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# According to a survey of graduating medical students

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26 Jul 2014, 07:20
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sk5002 wrote:

Thanks for the wonderful explanation. I also read the article by you on ellipsis. But I'm kinda stuck on this comparsion issue and I think this example should help me clarify-:

This one is from OG.

Original : Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

Modified: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than those last yearbecause refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

My Doubt: a) Is the bold and italic in the modified sentence a case of ellipsis when compared to original?
b) How do I know in this sentence or any for that matter what is being compared? The reason I ask this is I got confused whether original sentence(also the correct one) compares the two time periods or the prices in two years?
c) If it's time period than original makes sense but how do I clear this ambiguity while solving comparison questions

Thanks as always for you help. You are great!!

Hi sk5002,

The original sentence is:

Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

In this sentence, ellipsis is definitely at play. Let's rewrite the sentence with all the words that have been kept understood in the original:

Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than heating oil prices last year because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

So now we know that the two compared entities are "heating oil prices this year" and "heating oil prices last year". So the two "heating oil prices" are being compared.

Also, you can always ask, what is "higher" because "higher than" is the expression that tells you that there is a contrast in this sentence. So what's higher? It is the heating oil prices and hence, that entity is being compared in this sentence.

The best way to know what's being compared is to understand the meaning of the sentence. So do pay attention to the original sentence to get the intended logical comparison in the sentence.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
SJ
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26 Jul 2014, 07:33

You are the BEST!!! Thanks so much for the prompt reply and I'm sorry for bothering you again with this.
I just have couple of additional questions.

1) In the complete statement as pointed out by you, will there be no "are/were"? As in --

Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than Heating oil prices were last year because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

If there will be verb form, then is it safe to assume that we can remove the verb form in ellipsis? Can you please explain this particular case with more examples.

2) Since prices are being compared, will the following sentence be correct?

Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than those last year because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

And, if yes, then why is the below statement wrong? Is it because that its not clear what last year's refer to??

Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last year's because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

Thanks!!!

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26 Jul 2014, 08:08
sk5002 wrote:

You are the BEST!!! Thanks so much for the prompt reply and I'm sorry for bothering you again with this.
I just have couple of additional questions.

1) In the complete statement as pointed out by you, will there be no "are/were"? As in --

Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than Heating oil prices were last year because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

If there will be verb form, then is it safe to assume that we can remove the verb form in ellipsis? Can you please explain this particular case with more examples.

2) Since prices are being compared, will the following sentence be correct?

Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than those last year because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

And, if yes, then why is the below statement wrong? Is it because that its not clear what last year's refer to??

Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last year's because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

Thanks!!!

Hi sk5002,

1) I don't think it will be correct to put "were" in the statement before "last year" because the meaning conveyed might be "was expected to be". This is so because the helping verb "are" is associated with the expectation of the rise in the price. But we want to compare this year's heating price with last year's price.

2) Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than those last year because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year. --> This statement is correct as "those" stand for "heating oi prices".

The second statement with "last year's" does not work because the two compared entities can be written in identical parallel forms as written in my earlier post. Hence, "last year's" does not work with "this year".

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
SJ
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02 Sep 2014, 21:31
Hello all,

Though the explanation by Tommy has made it clear, I am still unsure on the usage of the idiom!Please have a look into this question and guide me on the usage of this idiom.
according-to-the-international-investment-memorandum-72157.html
How and when to decide which one to be used?

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18 Sep 2014, 10:18
Regarding choice A.

(A) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice

So the issue here is with "4 times more likely than are other graduates in planning"
in which the bolded should be "to plan"
But there is no comparison error right? "4 times more likely than" is just as valid as "4 times as likely as" and mean the same thing?
(C) minority graduates are nearly four times as likely as other graduates to plan on practicing

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22 Jun 2015, 10:06
anaccident wrote:
Regarding choice A.

