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# The success of the new office development will depend not only on the

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The success of the new office development will depend not only on the  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 11 Dec 2018, 04:16
4
5
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Difficulty:

5% (low)

Question Stats:

84% (00:48) correct 16% (01:04) wrong based on 540 sessions

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The success of the new office development will depend not only on the architect’s skill in executing his vision of an innovative design, but also the legal team’s ability to exercise their claim of eminent domain to secure the waterfront property.

(A) also the legal team’s ability to exercise their claim of eminent domain to secure the waterfront property

(B) also the legal team’s ability to exercise its claim of eminent domain in securing the waterfront property

(C) also on the legal team’s ability to exercise its claim of eminent domain to secure the waterfront property

(D) also on the legal team’s ability to exercise their claim of eminent domain in securing the waterfront property

(E) on also the legal team’s ability to exercise its claim of eminent domain to secure the waterfront property

Day 3 Question of the Verbal Contest: Race Against the GMAT Club Timer
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Originally posted by souvik101990 on 11 Sep 2014, 09:07.
Last edited by Bunuel on 11 Dec 2018, 04:16, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: The success of the new office development will depend not only on the  [#permalink]

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12 Nov 2014, 07:47
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souvik101990 wrote:
The success of the new office development will depend not only on the architect’s skill in executing his vision of an innovative design, but also the legal team’s ability to exercise their claim of eminent domain to secure the waterfront property.

(A) also the legal team’s ability to exercise their claim of eminent domain to secure the waterfront property

(B) also the legal team’s ability to exercise its claim of eminent domain in securing the waterfront property

(C) also on the legal team’s ability to exercise its claim of eminent domain to secure the waterfront property

(D) also on the legal team’s ability to exercise their claim of eminent domain in securing the waterfront property

(E) on also the legal team’s ability to exercise its claim of eminent domain to secure the waterfront property

Now that the contest is over and this has appeared on the QOTD, I'll add my solution to this relatively easy question. Peeking at the answers, we see a few obvious changes:

1. "on" - Because this pronoun doesn't exist and then does and then moves around, we will likely deal with parallelism. Looking at the sentence, we see the "not only [A] but also [B]" structure, so this will govern the parallelism here ([A] and [B] must have the same structure). [A] is a prepositional phrase "on the architect's skill...", so [B] should be as well. With this we can eliminate answers A and B for not having prepositional phrases. We can also eliminate E because the structure is "not only on the architect's skill ... but on also the legal team's ability ..." and this splits up the prepositional phrase in an awkward way that also breaks parallelism.

2. "in securing"/"to secure" - We have to decide if an infinitive or a prepositional phrase with a gerund better fits the meaning. Almost always pick the infinitive over prepositional phrase containing a gerund. This is one of the few rules that you can actually follow 100% of the time without analyzing it. (Side note: don't always just eliminate "being", unless it is "to be" vs. "[preposition] being" - you should better analyze it any other time.) With this we can eliminate B and D.

Based on these alone, C must be the answer. However, there is also the "its"/"their" difference. For this, we need to find the referent of this pronoun and decide if it is singular or plural. So, what has a "claim of eminent domain to secure the waterfront property"? We only have a few potential nouns and all of them are singular, so we should choose "its", but I want to discuss this further because I think it creates a problematic meaning.

First, there are two fake nouns here. "architect's" and "legal team's" are NOT nouns because they are possessive. A pronoun cannot refer to either of them. See OG 13 #28 and #68 for more examples.

Second, there are a lot of nouns that cannot logically fit because they cannot have a claim of eminent domain. These are "success", "architect's skill", "his vision", "innovative design", "legal team's ability", and "eminent domain".

Third, "eminent domain" and "waterfront property" are problematic because they are part of the same phrase as the pronoun, so they cannot logically be the referent since otherwise they would be having claims to themselves.

The only remaining noun is the new office development. This might possibly have a claim to the waterfront property, but it's hard for me to make sense of that meaning because it hasn't been built yet. We are basically saying that a nonexistent building has a claim to the waterfront property that it might some day be built upon. In my opinion, that creates an invalid meaning, leaving us with a pronoun that doesn't have a defined referent. "it" probably should refer to the company who is undertaking this project, but that company is undefined here, creating an ambiguous pronoun (not because of too many potential referents, but because there is no referent). (Side note: don't eliminate an answer for an ambiguous pronoun unless you have exhausted all other possibilities - ambiguous means unclear, not wrong, and it is better to be unclear than wrong.)

It's possible that the author intended to have "its" and "their" refer to the legal team, since there might be singular/plural ambiguity because it is a collective noun. However, the legal team in this sentence is NOT a noun, so that would be invalid. If we wanted the pronoun to refer to the legal team, we could say "but also on the ability of the legal team to exercise its claim of eminent domain to secure the waterfront property". Now, "legal team" is a noun and a potential referent of "it".
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Re: The success of the new office development will depend not only on the  [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2014, 10:03
1
Parallelism helped to eliminate 3 answers from the start, then looked for the modifier.
Might get tricky if you look for parallel verb structure.
As mentioned before, a relatively easy question, if compared to Day 1 and Day 2. I doubt it is a 700 lvl question...

