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# According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts

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Re: According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2017, 00:05
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this question tests you on parallelism and meaning.

"than" requires parallelism. Also, note that "it" refers to "age of thirty".

"more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under it." - Note that for parallelism, we start from right to left. See what is parallel to "under it" on the Left hand side of "than".

A maintains parallelism and hence is the correct answer. Since the sentence maintains parallelism what is implied here -
More babies were born to women over the age of thirty than [babies were born to women] under it.

Answer option does not maintain parallelism. let us look at parallelism -
"more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than born under it."

Not perfectly parallel. "to women" is missing in RHS.
This answer option nonsensically implies that "[babies were] born under age of thirty".

"more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than they were under it.". - two clauses are in parallel; however, "to women" is omitted. this changes the meaning of the sentence.

this sentence implies that babies were born under age of 30. - Illogical.

D - Incorrect.
Usage of past perfect is incorrect. We are referring to a specific time period - 1998.
Also, this option changes the meaning of the sentence.

E - Incorrect.
Usage of past perfect is incorrect. We are referring to a specific time period - 1998.
Changes the meaning of the sentence (like option B) -
"more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than had been born under it."

Not perfectly parallel. "to women" is missing in RHS.
This answer option nonsensically implies that "babies had been born under age of thirty".
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Re: According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2017, 04:00
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Thanks CrackVerbalGMAT and kinjiGC for the detailed explanation. I still have one query.

choice B-more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than born under it

My question: Can't we have more than one eclipses in one sentences?

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than[ babies were] born [ to women] under it

Choice C : more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than they were under it.

My question: Why even one eclipse is not right in this case?

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than they(referring to babies--correct) were [born to women ] under it.

How to identify which uses of the eclipse are correct?
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Re: According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2017, 21:53
I have read all the explanation, but I still have one query

choice B-more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than born under it

My question: Can't we have more than one eclipses in one sentences?

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than[ babies were] born [ to women] under it

Choice C : more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than they were under it.

My question: Why even one eclipse is not right in this case?

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than they(referring to babies--correct) were [born to women ] under it.

How to identify which uses of the eclipse are correct?
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Re: According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2017, 01:32
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AR15J wrote:
I have read all the explanation, but I still have one query

choice B-more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than born under it

My question: Can't we have more than one eclipses in one sentences?

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than[ babies were] born [ to women] under it

Choice C : more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than they were under it.

My question: Why even one eclipse is not right in this case?

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than they(referring to babies--correct) were [born to women ] under it.

How to identify which uses of the eclipse are correct?

Omission of items (even more than two items) is definitely acceptable in the second element of a parallel structure, if those items have already been used in the first element and the meaning is not obscured.

On the other hand, not omitting will be considered a poor practice, if items are not omitted when they can be without ambiguity. This is because of concision issue.

Moreover when a verb is to be omitted, omit the complete verb, not a part of it. In option B a part of the verb "were born" is omitted. Either use "were born" or omit it altogether. But using a part i.e. "born" is wrong. If option B were "than were born", it would be alright.

In option C, the pronoun "they" is wrong. "They" wrongly refers to "babies", the SAME babies who were born to women over the age of thirty. Here a new copy of the noun "babies" is required (who were born to women under the age of thirty), hence using "they" is wrong. the correct pronoun is "that" (to create a new copy).
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Re: According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2017, 02:23
sayantanc2k wrote:
AR15J wrote:
I have read all the explanation, but I still have one query

choice B-more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than born under it

My question: Can't we have more than one eclipses in one sentences?

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than[ babies were] born [ to women] under it

Choice C : more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than they were under it.

My question: Why even one eclipse is not right in this case?

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than they(referring to babies--correct) were [born to women ] under it.

How to identify which uses of the eclipse are correct?

Omission of items (even more than two items) is definitely acceptable in the second element of a parallel structure, if those items have already been used in the first element and the meaning is not obscured.

