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With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to

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With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to  [#permalink]

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With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives trying to relieve the congestion that has led to at least four class-action lawsuits and thousands of complaints from frustrated customers.


(A) the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives trying to relieve

(B) the patience of its customers and its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives that try to relieve

(C) its network and the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try to relieve

(D) its network and with the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of initiatives to try relieving

(E) its network and its customers’ patience strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try relieving


The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2018
Practice Question
Sentence Correction
Question No.: 782

https://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/17/business/america-online-moves-to-placate-its-angry-users.html

With its network and the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point, America Online announced a series of new initiatives yesterday to try to relieve the congestion that has led to at least four class-action lawsuits and thousands of complaints from frustrated consumers.

Customer (Im)Patience

(A) Parallelism / Meaning (X and Y); Meaning (trying)

(B) Parallelism / Meaning (X and Y); Meaning (try)

(C) CORRECT

(D) Parallelism / Meaning (X and Y); Meaning (to try relieving)

(E) Meaning (to try relieving)


First glance

The sentence has only one word before the underline (with) and then splits between the patience and its network. The issue might have to do with Meaning, Sentence Structure, or some other issue that has to do with which noun to use after the word with.

Issues

(1) Parallelism / Meaning: X and Y

The opening part of the sentence contains the parallel structure X and Y. With the patience of its customers is the X element and with its network strained to the breaking point is the Y element.

Because the parallelism makes the two with prepositional phrases parallel, the part about strained to the breaking point appears to apply only to the Y element. If that is the case, though, then what does with the patience of its customers mean? The customers are actually patient? That doesn’t go along with the meaning of the rest of the sentence. Choice (D) reverses the order of network and customers but commits the same error: strained to the breaking point applies only to the patience of customers, not to the network.

In choice (B), the parallelism is between its customers and its network, implying that the customers and the network have patience. The latter is illogical.

Eliminate choices (A), (B), and (D) for faulty parallelism leading to an illogical meaning.

(2) Meaning: trying; try; to try relieving

The original sentence says that the company announced…initiatives trying to relieve the congestion. The initiatives were announced in order to try to relieve the congestion—the initiatives weren’t actually already in place at the moment that they were announced. Further, the initiatives themselves aren’t trying to do anything. The executives are perhaps trying to relieve the problem, but it’s illogical to say the initiatives are trying to do something. Eliminate choice (A) for faulty meaning.

Check the end of the remaining answers.

(B) company announced…initiatives that try to relieve the congestion

(C) company announced…initiatives to try to relieve the congestion

(D) company announced…initiatives to try relieving

(E) company announced…initiatives to try relieving

Answer (B) has a similar issue to answer (A). First, the present-tense try doesn’t match the meaning of the rest of the sentence, as the initiatives have not yet been launched. Second, the initiatives themselves are not trying to do something. Rather, the executives are introducing the initiatives in order to try to accomplish a certain goal. Eliminate choice (B) for faulty meaning.

Answers (D) and (E) also convey an inappropriate meaning. You might decide to try hang-gliding on your next vacation, but you wouldn’t decide to try getting a good score on the GMAT. Rather, you would decide to try to get a good score. The latter scenario indicates intent: you do something in order to try to get to a certain result. In that scenario, use try + infinitive. Eliminate choices (D) and (E) for faulty meaning.

The Correct Answer

Correct answer (C) fixes the parallelism problem by pulling both X and Y elements into one prepositional phrase: With (its network AND the patience of its customers) strained to the breaking point. In this case, strained to the breaking point can apply to both elements. This choice also uses the language to try to relieve in order to indicate intent: the company is taking action in order to try to achieve a certain result.

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Originally posted by AbdurRakib on 13 Jun 2017, 10:44.
Last edited by Bunuel on 23 Oct 2018, 00:53, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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AbdurRakib wrote:
With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives trying to relieve the congestion that has led to at least four class-action lawsuits and thousands of complaints from frustrated customers.

