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In this article, we’ll look at the solution to the 700-level GMAT Official Guide 2022 Sentence Correction question. SC01561.01- “Added to the increase in hourly wages requested…”.

Here is some general information about this OG question – Added to the increase in hourly wages requested last July, the railroad employees are now seeking an expanded program of retirement benefits.

• PQID: SC01561.01
• Difficulty Level: Hard
• Most Common Incorrect option choice: Choice D and Choice C
• Question Type: Verb Tenses

## 1. Question – SC01561.01- Added to the increase in hourly wages requested…

GMAT OG question – SC01561.01- Added to the increase in hourly wages requested last July, the railroad employees are now seeking an expanded program of retirement benefits.

[Refer to the Official guide 2022 for options]

There we have it, the question in which the whole darned thing is underlined! Like many students studying for GMAT SC, you might find fully underlined questions daunting. Do not dismay; when you keep calm and use logic and meaning at the forefront of your SC approach, these completely underlined sentences are doable with fewer grammar tools.

## 3. Dismiss the Dread by Using a Deliberate Approach

Managing completely underlined sentences should be no different than handling any other SC sentence if you have a deliberate approach. What do I mean by deliberate approach? Well, simply put, this is an approach you take to achieve a specific goal; in this case, the goal is to get to the correct answer. All SC questions should be handled with the same deliberate approach.

Step #1 Meaning: Analyze the meaning and extract the key points from the sentence.

Step #2 Error Analysis: Identify any errors in the original sentence.

Step #3 Answer choice analysis: After spending the time upfront with the meaning and identifying the mistakes, moving through the answer choices is quick because we know exactly what we are looking for in our answer.

Utilizing this approach is a sure-fire way to get to the correct answer choice.

## 4. Meaning and Grammar: When the Two Collide

Added to the increase in hourly wages requested last July, the railroad employees are now seeking an expanded program of retirement benefits.

After we slowly read the question, the author’s intended logical message is clear. Our brains sort it out for us logically.

1. Railroad employees requested an increase in hourly wages last July.
2. Now, these employees are adding a request for expanded retirement benefits.

The author tells us that two requests have been made, one for an increase in wages and one for an expanded retirement benefits program. This meaning seems logical enough, but how much did our brains and logic help us through this sentence? Are the grammar and structure of the sentence communicating what we inferred? Let’s look at the structure-

• Added to the increase in hourly wages
• requested last July,
• the railroad employees are now
• seeking an expanded program of retirement benefits.

Now, I have to ask, “were the railroad employees added to the increase?” Obviously not. The way the structure and grammar work with this opening modifier, our meaning is not being communicated as inferred. This point is where logic and grammar collide. So, what do we do now?

Even when armed with a deliberate approach, what do you do when the meaning and grammar collide? That is a tough one, so many of us want to quickly apply grammar rules to GMAT SC, evaluate the choices, and move on. I mean, the clock is ticking, right? Wrong. This grammar-based approach will place you on a collision course with a low score. It is paramount to understand that grammar is a tool to facilitate communication; we must know what the intended meaning is. Only then can we assess what grammatical tools can properly communicate that meaning. So, our original sentence needs a little maintenance. We know what the intended meaning is. We need to find the answer choice that communicates this meaning in a grammatically correct structure.

## 5. The Roadblocks of Options C and D

Unfortunately, some of our answer choices can, at times, present roadblocks that cause us to detour from the correct answer choice. The two popular incorrect choices C and D, present two such roadblocks. Both these options change the sentence structure, so they look appealing, but does a change of structure mean we have correct grammar? No! You might have hit a speed bump here if you did not carefully look at these two options. No worries, there is always roadside assistance for you here at e-GMAT.

Choice C: The railroad employees are now seeking an expanded program of retirement benefits added to the increase in hourly wages that were requested last July.

Meaning Distortion: Notice how the meaning is slightly distorted in this choice. This option communicates that the expanded retirement benefits are added to the increase in wages. The two actions seem to have been combined into one in this choice. This option changes the meaning because the two requests were separate actions.

Subject-Verb Error: Note the singular subject “increase” and the plural verb “were.” This SV pair does not agree in number. Now, if you were thinking that the use of “that” as a relative pronoun modifier was referring to “wages” and thus “that” took the verb “were,” ask yourself, “does this make sense?” Were the wages requested? No, I am pretty sure the employees were already getting paid. They asked for an increase.

Choice D: In addition to the increase in hourly wages that were requested last July, the railroad employees are now seeking an expanded program of retirement benefits.

Choice D repeats the same subject-verb error option C has. Many students get confused with how far modifiers can reach in these two choices. These modifiers are slightly far away noun modifiers and can modify “increase” grammatically and logically. If you need a refresher on this concept, please check out our article Noun Modifiers Can Modify Slightly Far Away Nouns. Also, for further practice with these distant noun modifiers, check out this link to find a detailed solution and video solution: Out of America’s Fascination with all things antique.

A. Added to the increase in hourly wages which had been requested last July, the employees of the railroad are now seeking an expanded program of retirement benefits.

B. Added to the increase in hourly wages which had been requested last July, the employees of the railroad are now seeking an expanded program of retirement benefits.

C. The railroad employees are now seeking an expanded program of retirement benefits added to the increase in hourly wages that were requested last July.

D. In addition to the increase in hourly wages that were requested last July, the railroad employees are now seeking an expanded program of retirement benefits.

E. In addition to the increase in hourly wages requested last July, the employees of the railroad are now seeking an expanded program of retirement benefits.

Option E rectifies all the issues in the original sentence and presents the logical intended meaning that our minds extracted at the beginning. Now, if you are looking at option E and asking, “How is ‘In addition to’ any better than ‘Added to the increase?'” Make a quick grammar note.

Note: When we have an opening modifier that is a verb-ed or verb-ing modifier, that modifier will associate directly with the subject and must make logical sense. The structural change here in Choice E uses the prepositional phrase “In addition to.” Prepositional phrases used as opening modifiers modify the entire clause that follows and not simply the subject. This structural change utilizes the proper tool of grammar to communicate the meaning.

Collision is avoided by using a deliberate approach of meaning, logic, and the proper grammar tools! We have now learned to conquer the completely underlined SC sentence; check out this free YouTube session for more practice:

Happy Learning!

Cheers!

Stacey

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