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# Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi

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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
AjiteshArun wrote:
teaserbae wrote:
AjiteshArun daagh GMATNinja broall generis hazelnut aragonn
Can you please brief on E more ?
Why it is inferior to B?
I have read the above discussion but I still have this doubt
Read the option as X costs twice as much as Y and then look for parallelism. If we had something like

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

We'd have ended up with a super awkward (but parallel) construction. In its current form, option E reads

... to maintain dirt roads costs twice as much as for paved roads.

AjiteshArun
I don't understand what's super awkward there to maintain is parallel to to maintain
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
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teaserbae wrote:
I don't understand what's super awkward there to maintain is parallel to to maintain
Just because something is parallel doesn't mean that it is correct. There could be any number of other things wrong with an option in which parallel construction is maintained.

By the way, my example was just to help show that the elements in option E are not parallel.

... to maintain dirt roads costs twice as much as for paved roads.[/quote]

The example that you are referring to in your question is not there in the 5 options.
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
AjiteshArun wrote:
teaserbae wrote:
I don't understand what's super awkward there to maintain is parallel to to maintain
Just because something is parallel doesn't mean that it is correct. There could be any number of other things wrong with an option in which parallel construction is maintained.

By the way, my example was just to help show that the elements in option E are not parallel.

... to maintain dirt roads costs twice as much as for paved roads.

The example that you are referring to in your question is not there in the 5 options.[/quote]
AjiteshArun
Than what is for referring to in option 5 ?
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
GMATNinjaTwo
Hi I just watched you GMAT webinar for SC and i must say they are just the best.
I still have a doubt in Option B . Do is a pronoun that refers to something that is plural and so in this context it is referring to The Cost of maintaining the Paved roads where cost is singular. Can you please explain.
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
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longhaul123 wrote:
GMATNinjaTwo
Hi I just watched you GMAT webinar for SC and i must say they are just the best.
I still have a doubt in Option B . Do is a pronoun that refers to something that is plural and so in this context it is referring to The Cost of maintaining the Paved roads where cost is singular. Can you please explain.
There are multiple things we have to look at here:

1. Do is a verb (auxiliary, but that's not important), not a pronoun. In other words, do so does not refer to a noun. This usage of do is as a substitute for a verb or verb form that has already been mentioned:

(a) They do so every day.
(b) He does so every day.

Here I've assumed some activity, so you won't see a verb or verb form for the do, but take a look at why the do changes to does. The do changes to does because the subject changes from they to he. This is a case of making the subject and verb agree (and not pronoun agreement).

2. Cost can act as both a noun and a verb.

(c) The cost of X has fallen in the last year. <--- here cost is a singular noun and agrees with the singular verb has fallen
(d) The costs of X have fallen in the last year. <--- here costs is a plural noun and agrees with the plural verb have fallen

(e) This product costs nothing. <--- here costs is a singular verb and agrees with the singular noun (subject) this product
(f) These products cost nothing. <--- here cost is a plural verb and agrees with the plural noun (subject) these products

longhaul123 wrote:
Do is a pronoun that refers to something that is plural and so in this context it is referring to The Cost of maintaining the Paved roads where cost is singular.
When we say the cost, cost is a (singular) noun, and do cannot refer to it. But in option B:

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

Here cost is a plural verb (for the plural noun dirt roads) and do is "filling in" for cost (with a different subject, paved roads). Effectively, the sentence becomes

... dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads cost to maintain...
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
A and C compare the cost of maintaining paved roads to dirt roads, so they are both wrong. D is wrong because ‘it’ actually has ‘maintaining dirt roads’ as its antecedent, so the resultant sentence is completely nonsensical. E is not a terrible choice, but it is awkward when compared to the flawless B.

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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
Took me a bit to see what was going on with (C) before eliminating it, but substituting back can help.

(A) 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 may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but financially strained townships point out that dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do (cost)

(C) Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but financially strained townships point out that maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do

(D) Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but financially strained townships point out that maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it does for paved roads

(E) Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but financially strained townships point out that to maintain dirt roads costs twice as much as for paved roads
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
[quote="ritula"]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

WE try to make full sentence from ellipsis to realize absurdity
choice a
dirt roads cost twice as much as maintaining paved roads cost. not logical comparison
choice c
maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved road cost. not logical comparison
choice d
maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as "maintaining dirt roads" costs for paved road. absurd. "it" must refer to whole phrase "maintaining dirt roads"
choice e
to maintain dirt road costs twice as much as to maintain dirt road cost for paved road.
we have a preposition phrase "for paved road" in the second clause, so, we have to keep all full clause of preceding part.
if the second clause contain only preposition phrase, the whole preceding clause must be inserted.

art of solving comparison problem is realization of cut off phrase of the second clause.latter, you check weather the cut off phrase is fit with the remaining parts of the second clause.

realization of the cut off phrase is key
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
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GMATNinja We can use the below approach as well for eliminations.