(A) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice

So the issue here is with "4 times more likely than are other graduates in planning"
in which the bolded should be "to plan"
But there is no comparison error right? "4 times more likely than" is just as valid as "4 times as likely as" and mean the same thing?
(C) minority graduates are nearly four times as likely as other graduates to plan on practicing

1) X is 4 times more likely than Y to do Z.
2) X is 4 times as likely as Y to do Z

So if Y does 1 time.
So as per 1) X does 5 times (4 times more)
But as per 2) X does 4 times (4 times of Y).

Hope it is clear.
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13 Feb 2016, 04:51
Maulikgmat wrote:
42. According to a survey of graduating medical students conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges, minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice in socioeconomically deprived areas.
(A) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice
(B) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than other graduates who plan on practicing
(C) minority graduates are nearly four times as likely as other graduates to plan on practicing
(D) it is nearly four times more likely that minority graduates rather than other graduates will plan to practice
(E) it is nearly four times as likely for minority graduates than other graduates to plan to practice

Here Plz clarify in A , B and C...

As far as i have understood 'More likely than' is not a phrase......But 'as likely as' is a correct phrase.

experts kindly clarfiy

Thanks,
A

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13 Feb 2016, 10:05
Nearly four times more likely than
A is out for the wrong comparison. B is ok with comparison aspect. However, the problem in B per se does not seem to lie in ‘more likely than”, but with nearly four times more likely than. The mention of nearly implies that four times is an approximation. In such cases, it may not be idiomatically appropriate to describe with a definiteness of ‘nearly four times more likely than'
'nearly four times as likely' is more correct.
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15 Feb 2016, 06:59
ArunpriyanJ wrote:
Maulikgmat wrote:
42. According to a survey of graduating medical students conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges, minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice in socioeconomically deprived areas.
(A) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice
(B) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than other graduates who plan on practicing
(C) minority graduates are nearly four times as likely as other graduates to plan on practicing
(D) it is nearly four times more likely that minority graduates rather than other graduates will plan to practice
(E) it is nearly four times as likely for minority graduates than other graduates to plan to practice

Here Plz clarify in A , B and C...

As far as i have understood 'More likely than' is not a phrase......But 'as likely as' is a correct phrase.

experts kindly clarfiy

Thanks,
A

ArunpriyanJ

Gramatically, Both X times more ... than and X times as...as are correct, but they mean different.

Case 1: more...than

I have 5 chocolates more than you have.
Implication: You have x chocolates, Difference is 5. So I have x+5 chocolates

I have 5 times more chocolates than you have.
Implication: You have x chocolates. Difference is 5 times your chocolate, i.e. 5x. So I have x + 5x = 6x chocolates

Case 2: as...as

I have 5 times as many chocolates as you have.
Implication: You have x chocolates. I have 5x chocolates.

In summary: the phrase more.. than involves the mathematical operation addition, whereas the phrase as...as involves the mathematical operation multiplication.

The error happens frequently when we want to mean that I have 5x chocolates but say I have 5 times more chocolates. When I say I have 5 times more chocolates, the sentence means I have 6 times as many chocolates as explained above !!

Does this explanation make sense?

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15 Feb 2016, 07:12
daagh wrote:
A is out for the wrong comparison.

Can you explain how A has wrong comparison?

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15 Feb 2016, 07:14
sayantanc2k wrote:
Gramatically, Both X times more ... than and X times as...as are correct, but they mean different.

In that sense, isn't the correct answer (option C) changing the meaning of the original sentence?

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15 Feb 2016, 07:33
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The minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice—The comparison is between the (number of) minority graduates and (the number of) other graduates and not what or how they are. The intrusion of the second ‘are’ changes the meaning of the sentence. Choice C changes the wrong meaning of the sentence by dropping the 'are' in the second part.
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Last edited by daagh on 15 Feb 2016, 09:32, edited 1 time in total.