A. the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives trying to relieve
B. the patience of its customers and its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives that try to relieve
C. its network and the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try to relieve
D. its network and with the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of initiatives to try relieving
E. its network and its customers’ patience strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try relieving

Dear AbdurRakib

I'm happy to respond. :-)

I began focusing on the split at the end. The verb "try" most naturally takes the infinitive; "try" + [gerund] sounds casual. Also, the infinitive of purpose sounds more natural than a participle or a "that" clause. Therefore, (C) seems like the best choice.

Also, notice that we don't have to repeat the word "with," so (A) & (D) are out.

The phrase "its customers’ patience" in (E) is very awkward.

Rhetorically, when we have a preposition and then two elements, one long and one short, it often makes more sense to have the shorter one first so that we can see the relationship that both elements have to the preposition. Thus:
With its network and the patience of its customers = more preferable
With the patience of its customers and its network = less preferable

All of these work together to make (C) the best answer.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2018, 10:30
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Hello Everyone!

Let's take a look at this question, and narrow down the options quickly to find the correct answer! To get started, here is the original sentence with any major differences between each option highlighted in orange:

With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives trying to relieve the congestion that has led to at least four class-action lawsuits and thousands of complaints from frustrated customers.

(A) the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives trying to relieve
(B) the patience of its customers and its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives that try to relieve
(C) its network and the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try to relieve
(D) its network and with the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of initiatives to try relieving
(E) its network and its customers’ patience strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try relieving

After a quick glance over each option, only 2 major differences appear between each option:

1. The order of items in the beginning: customers + network / network + customers
2. Their endings: trying to relieve / that try to relieve / to try to relieve / to try relieving


#1 on our list will eliminate the most options quickly (either 2 or 3), so let's start there. Let's look at what each sentence means when we switch around the order of the customers and network:

With the patience of the customers and its network strained to the breaking point = the patience of the customers and the patience of its network

This is the WRONG option because it says that the patience of BOTH the customers and the network is strained, which doesn't make sense. The network is strained, but doesn't have the ability to be patient - it's not a person!

With its network and the patience of the customers strained to the breaking point = the network is strained and the patience of the customers is strained

This is the CORRECT option because it puts the emphasis on BOTH the network and the customers being strained, which is logical and true!

This means we can eliminate options A & B right away because they create an illogical parallel statement.

Now that we're left with only 3 options, let's tackle #2 on the list: their endings. For this, we need to know the difference between "to try to" and "try doing" something:

to try to do something = to put in an effort to do something you already know can be successful / "I want to try to learn the piano this year."
try doing something = to do something as an experiment; you're not sure it will be successful / "Try adding more salt to your cookie batter."

For this sentence, it makes the most sense to say that they company created initiative to try to relieve congestion because they know it's possible to do, but they just need to put in the effort. So let's see how each answer stacks up:

(C) its network and the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try to relieve

This option is CORRECT because the beginning of the phrase is in the correct order to make sense. It also uses the correct "to try to," which conveys the correct meaning that the company has to put in an effort to fix the problem they know can be fixed.

(D) its network and with the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of initiatives to try relieving

This option is INCORRECT because it uses the phrase "to try relieving," which suggests that the company isn't sure their initiatives will be possible or even work. It's much stronger to say "to try to" do something because it shows that success is definitely possible.

(E) its network and its customers’ patience strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try relieving

This option is INCORRECT for a couple reasons. First, it's not necessary to use the apostrophe in "customers'" because it's not being followed by a plural word (for example "customers' chairs" would be okay). It also uses the incorrect "to try relieving" which conveys the wrong meaning.

There you have it - option C is the correct answer!


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New post 29 Jun 2017, 08:23
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Can anyone explain what is wrong in B

Posted from my mobile device


Hi somtsat99 ,

B has two probelms :

1. "the patience of its customers and its network strained to the breaking point". It is trying to convey the meaning with the patience of a) its customers b) its network. This is illogical meaning. There is not patience of its network.

2. "the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives that try to relieve". Look at the word 'that'. It means initiatives were trying to relieve something. Hence, again Illogical.

I hope it makes sense. :)
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With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives trying to relieve the congestion that has led to at least four class-action lawsuits and thousands of complaints from frustrated customers.

