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While high oil prices may be problematic for some trucking companies,

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While high oil prices may be problematic for some trucking companies, [#permalink]

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  45% (medium)

Question Stats:

54% (00:49) correct 46% (00:57) wrong based on 96 sessions

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While high oil prices may be problematic for some trucking companies, they may be disastrous for airlines, whose operations—already losing money—could be plunged into bankruptcy.


A. they may be disastrous for airlines, whose
B. they may potentially cause disaster for airlines in that their
C. for airlines they may be disastrous, because their
D. for airlines, it may be disastrous in that their
E. it may potentially cause disaster for airlines, whose
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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While high oil prices may be problematic for some trucking companies, [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2018, 13:02
I understand that we need to use "they" to refer to prices (plural) but isn't it then creating an ambiguity as "they" could refer to both prices and companies?
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Re: While high oil prices may be problematic for some trucking companies, [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2018, 01:02
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We don't always have ambiguity when there is more than one possible antecedent for a pronoun, as long as the intended antecedent is clear. Here, it's pretty clear that trucking companies aren't disastrous for airlines. This doesn't fit the overall meaning of the sentence, which contrasts the effect of oil prices on two different types of companies. Also, the structure of the sentence points us toward the correct antecedent. If we start a sentence with "While X does this, it," the expectation is that "it" refers back to the subject, "X," and we'd have to clarify if we intended anything else. This works the same for objects as for subjects. If I say "I like jam on toast, but I also like it by itself," the structure leads us to believe that "it" refers to the first object ("jam"), not the noun from the modifier ("toast"). If I mean that I like toast by itself, I need to supply that noun rather than use a pronoun. Here's a good official example: https://gmatclub.com/forum/by-offering- ... 35470.html

Speaking of official examples, the problem in this post is clearly inspired by this official question, so we can be sure this is just fine on the GMAT: https://gmatclub.com/forum/qotd-while-d ... 43182.html
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Re: While high oil prices may be problematic for some trucking companies,   [#permalink] 31 Jan 2018, 01:02
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While high oil prices may be problematic for some trucking companies,

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