The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had

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06 Nov 2012, 10:02
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The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had long been expected to announce a reduction in output to bolster sagging oil prices, but officials of the organization just recently announced that the group will pare daily production by 1.5 million barrels by the beginning of next year, but only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were to trim output by a total of 500,000 barrels a day.

A.year, but only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were to trim output
B.year, but only if the output of non-OPEC nations, which includes Norway, Mexico, and Russia, is trimmed
C.year only if the output of non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, would be trimmed
D.year only if non-OPEC nations, which includes Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were trimming output
E.year only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, trim output

OA after some discussion
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by Harley1980 on 28 Jun 2015, 05:24, edited 1 time in total.
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06 Nov 2012, 10:51
Jp27 wrote:
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had long been expected to announce a reduction in output to bolster sagging oil prices, but officials of the organization just recently announced that the group will pare daily production by 1.5 million barrels by the beginning of next year, but only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were to trim output by a total of 500,000 barrels a day.

A.year, but only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were to trim output
B.year, but only if the output of non-OPEC nations, which includes Norway, Mexico, and Russia, is trimmed
C.year only if the output of non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, would be trimmed
D.year only if non-OPEC nations, which includes Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were trimming output
E.year only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, trim output

OA after some discussion

I went with B but I was split on the usage of including vs includes. Could someone elaborate on the difference between the two?
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07 Nov 2012, 13:30
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Jp27 wrote:
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had long been expected to announce a reduction in output to bolster sagging oil prices, but officials of the organization just recently announced that the group will pare daily production by 1.5 million barrels by the beginning of next year, but only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were to trim output by a total of 500,000 barrels a day.

(A) year, but only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were to trim output
(B) year, but only if the output of non-OPEC nations, which includes Norway, Mexico, and Russia, is trimmed
(C) year only if the output of non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, would be trimmed
(D) year only if non-OPEC nations, which includes Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were trimming output
(E) year only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, trim output

I'm happy to help with this.

First of all, Jp27, I appreciate that you want to post the OA after some discussion, but when you post a question, please specify a source. There are many many sources of GMAT SC questions --- some of them (e.g. MGMAT) are exemplary, and some of them are pure trash.

In this question, I would beginning by simplifying just to get a sense of the layout ......
OPEC has been expected to cut output, BUT they said they would cut output ....
That first "but" (in the phrase "but officials of the organization ...") is a strong contrast, and without the end of the sentence, it doesn't make sense --- they were expected to cut output, and they announce they were cutting output --- what's the contrast? The contrast only makes sense if we place a condition in the next part of the sentence "only if"
They were expected to do X, BUT they announce they were going to do X only if blah blah.
The second "but" is awkward and logically incorrect --- both (A) & (B) begin that second phrase with an additional "but" ----
They were expected to do X, BUT they announce they were going to do X but only if blah blah.
That's just plain wrong. (A) and (B) are both out right away.

That leaves us with (C) & (D) & (E). Choice (C) has an awkward and questionably correct construction
"...only if the output .... would be trimmed ..."
First of all, this is passive --- never a boon on GMAT SC. Furthermore, it's in the subjunctive, suggesting a hypothetical situation. See this post for more on the subjunctive mood.
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... ive-tense/
In this particular sentence, there is nothing hypothetical or theoretical! OPEC is playing hardball --- we'll cut output only if you guys cut output. Imagine two people facing some kind of challenge --- eating a jalapeno pepper, jumping a motorcycle over a gulley, etc. ---- person A might say, "I'm going to do it only if you do it." In other words, that language would be very practical and direct. Person A would never say "I am going to do it only if this would be done by you." This latter form is exactly what we have in (C). Choice (C) is an unmitigated disaster that should be taken out back and shot. It is completely wrong.

(D) is active, but it's still in the subjunctive, which suggests contrary-to-fact or hypothetical situation. This is not at all appropriate for the nature of his situation, which involves a challenge --- yeah, we'll cut output, but only if you do also. OPEC is implicitly issuing a challenge to non-OPEC oil producers. A challenge always involves direct simple clear language. We need the simple present test.

(E) is the only one that phrases things in the simple present tense ....
"... only if non-OPEC nations ... trim output..."
It's clear and direct, grammatically correct, and appropriate to the emotional tone of the situation. This is by far the best answer.

Does all this make sense?

Mike
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07 Nov 2012, 13:55
Yes perfect sense.

A classic example of looking for the simple option. Passive voice is always horrible on GMAT and 'were trimming' is the wrong tense to match with the rest of the sentence.

Add that to the nasty double 'but' in a and b and we've got a winner.

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07 Nov 2012, 23:34
mikemcgarry wrote:
Jp27 wrote:
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had long been expected to announce a reduction in output to bolster sagging oil prices, but officials of the organization just recently announced that the group will pare daily production by 1.5 million barrels by the beginning of next year, but only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were to trim output by a total of 500,000 barrels a day.

(A) year, but only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were to trim output
(B) year, but only if the output of non-OPEC nations, which includes Norway, Mexico, and Russia, is trimmed
(C) year only if the output of non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, would be trimmed
(D) year only if non-OPEC nations, which includes Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were trimming output
(E) year only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, trim output

I'm happy to help with this.

First of all, Jp27, I appreciate that you want to post the OA after some discussion, but when you post a question, please specify a source. There are many many sources of GMAT SC questions --- some of them (e.g. MGMAT) are exemplary, and some of them are pure trash.

