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QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 11: Sentence Correction


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Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.

A. Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.

B. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that worked well in the past, makes missing signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting ones likely when they do appear.

C. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action is likely to miss or misinterpret signs of incipient trouble when they do appear, especially if it has worked well in the past.

D. Executives’ being heavily committed to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes them likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting them when they do appear.

E. Being heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that has worked well in the past, is likely to make an executive miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.


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Re: QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.

A. Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.

B. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that worked well in the past, makes missing signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting ones likely when they do appear.

C. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action is likely to miss or misinterpret signs of incipient trouble when they do appear, especially if it has worked well in the past.

D. Executives' being heavily committed to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes them likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting them when they do appear.

E. Being heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that has worked well in the past, is likely to make an executive miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.


From Ron (Manhattan GMAT Instructor)

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Quote:
A. Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.


* "heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action" is awkward and difficult to read. (You may have to be a native speaker to pick up on this, though)

Much more importantly:

* makes it likely to miss...* (This doesn't work.)

Technically, this would mean that "it" - an unspecified entity - is likely to miss the signs.

If you use the "it is ADJ..." construction, and the verb has a specific subject, you MUST include that subject in the construction. It is likely that the executive will miss...

Quote:
B. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action ... makes missing signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting ones likely when they do appear.


I've eliminated the modifier in this sentence, simplifying its structure a bit.

Once that modifier is eliminated, notice that you have a sentence that says that the executive him/herself makes missing the signs likely.

"misinterpreting ones" is also wrong. this should be "them", not "ones".

"an executive ... makes xxxx unlikely". That's nonsense; it's the exective's excessive commitment that makes certain undesirable things likely.

"Them" = the same things/people that were mentioned previously. I.e., the use of them specifically indicates that you are NOT further narrowing the group.

"Ones" = used ONLY with a modifier/description that further narrows the group.

E.g., All of the houses were damaged, except the ones farthest from the shoreline.

In most of these cases, "those" can be used instead of "the ones", so, honestly, you won't see "the ones" very often. You'll only see it if it would be impossible (or extremely awkward) to use "those"

e.g., Leather jackets are expensive in general, but the most expensive ones can cost as much as new cars.

"being" is a gerund (= NOUN type -ing form).
In fact, "being committed" is the subject of this sentence!

i.e., here "being heavily committed" is like Swimming is fun.

That's a complete sentence -- "swimming" is a noun (gerund). Since it's a noun, it's not modifying anything.

You should avoid "being" when expressing the IDENTITY or CHARACTERISTICS of some individual or thing.

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The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2017

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 776
Page: 704


Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.

A. Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.

B. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that worked well in the past, makes missing signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting ones likely when they do appear.

C. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action is likely to miss or misinterpret signs of incipient trouble when they do appear, especially if it has worked well in the past.

D. Executives’ being heavily committed to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes them likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting them when they do appear.

E. Being heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that has worked well in the past, is likely to make an executive miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
First Glance

The entire sentence is underlined. Keep an eye out for Structure, Meaning, Modifier, Parallelism.

Issues

(1) Pronoun: it; them; ones

The original sentence uses the pronoun it (twice!). Check the antecedents for the pronouns found throughout the answers.

In answer (A), the first it refers to the course of action. The second it, though, is a dummy pronoun; it doesn't refer to any particular noun in the sentence. While a dummy pronoun is acceptable in general, the two instances of it don't refer to the same thing. This is considered ambiguous. Likewise, in answer (D), the first instance of them refers to the executives; the second refers to the signs. Eliminate answers (A) and (D) for ambiguity.

Answer (B) changes them to ones. The pronoun ones does still refer to signs, but it refers to different signs. For example: Ava likes most cats, but she finds the ones owned by her next-door neighbour annoying.

The ones are still cats, but they are not the same cats mentioned in the first half of the sentence. The original sentence talks about the same signs, so the meaning in answer (B) is illogical.

Further, in (B), the modifier following ones (likely when they do appear) now applies only to the second set of signs, in the same way that the modifier in Ava's sentence (owned by her next-door neighbour) applies only to the second set of cats. Eliminate answer (B).

In answer (C), the pronoun it seems refer to the closest preceding singular noun, trouble. The trouble has worked well in the past? That's illogical. Because the pronoun it is acting as a subject, the next logical place to check is the subject of the preceding clause: an executive. An executive, though, can't be an it. the logical noun, course of action, is so buried in the early part of the sentence that you may actually have to re-read the sentence in order to find the right noun. Another ambiguous pronoun! Eliminate answer (C).

