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# Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple

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Manager
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple  [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2014, 19:10
1
murilomoraes wrote:
I totally disagree with the OA, because we can not compare car powered by vs burning of, this question are comparing two different things.

So the hint to figuring out whether to use less or fewer is the word "certain". There are certain pollutants.

There are certain kinds of cows.
There are certain classification of stars.
There are certain amount of isotopes.

The word certain gives us a hint that we are dealing with a classification of pollutants that are countable.

Let me know if I'm wrong.
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple  [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2016, 11:02
The comparison is between "vehicles powered by natural gas" and "those (vehicles) burning gasoline or diesel fuel". Hence option E is correct.
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple  [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2016, 14:00
Hi Verbal Expert,

Most of the time, I solve comparison questions wrong. Probably, there is a lack of understanding of this concept.
I find it difficult where omission of some words will make the sentence incorrect and where it will not. Please explain. Thanks

I read one post earlier with the below examples on Comparison
more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under the age of 30

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than to women under 30

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than were born to under 30
all above is the correct--- Above all is correct or All above is correct

most babies were born to women over the age of thirty than born under 30(incorrect)
most babies were born to women over the age of thirty than they were under 30(incorrect)
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple  [#permalink]

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01 Dec 2016, 04:19
1
AR15J wrote:
Hi Verbal Expert,

Most of the time, I solve comparison questions wrong. Probably, there is a lack of understanding of this concept.
I find it difficult where omission of some words will make the sentence incorrect and where it will not. Please explain. Thanks

I read one post earlier with the below examples on Comparison
more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than under the age of 30

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than to women under 30

more babies were born to women over the age of thirty than were born to under 30
all above is the correct--- Above all is correct or All above is correct

most babies were born to women over the age of thirty than born under 30(incorrect)
most babies were born to women over the age of thirty than they were under 30(incorrect)

Omission is allowed only when the meaning is not obscured.

I like chocolates more than Karishma... ambiguous - 2 possible meanings are:
1. I like chocolates more than I like Karishma.
2. I like chocolates more than Karishma likes chocolates.

In such cases omission is not acceptable.
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple  [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2017, 05:38
"Pollutants" is countable (plural form implies countable noun). Hence "fewer" is correct. Option B and D remains. "Burning gasoline or diesel fuel" is singular, hence the correct verb is singular "does". D remains.

OA has been added.
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple  [#permalink]

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22 Jan 2017, 15:56
3
sayantanc2k wrote:
"Pollutants" is countable (plural form implies countable noun). Hence "fewer" is correct. Option B and D remains. "Burning gasoline or diesel fuel" is singular, hence the correct verb is singular "does". D remains.

OA has been added.

carcass wrote:
Edited the OA. It is E

I'm happy to respond. First of all, carcass, thank you for adjusting the OA. At this MGMAT forum link, the great genius Ron Purewal verifies that the answer is (E).

What's extremely tricky about the countable/uncountable structure in this question is the following. The sentence is NOT saying that the "vehicles powered by natural gas" emit fewer of the pollutants, a shorter overall list of different pollutants. Instead, the sentence is saying that, for each pollutant, these vehicles emit less of that pollutant, a smaller amount of that particular pollutant. We are not counting the number of pollutants, but instead talking about the amount of each pollutant. That's the tricky distinction in this question.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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23 Jan 2017, 01:43
mikemcgarry wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:
"Pollutants" is countable (plural form implies countable noun). Hence "fewer" is correct. Option B and D remains. "Burning gasoline or diesel fuel" is singular, hence the correct verb is singular "does". D remains.

OA has been added.

carcass wrote:
Edited the OA. It is E

I'm happy to respond. First of all, carcass, thank you for adjusting the OA. At this MGMAT forum link, the great genius Ron Purewal verifies that the answer is (E).

What's extremely tricky about the countable/uncountable structure in this question is the following. The sentence is NOT saying that the "vehicles powered by natural gas" emit fewer of the pollutants, a shorter overall list of different pollutants. Instead, the sentence is saying that, for each pollutant, these vehicles emit less of that pollutant, a smaller amount of that particular pollutant. We are not counting the number of pollutants, but instead talking about the amount of each pollutant. That's the tricky distinction in this question.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Yes mikemcgarry, I see the point. Thank you.

carcass Thank you for changing the OA.
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple  [#permalink]

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24 Jan 2017, 22:56
mikemcgarry wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:
"Pollutants" is countable (plural form implies countable noun). Hence "fewer" is correct. Option B and D remains. "Burning gasoline or diesel fuel" is singular, hence the correct verb is singular "does". D remains.

OA has been added.

carcass wrote:
Edited the OA. It is E

I'm happy to respond. First of all, carcass, thank you for adjusting the OA. At this MGMAT forum link, the great genius Ron Purewal verifies that the answer is (E).

