Despite the increasing popularity among financial analysts of "operating cash flow" as a measure of a company's viability, a combination of six more conventional measures has been shown to be more accurate to predict business failure



(A) has been shown to be more accurate to predict business failure


(B) has been shown to predict business failure more accurately


(C) were shown to be more accurate to predict business failure


(D) have been shown to more accurately predict business failure


(E) have been shown to predict business failure more accurately


This question is based on Subject-Verb agreement and Construction.


A vertical scan of the options shows us that all the options begin with a verb. In such cases, we should first do a check for subject-verb agreement and tense.


The subject of the verb is the compound subject “a combination of six more conventional measures”. 


When it comes to such subjects that are made up of a noun/pronoun + preposition + noun/pronoun, it is the first noun/pronoun that is the actual subject under discussion. 

E.g.: The interest for such deposits is very low.


The exception to this rule is when such compound subjects begin with nouns that convey quantity or quantitative adjectives such as ‘some’, ‘any’, ‘none’, ‘most’, ‘all’, ‘percentage’, ‘majority’, ’fractions’ etc. In such cases, the verb agrees with the second noun/pronoun.

E.g.: Some of the money has been spent. 

Some of the boys are still playing.


In the given sentence, the subject is ‘combination’. 

Since this is a singular subject, the verb must also be singular.

On the basis, of this rule, we can rule out Options C, D, and E since they contain plural verbs.


Between Options A and B, Option A can be eliminated on the basis of the construction. The order of words in Option A does not convey the intended meaning. Furthermore, the adjective ‘accurate’ is generally followed by a preposition and a participle rather than the infinitive. So, the more appropriate usage would be – accurate in predicting business failure. 


The construction of Option B makes it a clearer option. It also maintains subject-verb agreement. Therefore, B is the most appropriate option.