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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  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 11 Mar 2019, 08:38
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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

Originally posted by nightwing79 on 28 Jul 2009, 14:27.
Last edited by Bunuel on 11 Mar 2019, 08:38, edited 2 times in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending  [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2012, 06:10
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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.
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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending  [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2009, 21:38
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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'.
##### General Discussion
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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending  [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2009, 01:39
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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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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending  [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2009, 01:51
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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

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

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01 Jun 2010, 23:12
1
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

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

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02 Jun 2010, 19:40
1
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,

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

Hope that helps
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Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending  [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2010, 10:43
1
Hey All,

I was asked to take this on by PM. Even though there's tons of great discussion here, I figured I should still weigh in. I don't know if the original poster (Nusma!) was trying to be tricky or something, but he had both answers correct. Here's why.

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
PROBLEM: The "it" here has no intelligent antecedent. It can't be "half the spending", because that wouldn't make logical sense (try plugging it in for the "it" and you'll see why not). But "costs" are plural.

B. a greater proportion than

C. a greater proportion than they have been
PROBLEM: The antecedent of "they" must be "costs", but that doesn't make sense either. It wasn't the costs that were a greater proportion, but the "half the spending". This is a comparison issue. We want to compare a proportion to a proportion. Also the present perfect implies continuation into the present, but this ends at 1992.

D. which is greater than was so
PROBLEM: "which" is modifying "half the spending", but we need the mention of proportion, because that's the issue here. Also the "so" doesn't make sense.

E. which is greater than it has been
PROBLEM: Again, we need mention to be made of "proportion". Also the use of the present perfect implies continuation into the present, but this ends at 1992.
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Re: Need GMAT instructor to intercept !  [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2010, 01:37
TommyWallach wrote:
Hey All,

I was asked to take this on by PM. Even though there's tons of great discussion here, I figured I should still weigh in. I don't know if the original poster (Nusma!) was trying to be tricky or something, but he had both answers correct. Here's why.

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
PROBLEM: The "it" here has no intelligent antecedent. It can't be "half the spending", because that wouldn't make logical sense (try plugging it in for the "it" and you'll see why not). But "costs" are plural.

B. a greater proportion than

C. a greater proportion than they have been
PROBLEM: The antecedent of "they" must be "costs", but that doesn't make sense either. It wasn't the costs that were a greater proportion, but the "half the spending". This is a comparison issue. We want to compare a proportion to a proportion. Also the present perfect implies continuation into the present, but this ends at 1992.

D. which is greater than was so
PROBLEM: "which" is modifying "half the spending", but we need the mention of proportion, because that's the issue here. Also the "so" doesn't make sense.

E. which is greater than it has been
PROBLEM: Again, we need mention to be made of "proportion". Also the use of the present perfect implies continuation into the present, but this ends at 1992.
Hope that helps!
-t

Hi tommy can you please elaborate on this ?
D. which is greater than was so
PROBLEM: "which" is modifying "half the spending", but we need the mention of proportion, because that's the issue here. Also the "so" doesn't make sense.

"we need the mention of proportion
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Re: Need GMAT instructor to intercept !  [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2010, 10:14
Hey Munda,

"Which" is a relative pronoun, which (with rare exceptions) modifies whatever comes directly before it. But in this sentence, that would be "half the spending...". But it's not the spending itself that was greater, but the PROPORTION of total spending that was greater.

As for the other issue, we can't use so this way.

I can say: "Just as it was green yesterday, so is it green today." But I can't say "I have twelve dollars, more than was so last year."

So means "in the same way". See how it works in my first example, but not my second? Try plugging in "in the same way" in answer choice D. Doesn't make any sense, right?

Hope that helps!

-t

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

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11 Oct 2010, 23:02
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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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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending  [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 04:32
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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

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?

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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12 Oct 2010, 04:52
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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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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending  [#permalink]

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06 Nov 2010, 21:08
2
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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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending  [#permalink]

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25 Jan 2011, 14:04
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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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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending  [#permalink]

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18 Oct 2011, 09:01
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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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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending  [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2012, 19:10
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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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Re: Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending  [#permalink]

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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.

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

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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.

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

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11 Jan 2013, 06:19
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kuttingchai wrote:
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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