What's extremely tricky about the countable/uncountable structure in this question is the following. The sentence is NOT saying that the "vehicles powered by natural gas" emit fewer of the pollutants, a shorter overall list of different pollutants. Instead, the sentence is saying that, for each pollutant, these vehicles emit less of that pollutant, a smaller amount of that particular pollutant. We are not counting the number of pollutants, but instead talking about the amount of each pollutant. That's the tricky distinction in this question.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

this explanation i can accept
i was always wondering if pollutant is uncountable why add an "s" behind it to mean plural~now clear~thx a lot!
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple  [#permalink]

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02 Feb 2017, 04:50
mikemcgarry wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:
"Pollutants" is countable (plural form implies countable noun). Hence "fewer" is correct. Option B and D remains. "Burning gasoline or diesel fuel" is singular, hence the correct verb is singular "does". D remains.

OA has been added.

carcass wrote:
Edited the OA. It is E

I'm happy to respond. First of all, carcass, thank you for adjusting the OA. At this MGMAT forum link, the great genius Ron Purewal verifies that the answer is (E).

What's extremely tricky about the countable/uncountable structure in this question is the following. The sentence is NOT saying that the "vehicles powered by natural gas" emit fewer of the pollutants, a shorter overall list of different pollutants. Instead, the sentence is saying that, for each pollutant, these vehicles emit less of that pollutant, a smaller amount of that particular pollutant. We are not counting the number of pollutants, but instead talking about the amount of each pollutant. That's the tricky distinction in this question.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Hi Mike,
Thanks for the explanation. Can you however explain how did you conclude that the sentence is not talking about reduction in the number of pollutants but it is talking about the reduction in that the quantity of pollutants emitted.
Also how can the sentence be framed in case we want to refer to the number of pollutants?

Regards,
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple  [#permalink]

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02 Feb 2017, 10:22
Hi Mike,
Thanks for the explanation. Can you however explain how did you conclude that the sentence is not talking about reduction in the number of pollutants but it is talking about the reduction in that the quantity of pollutants emitted.
Also how can the sentence be framed in case we want to refer to the number of pollutants?

Regards,

I'm happy to respond.

For me, the tipoff was the idiomatic word "of." Using that word in the construction would be awkward if we were trying to talk about the number of pollutants.

For the amount of each pollutant, we would say:
1) ... emit less of certain pollutants than those burning gasoline or diesel fuel.
Natural gas has pollutants, many in common with the pollutants of gas or diesel, but natural gas releases less of at least some of those shared pollutants. The word "certain" is implied to be in reference to the shared pollutants they have in common. This is all quite sensible.

For the number of pollutants, the easiest thing to say would be:
2) ... emit fewer pollutants than those burning gasoline or diesel fuel.
That gets the meaning across, plain and simple.

You see, it is not grammatically wrong or rhetorically awkward to say:
3) ... emit fewer of certain pollutants than those burning gasoline or diesel fuel
This has a different meaning, a somewhat bizarre meaning. This implies that we have some fixed list of specific pollutants, a kind of "greatest hits" of pollutants. From this external list, we are checking off how many are released by gas or diesel, then how many are released by natural gas, and it turns out that natural gas emits fewer from this external list. What's bizarre about this scenario is that, unlike #1, the situation is no longer self-contained. There's an external list of pollutants, some fixed list, to which the fuels are being compared. All the comparisons in the sentence are ultimately hinged on a reference list that is never explicitly mentioned. There's a spooky shadowy background force having an influence on the sentence!
The salient point is would be simply that natural gas emits fewer pollutants, and this idea is expressed very clearly in #2. We don't need all the extraneous ideas brought in by #3.

Since all five answer choices have the word "of," essentially I was choosing between the perfectly sensible and rational world of #1 and the strange spooky world of #3. That's why I thought #1 was better.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple  [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2018, 10:49
IMO E. Let me explain:

A,B,C are out ... wrong comparison syntax

Vehicles = (plural) ... is a thing NOT an action. So we have: Vehicles ... less of ... than those (vehicles) burning gasoline or diesel fuel. We compare a thing and NOT an action. So do/does is wrong here.

Therefore, E is the correct answer.

Also Fewer VS Less is obvious here for the reason why: Fewer number of pollutants (=countable), BUT, Less pollutants (=uncountable).
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Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple  [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2019, 23:59
B and C are, I think, already out since ‘fewer of’ is not a correct phrase. E is the correct option out of these three since it is the only one that correctly compares ‘vehicles powered by natural gas’ to ‘those burning gasoline or diesel fuel’.
Re: Because natural gas is composed mostly of methane, a simple   [#permalink] 10 Feb 2019, 23:59

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