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V02-25

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New post 16 Sep 2014, 00:57
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59% (00:56) correct 41% (00:51) wrong based on 51 sessions

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In the 1980s computer books’ sales accounted for approximately 4% of operating profits of a typical publishing company; in the 2000s this proportion increased to 40%.

A. company; in the 2000s this proportion increased to 40%.
B. company; in the 2000s they increased by 40%.
C. company, in the 2000s they increased to 40%.
D. company; increasing to 40% in the 2000s.
E. company, which increased to 40% in the 2000s.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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New post 16 Sep 2014, 00:57
Official Solution:

In the 1980s computer books’ sales accounted for approximately 4% of operating profits of a typical publishing company; in the 2000s this proportion increased to 40%.

A. company; in the 2000s this proportion increased to 40%.
B. company; in the 2000s they increased by 40%.
C. company, in the 2000s they increased to 40%.
D. company; increasing to 40% in the 2000s.
E. company, which increased to 40% in the 2000s.

The use of semicolon the first sentence is correct as it connects two closely related clauses. The comparison made is also contextually and grammatically correct. “In the 1980s” is correctly compared with “in the 2000s” and both are grammatically parallel. The use of “this proportion” unambiguously refers to the proportion of “computer books sales” in the first part of the sentence.
  1. CORRECT. This answer choice is correct as explained above.
  2. This answer choice contains two errors. First, the phrase “increased by 40%” incorrectly changes the meaning of the original sentence, implying that “40%” indicates the relative magnitude of the increase rather than the new proportion of “advertising revenues” in the structure of “operating profits.” Second, the pronoun “they” is ambiguous and does not have a clear antecedent and could refer to either “operating profits” or “computer books’ sales.”
  3. The comma is incorrectly used to join two independent clauses, thus making the sentence run-on. rather than with a semicolon or with a connecting conjunction. Further, the pronoun “they” lacks a clear antecedent and could be interpreted to refer either “operating profits” or “computer books’ sales.”
  4. This answer choice incorrectly uses a semicolon to connect two clauses, only one of which can stand alone. The phrase “increasing to 40% in the 1980s” is not an independent clause and cannot follow the semicolon. Furthermore, by moving the time reference “in the 2000s” from the beginning of the second clause to the end, this answer choice violates parallelism with the non-underlined portion of the sentence that begins with another time reference “In the 1980s.”
  5. “Which” is used incorrectly; clauses introduced by the relative pronoun “which” can refer only to the immediately preceding noun. In this case, the relative pronoun “which” refers to “a typical book publishing company,” thus illogically suggesting that “a typical book publishing company” was the subject of the increase. Finally, by moving the time reference “in the 2000s” from the beginning of the second clause to the end, this answer choice does not maintain parallel structure with the non-underlined portion of the sentence that begins with the time reference “In the 1980s.”

Answer: A
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Collection of Questions:
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New post 01 Apr 2016, 16:28
Please fix the underlined portion in the question.

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Re: V02-25 [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2016, 06:29
how does this proportion ambiguously refer to computer book sales?why cant it refer to Operation profits?
Logically it refers to computer book sales,but other wise how do we say it refers to book sales.
chetan2u

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New post 20 Aug 2016, 07:17
goforgmat wrote:
how does this proportion ambiguously refer to computer book sales?why cant it refer to Operation profits?
Logically it refers to computer book sales,but other wise how do we say it refers to book sales.
chetan2u


There is only one proportion given in the first part of the sentence - 4%. Sales cannot be referred as proportion and moreover there are no figures (proportions or absolute amounts) given for sales. Thus "this proportion" unambiguously refers to the only one, "4%", mentioned in the sentence.

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New post 20 Aug 2016, 07:26
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FacelessMan wrote:
Please fix the underlined portion in the question.


fixed - thank you.

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New post 28 Oct 2017, 11:17
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I agree that A is correct. However with due respect, I tend to partially disagree with the OE on C.

Option C:
1. I agree that comma cannot join two independent clauses, and hence a good reason to eliminate this answer choice. However,
2. I don't think antecedent of "they" is ambiguous here. We are dealing with percentages, and "operating profits" is the denominator. By saying that a denominator figure is increased to 40% is meaningless (40% of what?? ). It can either decrease "to" 40% (of itself) or increase "by" 40%(of itself). So, "they" cannot refer to "operation projects" when we say "increase to 40%". That means "they" is unambiguously referring to "sales" only.

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