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

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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.


(A) 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


Verbal Question of The Day: Day 148: Sentence Correction


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https://www.nytimes.com/1991/06/17/nyregion/dirt-roads-deep-ruts-high-cost-but-status.html

In the beginning, there were dirt roads. In spring, tires got stuck in the mud; in summer, a film of dirt dulled shiny cars. Then there were paved roads, an indisputable sign of progress. Right?

Wrong. Across northern Westchester County and in neighboring Putnam County, dirt road devotees argue that it is worthwhile to save a disappearing network of back roads that evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century. And these advocates -- often affluent commuters to Manhattan, horse farm owners and would-be naturalists -- hold their position even as some officials of financially strapped towns point out that dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do.

Originally posted by ritula on 15 Jun 2008, 23:11.
Last edited by Bunuel on 22 Oct 2018, 23:06, edited 4 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2017, 15:06
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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:
(A) dirt roads cost twice as much as maintaining paved roads

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

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New post 18 Oct 2010, 16:18
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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:

Dirt roads to paved roads
Maintaining dirt roads to maintaining paved roads

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:

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


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

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New post 02 Sep 2010, 08:40
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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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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2010, 10:24
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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.
In addition, please make sure you post the official answer(s).

Please underline the sentence!

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

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

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New post 18 Oct 2010, 23:07
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Why is D wrong? I chose D.
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2012, 08:43
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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 ->

(A) dirt roads cost twice as much as maintaining paved roads Split 1: Cost of dirt roads != maintaining paved roads
(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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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2012, 22:15
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More than a parallelism question, this is really testing comparisons.

(A) dirt roads cost twice as much as maintaining paved roads --Comparing dirt roads and maintaining paved roads? WRONG

(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
Comparing maintaining dirt roads and paved roads? WRONG

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

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New post 06 May 2013, 19:58
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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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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2014, 20:15
Can we kindly get an analysis of answer choices? In particular C and D please?

Would be happy to throw some Kudos out there!

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

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New post 09 May 2014, 03:20
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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!
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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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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2015, 14:33
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 not comparing similar elements
(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 the subject who is performing these two actions is different
(D) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it does for paved roads "it" is not clear and the rest is also not parallel
(E) to maintain dirt roads costs twice as much as for paved roads not comparing similar elements
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2016, 08:42
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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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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2017, 18:18
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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.

The structure of comparison "X as much as Y" where X and Y must follow the same form.

Hence only B satisfied.

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

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New post 01 Nov 2017, 21:52
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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.

Intended Meaning : Maintaining Dirt Roads costs twice as much as Maintaining Paved Roads. This is the intended comparison implied from the original sentence.

(A) dirt roads cost twice as much as maintaining paved roads (do)
Incorrect. Here, the cost of construction of the dirt roads is compared with the cost of maintenance of the paved roads. This is not the intended meaning.

Understanding the structure : Maintaining Paved Roads -- Maintaining (Gerund/Action Noun) Paved (Adjective) Roads. So, here maintaining is specifically referring to the paved roads.
Dirt roads cost : here, the implied meaning is the cost of construction of the dirt roads.

(B) dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads do (do -- cost to maintain)
Correct. In terms with the intended meaning.

(C) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads do
Incorrect. Here, the cost of maintenance of the dirt roads is compared with the cost of construction of the paved roads. This is not the intended meaning.
One More Important Thing to Note Here : Only VERBS or PREPOSITIONS can be ellided, nothing else.
If someone thought, option C as,
maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as maintaining paved roads do (costs). Then that is INCORRECT for the reason mentioned above.

(D) maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as it does for paved roads
What does "it" refers to here? It does not have a logical antecedent. Therefore, Incorrect.

(E) to maintain dirt roads costs twice as much as for paved roads
The comparison is not very clear in this option. What "for paved roads" is referring to? Choice B is much better than this option choice.
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2018, 20:22
GMATNinja wrote:

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.



Thanks a lot for your explanation GMATNinja. Just wondering whether C would have been correct as "maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as [maintaining] paved roads does"

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New post 06 Feb 2018, 21:38
ManishKM1 wrote:

Thanks a lot for your explanation GMATNinja. Just wondering whether C would have been correct as "maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as [maintaining] paved roads does"

Sure, it would be acceptable to say "maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as maintaining paved roads" -- but in that case, there's no reason to include the word "does."

I hope this helps!
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2018, 21:53
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GMATNinja wrote:
ManishKM1 wrote:

Thanks a lot for your explanation GMATNinja. Just wondering whether C would have been correct as "maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as [maintaining] paved roads does"

Sure, it would be acceptable to say "maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as maintaining paved roads" -- but in that case, there's no reason to include the word "does."

I hope this helps!


Thanks GMATNinja, but I meant to say [maintaining] in ellipsis. The sentence would be "maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads does". Would that be okay?
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2018, 19:52
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ManishKM1 wrote:

Thanks GMATNinja, but I meant to say [maintaining] in ellipsis. The sentence would be "maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads does". Would that be okay?

Nope, that wouldn't work. "Maintaining" is a noun in this case (a gerund, if you like jargon; for more on "-ing" words, check out this article), and we'd need to compare the noun "maintaining" to some other noun in terms of its cost. Logically, we can't compare "maintaining" to "dirt roads," and that's exactly what happens in your version of the sentence.

The word "does" can replace some other verb, but "maintaining" isn't a verb here. "Does" would appear to replace "costs", I guess -- so we would have "maintaining dirt roads costs twice as much as paved roads costs." And that has a subject-verb problem, and also isn't a correct comparison: we would need to compare "maintaining dirt roads" with "maintaining paved roads", and not with "paved roads costs."

This logic is similar to what you'll see in my explanations for answer choices (B) and (C) above: https://gmatclub.com/forum/qotd-dirt-ro ... l#p1954811

I hope this helps!
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 23:40
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
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Re: Dirt roads may evoke the bucolic simplicity of another century, but fi &nbs [#permalink] 31 Oct 2018, 23:40

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