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The weight of the average American male today is roughly

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Director
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The weight of the average American male today is roughly [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2013, 09:24
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  25% (medium)

Question Stats:

54% (01:40) correct 46% (47:05) wrong based on 56 sessions
The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago.

A. The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago.

B. The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than fifty years ago.

C. Today, the weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago.

D. The average American male weighs roughly fifteen percent more today than fifty years ago.

E. The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than it was fifty years ago.

oe to follow
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Re: The weight of the average American male today is roughly [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2013, 16:52
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Expert's post
avohden wrote:
The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago.

A. The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago.

B. The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than fifty years ago.

C. Today, the weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago.

D. The average American male weighs roughly fifteen percent more today than fifty years ago.

E. The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than it was fifty years ago.

Dear avohden
I'm happy to help. :-)

This is a funny question.

The comparative form "fifteen percent more .. than" is not correct. That's why (D) is wrong.

Choices (A) - (C) just slide the word "today" around. I don't think there's a problem with any of the three locations for this word.

The only other split is that (E) includes a subject & verb after "than" for clarity. Certainly (E) is impeccable, but we are allowed to omit all words in parallel & comparison, as long as ambiguity doesn't arise, and I don't believe (A)-(C) are ambiguous in their comparisons. Sometimes omitting the verb after "than" produces gigantic ambiguities, but that's simply not the case here. For example
correct: I like lasagne more than John does.
ambiguous: I like lasagne more than John. This could mean the same as the first, or it could mean that I prefer lasagne to John!
Here, I don't believe any ambiguity arises, because it's clear that "fifty years ago" is a time reference, not a possible term in the comparison. Therefore, four of the five choices would be correct.

I don't find this a very GMAT-like question. The whole sentence is underlined, but despite that, there's exceedingly little difference among the answer choices. A good SC question has one very clear correct answer, and four choices that can be eliminated for absolutely unambiguous reasons.

That's my take.
Mike :-)
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Mike McGarry
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Re: The weight of the average American male today is roughly [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2013, 17:26
After so many wrongs in this type of problem I started loving this type. while test taker's mind is busy in finding the comparison, test makers subtly change the meaning. - is it OK to compare mind vs test makers? :)

Back to the question.

A. The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago. - weight vs time.

B. The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than fifty years ago. weight vs time.

C. Today, the weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago. - weight vs time.

D. The average American male weighs roughly fifteen percent more today than fifty years ago. - remove today and then read, no sense

E. The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than it was fifty years ago.
Director
Director
User avatar
Status: 1,750 Q's attempted and counting
Affiliations: University of Florida
Joined: 09 Jul 2013
Posts: 513
Location: United States (FL)
Schools: UFL (A)
GMAT 1: 600 Q45 V29
GMAT 2: 590 Q35 V35
GMAT 3: 570 Q42 V28
GMAT 4: 610 Q44 V30
GPA: 3.45
WE: Accounting (Accounting)
Followers: 20

Kudos [?]: 246 [0], given: 629

Re: The weight of the average American male today is roughly [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2013, 10:25
Official Explanation

Answer: E
- This is a classic comparison question. We need to be comparing today’s average weight to the former average weight, but answer choices (A) through (D) all fill one of those two comparison slots with “fifty years ago.” (E) employs an “it” to substitute for “weight,” and thus it effects a fair comparison.
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Re: The weight of the average American male today is roughly   [#permalink] 15 Nov 2013, 10:25
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