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While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other

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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2015, 11:28
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apolo wrote:
Thanks Mike.
My question did not mean that we should only restrict ourselves to purely grammatical rules.
Actually I asked this question to know whether using pronoun ambiguity is a safe tool for eliminating some choices in the case of this question; that turned out to be: not! (as you have explained in the bold part of your answer).
I know from MGMAT that generally slight pronoun ambiguity might be tolerated, and even some of the published questions in OG have some slight pronoun ambiguity in their correct answer choices.
However, for me it was interesting that the right choice in this questions ALSO has the least problematic usage of the pronoun 'they' compared to answer choices E and D. So I was just curious to know whether this has happened intentionally or simply accidentally.

In contrast to S-V agreement, for example, pronoun ambiguity in some cases, like the one in this question, seems not to be a pretty suitable reason used for eliminating a choice.

Dear apolo,
My friend, I will say SVA is one of the few areas of grammar that is almost mathematical in its sharp right/wrong distinction.
The company is . . . correct
The company are . . . incorrect
With pronouns, mistake of number are similarly black/white:
The store opened in June, and by July it was successful. = correct
The store opened in June, and by July they were successful. = incorrect
For number mistakes in pronoun, we can be just as certain in rejecting answers as we are with SVA mistakes.

The multiple pronoun thing, the same pronoun for two different things, is also a big no-no:
When anthropologist first encountered, they were surprised by their mode of dress.
Who was surprised by who? This is also a wrong-100%-of-the-time kind of error. See:
https://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-pronoun-traps/

As for antecedent, which noun is the antecedent, then we get into shades of gray. This involves issues of rhetoric and style, not just pure mathematical word order. Parallelism and logical focus of the sentence can sway issues of pronoun-antecedent pairings.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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apolo wrote:
Thanks Mike.
For the second case that you have mentioned, let me show an example from Verbal review, SC problem #92:

Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of the freshwater snails that are the parasite’s hosts for part of its life cycle.

(the original sentence is correct)

According to Manhattan SC book, every 'it and its' and every 'they, them, their' must refer to the same antecedent in a sentence.

However, in this sentence 'it' refers to the disease and 'its' refers to 'parasite'.
Of course they explained this contradiction by saying that we have two clauses, and that rules is about clauses not sentences: kind of weird, because in their book they have not clearly mentioned this. Also here (after 'and') indeed we have a complex sentence made of a main clause and a subordinate clause ...

Dear apolo
My friend, I think you misunderstand the sense of that rule. Yes, it's absolutely true, as MGMAT says, that it's a big no-no to have the same pronoun referring to two different things in the same part of the sentence.
. . . they would not sell them the rights . . .
. . . it prevented it from . . .
Think of it this way: every clause within sentence is a mini-sentence in itself. Similarly, participial & infinitive & gerund phrases revolve around a verb-form, exactly as a clause revolves around a verb. Each one is a kind of mini-sentence within the whole. Using the same pronoun inside the same mini-sentence for two different things is a huge no-no. By contrast, if in one part of the sentence, I have [antecedent #1] . . "its," and then later, in another part, I have [antecedent #2] . . . "it," that's perfectly fine. How close is too close? When are two of the same pronoun far enough away that no ambiguity arises? To some extent, this is a judgment call, but certainly when they only a few words apart in the same phrase or clause, that's a problem.

In that sentence from the OG Verbal Review,
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become . . .
The main sentence structure involves two parallel independent clauses. The first "it" is the subject of the second independent clause, parallel to the subject of the first. This parallelism, as well as the rhetorical focus of the sentence on schistosomiasis, make it unambiguously clear that this "it" should refer to schistosomiasis.

Then, later in the sentence, we have a that-clause, a relative clause that modifies the noun "freshwater snails."
. . . freshwater snails that are the parasite’s hosts for part of its life cycle.
In that region of the sentence, that mini-sentence zone, the only singular noun is "parasite," because the snails are plural. Normally, a noun in the possessive cannot be an antecedent, but it can be if the pronoun is also in the possessive, as it is here. This is a dependent clause. Think about if we made this information a sentence on its own:
Freshwater snails are the parasite’s hosts for part of its life cycle.
That's a perfectly clear sentence. The pronoun usage in that sentence is completely unambiguous. That's precisely why we can turn the sentence back into the clause, stick it in the larger sentence, and the pronoun usage is still clear. The two "it" usages are "far away" from each other, doing very different things in very different parts of the sentence, and each one has its own strong relationship with its own antecedent.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2016, 11:25
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sukanyar wrote:
Slightly confusing. In the answer we have "for" other types of power plants, but there is no "for" on the right hand side at all (in your 3a and 3b versions). So, how is "of' changing to "for".

sananoor wrote:
you have put a very good question, now just ask ur self what is right
the cost of X is same as it is FOR others (we arn't comparing cost of X to cost of others, we are trying to say that cost of running something is same as it is for other plants)
the cost of X is same as it is OF others--wrong

Dear sukanyar,
I'm happy to respond. :-) On behalf of the English Language, I apologize. Grammar is not mathematics. Grammar is not mathematics. There are patterns, to be sure, but none of the patterns of grammar are as rigorously clean and logical as the patterns of mathematics. If you approach GMAT grammar looking for the precise rules to follow, the English language will endlessly frustrate you.

