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# Recent indications of weakness in the economy have lead consumers to

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Recent indications of weakness in the economy have lead consumers to  [#permalink]

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13 Apr 2012, 19:53
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Difficulty:

95% (hard)

Question Stats:

18% (01:28) correct 82% (01:38) wrong based on 1636 sessions

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Recent indications of weakness in the economy have lead consumers to be more conservative with their purchases; so depressed have sales figures been as a result that government has launched several initiatives to actively encourage consumer spending.

A. so depressed have sales figures been as a result that

B. the sales figures have been so depressed as a result that

C. as a result, so depressed has the sales been that

D. the resulting sales figures having been so depressed that

E. the sales figures have been so depressed that, as a result,
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Re: Recent indications of weakness in the economy have lead consumers to  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 18 Jan 2015, 03:28
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Just to answer the poster’s query

As a result and so…...that are entirely different things. They are neither synonyms nor interchangeable. ‘As a result’ means consequently, thus, therefore, because or even because of, while ‘so … that’ is an idiom that is generally used when stressing a point. Please note that ‘so’ will always be followed by an adjective or an adverb in order to bring out its depth. Moreover, it may not be irrelevant to use both in the same sentence.

However, coming to this given text, doesn’t A have a blatant SV error, so obvious that it is difficult to take it as an OG question? I assume that ‘sales figure’ in A must be ‘sales figures’.

Let us consider why A is the accepted answer after confirmation from the poster
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Originally posted by daagh on 14 Apr 2012, 04:06.
Last edited by daagh on 18 Jan 2015, 03:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Recent indications of weakness in the economy have lead consumers to  [#permalink]

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14 Apr 2012, 05:21
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yes. You are right. It should be ''so depressed have sales figures been as a result that'' the goverment.
I had a typo mistake and this is a prbolem from kaplan 800, nt OG. I wasn't sure about it's origin 1st. Sorry.

Meanwhile, I understood why the answer should be "A" instead of others.

At 1st we need to look for the proper use of "The". Here in every option, THE has been misused.

THE is a definite article and we can't use "The Sales figures" because the question goes for " Over all sales figure" , there is no refrence such as 2009 sales figures. Then we can use "The".

Then the usage of "As a result." "As a result" refers to some kind of result.

What is the actual meaning of the question?
Recent indications of weakness in the economy have led consumers to be more conservative with their purchases. As a result, sales figures have been so depressed that Gov. Has to take some initiatives.

But, option E changed the meaning. It seemed that the sales figures have been so depressed as a result of gov. Initiatives.
Optiön C and D can be easily eliminated.

B has misused the definite article.

We have one option left. But, it has some sort of awkward structure. Perhaps, at 1st look. But, there is no grammatical mistake.
Though after semicolon, we should use an independent clause, there should be some link or relationship with the previous one. From that ground A seems ok.

Look at the following sentence.
" The garden is so beautiful" we can rephrase it via " So beautiful is the garden."

According to aforementioned clauses, A is the best option.

Am i correct? Let me know. Thanks.

Posted from my mobile device
##### General Discussion
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16 May 2012, 07:53
Hi All,

Recent indications of weakness in the economy have led consumers to be more conservative with their purchases; so depressed have sales figures been as a result that the government has launched several initiatives to actively encourage consumer spending.

There are a lot of things happening in the sentence. So let’s put them in order to simplify which action is leading to which one.
a. There have been recent indications of weak economy.
b. These have led consumers to be more conservative with their purchase.
c. Now, because (as a result) of consumers becoming conservative with their purchases, sales figures have been very depressed.
d. Therefore, the government has launched several initiatives so that consumers can start spending the way they were doing before.

Error Analysis

1. The subject and the verb are accounted for – “sales figures” and “have been”. Notice that this sentence does not follow the regular “subject followed by the verb construction”. Hence, it may sound a little out of place. But this kind of structure is grammatically correct.
2. Use of present perfect “have been depressed” is correct to show an action that has started in the recent past and still continues.
3. There are no modifier, pronoun, and idiom errors in this sentence.
4. The sentence is correct as is.

