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Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than

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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2019, 17:16
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I know that I am missing something crucial but since "landings" is countable , shouldn't the right answer choice contain "fewer than" instead of "less than" 4 million...
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2019, 22:09
Isn't less than modifying 4 million pounds (and not landings)?
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Feb 2019, 08:59
Why "migrations up their spawning streams" is incorrect in option A ?
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Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2019, 07:24
daagh egmat

Hi Experts, I request your help on this one.

It is written in official explanation that "having ....streams" would be correct only when it is set of in commas. My point is that if it is kept in commas then it would be modifying complete preceding clause, but blocking of shad from migrating is only caused by dams and culverts. So why is having..... without commas wrong?

"Having" without comma would be correctly modifying the compound noun before it that is milldams and culverts
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Apr 2019, 01:09
daagh wrote:
There is an adage which says that be wary of the obvious. The first obvious is to say that when there was an earlier event in 1990, a later event as in 1920 should never be assigned a past perfect. Second, obvious is that use of less is inappropriate because 17 million pounds is countable. Therefore, a lower amount should be the right one. Both these assumptions are wrong as per the custom of American English, including GMAT.
It is customary to use a past perfect for a later event, when there is a time reference such as 1920. Don’t we say that I started my GMAT preparation in 2005 and by 2015, I had completed it. As there are exceptions to every rule, the use of past perfect is taken for granted in such rare cases.
17 million pounds is taken as a mass quantity rather than as countable individual pounds. Therefore the use of less is justified
By this token of reasoning, B is an acceptable answer.


(A) that have blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams have
reduced landings to less that have blocked is a wrong tense for an event that was completed in the past

(B) That blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less ------ Correct
(C) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to a lower amount ----- 'lower' is out of sync
(D) having blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to less ---Shad migrations were blocked by the hurdles and not the shads themselves

(E) Having blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to an amount lower –amount lower is out of sync



How to judge the exception of past perfect tense in any sentence ?@daag
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Apr 2019, 12:29
Same question as above. Less is used for uncountable nouns. How can it be used for $4Mn
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Apr 2019, 19:00
elderitch wrote:
Same question as above. Less is used for uncountable nouns. How can it be used for $4Mn
I think it's relatively safe to say that when we're looking at a certain amount of things like money, time, distance, and weight, less could be the one to use. The entire amount is considered one "unit" rather than being made up of many small "units".

They lost less than the one million dollars they had lost before the introduction of the new product. ← This one refers to a very specific figure (the "previous loss").

The average is less than ten thousand kilometres per person per year. ← The author is not trying to count the kilometres out one by one.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2019, 08:37
Please explain how the use of "less than four million pounds" is justified when "four million pounds" is countable.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2019, 09:21
Hi Nitin, it represents quantity (such as 5 kg) and hence, less than is valid.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2019, 10:39
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nitinkarnwal wrote:
Please explain how the use of "less than four million pounds" is justified when "four million pounds" is countable.


I think the way that most of us learn "countable" vs. "non-countable" is *close* but not exactly the rule. Whether you choose less/much vs. fewer/many (or any of those other singular/plural, countable/not-countable distinctions) isn't really about whether you can count it, but instead how the reader should treat it. In a case like this, or "our investors have earned as much as 10 million dollars" or "if your flight is less than 500 miles," using the singular "much" or "less" treats the dollars/miles as thresholds (this large amount, or this large distance) and not as individual dollars or miles. You could count them, but that's not the intent of the sentence; the sentence is trying to set up a threshold of weight/distance/wealth to compare against.

Most GMAT instructors at some point teach countable/uncountable by having students laugh at those grocery store "15 items or less" signs because "items is countable." But the signs are okay - 15 items is a threshold and if you have less than that amount you can use this aisle, if you have more you'd better get in another line! It's not really countable/uncountable...it's "are we counting this?" or "are we treating it as a single entity or threshold?"
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 05 May 2019, 02:22
JarvisR wrote:
Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than seventeen million pounds of shad in a single year, but by 1920, over-fishing and the proliferation of milldams and culverts that have blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less than four million pounds.


(A) that have blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less

(B) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less

(C) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to a lower amount

(D) having blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to less

(E) having blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to an amount lower


in choice A, "shad migration" is wrong because it is not idiomatic. to say that someone prevent somebody from doing something, the idiom is in choice B.
"shad migration" dose not means that shad migrate. shad migration is unclear. it is possible that shad migrate or that someone migrate shad. this unidiomatic use makes unclear meaning

if we have a split between verb and noun, we prefer to see action in verb form than in noun form. it is concise and clear to see action in verb form.

in choice A, "have blocked" is wrong
present perfect can be used to show a finished action in the past but its time frame must continue to present. in other words, the finished action presented by present perfect must be relevant to present. we do not have that relevant in choice A. all the action and time frame is in a far past. so, present perfect here is wrong.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 07 May 2019, 04:07
Dams blocked the flow before and then population decreased.
So it should be " that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less". Please correct me. I am still not able to comprehend this question.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2019, 22:44
GMATNinja can you pls explain the diff between B&D?
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jul 2019, 01:57
Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than seventeen million pounds of shad in a single year, but by 1920, over-fishing and the proliferation of milldams and culverts that have blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less than four million pounds.


