Question: Mayor Smith's Finances

Comment on Mayor Smith's Finances

If option E had some other error(lets say), then cant we go with the first option?
Because 'to the public' is a verb modifier and a verb modifier does not have to touch the verb it modifies.
It might not be the best option available here but it is not wrong as such. Correct?
gmat-admin's picture

You are correct; the verb modifier need not touch the verb is it modifying. The issue here is ambiguity.

Choice b has another issue as well. After ".. requires that..." it should use BE verb - here it is RELEASE. Am I right?
gmat-admin's picture

I'm not entirely sure what you mean. Can you write the entire sentence?

Hi Brent! What is the role of answer "A" in telling us the original intent of the sentence? Should I always assume that whatever comes on the default sentence, is the closest to what the author intends? For example in this case I could eliminate C/D immediately just because the original sentence clearly means to convey that the Major has to release smth...
gmat-admin's picture

Good question. In most cases, the original sentence provides the best insight into the intended meaning. However, the original sentence must make sense.

In this case, it doesn't really make sense for TO THE PUBLIC to modify CAMPAIGN. It's somewhat redundant, since all mayoral campaigns are directed to the public.

That said, one might argue that a mayor might try to appeal the both the public AND the private sector, in which case the original sentence clarifies this distinction (although it's still a bit of a stretch :-). However, even if we don't immediately eliminate answer choice A, we should recognize that answer choice E makes more sense.

So, we might say that E is the best answer, and A is a close second.


Thanks Brent for your videos. I feel like Neo in Matrix, I can see everything now.
gmat-admin's picture

I'd like to think that makes my either Morpheus or The Oracle, but I'm probably more like the guy who just wanted to go back to the comforts of the Matrix :-)

gmat-admin's picture

You have to let it all go, Aquintans. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind :-)

In this sentence why "To release" has to answer "how" it can answer what has to be released as well in that case "all financial documents" is correct and it is correctly placed besides to release. I do not understand why to release has to refer to public.. please let me know which module is should see again to understand this concept..also amazing videos, Thankyou for all the great work.
gmat-admin's picture

Glad you like the videos!

Good question.

This is all about eliminating the ambiguity of what TO THE PUBLIC is referring to.
In its original form, TO THE PUBLIC is referring to CAMPAIGN (since it's closest to CAMPAIGN). However, this placement makes no sense since ALL political campaigns are TO the public. So, in this case, TO THE PUBLIC is redundant.

However, if we place TO THE PUBLIC after the word RELEASE, then we know how the documents will be released.

Does that help?


Hi Brent,

Is there any easy way to identify that 'to the public' modifies 'release' and 'pertaining to the campaign' modifies 'financial documents'?

I asked the question "release what to the public?" and the answer was 'financial documents. Hence, I thought to the public modifies financial documents. Maybe I am asking the wrong questions?

Please help. Thanks!
gmat-admin's picture

If X tells us more about Y, then X modifies Y.

Take, for example, the sentence: "The tall man ate quickly"

TALL provides extra information how about MAN.
So, the adjective TALL modifies the noun/subject MAN

QUICKLY provides extra information about ATE
So, the adverb QUICKLY modifies of the verb ATE

Also notice that, if we eliminate the modifiers, the intended meaning of the sentence does not change (it's just a little less colorful)
When we eliminate the modifiers we get: "The man ate"

If we take answer choice E and eliminate the modifiers, we get: Legislation requires Mayor Smith to release. Perfect!

Does that help?

are these questions getting harder? i can barely get these correct...

for the video above, I wrongly think Option B makes sense since there is a "must" in it, should have thought about modifications. But how do I detect them generally? I will rephrase my wording if it is not clear.
gmat-admin's picture

Adding the word MUST here is redundant, since we already have the word REQUIRES.
For example, if we say "The new law REQUIRES citizens to brush their teeth," the word REQUIRES already implies that citizens MUST brush their teeth.
So, it would redundant to write "The new law REQUIRES that citizens MUST brush their teeth."

Does that help?

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