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Retailers reported moderate gains in their November sales, as much bec

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Re: Retailers reported moderate gains in their November sales, as much bec  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2017, 11:29
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iMyself wrote:
Nihit wrote:
Retailers reported moderate gains in their November sales, as much because of their sales of a year earlier being so bad as that shoppers were getting a head start on buying their holiday gifts.

(A) of their sales of a year earlier being so bad as that
(B) of their sales a year earlier having been as bad as because
(C) of their sales a year earlier being as bad as because
(D) their sales a year earlier had been so bad as because
(E) their sales of a year earlier were as bad as that

Hi GMATNinja, sayantanc2k, RonPurewal, Hope you're well. I've a query about D. As far we know that pronoun ambiguity is not tested in GMAT. So, my question is how ''their'' is sometimes used for ''retailers'' and sometimes used for ''shoppers''. Isn't it pronoun ambiguity? thanks...



We have two "their" in this sentence. And each of them is used for a different antecedent. It is perfectly conveying the right meaning by pointing individual their to the correct antecedent. Moreover, you should better find errors in the non-underlined part of sentence, rather that questioning the actual argument.

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Re: Retailers reported moderate gains in their November sales, as much bec  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2017, 11:37
iMyself wrote:
As far we know that pronoun ambiguity is not tested in GMAT. So, my question is how ''their'' is sometimes used for ''retailers'' and sometimes used for ''shoppers''. Isn't it pronoun ambiguity? thanks...

Sorry, bad news: pronoun ambiguity IS tested on the GMAT. It's just that it's not an absolute rule: something that looks like pronoun ambiguity can definitely be OK, depending on the exact circumstances. Here, check out this YouTube video for more on the nuances of pronouns, and particularly pronoun ambiguity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhN_KU1bSKU. (Disclaimer: all of these videos were recorded live, so please don't expect polished perfection!)

And mrinal0308 is absolutely correct that there are far more important issues in this particular question, and the pronoun isn't a significant problem here.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Retailers reported moderate gains in their November sales, as much bec  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2018, 00:29
Can someone please explain the usage of past perfect tense here since there is a time marker "a year earlier". I saw Ron's explanation on this but I am not quite following. Thank you.
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Retailers reported moderate gains in their November sales, as much bec  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2018, 05:09
Hi viviolivia, indeed this is actually quite a common pattern for past perfect. Couple of other official examples that come to my mind:

In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 that figure had grown to nearly six hours a week.

The first detailed study of magpie attacks in Australia indicates that by the time they reached adulthood, 98 percent of men and 75 percent of the women born in the country had been attacked by the birds.

By 1999, astronomers had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets about the size of Jupiter.

In fact, considering GMAT's fondness for this kind of pattern (and it's divergence from what many people perceive as a more classical pattern for past perfect tenses), our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses this example, in detail. Have attached the corresponding section of the book, for your reference (specifically refer to the example In 2007, a typical web user spent less than 4 hours a month on Facebook in the attachment).
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Retailers reported moderate gains in their November sales, as much bec   [#permalink] 24 Sep 2018, 05:09

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