In this question, I would beginning by simplifying just to get a sense of the layout ......
OPEC has been expected to cut output, BUT they said they would cut output ....
That first "but" (in the phrase "but officials of the organization ...") is a strong contrast, and without the end of the sentence, it doesn't make sense --- they were expected to cut output, and they announce they were cutting output --- what's the contrast? The contrast only makes sense if we place a condition in the next part of the sentence "only if"
They were expected to do X, BUT they announce they were going to do X only if blah blah.
The second "but" is awkward and logically incorrect --- both (A) & (B) begin that second phrase with an additional "but" ----
They were expected to do X, BUT they announce they were going to do X but only if blah blah.
That's just plain wrong. (A) and (B) are both out right away.

That leaves us with (C) & (D) & (E). Choice (C) has an awkward and questionably correct construction
"...only if the output .... would be trimmed ..."
First of all, this is passive --- never a boon on GMAT SC. Furthermore, it's in the subjunctive, suggesting a hypothetical situation. See this post for more on the subjunctive mood.
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... ive-tense/
In this particular sentence, there is nothing hypothetical or theoretical! OPEC is playing hardball --- we'll cut output only if you guys cut output. Imagine two people facing some kind of challenge --- eating a jalapeno pepper, jumping a motorcycle over a gulley, etc. ---- person A might say, "I'm going to do it only if you do it." In other words, that language would be very practical and direct. Person A would never say "I am going to do it only if this would be done by you." This latter form is exactly what we have in (C). Choice (C) is an unmitigated disaster that should be taken out back and shot. It is completely wrong.

(D) is active, but it's still in the subjunctive, which suggests contrary-to-fact or hypothetical situation. This is not at all appropriate for the nature of his situation, which involves a challenge --- yeah, we'll cut output, but only if you do also. OPEC is implicitly issuing a challenge to non-OPEC oil producers. A challenge always involves direct simple clear language. We need the simple present test.

(E) is the only one that phrases things in the simple present tense ....
"... only if non-OPEC nations ... trim output..."
It's clear and direct, grammatically correct, and appropriate to the emotional tone of the situation. This is by far the best answer.

Does all this make sense?

Mike

Yes Mike this makes sense. Thanks for your response.

Cheers
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08 Nov 2012, 10:14
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Hii Mike and Hii Plumber250,
isn't it true that we are not supposed to use participle modifiers with comma?
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08 Nov 2012, 11:27
Marcab wrote:
Hii Mike and Hii Plumber250,
isn't it true that we are not supposed to use participle modifiers with comma?

That rule is NOT true. That's too simplistic. Whether a comma should be used or not depends on whether the modifier is vital. See these two blogs:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/that-vs-which-on-the-gmat/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... modifiers/

Vital: The old man drinking a cup of coffee is a famous writer.

Non-vital: My good friend, drinking a cup of coffee, did not seem motivated to run 5K with me.

In the first sentence, the phrase is vital because it is helpful in identifying the subject. If we removed this modifier, that could make the identify of the subject less clear. In the second sentence, the subject is my good friend --- no ambiguity: the modifier is descriptive, but not needed to establish identity.

Does all this make sense?

Mike
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09 Nov 2012, 02:20
Hii Mike.
Actually I was confused because in the "belladona" question in which "including" was modifying the subject of the preceding clause, not the noun touching it.
After reviewing the context of these two questions, I realized that its the context that matters.
The rule that "comma+participle modifier is wrong" is unrealistic.
Thanks to you.
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29 May 2013, 00:18
mikemcgarry wrote:
Jp27 wrote:
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had long been expected to announce a reduction ...
(C) year only if the output of non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, would be trimmed
...
Choice (C) has an awkward and questionably correct construction
"[color=#0000ff]...only if the output .... would be trimmed ...
"
First of all, this is passive --- never a boon on GMAT SC. Furthermore, it's in the subjunctive, suggesting a hypothetical situation ...

Another reason why C is not the best choice is lack of parallelism:
C: ... officials of the organization just recently announced that the group will pare ... if the output ... would be trimmed.
E: ... officials of the organization just recently announced that the group will pare ... if non-OPEC nations ... trim output.
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28 Nov 2013, 02:04
Jp27 wrote:
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had long been expected to announce a reduction in output to bolster sagging oil prices, but officials of the organization just recently announced that the group will pare daily production by 1.5 million barrels by the beginning of next year, but only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were to trim output by a total of 500,000 barrels a day.

A.year, but only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were to trim output
B.year, but only if the output of non-OPEC nations, which includes Norway, Mexico, and Russia, is trimmed
C.year only if the output of non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, would be trimmed
D.year only if non-OPEC nations, which includes Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were trimming output
E.year only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, trim output

OA after some discussion

Good One; Ex. of IF….THEN, S-V agreement

Particular case (in future) no uncertainty;
If present THEN Future, Here the aforementioned formula is to be used like THEN Future IF present. Hence right answer B. You have also to be careful with the subject verb agreement as in the original sentence verb - were is used referring to the list of non-OPEC nations But in reality the subject of the Clause is -output, hence singular verb needed. Also BUT and ONLY IF show redundancy which needs to corrected by using only if.

Hope that helps

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30 Nov 2013, 05:46
A and B contain "but" which is not correct here.
C and D sound wordy to my ear -> I also took E.

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