Only seven people this century have been killed by the great : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Only seven people this century have been killed by the great

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Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2008, 15:43
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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.
A. movies—less than those
B. movies—fewer than have been
C. movies, which is less than those
D. movies, a number lower than the people
E. movies, fewer than the ones

How exactly is "," & "-" should be used ??

Edit: OA corrected. --- Mike
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by mikemcgarry on 12 Jul 2015, 12:48, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2008, 16:10
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stallone wrote:
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.
A. movies—less than those
B. moviesfewer than have been
C. movies, which is less than those
D. movies, a number lower than the people
E. movies, fewer than the ones

How exactly is "," & "-" should be used ??

I welcome that discussion about comma & and.

As far as hyphen is concerned, I have seen them when we want to list items. For example Fruits- Apples , Oranges, grapes

For example take this word man-eater from your sentence. some thing that eats man

with out hyphen man eater would not make sense

I was down to B & E. B sounds as if the fewer are movies themselves and also fewer than what??

E seems simple but I am not sure what exactly it is modifying. But If I take the dependent clause out and read it is good.

B shows parallelism by using have been for the folks killed by bee stings. But the comparison does not sound right??

What is the OA and source?
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2008, 16:40
icandy , which form is better/correct :

", ... -" OR "-......-"

will post the OA soon (let some other people try)

i chose B (mainly because of "have been") , i was wrong though
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2008, 17:34
I think the answer boils down to E.

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.
A. movies—less than those
B. movies—fewer than have been
C. movies, which is less than those
D. movies, a number lower than the people
E. movies, fewer than the ones

Well, generally (I believe so) "-" is used when the clause following the hyphen is either an independent clause.

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2008, 20:51
I will go with D.....since number will be lower down
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 01:43
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stallone wrote:
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.
A. movies—less than those
B. movies—fewer than have been
C. movies, which is less than those
D. movies, a number lower than the people
E. movies, fewer than the ones

How exactly is "," & "-" should be used ??

fewer VS less. We can eliminate A and C.

fewer - countable
less - uncountable

B and D have wrong comparison.

Only E left. I am not sure about the usage of "-" and ","

icandy's explanation is good.
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 12:10
OA is E
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2008, 00:28
Here "-" is clearly wrong as there is a noun modifier "the man eater of the movies" in the middle of the sentence and hence this modifier should have a comma before and after it.
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2008, 09:23
amitdgr wrote:
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.
A. movies—less than those
B. movies—fewer than have been
C. movies, which is less than those
D. movies, a number lower than the people
E. movies, fewer than the ones

How exactly is "," & "-" should be used ??

Well, just goes to show you... some of those clowns making GMAT prep materials don't speak proper English.

A is wrong because "less" is obviously the improper modifier to use.
C is wrong because the "which is" construction makes it awkward and, again, you have "less."
D is wrong on face.
E is wrong because what "the ones" refers to is vague. You could infer it, of course, but the construction is all effed up.

Honestly, the so-called "rules" for using dashes change all the time, depending on what medium you're communicating in. The "&" symbol is inappropriate almost anywhere, except perhaps in a title (eg. Johnson & Johnson). How and where to use commas is worthy of an entire book of English grammar, and to tell the truth, the vast majority of people misuse them. College-educated folks here in the States write with awful comma splices and usage all the time. Pick up an MLA manual and read about it.
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2008, 09:56
Ntang wrote:
amitdgr wrote:
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.
A. movies—less than those
B. movies—fewer than have been
C. movies, which is less than those
D. movies, a number lower than the people
E. movies, fewer than the ones

How exactly is "," & "-" should be used ??

Well, just goes to show you... some of those clowns making GMAT prep materials don't speak proper English.

A is wrong because "less" is obviously the improper modifier to use.
C is wrong because the "which is" construction makes it awkward and, again, you have "less."
D is wrong on face.
E is wrong because what "the ones" refers to is vague. You could infer it, of course, but the construction is all effed up.

Honestly, the so-called "rules" for using dashes change all the time, depending on what medium you're communicating in. The "&" symbol is inappropriate almost anywhere, except perhaps in a title (eg. Johnson & Johnson). How and where to use commas is worthy of an entire book of English grammar, and to tell the truth, the vast majority of people misuse them. College-educated folks here in the States write with awful comma splices and usage all the time. Pick up an MLA manual and read about it.

I also think B is correct, contrary to the OA
I don't like "the ones" in E either... try rewriting it (E) without commas like this:
Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, fewer than the ones killed by bee stings

Compared to (B)'s construction without commas, which is much clearer.
Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, fewer than have been killed by bee stings

What is the source of this question?
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2011, 12:14
stallone wrote:
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.
A. movies—less than those [highlight][incorrectly compares movies by using movies - less than .......][/highlight]
B. movies—fewer than have been [highlight][parallel construction >>>have been.......have been][/highlight]
C. movies, which is less than those [highlight][which refers to movies][/highlight]
D. movies, a number lower than the people [highlight]["which "incorrectly refers to movies][/highlight]
E. movies, fewer than the ones[highlight]["fewer" incorrectly modifies movies][/highlight]

How exactly is "," & "-" should be used ??

hope this helps..
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2011, 19:14
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I also went with B.

I didn't like E because of the usage of "ones". "Ones" is possessive, and its usage gives a feeling that it is referring to specific human beings. ( as they know who are the people who were killed by bee stings).

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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05 Jul 2012, 00:25
I was tossing and turning between B and E, I chose E because the "have been" in B sounded awkward. Could someone please explain how B is correct?
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2013, 06:34
Hi Experts,

Can anyone comment on how correct option works? What kind of construction is this?