A. the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives trying to relieve

B. the patience of its customers and its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives that try to relieve

C. its network and the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try to relieve
--> correct.

D. its network and with the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of initiatives to try relieving

E. its network and its customers’ patience strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try relieving
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New post 29 Jun 2017, 08:14
Can anyone explain what is wrong in B

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Re: With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2017, 01:35
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A brainstorm

The preposition 'with' is not underlined. From A to E, the modified noun namely -the on-line service company- is supposed to have announced something jointly with its network and the patience of its customers. In other words, what are the role of the network and the patience of the customers in the company announcing some plans? I feel that the company together with the network and the patience did not jointly announce the new plans, an altogether pointless perception.

Wouldn't be the use of a subordinate clause using the conjunction 'as" have been better to elucidate the intent better than the with as the modifier?

The amended theme: As the patience of its customers and its network got strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives
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New post 12 Jul 2017, 23:38
Can someone explain all the answers please?


Thanks in advance
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New post 13 Jul 2017, 09:05
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leshwarnag wrote:
Can someone explain all the answers please?

Thanks in advance

Dear leshwarnag,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, because I care about your learning, I am going to chide you. This is not a very good question that you have asked. Think about it. How much thought and time and effort did it take you to write this question? You might have written it and posted it in, say, 30 seconds. There are a few problems with this question. First of all, how is an expert such as myself supposed to know what you understand or don't understand? More importantly, it doesn't demonstrate a tremendous amount of commitment to yourself. You are expecting almost all the energy & effort that will contribute to your learning about this to come from outside of you. Many students have the dangerous misconception that education is something that teachers & schools & test prep experts DO to them: in this benighted view, the teachers & instructors are the actors and the students are just the passive recipients. In fact, this is completely the opposite of the truth. Your education is 100% your responsibility: it is something you do to yourself, for yourself, by yourself, with the help and support of teachers & experts.

My friend, I am very ambitious for you. I want to see you pursue excellent. One of the habits of excellence is the art of asking excellent questions. See:
Asking Excellent Questions

I am going to challenge you. Come back to this page, and read carefully through my post above and every other post on this page, and then explain in great detail exactly what you understand and what you don't understand. Doing so will make it easier for an expert to answer you, but much more important, you deepen your own understanding when you thoughtfully evaluate what you comprehend and what is still fuzzy for you, and this pre-work prompts your mind to integrate a response at a deeper level. Finally, when you are practicing the art of asking excellence questions, you are also practicing self-responsibility, and few characters traits will win you recognition & promotions in your career as genuine self-responsibility will. The pay-off of the art of asking excellent questions is absolutely huge and very easy for unambitious students to underestimate.

Ask the best question you can ask, and I will be happy to answer it.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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New post 29 Oct 2017, 07:06
Hi Mike,

I have one question. Preposition + noun + participle is not preferred in GMAT as too much of action jammed into single modifier.

But each option for this question has this "Preposition + noun + participle" - "With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point" modifier - is this correct?

Please help.

Thanks
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New post 29 Oct 2017, 11:57
hellosanthosh2k2 wrote:
Hi Mike,

I have one question. Preposition + noun + participle is not preferred in GMAT as too much of action jammed into single modifier.

But each option for this question has this "Preposition + noun + participle" - "With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point" modifier - is this correct?

Please help.

Thanks


Hi Mike
In your article written about the usage of above-mentioned sort of construction(With + Noun +Participle)the link for which I've shared, You've described 02 cases when these constructions would work. Link: https://magoosh.com/gmat/2015/with-noun ... orrection/
i Case I: action by a different agent, where "With + Noun +Participle" is always wrong as per the article.
II Case II: additional description: where the " With + Noun +Participle" phrase makes sense with the subject of the sentence and provides an additional description about it and the usage is correct.

However, I fail to see the usage of "With + Noun +Participle" in the problem of this thread falling into any of these categories. Kindly explain how the expression " With + Noun +Participle " makse sense with the clause here.
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New post 30 Oct 2017, 16:18
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muditagrawal wrote:
hellosanthosh2k2 wrote:
Hi Mike,

I have one question. Preposition + noun + participle is not preferred in GMAT as too much of action jammed into single modifier.

But each option for this question has this "Preposition + noun + participle" - "With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point" modifier - is this correct?

Please help.

