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# Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts

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Re: sc- less than Vs lower than [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2010, 12:42
concept tested here is : S-V agreement +lower/less
subject is the direct costs so verb has to be singular..-a,b out
uncountables use less/more not lower so option C
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Re: sc- less than Vs lower than [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2010, 15:12
first of all the sentence is in past tense. So "amounted to" is right usage. this eliminates A and B.
"amounted to a lower sum" - redundant. eliminate E
"amounted to lower"- amounted is uncountable ,usage of "less" is correct.

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Re: sc- less than Vs lower than [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2010, 23:26
C.

A and B are incorrect: use amounts (singular) for direct costs (plural)
Quote:
C : less is used for countable nouns. lower than should be used for non countable nouns

Well, after posting the answer I went through my notes and reference material.
I found the reasoning that I used in the quoted part to be wrong.
less than is used for non countable nouns and lower than for countable nouns
In this sentence 1% of xx billion \$ = money. Money is uncountable ->
fewer than some money - worng (fewer is used for countable nouns)
lower than some money - wrong
less than some money - correct

The confusion is created as x \$ is countable. But it is countable only if it refers to \$ bills (actual paper notes). Looking at the sentence (and 99% of the time in GMAT) x \$ is referring to money and not actual \$ bills. hence it becomes uncountable.

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Re: sc- less than Vs lower than [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2010, 19:02
Its C

Redundacy - Amount & SUM so A and E out

As its uncountable - so 'Less' not 'Lower'
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Re: sc- less than Vs lower than [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2010, 19:17
Agreed with C. Amounted needs to be in the past tense to fit the setting of last year and money is uncountable so requires the descriptive less rather than lower.

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Re: sc- less than Vs lower than [#permalink]

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22 Jan 2011, 02:20
USCTrojan2006 wrote:
Should be less than, with amount in the past tense form.

this is the simplest explanation why it's C
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Re: sc- less than Vs lower than [#permalink]

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26 May 2011, 05:58
spriya wrote:
Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum lower than one percent of the \$541 billion the nation spent on health care last year, doctors say fear of lawsuits plays major role in health-care inflation.

(A) amounts to a sum lower
(B) amounts to less
(C) amounted to less
(D) amounted to lower
(E) amounted to a lower sum

costs is plural so A and B are out E has redundant "sum so it is also out

Between Less and Lower ;
I will go for Less as it is for Costs

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Re: sc- less than Vs lower than [#permalink]

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26 May 2011, 10:53
+1 C

"Lower" can be only an adjective.
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Re: sc- less than Vs lower than [#permalink]

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26 May 2011, 11:01
Note the difference in lower vs. less

i scored lower than my sister
vs.
i scored 1% less than my sister

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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2012, 19:40
Percent is uncountable unless the clearly specified how much is the money it should be considered Countable but when percent is mentioned it requires uncountable usage i.e. less

B and C : B is eliminated since it is singular subject the costs is plural hene answer is C.

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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts [#permalink]

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04 Jan 2013, 00:31
I got the OA but not sure if my method was corrrect. Basically I substituted in the ellipsis-ed (!) word into the second half of the sentence:
" but (whom) were eventually discovered" --> wrong because they (not them) were eventually discovered
"but (who) were eventually discovered" --> great!

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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts [#permalink]

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25 Jan 2014, 07:41
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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2015, 05:56
The direct costs - this is plural and needs a plural verb. Many things amount to something. One thing amounts to something.
This discrepancy of singular verb following a plural subject eliminated A and B.

(A) amounts to a sum lower
(B) amounts to less

C v/s D v/s E

(C) amounted to less
(D) amounted to lower
(E) amounted to a lower sum

When comparing with percentage, less is preffered to lower. Hence C is the answer. Somebody please let me know whether this reason is correct. Moreover, putting in place D and E sound awkward - but awkward is not a grammatical reason. Pls help.
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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2017, 22:24
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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts [#permalink]

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17 Nov 2017, 22:31
spriya wrote:
Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum lower than one percent of the \$541 billion the nation spent on health care last year, doctors say fear of lawsuits plays major role in health-care inflation.

