Question: Maltania and Outsourcing

Comment on Maltania and Outsourcing


I would like to know if option B did not contained "annual" term, then what would have been the right answer?
gmat-admin's picture

If we were to remove "annual" from answer choice B, then A and B would both be suitable answers. That said, answer choice A would still be more succinct. Then again, I doubt that the GMAT would have two answers that were so equal.


I have a question: The word "costs" is not plural?
gmat-admin's picture

Cost and costs are behaving as nouns and as verbs.

A) As a verb: . . . outsourcing costs Maltania... (subject - verb - noun/object)

B) As a noun: . . . annual cost to Maltania
Annua (adjective - noun - prepositional phrase/adjective

Hey. Could you please explain how you eliminated E?
gmat-admin's picture

The problem with E is that the word "reduction" applies to BOTH output and taxes.

In other words, we could also write "...causes an output reduction and a tax reduction."

The term "tax reduction" is ambiguous. It could mean that the government collects fewer taxes, or it could mean that the citizens' tax rates are reduced.

Given this ambiguity, we can eliminate E.

Hi Brent
I was wondering if we eliminated either ANNUAL or A YEAR in the answer choice D, would it be a less awkward choice since it would focus more on the COST than MANTANIA?
gmat-admin's picture

Good question, abnerawesome!

If we eliminate the redundancy from answer choice D (by deleting either ANNUAL or A YEAR), we're still left with the ambiguous nature of "outsourcing TO Maltania."


Hi Brent,

While eliminating choice (E),i used the concept of (,Which) which points to the word before it and here the word is reduction hence this option says it is only the tax reduction which costs maltania whereas the original sentence talks about tax and output.Is this line of reasoning correct?

gmat-admin's picture

If OUTPUT and TAX are both modifying the word REDUCTION, then we can't say that TAX is the only modifying word.

Here's a similar sentence: Joe visited cold and barren Iceland, which is located near Greenland.

Here COLD and BARREN both modify ICELAND. So, we can't say that WHICH refers solely to BARREN.

Does that help?


Hi Brent,

I understood your point,

What about the sentence with "OR" and not "AND"

Joe visited cold or barren Iceland, which is located near Greenland.
Joe visited either cold or barren Iceland, which is located near Greenland.

Is it now that "which" only modifies "barren Iceland" and not "cold Iceland"

Thank you in advance,
gmat-admin's picture

I don't believe I've ever seen a GMAT sentence phrased in that manner.
That said, in both cases, "which is located near Greenland" modifies the noun ICELAND.
Likewise, COLD modifies ICELAND, and BARREN modifies ICELAND.


Hi Brent,

Thank you very much for your help

As soon as i saw the word "THAT" I tried to make sense of the sentence before THAT

Hi Brent,

if answer choice C used cost instead of costs, would that be one of the correct answers as well?

gmat-admin's picture

I'd say that, even with that change, we still have an ambiguity issue.

With answer choice A, we see that outsourcing COSTS $600 million. The prepositional phrase, "in reduced output and lost taxes," serves as a modifier that tells us more about the nature of the $600 million.

Answer choice C tells us that reduced output and lost taxes COST $600 million, but it's unclear what roll OUTSOURCING plays here. Did OUTSOURCING cause the reduced output and lost taxes, or did it cause the $600 million?


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