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# The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many

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Senior SC Moderator
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The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many  [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2018, 10:55
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1
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Difficulty:

55% (hard)

Question Stats:

61% (01:47) correct 39% (02:04) wrong based on 1082 sessions

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Project SC Butler: Day 22 Sentence Correction (SC1)

The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many business consultants therefore advise that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse to take calls from likely corporate raiders.

(A) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse

(B) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding such offers be to refuse even

(C) a company defending itself against offers of this kind that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse

(D) companies which are defending themselves against such an offer that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse

(E) that the first line of defense for a company who is eluding offers like these is the refusal even

NOTE: BEST or EXCELLENT answers must include the meaning of this sentence.
Please state the meaning in your own words. Merely repeating what you think is the correct answer
does not constitute "the meaning in your own words."

The best or excellent answers get kudos, which will be awarded after the answer is revealed.

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Re: The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many  [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2018, 13:09
5
3
generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 22 Sentence Correction (SC1)

The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many business consultants therefore advise that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse to take calls from likely corporate raiders.

(A) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse

(B) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding such offers be to refuse even

(C) a company defending itself against offers of this kind that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse

(D) companies which are defending themselves against such an offer that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse

(E) that the first line of defense for a company who is eluding offers like these is the refusal even

NOTE: BEST or EXCELLENT answers must include the meaning of this sentence.
Please state the meaning in your own words. Merely repeating what you think is the correct answer
does not constitute "the meaning in your own words."

The best or excellent answers get kudos, which will be awarded after the answer is revealed.

Meaning:
The author implies that the odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer. This means that the chances to not survive the takeover are 4 times more than surviving it. So many of the business consultants advise that it is better to NOT take calls from "likely corporate raiders" i.e. who are expected to takeover your company. This is the first line of defence because if you don't take their calls, they won't make you an offer.

Like is used to express similarity when comparing only to nouns. Such as is used to list examples. Since the author has not listed any examples therefore, such offers is correct.
A and E are eliminated because of the use of like.
In C, they in they should even refuse refers to “a company”, which is incorrect. Pronoun “they” is plural whereas “a company” is singular. This is incorrect as well.
In D, defending along with defense is redundant. Moreover, a coma is missing after companies and before which. If “which” is replaced by “that”, then coma will not be required.
B is the correct answer since there is no error.
##### General Discussion
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Re: The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many  [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2018, 11:32
2
1
generis wrote:
The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many business consultants therefore advise that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse to take calls from likely corporate raiders.

(A) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse

(B) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding such offers be to refuse even

(C) a company defending itself against offers of this kind that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse

(D) companies which are defending themselves against such an offer that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse

(E) that the first line of defense for a company who is eluding offers like these is the refusal even

Meaning: The odds of surviving against a takeover is given. Business consultants say that the first line of defence against takeovers is to refuse to take calls from corporate raiders.

(A) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse - 'these' -plural- doesn't have any antecedent.

(B) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding such offers be to refuse even - Subjunctive, looks to be fine.

(C) a company defending itself against offers of this kind that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse - Awkward construction and 'they' refers to 'company' which is wrong.

(D) companies which are defending themselves against such an offer that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse - Awkward construction. Highlighted modifier seems to modify 'offer'.

(E) that the first line of defense for a company who is eluding offers like these is the refusal even. 'Who' is wrongly used to modify company and 'these' doesn't have any plural antecedent.

Cheers!
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The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many  [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2018, 18:37
2
1
1
generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 22 Sentence Correction (SC1)

The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many business consultants therefore advise that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse to take calls from likely corporate raiders.

(A) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse
(B) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding such offers be to refuse even
(C) a company defending itself against offers of this kind that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse
(D) companies which are defending themselves against such an offer that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse
(E) that the first line of defense for a company who is eluding offers like these is the refusal even

OFFICIAL EXPLANATION
Quote:
My clarifying comments are in blue typeface.

• Choice A is awkward and poorly phrased: these has no plural noun to which it can refer, and
even should be placed immediately before to take calls, the phrase it modifies

• Choice B is best

• In C
the plural they does not agree with the singular company
even is misplaced [just as "even" is misplaced in option A]
and advise . . . that . . . they SHOULD is unidiomatic [because "advise" is used as a bossy verb, a context in which command subjunctive is required ]

• D has the plural companies [which is correct] but D retains the other flaws of C

• In E
who in place of that is an inappropriate pronoun for company ["who" is never used to refer to things, and always used to refer to people]
these does not agree with the singular offer, and
"is the refusal" should be "be to refuse" [in order to construct the command subjunctive correctly as is done in option B]

Official explanation

• I highlighted "awkward" and gave it mixed reviews in the explanation of option A
-- Good news : the author specifies why option A is "awkward."
The placement of "even" is incorrect.
-- Bad news Writers of official explanations for GMAT questions use "awkward" imprecisely, cryptically, and inconsistently.

