When drive-ins were at the height of their popularity in the : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# When drive-ins were at the height of their popularity in the

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When drive-ins were at the height of their popularity in the [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2008, 08:30
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25% (01:32) correct 75% (00:33) wrong based on 7 sessions

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When drive-ins were at the height of their popularity in the late 50's , some 4000 existed in the United States, but today there are less than one-quarter that many
A.
B. there are fewer than one quarter as many
c. there are fewer than one quarter of that amount
D.the number is less than one quarter of that amount
E. it is less than one quarter of that amount

here OA is C. However we use 'less' with statistical data :
eg : With a total population of less than two hundred

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Re: SC -less Vs fewer [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2008, 13:31
Here two numbers are being compared.

...some 4000 existed in the United States, there are fewer than one quarter of that amount...

it is close to saying

..some 4000 existed in the United States, there are fewer than one thousand....

Compare to less... construction of D.

..some 4000 existed in the United States, the number is less than 1000...

In such case, obviously we are using less for something countable.

So C.
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Re: SC -less Vs fewer [#permalink]

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27 Apr 2011, 07:25
MamtaKrishnia wrote:
When drive-ins were at the height of their popularity in the late 50's , some 4000 existed in the United States, but today there are less than one-quarter that many
A.
B. there are fewer than one quarter as many
c. there are fewer than one quarter of that amount
D.the number is less than one quarter of that amount
E. it is less than one quarter of that amount

here OA is C. However we use 'less' with statistical data :
eg : With a total population of less than two hundred

I dont understand the OA. In C, "one quarter of that amount" means one quarter drive-ins". How can "amount" be used for "drive-ins". I'm highly highly sceptical of the OA.
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Re: SC -less Vs fewer [#permalink]

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27 Apr 2011, 11:57
I picked B, as 'that amount' doesn't sound right. Curious to know the correct answer and explanation.
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Re: SC -less Vs fewer [#permalink]

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27 Apr 2011, 12:43
ardk wrote:
I picked B, as 'that amount' doesn't sound right. Curious to know the correct answer and explanation.

your pick is correct. this is an official question, i just looked it up in MGMAT forums. here's the link: http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/whe ... t6550.html
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Re: SC -less Vs fewer [#permalink]

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27 Apr 2011, 12:48

USAGE

fewer, the comparative form of few, is used with words denoting people or countable things
ex:- fewer members, fewer books, fewer than ten contestants.

Less is used with mass nouns, denoting things that cannot be counted
ex:- less money, less music.
In addition, less is normally used with numbers ex:- less than 10,000 and with expressions of measurement or time ex-: less than two weeks, less than four miles away.

MamtaKrishnia wrote:
When drive-ins were at the height of their popularity in the late 50's , some 4000 existed in the United States, but today there are less than one-quarter that many
A.
B. there are fewer than one quarter as many
c. there are fewer than one quarter of that amount
D.the number is less than one quarter of that amount
E. it is less than one quarter of that amount

Here you can count drive-ins. Hence fewer.
A,D and E is out.
Between B and C, C "that amount" is awkward and less precise.

Hence OA B.
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Re: SC -less Vs fewer [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2011, 03:47
MamtaKrishnia wrote:
When drive-ins were at the height of their popularity in the late 50's , some 4000 existed in the United States, but today there are less than one-quarter that many
A.
B. there are fewer than one quarter as many
c. there are fewer than one quarter of that amount
D.the number is less than one quarter of that amount
E. it is less than one quarter of that amount

here OA is C. However we use 'less' with statistical data :
eg : With a total population of less than two hundred

I dont know howcome C is correct, but as per my understanding less is used for a continuous quantity and fewer is used for discrete quantity...and I am sure amount is not discrete as we never say

Please bring me 10 amount of sugar .

In traditional prescriptive grammar less is the comparative used when speaking of a continuous quantity that is not numerically quantifiable (that is, with mass nouns). Fewer, on the other hand, is used of discrete quantity and numerically quantifiable quantity (or count nouns).

So I think D should be correct even though we were having some quantifiable quantity (4000 existed) in the sentence.
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Re: SC -less Vs fewer   [#permalink] 29 Apr 2011, 03:47
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