With total population of less than two hundred and fewer : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# With total population of less than two hundred and fewer

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Manager
Joined: 16 May 2004
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With total population of less than two hundred and fewer [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2004, 03:55
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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.

(A)
(B) lower than two hundred and fewer
(C) lesser than two hundred and less
(D) less than two hundred and fewer
(E) of fewer than two hundred and fewer
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Manager
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02 Aug 2004, 10:10
why "lower than two hundred" is wrong?

Manager
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06 Aug 2004, 22:08
QA isssssssssssssssssssssssss "A" not "D". Anyone can explain? At first, I selected D too. Do we need "of" as shown in A??????
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07 Aug 2004, 00:23
few points

1. 'lower than' is wrong because 'lower than' does not mean the same as 'less than' in this context. Population is not lower than some number...it is less than some number.

2. As we all know by now, 'less' is a uncountable modifier and 'fewer' is a countable modifier. Eventhough the sentence reads 'less than 200' (a specific number), its important to note that we do not know the exact number below 200 and hence uncountable. Also, 'fewer breeding females' - is countable because they are only a few and is a countable number.

3. Now for the big one...why 'of'. Typically it should be noun+preposition. Here population + of, which is right. Also a prepositional phrase (a phrase starting with a preposition, here, 'of less than....' does some additional good things. What is it?

The whole phrase, takes on a modifying role, acting as an adjective or an adverb, locating something in time and space, modifying a noun, or telling when or where or under what conditions something happened. Hence the need of 'of'. D misses of and becomes 'off beat' if you may will.

Paul and other veterans comment on my theory pls.
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07 Aug 2004, 07:42
Just to add to point 1: "lower than" is generally used in comparing 2 subject's rank or position.
Ex: A colonel has lower rank than a general
Ex: Marc is in the lower echelon of the company
"lower" by itself can also mean "southern"
Ex: The lower St-Laurent

As for "of", I agree with Venksune that it is needed because it is the start of a prepositional phrase. It provides additional information on "population"
Ex: The population of bear
Ex: The population of more than two hundred thousands
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[#permalink] 07 Aug 2004, 07:42
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# With total population of less than two hundred and fewer

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