(A) amounts to a sum lower
1. PRONOUN NUMBER AGREEMENT ERROR. The subject "direct costs" is plural so it requires a plural verb and NOT the singular verb "amounts".
2. TENSE ERROR - Also, as per the context of the sentence, usage of the simple past tense will make more sense. As the usage of simple present tense sounds as if it is a general fact that the direct costs always in general amount to a sum lower than one percent of the \$541 billion the nation spent on the health care. That is not the intended meaning. Also, the time marker -- "last year" clearly specifies the use of past tense. INCORRECT

(B) amounts to less
Similar errors as in choice A. INCORRECT

(C) amounted to less
Here, the verb tense error is resolved. Also, the usage of LESS is correct here. CORRECT.

(D) amounted to lower
Usage of LOWER is incorrect here. INCORRECT.

(E) amounted to a lower sum
This would be correct if we swap the position of sum with lower. That is,
amounted to a sum lower

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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts [#permalink]

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17 Nov 2017, 23:54
aceGMAT21 wrote:
spriya wrote:
Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum lower than one percent of the \$541 billion the nation spent on health care last year, doctors say fear of lawsuits plays major role in health-care inflation.

(A) amounts to a sum lower
1. PRONOUN NUMBER AGREEMENT ERROR. The subject "direct costs" is plural so it requires a plural verb and NOT the singular verb "amounts".
2. TENSE ERROR - Also, as per the context of the sentence, usage of the simple past tense will make more sense. As the usage of simple present tense sounds as if it is a general fact that the direct costs always in general amount to a sum lower than one percent of the \$541 billion the nation spent on the health care. That is not the intended meaning. Also, the time marker -- "last year" clearly specifies the use of past tense. INCORRECT

(B) amounts to less
Similar errors as in choice A. INCORRECT

(C) amounted to less
Here, the verb tense error is resolved. Also, the usage of LESS is correct here. CORRECT.

(D) amounted to lower
Usage of LOWER is incorrect here. INCORRECT.

(E) amounted to a lower sum
This would be correct if we swap the position of sum with lower. That is,
amounted to a sum lower

Hi Varun,
Why lower than is wrong here.Less is used to refer to something that is not countable: John has less ice cream than Mary has. But we can't say John has a less amount of ice cream. Words such as amount, sum, and total require an -er word. We need to say: John has a smaller amount of ice cream than Mary has.

We have an official question - Here, lower than is correct

Although the government's expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amounts to a sum dramatically lower than that spent by tobacco companies, many believe that the government should allocate no more funds to a battle they perceive as pointless.

(A) expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amounts to a sum dramatically lower than
(B) expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amount to a sum dramatically less than
(C) expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amount to a sum dramatically lower than
(D) law suit expenditures regarding tobacco companies amount to a dramatically lower sum than
(E) law suit expenditures against tobacco companies amounts to a sum dramatically lower than

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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2017, 00:04
Why lower than is wrong here.Less is used to refer to something that is not countable: John has less ice cream than Mary has. But we can't say John has a less amount of ice cream. Words such as amount, sum, and total require an -er word. We need to say: John has a smaller amount of ice cream than Mary has.

We have an official question - Here, lower than is correct

Although the government's expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amounts to a sum dramatically lower than that spent by tobacco companies, many believe that the government should allocate no more funds to a battle they perceive as pointless.

(A) expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amounts to a sum dramatically lower than
(B) expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amount to a sum dramatically less than
(C) expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amount to a sum dramatically lower than
(D) law suit expenditures regarding tobacco companies amount to a dramatically lower sum than
(E) law suit expenditures against tobacco companies amounts to a sum dramatically lower than

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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2017, 00:19
sunny91 wrote:
aceGMAT21 wrote:
spriya wrote:
Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum lower than one percent of the \$541 billion the nation spent on health care last year, doctors say fear of lawsuits plays major role in health-care inflation.