There is absolutely no way to get to GMAT SC mastery by assembling some ideal set of grammar rules. You have to read. You have to develop an ear for the living language in all its idiosyncrasy. See this blog article:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2012, 10:49
In B "costs" is plural. Is the verb " is" correct here.

please explain
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2012, 11:18
But doesn't B change the meaning? B talks about the electricity becoming more expensive but the original sentence talks about it becoming more expensive for the plant to generate electricity.
These are two different things.

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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jan 2013, 12:10
daagh wrote:
There are two distinct splits here, as you may see; one is the comparison of the costs to run a nuclear plant with just the other types of plants and not their running costs. The second split is the ambiguity of the pronouns, precisely the –third - it in the original. Of course the other two it pronouns may be argued as passable as place holders.

A. While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity. ----- 1.faulty comparison; cost of running compared with other types of power plants 2. The third pronoun it is dangling without an antecedent. Makes what more expensive? Makes electricity more expensive to generate electricity 3. Costs that makes … A SV mismatch


B While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive.
The comparison, the pronoun problem and the SV mismatch nicely fixed. Correct choice.

C. Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes the electricity they generate more expensive. -----Though the comparison problems are fixed, costs and that makes is S-V mismatch.

D. It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants.
Pronoun they is rather ambiguous; they may refer to either the nuclear or other types.

E. The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants, but the electricity they generate is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants. -------- Faulty comparison


Daagh,

Can you please clarify this -

'doesn't B change the meaning? B talks about the electricity becoming more expensive but the original sentence talks about it becoming more expensive for the plant to generate electricity. These are two different things'
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2013, 00:57
why D is wrong ? pls explain fully. Thank you
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2013, 04:38
sujit2k7 wrote:
One more imp learning from this SC:

A costs the same as B- sub to sub comparison
The costs of running A is same for B---Obj to Obj comparison need Preposition
{Got this rule from Magoosh video so can rely on it :wave }

B While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive.->Correct



Hi,
Can someone please clarify my doubt.
How ellipsis is playing its part over here. I understand that we either needs to use verb (in case of Subject to Subject comparison so that the comparison is not ambiguous) or apply preposition so as to make Object - Object comparison.

Here Object of preposition is {running nuclear plants} and {other types of power plants} -> how they both are logically parallel?
Request you to provide insights.

Thanks
H
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2013, 11:41
Thanks daagh for your reply.

I understand that the answer B is best amongst all, and conveys the logical meaning perfectly.
However, I am still not convinced about the sentence structure. Can you please elaborate a bit more on your reasoning.

I tried to understand this concept by taking clues from MGMAT, but failed to do so. I would appreciate if someone can help me out.

Here is an example from MGMAT-
The incidence of the disease among men exceeds the incidence among women.
The incidence of the disease among men exceeds that among women.
Here, that is referring to incidence, per explanantion from MGMAT.

So, ellipsis should be -
The incidence of the disease among men exceeds that(of the disease) among women.
Now, going by same concept -

The cost of running nuclear plants is same as that for electric plants.
In the below sentence, what THAT is referring to . Is it "the cost" or "the cost of running".

If it is later, then why do we require an extra preposition?

The cost of running nuclear plants is same as {the cost of running }for electric plants.

Appreciate your help
Thanks
H

daagh wrote:
When expanded in full (with ellipsis in brackets), B will be
B While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for (the cost of running) other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive.
The comparison is still between the costs of running one type with the costs for running other types. The only difference is that in the first case we are using ‘of’ as the preposition while in the second arm, we are using ‘for’. As long as we use a preposition for another acceptable preposition, the comparison can be considered be logical and parallel, IMO.

As far as B changing the meaning from the original, I feel the meaning is flawed. There is no way we can ascertain what the “it” stands for. The term ‘it’ does not convey clearly and logically the intended meaning. Hence we have to amend it. B is logical.

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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2013, 13:50
You see, leaving apart too many rules, we need to chose the answer which is best out of the given options. All other choices except for B, in the question above, have noticeable grammar issues. Quite unlike, Choice B, only uses an additional preposition, which if you notice, most other choices uses as well, so...we choose an option which overcomes other more critical grammar issues (the logical comparison and SV error)
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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I agree with you fully;
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2013, 11:05
I am glad to direct my question to Daagh then, what is the context of using this additional preposition? As per the meaning of the sentence, it is not absolutely needed, but again its the best choice out of all, so what is it that we should learn from this choice B, will be keen to know
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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You are absolutely correct in your understanding. And you are dead on about the ambiguity in the sentence if we omit "that among".

Now you asked about the following sentence - i.e. if we only omitted that and retained among.

