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# Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another

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16 Jun 2008, 00:11
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Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but financially strained townships point out that dirt roads cost twice as much as maintaining paved roads.

(B) dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do

(C) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do

(D) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it does for paved roads

(E) to maintain dirt roads costs twice as much as for paved roads
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by Narenn on 25 Sep 2013, 10:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Formatting issues aside, I've always loved this question as a great example of a comparison error.

When a comparison is drawn on a sentence correction question, two major themes should jump out at you:

1) The two things compared must be compared in equivalent form.

Here, we could compare:

But comparing "the cost of maintaining dirt roads" to "paved roads" is incorrect - one is a cost, and the other is a road...they could never be alike!

Make sure that, when a comparison is drawn, you check to ensure that the two items are in equivalent form. I like to envision a balance scale from chemistry class as a mental picture. If I'm weighing a substance in a petri dish I must account for the weight of the dish on the other side of the balance! Similarly, if I'm comparing a cost of one item, I have to make sure I compare it directly to the cost of the other.

2) Comparison idioms should be in the right form.

This one doesn't have a mistake, but you should get in the habit of seeing:

"As Many As" or "As Much As" ---> Equality
"So Many That" or "So Much That" ---> Critical Mass (e.g. "there is so much pollution in the air that we can't go outside")
"More Than" or "Less Than" ---> Inequality

An easy way for the testmakers to write a wrong-but-tricky answer is to criss-cross these idioms (e.g. "As many that" or "More...as")

In this case, the comparisons are all off but one:

B) Dirt roads cost vs. paved roads do ("do" takes the place of "cost") ---> CORRECT!
D) Maintaining dirt roads costs vs. it does

Only B puts each element in the same form, so B is a correct comparison while the others miss the mark.
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07 Feb 2012, 09:43
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I try my best to look at comparsions as X as much as Y where the sentences X and Y are constructed the same way. Additionally now I try to figure out meaning as well of the original sentence. With this sentence we are trying to say "Something about Dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads". Based on these two things this is what I would have done ->

(B) dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do Split 1: "X costs twices as much as Y does" - Looks fine
(C) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do Split 1: "something to X costs as much as Y does" This construction looks awkward because you are doing something to X but then flipping the structure with Y.
(D) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it does for paved roads Split 1: Here you are saying something costs twice as much as cost for Y. The structure is flipped in this one as well so wrong.
(E) to maintain dirt roads costs twice as much as for paved roads Split 1: Here the construction is flipped as well. Since To something X twice as much as For Y.

Based on this analysis I would have picked B. Comparsions are very tricky but based on what I know, I try to always keep the construction the same on both sides of the comparison keyword (Like, Unlike, As, Than, idioms). I don't have my Manhattan's SC book on me but I remember a piece regarding how to use As Much As from the idioms list.
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09 Oct 2016, 09:42
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Responding to a PM: Why B is better than D?

D has two problems: the pronoun "it" does not have an antecedent.

The compared elements are not parallel:
maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it does for paved roads.

The correct construction would be :
maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as maintaining paved roads does.

In option B, the compared elements are parallel:

dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads cost.

It is allowed to replaced the verb with "do" in the second element. Hence:
dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do.

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09 May 2014, 04:20
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jlgdr wrote:
Can we kindly get an analysis of answer choices? In particular C and D please?

Would be happy to throw some Kudos out there!

Cheers!
J

Okay, let me go about explaining this.

C. There is an incorrect comparison between "maintaining dirt roads" and "paved roads." (X twice as much as Y structure.) Then there is a subject-verb disagreement as well. Something like this would have been awesome :- "maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as maintaining paved roads."

D. Even though I chose this, at the hindsight this option looks awkward. "It" might refer to the proper antecedent "maintaining" but the construction "does for paved roads" doesn't look good to me (it did then )

B. Comparison between dirt roads and paved roads in terms of their action "cost" seems okay and there's no subject-verb disagreement.

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06 May 2013, 20:58
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anilisanil wrote:
Why is D wrong? I chose D.

Hi anilisani:

I guess you picked D because you thought "it" refers to "maintaining", is that correct? Let replace "it" by "maintaining", so D will be:

(D) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as maintaining does for paved roads

You can see the structure is not parallel. "maintaining X costs twice as much as maintaining does for Y" ==> D may be correct if its structure is "maintaining X costs twice as much as maintaining Y does"

Hope it's clear.
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02 Sep 2010, 09:40
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B it is.

Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but financially strained townships point out that dirt roads cost twice as much as maintaining paved roads.

(A) dirt roads cost twice as much as maintaining paved roads - incorrect comparosin
(B) dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do [cost to maintain].
(C) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do
(D) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it [maintaining] does for paved roads- awkward, wordy
(E) to maintain dirt roads costs twice as much as for paved roads - awkward

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18 Oct 2010, 11:24
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"Hi mate!
Excellent question, thank you!
Hmm... But have you managed to tag your question appropriately?
As I see you did not tag neither the source or type of the question. Please tag it - it will help many test takers after you.

