Source: Official Guide for GMAT Review 2016 Sentence Correction; #36


The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had long been expected to announce a reduction in output to bolster sagging oil prices, but officials of the organization just recently announced that the group will pare daily production by 1.5 million barrels by the beginning of next year, but only if non-OPEC nations, including Norway, Mexico, and Russia, were to trim output by a total of 500,000 barrels a day.

2 Explanations


John Robertson

Question on choice A vs. E, in terms of the full meaning of the phrases. I was split between A and E, based on the use of "But" and the "were to trim" which seemed conditional, as in the other countries doing it first would influence OPEC.

A: OPEC seems to have announced that it'll trim its production by 1.5mb, but that's dependent on Norway/Mexico/Russia doing the same. So, I was hesitant to use a second "but" (after ....,but officials of the organization....), but it seems to convey what OPEC is trying to do: Despite the need to cut production, it'll only do it N/M/R were to do the same. So I chose this one based on the conditional sense of what OPEC wants.

B: basically doesn't convey that OPEC will only do something if others were to do something first.

Feb 22, 2017 • Comment


Hey John,

The use of "but" before "only if" in (A) is unnecessary. The "only if" already expresses that X will occur only on one condition.

Feb 22, 2017 • Reply


Gravatar Mike McGarry, Magoosh Tutor

Aug 18, 2015 • Comment

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