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The company announced that its profits declined much less in the secon

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The company announced that its profits declined much less in the secon  [#permalink]

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The company announced that its profits declined much less in the second quarter than analysts had expected it to and its business will improve in the second half of the year.


(A) had expected it to and its business will improve

(B) had expected and that its business would improve

(C) expected it would and that it will improve its business

(D) expected them to and its business would improve

(E) expected and that it will have improved its business


Verbal Question of The Day: Day 126: Sentence Correction


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The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition, 2005

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 137
Page: 660

Originally posted by I3igDmsu on 31 May 2009, 16:20.
Last edited by Bunuel on 16 Oct 2018, 23:21, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: The company announced that its profits declined much less in the secon  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2017, 14:27
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This is another one that we covered in our recent YouTube webinar on verb tenses, so if you prefer your SC explanations in video form, feel free to head over there. We covered some pretty nasty official examples (including this SOB); fortunately, this one is a little bit gentler.

Quote:
(A) had expected it to and its business will improve

Whenever you see the past perfect tense on the GMAT (“had expected”), then you’ll want to look for some other “time marker” that occurs in the more recent past, generally in the form of an action in the simple past tense. And it looks like we have that here: first, analysts “had expected” profits to decline, and then the company later announced that its profits declined less than expect. Fair enough.

Trouble is, the pronoun “it” is definitely wrong. “It” could refer to “company”, but that wouldn’t make sense: the company had expected profits to decline, so we need this to say “had expected THEM to.” (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) had expected and that its business would improve

This looks pretty good. Just as in (A), the past perfect “had expected” makes perfect sense. The parallelism works, too: “and” is followed by a subordinate clause, “that its business would improve.” So that gives us the following: “The company announced that its profits declined… and that its business would improve in the second half of the year…” Fair enough. And the conditional “would” also makes sense, since it’s a prediction about the future that’s made in the past.

So we’ll keep (B).

Quote:
(C) expected it would and that it will improve its business

This has the same pronoun problem as (A): the first “it” needs to refer to “profits” in order for the sentence to make sense.

You could also argue that the phrase “the company announced… that it will improve its business” doesn’t correctly convey the intended meaning: as written, the phrase suggests that the company will take actions to make its business run differently, instead of simply saying that “business will improve” – which would correctly imply that revenue will improve.

And even if you’re not convinced by that last paragraph, (C) is out because of the pronoun thing.


Quote:
(D) expected them to and its business would improve

(D) isn’t a complete disaster, but it’s a crappier version of (B). First, the sentence makes much more sense with the past perfect “had expected”, because there are two actions (“expected profits to decline” and “announced that profits declined less…”) that happened at different times in the past.

Also, the parallelism isn’t great here. The parallelism marker “and” is followed by the clause “its business would improve”, and that isn’t ideal in GMAT-land. It’s not clear whether “its business would improve” is parallel to “analysts expected them to” or “its profits declined…” – both are clauses, so either would be structurally parallel, and that’s confusing.

But if “that” is included – as it is in (B) – then the parallelism is much, much clearer (see the explanation for (B) above).

So (B) is better than (D), and (D) can be eliminated.

Quote:
(E) expected and that it will have improved its business

(E) has the same verb tense problem as (D): the sentence makes more sense if we use the past perfect “had expected” to clarify the timeline of the past actions. Plus, it makes more sense to say that “business would improve” (suggesting that revenue increased) instead of “it will have improved its business” (which implies that the company will make changes to make the business itself better). That’s enough for us to prefer (B) over (E).

You can stop here. The answer is (B), and we’re done. But if you’re curious about the phrase “will have improved” – which isn’t all that important – keep reading.

You’re not going to see this very often on the GMAT – and it’s rarely a deciding factor when it does appear – but the phrase “will have + verb” suggests an action that will occur in the future, but before some “time marker” later in the future. For example, you could say “By the time my wife gives birth, I will have spent nine months in utter terror at the prospect of becoming a parent.” The phrase “will have spent” is in the future – but it occurs BEFORE the other future action (my wife giving birth). And in (E), there’s no reason to use that tense: “will have improved in the second quarter”… before what, exactly? The simpler, conditional “would” makes more sense.

