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# The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had

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Joined: 23 Dec 2013
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19 May 2017, 08:27
duttsit wrote:
26. 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

A A sentence should not have two logical reversals ("but... but...").
B A sentence should not have two logical reversals ("but... but...").
C "Would" is in the subjunctive, but the actions here are not hypothetical.
D The past progressive emphasizes the continuous nature of a past action, but in this case the if clause demands a simple present verb ("If [present], then [future]").
E Correct.
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15 Jun 2017, 08:22
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

Hi,

1. Is the usage of 'which' in option B and D correct?
2. In option E, doesn't 'including Norway, Mexico, and Russia' modify 'non-OPEC nations' to suggest
that Norway, Mexico and Russia are part of non-OPEC nations.

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15 Jun 2017, 10:45
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Let me not go too deep into the topic trying to understand subjunctive possible hypotheticals etc.
Choices B and D are out because they both denote the plural 'nations' with a singular verb 'includes'. C is also out because we never use the verb "would be trimmed" in the 'if clause'. A is also out because the future tense 'will pare' in the main clause will not gel with the past conditional 'were' in the 'if clause'. This leaves us barely with E.
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15 Jun 2017, 11:35
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Expert's post
VishalOne wrote:
Hi,

1. Is the usage of 'which' in option B and D correct?
2. In option E, doesn't 'including Norway, Mexico, and Russia' modify 'non-OPEC nations' to suggest
that Norway, Mexico and Russia are part of non-OPEC nations.

Hello VishalOne,

1. In Choices B and D, the noun modifier which modifies the preceding noun entity non-OPEC nations. The modification is correct because per the context of the sentence Norway, Mexico, and Russia are non-OPEC nations. But because which stands for plural non-OPEC nations, use of singular verb includes for the subject which is incorrect.

2. Yes, your analysis about the role of including Norway, Mexico, and Russia is correct.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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11 Sep 2017, 03:37
Here the argument involves, subjective verb form as well as If..Then ..Else
If (condition)..Then (Outcome) , If (condition),(Outcome) and (Outcome),If (condition)

If (Simple Present)
- Then (Simple Present)
- Then (Simple Future)

If (Simple Past)
- Then (Simple Past)
- Would Verb

If (Simple Future)
- Then Would have verb

--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--

If Then Else Form - "Y ,If X"
the underline part is in Simple Future(y), so If clause should be in Simple Tense.

Hence E.

Kudos if you like my explanation.
Re: The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had   [#permalink] 11 Sep 2017, 03:37

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