They” jumps out at me right away, but I think it’s fine, since it refers to “thieves.” I suppose “they” could also refer to “bank accounts,” but I don’t think the pronoun is automatically wrong. Ambiguity isn’t an absolute rule (see our YouTube webinar on this pronouns for more), and “they” isn’t particularly confusing here.

The parallelism also seems OK, even if it doesn’t sound great. We have two different lists going on in (A). First, we have a pair of parallel verbs: “…they can also pilfer information… and sell data…” That seems fine. We also have a list of the types of information that thieves pilfer: “…such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans…” That’s just three parallel nouns – no problem. Keep (A).

Quote:
B. they can also pilfer valuable information that includes business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, and selling

(B) is very similar to (A), except that the final “and” is followed by “selling.” And that’s a problem, because I don’t know what “selling” is parallel to: nothing in the sentence is in the same format. Logically, “selling” should be parallel to “pilfer”, but in that case, it should be “…they pilfer… and sell…”, as in answer choice (A). (B) can be eliminated.

Quote:
C. also pilfering valuable information including business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans, selling

The big change here is that “pilfering” and “selling” are now “-ing” words – modifiers, in this case. (Feel free to check out our guide to “-ing” words for more on this topic.)

But that doesn’t really make any sense. “As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more sophisticated, not only are thieves able to divert cash from company bank accounts, pilfering valuable information…” For this to be correct, “pilfering valuable information” would have to modify “not only are thieves able to divert cash…” – and it simply doesn’t. These are completely different types of criminal activity, and the “pilfering valuable information” does not modify “diverting cash.”

Similarly, “selling” is basically hanging out on its own. I guess it’s trying to modify the previous phrase beginning with “pilfering”, but I can’t make much sense of that, either. (C) is out.

Quote:
D. but also pilfer valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans to sell

OK, now we really do have a “not only… but also” structure, which means that we need to think about parallelism again. There’s not much wiggle-room here: whatever follows “not only” needs to be parallel to whatever follows “but also.”

So we have: “not only are thieves able to divert cash… but also pilfer valuable information…” This isn’t awful, but it doesn’t quite seem parallel to me: “not only are thieves” gives us a subject and a verb, but the “but also” is followed only by a verb.

Plus, “to sell” seems to only modify “contract bidding plans”, and that’s not quite right: the thieves are selling the strategies and specifications, too. (A) makes much more sense than (D).

Quote:
E. but also pilfering valuable information such as business development strategies, new product specifications, and contract bidding plans and selling

The parallelism is much more thoroughly flawed in (E). We have: “not only are thieves able to divert cash… but also pilfering valuable information…” Definitely not parallel. (E) is out, and (A) is the correct answer.



Dear Gmat Ninja

Does choices A have the folloing structure: Not only + Clause 1, Clause 2? If the word "also" were removed from the second clause, would choice A still correct?

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Re: QOTD: As criminal activity on the Internet becomes more and more   [#permalink] 17 Aug 2017, 09:27
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