And if that last paragraph didn’t strike a chord with you, no worries – you generally don’t need to worry about it on the GMAT. As long as you chose (B), life is good.
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Re: The company announced that its profits declined much less in the secon  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jun 2010, 06:19
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I3igDmsu wrote:
The company announced that its profits declined much less in the second quarter than analysts had expected it to and its business will improve in the second half of the year.

A) had expected it to and its business will improve
B) had expected and that its business would improve
C) expected it would and that it will improve its business
D) expected them to and its business would improve
E) expected and that it will have improved its business



Hi Guys,

There are some other important issues to take note of here!

1. Ellipsis: In A, "had expected it to" implies the word "decline," but "decline" is not in the sentence-- "declined" is! It's perfectly alright to leave a word out, as long as that exact same word appears somewhere else in the sentence!

Ex. CORRECT:Joe's shoes are nicer than Bob's (shoes). The last word is optional because "shoes" already appears.
Ex. CORRECT:Joe is taller than Bob (is). The last word is optional because "is" already appears.
Ex. INCORRECT: Joe has and always will be confident. The word "been" is missing! You cannot imply a word that never appears in the sentence!! This is considered an error in ellipsis.



2. The phrase of parallelism here is "A and B", meaning that "and" must connect between two words/phrases of the same grammatical structure. In this case A is the relative clause, "that its profits declined... So B must also be a relative clause!! "that+a subject+a verb..." Any answer that failed to put "that" after the "and" can be eliminated!!! This is tested a lot on the SC!!!

3. Why "would" and not "will"?
This is a matter of reported speech.
A direct quote would be this: The company announced, "Our business will improve..."
Reported speech pulls the tense back: The company announced that its business would improve...
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Re: The company announced that its profits declined much less in the secon  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 02 Jun 2009, 00:27
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Without seeing the spoiler I got B in first look.

The sentence is in past perfect tense, with analysts expected earlier in time and profits declined later in time.

So C, D, and E are out. Now the choice is between A and B.

A is incorrect because of no clear antecedents (precedent) of pronoun "it". [Thanks Allen for correcting me that pronoun have antecedent and not precedent..........:)]

Hence B is the answer.

Originally posted by humans on 01 Jun 2009, 20:49.
Last edited by humans on 02 Jun 2009, 00:27, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The company announced that its profits declined much less in the secon  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2009, 21:01
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I think humans' explanation is great.

I think the antecedent of "it" in answer A is clear, but "it" is singular when the sentence is refering to "profits" which is plural. I think this is an error that is easier to notice. This same reason also means C is wrong. D seems awkward like "them to" is unnecessary. It's certainly implied, but I think we need "had expected" for past tense (past perfect?).

I3igDmsu wrote:
The company announced that its profits declined much less in the second quarter than analysts had expected it to and its business will improve in the second half of the year.

A) had expected it to and its business will improve
B) had expected and that its business would improve
C) expected it would and that it will improve its business
D) expected them to and its business would improve
E) expected and that it will have improved its business


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Re: The company announced that its profits declined much less in the secon  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2016, 01:54
Two events had happened in the PAST
-----Analyst expected (first event/older event) ----->Profit declined(second event/new event)-----> direction of flow of time

When two event happen in the past the older event takes "Had+ed verb" and the recent event takes "ed verb"
so C,D,E are out
A and B remaining

A is out because the expectation are for future, so WOULD is the correct tense to use.


I3igDmsu wrote:
The company announced that its profits declined much less in the second quarter than analysts had expected it to and its business will improve in the second half of the year.

A) had expected it to and its business will improve
B) had expected and that its business would improve
C) expected it would and that it will improve its business
D) expected them to and its business would improve
E) expected and that it will have improved its business


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Re: The company announced that its profits declined much less in the secon  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2017, 20:40
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The company announced that its profits declined much less in the second quarter than analysts had expected it to and its business will improve in the second half of the year.

The earlier past action, had expected, pairs with a simple past action, declined: first, analysts expected the company profits (and possibly rose or declined) and, later, the company announced the profits declined.
Hence eliminate C,D and E.
In A, "will" cannot be accepted since this construction expresses the future from the point of view of the past: "the company announced that"

Hence C correct.