On the other hand, not omitting will be considered a poor practice, if items are not omitted when they can be without ambiguity. This is because of concision issue.

Moreover when a verb is to be omitted, omit the complete verb, not a part of it. In option B a part of the verb "were born" is omitted. Either use "were born" or omit it altogether. But using a part i.e. "born" is wrong. If option B were "than were born", it would be alright.

In option C, the pronoun "they" is wrong. "They" wrongly refers to "babies", the SAME babies who were born to women over the age of thirty. Here a new copy of the noun "babies" is required (who were born to women under the age of thirty), hence using "they" is wrong. the correct pronoun is "that" (to create a new copy).

Sometimes after reading your explanation, I feel lighter Thanks for such great explanation
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Re: According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts [#permalink]

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05 Aug 2017, 20:41
vishalsuri wrote:
r019h wrote:
According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under it.

A. than
B. than born
C. that they were

Please give explanations to support your choices. OA will be posted soon.

more women over X than under it.

the sentence is comparing the age of women and not the age of babies born, so rule out B and E.
C and D - ruled out because of lack of parallelism. - more women over X than "they were"/"than there had been" is incorrect..

u shed light on the central problem
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Re: According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2017, 22:43
r019h wrote:
According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under it.

A. than
B. than born
C. that they were

as we are comparing women over the age of 30 and under 30

B is wrong as we are not comparing babies
C we need than for comparison
D past perfect tense is not required and it compares babies
E same as D
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Re: According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2017, 02:11
Can someone explain why C is wrong?

C) More babies were born to women over the age of 30 than (babies) they were (born to women) under it .

What is the error in my explanation above?
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Re: According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2017, 06:06
r019h wrote:
According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under it.

A. than
B. than born
C. that they were

HERE, the most important point to note was the INTENDED COMPARISON. We are comparing WOMEN OVER THE AGE OF 30 THAN THE WOMEN UNDER THE AGE OF 30. If this comparison is clear, there is nothing left in this question.

Also, ONE MORE IMPORTANT POINT TO NOTE is WHAT is this "it" referring to??
Whenever "it" is used in a COMPARISON sentence, "it" refers to the entire NOUN PHRASE and NOT JUST THE NOUN. VERY IMPORTANT POINT TO KEEP A NOTE OF. So, here "it" is referring to "THE AGE OF THIRTY" and NOT JUST the age.

Coming back to the question,

A. According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than to women under the age of thirty.
Sounds LOGICAL. The implied meaning is ALSO CRISP AND CLEAR. Perfect answer!

B. According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than born under it.
Here, the comparison becomes,

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than (were) born under the age of thirty.
Thus, the comparison is ILLOGICAL. Here we are comparing the babies born to women over the age of thirty to the babies born under the age of 30. This is totally NON-SENSE
.

C. According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than they were under it.
Here, there are 2 possible errors

1. "they" can refer to both the women as well as the babies. Therefore, PRONOUN AMBIGUITY error.
2. the comparison is actually between the women over the age of 30 VS women under the age of 30. So, logically "they" should refer to women.

According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than women were under the age of 30. --> TOTALLY NON SENSICAL COMPARISON.

Maybe, if we can try the other way round,

According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than babies were under the age of 30. --> AGAIN TOTALLY NON SENSICAL COMPARISON.

Options D and E are wrong because of the usage of "HAD BEEN". No verb sequencing is required here. As we are talking wrt to the TIMEFRAME -- in 1998. So, the usage is totally INCORRECT.

I hope I had covered all the possible scenarios.
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Re: According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2017, 10:05
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It will be helpful to remember that whenever a helping verb or auxiliary verb is being used in one arm, one needn't repeat the verb in the second arm. Here in the given case, 'were born' is the verb phrase where 'were' is the helping verb, Therefore, it will be in order to elide the verb in the second arm after 'than'. That is the reason that choices C, D and E, which repeat the verb after the comparator 'than ' are not correct. Even B which is jumping half the well is inappropriate. A is the eventual winner. Obviously, grammar skills are so important even in such advanced tests such as GMAT
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Re: According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts [#permalink]

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08 Nov 2017, 23:22
r019h wrote:
According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under it.