(A) amounts to a sum lower
1. PRONOUN NUMBER AGREEMENT ERROR. The subject "direct costs" is plural so it requires a plural verb and NOT the singular verb "amounts".
2. TENSE ERROR - Also, as per the context of the sentence, usage of the simple past tense will make more sense. As the usage of simple present tense sounds as if it is a general fact that the direct costs always in general amount to a sum lower than one percent of the \$541 billion the nation spent on the health care. That is not the intended meaning. Also, the time marker -- "last year" clearly specifies the use of past tense. INCORRECT

(B) amounts to less
Similar errors as in choice A. INCORRECT

(C) amounted to less
Here, the verb tense error is resolved. Also, the usage of LESS is correct here. CORRECT.

(D) amounted to lower
Usage of LOWER is incorrect here. INCORRECT.

(E) amounted to a lower sum
This would be correct if we swap the position of sum with lower. That is,
amounted to a sum lower

Hi Varun,
Why lower than is wrong here.Less is used to refer to something that is not countable: John has less ice cream than Mary has. But we can't say John has a less amount of ice cream. Words such as amount, sum, and total require an -er word. We need to say: John has a smaller amount of ice cream than Mary has.

We have an official question - Here, lower than is correct

Although the government's expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amounts to a sum dramatically lower than that spent by tobacco companies, many believe that the government should allocate no more funds to a battle they perceive as pointless.

(A) expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amounts to a sum dramatically lower than
(B) expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amount to a sum dramatically less than
(C) expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amount to a sum dramatically lower than
(D) law suit expenditures regarding tobacco companies amount to a dramatically lower sum than
(E) law suit expenditures against tobacco companies amounts to a sum dramatically lower than

Hi sunny91,

For the official question, following is the explanation,

"Less" compares amounts or extents:
There is less wine in my glass than in yours.
I find smokers less attractive than non-smokers.

"Lower" compares two numbers or measurements:
The level of wine in the bottle got steadily lower.
The number of smokers is lower than the number of non-smokers.

In this official question, we're comparing sums(actually the numbers), so "lower" is appropriate.

Now, coming to the question in hand,
(C) amounted to less
The usage of LESS is correct here as I have already mentioned LESS compares amounts or extents. ALSO, if you see the later non-underlined part of the sentence, that is --
less than one percent of the \$541 billion the nation spent on health care....
Here, "Less than X%" is idiomatic. This is the correct usage.

(D) amounted to lower
Usage of LOWER is incorrect here. Lower is used for COUNTABLEs. Also, amounted to sum lower than would have been a correct construction here. As LOWER compares two numbers or measurements.
ALSO, the construction "LOWER than X%" is unidiomatic.

ONE more important difference to note between the LESS and LOWER is,

Thanks.
-aceGMAT21

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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2017, 02:41
sunny91 wrote:
Why lower than is wrong here.Less is used to refer to something that is not countable: John has less ice cream than Mary has. But we can't say John has a less amount of ice cream. Words such as amount, sum, and total require an -er word. We need to say: John has a smaller amount of ice cream than Mary has.

We have an official question - Here, lower than is correct

Although the government's expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amounts to a sum dramatically lower than that spent by tobacco companies, many believe that the government should allocate no more funds to a battle they perceive as pointless.

(A) expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amounts to a sum dramatically lower than
(B) expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amount to a sum dramatically less than
(C) expenditures on law suits involving tobacco companies amount to a sum dramatically lower than
(D) law suit expenditures regarding tobacco companies amount to a dramatically lower sum than
(E) law suit expenditures against tobacco companies amounts to a sum dramatically lower than

I do not see a problem with "lower than" in this case. "Lower than" can be used to compare two numerical values. The following explanation from Manhattan SC guide would clarify the concept:

"The words more and less are rather flexible. They can be used as nouns (or pronouns), adjectives, or
Right: I own MORE THAN I should. (;more = noun or pronoun)
Right: I own MORE SHIRTS THAN I should. {more = adjective)
Right: I sleep MORE THAN I should. (more - adverb)
In numerical comparisons, the words high and low, as well as higher and lower, should only be used as
Right: My bills are LOWER than they were last year.
Wrong: I spend LOWER than I did last year.
Right: I spend LESS than I did last year."

In option A, the part "lower than..." is correctly used as an adjective for the word "sum", a numerical value.

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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts   [#permalink] 18 Nov 2017, 02:41

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