A) had expected it to and its business will --- Parallelism and Verb Tense
B) had expected and that its business would improve --- CORRECT
C) expected it would and that it will improve its business --- Verb Tense
D) expected them to and its business would improve --- Verb Tense
E) expected and that it will have improved its business --- Verb Tense
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The company announced that its profits declined much less in the secon  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2017, 12:45
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The company announced that its profits declined much less in the second quarter than analysts had expected it to and its business will improve in the second half of the year.

A) had expected it to and its business will improve
B) had expected and that its business would improve
C) expected it would and that it will improve its business
D) expected them to and its business would improve
E) expected and that it will have improved its business

1st Split -- Had Expected vs Expected
Draw a Time Line for easy understanding and to check whether the usage of DOUBLE PAST is actually required?

PAST___________________T1____________________T2_______________PRESENT
T1 - Analysts had expected profits to decline to some value, say X.
T2 - Profits declined to a value, say Y (where, Y<X)

As we can see we need a VERB SEQUENCING here, to arrange the two events that happened in the past at different time frames T1 and T2.

This eliminates choices C,D, and E.

2nd Split : PRONOUN NUMBER AGREEMENT ERROR.

As "it" is referring back to profits so we need "them" instead of "it".

This eliminates choices A and C.

3rd Split : WILL vs WOULD
As the announcement is done in the past, so the usage of WOULD is correct.

This eliminates choices A, C, and E.

4th Split:
As per the intended meaning the company announced two things. SO we need a structure like -- company announced that........ and that...... Choices in which that is missing after the "and" are incorrect. Because otherwise, it will indicate a beginning of a new Independent Clause and the intended meaning will be lost.

This eliminates choices A and D.

Edit --- Also, I missed one thing -- the usage of "expected it to" AND "expected them to" is INCORRECT. Only using "expected" would suffice. :)

So, choice B is the clear winner. 8-)
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Re: The company announced that its profits declined much less in the secon  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2018, 23:54
Meaning and error analysis:
The moment I saw 'had', I started making my time line.

analysts setting expectation in past >>>>>> profits declined ---- making perfect sense.


(A) had expected it to and its business will improve --- time line is correct. what it refers to ? quarter or profits or company. Should be profit. but then profit's business does not make any sense.
(B) had expected and that its business would improve --- As soon as I saw 'and that' I am looking for parallelism . so where is another that or what this 'that' refers to ? "The company announced that its business would improve ......" here 'its' refer to the company.
(C) expected it would and that it will improve its business ---- timeline mismatch, pronoun errors.
(D) expected them to and its business would improve --- timeline mismatch, pronoun errors.
(E) expected and that it will have improved its business --- timeline mismatch, pronoun errors.

Correct answer should be B.
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Re: The company announced that its profits declined much less in the secon  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2018, 04:01
As I have finished this SC, I saw 'will have' 'would have' in options and I did some research around it. Hope it will be helpful for others too.

Will, would, and have are auxiliary verbs used to form different tenses.

'Will' is used to form Future Simple, to describe something that takes place in the future.
Quote:
I will be there.
Meaning: I am not there. But I plan to be there at some point in the future.
I will do that.
Meaning: I am not doing it right now. But I plan to do it at some point in the future.

'Will have' is used to form Future Perfect, to describe something that not simply takes place in the future, but is completed ("perfected") at some reference point in the future.

Quote:
I will have done that by the end of the week.
Meaning: I will do that, and at the reference point (end of the week), my action will be over; I will be able to say "I have done it".


'Would' is a past-tense form of will. If you are writing about past events, you can use it to indicate something that was in the future at that point in time, but is not necessarily in the future right now. In other words, you use would to preserve the future aspect when talking about the past.

Quote:
She said that she would visit me.
Meaning: This is the same as: She said, "I will visit you". It's called making verb tenses "agree".
I thought she would have visited me by now, but she hasn't.
Would is also used as a modal verb to indicate a conditional or subjunctive mood, or to "soften" what is being said:

I would love to see that movie.
If I had a hammer, I would use it as often as possible.
Would you give me that book, please?

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Re: The company announced that its profits declined much less in the secon &nbs [#permalink] 18 Apr 2018, 04:01
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