A. than
B. than born
C. that they were

Hello Experts,

I have one question, if I replace the option B. than born with B. than were born --> Does this change makes option B correct? Please comment.

As per my understanding, the above sentence becomes,

According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than were born under it.

This sentence is making the comparison logical. So, it seems correct to me. Please review.

mikemcgarry

Thanks.
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Re: According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts [#permalink]

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09 Nov 2017, 10:50
aceGMAT21 wrote:
r019h wrote:
According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under it.

A. than
B. than born
C. that they were

Hello Experts,

I have one question, if I replace the option B. than born with B. than were born --> Does this change makes option B correct? Please comment.

As per my understanding, the above sentence becomes,

According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than were born under it.

This sentence is making the comparison logical. So, it seems correct to me. Please review.

mikemcgarry

Thanks.
-aceGMAT21

Dear aceGMAT21,

I'm happy to respond. My friend, here's what I'll say. First of all, please read this blog:
Dropping Common Words in Parallel on the GMAT

I'll also say that students who think of the GMAT SC as a test of grammar are mistaken. The GMAT SC always tests grammar and logic and rhetoric together--on a correct answer, those three elements come together coherently to produce meaning.

In this question, (C) is pretty bad, but I would say that (B) & (D) & (E) are arguably grammatically correct. Those three are simply awkward as a pig on roller skates! They are ugly and jarring. Adding another word to (B) does not make the problem any better--it's like giving a drowning man a glass of water.

Think about the sentence this way:
According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than babies that were born to women under the age of thirty.
That monstrosity would be the sentence if we repeated in the second branch of the parallelism every single word from the first branch. This is 100% grammatically correct, and despite this, it's an abomination so bad that it should be taken out back and shot.

The elegant thing to do, the rhetorically sound thing to do, is to drop all the repeated words in red--the last phrase gets replaced with a pronoun. The result of that action is (A). Choice (A) is sublime--it is an exquisite work of art, a masterpiece. In writing (A), the writer took the bold and decisive step of dropping every single repeated word, understanding that it all would be implied.

By comparison, the authors of (B) & (D) & (E) are lily-livered and irresolute, stuck in a wishy-washy halfway place, dropping some things and leaving others, awkward and incomplete because they were not able to make a bold decision.

Do you know what happens to people in the business world who can't make bold decisions? They lose money and squander opportunities.

It's very important to realize: how you do anything is how you do everything. Ultimately, success on the GMAT SC or CR or RC reflects the skills you will need for success in the business world.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2017, 23:21
r019h wrote:
According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under it.

A. than
B. than born
C. that they were

Just found wonderful explanation from another forum that helps me solved this problem :

1. We identify the words following comparison mark than : under it.
2. This sentence seems to compare two numbers of the baby delivered by two groups of women.
3. "Under it" or "under [the age of thirty]" can be directly compared with "over the age of thirty" in the left hand side.
4. Because other things on the left side are same "more babies were born to women", ellipsis can happen.

Thanks.
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QOTD: According to public health officials [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2017, 11:01
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 159: Critical Reasoning

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According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under it.

A. than
B. than born
C. than they were

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.

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Re: QOTD: According to public health officials [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2017, 11:10
A is the lease bad of all

According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under it.

A. than
B. than born
C. that they were
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QOTD: According to public health officials [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2017, 11:11
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Expert's post
This is one of those classic comparison questions that can be really, really annoying if you’re not systematic and strict and literal with the meaning of the sentence. In my opinion, two of the WRONG answers sound better than the right answer. But my opinion doesn’t matter, and neither does “sound.” (Plus, who the heck starts having babies when they’re over the age of thirty? That’s really, really old. Oh, wait… crap. I’m over 30, huh?)

We also covered this one in a recent YouTube webinar on comparisons, so feel free to click here if you prefer your explanations in video form.

