Source: Official Guide for the GMAT 13th Ed. Sentence Correction; #90 Official Guide for the GMAT 2015 14th Ed. Sentence Correction; #90

1

# The results of the company's cost-cutting measures

The results of the company's cost-cutting measures are evident in its profits, which increased 5 percent during the first 3 months of this year after it fell over the last two years.

### 2 Explanations

2

Hui Zhang

If Choice B was: "which increased 5 percent during the first 3 months after they had fallen", would it be correct?

Jan 18, 2018 • Comment

David Recine

That would be an improvement over the original answer (B), since you would now have plural pronoun "they" to reference "profits."

However, this answer is still problematic. If you say "increased 5 percent during the first three months after they had fallen," it sounds like you're saying that the profits increased 5% in the three months immediately after they took their first fall. With this revised version of (B) in place, a careful further reading of the sentence reveals that the profits rose 5% "the first three months after they had fallen over the last two years." But this too is problematic. The first three months of *what* after they had fallen over the course of two years?

Add "of the year" after "the first three months, however, and you now have a perfect revision of (B) that is completely acceptable in the sentence:

The results of the company's cost-cutting measures are evident in its profits, (which increased 5 percent during the first 3 months of the year, after they had fallen) over the last two years.

Notice that this revision also adds a comma before "after." This is because "they" has been added into your revision to (B), making the words that follow "the first three months of the year" into a full clause. And in GMAT SC, full clauses should always be separated by commas.