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While depressed property values can hurt some large

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While depressed property values can hurt some large [#permalink]

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While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose equity - in many cases representing a life's savings - can plunge or even disappear.

(A) they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose
(B) they can potentially devastate homeowners in that their
(C) for homeowners they are potentially devastating, because their
(D) for homeowners, it is potentially devastating in that their
(E) it can potentially devastate homeowners, whose
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they ar [#permalink]

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amitdesai16 wrote:
While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose equity —in many cases representing a life's savings—can plunge or even disappear.

(A) they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose
(B) they can potentially devastate homeowners in that their
(C) for homeowners they are potentially devastating, because their
(D) for homeowners, it is potentially devastating in that their
(E) it can potentially devastate homeowners, whose

Can someone please answer this and explain me the rationale? Thank you

they/it antecedent is the plural "depressed property values," so eliminate DE.

"their equity" in C is probably intended to mean "homeowners' equity. But the problem is that "they" has already been used to refer to "values." Multiple uses of the same pronoun must have the same antecedent, or ambiguity is created. Eliminate C.

OK: Dogs are wonderful pets; for epileptics they are potentially lifesaving, because their senses can often detect the coming of a seizure before any signs are visible to humans. (Both pronouns refer to dogs; the double use actually emphasizes this correct meaning.)

Not OK: Dogs are wonderful pets; for epileptics they are potentially lifesaving, because their seizures can often occur with no signs visible to humans. (It is unclear whether "their" refers to dogs or epileptics; the double use of the pronoun actually emphasizes the wrong meaning: dogs' seizures.)

Similar ambiguity about "in that their" in B: values' equity or homeowners' equity? Also, that phrase is not great idiomatically.

A is correct. "Whose" clearly refers to the "homeowners" before the comma, due to placement and the fact that "who/whose" must refer to people, not things.
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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they ar [#permalink]

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amitdesai16 wrote:
Thank you for the quick response.

However, a clarification between A and B is the usage of word "can" vs "are" - any thoughts related to this or this doesn't matter really?

There is certainly a meaning difference between "can" and "are." Consider the difference between "Some birds can talk" (i.e. it is possible) and "some birds are talking" (i.e. right now). I think that difference is of minimal importance in this GMAT question because "potentially" in all choices conveys the "it is possible" meaning.

Ekin4112 wrote:
Would "they" confuse as some large investors as to depressed property values?

Can someone explain to that?

Pronouns don't follow a strict proximity rule (i.e. the antecedent isn't automatically the closest noun, or even the closest preceding noun).

While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they are potentially devastating for homeowners...

Here, "values" and "they" are used the same way: as subjects of the verbs "can hurt" and "are...devastating." Note that these verbs are parallel, both in tense (present) and meaning.

In contrast, "large investors" are the object of the verb, more similar to "(for) homeowners" than to "they." So, the GMAT would not consider this pronoun confusing.
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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large [#permalink]

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'E' & 'D' are out, 'it' can't refer to plural 'depressed property values'.

'C' is out since there is no clear antecedent for 'their'.

in 'B', 'in that their' appears awkward & also same problem as in 'C' for 'their'.


'A' it should be. (also, 'whose' clearly refers to homeowners)

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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they ar [#permalink]

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While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose equity - in many cases representing a life's savings - can plunge or even disappear.

A. they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose
B. they can potentially devastate homeowners in that their
C. for homeowners they are potentially devastating, because their
D. for homeowners, it is potentially devastating in that their
E. it can potentially devastate homeowners, whose


Again SV agreement is tested here, also pronouns. Also look out for redundancy in answer choices.

in A we need to make sure that the pronoun ''they'' is used correctly as we have tow plurals in the sentence before pronoun reference ''property values'' and ''large investors''

they cannot refer to large investors coz it cannot modify the noun just preceeding it. TOO CLOSE to be be an antecedent we say it.
While in C ''they'' can refer either to large investors or to property values because now it's seperated from large investors and not TOO CLOSE.

So C is OUT.
B has redundancy and also SV.. what does ''their'' reffering to?? OUT
D & E have SV agreement.. use of IT.