Possessive "their" is used to refer to the adjective "shad" in "shad migrations" - this is incorrect.
(A) that have blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less
(E) having blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to an amount lower
The participle here attaches itself to the compound subject and almost makes the reduction conditional on the "having blocked..."

(D) having blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to less

(C) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to a lower amount
"lower amount than" is incorrect as we double up on the comparison with both "lower" and "than". It should be "less than".

(B) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2019, 20:06
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GMATNinja can you pls explain the diff between B&D?

The first decision point is "that" vs "having." When we're using a modifier to specify a noun, or differentiate that noun from a larger group, we'd use "that." For example:

    "The dog that ate Dana's homework is kind of a jerk."

In this case, there could be multiple dogs, and I'm differentiating between the dog that ate Dana's homework and other dogs with better etiquette.

I'm not sure there's ever a time when "having" would be mandatory, but if we were to use it as a modifier, we'd do so to add incidental information:

    "The dog, having eaten Dana's homework, is no longer hungry."

Notice that in this case, "having eaten Dana's homework" is set off by commas to communicate that this information isn't crucial. There's only one dog, and this dog happened to have eaten Dana's homework. (Notice also that the phrase beginning with "having + verb" describes an action that happened before the other action in the sentence.)

In this question, we're talking specifically about the "milldams sand culverts that blocked shad" as opposed to milldams and culverts, in general. And while comma usage is rarely important, notice also that "having" isn't set off by commas. Therefore we'd prefer "that" to "having." That's one reason to pick (B).

A second decision point is the verb tense, "had reduced" vs. "reduced." Any time we have the construction "By + YEAR IN PAST," and we wish to communicate that the action in question happened before this year, we'd use "had." In this case, the sentence includes the phrase "by 1920," and the reduction seems to have happened before 1920, so "had reduced" is correct, and (B) is again our champion.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2019, 03:44
daagh wrote:
There is an adage which says that be wary of the obvious. The first obvious is to say that when there was an earlier event in 1990, a later event as in 1920 should never be assigned a past perfect. Second, obvious is that use of less is inappropriate because 17 million pounds is countable. Therefore, a lower amount should be the right one. Both these assumptions are wrong as per the custom of American English, including GMAT.
It is customary to use a past perfect for a later event, when there is a time reference such as 1920. Don’t we say that I started my GMAT preparation in 2005 and by 2015, I had completed it. As there are exceptions to every rule, the use of past perfect is taken for granted in such rare cases.
17 million pounds is taken as a mass quantity rather than as countable individual pounds. Therefore the use of less is justified
By this token of reasoning, B is an acceptable answer.


(A) that have blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams have
reduced landings to less that have blocked is a wrong tense for an event that was completed in the past

(B) That blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less ------ Correct
(C) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to a lower amount ----- 'lower' is out of sync
(D) having blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to less ---Shad migrations were blocked by the hurdles and not the shads themselves

(E) Having blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to an amount lower –amount lower is out of sync


what is the antecedent for "their" in B ?
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Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2019, 03:33
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azhrhasan wrote:
what is the antecedent for "their" in B ?
Hi azhrhasan,

The their in option B refers to shad.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2019, 03:54
AjiteshArun wrote:
azhrhasan wrote:
what is the antecedent for "their" in B ?
Hi azhrhasan,

The their in option B refers to shad.


But isn't shad singular ? That's the reason i rejected B.

Are there any other situations like these which i need to keep note of ?
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2019, 04:14
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azhrhasan wrote:
But isn't shad singular ? That's the reason i rejected B.

Are there any other situations like these which i need to keep note of ?
Shad is both the singular form and the plural form of shad. Shads is also a word, like fishes.

All 5 options use their, and their really can't refer to migrations (migrations can't have spawning streams), so we don't need to take a singular/plural call in this question.
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Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2019, 06:27
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My question is regarding "lower amount" in C. Disregard the missing verb "had" in C. Is "lower amount" used correctly in this sentence because "4 million pounds" is an uncountable unit. "Amount" is used for uncountable nouns. I know that "less" is more concise than "lower amount" but if there was no "less" in any of the option choice and C had the correct verb, would C be correct?

Also, is "lower number than 4 million pounds" incorrect since "number" is used for countable nouns?

Books usually give examples of "amount of" and "number of" but in this example there is no preposition following "amount".

Here is a similar example where in option C "of that amount" tries to wrongly refer to countable noun: https://gmatclub.com/forum/when-drive-i ... 44864.html

In the past I followed a rule that "amount"and "number" have to be followed by preposition "of" but it seems this rule is not applied sometimes and "amount" by itself CAN refer to uncountable nouns.

Is my thinking correct?? Please correct me if I am wrong.

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Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than   [#permalink] 31 Aug 2019, 06:27

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