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15 Feb 2016, 09:23
daagh wrote:
The minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice—The comparison is between the (number of) minority graduates and (the number of) other graduates and what or how they are. The intrusion of the second ‘are’ changes the meaning of the sentence. Choice C changes the wrong meaning of the sentence by dropping the 'are' in the second part.

ok thanks. This looks like some very minute and advanced issue. Hopefully I should be able to figure these out, after elaborate preparation .

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15 Feb 2016, 10:52
sauravpaul wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:
Gramatically, Both X times more ... than and X times as...as are correct, but they mean different.

In that sense, isn't the correct answer (option C) changing the meaning of the original sentence?

sauravpaul

Yes, the choices A and C have different meanings. Nonetheless, there are major grammatical problems in the other options:

A. The idiom likely in planning is wrong; the correct usage is likely to plan.
B. The relative clause modifier who plan on practicing.....in socioeconomically deprived areas refers to other graduates, but after the clause ends the main clause should continue to express what the minority graduates are more likely to do. The main clause in the sentence takes the form: minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than other graduates - incomplete construction.
D and E are meaningless altogether.

Therefore although Option C changes the meaning of the original sentence, we have to accept it since it is the only grammatically correct option; all other options have severe errors. [....and in the process we assume that the author originally meant 4x and not +4x. ]

In general, please note the following:
When multiplication is meant : use X times as
When addition is meant: use more than.

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15 Feb 2016, 21:09
ok thanks. This is another issue that is quite perplexing....that I keep running into some inconsistent information.

I remember reading a post from another expert that we should preserve the meaning of the original sentence. In fact, in that article, the expert cited few questions where an option was incorrect because it seemed to change the meaning of the original sentence.

However, here we have a question where the correct answer seems to quite clearly change the meaning of the original sentence. Quite perplexing.

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16 Feb 2016, 01:33
sauravpaul wrote:
ok thanks. This is another issue that is quite perplexing....that I keep running into some inconsistent information.

I remember reading a post from another expert that we should preserve the meaning of the original sentence. In fact, in that article, the expert cited few questions where an option was incorrect because it seemed to change the meaning of the original sentence.

However, here we have a question where the correct answer seems to quite clearly change the meaning of the original sentence. Quite perplexing.

sauravpaul

Don't get perplexed. Keep your thoughts straight: If you have 2 grammatically correct options, choose the one that does not change the meaning of the original sentence. However if you have only one grammatically correct option, you must choose that option.

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10 Jul 2016, 07:26
TommyWallach wrote:
Hey All,

I was asked by private message to take this one on, even though there has been plenty of great stuff written already. Here we go:

This is a comparison question, so the whole point is to make sure we're comparing the right two things, and using the correct terminology.

42. According to a survey of graduating medical students conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges, minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice in socioeconomically deprived areas.
(A) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice
PROBLEM: Should be "four times AS likely AS other graduates TO plan". That's a three-fer!

(B) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than other graduates who plan on practicing
PROBLEM: Again "four times AS likely AS other graduates TO plan". This one doesn't ever complete, because the "who" opens up a new modifier, and we never return to the main clause.

(C) minority graduates are nearly four times as likely as other graduates to plan on practicing
CORRECT.

(D) it is nearly four times more likely that minority graduates rather than other graduates will plan to practice
PROBLEM: "Four times AS likely" and RATHER THAN implies preference, which makes no sense here. Also, it's totally unclear what's being compared.

(E) it is nearly four times as likely for minority graduates than other graduates to plan to practice
PROBLEM: "for minority graduates than other graduates" makes absolutely no sense at all. Where's the comparison?

Hope that helps!

-t

Hi,

I understand the "AS likely AS X TO" construction and why C is the best option. However is "more LIKELY than X TO" a correct construction as well ? ( Which is not a part of the options right now)

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10 Jul 2016, 07:32
TommyWallach wrote:
Hey All,

I was asked by private message to take this one on, even though there has been plenty of great stuff written already. Here we go:

This is a comparison question, so the whole point is to make sure we're comparing the right two things, and using the correct terminology.

