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# Alpacas' fleece is worth surprisingly little compared to

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Senior Manager
Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Alpacas' fleece is worth surprisingly little compared to  [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2006, 12:43
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Alpacas' fleece is worth surprisingly little compared to their market value; a top breeding specimen bringing upwards of \$100,000 even if five pounds of fleece fetches only \$80 to \$240.

A. Alpacas' fleece is worth surprisingly little compared to their market value; a top breeding specimen bringing upwards of \$100,000 even if five pounds of fleece fetches only \$80 to \$240.

B. Alpacas' fleece is worth surprisingly little in comparison with its market value; a top breeding specimen bringing upwards of \$100,000 while five pounds of fleece fetches only \$80 to \$240.

C. The fleece of the alpaca is worth surprisingly little compared to its market value, while a top breeding specimen can bring upwards of \$100,000 even though five pounds of fleece fetch only \$80 to \$240.

D. The fleece of the alpaca is worth surprisingly little compared to the animal's market value; a top breeding specimen can bring upwards of \$100,000 while five pounds of fleece fetch only \$80 to \$240.

E. The worth of the alpaca's fleece is surprisingly little compared to the animal's market value; a top breeding specimen can bring upwards of \$100,000 even though five pounds of fleece fetches only \$80 to \$240.

Please discuss 'The fleece of the alpaca is worth ' in option D and
'The worth of the alpaca's fleece' in option E.

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Joined: 06 Jul 2004
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04 Aug 2006, 17:26
Guys, here is the OA.

The original sentence contains several errors. First, the pronoun "their" logically refers to alpacas, yet alpacas are not mentioned in the sentence. Instead, we have "alpacas' fleece," i.e. we have alpacas' in the possessive form. Second, the singular verb "fetches" is paired with the plural noun phrase "five pounds of fleece." Third, the use of the semicolon here is improper. A semicolon is used to separate two closely related clauses (subject + verb). Here, however, what follows the semicolon is not a clause since it can not stand alone as a sentence. Lastly the word "while" is preferable to "even if" or "even though" for showing contrast.

(A) This choice is incorrect as it reapeats the original sentence.

(B) This choice does not remedy the pronoun issue, merely replacing "their" with "its". The "its" now seems to replace fleece, however, it is not the market value of the fleece to which the Alpacas' fleece is being compared. It does not remedy the subject-verb or semicolon problems, either.

(C) This choice does not remedy the pronoun issue, merely replacing "their" with "its". The "its" now seems to replace fleece, however, it is not the market value of the fleece to which the Alpacas' fleece is being compared. This choice does fix the semicolon issue by getting rid of it, however, the construction while... even though... makes no sense. The subject-verb issue (pounds fetch) has been corrected.

(D) CORRECT. The pronoun issue is solved by replacing the pronoun "the animal's." The semicolon correctly separates two independent clauses. The "while" correctly separates two contrasting ideas and the verb "fetch" agrees with "pounds."

(E) The comparison between "worth" and "value" is illogical, as is their description as "little." Nonetheless, the pronoun issue is remedied by replacing "their" with "the animal's". The semicolon is used correctly here (two clauses). The subject-verb agreement remains (pounds fetches) and the "while" construction from D is preferable to the "even though" to express the contrast in the second clause.

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Joined: 07 Nov 2009
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29 Jan 2012, 23:01
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Though this question is already discussed at:
alpacas-fleece-is-worth-surprisingly-little-compared-to-70189.html
Posting it again for a clarification.

Alpacas’ fleece is worth surprisingly little compared to their market value; a top breeding specimen bringing upwards of \$100,000 even if five pounds of fleece fetches only \$80 to \$240.
• Alpacas’ fleece is worth surprisingly little compared to their market value; a top breeding specimen bringing upwards of \$100,000 even if five pounds of fleece fetches
• Alpacas’ fleece is worth surprisingly little in comparison with its market value; a top breeding specimen bringing upwards of \$100,000 while five pounds of fleece fetches
• The fleece of the alpaca is worth surprisingly little compared to its market value, while a top breeding specimen can bring upwards of \$100,000 even though five pounds of fleece fetch
• The fleece of the alpaca is worth surprisingly little compared to the animal’s market value; a top breeding specimen can bring upwards of \$100,000 while five pounds of fleece fetch
• The worth of the alpaca’s fleece is surprisingly little compared to the animal’s market value; a top breeding specimen can bring upwards of \$100,000 even though five pounds of fleece fetches

My question is whether five pounds of fleece singular or plural?
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04 Feb 2012, 20:11
Quote:
d The fleece of the alpaca is worth surprisingly little compared to the animal's market value; a top breeding specimen can bring upwards of \$100,000 while five pounds of fleece fetch

Notwithstanding the endless debate whether - five pounds- refers to a quantum and therefore singular or - five pounds - is considered a numerically plural phrase, I still have a couple of substantive points about the official answer D

1. Is it right to compare the fleece, a product or commodity, which is the subject of the choice, with an animal’s market value. You must compare a product with another product and not the product’s something. I feel the comparison is illegal in D

2. Does it help to use the word ‘while’ to mark contrast, a word that has multi-dimensional meanings? Wouldn’t be a simple and forthright word or phrase such as - though, or even though or although – a better alternative in terms of clear expression?

Finally, if this is an OG question or GPREP question, then I will capitulate and accept the official answer as D, just in line with the professed philosophy that we should not contest official answers. If not so, can we discuss these points?
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Re: Alpacas’ fleece &nbs [#permalink] 04 Feb 2012, 20:11
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