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Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending

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Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992, a greater proportion than it was in any previous election.

(A) a greater proportion than it was

(B) a greater proportion than

(C) a greater proportion than they have been

(D) which is greater than was so

(E) which is greater than it has been
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Last edited by hazelnut on 19 Oct 2017, 05:32, edited 1 time in total.
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nightwing79 wrote:
Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992, a greater proportion than it was in any previous election.

(a) a greater proportion than it was
(b) a greater proportion than
(c) a greater proportion than they have been
(d) which is greater than was so
(e) which is greater than it has been

do go through the logic of your solution


OA is B

I think ideal correct answer is "a greater portion than they had been"

that is not option - so i presume "had been" can be omitted - any comments?
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Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992, a greater proportion than it was in any previous election.

(a) a greater proportion than it was - dangling modifier, but right time
(b) a greater proportion than - right one
(c) a greater proportion than they have been - wrong time, dangling modifier
(d) which is greater than was so - redundant
(e) which is greater than it has been dangling modifier, wrong time

Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangling_modifier for additional info

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amitgovin wrote:
What does "it" refer to in answer A? I think that "it" refers to proportion, right? If so, does that necessarily make answer A wrong? Please explain why B and not A. thanks.


Option (A) wrongly introduces another clause (subject + verb) while option (B) just correctly modifies 'television costs' (subordinate phrase).

In addition, remember the standard pattern for comparisons: X is less than Y, NOT X is less than it is Y.

Just try to 'throw away' all words between 'costs' and 'a greater proportion'.

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I marked B, because in C, we have:
a proportion....than they...

This is incorrect comparison (singular Vs plural), but the verbal set says OA is C :cry:

Can someone please confirm?

nightwing79 wrote:
Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992, a greater proportion than it was in any previous election.

(a) a greater proportion than it was
(b) a greater proportion than
(c) a greater proportion than they have been
(d) which is greater than was so
(e) which is greater than it has been

do go through the logic of your solution

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ykaiim wrote:
I dont think you are right. Read this post on past tense and HAVE BEEN usage:
usage-of-have-been-kaplan-94724.html



I agree in this sentence you can not use present perfect as the first part already implies the time in the past. In addition, I have read your link. Over there, the examples provided by Kaplan instructor is mostly giving two separate ideas, but not one and they are right.
However in our problem under discussion, present perfect can not be used in anyway, so OA is B,
Read the following ling , may be it will help you understand better:

http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/soa ... t6085.html

Hope that helps
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B for me by POE: If you can recognize at first sight that the subject is the plural soaring television costs, then things will unfold. The choices using singular pronoun or verb such as it ]in A, was so in D and greater than it has in E are out.

In C the use of present perfect to denote what happened and ended in the previous campaigns and which are not continuing now, is ungrammatical, leaving only B as the right choice.
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metallicafan wrote:
Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992, a greater proportion than it was in any previous election.

(a) a greater proportion than it was
(b) a greater proportion than
(c) a greater proportion than they have been
(d) which is greater than was so
(e) which is greater than it has been

Please your help with this doubt:
[Reveal] Spoiler: doubt
Ok, here we have a problem of pronoun reference. Usually, the rule in the GMAT is that the option is wrong when we are not sure to which noun the pronoun ("it" in option A) refers. However, I have seen other questions in which "it" is correct although it doesn't have an antecedent. Could you explain me in which cases this is correct?
I would appreciate your help.


Hi Metallicafan,
In the above sentence the problem with A is not just the pronoun reference. First dealing with the reasons why B is right :
The Structure of the sentence:
Soaring Television costs accounted for more than half the spending [...], a greater proportion than [...].
'A Greater proportion' is modifying the Noun Clause beginning with the Present Participle.

The structure 'X greater than Y' when the comparison is between 2 different things.
To make a comparison between one instance of X with all the remaining instances of X... the structure is: 'X greater than in any other instances of X'

In the given sentence the comparison is not between 2 different things, hence the former structure is incorrect and we choose the latter structure. Hence B is correct.

Now going back to the Pronoun Reference issue:
A - Incorrect Pronoun reference because the Pronoun 'It' has the antecedent
'Greater Proportion' ... replace the pronoun with the antecedent and you will have a nonsensical sentence. Hence for the above 2 reasons A is incorrect.
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New post 12 Oct 2010, 04:52
I forgot to mention why option D and E are incorrect ( even though I guess most know it ;) ) .... Which should be adjacent to the noun it is modifying. In D and E 'which' is adjacent to 1982 ... Hence both the options are wrong.
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A. a greater proportion than it was
'It' doesn't have a clear referent.

