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# To maintain a high demand for their product, the

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Director
Joined: 29 Jul 2006
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To maintain a high demand for their product, the [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2007, 12:41
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To maintain a high demand for their product, the manufacturers first took over the marketing and sales functions previously performed by outside agents; next, they began changingtheir advertising campaigns monthly to keep pace with the rapid changes in consumers’ lives.

(A) they began changing
(B) this began changing
(C) the former began changing
(D) to begin changing
(E) to change

What is 'they' referring to??...isn't it ambiguous??

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VP
Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 1344

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23 Jun 2007, 12:50
vineetgupta wrote:
To maintain a high demand for their product, the manufacturers first took over the marketing and sales functions previously performed by outside agents; next, they began changingtheir advertising campaigns monthly to keep pace with the rapid changes in consumers’ lives.

(A) they began changing
(B) this began changing
(C) the former began changing
(D) to begin changing
(E) to change

What is 'they' referring to??...isn't it ambiguous??

"They" correctly refers to the manufactures. We have 2 independent clauses here separated by ";". I pick A

Last edited by goalsnr on 23 Jun 2007, 13:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Senior Manager
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
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Location: Orange County, CA

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23 Jun 2007, 13:11
Quote:
To maintain a high demand for their product, the manufacturers first took over the marketing and sales functions previously performed by outside agents; next, they began changingtheir advertising campaigns monthly to keep pace with the rapid changes in consumers’ lives.

(A) they began changing
(B) this began changing
(C) the former began changing
(D) to begin changing
(E) to change

Hmmm, my guess would be A. However this troubles me b/c "they" could be referring back to 'the manufacturers' or 'outside agents'. Also, the semicolon indicates this should be a new sentence and should not reference any subject in the prior sentence. Still, the best answer out of the choices seems to be A.

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Director
Joined: 26 Feb 2006
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23 Jun 2007, 13:26
Himalayan wrote:
vineetgupta wrote:
To maintain a high demand for their product, the manufacturers first took over the marketing and sales functions previously performed by outside agents; next, they began changingtheir advertising campaigns monthly to keep pace with the rapid changes in consumers’ lives.

(A) they began changing
(B) this began changing
(C) the former began changing
(D) to begin changing
(E) to change

What is 'they' referring to??...isn't it ambiguous??

I would go for C. for me "they" is ambigious.

after re-reading the question, I guess I should move to A because two clauses are independent and the second clause starts with "next" that clearly tells that who is going to began changing.

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Manager
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23 Jun 2007, 22:36

Here they is referring to the manufacturers.

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Manager
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23 Jun 2007, 22:45
"by outside agent" is a preposotional phrase and not a subject, therefore they is clearly refering to manufacturers

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Director
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24 Jun 2007, 10:34
nehanishika wrote:
"by outside agent" is a preposotional phrase and not a subject, therefore they is clearly refering to manufacturers

Thats a common misconception...a preposition is always followed by a noun...so 'by' followed 'agents' means 'outside agents' is acting as a noun...so 'they' can refer to it...but in this case since its an Independent clause after semicolon 'they' has to refer to 'manufacturers'.

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Director
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24 Jun 2007, 20:23
use of semi-colons help us use 'they' to refer to the 'manufacturers'.
A.

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Manager
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27 Jun 2007, 19:19
'they' can't refer to agents...coz the sentence after semi-colon is an independent sentence and can stand on its own. And since we are talking about the actions of manufacturers so 'they' in the second part must refer to the manufacturers only..'agents' is not subject here.

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Manager
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27 Jun 2007, 19:23
My vote ges for A

'they' can't refer to agents...coz the sentence after semi-colon is an independent sentence and can stand on its own. And since we are talking about the actions of manufacturers so 'they' in the second part must refer to the manufacturers only..'agents' is not subject here. In totality, the sentence is telling about steps taken by manufactures (they)...first "they" did X and next "they" did Y.

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Senior Manager
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27 Jun 2007, 19:27
A.

They took over X (from agents), they began changing Y.

From agents is just a modifier.

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Senior Manager
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27 Jun 2007, 21:28
To maintain a high demand for their product, the manufacturers first took over the marketing and sales functions previously performed by outside agents; next, they began changingtheir advertising campaigns monthly to keep pace with the rapid changes in consumers’ lives.

(A) they began changing
(B) this began changing
(C) the former began changing
(D) to begin changing
(E) to change

What is 'they' referring to??...isn't it ambiguous??

It is A.

they refers to the manufacturers. It is quite clear as there is no other noun (person)mentioned in the sentence. Not ambigous

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27 Jun 2007, 21:28
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