Meaning

The original sentence conveys a certain meaning: when someone commits heavily to a certain course of action, that person might then overlook signs that this course of action isn't a good idea after all. Check the sentence core:

(A) Heavy commitment makes it likely to miss
(B) An executive makes missing signs likely
(C) An executive is likely to miss signs
(D) Being heavily committed makes them likely to miss signs
(E) Being heavily committed is likely to make an executive miss signs

Answers (A), (C), (D), and (E) all contain logical meanings. Answers (B), though, is problematic. The executive doesn't make this phenomenon likely to happen; rather, heavy commitment to a course of action makes it likely that the executive will miss something. Eliminate answer (B).

(3) Parallelism: X or Y

The sentence contains the parallelism marker or. Check for the correct X or Y parallel structure.

In answer (D), the sentence says makes them likely to miss signs or misinterpreting them. The X form is in the infinitive; the Y form is a participle. Eliminate answer (D) for lack of parallelism.

The Correct Answer

Correct answer (E) conveys an unambiguous meaning (The act of being heavily committed makes an executive likely to miss certain signs) and does not contain any ambiguous pronouns.

Note: The correct answer ends up using the oft-maligned word being. Don't cross off an answer simply because it contains the word being!

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Re: QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2017, 15:54
ziyuen - I appreciate you posting Ron and OG solutions but what is much more important here is for you (and others) to try this and post their own thoughts. I am going to go ahead and put spoiler tags in your posts. Hope that's okay.
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QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2017, 18:33
The subject of the action "makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear" is the "Executive". Hence looking at the answer choices we can narrow down to C and E (as in the rest of the options the sentence illogically refers to entities other than the executive or the structure changes the meaning). In option C there is a misplaced modifier as "especially if it has worked well in the past" should be placed close to "course of action". Hence the best bet is option E (However I am not a fan of the Being... construction since i thought it was almost always wrong on the GMAT)

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QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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New post 14 May 2017, 11:00
A. Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear. 'it' is not referring to anything.

B. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that worked well in the past, makes missing signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting ones likely when they do appear. It changes the meaning. It is trying to say that executive makes missing sign, but as per the meaning it is teh commitment, which is making him miss signs.

C. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action is likely to miss or misinterpret signs of incipient trouble when they do appear, especially if it has worked well in the past. This modifier is too far from commitment or course of action. Hence, not a strong answer choice. We will keep this if we donot find anything better.

D. Executives’ being heavily committed to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes them likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting them when they do appear. Blunder. Such constructions are almost always incorrect on GMAT.

E. Being heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that has worked well in the past, is likely to make an executive miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear. Correct answer choice.
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Re: QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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This is one of the OG questions that causes the most trouble, partly because a lot of GMAT test-takers have an (occasionally incorrect) impulse to automatically eliminate any answer choice with the word "being."

But we'll get to that. Let's take these buggers in order:

Quote:
A. Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.


That second "it" is the big problem here: "makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble..." I suppose that "it" could refer to "heavy commitment" or "course of action", but neither of those would make any sense. (A) is gone.

Quote:
B. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that worked well in the past, makes missing signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting ones likely when they do appear.


This is fairly subtle, but the subject doesn't make a whole lot of sense with the main verb here. "An executive... makes missing signs of incipient trouble... likely when they do appear." The pronoun "they" is OK, but it doesn't make logical sense to say that "an executive makes missing signs of trouble likely..." Also, I see no good reason use "ones" here -- in theory, "ones" would refer to very specific signs of trouble, and there's no good reason to use "ones" when a simple "them" would work. (B) is gone.

Quote:
C. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action is likely to miss or misinterpret signs of incipient trouble when they do appear, especially if it has worked well in the past.


The "it" is a problem here: "it" generally refers to the nearest singular noun. In this case, "it" would seem to refer to "trouble," and that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. "Course of action" would work, but that's much farther back in the sentence.

To be fair, ambiguous pronouns aren't always wrong on the GMAT, so if you want to be conservative, you could keep (C) for now. But as we'll see in a moment, (E) is a much better option.

Quote:
D. Executives’ being heavily committed to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes them likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting them when they do appear.


"Them" is trying to refer back to a possessive pronoun, "executives'", and that's wrong on the GMAT. Non-possessive pronouns (they, them, he, she, it) can't refer back to possessive nouns on the GMAT. So (D) is gone.

Quote:
E. Being heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that has worked well in the past, is likely to make an executive miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.


There are lots of pronoun issues in the other answer choices, but we're all good with (E): the ambiguous "it" we saw in (C) isn't here at all, and "them" and "they" very clearly refer to "signs of incipient trouble." The subject "being heavily committed to a course of action" works nicely with the main verb phrase ("is likely to make an executive miss signs of trouble..."), so (E) is an upgrade from (B).

