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# Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe

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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe [#permalink]
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Dear Friends,

Here is a detailed explanation to this question-
jjhko wrote:
Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in September, slightly less than they did in the year that ended in the previous quarter.

A. less than they did
B. less than it did
C. less than they were
D. lower than
E. lower than they were

Could someone also explain what the difference is between A and C?

Thank,
jjhko

Meaning is crucial to solving this problem:
Understanding the intended meaning is key to solving this question; the intended meaning of the crucial part of this sentence is that 2.8 percent is slightly less than what employment costs rose in the year that ended in the previous quarter.

Concepts tested here: Pronouns + Meaning

A: Correct. This answer choice uses the phrase "less than they did"; the use of the helping verb "did" and the correct use of "less" to modify the verb "rose" convey the intended meaning - that 2.8 percent is slightly less than what employment costs rose in the year that ended in the previous quarter. Further, Option A correctly refers to the plural noun "costs" with the plural pronoun "they".

B: This answer choice incorrectly refers to the plural noun "costs" with the singular pronoun "it".

C: This answer choice alters the meaning of the sentence through the phrase "they were"; the use of the helping verb "were" produces an incoherent meaning; the intended meaning is that 2.8 percent is slightly less than what employment costs rose in the year that ended in the previous quarter.

D: This answer choice alters the meaning of the sentence through the phrase "lower than"; the use of "lower" to modify the verb "rose" produces an incoherent meaning; the intended meaning is that 2.8 percent is slightly less than what employment costs rose in the year that ended in the previous quarter.

E: This answer choice alters the meaning of the sentence through the phrases "lower than" and "they were"; the use of the helping verb "were" and the use of "lower" to modify the verb "rose" produce an incoherent meaning; the intended meaning is that 2.8 percent is slightly less than what employment costs rose in the year that ended in the previous quarter.

Hence, A is the best answer choice.

All the best!
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe [#permalink]
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I think it is A

Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in september, slightly less than they
did in the year that ended in the previous quarter.

If the sentence was:
Employment costs were 2.8 percent ...slightly less than they were would be right
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe [#permalink]
I dont think Employments costs is countable here but still not sure
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe [#permalink]
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Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in September, slightly less than they did in the year that ended in the previous quarter.

A. less than they did
B. less than it did
C. less than they were
D. lower than
E. lower than they were

In A --> replace they with employment costs and did with rose .... comparision looks fine so no issues.

and to your questions "lower than" --> slightly lower than <<what>> [you need a noun here for comparision]

so I would go with A.
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe [#permalink]
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acer2knight wrote:
Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in September, slightly less than they did in the year that ended in the previous quarter.

A. less than they did
B. less than it did
C. less than they were
D. lower than
E. lower than they were

In A --> replace they with employment costs and did with rose .... comparision looks fine so no issues.

and to your questions "lower than" --> slightly lower than <<what>> [you need a noun here for comparision]

so I would go with A.

Also,

Between A & C,

'rose' is parallel to 'did' in A and is not parallel to 'were' in C

hence A.
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe [#permalink]
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Thanks for the reply. Kudos to all!

One follow-up question: I thought percent is countable and should be used with lower rather than less?

Thanks
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe [#permalink]
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Can you count years? I can count my birthday LOL

But in grammar "25 years" is uncountable. e.g Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, their descendants, had migrated as far north as southern Texas.

Similarly "1000 dollars" is uncountable. I have [less / fewer] than 1000 dollars ----> less

"10 hours" are uncountable

Money is uncountable e.g. How ......... money do you have? ----> much

RaviChandra wrote:
I dont think Employments costs is countable here but still not sure
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe [#permalink]
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for percents and fractions we use less not lower or fewer.
for time ,distance, money we use 'less'
for countable entities we use fewer

eg:fewer chocolates
less than \$541
less than 3 weeks
less than 3 kms

Higher and lower we use for physical entities
The height of the chair is lower than that of the table.
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe [#permalink]
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rainbooow wrote:
higher and lower we use for physical entities
The height of the chair is lower than that of the table.

Hi rainbooow

I absolutely agree with your explanation, but not the quote part. "higher and lower we use for physical entities"
For example: low price, low temperature, low music level, etc..

Regards.
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe [#permalink]
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Employment costs rose up 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in September, slightly less than they did in the year that ended in the previous quarter.

We can eliminate B because it uses "it" to refer back to "costs".

A- less than they did
C- less than they were
D- lower than
E- lower than they were

If we use "were", the sentence makes no sense:

Employment costs rose up 2.8 percent in September, slightly less than they were in the year ...

