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# QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap

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QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2017, 12:18
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 61: Sentence Correction

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Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed a nearly 17 percent reduction in the amount allocated the previous year to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups.

(A) proposed a nearly 17 percent reduction in the amount allocated the previous year to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize

(B) proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent in the amount it was allocating to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and for subsidizing

(C) proposed to reduce, by nearly 17 percent, the amount from the previous year that was allocated for the maintenance of the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize

(D) has proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent of the amount it was allocating for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions, and to subsidize

(E) was proposing that the amount they were allocating be reduced by nearly 17 percent from the previous year for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions and for the subsidization

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QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2017, 12:20
7
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This is one of my favorite, nasty GMAT parallelism questions. We discussed it in last Wednesday’s verbal chat (Vyshak ’s always-awesome transcript is available here), but it’s worth repeating this one for a QOTD, since it really gets into the meat of what parallelism really is.

Quote:
(A) proposed a nearly 17 percent reduction in the amount allocated the previous year to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize

Something has to be parallel to the phrase “to subsidize”, since that’s what follows the parallelism trigger “and.” We really only have one candidate: “to maintain.”

So we have: “… the city’s mayor proposed a… reduction in the amount allocated the previous year…

1) to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions
and 2) to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups

And that makes sense. Let’s keep (A).

Quote:
(B) proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent in the amount it was allocating to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and for subsidizing

I don’t like the parallelism as much here. The phrase “for subsidizing” follows the parallelism trigger “and”, and I’m not sure what’s parallel to “for subsidizing.” I guess “to maintain”? They’re both prepositional phrases, but the parallelism seems much better in (A).

Plus, we have a pronoun problem. “It” needs to refer to a singular noun, and we don’t have a lot of options. “City’s” is possessive, and as far as I can tell, a non-possessive pronoun can’t refer back to a possessive antecedent (more on this in a recent YouTube webinar on GMAT pronouns). “It” can’t refer to the mayor, either. So I guess the “it” refers to the “budget gap”? That doesn’t make sense. (B) is out.

Quote:
(C) proposed to reduce, by nearly 17 percent, the amount from the previous year that was allocated for the maintenance of the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize

This looks parallel, right? “To subsidize” is parallel with “to reduce.” That sounds fine.

But wait: that really doesn’t work. “Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed…

1) to reduce… the amount from the previous year that was allocated for the maintenance of the city’s major cultural institutions
and 2) to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups

Nope, that can’t be right. Look at #2 again: “Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed… to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups.” No, s/he probably didn’t. It’s grammatically parallel, but it’s also illogical. As we said in our long-winded Beginner’s Guide to SC, meaning can be pretty darned important. (C) is gone.

Quote:
(D) has proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent of the amount it was allocating for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions, and to subsidize

(D) has the same pronoun problem as (B). And “to subsidize” isn’t really parallel to anything at all. (D) can be eliminated.

Quote:
(E) was proposing that the amount they were allocating be reduced by nearly 17 percent from the previous year for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions and for the subsidization

“They” has no antecedent, and “for the subsidization” is awfully messy. (E) is out, and (A) is the last answer standing.
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QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2017, 12:36
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Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed a nearly 17 percent reduction in the amount allocated the previous year to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups.

(A) proposed a nearly 17 percent reduction in the amount allocated the previous year to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize. CORRECT

(B) proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent in the amount it was allocating to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and for subsidizing -Incorrect. (pronoun error)

(C) proposed to reduce, by nearly 17 percent, the amount from the previous year that was allocated for the maintenance of the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize -Incorrect. Changes the intended meaning of the original sentence. The intended meaning is that the mayor wants to reduce the budget by 17% so that he can continue supporting institutions and art groups. However, this option says that the mayor wants to reduce the amount that was allocated to the institutions and art groups.

