The results of the company’s cost-cutting measures are evident in its profits, which increased five percent during the first three months of this year after it fell over the last two years.
(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)
The sentence says that the results are evident in its profits. Results of what? Results of company’s cost cutting measures. The sentence then provides additional information about the profits: the profits increased 5% during the first 3 months of this year after they had fallen over the last two years.
The only error that appears in the sentence is the pronoun error: singular ‘it’ refers to plural ‘profits’.
(A) Incorrect. For the error mentioned above.
(B) Incorrect. For the following reasons:
- The use of past perfect for both the earlier (it had fallen) and the latter (which had decreased) event is incorrect. Simple past must be used for the latter event.
- Same pronoun error as in the original sentence.
(C) Correct. The pronoun error has been corrected by replacing the clause with a verb-ing modifier (falling). Such use (use of verb-ing) is not only acceptable but also quite common.
(D) Incorrect. It is not clear what is modified by the “with” prepositional phrase. At best, it seems to modify the preceding clause (The results are evident). However, in such a case, it is not clear what “increased” (five percent increase) or what fell (after falling).
(E) Incorrect. For the same error as in option D.