POE:

Choice A: so depressed have sales figures been as a result that: Correct for the reasons stated above.

Choice B: the sales figures have been so depressed as a result that: Incorrect. Notice the presence of “the” before “sales figures”. The original sentence does not have “the” before this subject. This means that the sentence is talking about general sales figures. It’s talking about the overall sales figures. However, “the” in this choice implies that the sentence is talking about particular sales figures. This does not make sense because nowhere in the sentence do we get the mention of any specific kind of sales figures. Hence, even though this choice follows the regular subject-verb syntax and reads flawless, presence of “the” and the illogical specificity that it attaches to sales figures make this choice incorrect.

Choice C: as a result, so depressed has the sales been that: Incorrect.
1. Singular verb “has” does not agree in number with plural subject “sales”.
2. The choice repeats the error of “the” as in Choice B.

Choice D: the resulting sales figures having been so depressed that: Incorrect. There is no main verb in this choice. This leads to fragment error.

Choice E: the sales figures have been so depressed that, as a result,: Incorrect.
1. This choice changes the meaning of the sentence. The phrase “as a result” connects the sentence after the semicolon with the one before the semicolon. The intended meaning is that due to customers becoming more conservative with their purchases, sales figures have been depressed. However, this choice says that because sales figures have been depressed, the government has taken certain steps to boost sales.
2. The choice repeats the error of “the” as in Choice B.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: #Top150 SC: Recent indications of weakness in the economy  [#permalink]

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10 Oct 2015, 22:45
1
Recent indications of weakness in the economy have lead consumers to be more conservative with their purchases; so depressed have sales figures been as a result that government has launched several initiatives to actively encourage consumer spending.

A. so depressed have sales figures been as a result that

B. the sales figures have been so depressed as a result that

C. as a result, so depressed has the sales been that.................have (Plural verb) is needed

D. the resulting sales figures having been so depressed that..................having been depressed changes the meaning here.

E. the sales figures have been so depressed that, as a result,

Selected E out of A, B and E.

Placement of Idiom so...........that and as a result have to be observed thoroughly here.
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Re: #Top150 SC: Recent indications of weakness in the economy  [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2015, 03:29
2
2
A. so depressed have sales figures been as a result that --- I would reckon this as the best

B. the sales figures have been so depressed as a result that ---Use of the definite articles changes the meaning as if we are talking about a specific set of figures but not overall figures.

C. as a result, so depressed has the sales been that --- SV number agreement problem

D. the resulting sales figures having been so depressed that -- ‘having been’ gives an impression that depression is already over and that government is initiating an unnecessary belated remedial action ; on the contrary ‘have been’ implies the depressing is still on-going.

E. the sales figures have been so depressed that, as a result, -- The sales figures have been depressed as a result of tardy consumer purchases. Government’s action is not as a result; sly pitfall

A is the preferred choice; a nice question because the choices hinge on subtle change of meaning.
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Re: Recent indications of weakness in the economy have lead consumers to  [#permalink]

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09 Oct 2016, 19:56
1
I always think it's weird when experts say this, but "I received a PM asking me to reply" (I do like noting that when it looks like I may be trying to take credit away from another expert...kind of like "appearing in this thread by popular demand!").

In addition to Jen's comments, I see another problem with B and E - the addition of "the" to "sales figures". In A, we just have the term "sales figures", which is a generic way to describe overall sales. Consumer confidence is low, and sales are down. With the addition of the definite article "the", now we're talking about a specific set of sales figures. But which figures? The sentence overall has a general connotation - overall, sales are down, and the government is taking action. When we add that term "the", there's an increased level of specificity that is illogical. Much like a pronoun reference problem or a misplaced modifier, this sentence doesn't have a reference point for "the", so choices B and E have a somewhat illogical meaning.