That leaves "being" as the only reasonable objection to (E). But "being" is absolutely fine here: it's just a noun, also known as a gerund in this case. "Being" is no different than any other gerund. So (E) is our answer.

Please see last Monday's Topic of the Week for more on gerunds and other "-ing" words on the GMAT: https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topi ... 39780.html.
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Re: QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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I had responded to this topic as recently as 12th May 2017. But my post is missing. Anything wrong with it?
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Re: QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2017, 00:46
A. The first 'it' can refer to commitment or course of action. The second "it" should logically refer to executive. But there are two more candidates. Eliminate A.
B. makes missing sign- this is a problem. It seems the executive makes missing the signs. Does not make sense. Eliminate.
C. Again "it" has no proper antecedent. Logically it should refer to course of action. Moreover the last part looks severely disconnected from the sentence. This does not convey the intended meaning. Eliminate.
D. Them cant refer back to executive's which actually does not exist in the sentence as a noun.
E. Correct. Them and they correctly refer to signs. One correctly refers to course of action. Being is fine here.
Should be E.

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Re: QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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Haha, Got screwed on this one. Automatically eliminated options D and E because they contained the word, 'being.' Just goes to show, don't fall for these rather stupid tricks!

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Re: QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2017, 06:17
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 11: Sentence Correction


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Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.

A. Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.

B. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that worked well in the past, makes missing signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting ones likely when they do appear.

C. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action is likely to miss or misinterpret signs of incipient trouble when they do appear, especially if it has worked well in the past.

D. Executives’ being heavily committed to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes them likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting them when they do appear.

E. Being heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that has worked well in the past, is likely to make an executive miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.


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.



Answer choice E)

The subject is Correctly modifed.
The ambiguity error by using it is removed here.


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GMATNinja wrote:
This is one of the OG questions that causes the most trouble, partly because a lot of GMAT test-takers have an (occasionally incorrect) impulse to automatically eliminate any answer choice with the word "being."

But we'll get to that. Let's take these buggers in order:

Quote:
A. Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.


That second "it" is the big problem here: "makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble..." I suppose that "it" could refer to "heavy commitment" or "course of action", but neither of those would make any sense. (A) is gone.

Quote:
B. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that worked well in the past, makes missing signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting ones likely when they do appear.


This is fairly subtle, but the subject doesn't make a whole lot of sense with the main verb here. "An executive... makes missing signs of incipient trouble... likely when they do appear." The pronoun "they" is OK, but it doesn't make logical sense to say that "an executive makes missing signs of trouble likely..." Also, I see no good reason use "ones" here -- in theory, "ones" would refer to very specific signs of trouble, and there's no good reason to use "ones" when a simple "them" would work. (B) is gone.

Quote:
C. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action is likely to miss or misinterpret signs of incipient trouble when they do appear, especially if it has worked well in the past.


The "it" is a problem here: "it" generally refers to the nearest singular noun. In this case, "it" would seem to refer to "trouble," and that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. "Course of action" would work, but that's much farther back in the sentence.

To be fair, ambiguous pronouns aren't always wrong on the GMAT, so if you want to be conservative, you could keep (C) for now. But as we'll see in a moment, (E) is a much better option.

Quote:
D. Executives’ being heavily committed to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes them likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting them when they do appear.


"Them" is trying to refer back to a possessive pronoun, "executives'", and that's wrong on the GMAT. Non-possessive pronouns (they, them, he, she, it) can't refer back to possessive nouns on the GMAT. So (D) is gone.

Quote:
E. Being heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that has worked well in the past, is likely to make an executive miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.


There are lots of pronoun issues in the other answer choices, but we're all good with (E): the ambiguous "it" we saw in (C) isn't here at all, and "them" and "they" very clearly refer to "signs of incipient trouble." The subject "being heavily committed to a course of action" works nicely with the main verb phrase ("is likely to make an executive miss signs of trouble..."), so (E) is an upgrade from (B).

That leaves "being" as the only reasonable objection to (E). But "being" is absolutely fine here: it's just a noun, also known as a gerund in this case. "Being" is no different than any other gerund. So (E) is our answer.

Please see last Monday's Topic of the Week for more on gerunds and other "-ing" words on the GMAT: https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topi ... 39780.html.


Thanks GMATNinja for such a wonderful explanation :) I was stuck between C and E , but I chose C. Now I am clear .. Thanks again. The lesson learned is not to panic and think clearly when stuck between two choices ...
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Re: QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2017, 09:06
daagh, I think that a couple of different threads got merged and then maybe un-merged. So a few responses seemed to fall into an internet abyss. I remember seeing yours before it disappeared, and I think it was perfectly lovely, as usual! :)
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Re: QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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D. Executives’ being heavily committed to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes them likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting them when they do appear.