We want to compare two rates; but this sentence compares a rate(costs rose up) to a static state (verb "to be": costs were)
Employment costs rose up 2.8 percent in September, slightly less than they were(say 10,000\$) in the year ...<== no sense comparison

C and E are out. D is not a complete comparison: "lower than (what?) in the year that ended ...". A is correct, and it compares how the costs rose (two growth rates):

Employment costs rose up 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in September, slightly less than they did(=rose) in the year that ended in the previous quarter.
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe [#permalink]
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Please remember ---Lower cannot be used with countable things.
Lower is used to compare numbers, rates, percentages,ranks, ideas ,uncountable nouns (amount of money in my bank account is lower than that in yours).etc

Here 'employment costs' is uncountable hence both less and lower could have worked but for using lower than we need some noun to follow the the comparison in the second part of the sentence...costs rose 2.8 percent lower than the percent for .. This isn't the case here. So we can drop D and E options.

Among A,B,C .
B is out since the plural costs does not agree with pronoun it
In option A and C --->Did vs Were .
A wins because we can't use were (option C) unless there was some other " to be"verb (was, were, am ,is ) to match/parallel it in the previous part of the sentence. Hence we use the action verb did (do)
Hope this helps.

For a more detailed discussion: https://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/emp ... t6388.html
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe [#permalink]
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calvinhobbes wrote:
Thanks for the reply. Kudos to all!

One follow-up question: I thought percent is countable and should be used with lower rather than less?

Thanks

Any noun you can count ..say 1,2..10..100 is countable
1 boy, 10 points, 5% , 20 chocolates, -all countable

Rice,Sugar, joy, taxes, amount of money, heat --all uncountable

But when you say :
1 kg sugar, 15 1\$ bills, 15 degree celsius temperature --then it becomes countable.

Please NOTE : you cannot use lower with countable things.
HTH
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe [#permalink]
If there were an answer "less than it had done", Could i consider it a more correct answer than the OA ??????
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe [#permalink]
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thanhphong01 wrote:
If there were an answer "less than it had done", Could i consider it a more correct answer than the OA ??????

Tryambak's explanation above is nice. However I shall try to elaborate further on the topic:

You may use helping verbs later in a sentence to replace longer verbs or verb phrases used in the initial portion of the sentence.

Wordy: I have never played football, but he has played football.
Correct: I have never played football, but he has.

OR

Wordy: I never played football, but he played football.
Correct: I never played football, but he did.

Please note that in such cases both the instances of the verbs should generally have the same tense. The first example above uses past perfect..past perfect. The second uses simple past.. simple past.

Therefore "less than they had done" may not be a correct answer, and should be written as "less than they had risen".

Another subtle point to note:

Your observation that a past perfect is a better choice than a simple past (on the basis of that the previous action happened before the latter action) may not be correct - the rising in the year ended previous quarter did not happen exclusively before the year ended this September. To illustrate this scenario, please understand the following:

Year ended previous quarter: July, previous year----> June, this year (1st July, previous year to 30th June, this year)
Year ended this September: October,previous year ------> September, this year (1st October previous year to 30th September, this year)

There has been overlap of 9 months between the 2 periods compared - viz., October, previous year to June, this year (1st October, previous year to 30th June, this year). Therefore use of past perfect for the previous period is not correct.
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in Septe [#permalink]
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danzig wrote:
Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months that ended in September, slightly less than they did in the year that ended in the previous quarter.
A, less than they did
B, less than it did
C, less than they were
D, lower than
E, lower than they were

What is wrong with D? What is the difference between "less" and "lower"? :s

Thanks!

D is wrong because
d mean "Lower than cost rose in the year". this is infered from elipsis.
cost rose 2 percent this year lower than costs rose that year. wrong, lower can not used to compare actions.
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One thing to remember: Except in the case of money when it is taken as a quantum of money or a distance that is taken as one length of distance or time reference that is taken as a quantity of time( in spite of the fact, they invariably involve plural words), in all other cases plural nouns are considered countable.
Eg: 100 dollars is too much price for a trouser.
Note the plural word dollars being taken, as singular, however, 'I gave 9 ten dollar bills for the trouser' is considered plural because you are able to count each ten-dollar bill.
2. 26 miles and 195 feet is the distance of a marathon.
3. Four hours is a long time for an air travel from Chennai to Delhi.

'Costs' in the given case is countable. You see there are so many types of employment costs such as housing allowance, travel allowance, hospital care, subsided food etc, etc. Second, it is now countable, lower is the more appropriate comparator than less. By this reckoning, we may dislodge A, B, and C in one stroke.

However, the crux of the issue is that of a proper comparison. Let's take the verb 'rose'. Did the employments costs do anything to raise the percentage? No, the costs rose as a matter of a natural phenomenon. Therefore, there is no deliberate action involved in the comparison. You will use an action verb in comparisons in the second arm only when there is an equally comparable action in the first arm. The actual sentence with the proper comparison is: Employment costs rose 2.8% in the 12 months ended September, slightly less than (employment costs rose) in the year ended in the previous quarter. Here we can elide employment costs rose in the second arm since a verbatim version is present in the first arm.
They 'were' in E does not describe the intent of employment costs rose as stated in the first arm. Hence, E is wrong
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