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QOTD: Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 120: Sentence Correction


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Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among the wide array of investment opportunities on the market, stockbrokers are helping many people who turn to them to buy stocks that could be easily bought directly.

(A) stockbrokers are helping many people who turn to them to buy stocks that could be easily

(B) stockbrokers are helping many people who are turning to them for help in buying stocks that they could easily have

(C) many people are turning to stockbrokers for help from them to buy stocks that could be easily

(D) many people are turning to stockbrokers for help to buy stocks that easily could have been

(E) many people are turning to stockbrokers for help in buying stocks that could easily be

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QOTD: Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2017, 12:47
Unless you’re brand-new here (and if you are, welcome to GMAT Club!), you probably know that “-ing” modifiers are a pretty common thing on GMAT SC (more on the GMAT’s various uses of “-ing” words here).

In this particular case, if we start the sentence with “not trusting themselves to choose wisely among the wide array of investment opportunities…”, we’ll eventually need to follow that phrase with a group of people that wouldn’t actually trust themselves to choose among those investment opportunities…

Quote:
(A) stockbrokers are helping many people who turn to them to buy stocks that could be easily

… and the “stockbrokers” probably aren’t going to make sense here. The stockbrokers presumably trust themselves to choose stocks. So (A) is clearly wrong.

You could also argue that the pronoun “them” is a problem in (A). The most recent plural is “people” – but we know that “them” should logically refer to “stockbrokers” (“stockbrokers are helping many people who turn to [stockbrokers]…”).

I’m not sure that the use of “them” is definitively WRONG, though: the antecedent “stockbrokers” isn’t so far away, and if “them” was referring to “people”, then it would probably say “themselves.” And as you may know, pronoun ambiguity isn’t an absolute rule, anyway.

So you might be able to accept the pronoun “them”, but because of the “-ing” modifier, (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) stockbrokers are helping many people who are turning to them for help in buying stocks that they could easily have

This basically has the exact same error as in (A): literally, this is saying that the stockbrokers don’t trust themselves to pick stocks, and that can’t be right.

(B) also introduces an extra pronoun, “they” – and I think it’s more problematic than the “them.” It’s just getting messy and confusing now: “them” reaches back to “stockbrokers”, but then the next pronoun, “they”, refers back to “people” again? That’s truly confusing. (B) is gone.

Quote:
(C) many people are turning to stockbrokers for help from them to buy stocks that could be easily

We’ve fixed the logic of that “-ing” modifier, but now there are new problems. The biggest problem is that (C) is redundant now: “people are turning to stockbrokers for help from them to buy stocks…” There’s absolutely no reason to say “from them” here. It’s enough to just say “people are turning to stockbrokers for help.”

A much, much smaller issue: the GMAT seems to prefer the idiom “help in buying” over “help to buy.” (A similar official SC question deals with “aid in healing” vs. “aid to heal” – basically the same issue.) Personally, I don’t see any problem with saying “help to buy”, and I wouldn’t cross out (C) based solely on the idiom – but for whatever it’s worth, I suspect that the GMAT sees “help to buy” as incorrect in this question. I’m just not convinced that you’ll ever see this particular idiom ever again, since there are about 25,000 of them in English.

In any case, the redundancy thing is a pretty big issue. (C) is gone.

Let’s put the last two side-by-side, since the differences between them are pretty small:
Quote:
(D) many people are turning to stockbrokers for help to buy stocks that easily could have been
E) many people are turning to stockbrokers for help in buying stocks that could easily be

There are really only two things going on here. First, we have the idiom: “help to buy” in (D), vs. “help in buying” in (E). As we mentioned above, the GMAT seems to prefer “help in buying” – but I again, I wouldn’t bet my life on that.

And in general, I don’t worry much about idioms, unless I’m CERTAIN about them. More on that here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topi ... 41848.html

But as we discussed in our beginner’s guide to SC, meaning is a really, really big deal on the GMAT. And the only other difference between (D) and (E) – at the end of the underlined portion – is the key to the question.

