In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to

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In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2012, 12:43
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In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than those of the 1978 harvest.

(A) less than those of the 1978 harvest

(B) less than the 1978 harvest

(C) less than 1978

(D) fewer than 1978

(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2012, 22:06
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jitgoel wrote:
betterscore wrote:
In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than those of the 1978 harvest.

(A) less than those of the 1978 harvest

(B) less than the 1978 harvest

(C) less than 1978

(D) fewer than 1978

(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest

Less than in the start of phrase should be there so, D and E are out. however, after less than "that of" is required to make it parallel. "Those of" is wrong as it comes when noun is plural. "C' is also out.
But why "B" is right I dont know.

less than that of 1978 => right
less than that of 1978 harvest => wrong.

My weight is less than that of you => right
My weight is less than your weight => right ( similar to option 2)
My weight is less than that of your weight => wrong ? what is that of your weight?
you can not compare my weight with something which is " that of your weight".
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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21 Dec 2012, 12:52
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We only want to use "that of" or "those of" if we are comparing something *belonging* to something else:

The design of the new tablet is similar to that of its predecessor. (The design of one is similar to the design of the other.)
Jack wanted clothes similar to those of his friends. (He wants his clothes to be similar to his friends' clothes.)

In the above examples, it would be a big problem to get rid of the relative pronoun:

The design of the new tablet is similar to its predecessor. (The design is similar to the predecessor?)
Jack wanted clothes similar to his friends. (He wants his clothes to be similar to his friends?)

In B, we are correctly comparing the production in 1979 to the harvest in 1978. If we go with gmatfighter12's proposed phrasing, "less than that of," we have to ask what "that" stands for. If we say "less than that of the 1978 harvest," then "that" doesn't seem to stand for anything. If we say "less than that of 1978," the antecedent for "that" isn't entirely clear, although "production" seems like the most reasonable choice. E would then be clearer than the other wrong answer choices, but still not as clear as B.

Note that in my examples, it was very clear what "that" and "those" stood for. If we don't know what our pronouns stand for, we should probably replace them. In general, a specific noun is preferable to a vague pronoun (unless that specific noun is clearly wrong!).
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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23 Dec 2012, 10:53
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No, size makes no difference. We always use "fewer" for countable and "less" for uncountable. Here, we use "less" rather than "fewer" because we are comparing the overall size of production, rather than the specific number of tons. This generally happens with weights and measures. For instance, I would say "I weigh less than 200 pounds," not fewer, because I am talking about a measurement, not a group of things. I'd also say "I want less than 3 ounces of coffee" or "I have less than 5 feet of rope left." Sure, we can count pounds, ounces, and feet, but we are using them to talk about an amount, not a number. 3 ounces of coffee is a way of saying how much coffee you have, but we're not counting individual coffee beans. Similarly, in the original problem, we're not counting individual grains of rice; rather, we're measuring overall rice production.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2012, 20:57
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dabangg wrote:
Can some one explain what's wrong with A

In 1979 India's rice production was nearly 25 percent less than those of the 1978 harvest.

does it make any sense?

Rice production is singular so you can not use 'THOSE'
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2016, 04:46
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hatemnag wrote:
it is quite confusing. get crazy or understand this idea. the question stem includes numbers and percents, then we say production is uncountable. what about 41 tons or 25 %.
please help to fix my mind to such idea. I studied MGMAT sc book more than twice.

First: 25% of a countable noun is countable and 25% of uncountable noun is uncountable. This is true for all percent and fraction words.

Now the question is whether we are referring to 25% of production (uncountable) or 25% of tonnes (countable). The sentence conveys the meaning that the production is reduced rather tonnes are reduced. 25% of production is uncountable and thus less is used.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2012, 20:57
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dabangg wrote:
Can some one explain what's wrong with A

A is wrong because those refers to tons . But we need to compare harvest total in one year to harvest total in another year.

Last edited by karthikguptav on 08 Aug 2012, 20:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2012, 23:43
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thangvietnam, check above for the explanation given by Dmitry Farber from MGMAT. He has explained why use "Less" rather than "Fewer" to compare the measurements or weights.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2013, 22:06
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Thangvietnam, we contrast "fewer" and "less" as I discussed above, but not "few" and "less." Let me show some usages:

Fewer = a smaller number of something (a comparative word)

We have fewer visitors this week than we did last week.
My wife has fewer papers on the desk than I do.
There are five fewer men than women at the party.