Thanks


Hi Mike
In your article written about the usage of above-mentioned sort of construction(With + Noun +Participle)the link for which I've shared, You've described 02 cases when these constructions would work. Link: https://magoosh.com/gmat/2015/with-noun ... orrection/
i Case I: action by a different agent, where "With + Noun +Participle" is always wrong as per the article.
II Case II: additional description: where the " With + Noun +Participle" phrase makes sense with the subject of the sentence and provides an additional description about it and the usage is correct.

However, I fail to see the usage of "With + Noun +Participle" in the problem of this thread falling into any of these categories. Kindly explain how the expression " With + Noun +Participle " makse sense with the clause here.
Thanks

Dear muditagrawal & hellosanthosh2k2,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Yes, this is a good blog to cite:
with + [noun] + [participle] on GMAT Sentence Correction

Notice that the present participle is inherently active, so "with" + [noun] + [present participle] can sound like an action, and students may be tempted to use this as place to put action in a sentence. All the examples discussed in that blog involve present participles.

The past participle is inherently passive, so the "with" + [noun] + [past participle] structure is less likely to be construed as an action. Here, there is not really an action happening in the "with" clause, because the participle is a passive participle. This mitigates against classifying this as a Case I example. It's very hard to think of examples of the the "with" + [noun] + [past participle] structure that would be wrong. It's fine here.

Also--and this is something I discuss in that blog in the "One Test" section--does the fundamental logic of "with" obtain in this situation? Is the online company "with its network"? Yes, in some sense. Is the only company "with its customers"? Yes, in some sense. Is the only company "with the patience of its customers"? It sounds awfully odd to state it this way, but yes, theoretically, the company could be accompanies by the moral virtues of its customers. Fundamentally, there is nothing illogical about the use of the word "with."

Thus, this sentence is perfectly fine, and version (C) is the best version of it.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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New post 06 Jan 2018, 03:08
mikemcgarry wrote:
AbdurRakib wrote:
With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives trying to relieve the congestion that has led to at least four class-action lawsuits and thousands of complaints from frustrated customers.

A. the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives trying to relieve
B. the patience of its customers and its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives that try to relieve
C. its network and the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try to relieve
D. its network and with the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of initiatives to try relieving
E. its network and its customers’ patience strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try relieving

Dear AbdurRakib

I'm happy to respond. :-)

I began focusing on the split at the end. The verb "try" most naturally takes the infinitive; "try" + [gerund] sounds casual. Also, the infinitive of purpose sounds more natural than a participle or a "that" clause. Therefore, (C) seems like the best choice.

Also, notice that we don't have to repeat the word "with," so (A) & (D) are out.

The phrase "its customers’ patience" in (E) is very awkward.

Rhetorically, when we have a preposition and then two elements, one long and one short, it often makes more sense to have the shorter one first so that we can see the relationship that both elements have to the preposition. Thus:
With its network and the patience of its customers = more preferable
With the patience of its customers and its network = less preferable

All of these work together to make (C) the best answer.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)



Hello Mike!



Would you be so kind as to explain me why the clause starting with "that" in choice B is wrong?

What I specifically mean is that, being supposed that the company didn´t try to relieve the congestion through announcing those initiatives BUT that, in fact, those initiatives were the ones directed to try to relieve such congestion, I don´t understand why the "that" as a vital-noun modifier is wrong here.



Thanks for your time and your attention!
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New post 08 Jan 2018, 10:22
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RooIgle wrote:
Hello Mike!

Would you be so kind as to explain me why the clause starting with "that" in choice B is wrong?

What I specifically mean is that, being supposed that the company didn´t try to relieve the congestion through announcing those initiatives BUT that, in fact, those initiatives were the ones directed to try to relieve such congestion, I don´t understand why the "that" as a vital-noun modifier is wrong here.

Thanks for your time and your attention!

Dear RooIgle,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Think about it this way: who is doing the "trying"?

Of course, the "the on-line service company" is doing the "trying."

With this in mind, look at the answer choices.
(B) . . . the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives that try to relieve
(C) . . . the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try to relieve

Choice (C), in using the infinitive of purpose, correctly suggests that the "the on-line service company" is doing the "trying." By contrast, the "that" clause in (B) illogically suggests that the "series of new initiatives" is doing the "trying."