B. a greater proportion than
Concise.

C. a greater proportion than they have been
'have been' is wrong tense. 'had been' or 'were' would have been correct.
D. which is greater than was so
'which' modifies presidential campaign and 'was so' is redundant.
E. which is greater than it has been
'which' modifies presidential campaign and 'has been' is wrong tense.


Even if there was another answer choice, written 'a greater proportion than they had been,' I would have still chosen B as the sentence does not need any further specification on what's being compared.

This is another example from an OG question.

Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than in previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.
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Suchoudh, since you eliminated D and E, I'm guessing you know the "which" modifier/touch rule, which knocks out those two choices. ("Which" would refer back to 1992--that doesn't make sense!)

The phrase "greater...than" lets us know that we're comparing two things--remember that compared items must be logically comparable and structurally similar.

A, B, and C look very similar, except for their tail ends. A and C both contain prepositions.

(A) contains "it"-- what could be the antecedent for that pronoun? We have two singular options-- "campaign" and "spending." That's a problem-- ambiguity! Even if you're super versed in the GMAT and know that a certain degree of pronoun ambiguity can sometimes be tolerated (although typically not in the situation seen here), there is ANOTHER reason for eliminating (A): we are comparing a phrase and a clause--"the spending" versus "the spending was." ELIMINATE

In (B), "than" would be immediately followed by "in any previous election"...so the things we are comparing are "the spending IN" the 1992 campaign versus IN any previous election. This is ok.

In (C), we have the plural pronoun "they," which could only refer back to "costs"--- but we want to refer back to some form of "spending" (because we have "more than half the spending..." as the first chunk of that comparison). We also have the same phrase/clause issue that exists in (A)--ELIMINATE

That leaves B.
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Of course, Parker, et al have brought out beautifully the fine points of the issue. Kudos to Parker and scheol79. I thought I would weigh in a different aspect of approaching the issue.

The subject is the plural ‘costs’ and hence the use of any pronoun such as ‘it’ or a singular verb as ‘is’, or ‘has been’ is wrong. As such one can dump A,D and E; Between B and C,C is wrong because it uses a wrong tense of present perfect for a bygone thing. In fact, a past perfect should have been used in this case, because the reference is for proportion prior to 1992 campaign.

B is left.
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Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992, a greater proportion than it was in any previous election.

(a) a greater proportion than it was
(b) a greater proportion than
(c) a greater proportion than they have been
(d) which is greater than was so
(e) which is greater than it has been

(a) a greater proportion than it was
One thing that I missed was the usage of the antecedent in this sentence.
'it' is wrong not because of the ambiguity but because of 'non-referent'.
'it' doesn't refer to either 'the spending'(doesn't make sense) or 'television costs'(plural).
If I remember right, the antecedent can't refer to the noun in the same sentence although the antecedent can refer to the dependent sentence.


(c) a greater proportion than they have been
they = the soaring tel costs, wrong comparison

(d), (e) wrong modifier

B wins.

Please correct my reasoning if wrong.
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New post 20 Aug 2012, 18:34
I would like to request Shraddha, The E-gmat Expert to help here with her analysis of this question.

Well,The OA is (B) ,for this I wanted to check if the presence of Pronouns 'it' 'them' etc which dont have a clear antecedent is the error in this sentence?
This was the only possible flaw i could think of.
Please help me with your inputs.

Thanks.

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Hi All,

Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992, a greater proportion than it was in any previous election.

Let’s begin with understanding the meaning of this sentence. The sentence says that increasing television costs were responsible for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992. This proportion was greater than any proportion in any previous election.

Now let’s begin the error analysis:
There are a few singular entities that “it” may refer to. These entities are “spending” and “the presidential campaign of 1992”. However, none of these entities are logical antecedent of “it”. Hence, presence of this pronoun makes this sentence incorrect.

POE:

A. a greater proportion than it was: Incorrect for the reason stated above.

B. a greater proportion than: Correct. Removal of “it was” rectifies the error in the original sentence.

C. a greater proportion than they have been: Incorrect.
1. Plural “they” can only refer to “soaring television costs”. This entity cannot be the logical antecedent of “they”. Hence, we have pronoun error.
2. Use of present perfect tense “have been” is incorrect. The complete verb here should be “they have been accounting for”. Notice that “accounting” cannot be made understood because this word does not appear anywhere else in this sentence. Also, previous elections are over. Nothing can be accounting for them in the present.