In (D), we have “stocks that easily could have been bought directly”, and that doesn’t completely make sense, since it suggests that the stocks could have been bought directly – in the past! Then why is it that people “are turning to stockbrokers” now – in the present progressive tense, which can ONLY be used for an action that’s happening right now?

(E) fixes that problem: it just uses the conditional tense “could easily be bought directly”, which makes much more sense with the fact that people “are turning to stockbrokers” now.

So (E) is the correct answer, even if you don’t pay much attention to the idiom.
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QOTD: Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among [#permalink]

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I say E. A and B are wrong as the second clause needs to refer to people instead of stockbrokers (or else the sentence doesn't make sense! "not trusting themselves to choose wisely, stockbrokers are...")

So now between C, D and E.
C is wordy and awkward with the "turning to stockbrokers for help from them to..."
D has a verb tense error "could have been" doesn't jive with the present tense in the sentence.
E is correct!

--

Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among the wide array of investment opportunities on the market, stockbrokers are helping many people who turn to them to buy stocks that could be easily bought directly.

(A) stockbrokers are helping many people who turn to them to buy stocks that could be easily

(B) stockbrokers are helping many people who are turning to them for help in buying stocks that they could easily have

(C) many people are turning to stockbrokers for help from them to buy stocks that could be easily

(D) many people are turning to stockbrokers for help to buy stocks that easily could have been

(E) many people are turning to stockbrokers for help in buying stocks that could easily be
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Re: QOTD: Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2017, 20:00
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 120: Sentence Correction


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Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among the wide array of investment opportunities on the market, stockbrokers are helping many people who turn to them to buy stocks that could be easily bought directly.

(A) stockbrokers are helping many people who turn to them to buy stocks that could be easily

(B) stockbrokers are helping many people who are turning to them for help in buying stocks that they could easily have

(C) many people are turning to stockbrokers for help from them to buy stocks that could be easily

(D) many people are turning to stockbrokers for help to buy stocks that easily could have been

(E) many people are turning to stockbrokers for help in buying stocks that could easily be

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Will go with E
Pronoun ambiguity/antecedent problem in (a) (b) (c)
in E help in buying is better than help to buy in D

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Re: QOTD: Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2017, 20:28
Should be E.
Trusting should modify people. And the correct usage is help in buying .

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QOTD: Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2017, 00:22
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 120: Sentence Correction


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Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among the wide array of investment opportunities on the market, stockbrokers are helping many people who turn to them to buy stocks that could be easily bought directly.

(A) stockbrokers are helping many people who turn to them to buy stocks that could be easily

(B) stockbrokers are helping many people who are turning to them for help in buying stocks that they could easily have

(C) many people are turning to stockbrokers for help from them to buy stocks that could be easily

(D) many people are turning to stockbrokers for help to buy stocks that easily could have been

(E) many people are turning to stockbrokers for help in buying stocks that could easily be

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.


I think the Ans is E

A and B are incorrectly implying that stockbrokers do not trust themselves, as stockbrokers is right after the phrase 'Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among the wide array of investment opportunities on the market'.

C) the thing that's wrong with C is that turning to stockbrokers for help should be enough from them is a repetition, hence there is redundancy in the sentence

D)ideally its goes like this :i need your help in doing this.

Hence, 'many people are turning to stockbrokers for help to buy stocks that easily could have been' is wrong

E)All issues resolved

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Re: QOTD: Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2017, 06:03
This question tests the use of modifiers. It boils down to D vs E. My take :

Option D : Makes use of "to - infinitive form". The meaning conveyed is - Many people turn to stock holders with an intention to buy stocks that could be bought directly. This meaning does not make sense. Why would people have an intention to buy stocks from brokers when they can be bought directly.