Before we look at the individual answer choices, hopefully the word “it” jumps out at you. It’s a singular pronoun, and… well, I guess it has to refer to “the age of thirty.” It’s really the only plausible singular referent, since “women” and “babies” are plural. And that’s one of the big keys to making sense of the question.

Quote:
A. than

So now we have: “…more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under the age of thirty.”

I’ll be honest: I don’t love this answer choice. It sounds a little bit weird to me, but it’s also perfectly logical: the heart of the comparison revolves around the ages of the women. So I guess we have to keep (A), and see if there’s anything better down there somewhere.

Quote:
B. than born

(B) gives us: “…more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than born under the age of thirty.” Wait, that arguably sounds OK, but it’s nonsense: literally, (B) is telling us that the BABIES were born under the age of thirty. I mean, sure: babies are definitely under thirty, but that’s not the point that the sentence is trying to make.

So (B) is out.

Quote:
C. than they were

In (C), we have: “…more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than they were under the age of thirty.”

First of all, what does “they” refer to? You could argue for either “women” or “babies”, but neither makes much sense:

• “…more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than babies were under the age of thirty.” → nope, that’s complete garbage
• “…more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than women were under the age of thirty.” → also very confusing nonsense

So (C) is out, too.

Quote:

(D) gives us: “…more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than there had been under the age of thirty.”

Why would we use the past perfect tense “had been” here? When you think about the timeline, that doesn’t make any sense: the action in past perfect tense has to occur before another action in simple past. So this is literally saying that “there had been” babies born to women under the age of thirty BEFORE “babies were born to women over the age of thirty.” That makes no sense at all.

(D) is gone.

Quote:

I actually think that (E) sounds pretty good, but it’s wrong for exactly the same reason as (D): the past perfect tense is illogical in this situation.

Plus, we still have a pesky comparison issue, even if you ignore the verb tense problem: “…more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than had been born under the age of thirty.” This is similar to the logical problem in (B): it sounds like we’re saying that BABIES were born under the age of thirty, and that’s clearly not what we’re trying to say.

So (E) is gone, and we’re left with (A). Whether you like the way it sounds or not.
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QOTD: According to public health officials [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2017, 11:31
In terms of rhythm, best really would be ". . . than were born under 30." Otherwise nothing "wrong" with either A or B.

Last edited by dorane on 19 Nov 2017, 13:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: QOTD: According to public health officials [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2017, 11:39
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dorane wrote:
In terms of rhythm, best really would be ". . . than were born . . . " Otherwise nothing "wrong" with either A or B.

B is incorrect

According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than born under it.

born under what ??
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Re: QOTD: According to public health officials [#permalink]

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20 Nov 2017, 08:32
The answer must be option A. Compare the number of babies born to women over 30 to number of babies born to women under 30. Option D and E are wrong because of tense. B is wrong because it repeats born and the repetition is not required. Option C is wrong because it compares the wrong entities - babies born to women under it - This is clearly wrong !!

Hence option A wins !
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QOTD: According to public health officials [#permalink]

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20 Nov 2017, 12:16
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 159: Critical Reasoning

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According to public health officials, in 1998 Massachusetts became the first state in which more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under it.

A. than
B. than born
C. than they were

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.

This question deals with comparison and it important to note what we are comparing

The original sentence states that "more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under it" - reading the last part of the sentence, it is clear we are comparing "babies born to WOMEN who are over 30 than (to WOMEN) under 30.

While A neglects the "to women" part, it can be implied based on the rest of the sentence. In other words, the meaning of the sentence is clear.

In B and E - we are incorrectly comparing Women over 30 to babies born/had been born. Also it does not mase sense to write "babies born under 30".
D incorrectly compares babies born to women over 30 to the number of women under 30.
C has a pronoun error as we do not know who "they" refers to (women or babies)

QOTD: According to public health officials   [#permalink] 20 Nov 2017, 12:16

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