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QOTD: In an effort to reduce their inventories

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QOTD: In an effort to reduce their inventories [#permalink]

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 123: Sentence Correction


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In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut prices; their wines have been priced to sell, and they are.

(A) have been priced to sell, and they are
(B) are priced to sell, and they have
(C) are priced to sell, and they do
(D) are being priced to sell, and have
(E) had been priced to sell, and they have

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[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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QOTD: In an effort to reduce their inventories [#permalink]

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Heh. I kind of hate this question, and that’s exactly why we chose it for a QOTD. Yeah, it’s a verb tense question, but as with most GMAT SC verb tense questions, it’s mostly a question of thinking somewhat deeply about meaning. If you’re using different verb tenses, then the actions must logically happen at different times. (And we’ll have a lot more to say about GMAT verb tenses in an upcoming YouTube webinar.)

OK, so let’s start by figuring out WTF this sentence is trying to say. Before the semicolon, we have an action in present perfect tense (“vintners have cut prices”). The use of this tense suggests that the action began in the past, and continues into the present – or at least that the consequences continue in the present.

So whatever happens in the underlined portion, it has to be consistent – somehow – with the timeline that vintners started cutting prices sometime in the past, and then reaped the benefits later.

Quote:
(A) have been priced to sell, and they are

I’m not sure that the verb tenses are 100% wrong here, but they aren’t great. “Vintners have cut prices” (in the past, continuing into the present), the wines “have been priced to sell” (also in the past, continuing into the present), but then we have “they are.” Why is it that the “they are” is suddenly in the present, but the pricing stuff started in the past? I’m not sure that it’s wrong, but I don’t think it’s ideal.

The bigger issue: “they are” is the end of the sentence. “They are”… WHAT, exactly? “They are”… delicious? “They are”… cheap? “They are”… getting me drunk after I drink two bottles for breakfast?

(Oops, did I say that last part out loud? I don’t drink wine for breakfast… anymore. But there were some interesting times in Argentina…)

Anyway, you have to make a big, fat, weird leap to assume that the word “selling” is implied at the end of the sentence. There’s no grammatical reason why we would be able to make that assumption. And so we don’t actually know what the sentence is trying to say if the sentence just ends with “they are.”

So (A) is out, even if you’re able to give the verb tenses the benefit of the doubt.

Quote:
(B) are priced to sell, and they have

We have a very similar problem in (B) as in (A): “they have”… what, exactly? “They have”… been fermented from leftover potato pancakes instead of grapes? “They have”… caused Johnny Depp to destroy another hotel room in a drunken haze? “They have”… made Mike tipsy and happy after a long day of surfing?

We can’t just assume that the word “sold” would magically appear after the “have.” Again, there’s no grammatical reason why we can just carry another form of the verb “to sell” to the end of the sentence.

(B) is gone, too.

Quote:
(C) are priced to sell, and they do

OK, this is a weird aspect of the English language: various forms of the verb “to do” functions sort of like a pronoun, except that it can refer back to a verb instead of a noun. Consider the following examples:

  • Mike always wanted to surf in Chile, and last year, he did. → “did” refers back to the verb “to surf”
  • Charlie wanted to eat nine pretzels in one day, and on his last trip to Munich, he did. → “did” refers back to the verb phrase “to eat nine pretzels in one day”, and that sounds awesome

So in (C), the meaning actually makes sense: if “do” refers back to the verb “to sell”, we’re OK. “... the wines are priced to sell, and they [sell].” No problem.

The verb tenses also work pretty well here: vintners “have cut prices” (starting in the past, continuing into the present), and THEN we see the consequences in the present (“the wines are priced to sell, and they [sell]”).

We probably can’t do much better than (C).

Quote:
(D) are being priced to sell, and have

(D) has the same general issue as in (A) and (B): “they have”… what, exactly? Plus, the verb tenses aren’t great here. Why would we use the present progressive “are being priced” – which emphasizes that an action is happening right now – only to switch back to “have”… which is presumably present perfect tense, if it were followed by a participle (i.e., “have sold”).

In other words, even if we assume that the word “have” magically implies the entire phrase “have sold”, the timeline would still be illogical. So (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) had been priced to sell, and they have

(E) has the same “they have… what?” issue as (D), but now the verb tenses are even worse. “Had been priced to sell” suggests that they had been priced to sell in the distant past, before some other past action. So, um, the wines “had been priced to sell” before “vintners have cut prices”, I guess? I’m not sure that you could use the past perfect “had been” before the present perfect “have cut” – but either way, the timeline is completely illogical.

(E) can be eliminated, and we’re left with (C). Tough question, no?
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Re: QOTD: In an effort to reduce their inventories [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2017, 18:40
Going with C

Reason- its parallel. are priced to sell, and they do (sell)

saw this question in OG

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Re: QOTD: In an effort to reduce their inventories [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2017, 19:12
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 123: Sentence Correction


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For All QOTD Questions Click Here


In an effort to reduce their inventories, Italian vintners have cut prices; their wines have been priced to sell, and they are.

(A) have been priced to sell, and they are
(B) are priced to sell, and they have
(C) are priced to sell, and they do
(D) are being priced to sell, and have
(E) had been priced to sell, and they have

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.


The answer is C
The clause after the semicolon should be independent clause
The subject of the clause is " their wines".
We should have correct parallelism. "they do " in C is parallel to are priced to sell .
B ,D and E change have tense error .
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Re: QOTD: In an effort to reduce their inventories   [#permalink] 11 Oct 2017, 19:12
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