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Comparision sentence - Peter enjoys driving luxury cars than Jack

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Comparision sentence - Peter enjoys driving luxury cars than Jack  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jul 2018, 17:13
Is the sentence Peter enjoys driving luxury cars than Jack ambiguous?
I read in SC Nirvana that Peter is compared with Jack correctly


However, i feel this could mean: Peter enjoys driving luxury cars than he enjoys Jack or Peter enjoys driving Luxury cars than Jack does? and hence is ambiguous --> Is my understanding correct?
A loves B more than C is incorrect as it might mean A loves B more than he loves C or A loves B more than C loves B

Additionally, Peter enjoys driving luxury cars than regular cars. In this case Peter is not compared but the object that he enjoys is compared.

So how do we decide in these cases. I seem to be getting stuck in most valid statements because of this confusion.
This is my first post and i hope i am following the rules correctly :)
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Re: Comparision sentence - Peter enjoys driving luxury cars than Jack  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2018, 20:30
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neethkh,
Yes ,i think the sentence is ambigous.Since it compares a love for driving (verb )with a noun(Jack).The comparision should always be logical and against a similar part of speech.Consider this example:
The leaves on the trees in Canada are greener than the trees in the United States.

You know this question is a comparison question from the presence of the comparative form of the adjective (greener). As soon as you see a comparative form of an adjective, you know there must be the word “than” somewhere in the sentence. Once you have checked for the presence of “than”, you should ask yourself: “What two things are being compared?” The answer to this question would be “the leaves on the trees in Canada” and “the trees in the United States”. This is an invalid comparison. You must compare things that can be compared. For example, you can compare trees with trees, or leaves with leaves. Therefore, the correct answer must compare well from a logical standpoint. The comparison must also be grammatically correct of course, utilizing the correct structure (eg greener + than; more beautiful + than etc).

There is also the issue of what is stylistically better, even with comparative questions.

The above sentence can be rewritten correctly as:

The leaves on the trees in Canada are greener than the leaves on the trees in the United States.

You may argue that this is unnecessarily long, repetitive and stylistically poor. I agree. That leaves us with...

Consider this option:

The leaves on the trees in Canada are greener than those on the trees in the United States.

This is a good option. The word “those” in this sentence could be described as a reference word or ‘determiner’. It refers to something already mentioned, in this case “leaves”. When you see a reference word in an option in answer to a comparison question, look very closely at it, as reference words are often necessary on the GMAT. The singular form is “that”.

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Re: Comparision sentence - Peter enjoys driving luxury cars than Jack  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2018, 13:05
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neethkh wrote:
Is the sentence Peter enjoys driving luxury cars than Jack ambiguous?
I read in SC Nirvana that Peter is compared with Jack correctly


However, i feel this could mean: Peter enjoys driving luxury cars than he enjoys Jack or Peter enjoys driving Luxury cars than Jack does? and hence is ambiguous --> Is my understanding correct?
A loves B more than C is incorrect as it might mean A loves B more than he loves C or A loves B more than C loves B

Additionally, Peter enjoys driving luxury cars than regular cars. In this case Peter is not compared but the object that he enjoys is compared.

So how do we decide in these cases. I seem to be getting stuck in most valid statements because of this confusion.
This is my first post and i hope i am following the rules correctly :)


I think your original sentence may be missing a word! You need something like 'more than,' 'less than,' etc., rather than just 'than'. For instance, this is correct:

I enjoy pasta more than pizza.

So, let's rewrite the original sentence as follows:

"Peter enjoys driving luxury cars more than Jack."

This is more correct than the original. Let's see whether it's totally correct.

On the one hand, you're right, it's technically ambiguous. It could mean that Peter enjoys driving luxury cars, but Jack doesn't enjoy driving luxury cars as much. It could also technically have a really weird meaning: Peter enjoys driving luxury cars, but Peter doesn't enjoy Jack (maybe Jack is a jerk.)