D. which is greater than was so: Incorrect. Relative pronoun “which” modifies preceding noun entity. But we need a modifier here that can talk about the entire idea presented in the preceding clause.

E. which is greater than it has been: Incorrect.
1. This choice repeats the relative pronoun clause error as in choice D.
2. Pronoun “it” has no referent.
3. Use of present perfect “has been” is incorrect.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
Shraddha
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New post 11 Jan 2013, 01:32
egmat wrote:
Hi All,

Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992, a greater proportion than it was in any previous election.

Let’s begin with understanding the meaning of this sentence. The sentence says that increasing television costs were responsible for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992. This proportion was greater than any proportion in any previous election.

Now let’s begin the error analysis:
There are a few singular entities that “it” may refer to. These entities are “spending” and “the presidential campaign of 1992”. However, none of these entities are logical antecedent of “it”. Hence, presence of this pronoun makes this sentence incorrect.

POE:

A. a greater proportion than it was: Incorrect for the reason stated above.

B. a greater proportion than: Correct. Removal of “it was” rectifies the error in the original sentence.

C. a greater proportion than they have been: Incorrect.
1. Plural “they” can only refer to “soaring television costs”. This entity cannot be the logical antecedent of “they”. Hence, we have pronoun error.
2. Use of present perfect tense “have been” is incorrect. The complete verb here should be “they have been accounting for”. Notice that “accounting” cannot be made understood because this word does not appear anywhere else in this sentence. Also, previous elections are over. Nothing can be accounting for them in the present.

D. which is greater than was so: Incorrect. Relative pronoun “which” modifies preceding noun entity. But we need a modifier here that can talk about the entire idea presented in the preceding clause.

E. which is greater than it has been: Incorrect.
1. This choice repeats the relative pronoun clause error as in choice D.
2. Pronoun “it” has no referent.
3. Use of present perfect “has been” is incorrect.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
Shraddha


Hello Shraddha,

C. a greater proportion than they have been: Incorrect.
1.Plural “they” can only refer to “soaring television costs”. This entity cannot be the logical antecedent of “they”. Hence, we have pronoun error.
2. Use of present perfect tense “have been” is incorrect. The complete verb here should be “they have been accounting for”. Notice that “accounting” cannot be made understood because this word does not appear anywhere else in this sentence. Also, previous elections are over. Nothing can be accounting for them in the present.

why is “soaring television costs” - verb-ing modifier noun not "Singular" in this case???

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kuttingchai wrote:
Hello Shraddha,
why is “soaring television costs” - verb-ing modifier noun not "Singular" in this case???


Hi kuttingchai,

"Soaring television costs" is a noun phrase. Yes, "soaring" is a verb-ing modifier that appears right before "television costs", a noun entity. Hence, it modifies this noun entity. So "soaring" is an adjective in this sentence. "costs" is the noun here that is a plural entity, and hence the subject "soaring television costs" is a plural subject.

Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
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New post 15 Jan 2014, 08:16
DenisSh wrote:
amitgovin wrote:
What does "it" refer to in answer A? I think that "it" refers to proportion, right? If so, does that necessarily make answer A wrong? Please explain why B and not A. thanks.


Option (A) wrongly introduces another clause (subject + verb) while option (B) just correctly modifies 'television costs' (subordinate phrase).

In addition, remember the standard pattern for comparisons: X is less than Y, NOT X is less than it is Y.

Just try to 'throw away' all words between 'costs' and 'a greater proportion'.
DenisSh/Shraddha, I really need some help on this.
To make sentence structure simple, I am replacing some of the terms in following fashion.
Z= Soaring television costs
more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992 = 50%

Z accounted for 50%, a greater proportion than in any previous election.

I am confused with the structure of highlighted portion of the sentence. It looks like a phrase(not sure if it is an absolute phrase). Shouldn't the highlighted portion should have something to compare with?
I mean I would have been happy with sentence. Z accounted for 50%, a greater proportion than in any previous election.
But, extra appendage of stroked out part is making me nuts as we dont have any thing to compare with.
To be frank, shouldn't we expect another noun entity to compare after than next to greater proportion. I am providing the exact sentence structure below as expected.
Z accounted for 50%, a greater proportion than Y.
This Y could be 30% and sentence would still be correct.