Less = a smaller measurement or quantity of something (a comparative word)

I have less money than my brother.
If I had taken less time on question 7, I might have done better on the exam.
Cycling requires less upper body strength than rock climbing.

Few = a small number of something (not a comparative word)

We have had few visitors this week.
Few of my friends enjoy spicy food.
A few of my friends enjoy spicy food.

Note that these last two have different implications. When I say "few of my friends," I mean "not very many of my friends." I am emphasizing the small number. When I say "a few of my friends," I mean "several of my friends." I am emphasizing the fact that some friends *do* like spicy food.

I hope this list helps. Let me know if you had something else in mind, or if you have other questions.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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22 Jun 2013, 06:17
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In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than those of the 1978 harvest.

(A) less than those of the 1978 harvest . Plural. Rice production is singular

(B) less than the 1978 harvest

(C) less than 1978. Illogical . 25% less than 1978.

(D) fewer than 1978

(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest

With percent we use "less" not "fewer". Thus, D , E are out.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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06 Nov 2016, 10:23
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iMyself wrote:
betterscore wrote:
In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than those of the 1978 harvest.

(A) less than those of the 1978 harvest

(B) less than the 1978 harvest

(C) less than 1978

(D) fewer than 1978

(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest

Hi Expert,
In B, “rice production” is compared to “1978 harvest”. The things (rice production and 1978 harvest), which is compared, look weird. Here, ‘1978 harvest’ means what? Is it only ‘india’s 1978 harvest’ or ‘world’s 1978 harvest’? I mean: is “rice production” compared with ‘india’s 1978 harvest’ or “rice production” with ‘world’s 1978 harvest’?

Because it is allowed to omit the repeated words from the second element of parallelism, it is implied that the harvest is also India's - The word "India's" is already mentioned in the first part and hence not required to be repeated in the second. If the meaning intended to be conveyed were "world's harvest", then the term "world's" would be required to be mentioned specifically.

Could you please elaborate why you feel that comparing "production" and "harvest" is weird? Both convey the same meaning in this context.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2012, 20:26
"production"is non countable so "less than " should be used.
CDE Out
A Vs B
X less than Y
production less than harvest
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2012, 20:53
Can some one explain what's wrong with A
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2012, 21:43
betterscore wrote:
In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than those of the 1978 harvest.

(A) less than those of the 1978 harvest

(B) less than the 1978 harvest

(C) less than 1978

(D) fewer than 1978

(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest

Less than in the start of phrase should be there so, D and E are out. however, after less than "that of" is required to make it parallel. "Those of" is wrong as it comes when noun is plural. "C' is also out.
But why "B" is right I dont know.

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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2012, 22:53
gurpreetsingh wrote:
jitgoel wrote:
betterscore wrote:
In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than those of the 1978 harvest.

(A) less than those of the 1978 harvest

(B) less than the 1978 harvest

(C) less than 1978

(D) fewer than 1978

(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest

Less than in the start of phrase should be there so, D and E are out. however, after less than "that of" is required to make it parallel. "Those of" is wrong as it comes when noun is plural. "C' is also out.
But why "B" is right I dont know.

less than that of 1978 => right
less than that of 1978 harvest => wrong.

My weight is less than that of you => right
My weight is less than your weight => right ( similar to option 2)
My weight is less than that of your weight => wrong ? what is that of your weight?
you can not compare my weight with something which is " that of your weight".

But in 'B' we are comparing production with the harvest, which might not be correct. Production with production will be ok.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2012, 23:39
jitgoel wrote:
But in 'B' we are comparing production with the harvest, which might not be correct. Production with production will be ok.

You don't need the attributes to be similar in terms of exact meaning. The attributes should be logically similar.

PS: production of crops is quite symbolic to harvest !!
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2012, 10:02
betterscore wrote:
In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than those of the 1978 harvest.

(A) less than those of the 1978 harvest

(B) less than the 1978 harvest

(C) less than 1978

(D) fewer than 1978

(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest

It is B. 1979 rice production is compared with 1978 harvest. Hope it helps!
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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21 Dec 2012, 09:48
So if
(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest

was changed to

(e) less than that of...

Will that be a correct choice?

Thanks
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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23 Dec 2012, 06:18
when the number is big, we use "less" not " fewer" , though the number is countable

is that right? I am not clear of this point.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2012, 23:11
"less" is used for non countable. "few" is used for countable

why "few" in D and E are wrong?
Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to   [#permalink] 29 Dec 2012, 23:11

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