The problem with ambiguity on the GMAT is, it's not a great reason to eliminate an answer choice by itself. Sometimes, right answers are technically a little bit ambiguous. In this sentence, one of the meanings is really weird, so it's pretty obvious which meaning is intended - so, I'd say this sentence is only 'a little bit ambiguous'. I wouldn't cross it off without looking at the other answer choices.

If one of the other answer choices fixes the ambiguity, and neither answer choice has anything else wrong with it, I'd go with the alternative. For example, if these were your two answer choices:

Quote:
(A) Peter enjoys driving luxury cars more than Jack.
(B) Peter enjoys driving luxury cars more than Jack does.


I'd go with (B) instead of (A).

But if there aren't any other answer choices that fix the ambiguity, you're stuck with this one:

Quote:
(A) Peter enjoys driving luxury cars more than Jack.
(B) Peter enjoy driving luxury cars more than Jack.


In this case, you have to pick (A). None of the answer choices fix the ambiguity, and (B) has an error.

And if there's an obvious grammar issue with another answer choice, even if it fixes the ambiguity, you can't pick it:

Quote:
(A) Peter enjoys driving luxury cars more than Jack.
(B) Peter enjoy driving luxury cars more than Jack does.


You still have to pick (A). Sure, (B) is less ambiguous, but it also has a definite grammar problem that you can point to. (By the way, this exact scenario isn't likely to happen on the GMAT!)

Finally - it's possible for a sentence like this one to be REALLY ambiguous, in which case you might be more confident about crossing it off. For example:

Quote:
Peter likes Steve more than Jack.


In this case, both meanings make perfect sense. Either Peter likes Steve more than Peter likes Jack, or Peter likes Steve more than Jack likes Steve. Unlike the original sentence, there's really no logical way to tell, so I'd cross this one off because it's definitely very ambiguous.
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Re: Comparision sentence - Peter enjoys driving luxury cars than Jack  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2018, 11:09
neethkh wrote:
Is the sentence Peter enjoys driving luxury cars than Jack ambiguous?
I read in SC Nirvana that Peter is compared with Jack correctly

However, i feel this could mean: Peter enjoys driving luxury cars than he enjoys Jack or Peter enjoys driving Luxury cars than Jack does? and hence is ambiguous --> Is my understanding correct?

Hi neethkh, thanks for buying our book. As ccooley rightly mentions, the actual sentence in the book is:

Peter enjoys driving luxury cars more than Jack.

One could argue that this sentence could mean one of the following:

(i) Peter enjoys driving luxury cars more than Jack (enjoys driving luxury cars).
(ii) Peter enjoys driving luxury cars more than (Peter enjoys) Jack.
(iii) Peter enjoys driving luxury cars more than (Peter enjoys driving) Jack.

However, as you would appreciate, interpretations (ii) and (iii) are completely nonsensical and hence, the original sentence is not considered ambiguous.

In fact, as this section in the book further mentions, If we actually do mention the verb after the comparison operator, that would be fine as well. So, following would also be correct:

Peter enjoys driving luxury cars more than Jack does.

Or

Peter enjoys driving luxury cars more than Jack enjoys.

Following is an official example, whose correct answer is:

A study commissioned by the Department of Agriculture showed that if calves exercise and associate with other calves, they require less medication and gain weight more quickly than those raised in confinement.

The only way to interpret this sentence would be:

...they require less medication and gain weight more quickly than those raised in confinement (require).

One cannot interpret this sentence in the following nonsensical manner:

...they require less medication and gain weight more quickly than (they require) those raised in confinement.

It's worth noting that in the above sentence, three options actually explicitly mention a verb (do) after than, but those options have other obvious mistakes and are hence, eliminated.

The whole point about this section in the book, is to illustrate that if there is no genuine ambiguity, then we don't really need to repeat the verb after than.

p.s. In future, if you are posting a doubt/question from our book, it would be great if you can also keep us tagged:).
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Ashish
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Sentence Correction Nirvana available on Amazon.in and Flipkart

Now! Preview the entire Grammar Section of Sentence Correction Nirvana at pothi.com

Re: Comparision sentence - Peter enjoys driving luxury cars than Jack &nbs [#permalink] 03 Aug 2018, 11:09
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