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# Comparison

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Joined: 07 May 2013
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18 Feb 2014, 20:19
Hi Mike ,

I am bit confused on the below sentences. Could you please provide your thoughts on it.

1) "My sister is more likely to study than I "

Here the act of studying is compared between My sister and I. So I think this should be a correct sentence.

2) "My sister is more likely to study than me"

Here the act of studying is compared between My sister and me. I think this should also be a correct sentence.

3) "I weigh more than he does"

Here the weights are compared between I and he , which should be fine. And here the 'does (TO DO verb) points to verb weigh.

4) "I weigh more than him"

Here the weights are compared between I and him. Don't we require a TO DO verb in this sentence.?

Thanks,
Vinay Menon.
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 3697
Followers: 1288

Kudos [?]: 5835 [1] , given: 66

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19 Feb 2014, 10:11
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Expert's post
vmgmat wrote:
Hi Mike ,

I am bit confused on the below sentences. Could you please provide your thoughts on it.

1) "My sister is more likely to study than I "

Here the act of studying is compared between My sister and I. So I think this should be a correct sentence.

2) "My sister is more likely to study than me"

Here the act of studying is compared between My sister and me. I think this should also be a correct sentence.

3) "I weigh more than he does"

Here the weights are compared between I and he , which should be fine. And here the 'does (TO DO verb) points to verb weigh.

4) "I weigh more than him"

Here the weights are compared between I and him. Don't we require a TO DO verb in this sentence.?

Thanks,
Vinay Menon.

Dear Vinay,
I'm happy to respond.

The first thing to appreciate is that a comparison is a special case of parallelism. All the rules of parallelism have to apply to every comparison. For more on parallelism, see this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/parallelis ... orrection/

1) "My sister is more likely to study than I "
1a) "My sister is more likely to study than I am "
2) "My sister is more likely to study than me" = WRONG
In this sentence, the parallel elements are "my sister" and "I." These must occupy parallel logical roles in the sentence. The first is a subject, so the second absolutely must be understood as a subject, and therefore appear in the subjective form of the pronoun, "I,", not the objective form, "me." We can add the verb "am" for clarity, as I have done in version 1a --- either 1 or 1a is perfectly correct. Sentence #2 is 100% wrong, but what's tricky is that people say this all the time. This is extremely common in colloquial English, especially in America. I often would use #1a for clarity, because I know many listeners would expect #2 even though it's completely wrong.

3) "I weigh more than he does"
4) "I weigh more than him" = WRONG
5) "I weigh more than his weight." = WRONG
Similarly, the pronoun "I" is a subject, and it is in parallel with the the pronoun for the other person ---- since one is a subject, the other must be a subject, "I" and "he." Sentence #3 is perfectly correct. Sentences #4 & #5 are completely wrong. We can't put an objective pronoun ("I") in parallel with a subjective pronoun ("him"). Again, this is tricky, because people, especially in America, say things like #4 all the time: it sounds very natural to native speakers, and it is 100% wrong. Sentence #5 probably sounds a little redundant, but apart from that, it is totally incorrect because of a failure of parallelism --- we can't compare one whole human person to another person's weight.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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20 Feb 2014, 02:35
Thanks Mike , that was really helpful.

Thanks,
Vinay.
Intern
Joined: 07 May 2013
Posts: 10
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Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 2

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01 Mar 2014, 23:10
Mike,

I have seen the below question in The official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review.Could you provide your view on it.

The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970’s.
A. extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than
B. extinction; its numbers are now five times more than
C. extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were
D. extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had
E. extinction, now with numbers five times greater than

Now in the underline sentence , its comparing the The Gyrfalcon numbers before and after the use of DDT.Shouldn't the underlined sentence be " its numbers are now five times greater than the numbers,when the use off DDT was ....."

Thanks,
Vinay Menon
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 3697
Followers: 1288

Kudos [?]: 5835 [0], given: 66

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03 Mar 2014, 12:48
vmgmat wrote:
Mike,

I have seen the below question in The official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review.Could you provide your view on it.

The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970’s.
A. extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than
B. extinction; its numbers are now five times more than
C. extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were
D. extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had
E. extinction, now with numbers five times greater than

Now in the underline sentence , its comparing the The Gyrfalcon numbers before and after the use of DDT.Shouldn't the underlined sentence be " its numbers are now five times greater than the numbers,when the use off DDT was ....."

Thanks,
Vinay Menon

Dear Vinay,
I'm happy to help.

This is an issue of what you can drop in parallel. You may find this blog helpful:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/dropping-c ... -the-gmat/

Here's a long awkward version of the sentence with nothing dropped --- the repeated words are in color.
The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than its numbers were when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970’s.

Those words in red are repeated from the first branch of the parallelism, so they absolutely do not need to be repeated. Thus, it is 100% correct to say:
The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970’s.
That's the OA, choice (A).

Does this make sense?
Mike
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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04 Mar 2014, 10:51
Thanks Mike , that was very useful.

Vinay.
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11 Mar 2014, 04:39
Hi Mike ,

One more question on comparison :

" I scored three goals in yesturday's game , as did Suzanne."

Here we are comparing the three goals scored by Me and the three goals scored by Suzanne.

Shouldn't the above sentence be " I scored three goals in yesturdays's game , as Suzanne did "

here 'did' points to "scored three goals in yesturdays's game" , so " I scored three goals in yesturdays's game ,as Suzanne scored three goals in yesturdays's game" , makes sense , where as "I scored three goals in yesturdays's game , as scored three goals in yesturdays's game Suzanne " doesn't make any sense to me.

Thanks,
Vinay
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 3697
Followers: 1288

Kudos [?]: 5835 [0], given: 66

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11 Mar 2014, 09:50
vmgmat wrote:
Hi Mike ,

One more question on comparison :

" I scored three goals in yesterday's game , as did Suzanne."

Here we are comparing the three goals scored by Me and the three goals scored by Suzanne.

Shouldn't the above sentence be " I scored three goals in yesterdays's game , as Suzanne did "

here 'did' points to "scored three goals in yesterdays's game" , so " I scored three goals in yesterdays's game ,as Suzanne scored three goals in yesterdays's game" , makes sense , where as "I scored three goals in yesterdays's game , as scored three goals in yesterdays's game Suzanne " doesn't make any sense to me.

Thanks,
Vinay

Dear Vinay,
Here we are getting into ground of idioms. When we replace a full verb or full predicate with a form of the word "do" or some similar abbreviation in a subordinate clause, we often write the verb before the subject. It's perfectly true, as you say: it absolutely would not make sense to put the unabbreviated predicate before the subject. Yes, that's true, but idiomatically, we do put the abbreviated verb before the subject.
I scored three goals in yesterday's game , as did Suzanne.
Van Buren was elected president after two terms as vice-president, as was G. H. W. Bush.
Algebra is a prerequisite for Precalculus, as is Geometry.
Peter will leave for Paris at the end of the semester, as will Alice.
For more on this structure, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/repeating- ... -the-gmat/
If this structure does not look familiar to you and feel natural to you, that means you are not reading enough. If you want to understand GMAT Grammar, you need to read sophisticated material on your own.

Mike
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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11 Mar 2014, 19:07
Thanks Mike.
Re: Comparison   [#permalink] 11 Mar 2014, 19:07
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