Regarding the changed meaning of the placement of "as a result", this one gets into Osirus' point about the use of the semicolon. In addition to the necessity of an independent clause after a semicolon (more on that in a second), the semicolon requires that there be a relationship between both clauses - they need to be related enough that you'd want to link them together with a semicolon and not simply end the sentence with a period and begin a new one.

With "as a result" corresponding to weak economy-->conservative spending --> SEMICOLON --> AS A RESULT sales are down---> government action, the "as a result" links the first clause (prior to the semicolon) to the second, so there's a natural reason that you'd use a semicolon and not a period.

With "as a result coming later: weak economy --> conservative spending --> SEMICOLON --> sales are down --> AS A RESULT government action, the use of the semicolon is less justified, as "as a result" only applies to the second half, which could just stand alone as its own sentence.

Meaning on the GMAT is tricky - make sure that the meaning of your answer choice is logical. It doesn't necessarily have to match the meaning of the initial sentence, as that one could be incorrect (choice A is just one of five; there's no "tie goes to the first one" rule). Here, the meaning of choice A better justifies the use of the semicolon than does the meaning of choice E.

Finally, my favorite part of this sentence is exactly what Osirus mentioned - choice A is, indeed, an independent clause, but the GMAT flips the subject and verb in order to make it look otherwise. If A read:

...sales figures have been so depressed as a result that...

You'd love it. But that's too easy, so the GMAT inverts the subject and verb - which is grammatically okay to do - so that the sentence instead reads:

...so depressed have sales figures been as a result that...

It sounds a little awkward, but it doesn't have the fatal grammatical flaws of the others, so A is correct. Make sure that you're looking for definitive grammatical errors first, and then letting your ear (or style) decide from there. Most difficult SC questions involve some "justifiable awkwardness" in an attempt to throw you off the scent of the right answer.

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Re: Recent indications of weakness in the economy have lead consumers to  [#permalink]

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14 Oct 2016, 05:42
vijaisingh2001 wrote:
I always think it's weird when experts say this, but "I received a PM asking me to reply" (I do like noting that when it looks like I may be trying to take credit away from another expert...kind of like "appearing in this thread by popular demand!").

In addition to Jen's comments, I see another problem with B and E - the addition of "the" to "sales figures". In A, we just have the term "sales figures", which is a generic way to describe overall sales. Consumer confidence is low, and sales are down. With the addition of the definite article "the", now we're talking about a specific set of sales figures. But which figures? The sentence overall has a general connotation - overall, sales are down, and the government is taking action. When we add that term "the", there's an increased level of specificity that is illogical. Much like a pronoun reference problem or a misplaced modifier, this sentence doesn't have a reference point for "the", so choices B and E have a somewhat illogical meaning.

Regarding the changed meaning of the placement of "as a result", this one gets into Osirus' point about the use of the semicolon. In addition to the necessity of an independent clause after a semicolon (more on that in a second), the semicolon requires that there be a relationship between both clauses - they need to be related enough that you'd want to link them together with a semicolon and not simply end the sentence with a period and begin a new one.

With "as a result" corresponding to weak economy-->conservative spending --> SEMICOLON --> AS A RESULT sales are down---> government action, the "as a result" links the first clause (prior to the semicolon) to the second, so there's a natural reason that you'd use a semicolon and not a period.

With "as a result coming later: weak economy --> conservative spending --> SEMICOLON --> sales are down --> AS A RESULT government action, the use of the semicolon is less justified, as "as a result" only applies to the second half, which could just stand alone as its own sentence.

Meaning on the GMAT is tricky - make sure that the meaning of your answer choice is logical. It doesn't necessarily have to match the meaning of the initial sentence, as that one could be incorrect (choice A is just one of five; there's no "tie goes to the first one" rule). Here, the meaning of choice A better justifies the use of the semicolon than does the meaning of choice E.

Finally, my favorite part of this sentence is exactly what Osirus mentioned - choice A is, indeed, an independent clause, but the GMAT flips the subject and verb in order to make it look otherwise. If A read:

...sales figures have been so depressed as a result that...

