Question

One analyst of the liquor industry estimated that this year a few liquor stores have experienced declining sales of up to fifty percent but predicted that the industry as a whole will maintain a volume of sales fairly close to last year.

Option A
Option B
Option C
Option D
Option E

(This question is from Official Guide. Therefore, because of copyrights, the complete question cannot be copied here. The question can be accessed at GMAT Club)

Solution

Sentence Analysis

  • One analyst (Main Subject)
    • of the liquor industry (Prepositional Phrase – modifies “analyst”)
  • estimated that (First Main Verb: “estimated”)
    • this year (Modifies “have experienced”)
    • a few liquor stores have experienced declining sales (Dependent clause – acts as on object for the verb “estimated”)
      • of up to fifty percent (Prepositional Phrase – modifies “sales”)
  • but predicted that (Second Main Verb: “predicted”)
    • the industry as a whole will maintain a volume (Dependent Clause – acts as an object for the verb “predicted”)
      • of sales (Prepositional Phrase – modifies “volume”)
      • fairly close to last year (modifies “volume”)

The sentence presents an estimate and a prediction of one analyst. The estimate is that this year a few liquor stores have experienced a decline of up to 50 percent in sales. The prediction is that the liquor industry as a whole will have almost the same sales as it had last year.

The sentence has the following errors:

  1. “Of up to fifty percent” modifies “sales”, which doesn’t make sense; the phrase needed to modify “decline”.
  2. In “volume of sales fairly close to last year”, the volume of sales is being compared with last year, not last year’s volume.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the errors mentioned above.

(B) IncorrectFor the following reasons:

  1. The verb “would have maintained” means that we’re talking about the past. For example, Raj would have canceled the flight last year. However, this verb is part of a clause acting as an object for the verb “predicted” and thus is incorrect here.
  2. The second error of the original sentence.

(C) IncorrectFor the following reasons:

  1. This option says that liquor stores have experienced up to fifty percent in xyz. It doesn’t make sense to say that the stores experienced a percent! The stores experienced a decline of a certain percent.
  2. Since “declining” is just a modifier for “sales”, the structure currently is “up to fifty percent in sales”. Doesn’t make sense! It has to be “up to fifty percent decline in sales”.

(D) CorrectThe verb “would maintain” is the past tense form of “will maintain”, which is needed since the prediction was made in the past (“predicted”).

(E) IncorrectFor the following reasons:

  1. The word “declines” needs to be followed by the preposition “of”. We can see this error more clearly if we remove “up to”, which is just a modifier for fifty percent. Without “up to”, the sentence becomes “the stores have experienced declines fifty percent of sales”. That’s wrong!
  2. When we use the future perfect tenses (will have maintained), we need to have a reference event (or point of reference) in the future by which this event must have completed. For example, the industry will have made 10% profits by March this year. The phrase “by March this year” specifies the reference point before which the action in the future perfect tense (will have made) must have completed. In the given option, there is no such reference point. Thus, the use of future perfect tense is incorrect.

In this question, “but” has been used as a conjunction to connect two verbs “estimated” and “predicted”. Such usage is pretty common. “But” is a conjunction like “and”.

This solution was created by Anish Passi and Chiranjeev Singh.

If you have any doubts regarding any part of this solution, please feel free to ask in the comments section.

  • SMS says:

    Very good article! We are linking to this particularly great content on our site. Keep up the great writing.

  • >