(D) has proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent of the amount it was allocating for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions, and to subsidize -Incorrect. (reduction in the amount is correct idiom)

(E) was proposing that the amount they were allocating be reduced by nearly 17 percent from the previous year for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions and for the subsidization -Incorrect. (past continuous is not required)

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Re: QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2017, 23:51
Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed a nearly 17 percent reduction in the amount allocated the previous year to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups.

(A) proposed a nearly 17 percent reduction in the amount allocated the previous year to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize...luks correct keep it

(B) proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent in the amount it was allocating to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and for subsidizing,, to maintain and for subsidizing is not parallel

(C) proposed to reduce, by nearly 17 percent, the amount from the previous year that was allocated for the maintenance of the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize... to maintain and for subsidizing is not parallel and also improper wording,,how can we reduce 17% from previous year

(D) has proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent of the amount it was allocating for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions, and to subsidize...pronoun it has no proper referrent

(E) was proposing that the amount they were allocating be reduced by nearly 17 percent from the previous year for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions and for the subsidization,,,same as C

ans A
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QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 03 Oct 2017, 22:18
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Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed a nearly 17 percent reduction in the amount allocated the previous year to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups.

(A) proposed a nearly 17 percent reduction in the amount allocated the previous year to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize

(B) proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent in the amount it was allocating to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and for subsidizing

(C) proposed to reduce, by nearly 17 percent, the amount from the previous year that was allocated for the maintenance of the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize

(D) has proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent of the amount it was allocating for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions, and to subsidize

(E) was proposing that the amount they were allocating be reduced by nearly 17 percent from the previous year for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions and for the subsidization

I do not think one needs to stretch beyond the infinitive parallelism in this topic. Only A sticks to the infinitive to parallelism while all the rest falter on that.

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Originally posted by daagh on 24 Jul 2017, 23:56.
Last edited by daagh on 03 Oct 2017, 22:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2017, 01:12
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 61: Sentence Correction

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Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed a nearly 17 percent reduction in the amount allocated the previous year to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups.

(A) proposed a nearly 17 percent reduction in the amount allocated the previous year to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize

(B) proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent in the amount it was allocating to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and for subsidizing

(C) proposed to reduce, by nearly 17 percent, the amount from the previous year that was allocated for the maintenance of the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize

(D) has proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent of the amount it was allocating for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions, and to subsidize

(E) was proposing that the amount they were allocating be reduced by nearly 17 percent from the previous year for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions and for the subsidization

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.

This seemed like a straightforward parallelism question.

A - to maintain and to subsidise are parallel. No other errors. KEEP.
B - to maintain and for subsidising breaks parallelism. OUT.
C - for maintenance and to subsidise breaks parallelism. OUT.
D - for maintaining and to subsidise breaks parallelism. OUT.
E - for maintaining and for the subsidisation breaks parallelism. OUT.

A is the answer.
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QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2017, 09:57
Parallelism: Remember, every incorrect sentence has multiple reasons to be incorrect. Make your order when you check.
Such as - Subject Verb Agreement, Pronouns, Parallelism, Modifiers. You can eliminate one sentence for multiple errors.

That said, the below sentence is all about parallelism.

Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed a nearly 17 percent reduction in the amount allocated the previous year to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidise hundreds of local arts groups.

(A) proposed a nearly 17 percent reduction in the amount allocated the previous year to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidise --- Correct (Clear Parallelism)

(B) proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent in the amount it was allocating to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and for subsidizing

(C) proposed to reduce, by nearly 17 percent, the amount from the previous year that was allocated for the maintenance of the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize

(D) has proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent of the amount it was allocating for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions, and to subsidize

(E) was proposing that the amount they were allocating be reduced by nearly 17 percent from the previous year for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions and for the subsidization
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Re: QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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25 Jul 2017, 10:13
Allocating to x and y
Only A maintains parallelism

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Re: QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2017, 09:20
A it is. I misunderstood the meaning and chose C but A maintains proper parallelism with meaning.

