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with total population of less than two hundred and fewer

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with total population of less than two hundred and fewer [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2010, 16:21
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  35% (medium)

Question Stats:

56% (01:04) correct 44% (00:36) wrong based on 18 sessions
with total population of less than two hundred and fewer breeding females than ever before, the american crocodile seemed a decade ago to be in danger of disappearing.

of less than two hundred and fewer

lower than two hundred and less

lesser than two hundred and fewer

fewer than two hundred and less

of fewer than two hundred and of fewer
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: countable nouns [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 06:22
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I think the text per se is good enough. Here the total population refers the quantum of two hundred and as such the non- countable comparative degree adjective ‘less’ should be used. We shouldn’t be tempted to think that two hundred is a number which can be counted as one and two hundred etc and entails fewer or lower.

Of course we must use the countable adjective fewer for the breeder females.

I feel there is no difference between leas and lesser. Both are useable and interchangeable. But ‘less’ is more often used than ‘lesser’.

So we can limit to Choice A and C and further narrow down to A because it is more often used
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Re: countable nouns [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 12:46
Just a quick caution here. Choosing one phrase over another because it is used more often can be extremely dangerous. For example:

"I like to travel to places like the beach." --> This implies that I don't actually like going to the beach, but that I like going to places SIMILAR to the beach. (Maybe a water park or a sandbox or something).

"I like to travel to places such as the beach." --> This means I like going to the beach, but we rarely say it this way in everyday speech.

With that said, I'd push people to not just consider the single word used in this and other questions (less vs. lesser) but the phrase overall ("of less than" vs. "lesser than) and try to determine why one of these is right and the other is wrong.
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Re: countable nouns [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 18:25
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Quote:
BKimball wrote

With that said, I'd push people to not just consider the single word used in this and other questions (less vs. lesser) but the phrase overall ("of less than" vs. "lesser than) and try to determine why one of these is right and the other is wrong.


Can you please tell us which is correct? Of less than Choice A or lesser than (Choice C).

Coming back to your example of the word ‘like’, the use of the same word in two different meanings is not equal to the use of two different words in the same meaning, which is what the text is about. Can you please give some more examples in which we have to choose between two altogether different words but with the same meaning such as equal and equalant etc.

I also feel that it is not fair to compare a word in spoken form with its written form.
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Re: countable nouns [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 18:42
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With due respects to Bkimball's views, which he is entitled for, just as I am for my own views which I cherish, let me make out a few things. I think that this forum is neither for teaching nor for exploring English grammar. This is for teaching enough grammar to cross over the GMAT. Within that pressure cooker time of the real-time GMAT, the test taker must know the shortest but the safest means ticking the right ones. Knowledge of grammar is subservient to this purpose.

But let me reiterate that I respect other views too.
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Re: countable nouns [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2010, 09:21
i opted C not because of countable and non countable but because of parallelism .... lesser... fewer ...
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Re: countable nouns [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2010, 10:11
With total population of less than two hundred and fewer breeding females than ever before, the american crocodile seemed a decade ago to be in danger of disappearing.

of less than two hundred and fewer - preposition "of" not required

lower than two hundred and less - "lower than"...."less" same word different tenses

lesser than two hundred and fewer - when in context of "number" less is used....then fewer countable noun for "females"

fewer than two hundred and less - awkward

of fewer than two hundred and of fewer - same as A
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Re: countable nouns [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2010, 10:35
ha ha..got answer for all of us.
we know why A and C are the contenders.
We must have read this, Positive/Comparative/Superlative - Little/less/least.

the sentence is already in the comparative form "of less"....using "lesser" making the context less twice is incorrect.
So A is the best.
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Re: countable nouns [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2010, 21:52
here is a really good write up on this topic --
http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/pos ... tml#p26913
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Re: countable nouns [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2010, 06:39
daagh,

I completely understand what you're saying and didn't intend for this to be a purely theoretical discussion of grammar. That said, I have spent a lot of time taking, teaching, and reviewing the GMAT and I believe that you need to understand certain fundamental grammatical concepts to do well on SC. Although there are rules that get shared on many forums ("Being is always wrong" / "The shortest answer is always right" / etc.) the reality is that the only real hard and fast rule on SC is that "The right answer must be grammatically correct." Although students can probably increase their scores to a certain point using shortcuts, most of the comments I see on this forum are from students who say their goal scores are 650-750. For better or for worse, that's why I often post about the grammar behind SC questions.

Brett
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Re: countable nouns   [#permalink] 05 Dec 2010, 06:39
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