Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple

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Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple [#permalink]

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Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple hydrocarbon, vehicles powered by natural gas emit less of certain pollutants than the burning of gasoline or diesel fuel.

(A) less of certain pollutants than the burning of gasoline or diesel fuel
(B) fewer of certain pollutants than burning gasoline or diesel fuel do
(C) less of certain pollutants than gasoline or diesel fuel
(D) fewer of certain pollutants than does burning gasoline or diesel fuel
(E) less of certain pollutants than those burning gasoline or diesel fuel

I know choice B is wrong because of Incorrect usage of 'fewer', however i would like to know that when comparing the actions if the second part to be compared repeats the verb - do in this case - can that or those be understood in such case.
i.e. if the choice B had been less of certain pollutants than (those) burning gasoline or diesel fuel do would this choice be correct?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple [#permalink]

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Your query: I know choice B is wrong because of Incorrect usage of 'fewer', however i would like to know that when comparing the actions if the second part to be compared repeats the verb - do in this case - can that or those be understood in such case.
i.e. if the choice B had been less of certain pollutants than (those) burning gasoline or diesel fuel do would this choice be correct?

Vehicles powered by natural gas emit less of certain pollutants than (those?) burning gasoline or diesel fuel do
-- "Those" is required in above comparison, otherwise it will appear that "vehicles" are being compared with "burning of fuel".

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New post 09 Jan 2013, 10:29
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A simple trick to remembering whether to use "less" or "fewer" is to remember the sentence "If you eat fewer fries, you need less ketchup." You can count the fries (one fry, two fries, three fries, etc.), so you use the word "fewer". You cannot count ketchup (you cannot say one ketchup or two ketchup), so you use "less". Because of this B and D are eliminated.

A is incorrect because the sentence is trying to say the vehicles burning one fuel emit less pollutants than other vehicles burning another fuel. A is comparing the vehicles to the general burning of fuel, which distorts the meaning.

C is similar to A. C compares the vehicles to the fuels themselves.

I hope that helps :)
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2013, 00:32
But pollutants is a countable noun, then, which of the following should be correct ?

less pollutants
or
fewer pollutants
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2013, 17:06
I totally disagree with the OA, because we can not compare car powered by vs burning of, this question are comparing two different things.
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2014, 02:03
PiyushK wrote:
But pollutants is a countable noun, then, which of the following should be correct ?

less pollutants
or
fewer pollutants


Experts Please answer this.
I am also having same confusion.
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2014, 06:41
Hi there, I will try to solve the queries.
E is correct because it is comparing the cars that are powered by methane and cars that burn gasoline.
coming to pollutants whether they are countable not..
try saying 1 pollutant , 2 polluntant, 3 pollutant...u get ur answer.
@narenn- b is incorrrecct and with ur modification it will still be incorrect.. because ur case has a do at the end which is redundant.

than (those) burning gasoline or diesel fuel do.. burning and do are not the same but they mean the same in this scenario..

thank you..
please feel free to comment on my explanation.. it helps me to improve :)
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple [#permalink]

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New post 16 Nov 2014, 18:10
murilomoraes wrote:
I totally disagree with the OA, because we can not compare car powered by vs burning of, this question are comparing two different things.


So the hint to figuring out whether to use less or fewer is the word "certain". There are certain pollutants.

There are certain kinds of cows.
There are certain classification of stars.
There are certain amount of isotopes.

The word certain gives us a hint that we are dealing with a classification of pollutants that are countable.

Let me know if I'm wrong.
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple [#permalink]

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Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2016, 10:02
The comparison is between "vehicles powered by natural gas" and "those (vehicles) burning gasoline or diesel fuel". Hence option E is correct.
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Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2016, 13:00
Hi Verbal Expert,

Most of the time, I solve comparison questions wrong. Probably, there is a lack of understanding of this concept.
I find it difficult where omission of some words will make the sentence incorrect and where it will not. Please explain. Thanks

I read one post earlier with the below examples on Comparison
more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under the age of 30

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than to women under 30

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than were born to under 30
all above is the correct--- Above all is correct or All above is correct

most babies were born to women over the age of thirty than born under 30(incorrect)
most babies were born to women over the age of thirty than they were under 30(incorrect)
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Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2016, 03:19
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AR15J wrote:
Hi Verbal Expert,

Most of the time, I solve comparison questions wrong. Probably, there is a lack of understanding of this concept.
I find it difficult where omission of some words will make the sentence incorrect and where it will not. Please explain. Thanks

I read one post earlier with the below examples on Comparison
more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under the age of 30

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than to women under 30

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than were born to under 30
all above is the correct--- Above all is correct or All above is correct

most babies were born to women over the age of thirty than born under 30(incorrect)
most babies were born to women over the age of thirty than they were under 30(incorrect)


Omission is allowed only when the meaning is not obscured.

I like chocolates more than Karishma... ambiguous - 2 possible meanings are:
1. I like chocolates more than I like Karishma.
2. I like chocolates more than Karishma likes chocolates.

In such cases omission is not acceptable.
Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple   [#permalink] 01 Dec 2016, 03:19
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