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I know the correct answer is b, because that sounds correct.

I am trying to figure out why b is correct, and also why the other answers are incorrect. I think b is correct because ~ing signifies that it is happening now, and will continue into the future. c is obviously wrong because it is past tense. Also, if d did not include "ever", i.e. "having decreased", would that be correct?

What is the general grammar principle for "With..."?

  • One can quibble with the answer. If the interest rate keeps decreasing, as (b) suggests, locking in the comparatively high rate sounds like a good idea - the current interest rate doesn't seem to bother the investor, just that it might decrease. On the other hand, (d) sounds like the 'savings' investment would be subject to decreased interest rates over time, which better explains the investor's reticence. Disclaimer: I'm not a financial advisor and this isn't financial advice. (To mods: I don't consider this to be an answer - just a passing comment. If you do, please ping me.) – Lawrence Feb 4 '18 at 10:27
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(b) is correct. It is the present progressive tense which indicates the action is happening at this time - but 'this time' can mean very different things depending on the context.

The word 'ever' is obvious hyperbole. It cannot mean it began eons ago and will continue forever. It suggests going on for some time, perhaps years, and is not expected to stop anytime soon. The 'this time' in this sense is a period of some years. It's still the right tense to show declining rates are currently in a state of being.

The fact that actual falls in interest rates occur as intermittent and discreet steps over that period is irrelevant A state of being still exists now.

  • Decreasing is a present participle, not part of a finite verb in progressive form. – KarlG Feb 4 '18 at 10:59

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