If you have further questions, please refer this thread for more details: tagging-questions-102752.html/

We can change the World making it better, let's start from this website

Thanks!
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08 Feb 2012, 23:15
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More than a parallelism question, this is really testing comparisons.

(B) dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do
CORRECT

(C) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do

(D) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it does for paved roads
What does it refer to? you may say maintaining, of course! But how come maintaining does something? WRONG

(E) to maintain dirt roads costs twice as much as for paved roads
Does this even make sense? To maintaing costs twice as much to maintain for something?

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24 Sep 2015, 06:58
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smartguy595 wrote:
Dear Experts,

Can someone Explain why option C is wrong.

C. maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do
"paved roads do" is pointing to the cost of the paved roads, not the maintenance of the roads.
We need to compare similar things.

Does this help?
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16 Jun 2008, 07:34
vdhawan1 wrote:
B is the correct answer here

costs (subject-verb agreement error here) so C D E are eliminated

B uses the correct idiom, and hence is the correct choice

C,D, E are not out because of (Sub-Verb agreement)
here subject is "maintaing dirt roads" not "dirt roads". they are out because of incorrect comparision.
"maintaining dirt roads" costs --- no issue.
"to maintain dirt roads" costs --- no issue
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16 Jun 2008, 10:19
Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but financially strained townships point out that dirt roads cost twice as much as maintaining paved roads.

(B) dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do

(C) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do

(D) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it does for paved roads

An incorrect sentence can use correct grammar, but use too many words. Plus, here the use of "it" is kind odd. It is not entirely clear that "it" refers to "maintaining". B says the same thing in a much clearer manner. Sentence Correction questions say to pick the "best answer" not the only correct one.

gmat2ndtime wrote:
i didn't get why "D" is won , can someone pease explain it to me?

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18 Oct 2010, 23:49
I share your sentiment Imania. I gave you a KUDOS. I feel people don't respect the pain others take to post a good question. the first instinct is to give KUDOS to an explanation which is weird because without the great question there would be no great explanations.
Well, thats unfair but so is the world .

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19 Oct 2010, 00:07
hemanthp wrote:
I share your sentiment Imania. I gave you a KUDOS. I feel people don't respect the pain others take to post a good question. the first instinct is to give KUDOS to an explanation which is weird because without the great question there would be no great explanations.
Well, thats unfair but so is the world .

thank you hemanthp, giving Kudos might motivate guys to post better questions. However, I'm obsessed with my own GMAT exam coming in 3weeks, thus don't care much about these sort of stuff.

what's happening in this forum and most probably in the world is:
RICH GETs RICHER...

This is the best forum I've ever seen though.

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06 Nov 2013, 22:28
Hello:

Any help would be appreciated!

Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but financially strained townships point out that dirt roads cost twice as much as maintaining paved roads.

(B) dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do
(C) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do
(D) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it does for paved roads
(E) to maintain dirt roads costs twice as much as for paved roads

OA B.
I narrowed down to BCD.

But immediately discarded C because I thought (C) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do (cost).. not cost of MAINTAINING

Then I was in between B&D and thought (B) dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do (cost)?
TO MAINTAIN is in between "as much as" construction.

So I thought (erroneously) that the meaning in B could be either:

1... as paved roads do COST
OR
2....as paved roads DO COST TO MAINTAIN

OR EVEN A THIRD OPTION:
(silly one) as paved roads DO cost twice as much to maintain

Really I DON'T KNOW for what exactly "do" stands for in B, and HOW to learn this rule!! (I guess that is the 5th time that I got this question wrong!)

My reasoning was then by POE:
(D) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it[maintaining] does [costs] for paved roads

Please any light in this issue would be really appreciated!

Ricardo

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07 Nov 2013, 14:24
ricardocs84 wrote:
Hello:

Any help would be appreciated!

Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but financially strained townships point out that dirt roads cost twice as much as maintaining paved roads.

(B) dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do
(C) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do
(D) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it does for paved roads
(E) to maintain dirt roads costs twice as much as for paved roads

OA B.
I narrowed down to BCD.

But immediately discarded C because I thought (C) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do (cost).. not cost of MAINTAINING

Then I was in between B&D and thought (B) dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do (cost)?
TO MAINTAIN is in between "as much as" construction.

So I thought (erroneously) that the meaning in B could be either:

1... as paved roads do COST
OR
2....as paved roads DO COST TO MAINTAIN

OR EVEN A THIRD OPTION:
(silly one) as paved roads DO cost twice as much to maintain

Really I DON'T KNOW for what exactly "do" stands for in B, and HOW to learn this rule!! (I guess that is the 5th time that I got this question wrong!)