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Re: QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2017, 17:25
(C) proposed to reduce, by nearly 17 percent, the amount from the previous year that was allocated for the maintenance of the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize

Could you suggest if usage of "that" here correctly modifies "the amount"? That is, is this usage (or exception to modifier touch rule) accepted where there is a prepositional phrase between noun and the modifier?

Thanks
daagh wrote:
Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed a nearly 17 percent reduction in the amount allocated the previous year to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups.

(A) proposed a nearly 17 percent reduction in the amount allocated the previous year to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize

(B) proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent in the amount it was allocating to maintain the city’s major cultural institutions and for subsidizing

(C) proposed to reduce, by nearly 17 percent, the amount from the previous year that was allocated for the maintenance of the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize

(D) has proposed a reduction from the previous year of nearly 17 percent of the amount it was allocating for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions, and to subsidize

(E) was proposing that the amount they were allocating be reduced by nearly 17 percent from the previous year for maintaining the city’s major cultural institutions and for the subsidization

I do not think one needs to stretch beyond the infinitive parallelism in this topic. Only sticks to the infinitive to parallelism while all the rest falter on that.
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Re: QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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04 Oct 2017, 00:16
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Notwithstanding what is just in front of the relative pronouns, the ultimate decider is the logic behind such references. This has been made abundantly clear by GMAT as seen from the OG topic below.

Quote:
The use of lie detectors is based on the assumption that lying produces emotional reactions in an individual that, in turn, create unconscious physiological response.

A) that, in turn, create unconscious physiological responses.
B) that creates unconscious physiological responses in turn.
C) creating, in turn, unconscious physiological responses.
D) to create, in turn, physiological responses that are unconscious.
E) who creates unconscious physiological responses in turn.

OA is 'A' and 'that' is preceded by a prepositional phrase, but the true referent of 'that' is the 'reactions', beyond the prepositional phrase
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Re: QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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26 May 2018, 04:55
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
(C) proposed to reduce, by nearly 17 percent, the amount from the previous year that was allocated for the maintenance of the city’s major cultural institutions and to subsidize

This looks parallel, right? “To subsidize” is parallel with “to reduce.” That sounds fine.

But wait: that really doesn’t work. “Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed…

1) to reduce… the amount from the previous year that was allocated for the maintenance of the city’s major cultural institutions
and 2) to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups

Nope, that can’t be right. Look at #2 again: “Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed… to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups.” No, s/he probably didn’t. It’s grammatically parallel, but it’s also illogical.As we said in our long-winded Beginner’s Guide to SC, meaning can be pretty darned important. (C) is gone.

Hi experts,
Any one can clarify “Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed… to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups.” No, s/he probably didn’t. It’s grammatically parallel, but it’s also illogical.
The mayor can propose to reduce something, why it is illogical that (s)he proposed to subsidize something?

Thanks in advance
Have a nice day
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QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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26 May 2018, 05:30
2
zoezhuyan wrote:
Hi experts,
Any one can clarify “Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed… to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups.” No, s/he probably didn’t. It’s grammatically parallel, but it’s also illogical.
The mayor can propose to reduce something, why it is illogical that (s)he proposed to subsidize something?

Thanks in advance
Have a nice day
>_~

Hey zoezhuyan ,

Understanding the meaning of the original sentence is very important here.

Original meaning is Mayor proposed to reduce some amount that is used to maintain XYZ and subsidize PQR.

But option C is saying Mayor proposed to reduce some amount AND to subsidize something.

Do you see the change in meaning?

In the first case, we are reducing amount that is used to do 2 things.

While in the 2nd case, we are doing two things - 1)Reducing amounts 2) Subsidizing something.

Hence, C is wrong. Meaning change is not allowed if we have a grammatically and logically correct answer choice.

By illogical, GMATNinja Sir meant, I believe, meaning change as it can be inferred from his statement "As we said in our long-winded Beginner’s Guide to SC, meaning can be pretty darned important."