C, D, E - These can be eliminated instantly because of subject verb agreement issue - 'dirt roads' is plural where as 'costs' is singular.

A - We are comparing 'dirt roads cost' (what kind of cost - construction cost? maintenance cost? - there is no clear indication) to 'maintaining paved roads' which is illogical.

B is correct option.
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
VatsalKrishna wrote:
C, D, E - These can be eliminated instantly because of subject verb agreement issue - 'dirt roads' is plural where as 'costs' is singular.
In maintaining dirt roads costs, dirt roads is not the subject of costs. Maintaining dirt roads is.

... maintaining dirt roads costs... ← "Maintaining something costs..."
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
ritula wrote:
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

I don't understand why (C) is incorrect?
maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as [maintaining] paved roads do [costs]?
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
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diksav wrote:
I don't understand why (C) is incorrect?
maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as [maintaining] paved roads do [costs]?

Hello, diksav. (C) is incorrect because the maintaining of the first part does not carry over to the second, meaning that the comparison being drawn is that of the cost of maintaining dirt roads and the cost of paved roads, minus the maintenance. At face value, choice (C) reads,

That is, do is a verb placeholder in the comparison, and the only verb to be found in the phrase is to cost. It pays in these harder questions to dumb things down a bit and read for simple meaning.

If you need further explanation on this one, feel free to ask. Good luck with your studies.

- Andrew
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
GMATNinja wrote:
This is all about being supremely literal with comparisons, as we'll discuss in this week’s YouTube webinar. And I don't think that anybody really loves comparisons, so… I dunno, try to enjoy this one anyway.

Quote:

This is literally saying that dirt roads themselves cost more than maintaining paved roads. That doesn’t work: we either need to compare “maintaining dirt roads” to “maintaining paved roads” or we can compare the two types of roads. But (A) makes no sense in its current form.

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

This sounds pretty good! The key here is that the word “do” can replace a verb phrase – and in this case, “do” replaces “cost… to maintain.” So this is saying that “dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads [cost to maintain].” Great, that makes sense. Let’s keep (B).

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

This is lamentably subtle. Keep in mind that “do” replaces a verb phrase – and “maintaining” is a noun (gerund) in this case, and definitely not a verb. (For more on –ing words, check out this article: https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topi ... 39780.html.) So this is literally saying that “maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads [cost].” Now we’re comparing the cost of maintaining dirt roads with the cost of paved roads themselves, and that doesn’t makes sense.

Tricky, but definitely wrong. (C) is gone.

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

The “it” jumps out at me here. If we’re being charitable, I suppose we could accept the idea that “it” refers back to “maintaining”, since “maintaining” is a noun. So we have “maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as [maintaining] does for paved roads.” Really? I guess that’s not totally illogical, but it’s a muddy mess, and it’s a whole lot less clear than (B). So (D) is out, since (B) is undoubtedly clearer.

Quote:
(E) to maintain dirt roads costs twice as much as for paved roads

I don’t see any reason why we would use the infinitive “to maintain” as a noun here. That’s not something that you’ll see very often in correct answers on the GMAT. I’m not 100% certain that it’s absolutely wrong, but it’s definitely inferior to (B).

Just as importantly, if we’re going to use the infinitive “to maintain” as the subject of the clause, then it’s only going to makes sense if the comparison is parallel. Something like “to maintain dirt roads costs twice as much as to maintain paved roads” would at least be parallel. (E) in its current form doesn’t make any sense, since “to maintain dirt roads” is compared with just the prepositional phrase “for paved roads.”

So (B) is our winner.

Well, thanQ for the explanation..

in the 3rd option,
Quote:
(C) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do

Cant we replace "do" with maintaining costs"???
then we can attain parallelism
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
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venkivety wrote:
Well, thanQ for the explanation..

in the 3rd option,
Quote:
(C) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do

Cant we replace "do" with maintaining costs"???
then we can attain parallelism

Hello venkivety,
Thank you for the query.

Please note that the word maintaining in Choice C is a noun while the word costs is a verb. The helping verb do can only be replaced by a verb. In this choice, this verb is costs. We cannot write the noun maintaining in place of do.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
In order to find out whether we are comparing the right entities we will remove “twice as much as” (or anything within it) from each sentence.
D. maintaining dirt roads costs – it does for paved roads – incorrect
E. to maintain dirt roads costs – for paved roads - incorrect
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
Hi everyone,

Is the following answer correct? Can "do" be implied?

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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi [#permalink]
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.