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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large [#permalink]

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Answer Choice: A

B-'in that their' is too wordy and awkward

C &D -'for' is too confusing as a conjunction

E-'it' is unclear

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While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they ar [#permalink]

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While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose equity —in many cases representing a life's savings—can plunge or even disappear.

(A) they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose
(B) they can potentially devastate homeowners in that their
(C) for homeowners they are potentially devastating, because their
(D) for homeowners, it is potentially devastating in that their
(E) it can potentially devastate homeowners, whose

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Can someone please answer this and explain me the rationale? Thank you

Last edited by broall on 24 Sep 2017, 08:35, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they ar [#permalink]

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karun0109 wrote:
esledge wrote:
amitdesai16 wrote:
Thank you for the quick response.

However, a clarification between A and B is the usage of word "can" vs "are" - any thoughts related to this or this doesn't matter really?

There is certainly a meaning difference between "can" and "are." Consider the difference between "Some birds can talk" (i.e. it is possible) and "some birds are talking" (i.e. right now). I think that difference is of minimal importance in this GMAT question because "potentially" in all choices conveys the "it is possible" meaning.

Ekin4112 wrote:
Would "they" confuse as some large investors as to depressed property values?

Can someone explain to that?

Pronouns don't follow a strict proximity rule (i.e. the antecedent isn't automatically the closest noun, or even the closest preceding noun).

While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they are potentially devastating for homeowners...

Here, "values" and "they" are used the same way: as subjects of the verbs "can hurt" and "are...devastating." Note that these verbs are parallel, both in tense (present) and meaning.

In contrast, "large investors" are the object of the verb, more similar to "(for) homeowners" than to "they." So, the GMAT would not consider this pronoun confusing.


While I understand that pronouns are correctly used only in option A, I believe Option A is not parallel.
While depressed rates hurt large investors they are devastating to.... there seems to be a comparison. Hence, should the two not be parallel i.e. since hurt is given, the correct option must have devastate. Am I missing something or do pronouns trump parallelism?


Hii karun.
We need to remember that just as looks dont matter in the real world, looks of the words dont count much. In option A, the subject of hurt is "Depressed property values". But if we look on the second clause, "they are potentially devastating" modifies "Depresses property values"
This can be made very clear by looking at an official question.
Scientists have recently discovered what could be the largest and oldest living organism on Earth, a giant fungus that is an interwoven filagree of mushrooms and rootlike tentacles spawned by a single fertilized spore some 10,000 years ago and extending for more than 30 acres in the soil of a Michigan forest.

In this example, both "spawned" and "extending" modify "rootlike tentacles".
Hope that helps.
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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they ar [#permalink]

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While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose equity - in many cases representing a life's savings - can plunge or even disappear.

A. they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose
B. they can potentially devastate homeowners in that their
C. for homeowners they are potentially devastating, because their
D. for homeowners, it is potentially devastating in that their
E. it can potentially devastate homeowners, whose

Can you please the sentence construction of this question? I chose option (B), but couldn't understand why it is wrong. Which concept is being tested in this question?

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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they ar [#permalink]

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umeshpatil wrote:
While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose equity - in many cases representing a life's savings - can plunge or even disappear.

A. they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose
B. they can potentially devastate homeowners in that their
C. for homeowners they are potentially devastating, because their
D. for homeowners, it is potentially devastating in that their
E. it can potentially devastate homeowners, whose

Can you please the sentence construction of this question? I chose option (B), but couldn't understand why it is wrong. Which concept is being tested in this question?


Hii Umesh.
Note that there is a 3:2 split between the usage of "they" and "it". By choosing the correct split you can raise the probability of selecting the right answer from 20% to 33.3%.
Since "it" cannot modify any noun here, hence D and E are straightaway eliminated.
In A, "whose" modifies the homeowners and hence eliminates the ambiguity.
In B and C, there is an ambiguity in that these choice use "they" which can refer to any of the available plural entity.
Also B has a redundancy issue in that it uses "can" and "potentially" together.
Concept tested: SVA and Redundancy
Hope that helps.
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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they ar [#permalink]

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sdas wrote:
While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose equity - in many cases representing a life's savings - can plunge or even disappear