Does that make sense?
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Re: QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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26 May 2018, 06:19
abhimahna wrote:
zoezhuyan wrote:
Hi experts,
Any one can clarify “Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed… to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups.” No, s/he probably didn’t. It’s grammatically parallel, but it’s also illogical.
The mayor can propose to reduce something, why it is illogical that (s)he proposed to subsidize something?

Thanks in advance
Have a nice day
>_~

Hey zoezhuyan ,

Understanding the meaning of the original sentence is very important here.

Original meaning is Mayor proposed to reduce some amount that is used to maintain XYZ and subsidize PQR.

But option C is saying Mayor proposed to reduce some amount AND to subsidize something.

Do you see the change in meaning?

In the first case, we are reducing amount that is used to do 2 things.

While in the 2nd case, we are doing two things - 1)Reducing amounts 2) Subsidizing something.

Hence, C is wrong. Meaning change is not allowed if we have a grammatically and logically correct answer choice.

By illogical, GMATNinja Sir meant, I believe, meaning change as it can be inferred from his statement "As we said in our long-winded Beginner’s Guide to SC, meaning can be pretty darned important."

Does that make sense?

Thanks so much for your quick answer, abhimahna

I totally understand meaning is the key, and i try to approach SC by meaning
at first, i picked up C because i thought it is logical to say a mayer prosed to reduce something and (proposed) to subsidize something, that's why i haven't gotten that it is illogic to say “Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed… to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups.” No, s/he probably didn’t. It’s grammatically parallel, but it’s also illogical.

I think i must miss something, would you please clarify further?

Thanks in advance
Have a nice day

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Re: QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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29 May 2018, 06:55
1
zoezhuyan wrote:
Thanks so much for your quick answer, abhimahna

I totally understand meaning is the key, and i try to approach SC by meaning
at first, i picked up C because i thought it is logical to say a mayer prosed to reduce something and (proposed) to subsidize something, that's why i haven't gotten that it is illogic to say “Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed… to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups.” No, s/he probably didn’t. It’s grammatically parallel, but it’s also illogical.

I think i must miss something, would you please clarify further?

Thanks in advance
Have a nice day

>_~

Hey zoezhuyan ,

By illogical, we meant change in meaning. C is simply changing the meaning.

Please note that meaning change is NOT ALLOWED when you have the correct option that is maintaining the original meaning AND is both grammatically and logically correct.

Since I have A in place, I won't even look bother much about C.

Does that make sense?
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QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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07 Jun 2018, 06:08
abhimahna wrote:
zoezhuyan wrote:
Thanks so much for your quick answer, abhimahna

I totally understand meaning is the key, and i try to approach SC by meaning
at first, i picked up C because i thought it is logical to say a mayer prosed to reduce something and (proposed) to subsidize something, that's why i haven't gotten that it is illogic to say “Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap, the city’s mayor proposed… to subsidize hundreds of local arts groups.” No, s/he probably didn’t. It’s grammatically parallel, but it’s also illogical.

I think i must miss something, would you please clarify further?

Thanks in advance
Have a nice day

>_~

Hey zoezhuyan ,

By illogical, we meant change in meaning. C is simply changing the meaning.

Please note that meaning change is NOT ALLOWED when you have the correct option that is maintaining the original meaning AND is both grammatically and logically correct.

Since I have A in place, I won't even look bother much about C.

Does that make sense?

Thanks abhimahna,
i have misunderstood the "illogical" meaning,

Have a nice day
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Re: QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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18 Jun 2018, 20:05
Shouldn't "proposed" require subjunctive mood here: proposed + that + be?
In what cases can we ommit this rule? Thanks
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Re: QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2018, 11:55
Hero8888 wrote:
Shouldn't "proposed" require subjunctive mood here: proposed + that + be?
In what cases can we ommit this rule? Thanks

You're thinking of one particular trigger for the subjunctive mood: "bossy verb" + "that." Examples might include "recommended that" or "required that" or "demanded that." All of these would require the use of subjunctive.