42. According to a survey of graduating medical students conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges, minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice in socioeconomically deprived areas.
(A) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice
PROBLEM: Should be "four times AS likely AS other graduates TO plan". That's a three-fer!

(B) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than other graduates who plan on practicing
PROBLEM: Again "four times AS likely AS other graduates TO plan". This one doesn't ever complete, because the "who" opens up a new modifier, and we never return to the main clause.

(C) minority graduates are nearly four times as likely as other graduates to plan on practicing
CORRECT.

(D) it is nearly four times more likely that minority graduates rather than other graduates will plan to practice
PROBLEM: "Four times AS likely" and RATHER THAN implies preference, which makes no sense here. Also, it's totally unclear what's being compared.

(E) it is nearly four times as likely for minority graduates than other graduates to plan to practice
PROBLEM: "for minority graduates than other graduates" makes absolutely no sense at all. Where's the comparison?

Hope that helps!

-t

Hi,

I understand the "AS likely AS X TO" construction and why C is the best option. However is "more LIKELY than X TO" a correct construction as well ? ( Which is not a part of the options right now)

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10 Jul 2016, 15:07
Maulikgmat wrote:
42. According to a survey of graduating medical students conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges, minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice in socioeconomically deprived areas.
(A) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice
(B) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than other graduates who plan on practicing
(C) minority graduates are nearly four times as likely as other graduates to plan on practicing
(D) it is nearly four times more likely that minority graduates rather than other graduates will plan to practice
(E) it is nearly four times as likely for minority graduates than other graduates to plan to practice

Here Plz clarify in A , B and C...

Hello guys. Hope I can help you to understand the question a little bit better:

1- After the modifier phrase, it is necessary to have the subject we are modifying. In this case: Minority graduates - eliminate D and E
2- The comparison X and Y in A is WRONG because we see: Minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates. We do not need the word are here, since we are comparing “minority graduates” with other graduates.
3- Answer choice B needs an infinite just after the “other graduates”

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10 Jul 2016, 15:10
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sgrover18 wrote:
TommyWallach wrote:
Hey All,

I was asked by private message to take this one on, even though there has been plenty of great stuff written already. Here we go:

This is a comparison question, so the whole point is to make sure we're comparing the right two things, and using the correct terminology.

42. According to a survey of graduating medical students conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges, minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice in socioeconomically deprived areas.
(A) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than are other graduates in planning to practice
PROBLEM: Should be "four times AS likely AS other graduates TO plan". That's a three-fer!

(B) minority graduates are nearly four times more likely than other graduates who plan on practicing
PROBLEM: Again "four times AS likely AS other graduates TO plan". This one doesn't ever complete, because the "who" opens up a new modifier, and we never return to the main clause.

(C) minority graduates are nearly four times as likely as other graduates to plan on practicing
CORRECT.

(D) it is nearly four times more likely that minority graduates rather than other graduates will plan to practice
PROBLEM: "Four times AS likely" and RATHER THAN implies preference, which makes no sense here. Also, it's totally unclear what's being compared.

(E) it is nearly four times as likely for minority graduates than other graduates to plan to practice
PROBLEM: "for minority graduates than other graduates" makes absolutely no sense at all. Where's the comparison?

Hope that helps!

-t

Hi,

I understand the "AS likely AS X TO" construction and why C is the best option. However is "more LIKELY than X TO" a correct construction as well ? ( Which is not a part of the options right now)

For multiplication, "as .... as" is used.
For addition, "more.... than" is used.

The reason is as follows:

Consider the following statement:
I have 5 more books than you have.
This implies that the difference between my books and your books is 5. If you have x books, I have x+5 books.

Now take this statement:
I have 5 times more books than you have.
This implies that the difference between my books and your books is 5x. If you have x books, I have x + 5x books, i.e. 6x books. Thus if the meaning intended is that I have 5x books, then the sentence is wrong. The correct sentence then would be:

I have 5 times as many books as you do.

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