And this is where I am stuck. I don't see any thing(Y) to compare after than in choice B with just in any previous election and no noun form to compare with the earlier noun "a greater proportion".

Let me know where my line of thinking to reduce sentence as above and expected behavior wrt than is wrong.
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joshnsit wrote:
I really need some help on this.
To make sentence structure simple, I am replacing some of the terms in following fashion.
Z= Soaring television costs
more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992 = 50%

Z accounted for 50%, a greater proportion than in any previous election.

I am confused with the structure of highlighted portion of the sentence. It looks like a phrase(not sure if it is an absolute phrase). Shouldn't the highlighted portion should have something to compare with?
I mean I would have been happy with sentence. Z accounted for 50%, a greater proportion than in any previous election.
But, extra appendage of stroked out part is making me nuts as we dont have any thing to compare with.
To be frank, shouldn't we expect another noun entity to compare after than next to greater proportion. I am providing the exact sentence structure below as expected.
Z accounted for 50%, a greater proportion than Y.
This Y could be 30% and sentence would still be correct.

And this is where I am stuck. I don't see any thing(Y) to compare after than in choice B with just in any previous election and no noun form to compare with the earlier noun "a greater proportion".

Let me know where my line of thinking to reduce sentence as above and expected behavior wrt than is wrong.

Z accounted for 50%, a greater proportion than in any previous election.

Now, if we just look at the portion that contains the comparison, the structure is:

50% (was) a greater proportion than in any previous election.

If we look at it, the comparison operator is actually “greater than”. So, we can actually rephrase the sentence as:

50% (was) a proportion greater than in any previous election.

So, the only way to interpret this sentence would be:

50% (was) a proportion greater than (proportion) in any previous election (was).

This is a correct sentence. The key is that the right hand side of “than” should be converted into a clause (means it should have a “verb”, for example, in this case “was”).

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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2014, 11:19
ayushman wrote:
joshnsit wrote:
I really need some help on this.
To make sentence structure simple, I am replacing some of the terms in following fashion.
Z= Soaring television costs
more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992 = 50%

Z accounted for 50%, a greater proportion than in any previous election.

I am confused with the structure of highlighted portion of the sentence. It looks like a phrase(not sure if it is an absolute phrase). Shouldn't the highlighted portion should have something to compare with?
I mean I would have been happy with sentence. Z accounted for 50%, a greater proportion than in any previous election.
But, extra appendage of stroked out part is making me nuts as we dont have any thing to compare with.
To be frank, shouldn't we expect another noun entity to compare after than next to greater proportion. I am providing the exact sentence structure below as expected.
Z accounted for 50%, a greater proportion than Y.
This Y could be 30% and sentence would still be correct.

And this is where I am stuck. I don't see any thing(Y) to compare after than in choice B with just in any previous election and no noun form to compare with the earlier noun "a greater proportion".

Let me know where my line of thinking to reduce sentence as above and expected behavior wrt than is wrong.

Z accounted for 50%, a greater proportion than in any previous election.

Now, if we just look at the portion that contains the comparison, the structure is:

50% (was) a greater proportion than in any previous election.

If we look at it, the comparison operator is actually “greater than”. So, we can actually rephrase the sentence as:

50% (was) a proportion greater than in any previous election.

So, the only way to interpret this sentence would be:

50% (was) a proportion greater than (proportion) in any previous election (was).

This is a correct sentence. The key is that the right hand side of “than” should be converted into a clause (means it should have a “verb”, for example, in this case “was”).
ayushman, I doubt that verb ellipsis is at play here because even the first verb is missing to give rise to ellipsis. But, my problem is least on the verb ellipsis (around the was as indicated by you in green) here.

50% (was) a proportion greater than (proportion) in any previous election (was).
I am more concerned about noun ellipsis(red part). A noun ellipsis demands presence of an adjective or a pronoun to work. I believe one simply cant remove the presence of second subject noun for ellipsis to work for nouns, though I would love to be disputed with some examples. Some links here for noun ellipsis.
https://sites.google.com/site/agrammaro ... /1-5/1-5-2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noun_ellipsis
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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending   [#permalink] 15 Jan 2014, 11:19

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