Question

At the end of 2001, motion picture industry representatives said that there were about a million copies of Hollywood movies available online and expected piracy to increase with high-speed Internet connections that become more widely available.

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

The sentence structure is:

  • At the end of 2001, (Modifies the main verbs)
  • motion picture industry representatives (Main Subject – “representatives”)
    • said that there were about a million copies of Hollywood movies available online (Main Verb 1 – “said”)
    • and expected piracy to increase with high-speed Internet connections (Main Verb 2 – “expected”)
      • that become more widely available. (relative clause modifying “Internet connections”)

The sentence talks about what the representatives said and expected at the end of 2001. They said that there were around one million copies of Hollywood movies available online. They expected the piracy to increase as internet connections became widely available.

The error in the sentence is the way the “expected” part is communicated. As is, “that” clause providing essential information about the internet connections means that we are only talking about those internet connections that become more widely available. It’s as if there are two kinds of internet connections: internet connections that become more widely available and internet connections that don’t. And we expect piracy to increase with the first kind of internet connections! Even saying so is incorrect. We should say that “expect piracy to increase with the increase in these kind of internet connections”.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the error described above.

(B) Incorrect. Simple present “expect” is wrong verb tense. We are talking about the past “at the end of 2001” (also corroborated by the use of past tense “said”), so we need to use past tense.

(C) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Simple present “expect” is incorrect, as explained in option B.
  2. The use of “more” and “increase” creates redundancy.

(D) Incorrect. The use of conditional “would become” indicating hypothetical situation with “as” indicating simultaneity of events is incorrect.

(E) Correct. Please note that this option changes the meaning of the original sentence slightly. Now, “expected” is not a separate main verb; rather, now the sentence says that “they said that they expected…” Such slight changes in meaning are admissible, if the new meaning is perfectly logical.

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