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# Comparing tensile strength, spider's silk is much better at

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Re: Comparing tensile strength, spider's silk is much better at  [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2018, 19:25
TaN1213 wrote:
Nightmare007 wrote:

In C.. Is spider's silk better at HOLDING its own weight than HOLDING the alloy steel.

There is a comparison mistake here, creating an ambiguity. Hence answer is E.

however, in E considerably lighter should modify Spider's silk that is kept too far from its subject. So i am a bit perplexed. However, Its the best option out of others. As STYLE comes last in GMAT.

I was caught up with the same doubt - considerably lighter is very far from the noun it is modifying. However, on thinking of a similar construction, I am in a more satisfying position with this far-away modifier.
E.g. Britney's scores are much better in finals than in mocks, considerably higher than what she had expected.

There is always something to learn from Mike!
Thanks for the question.

Here, considerably higher than what she had expected. modifies score in mocks not in final. In the question provided. We can atleast justify the modifier will modify the silk because of the wording "organic material".
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Re: Comparing tensile strength, spider's silk is much better at  [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2018, 21:40
Nightmare007 wrote:
TaN1213 wrote:
Nightmare007 wrote:

In C.. Is spider's silk better at HOLDING its own weight than HOLDING the alloy steel.

There is a comparison mistake here, creating an ambiguity. Hence answer is E.

however, in E considerably lighter should modify Spider's silk that is kept too far from its subject. So i am a bit perplexed. However, Its the best option out of others. As STYLE comes last in GMAT.

I was caught up with the same doubt - considerably lighter is very far from the noun it is modifying. However, on thinking of a similar construction, I am in a more satisfying position with this far-away modifier.
E.g. Britney's scores are much better in finals than in mocks, considerably higher than what she had expected.

There is always something to learn from Mike!
Thanks for the question.

Here, considerably higher than what she had expected. modifies score in mocks not in final. In the question provided. We can atleast justify the modifier will modify the silk because of the wording "organic material".

Would you please explain how is the modifier modifying scores in mocks, not scores in finals, as the main subject is scores in finals ?
(Although it's not a part of main Qs, I would like to know for my understanding )
I believe the modifier is modifying scores in finals just as the modifier is modifying silk (not high grade alloy) in the main Qs. Yes, organic is a useful clue that reinforces the meaning.
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Re: Comparing tensile strength, spider's silk is much better at  [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2019, 02:54
A and B are wrong since ‘comparing tensile strength’ has a different meaning to what the sentence is supposed to say. C has some ambiguity. It can have two distinct meanings. D does not have the main verb ‘is’.

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Re: Comparing tensile strength, spider's silk is much better at  [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2019, 03:25
niyantg wrote:
Comparing tensile strength, spider's silk is much better at holding its own weight than high-grade alloy steel, considerably lighter because the organic composition is less dense than the metallic elements.

A. Comparing tensile strength, spider's silk is much better at holding its own weight than high-grade alloy steel

B. Comparing tensile strength, spider's silk is much better than high-grade alloy steel at holding its own weight

C. Comparable in tensile strength, spider's silk is much better at holding its own weight than high-grade alloy steel

D. Comparable in tensile strength, spider's silk, much better than high-grade alloy steel at holding its own weight

E. Comparable in tensile strength, spider's silk is much better than high-grade alloy steel at holding its own weight

So here we are comparing tensile strength of two things, but the intent of the sentence is that they are equal in strength but one is better than the other.
We can eliminate A, B and C with this reasoning.

D. Comparable in tensile strength, spider's silk, much better than high-grade alloy steel at holding its own weight
I dont understand why are we making this act like an extra information.

E. Comparable in tensile strength, spider's silk is much better than high-grade alloy steel at holding its own weight
Matches the intent which we had initially analyzed.

E
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Re: Comparing tensile strength, spider's silk is much better at  [#permalink]

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02 May 2019, 23:09
mikemcgarry wrote:
LucyDang wrote:

Hmm, I don't think that I agree with you in this point: meaning 1 : Comparable in tensile strength, spider's silk is much better at holding its own weight than [the weight] high-grade alloy steel

Why spider's silk should hold high-grade alloy steel's weight? It's illogical. Thus, the comparison spider's silk is much better at holding its own weight than high-grade alloy steel clearly means that spider's silk is much better at holding its own weight than high-grade alloy steel [is at holding its own weight]. C is not ambiguous in comparison but is incorrect because of the modifier (as I mentioned in my previous post).

Best,
Lucy

Dear Lucy,
I'm happy to respond. I am the author of this particular Magoosh question.

This is a funny thing about grammar. Consider the sentence:
I like Chinese food more than my friend Chris.
The ambiguity: this could be
1) a subjective comparison = comparing "Chris" to the subject, "I"; "Chris" would be the subject in the parallel clause
2) an objective comparison = comparing "Chris" to the direct object "pizza"; "Chris" would be the direct object in the parallel clause
Now, if you don't know anything at all about me and Chris, it is conceivable that the objective comparison is intended. In other words, I might be so passionate about Chinese food that I have more affection for this cuisine than I have for Chris. That is one reading.
By contrast, if you know the two of us, our good friendship, and Chris's relative disinterest in Chinese food, then the other reading, the subjective comparison appears as correct. Notice, though, we needed outside information to clarify the grammar. That's not a well-constructed sentence, if I need to go outside the sentence to determine what the grammar is intending to say.

Much in the same way, if we look at the (C) version of this sentence:
Comparable in tensile strength, spider's silk is much better at holding its own weight than high-grade alloy steel
The grammar leaves open both the subjective & objective comparisons as possibilities. Again, we could use our physical science knowledge of materials in the real world to deduce that the subjective comparison must be intended, but again, we had to go outside the sentence to make this decision. If the grammar itself leaves open a logical ambiguity, then it is not a well constructed sentence, no matter how easy it may be to resolve the ambiguity by other means.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Mr Mike, as usual, brilliant explanation!
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Re: Comparing tensile strength, spider's silk is much better at   [#permalink] 02 May 2019, 23:09

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