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Is there anything wrong with this sentence:

The city pays landlords more than someone with a rental voucher can pay, which only exacerbates NY's already severe housing shortage.

Is this sentence better? if so why? The city pays landlords more than someone with a rental voucher can pay, only exacerbating NY's already severe housing shortage.

Thank you in advance.

  • Do you think it's better? And, if so, why? – TrevorD May 17 '16 at 19:12
  • As these examples from CDO illustrate, 'which' in these constructions can refer either to the immediately preceding (or logically sensible) noun phrase or the preceding main clause: That bar on Milton Street, which by the way is very nice, is owned by Trevor's brother. / She says it's Charlotte's fault, which is stupid.... / He showed me round the town, which was very kind of him. The second variant is also fine, using a non-finite clause to add the desired additional information. – Edwin Ashworth May 17 '16 at 19:58
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I think the biggest problem is the unnecessary use of hyperbole. How can you be sure that the city's offerings only have a negative impact, and not also a small positive impact?

The city pays landlords more than someone with a rental voucher can pay, which exacerbates New York's already severe housing shortage.

...is what I would write (note that I also did not abbreviate New York). Using "which" makes the sentence clearer and helps to separate the two ideas. It gives the reader an opportunity to consider how the two ideas relate to each other, and to make up their own opinion about the causality of the situation.

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    You've got the wrong sense of only here. The one in play is: 4. a. In the last analysis or final outcome; inevitably: 'actions that will only make things worse'. [ AHDEL] – Edwin Ashworth May 17 '16 at 22:43

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