Outlining his strategy for nursing the troubled conglomerate

Question

Outlining his strategy for nursing the troubled conglomerate back to health, the chief executive's plans were announced on Wednesday for cutting the company's huge debt by selling nearly $12 billion in assets over the next 18 months.

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:

  • Outlining his strategy (Verb-ing modifier modifying the main subject)
    • for nursing the troubled conglomerate back to health, (prepositional phrase modifying “strategy”)
  • the chief executive's plans were announced on Wednesday (Main Subject – “plans”; Main verb – “were announced”)
    • for cutting the company's huge debt (Prepositional phrase. Should logically modify “plans”)
      • by selling nearly $12 billion in assets over the next 18 months. (Prepositional phrase modifying “cutting”)

The sentence says:

The chief executive outlined his strategy for improving the health of the company. He announced his plans to cut the company’s huge debt. How to cut debt? By selling $12 billion in assets over the next 18 months.

The original sentence has the following problems:

  1. The beginning verb-ing modifier “outlining” illogically modifies “plans”. It should modify “chief executive”.
  2. The way the sentence is written, it is not clear who announced the plans. Well, of course, it is not a deterministic error. However, it is important to understand that the correct option, which mentions that the chief executive announced plans, is better than the original sentence.
  3. “plans for cutting” is less preferred over “plans to cut”. In general, the purpose is presented using “to + verb” rather than using “for + verb-ing”. OG explanation also says that “to cut” is preferred over “for cutting” in this sentence.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the problems described above.

(B) Incorrect. For the below reasons:

  1. Error no. 1 of the original sentence
  2. Error no. 2 of the original sentence
  3. “which are to cut” means that the plans are supposed to cut the company’s debt. The plans are not going to do anything by themselves! Isn’t it?

(C) Incorrect. For the below reasons:

  1. Error no. 1 of the original sentence
  2. Error no. 2 of the original sentence

(D) Correct. All the problems in the original sentence have been corrected in this option. Please note that “on Wednesday” and “Wednesday” (as in this option) both are correct.

(E) Incorrect. The only difference between this option and the correct option is the presence of “that are”. “that are to cut” here modifies “plans” and thus means that the plans are supposed to cut the company’s debt. The plans are not going to do anything by themselves! Isn’t it?

About Chiranjeev Singh

An Alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and with a score 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 +91 9971 0010 67 or CJ@GMATwithCJ.com. He conducts online sessions for students across the world.

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