To attract the most talented workers, some companies

Question

To attract the most talented workers, some companies are offering a wider range of benefits, letting employees pick those most important to them.

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

  • To attract the most talented workers, (Infinitive phrase indicating the purpose of the main verb)
  • some companies are offering a wider range of benefits, (Main Subject: some companies; Main Verb: are offering)
    • letting employees pick those most important to them. (Comma+verb-ing modifier modifying the main clause. ‘those’ refer to benefits. ‘most important to them’ is a modifier for ‘those’. We could also have written it this way ‘those benefits that are most important to them’. However, clearly, the given construction is concise.)

The sentence talks about what some companies are doing to attract the most talented workers. The companies are offering a wider range of benefits and letting employees pick the benefits most important to them.

The sentence is correct as is.

Option Analysis

(A) Correct.

(B) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Here, both ‘them’ and ‘themselves’ seem to refer to ‘employees’, leading to a nonsensical meaning. Logically, ‘them’ needs to refer to benefits and ‘themselves’ to employees.
  2. The use of the reflexive pronoun ‘themselves’ in this construction creates ambiguity. Are we saying ‘letting employees pick X to themselves’ (“to themselves” modifies “pick”) or saying ‘most important of them to themselves’ (“to themselves” modifies “most important”). The first construction, which seems more likely given the sentence structure, implies that we are talking about absolute importance of benefits i.e. there is an absolute ranking of the importance of the benefits and that all employees will choose the most important of the benefits. This does not seem to be the intended meaning.

(C) Incorrect. It is not clear ‘the most important of what?’. Besides, the use of reflexive pronoun ‘themselves’ creates the problem described in the analysis of option B.

(D) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. ‘let’ is not parallel to anything before ‘and’. If we say ‘let’ is parallel to ‘are offering’ in that both are verbs for the subject ‘some companies’, there is no reason to justify the shift from present progressive (are offering) to simple present (let). Thus, the list will still be incorrect.
  2. It is not clear ‘the most important of what?’.

(E) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Error no. 1 of option D
  2. Since ‘those’ refer to benefits and ‘that clause’ modifies ‘those’, ‘that’ also refers to ‘benefits’. In this case, ‘themselves’ also refers to ‘benefits’, producing a nonsensical meaning that benefits are most important to the benefits.

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

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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