Option A is "awkward" because it is
-- either "correct in meaning but clumsily constructed"
-- or "constructed in a way that changes the meaning"

Thumbs up because "awkward" is explained.
Thumbs down because I do not encourage people to use "awkward"
as a reason to eliminate choices unless they are down to two correct options.
In that case, rhetoric and style make the difference, and lack of awkwardness creates better rhetorical effect.

The command subjunctive
"Advise" is a bossy verb in this context that requires "command subjunctive" construction.

The correct construction is:

bossy verb + THAT + subject + bare/base infinitive (remove the word "to": to be => be)

This sentence?
advise + THAT + a company's first line of defense + BE

• "should" never belongs in the command subjunctive construction. A command implies "should."
• the command subjunctive does not use the conjugated verb after the THAT.
-- In option E, in other words, one problem is the use of "is the refusal."
Change the word is to the word be, and the command subjunctive is satisfied.
BE is the bare infinitive of TO BE.

THIS POST by GMAT Club founder bb is an excellent synopsis of the command subjunctive construction.

THIS POST discusses a specific example of that same construction.

**************
Prateekj05 constructed the best meaning of the sentence in his own words:
Meaning:
The author implies that the odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer. This means that the chances to not survive the takeover are 4 times more than surviving it. So many of the business consultants advise that it is better to NOT take calls from "likely corporate raiders" i.e. who are expected to takeover your company. This is the first line of defence because if you don't take their calls, they won't make you an offer.

The task is to explain. He did, in plain English.
Analysis of options is very good. I am torn about no mention of subjunctive.

habeebbaig , I'm glad you posted.

Diwakar003 , you mentioned "subjunctive," a subject that I think is important.
(The OE writer does, too.)

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04 Jul 2019, 17:19
1
Quote:
(B) The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many business consultants therefore advise that a company’s first line of defense in eluding such offers be to refuse even to take calls from likely corporate raiders.

nurba92 wrote:
What is the sructure behind "in eluding such offers be to refuse"?
Why "to" between "be" and "refuse"?

nurba92 , I don't know how to answer this question without jargon.

I can't tell whether you are familiar with command subjunctive structure. I think not. That fact is just fine. Many people, natives included, have never heard of it.

In English, certain verbs are considered "bossy."

We use those verbs, at times, in special ways.
-- I demand that he give me back my wallet!
-- The trip advisor suggested that we be careful in one area of the country.
-- I advised that he not take that boring class.

Experts on this site often say, I recommend that you review ...

The structure can seem very strange, but it is predictable. I give you the structure below.

I think answering will be easier if I change your question just a little.

What is the structure behind
"advise that the [first line of defense] in eluding such offers be to refuse [to answer calls from likely raiders]?

(in eluding such offers is not the strategy.)

The structure is
bossy verb + THAT + subject + BE (bare infinitive)
+ subject complement (in the form of an infinitive phrase that acts as a noun).

We need the "to" in order to make a noun. TO REFUSE is a noun. (Stand by.)
The analysts say that the first line of defense should be: What?
The first line of defense should be to refuse to answer the phone!
TO REFUSE is an infinitive that acts as a noun.

We need a noun, in turn, because "BE" is a linking verb that requires a subject complement.**

Basic structure - command subjunctive
bossy verb + THAT + subject + bare infinitive

+ THAT
+ subject: a company's first line of defense
+ bare infinitive: BE
(from to be, simply remove the word to)

Analysts advise that the company's first line of defense BE. That's nice. BE what?

The rest of the sentence

Whatever is coupled with a form of the TO BE verb is called a subject complement, which can be a noun, pronoun, or adjective.

So the verb BE needs a subject complement.

The company's first line of defense must be . . . WHAT?
what = to refuse (refusing) to answer calls

to refuse even to take calls from likely raiders is an infinitive phrase that acts as noun.

Finally, see my post above, here for links to material on the command subjunctive structure.

Here is a similar example:
When the player hurt her leg badly, the team's doctor-trainer advised that the first step in treating the injury be to stabilize the knee and ankle with separate splints.