Also to note: miss signs and misinterpreting them are terribly unparallel - this is also an example of how GMAT pushes multiple errors in long complicated sentences such as these.
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Re: QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2017, 03:29
GMATNinja wrote:

Quote:
B. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that worked well in the past, makes missing signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting ones likely when they do appear.


This is fairly subtle, but the subject doesn't make a whole lot of sense with the main verb here. "An executive... makes missing signs of incipient trouble... likely when they do appear." The pronoun "they" is OK, but it doesn't make logical sense to say that "an executive makes missing signs of trouble likely..." Also, I see no good reason use "ones" here -- in theory, "ones" would refer to very specific signs of trouble, and there's no good reason to use "ones" when a simple "them" would work. (B) is gone.



Dear Charles,

Does the construction 'An executive.......makes misinterpreting ones/them' work? please ignore the problem of 'ones'. I find the construction somehow strange.

I think it could be

'An executive.......makes misinterpretation of ones/them'

What do you think

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Re: QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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Another example for the correct usage of "being" from GMATPrep.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-survival-of-coral-colonies-which-are-composed-of-135059.html#p330537

The survival of coral colonies, which are composed of innumerable tiny polyps living in a symbiotic relationship with brilliantly colored algae, is being threatened, experts say, not only by pollutants such as agricultural runoff, oil slicks, and trash, but also by dropped anchors, probing divers, and global warming.
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Re: QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2017, 15:04
Quote:
D. Executives’ being heavily committed to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes them likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting them when they do appear.

Also to note: miss signs and misinterpreting them are terribly unparallel - this is also an example of how GMAT pushes multiple errors in long complicated sentences such as these.


Yes! Totally with you on this, souvik101990 -- and actually, I'm a wee bit embarrassed that I didn't mention it in my explanation. Always grateful for these additions and clarifications. :-D

Quote:
Does the construction 'An executive.......makes misinterpreting ones/them' work? please ignore the problem of 'ones'. I find the construction somehow strange.

I think it could be

'An executive.......makes misinterpretation of ones/them'

What do you think


I think that construction would still have some logical problems. I think we'd have to be clear about who, exactly, is misinterpreting those signs. If we say "An executive who is committed to a course of action makes misinterpretation of signs likely when they do appear", the meaning still isn't great. Who is doing the misinterpreting here? It's not grammatically wrong, exactly, but something like answer choice (E) makes more sense, since it clarifies that the executive is the one missing the signs.
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Re: QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2017, 08:36
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 11: Sentence Correction


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Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.

A. Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.

B. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that worked well in the past, makes missing signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting ones likely when they do appear.

C. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action is likely to miss or misinterpret signs of incipient trouble when they do appear, especially if it has worked well in the past.

D. Executives’ being heavily committed to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes them likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting them when they do appear.

E. Being heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that has worked well in the past, is likely to make an executive miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.


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A "It" should refer to "him," the executive.
B The meaning has changed here--it's not the executive who "makes missing signs."
C "Especially if it worked well in the past" should touch the noun it modifies ("course of action").
D "Misinterpreting" is not parallel with "to miss."
E Correct.

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QOTD: Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2017, 02:24
So, here is a classic example that "being" is NOT always incorrect in GMAT...

A. Heavy commitment by an executive to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes it likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.
Incorrect : "makes it likely to miss" - what makes is likely ? even if we ignore the "it" it is not clear what is "makes" referring to ..

B. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that worked well in the past, makes missing signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting ones likely when they do appear.
Incorrect : this choice says that the executive is making it likely to miss ....and not the heavy commitment - this is definitely not the intended meaning


C. An executive who is heavily committed to a course of action is likely to miss or misinterpret signs of incipient trouble when they do appear, especially if it has worked well in the past.
Incorrect : Not sure what does "especially if it has ....." refers to


D. Executives' being heavily committed to a course of action, especially if it has worked well in the past, makes them likely to miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpreting them when they do appear.
Incorrect : What does "them" refers to here ? We need noun "executive" and NOT the possesive form "executive's"...

E. Being heavily committed to a course of action, especially one that has worked well in the past, is likely to make an executive miss signs of incipient trouble or misinterpret them when they do appear.
Correct : Being heavily committed is used as a Verb-ing modifier which is correctly referring to noun "an executive"
"especially one that ...past" is correctly referring to the "course of action"
So the final structure of the sentence is
Being X is likely to make Y miss Z ...

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