Option E corrects the aforementioned error. Hence Option E. Please correct me if I am wrong.
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Re: QOTD: Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among [#permalink]

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Will go with E
A B can be easily eliminated because of modifier error.
Not trusting must modify people and not stockbrokers, because people are not trusting themselves.
C is wordy people are turning to stockbrokers "for help from them"
This can very well be written as turning to stockbrokers for help.
Between D and E there is no idiom error both help in buying/ help to buy are correct idioms.
D has the tense error. Present perfect have been is not correct as the whole sentence is in present tense.
Answer E

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Re: QOTD: Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among [#permalink]

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sandysilva wrote:
Will go with E
A B can be easily eliminated because of modifier error.
Not trusting must modify people and not stockbrokers, because people are not trusting themselves.
C is wordy people are turning to stockbrokers "for help from them"
This can very well be written as turning to stockbrokers for help.
Between D and E there is no idiom error both help in buying/ help to buy are correct idioms.
D has the tense error. Present perfect have been is not correct as the whole sentence is in present tense.
Answer E

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Hello sandysilva,

You are the only one who has pointed the verb tense error in Choice D that is the real deal breaker.

Choice D uses the verb could have been bought. This verb phrase suggests a possibility of an action that could have happened but actually does not happen. This certainly is not the intended meaning of the sentence.

Per the context of the sentence, the stockbrokers need help to buy those stocks that they could actually buy easily.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: QOTD: Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2017, 10:57
egmat wrote:
sandysilva wrote:
Will go with E
A B can be easily eliminated because of modifier error.
Not trusting must modify people and not stockbrokers, because people are not trusting themselves.
C is wordy people are turning to stockbrokers "for help from them"
This can very well be written as turning to stockbrokers for help.
Between D and E there is no idiom error both help in buying/ help to buy are correct idioms.
D has the tense error. Present perfect have been is not correct as the whole sentence is in present tense.
Answer E

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Hello sandysilva,

You are the only one who has pointed the verb tense error in Choice D that is the real deal breaker.

Choice D uses the verb could have been bought. This verb phrase suggests a possibility of an action that could have happened but actually does not happen. This certainly is not the intended meaning of the sentence.

Per the context of the sentence, the stockbrokers need help to buy those stocks that they could actually buy easily.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha


For the colored portion above, I feel that the intended meaning of the sentence is exactly that -- a possible present situations that have not happened --- for which "could have been" appears to be correct phrase to use.

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Re: QOTD: Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2017, 11:02
sevenplusplus wrote:
egmat wrote:
Choice D uses the verb could have been bought. This verb phrase suggests a possibility of an action that could have happened but actually does not happen. This certainly is not the intended meaning of the sentence.



For the colored portion above, I feel that the intended meaning of the sentence is exactly that -- a possible present situations that have not happened --- for which "could have been" appears to be correct phrase to use.



Hello sevenplusplus,


In my explanation of Choice D, what I meant to say is that per the context of the sentence, we need to present an action that will possibly take place. That is why the sentence uses the verb could be bought.

The verb could have been bought denotes an action that certainly had the possibility to happen but actually never took place ever.

Let me present an example here:

In the accident last night, I was lucky to have lost only the headlights of my car; the damages could have been worse.

The above-mentioned sentence clearly mentions the loss I suffered. I just lost the headlights. The latter part of the sentence suggests that there was possibility of more serious damages but nothing of that sort actually took place.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: QOTD: Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2017, 07:11
Hi

Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among the wide array of investment opportunities on the market => In my opinion this part acts as a modifier. Now ask "Who don't trust themselves" (answer: Many People) not Stockbrokers.

Option A & B are out

Option C: Has a pronoun ambiguity - "them" could refer Stockbrokers as well as People

Option D: Tense Error. No need to use present perfect tense "have been" here.

Option E: Resolves all errors.

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Re: QOTD: Not trusting themselves to choose wisely among   [#permalink] 13 Oct 2017, 07:11
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