You'd love it. But that's too easy, so the GMAT inverts the subject and verb - which is grammatically okay to do - so that the sentence instead reads:

...so depressed have sales figures been as a result that...

It sounds a little awkward, but it doesn't have the fatal grammatical flaws of the others, so A is correct. Make sure that you're looking for definitive grammatical errors first, and then letting your ear (or style) decide from there. Most difficult SC questions involve some "justifiable awkwardness" in an attempt to throw you off the scent of the right answer.

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I agree with you with almost everything you have said; however, I would like to point out that in A there is a problem of Subject-verb agreement: “so depressed have sales figure been as a result that…”

This mistake has been already posted.

As for the other choices, I would like to point out that they, as written, are wrong because they use capital letters.

If it were not for the capital letters, I would go for B. It is exactly what you explained except for the article “the.” Nevertheless, I am not quite sure that the article “the” changes the meaning.
You mentioned: “With the addition of the definite article "the", now we're talking about a specific set of sales figures. But which figures? The sentence overall has a general connotation - overall, sales are down, and the government is taking action. When we add that term "the", there's an increased level of specificity that is illogical.”
Does the term "sales figures" really describe overall sales figures or only the recent sales figures? If the sentence refers specifically to the recent sales figures, then why the use of “the” is illogical?
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Re: Recent indications of weakness in the economy have lead consumers to  [#permalink]

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20 Nov 2017, 03:49
hi,
Can someone explain why a is correct and e is wrong?
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Re: Recent indications of weakness in the economy have lead consumers to  [#permalink]

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20 Nov 2017, 04:54
2
sunny91 wrote:
hi,
Can someone explain why a is correct and e is wrong?

Option A implies that decline in sales figure was a result of conservative purchases.
Option E implies that the launch of initiatives was a result of decline in sales. Note that in this case the phrase "as a result" is redundant because "so...that" already indicates a cause and effect relation.
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Re: #Top150 SC: Recent indications of weakness in the economy  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2017, 06:15
3
2
souvik101990 wrote:
Recent indications of weakness in the economy have lead consumers to be more conservative with their purchases; so depressed have sales figures been as a result that government has launched several initiatives to actively encourage consumer spending.

A. so depressed have sales figures been as a result that

B. the sales figures have been so depressed as a result that

C. as a result, so depressed has the sales been that

D. the resulting sales figures having been so depressed that

E. the sales figures have been so depressed that, as a result,

A. so depressed have sales figures been as a result that - Correct (so X as Y)

B. the sales figures have been so depressed as a result that - use of 'The' changes the meaning.

C. as a result, so depressed has the sales been that - SV Error

D. the resulting sales figures having been so depressed that - meaning error.

E. the sales figures have been so depressed that, as a result, - keeping 'as a result' within commas makes it unwanted and so changes the meaning.
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Re: Recent indications of weakness in the economy have lead consumers to  [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2018, 02:31
Ashikurrahman wrote:
Recent indications of weakness in the economy have lead consumers to be more conservative with their purchases; so depressed have sales figures been as a result that government has launched several initiatives to actively encourage consumer spending.

A. so depressed have sales figures been as a result that

B. the sales figures have been so depressed as a result that

C. as a result, so depressed has the sales been that

D. the resulting sales figures having been so depressed that

E. the sales figures have been so depressed that, as a result,

KAPLAN OFFICIAL EXPLANATION:

There's nothing strictly wrong with the original sentence; it uses the so... that idiom correctly, the verb tenses are fine, and it makes sense. Scan the answer choices for better options. You can eliminate (C) because its subject sales and verb has been do not agree. (D) creates a sentence fragment since it makes every phrase after the semicolon subordinate (remember that a semicolon is only used correctly when the pieces on both sides of it could function as grammatically correct and complete sentences on their own). Finally, as a result functions as a modifier that refers to the sales slump. Choices (B) and (E) misplace the modifier and unnecessarily distort the original meaning of the sentence. That leaves (A).
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Re: Recent indications of weakness in the economy have lead consumers to &nbs [#permalink] 17 Aug 2018, 02:31
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