The incidence of the disease among men exceeds among women.
IMO, this sentence is also ambiguous since it somehow may consider "incidence of that disease among men" as one entity and when this entity is put together with "among women", it would not make sense.

Let's take another example:
Attraction of child to chocolates exceeds to ice cream. - IMO incorrect
Attraction of child to chocolates exceeds that to ice cream. - Surely Correct.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Payal
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2013, 21:15
TO EGMAT

A says:While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.


though i had eliminated A but i want to know if the initial comparison in A is faulty ?

if i say : nuclear power plants cost twice as much to run as other power plants . i know that this comparison is oki even without the helping verb "do" because there is no ambiguity

so i get a feeling that in A this initial comparison :While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants seems to be right comparison wise .it might be wrong because of usage of "it" or because of some redundancy but comparison wise it seems oki .
any thought

Last edited by aditya8062 on 19 Mar 2013, 06:48, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2013, 02:58
TO EGMAT
Quote:
EGMAT quote : (with correct connection)
The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as that for other types of power plants.
So this is where the preposition "for" comes from.

plz tell me is it that the preposition "of" wud have been much better here
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2013, 05:54
egmat wrote:

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Payal


Yes, it does.
Thanks for taking up my queries and responding in detail.

Thanks
H
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2013, 06:05
Hi Aditya,

Let me take a stab on it.

While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants

Whenever, you encounter such questions, always make sure about the presence of Subject-Verb, Object and prepositional phrase.

If there is prepositional phrase, more often than not you have the ambiguity present. You will see that the sentence can be interpreted in two ways.

1) Repeat the MAIN VERB and see what does sentence mean now.
While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants (Costs)

Sentence says that cost of running nuclear plants is same as the cost of other power plants(it may cost of infrastructure, or machinery or something else). Now this is illogical, because for sentence to be logical, you must compare costs of running nuclear plants with cost of running other plants

2) Repeat the preposition before second entity
While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as {to run}other types of power plants
Now, here both the costs are same.

So, in nut shell, we have two different scenarios and hence, it is incorrect.

As far as your reasoning goes for negating choice A, I would refrain myself for using it until and unless I have other better choices.
For example,
it is absolutely correct to say that -

It is I who executes the automation scripts everyday.

Hope it is clear.

Thanks
H

aditya8062 wrote:
TO EGMAT

A says:While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.


though i had eliminated A but i want to know if the initial comparison in A is faulty ?

if i say : nuclear power plants cost twice as much as to run as other power plants . i know that this comparison is oki even without the helping verb "do" because there is no ambiguity

so i get a feeling that in A this initial comparison :While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants seems to be right comparison wise .it might be wrong because of usage of "it" or because of some redundancy but comparison wise it seems oki .
any thought

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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2013, 06:37
aditya8062 wrote:
@himanshu if that is the case then why does this ambiguity does not arise in this comparison : nuclear power plants cost twice as much as to run as other power plants


@ Aditya,

As far as my analysis goes, I think above sentence is equally ambivalent.

Original Sentence
nuclear power plants cost twice as much as to run as other power plants -> as should not be there.- Wrong Idiom. I guess its typo.

Now, going by my framework -
nuclear power plants cost twice as much to run as other power plants

Repeat Preposition phrase
nuclear power plants cost twice as much to run as {to run }other power plants
Here, cost of running nuclear plants is being compared and
Cost of running nuclear power plants =2* cost of running others

Repeat Main verb
nuclear power plants cost twice as much to run as other power plants do(cost)
This is illogical -
Cost of running nuclear power plants is being compared to cost of other power plants.

I went back to my notes to check if as much as only compares only subjects -This is what I get

1) Comparing Subjects
We have three times as many pears as you(have) - Here it is logical that number of pears =3* as you have. It is illogical to say that number of pears is 3 times as you.
2) Comparing Objects
His knowledge springs as much from experience as from schooling.

Hope that makes sense.

Thanks
H
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2013, 07:47
nuclear power plants cost twice as much to run as other power plants
well this sentence is oki comparison wise

Quote:
We have three times as many pears as you

Last edited by aditya8062 on 21 Mar 2013, 03:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2013, 08:01
Quote:
nuclear power plants cost twice as much to run as other power plants

well this sentence is oki comparison wise

Pardon my knowledge. Request you to please show me your point of view, how the above sentence has a valid comparison. It could be structurally correct but as per me, its logically incorrect


Quote:
We have three times as many pears as you
the reason this sentence is ambiguous is coz "we" ,"pears" and "you" are parallel element and can make different meanings possible (which i guess u might be knowing )


This is perfectly correct sentence. Refer MGMAT, p 144.
I'm afraid if that is your reasoning of making the sentence ambiguous. For clarification, refer e-gmat article on ellipsis, example-

John cooks food better than his wife. - Its perfectly valid . However as per your explanation, its going to be ambiguous.

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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other   [#permalink] 19 Mar 2013, 08:01

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