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

Thanks
H
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2013, 11:58
I remember this question from my recent GMATPrep, and I think the answer is option B and not option E.
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2013, 12:08
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imhimanshu wrote:
Hi Experts,

Can anyone comment on how correct option works? What kind of construction is this?

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

Thanks
H

Hi imhimanshu. I'm glad to help.
Hi gmatter0913. I'd like to confirm OA is E. Please refer to my explanation below.

Some theories:
(1) If A modifier is blocked off by commas, it should be blocked off both sides with the same punctuations.. If you use a comma on the left, you must use a comma on the right. The same pattern is used for a dash (-)
(2) The dash (-) is a flexible punctuation mark. You can use a dash as an emphatic comma, semicolon, or colon.

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.

A. moviesless than those
Wrong. The left side of the modifier is a comma --> the dash on the right is wrong. In addition, "less" is wrong here.

B. moviesfewer than have been
Wrong. Same error as in A. The left side of the modifier is a comma --> the dash on the right is wrong.

C. movies, which is less than those
Wrong. "which" modifies the movies --> Make no sense --> wrong. In addition, "less" is incorrect.

D. movies, a number lower than the people
Wrong comparison: "a number vs. the people"

E. movies, fewer than the ones
Correct. The comparison is: Only seven people have been killed by white shark fewer than the ones (have been) killed by bee stings.

Same color denotes comparisons in the sentence.

Hope it helps.
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2013, 11:02
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imhimanshu wrote:
Hi Experts,

Can anyone comment on how correct option works? What kind of construction is this?

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

Thanks
H

Dear imhimanshu,
I am replying to your pm, and I'm happy to give my 2 cents on this question.

I have looked at various websites, and I am astounded how the web seems almost equally divided between people who insist the OA is (B) and people who insist the OA is (E). If this indeed a GMAT Prep, then either GMAT Prep itself showed inconsistencies, or tons of people mistakenly cite a wrong answer as the OA. Something is very fishy here.

I really liked what pqhai had to say about the dash --- a more emphatic break than a comma or semicolon. It can indicate an unexpected shift in the flow of the sentence.
Ted Williams was a Hall-of-Fame baseball player --- and a champion fisherman.
It can also be used for an appositive phrase or other noun modifier, especially if the modifier is long.
Americans consider Washington the "Father of the Country" --- a title that indicates how much he is endeared to Americans.

In the (B) version of the sentence,
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.
the dash serves to show an unexpected shift in the logic --- folks are deathly afraid of sharks, and the movies (such as "Jaws") have made notorious death by sharks. The unexpected irony is that little old bees have killed more people than gigantic sharks. The dash indicates this unexpected shift. Notice the good verb parallelism ---- "have been killed by X ... have been killed by Y". What pqhai says about this choice doesn't make sense to me --- it's verb parallelism --- what follows the dash is not a modifier.

Here, I would say both (B) & (E) are correct, grammatically and stylistically. We are dealing with the number of something, i.e. something countable, so we absolutely need the word "fewer" instead of "less." Choices (A) & (C) make the countable/uncountable mistake, so they are plain wrong, and (D) is an awkward wordy disaster. Choice (B) make be a tad shorter and more elegant than (E), but it's not really characteristic of the GMAT to have two answers, both of which are essentially correct: they are usually very good about making one clearly right answer and making something clearly flawed about each of the other four answers. Something is very fishy with this question.

Mike
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2013, 14:55
mikemcgarry wrote:
imhimanshu wrote:
Hi Experts,

Can anyone comment on how correct option works? What kind of construction is this?

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

Thanks
H

Dear imhimanshu,
I am replying to your pm, and I'm happy to give my 2 cents on this question.

I have looked at various websites, and I am astounded how the web seems almost equally divided between people who insist the OA is (B) and people who insist the OA is (E). If this indeed a GMAT Prep, then either GMAT Prep itself showed inconsistencies, or tons of people mistakenly cite a wrong answer as the OA. Something is very fishy here.

I really liked what pqhai had to say about the dash --- a more emphatic break than a comma or semicolon. It can indicate an unexpected shift in the flow of the sentence.
Ted Williams was a Hall-of-Fame baseball player --- and a champion fisherman.
It can also be used for an appositive phrase or other noun modifier, especially if the modifier is long.
Americans consider Washington the "Father of the Country" --- a title that indicates how much he is endeared to Americans.

In the (B) version of the sentence,
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.
the dash serves to show an unexpected shift in the logic --- folks are deathly afraid of sharks, and the movies (such as "Jaws") have made notorious death by sharks. The unexpected irony is that little old bees have killed more people than gigantic sharks. The dash indicates this unexpected shift. Notice the good verb parallelism ---- "have been killed by X ... have been killed by Y". What pqhai says about this choice doesn't make sense to me --- it's verb parallelism --- what follows the dash is not a modifier.

Here, I would say both (B) & (E) are correct, grammatically and stylistically. We are dealing with the number of something, i.e. something countable, so we absolutely need the word "fewer" instead of "less." Choices (A) & (C) make the countable/uncountable mistake, so they are plain wrong, and (D) is an awkward wordy disaster. Choice (B) make be a tad shorter and more elegant than (E), but it's not really characteristic of the GMAT to have two answers, both of which are essentially correct: they are usually very good about making one clearly right answer and making something clearly flawed about each of the other four answers. Something is very fishy with this question.

Mike

Hi mike,
I read in Magoosh's idiom book that for comparison less is preferred, so in this case shouldn't less be correct?
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2013, 15:01
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?

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
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2013, 15:30
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.

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great   [#permalink] 16 Sep 2013, 15:30

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