From what I got:
Taken: 11 Sep 2014, 12:55
Time: 00:45
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Re: The success of the new office development will depend not only on the  [#permalink]

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05 Aug 2015, 08:32
1
rest wrote:
The success of the new office development will depend not only on the
architect’s skill in executing his vision of an innovative design, but also the
legal team’s ability to exercise their claim of eminent domain to secure the
waterfront property.
(A) also the legal team’s ability to exercise their claim of eminent domain
to secure the waterfront property
(B) also the legal team’s ability to exercise its claim of eminent domain in
securing the waterfront property
(C) also on the legal team’s ability to exercise its claim of eminent domain
to secure the waterfront property
(D) also on the legal team’s ability to exercise their claim of eminent
domain in securing the waterfront property
(E) on also the legal team’s ability to exercise its claim of eminent domain
to secure the waterfront property

The Official Answer of B is incorrect.

The set up of "not only on" requires "but also on", thus answers A and B can be eliminated. Further, answer choice E has the "on" but lacks the parallel structure of the set up, so we are down to answer choices C and D. Now, the choice comes down to the pronoun "its" vs. "their" and this one is kind of tricky since the pronoun must refer back to the noun "legal name". Legal name is singular and thus, "its" is correct. The correct answer is C.
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Re: The success of the new office development will depend not only on the  [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2015, 02:36
VeritasPrepDennis
What does "its" refer to ?
to legal teams ability or to legal team
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Re: The success of the new office development will depend not only on the  [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2015, 05:20
rest wrote:
VeritasPrepDennis
What does "its" refer to ?
to legal teams ability or to legal team

rest -

"its" is a pronoun and refers back to "leagal team". Think of it this way - ask whose ability? The legal team's ability; Its ability.
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Re: The success of the new office development will depend not only on the  [#permalink]

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23 Dec 2018, 22:19
Hi

Can someone please explain why we chose option C over option D
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Re: The success of the new office development will depend not only on the  [#permalink]

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24 Jan 2020, 03:09
Veritas Prep use this question in Veritas Prep GMAT Sentence Correction Lesson (Part 3) on youtube, so it might be one of its questions and not GMATClub?

In that video, the presenter says that legal team is the antecedent for its. Goes against a rule I've seen elsewhere
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24 Jan 2020, 03:15
philipssonicare wrote:
Veritas Prep use this question in Veritas Prep GMAT Sentence Correction Lesson (Part 3) on youtube, so it might be one of its questions and not GMATClub?

In that video, the presenter says that legal team is the antecedent for its. Goes against a rule I've seen elsewhere

A possessive pronoun (its) can have a possessive antecedent.

Infact I have seen Official problems where in a subject/object pronoun also has a possessive antecedent. So I keep pronoun ambiguity at the end after eliminating using other options as is recommended by most experts here.
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Re: The success of the new office development will depend not only on the  [#permalink]

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24 Jan 2020, 04:59
Dear Friends,

Here is a detailed explanation to this question-

souvik101990 wrote:
The success of the new office development will depend not only on the architect’s skill in executing his vision of an innovative design, but also the legal team’s ability to exercise their claim of eminent domain to secure the waterfront property.

(A) also the legal team’s ability to exercise their claim of eminent domain to secure the waterfront property

(B) also the legal team’s ability to exercise its claim of eminent domain in securing the waterfront property

(C) also on the legal team’s ability to exercise its claim of eminent domain to secure the waterfront property

(D) also on the legal team’s ability to exercise their claim of eminent domain in securing the waterfront property

(E) on also the legal team’s ability to exercise its claim of eminent domain to secure the waterfront property

Choice A: This answer choice fails to maintain parallelism within the idiom "not only...but also"; the phrase "not only on" does not parallel the phrase "but also the legal team’s ability", due to the omission of the word "on". Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Choice B: This answer choice repeats the error found in Option A. Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Choice C: This answer choice maintains parallelism and subject-verb agreement throughout the sentence. Thus, this answer choice is correct.

Choice D: This answer choice displays subject-verb disagreement between the possessive noun "legal team's" and the pronoun "their". Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Choice E: This answer choice fails to maintain parallelism within the idiom "not only...but also"; the phrase "not only on" does not parallel the phrase "but on also the legal team’s ability," due to the change in position of the word "on". Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Hence, C is the best answer choice.

To understand the concept of "Possessive Pronouns can be Used with Possessive Nouns on GMAT", you may want to watch the following video (~2 minutes):

All the best!
Experts' Global Team
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Re: The success of the new office development will depend not only on the   [#permalink] 24 Jan 2020, 04:59
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