My reasoning was then by POE:
(D) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it[maintaining] does [costs] for paved roads

Please any light in this issue would be really appreciated!

Ricardo

(B) dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do..

verbs are generally not explicitly stated in comparison when meaning & comparison are clear. If you place missing verb, B reads as "dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do [cost]"..

Its grammatically correct even if the sentence reads as "dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do [cost to maintain]".

My POEis always just to place the missing verb and then check for the following
1) Verb Tense
2) Parallelism
3) Meaning or comparison

B is correct in all those aspects

(C) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do

Comparison is wrong in C. cost of Maintaining dirt roads is compared with cost of paved roads. The correct choice will compare "cost of Maintaining dirt roads is compared with cost of maintaing paved roads"

(D) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it does for paved roads

2 errors in D
1) What does "it" refer to?
2) Place missing verb in the sentence " maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it does [costs] for paved roads"..Its sounds bad.
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07 Nov 2013, 17:12
D is wrong, I thought that (D) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it[maintaining] does [costs] for paved roads.

I thought:

it = pronoun of maintaining
does = pronoun of costs

In (B) dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do (cost to maintain, not just the cost of the road itself!)

Some really good instructor gave some good examples of this case:

E.g.,
French bulldog puppies cost more than Samoyed puppies.
French bulldog puppies cost more than Samoyed puppies do.
^^ These sentences discuss the cost of purchasing the puppies themselves.

French bulldog puppies cost less to feed than Samoyed puppies.
French bulldog puppies cost less to feed than Samoyed puppies do.
^^ These sentences discuss the cost of feeding the dogs, not the cost of purchasing them.

You do need a certain degree of parallelism. (E.g., here, "do" needs a verb, "cost", to which it can be parallel.) Beyond that, though, it's mostly just common sense.

If for some reason you wanted to compare the cost of feeding one of the puppies with the cost of purchasing the other one -- for whatever reason -- then you'd have to write a sentence that's very specific about that intention.
E.g., It costs more to purchase a French bulldog puppy than to feed a Samoyed for ten years.

Guess I got it this time!

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12 Feb 2014, 21:15
VeritasPrepBrian wrote:
Formatting issues aside, I've always loved this question as a great example of a comparison error.

When a comparison is drawn on a sentence correction question, two major themes should jump out at you:

1) The two things compared must be compared in equivalent form.

Here, we could compare:

But comparing "the cost of maintaining dirt roads" to "paved roads" is incorrect - one is a cost, and the other is a road...they could never be alike!

Make sure that, when a comparison is drawn, you check to ensure that the two items are in equivalent form. I like to envision a balance scale from chemistry class as a mental picture. If I'm weighing a substance in a petri dish I must account for the weight of the dish on the other side of the balance! Similarly, if I'm comparing a cost of one item, I have to make sure I compare it directly to the cost of the other.

2) Comparison idioms should be in the right form.

This one doesn't have a mistake, but you should get in the habit of seeing:

"As Many As" or "As Much As" ---> Equality
"So Many That" or "So Much That" ---> Critical Mass (e.g. "there is so much pollution in the air that we can't go outside")
"More Than" or "Less Than" ---> Inequality

An easy way for the testmakers to write a wrong-but-tricky answer is to criss-cross these idioms (e.g. "As many that" or "More...as")

In this case, the comparisons are all off but one:

B) Dirt roads cost vs. paved roads do ("do" takes the place of "cost") ---> CORRECT!
D) Maintaining dirt roads costs vs. it does

Only B puts each element in the same form, so B is a correct comparison while the others miss the mark.

Hi Brian,

I have a small doubt. In the idiom "as much X as Y" , X and Y needs to be parallel . For eg:
He is depressed as much because he is away from his family as because he is not doing well in the job.
His knowledge springs as much from experience as from schooling.

But, i couldn't understand the form of "as much X as Y" in " dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do ".

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21 Aug 2014, 21:17
Are we really comparing the Maintenance of Dirt Roads with Maintenance of Paved Roads. I understand that Dirt Roads will cost the govt/responsible authority in some way (possibly in generating income) more than maintaining Paved Roads (once they build one). So essentially the comparison is between Dirt Rds vs Maintenance of Paved Roads NOT Maintenance of two kinds of roads.
Hence options C, D and E are making wrong comparison. Only A & B are attempting to address the message. B wins because of the language.

Please correct if I'm wrong here/...
Thanks.

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11 Nov 2014, 01:09
fanatico wrote:
244. Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but financially strained townships point out that dirt roads cost twice as much as maintaining paved roads.
(B) dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do
(C) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do
(D) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it does for paved roads
(E) to maintain dirt roads costs twice as much as for paved roads

1) plural "cost" is needed for plural noun "roads"
2) comparison of two costs

Considering 1, options C,D,E goes for a toss.

Choice B properly compares costs of two roads.

Hence B it is!

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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another   [#permalink] 11 Nov 2014, 01:09

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