But if we don't have the word "that," there's no need for the subjunctive. It's perfectly acceptable to have "proposed" + "noun," as we do in the OA here. These, for example, are totally fine:

• Tim proposed an equitable solution to the problem.
• Governor Hickenlooper proposed groundbreaking legislation that would offer free carne asada burritos to GMAT tutors in Colorado.

I hope that helps!
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QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2018, 13:23
GMATNinja wrote:
But if we don't have the word "that," there's no need for the subjunctive. It's perfectly acceptable to have "proposed" + "noun," as we do in the OA here. These, for example, are totally fine:

• Tim proposed an equitable solution to the problem.
• Governor Hickenlooper proposed groundbreaking legislation that would offer free carne asada burritos to GMAT tutors in Colorado.

I hope that helps!

Hi GMATNinja,
Thanks for your response. It became clearer now. Yet I have 2 questions:

1. Does "bossy verb" + "noun" formula work with any verb from the list: demand, suggest, request, recommend, stipulate, mandate, insist, and dictate?

2. In some cases, such as "report suggests that the Earth was..." or " we don't use subjunctive. How to recognize the pattern in which "that" exists, but subjunctive is not required? Any other verbs from the list above can follow the pattern?

Regards
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Re: QOTD: Faced with an estimated \$2 billion budget gap  [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2018, 15:14
2
Hero8888 wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
But if we don't have the word "that," there's no need for the subjunctive. It's perfectly acceptable to have "proposed" + "noun," as we do in the OA here. These, for example, are totally fine:

• Tim proposed an equitable solution to the problem.
• Governor Hickenlooper proposed groundbreaking legislation that would offer free carne asada burritos to GMAT tutors in Colorado.

I hope that helps!

Hi GMATNinja,
Thanks for your response. It became clearer now. Yet I have 2 questions:

1. Does "bossy verb" + "noun" formula work with any verb from the list: demand, suggest, request, recommend, stipulate, mandate, insist, and dictate?

2. In some cases, such as "report suggests that the Earth was..." or " we don't use subjunctive. How to recognize the pattern in which "that" exists, but subjunctive is not required? Any other verbs from the list above can follow the pattern?

Regards

1. For the most part, yes: you can use most of those verbs with just a noun. Here, have some more examples: "The teacher demanded silence." "I recommend the avocado tuna roll with just a hint of wasabi." (Mmm... avocado tuna rolls.) I suppose there are also some situations in which you'd need a preposition before the noun: "Tim insisted on the purple drapes." The broader point is that English is incredibly flexible and complicated - all of the verbs in that list can be used in ways other than to introduce the subjunctive mood.

2. "Suggest" has multiple meanings. It could be used to mean "recommend," or "propose", and in those situations, "suggest" may introduce the subjunctive the same way another "bossy verb" might. But it could also be used to mean "express" or "implies," in which case, it wouldn't be so bossy anymore, and the subjunctive wouldn't be called for.

But there's no reason to devote much brain space to absorbing this idea. Consider a similar example to the one you offered: "The report suggests that the Earth was unusually hot last year." Surely it doesn't make any sense to write, "The report suggests that the Earth be unusually hot..." The report isn't telling the Earth what to do!

Put another way, we can't just go on autopilot, scan the sentence, and look for words that necessitate the use of the subjunctive. We have to understand the meaning of the sentence and use context clues to determine what construction is best. That may not be a terribly satisfying answer, but it's true.

Here's the bigger takeaway: I insist that you be careful about relying too much on rote memorization! (See what I did there?) The subjunctive shows up occasionally on the GMAT, but it's relatively rare. If you were to try to memorize a list of bossy verbs, then attempt to internalize all the exceptions for when the subjunctive shouldn't be used, and repeat this process for every issue you could possibly encounter on an SC question, your head is going to explode. (At least mine would.) The better approach is to use logic and context, coupled with a limited collection of truly essential grammar concepts, to determine what construction works best.

I hope this helps!
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How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

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