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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] New post 09 Jan 2013, 09:10
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A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  35% (medium)

Question Stats:

44% (02:01) correct 56% (00:54) wrong based on 90 sessions
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: Comparison [#permalink] New post 09 Jan 2013, 10:19
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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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Re: Comparison [#permalink] 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] 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] 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.
Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple   [#permalink] 28 Nov 2013, 17:06
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