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Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care

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Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care [#permalink] New post 01 May 2013, 09:48
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Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care drew close to half a million people, but the city officials estimated the amount of people at the rally to be less than 300,000.
(A) the amount of people at the rally to be less
(B) the number of people at the rally to be less
(C) the number of people attending the rally at fewer
(D) that the number of people attending the rally was less
(E) that the amount of people at the rally was fewer


On the GMAT SC, how do you talk about things you consider, believe, estimate, hold, think, and know? In this following blog article, I discuss all the idioms appropriate to these words:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-idiom ... d-knowing/
Also, that blog contains a full discussion of this particular SC question.

Experts --- anything you would like to add on this topic?

Mike :-)
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Last edited by mikemcgarry on 01 May 2013, 12:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care [#permalink] New post 01 May 2013, 10:59
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According to my knowledge:
"The number of people is"
"A number of people are"
Please point out any mistake.

In the OA:
(B) "the number of people at the rally to be fewer"
Can "fewer" modify "the number". Shouldn't "the number" be "lower" or "less"?
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Re: Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care [#permalink] New post 01 May 2013, 12:20
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HumptyDumpty wrote:
According to my knowledge:
"The number of people is"
"A number of people are"
Please point out any mistake.

In the OA:
(B) "the number of people at the rally to be fewer"
Can "fewer" modify "the number". Shouldn't "the number" be "lower" or "less"?

Dear HumptyDumpty,
On the first point, we are in perfect agreement. If we are talking about what the people are doing, then "a number of people are doing X". If the subject is not the people but the number itself, then "the number of people is divisible by 3."

On the second point, you are totally correct and I was wrong. I updated the question. Thank you for pointing this out.
Mike :-)
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Re: Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care [#permalink] New post 01 May 2013, 15:20
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+1 kudo for both of you. This is a very good question.

I just want to elaborate a little bit. According to Ron (instructor at Manhattan Gmat), for numerical quantifiers such as:

level
quantity
number
figure
rate
percentage
proportion

We should use less instead of "fewer" because numerical quantifiers themselves are uncountable.
For examples:
The number of rooms in my house is less than the number of rooms in your house.

Regards.
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Re: Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2014, 01:32
What is wrong with option D; option D presents a perfect parallelism as well.

Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care drew close to half a million people, but the city officials estimated the amount of people at the rally to be less than 300,000.


(B) the number of people at the rally to be less

(D) that the number of people attending the rally was less (event happened in past and thus "was less" properly represents tense in option D )

I am not able to identify any error in D; Experts kindly shed some light.
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Re: Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2014, 01:41
I got the explanation on Mangoosh:

http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-idiom ... d-knowing/

Estimate that is not a correct Idiom.
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Re: Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2014, 10:21
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PiyushK wrote:
What is wrong with option D; option D presents a perfect parallelism as well.

Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care drew close to half a million people, but the city officials estimated the amount of people at the rally to be less than 300,000.

(B) the number of people at the rally to be less

(D) that the number of people attending the rally was less (event happened in past and thus "was less" properly represents tense in option D )

I am not able to identify any error in D; Experts kindly shed some light.

PiyushK wrote:
I got the explanation on Mangoosh:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-idiom ... d-knowing/
Estimate that is not a correct Idiom.

Dear PiyushK,
First of all, just for reference, the name of my company, "Magoosh", has no "n" in it. :-)
We did some research, and revised our statement on the verb "estimate" --- under certain circumstance, estimate can take a "that" clause, although the predominate idiom is still estimate P to be Q. That's an older blog, and I didn't realize we still had a statement on that blog: I went back and edited that blog just now.

I must apologize. I went back and looked at this question, and there was a typo in the question --- it didn't match the TE. Here's how the question should have been:

Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care drew close to half a million people, but the city officials estimated the amount of people at the rally to be less than 300,000.
(A) the amount of people at the rally to be less
(B) the number of people at the rally to be less
(C) the number of people attending the rally at fewer
(D) that the number of people attending the rally was fewer
(E) that the amount of people at the rally was less


Now, it is clear to you that we have only one fully correct answer?

Mike :-)
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Re: Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2014, 10:32
Hey Mike,

Thank you for your prompt response and my apologies for that extra n ;)

All right, "estimate that" and "estimate X to be Y" both are correct idiom : noted and updated my list.

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Re: Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2015, 03:03
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Re: Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2015, 04:28
I still dont get why we use less with the number.
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Re: Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2015, 09:53
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Ergenekon wrote:
I still dont get why we use less with the number.

Dear Ergenekon,
I'm happy to help. :-)

With the issue of countable & uncountable, there are three cases:
I. uncountable - real-world material that doesn't come in discrete units
more water, how much water, much less water, the amount of water
less water, how little water, much less water

II. countable - real-world material that comes in discrete units
more horses, how many horses, many more horses, the number of horses
fewer horses, how few horses, many fewer horses

III. numbers - pure mathematical objects
five is more than three
three is less than five

Even when we are talking about "the number of [real world thing]," the focus is still the number, a number that lives somewhere on the number line. As long as we are somewhere on the number line, we are talking about pure mathematical objects, numbers, and we use "less."

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2015, 10:11
mikemcgarry wrote:
Ergenekon wrote:
I still dont get why we use less with the number.

Dear Ergenekon,
I'm happy to help. :-)

With the issue of countable & uncountable, there are three cases:
I. uncountable - real-world material that doesn't come in discrete units
more water, how much water, much less water, the amount of water
less water, how little water, much less water

II. countable - real-world material that comes in discrete units
more horses, how many horses, many more horses, the number of horses
fewer horses, how few horses, many fewer horses

III. numbers - pure mathematical objects
five is more than three
three is less than five

Even when we are talking about "the number of [real world thing]," the focus is still the number, a number that lives somewhere on the number line. As long as we are somewhere on the number line, we are talking about pure mathematical objects, numbers, and we use "less."

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)




Thanks Mike. It makes a perfect sense now. I have never encountered this concept in the gmat before. Am I alone in this?
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Re: Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2015, 09:20
mikemcgarry wrote:
Ergenekon wrote:
I still dont get why we use less with the number.

Dear Ergenekon,
I'm happy to help. :-)

With the issue of countable & uncountable, there are three cases:
I. uncountable - real-world material that doesn't come in discrete units
more water, how much water, much less water, the amount of water
less water, how little water, much less water

II. countable - real-world material that comes in discrete units
more horses, how many horses, many more horses, the number of horses
fewer horses, how few horses, many fewer horses

III. numbers - pure mathematical objects
five is more than three
three is less than five

Even when we are talking about "the number of [real world thing]," the focus is still the number, a number that lives somewhere on the number line. As long as we are somewhere on the number line, we are talking about pure mathematical objects, numbers, and we use "less."

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


Hi Mike,

Something about your examples:
five is more than three OR five is greater than three? Or both are correct?!
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Re: Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2015, 09:26
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apolo wrote:
Hi Mike,

Something about your examples:
five is more than three OR five is greater than three? Or both are correct?!

Dear apolo,
Yes, with numbers, it would be more common to use "greater," but "more" is acceptable in some context. What's tricky is that, when we move from pure mathematical numbers to real-world numbers, we sometimes use "higher."
The melting point of tungsten is higher than that of zinc.
The population of Tokyo is greater than that of SF.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Organizers claimed that the rally for public health care   [#permalink] 16 Mar 2015, 09:26
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