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2018, 13:03
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mikemcgarry wrote:

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Think about it this way: who is doing the "trying"?

Of course, the "the on-line service company" is doing the "trying."

With this in mind, look at the answer choices.
(B) . . . the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives that try to relieve
(C) . . . the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try to relieve

Choice (C), in using the infinitive of purpose, correctly suggests that the "the on-line service company" is doing the "trying." By contrast, the "that" clause in (B) illogically suggests that the "series of new initiatives" is doing the "trying."

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)



Seeing it that way it does start making sense to me.

Such action verbs as "try" have to correspond to an active subject. For example, the "that" would be correct if the sentence were "... a series of new initiatives that are oriented ..." and this is correct because the "initiatives" are "allowed" to be something but, as you well said, they cannot try anything because they are not able to carry out any actions in general.


Thanks for your response Mike. Very insightful! I´ll certainly apply it the next time :-)


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Re: With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2018, 16:39
for all answers, I can only find the mistakes using "try to do", are there any other points I have missed? Please explain.
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Re: With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2018, 11:33
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cicitang wrote:
for all answers, I can only find the mistakes using "try to do", are there any other points I have missed? Please explain.



Hello cicitang,

I am not sure if your doubt still persists. Here is the explanation nonetheless. :-)

Error in Choice A:

i. The parallel elements in this choice is:

    With the patience of its customers and
    with its network strained to the breaking point

The choice fails to convey that the patience of the customers also reached the breaking point.


Errors in Choice B:

i. The parallel elements in this choice is: With the patience of

    its customers and
    with its network

The word patience associates with the network too.

ii. Use of simple present tense verb try is incorrect because the sentence is actually set in the past context as evident by the usage of the simple past tense verb announced.


Error in Choice D:

i. The parallel elements in this choice are:

    With its network and
    with the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point

The choice fails to convey that its network also reached the breaking point.


Hope this helps. :-).
Thanks.
Shraddha
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With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2018, 03:37
AbdurRakib wrote:
With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives trying to relieve the congestion that has led to at least four class-action lawsuits and thousands of complaints from frustrated customers.


(A) the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives trying to relieve

(B) the patience of its customers and its network strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives that try to relieve

(C) its network and the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try to relieve

(D) its network and with the patience of its customers strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of initiatives to try relieving

(E) its network and its customers’ patience strained to the breaking point, the on-line service company announced a series of new initiatives to try relieving


1. In option A, With the patience of its customers and with its network strained to the breaking point -- The modifier 'strained to the breaking point" applies to just "with its network" or both "With the patience of its customers" and "with its network" ?

2. Since we have parallel marker "AND" in the prepositional phrase that starts with "WITH", so what is the level of parallelism we want in the 2 parts separated by the conjunction "AND" ? i.e. If the first part (preceding the parallel marker) has a prepositional phrase followed by a modifier, does the second part(following the parallel marker) SHOULD also have modifier ?
Or is it okay if both the parts that follow the preposition are nouns ?

- Natalie studied ballet as a child, studies pilates now, and will study cooking someday.
** Verbs in parallel can belong to different tenses.
** But the parallel parts MUST make sense with the stem that precedes those parts.

- The angry politician, frustrated by the opposition's parliamentary tactics and screaming about the other parties unconstitutional behavior, is both a hypocrite and a narcissist. -- here both frustrated and screaming are modifiers that modify the politician, but we CANNOT replace screaming by "who screamed" because 'frustrated" will not be parallel to "who screamed".

The angry politician, who was frustrated by the opposition's parliamentary tactics and who screamed about the other parties unconstitutional behavior, is both a hypocrite and a narcissist.-- But this is correct because we have 2 who phrases in parallel ?

3. In option B, With the patience of its customers and its network strained to the breaking point --- here the With prepositional phrase "With the patience" will apply to both its customers and its network?
But since With the patience of its network DOES NOT make sense, we can read as With its network strained to the breaking point?


AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , VeritasPrepBrian, GMATGuruNY , VeritasKarishma , DmitryFarber ,other experts - please enlighten
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