A. ......
B. they can potentially devastate homeowners in that their
C. for homeowners they are potentially devastating, because their
D. for homeowners, it is potentially devastating in that their
E. it can potentially devastate homeowners , whose


B. they can potentially devastate homeowners in that their
"in that their equity" is not idiomatic
C. for homeowners they are potentially devastating, because their
"their" is refer to "homeowners" or to "depressed property values". not clear

the subject is "depressed property values": plural. "it" is wrong
D. for homeowners, it is potentially devastating in that their
E. it can potentially devastate homeowners , whose

IMO A
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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large [#permalink]

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OA is A for sure and Forum Moderators can Lock it. Thanks!
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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large [#permalink]

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You are correct that the OA is A. This question is a really good example of shifting pronoun antecedents. Pronoun ambiguity isn't a big issue with the GMAT anymore, but shifting a pronoun's antecedent is incorrect...

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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they ar [#permalink]

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While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose equity--in many cases representing a life's savings--can plunge or even disappear.

A) they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose
B) they can potentially devastate homeowners in that their
C) for homeowners they are potentially devastating, because their
D) for homeowners, it is potentially devastating in that their
E) it can potentially devastate homeowners, whose


Hi, I added this question, because other posts didn't attach the OA.

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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large [#permalink]

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shonakshi wrote:
Is they not pointing towards large investors :? Can someone plz explain?


While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose equity - in many cases representing a life's savings - can plunge or even disappear.

No, here "They" logically refers to depressed property values.

Do you think, large investors can be potentially devastating for homeowners w.r.t. to sentence intended meaning.

Here is how we check pronoun antecedent.

In an accident, the car hit the tree, but its engine was not severely damaged.

here, only logical antecedent for its is car. It can not be Tree because tree doesn't has go engine.

I hope this clears your doubt

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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large [#permalink]

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AR15J wrote:
If answer E would be - they can potentially devastate homeowners, whose


Will it be correct?


No, it won't be. "Can" is already stating a possibility so "can potentially" is redundant.

Hope this helps.
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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large [#permalink]

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pranav6082 wrote:
AR15J wrote:
If answer E would be - they can potentially devastate homeowners, whose


Will it be correct?


No, it won't be. "Can" is already stating a possibility so "can potentially" is redundant.

Hope this helps.

Google returns millions of results for 'can potentially', and many from reliable sources, too. It does sound a bit redundant, but I doubt GMAT would base a question on this subtle a split.

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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large [#permalink]

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seanick wrote:
pranav6082 wrote:
AR15J wrote:
If answer E would be - they can potentially devastate homeowners, whose


Will it be correct?


No, it won't be. "Can" is already stating a possibility so "can potentially" is redundant.

Hope this helps.

Google returns millions of results for 'can potentially', and many from reliable sources, too. It does sound a bit redundant, but I doubt GMAT would base a question on this subtle a split.


GMAT prefers concise and clear sentence construction. It may be true in general English, but from the aspect of GMAT it is redundant.
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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2005, 09:39
A it is..

You need an independent clause to join a depenedent clause stared with while conjunction.

ISINT THIS QUESTION FROM OG. I HAVE SEEN IT SOMEWHERE...

(A) they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose
- whose correctly modifies homeowners... and they refer to values(plural subject)
(B) they can potentially devastate homeowners in that their
- wrong use of their.... OUT... in that is also wordy and used wrong
(C) for homeowners they are potentially devastating, because their
- need IC, their again created ambiguity...
(D) for homeowners, it is potentially devastating in that their
- it is singular and can not refer to VALUES
(E) it can potentially devastate homeowners, whose
- same problem as D

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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2005, 11:56
What the heck is going on with you guys?

Himalaya, come on. how can A change the meaning?

B changes the meaning... lets break B

the problem words in this question are THEY and THEIR.

in B, they refer to "property values", and THEIR refer to homeowners,
How is it possible? doesnt sound like their refers to "property values" too.
Moreover, in that their is just unidiomatic, clumsy and wordy.

Noone can beat A..

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Re: While depressed property values can hurt some large   [#permalink] 07 Aug 2005, 11:56

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