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Only seven people this century have been killed by the great

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2013, 16:14
mikemcgarry wrote:
akijuneja wrote:
Hi mike,
I read in Magoosh's idiom book that for comparison less is preferred, so in this case shouldn't less be correct?
Please explain.

Dear akijuneja,
I have no idea what passage you might be citing from the idiom ebook, but this is a fundamental Diction issue ---- we use "less" for continuous uncountable items ---
less water, less air, less freedom, less democracy, less justice, less time, less space, less money
and we use "fewer" for countable items:
fewer people, fewer houses, fewer cards, fewer court cases, fewer hours, fewer inches, fewer dollars
See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... -vs-fewer/

This is a very important issue, which the GMAT frequently tests. It's very good to be clear on this.

Mike :-)


Dear mike
I read that when we compare numbers and numbers decrease we use less.
For eg: the melting point of zinc is less than that of copper.
Here melting point is a number and countable, so shouldn't fewer be used?
Second eg. I have fewer/less flowers than he has?
Please explain which form is correct on second example?

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2013, 16:34
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akijuneja wrote:
Dear mike
I read that when we compare numbers and numbers decrease we use less.
For eg: the melting point of zinc is less than that of copper.

Please explain.

Dear akijuneja,
You must distinguish between three different scenarios
(a) uncountable items
(b) countable items
(c) numbers

There's a difference between, say, a melting point or price of something --- that's a number, as opposed to seven cars or ten newspapers, which are counts of countable items. The rules for countable items is not the same as the rules for numbers. See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-sente ... ve-idioms/

Thus, we would talk about
more time vs. less time (uncountable)
more justice vs. less justice (uncountable)
more people vs. fewer people (countable)
more barrels vs. fewer barrels (countable)
a higher melting point vs. a lower melting point (number)
a higher price vs. a lower price (number)
the price of A is greater/higher than the price of B (number)
the price of B is less/lower than the price of A (number)

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2013, 08:44
Dear Mike,

I can confirm that the OA is indeed B. I have verified it from GMAT PREP,as I encountered this question while taking test.

I'm producing a part of question in which I'm having doubt.

Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movies—less than those killed by bee stings.

B. movies—fewer than have been
In option B, I wanted to understand the construction of the sentence. Can we say that the blue colored part is Clause.? if yes, then what is the subject?

E. movies, fewer than the ones
Again, what is highlighted portion depicting? Is it a modifier, if yes, then what kind of modifier is this? Appositive, and what is it modifying? Movies..?
Please explain.
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2013, 13:45
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imhimanshu wrote:
Dear Mike,

I can confirm that the OA is indeed B. I have verified it from GMAT PREP,as I encountered this question while taking test.

I'm producing a part of question in which I'm having doubt.
Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movies—less than those killed by bee stings.

B. movies — fewer than have been
In option B, I wanted to understand the construction of the sentence. Can we say that the blue colored part is Clause.? if yes, then what is the subject?

E. movies, fewer than the ones
Again, what is highlighted portion depicting? Is it a modifier, if yes, then what kind of modifier is this? Appositive, and what is it modifying? Movies..?
Please explain.

Dear imhimanshu,
I'm happy to help. :-) Thank you for verifying the OA.

Here's the full (B) version:
Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movies—fewer than have been killed by bee stings.
Remember that one of the qualities of parallel structure --- in some sense, the very point of parallelism --- is that we can omit a large number of common words as assumed. In the first clause, the subject is "seven people", or somewhat more formally, [number] people or "the number of people" --- those words are assumed in the second part of the sentence--- "fewer than the number of people that have been killed by bee stings", with the green part showing the common words that were properly omitted in the parallel structure. One could say --- the very point of parallelism is to omit such words.

Technically, I guess we would say --- the first part, up to "movies", is an independent clause. Then we get "fewer than [a number]" --- here, "than" serves as a preposition, and the omitted noun "number of people" is the object of the preposition, and the verb "have been killed" is the verb of a "that" clause modifying the object of the preposition.

Here's the full (E) version:
Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movie, fewer than the ones killed by bee stings.
Again, "than" is a preposition, and the indefinite pronoun "the ones" is the object of the preposition, and this object is modified by a participial phrase "killed by bee stings." For more on participial phrases, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/participle ... -the-gmat/
I guess the GMAT prefers (B), because in (E) we are setting a full verb of a full close in parallel to participial phrase, instead of a full verb inside a noun-modifying "that" clause, which is what (B) does. Hmmm. :-|

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2013, 19:18
pqhai wrote:
Hi imhimanshu. I'm glad to help.
Hi gmatter0913. I'd like to confirm OA is E. Please refer to my explanation below.


The OA is B. I can post screen print as well, if you like.
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2013, 02:20
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Yes Mike, you're right. I think GMATPrep seems to have two answers for this.

I re-checked the answer from GMATPrep twice and the OA is B. (I checked the option too) :)
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2013, 06:57
E...

initially i was struck with D,E...

meaning: 7 people killed by shark.... fewer than 7 are killed by strings
error analysis: 1. . those is plural... used for far away from things/speaker...
2. less...uncountable
3. fewer.... countable....
so, AC,
D... people cannot be lower....
so E....
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink] New post 28 Oct 2013, 12:06
Even if the man eater of the movies is not there this sentence still makes sense, hence it is a non-essential modifier. These kind of modifiers should be bounded by comma. Fewer is countable. hence E

C is wrong because we see that which is modifying movies while it should modify white(adj) shark. A noun and its modifier should always touch each other.
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2013, 03:37
akijuneja wrote:
Dear mike
I read that when we compare numbers and numbers decrease we use less.
For eg: the melting point of zinc is less than that of copper.

Please explain.

Posted from my mobile device Image


When we say "melting point", it is uncountable. Its is like , the "level of water" in a pool. It can be less not fewer.
Thats why, "fewer" is appropriate here because we are counting the number of people.
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2013, 10:39
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avik629 wrote:
akijuneja wrote:
Dear mike
I read that when we compare numbers and numbers decrease we use less.
For eg: the melting point of zinc is less than that of copper.

Please explain.

Posted from my mobile device Image


When we say "melting point", it is uncountable. Its is like , the "level of water" in a pool. It can be less not fewer.
Thats why, "fewer" is appropriate here because we are counting the number of people.

Dear avik629,
Just to be clear, "melting point" is neither countable nor uncountable --- it is a third category: numbers themselves. If I ask, "what is the melting point of zinc?", the correct answer to that question is a number.

For uncountable nouns, we use "more" and "less".
For countable nouns, we use "more" and "fewer".
For numbers, we use "greater" and "less", or "higher" and "lower", or something along those lines.

It would be 100% wrong to use "fewer" for "melting point". We could use "less" or "lower", as in:
The melting point of zinc is less than that of copper.
The melting point of copper is greater than that of zinc.
Zinc has a lower melting point than does copper.
Copper has a higher melting point than does zinc.

See this post:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-compa ... -vs-fewer/

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great   [#permalink] 20 Nov 2013, 10:39
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