I hope that helps.

**
A subject complement can be a noun, pronoun, or adjective.

A noun or pronoun as a subject complement identifies or names the subject.
She is a writer, editor, and professor. (noun)

[i]The first line of defense IS to refuse to answer all calls.
(noun)
The winner is you! (pronoun)

An adjective as a subject complement describes the subject.
The first line of defense IS simple. (adjective)

Now combine command subjunctive and subject complement:
I insist that you BE my guest at the gala.

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The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many  [#permalink]

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04 Jul 2019, 18:46
1
Ambika02 wrote:
According to egmat 'advise' is an infinitive verb.It should be followed by 'to'.If that rule is followed then all the options present here are wrong.Is there something that I am missing here?

You might want to think about how that tone presents itself.

This question is official. The answer is correct.

Many verbs can take both the infinitive and the command subjunctive.

Advised is one of those verbs.

You may have misunderstood what you heard or read; perhaps e-gmat teaches that "advise" can take both.

The material may be incorrect. Every expert on every site makes mistakes. No book of "GMAT Grammar" exists. We all work hard (really hard) to stay on top of what GMAC has done, is doing, and will do; mistakes are inevitable.

If you find an official example that contradicts something that an expert or test prep company author writes, do not question the official answer. GMAC decides what is correct on the GMAT.

Categorizing verbs that can take the command subjunctive is not easy, but here is a good general description:
Verbs that command, order, require, suggest or demand are "bossy" verbs.

This list contains a few of many sources that include advise in the list of command subjunctive (or mandative subjunctive or present subjunctive):
• GMAC: this question
bb , founder of GMAT Club, HERE
KAPLAN, here
• John Lawler, Professor Emeritus, Linguistics, University of Michigan, whose name should meaning nothing so you'll just have to take my word for it that he's good or take a look at one of his profiles HERE
ADVISE is included in what he calls "present subjunctive" in this post, here on English Language and Usage Stack Exchange. (That site is dominated by grammarians, linguists, writers, editors, and scholars of English. I have been a member for a long time. He's good.)
In the post to which I linked, look in the orange box for 1) Transitive impositive communication verbs

Advise can be followed by both an infinitive or a that-clause in the subjunctive construction.

I hope that helps.
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Re: The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many  [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2018, 13:00
The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many business consultants therefore advise that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse to take calls from likely corporate raiders.

(A) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse (even refuse looks wrong)

(B) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding such offers be to refuse even (looks fine)

(C) a company defending itself against offers of this kind that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse (wordy)

(D) companies which are defending themselves against such an offer that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse (wordy + same mistake as A)

(E) that the first line of defense for a company who is eluding offers like these is the refusal even (passive)
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Re: The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many  [#permalink]

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02 Jan 2019, 23:41
generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 22 Sentence Correction (SC1)

The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many business consultants therefore advise that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse to take calls from likely corporate raiders.

(A) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse

(B) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding such offers be to refuse even

(C) a company defending itself against offers of this kind that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse

(D) companies which are defending themselves against such an offer that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse

(E) that the first line of defense for a company who is eluding offers like these is the refusal even

NOTE: BEST or EXCELLENT answers must include the meaning of this sentence.
Please state the meaning in your own words. Merely repeating what you think is the correct answer
does not constitute "the meaning in your own words."

The best or excellent answers get kudos, which will be awarded after the answer is revealed.

A - like is wrong for examples - incorrect

B - Seems good- correct usage of such as and subjunctive verb "BE" - correct

C- that should be there after advise - incorrect

D - same as C

E - how can who refers to company - incorrect
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Re: The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many  [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2019, 19:22
What is the sructure behind "in eluding such offers be to refuse"?
Why "to" between "be" and "refuse"?
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Re: The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many  [#permalink]

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04 Jul 2019, 12:59
According to egmat 'advise' is an infinitive verb.It should be followed by 'to'.If that rule is followed then all the options present here are wrong.Is there something that I am missing here?
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Re: The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many  [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2019, 23:11
1
generis wrote:
Quote:
(B) The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many business consultants therefore advise that a company’s first line of defense in eluding such offers be to refuse even to take calls from likely corporate raiders.

nurba92 wrote:
What is the sructure behind "in eluding such offers be to refuse"?
Why "to" between "be" and "refuse"?

nurba92 , I don't know how to answer this question without jargon.

