Although a number of excellent studies narrate the development

Question

Although a number of excellent studies narrate the development of domestic technology and its impact on housewifery, these works do not discuss the contributions of the women employed by manufacturers and utility companies as product demonstrators and publicists, who initially promoted new and unfamiliar technology to female consumers.

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

Here’s the sentence structure:

  • Although a number of excellent studies narrate (Dependent clause presenting a contrast to the main clause. Subject: a number of excellent studies; Verb: narrate)
    • the development of domestic technology (First object of the verb ‘narrate’)
    • and its impact on housewifery, (Second object of the verb ‘narrate’)
  • these works do not discuss the contributions of the women (Main Clause. Subject: these works; Verb: do not discuss)
    • employed (Verb-ed modifier modifying ‘women’)
      • by manufacturers and utility companies (prepositional phrase modifying ‘employed’)
      • as product demonstrators and publicists, (prepositional phrase modifying ‘employed’)
        • who initially promoted new and unfamiliar technology to female consumers. (relative clause modifying ‘product demonstrators and publicists’. Subject: who; Verb: promoted)

The sentence says that even though several studies talk about certain things (the development of domestic technology and its impact on housewifery), they do not discuss certain other things (contributions of certain women). Which women? Women employed by manufacturers and utility companies as product demonstrators and publicists.

As is, the sentence looks fine.

Option Analysis

(A) Correct.

(B) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. ‘employed to be something’ is incorrect idiomatically. ‘employed as something’ is the correct version.
  2. ‘who’ in the non-underline part cannot refer to ‘product demonstrators and publicists’ because of the presence of the intervening prepositional phrase.

(C) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. ‘who’ in the non-underlined part cannot refer to ‘manufacturers and utility companies’ since ‘who’ can refer to only humans. Besides, even if ‘who’ could refer to ‘manufacturers and utility companies’, the sentence still wouldn’t make sense since companies didn’t promote new and unfamiliar technology to female customers; women did.
  2. ‘their’ in ‘their products’ seems to refer to ‘women’ rather than manufacturers and companies since ‘manufacturers and companies’ noun hasn’t even come when the pronoun ‘their’ appears. I consider it a major error.

(D) Incorrect. This option has the same error as 1st error in option B.

Please note that ‘who’ in the non-underline part CAN refer to ‘demonstrators and publicists’ since the intervening prepositional phrase ‘of their products’ modifies the noun ‘demonstrators and publicists’. Since a noun modifier can jump over other noun modifiers, ‘who’ can refer to ‘demonstrators and publicists’. While I do not consider this construction an error, I still find the construction in option A ‘slightly better’.

(E) Incorrect. ‘who’ in the non-underlined part cannot refer to ‘products’ since ‘who’ can refer to only humans. Besides, even if ‘who’ could refer to ‘products’, the sentence still wouldn’t make sense since products didn’t promote new and unfamiliar technology to female customers.

About Chiranjeev Singh

An Alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and with scores of 780 (2017) and 770 (2013) on GMAT and 99.98%ile on CAT, Chiranjeev is one of the most qualified GMAT tutors in India. Chiranjeev has earlier served as Director of Curriculum at e-GMAT. Chiranjeev has been helping students ace GMAT since 2012. He follows a concept-based methodology to teaching GMAT and is very committed to student success. You may contact him for any private GMAT tutoring needs at CJ@GMATwithCJ.com. He conducts online sessions for students across the world.

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