Source: Official Guide for the GMAT 13th Ed. Sentence Correction; #55 Official Guide for the GMAT 2015 14th Ed. Sentence Correction; #55


Many house builders offer rent-to-buy programs that

Many house builders offer rent-to-buy programs that enable a family with insufficient savings for a conventional down payment t be able t move into new housing and to apply part of the rent to a purchase later.

3 Explanations


Richa Chandra

Thank you for you reply. Actually I was aware of the restrictive clauses and Non restrictive clause. One person was arguing that restrictive Vs non restrictive clauses was not tested in this question. but here we have a that/which split so 100% restrictive and non restrictive were tested. I choose this as one reason to eliminate D and E. Their are other reasons in the questions such as Verb+Ing modifier, redundancy etc.

But with that said this restrictive vs Non restrictive were tested in this questions and thats what i wanted to confirm.

Official explanation has something that I am unable to understand, Can you Please help me that also. Here is the Official Explanation -

applying following a Non restrictive clause suggests builders not the family are applying for a rent to buy program.

Nov 23, 2015 • Comment

Sam Kinsman, Magoosh Tutor

Hi Richa,

Yes, restrictive vs. non-restrictive clauses are definitely being tested here. In the original sentence, (enable... later) is a restrictive clause. But if we choose answer D or E, it becomes a non-restrictive clause, and the meaning of the sentence changes. That's one of the reasons why D and E are wrong!

The explanation in the OG is pointing out that in answer choice D, "applying" incorrectly modifies the builders. If you look carefully at the sentence that we get with D, you'll notice that it sounds like the builders, and not the family, are applying the rent:

Many house builders offer rent-to-buy programs, .... , applying part of the rent to a purchase later.

Dec 3, 2015 • Reply


Richa Chandra

Leaving other splits such as parallelism or redundancy for some time.

can we discuss this question based on two other splits -

1. Enable Vs Enables (singular Vs Plural)
2. That Vs Which (Restricted Vs Non restricted Clause)

Nov 21, 2015 • Comment

Sam Kinsman, Magoosh Tutor

Hi Richa!

The subject of the verb "enable" is "rent-to-buy programs." Since this is a plural subject, the verb needs to be plural as well. "Enable" is plural, and "enables" is singular.

The clause that begins after the word "that" (enable... later) is a restrictive clause, since it narrows down the scope of what kind of rent-to-buy programs we're talking about. Since it's a restrictive clause, we need to use the word "that" instead of "which."

You can also take a look at the following blog post, which explains restrictive and non-restrictive clauses in a bit more depth:

Nov 23, 2015 • Reply


Gravatar Mike McGarry, Magoosh Tutor

May 22, 2013 • Comment

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