I can't tell whether you are familiar with command subjunctive structure. I think not. That fact is just fine. Many people, natives included, have never heard of it.

In English, certain verbs are considered "bossy."

We use those verbs, at times, in special ways.
-- I demand that he give me back my wallet!
-- The trip advisor suggested that we be careful in one area of the country.
-- I advised that he not take that boring class.

Experts on this site often say, I recommend that you review ...

The structure can seem very strange, but it is predictable. I give you the structure below.

I think answering will be easier if I change your question just a little.

What is the structure behind
"advise that the [first line of defense] in eluding such offers be to refuse [to answer calls from likely raiders]?

(in eluding such offers is not the strategy.)

The structure is
bossy verb + THAT + subject + BE (bare infinitive)
+ subject complement (in the form of an infinitive phrase that acts as a noun).

We need the "to" in order to make a noun. TO REFUSE is a noun. (Stand by.)
The analysts say that the first line of defense should be: What?
The first line of defense should be to refuse to answer the phone!
TO REFUSE is an infinitive that acts as a noun.

We need a noun, in turn, because "BE" is a linking verb that requires a subject complement.**

Basic structure - command subjunctive
bossy verb + THAT + subject + bare infinitive

+ THAT
+ subject: a company's first line of defense
+ bare infinitive: BE
(from to be, simply remove the word to)

Analysts advise that the company's first line of defense BE. That's nice. BE what?

The rest of the sentence

Whatever is coupled with a form of the TO BE verb is called a subject complement, which can be a noun, pronoun, or adjective.

So the verb BE needs a subject complement.

The company's first line of defense must be . . . WHAT?
what = to refuse (refusing) to answer calls

to refuse even to take calls from likely raiders is an infinitive phrase that acts as noun.

Finally, see my post above, here for links to material on the command subjunctive structure.

Here is a similar example:
When the player hurt her leg badly, the team's doctor-trainer advised that the first step in treating the injury be to stabilize the knee and ankle with separate splints.

I hope that helps.

**
A subject complement can be a noun, pronoun, or adjective.

A noun or pronoun as a subject complement identifies or names the subject.
She is a writer, editor, and professor. (noun)

[i]The first line of defense IS to refuse to answer all calls.
(noun)
The winner is you! (pronoun)

An adjective as a subject complement describes the subject.
The first line of defense IS simple. (adjective)

Now combine command subjunctive and subject complement:
I insist that you BE my guest at the gala.

Many thanks, this structure was confusing for me, though it is structurally correct. I just couldn't get on with "to refuse" acting as an object.
Furthermore, the structure wanted me to get confused, placing to refuse right after the command mode

Posted from my mobile device
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The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2019, 00:15
nurba92 wrote:
Many thanks, this structure was confusing for me, though it is structurally correct. I just couldn't get on with "to refuse" acting as an object.
Furthermore, the structure wanted me to get confused, placing to refuse right after the command mode

Posted from my mobile device
nurba92

I agree: The structure is a menace. I am glad we outwitted that pesky structure.

Too funny. Thanks. I needed the laugh.
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Re: The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many  [#permalink]

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04 Oct 2019, 04:07
(A) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse

(B) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding such offers be to refuse even

(C) a company defending itself against offers of this kind that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse

(D) companies which are defending themselves against such an offer that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse

(E) that the first line of defense for a company who is eluding offers like these is the refusal even
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The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many  [#permalink]

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07 Oct 2019, 02:16
generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 22 Sentence Correction (SC1)

The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many business consultants therefore advise that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse to take calls from likely corporate raiders.

(A) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding offers like these be to even refuse

(B) that a company’s first line of defense in eluding such offers be to refuse even

(C) a company defending itself against offers of this kind that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse

(D) companies which are defending themselves against such an offer that, as a first line of defense, they should even refuse

(E) that the first line of defense for a company who is eluding offers like these is the refusal even

NOTE: BEST or EXCELLENT answers must include the meaning of this sentence.
Please state the meaning in your own words. Merely repeating what you think is the correct answer
does not constitute "the meaning in your own words."

The best or excellent answers get kudos, which will be awarded after the answer is revealed.

Obvious error:
1- It should be refuse even to take calls
2- advise.. be way of subjunctive mood

B: wow. corrects the error and handles subjunctive effeciently
C&D: same as 1. D also uses which in wrong sense. Rejected
E: who for a company. Rejected

IMO B
The odds are about 4 to 1 against surviving a takeover offer, and many   [#permalink] 07 Oct 2019, 02:16
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