This GMAT verbal practice question is a sentence correction question testing your understanding of Subject Verb Agreement, Tenses, and Vocabulary.
Question 4: Recently, hopes that the European Central Bank will reach a deal to help Spain and Italy borrow at cheaper rates has nudged financial markets higher.
Looking at the options, it is evident that some of the options use the singular present perfect construction "has nudged", some use the simple past "nudged" and one uses the plural present perfect "have nudged". Also, some options end with the word "higher" and others with "to higher levels".
The subject of the sentence is the plural word "hopes". Therefore, the singular "has nudged" would be incorrect. The verb should agree in number with the noun.
The timeline in the sentence is "recently". The sentence is describing something that began some time ago and is still happening. Because the word "recently" indicates that the action is not yet complete, the usage of the simple past "nudged" would be incorrect. Present perfect tense will be the appropriate tense to use in such scenarios.
Because the sentence is discussing "financial markets", "to higher levels" makes better sense because the markets are measured in index levels.
Choices (A) and (C) can be eliminated for the usage of the singular verb "has nudged", when the subject is the plural noun "hopes". The usage of just the word "higher" is another reason to eliminate the option (A).
Choice (E) can be eliminated for the usage of both the simple past "nudged" and the construction "higher".
Choice (D) uses the incorrect tense construction. The present perfect "have nudged" is the correct usage, given the timeline of the sentence.
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