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Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum

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The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 10th Edition, 2003

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 101
Page: 668

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

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Originally posted by spriya on 22 Jul 2008, 11:47.
Last edited by hazelnut on 01 Dec 2017, 00:39, edited 1 time in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 23 Jul 2008, 14:19
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2
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


direct costs -- amounts (Sub-ver) problem
A, B are out
E - out amount and sum are redundant.


Here we are comparing amount.. not number..
amount, money --> uncountable. --> we should use less/more (not lower)

I have more amount.
I have more money
I have less money
I have lower money --(wrong)

good question.
+1 for you
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Originally posted by x2suresh on 23 Jul 2008, 12:49.
Last edited by x2suresh on 23 Jul 2008, 14:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2008, 12:57
4
x2suresh 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
(B) amounts to less
(C) amounted to less
(D) amounted to lower
(E) amounted to a lower sum


direct costs -- amounts (Sub-ver) problem
A, B are out
E - out amount and sum are redundant.


Here we are comparing amount.. not number..
amount, money --> they uncountable. and should use less/more (not lower)

I have more amount.
I have more money
I have less money
I have lower money --(wrong)

good question.
+1 for you


thank u :-D
OA is C

yes uncountable -> less /more
measurable in units or countable lower higher

this year,profit of the company is less than 10%

this year profit of the company equals to a sum lower than 10%


I hope this is the funda
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Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2008, 14:44
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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2009, 13:52
that means if there is a answer choice "amounted to a sum lower" would be correct too, right?
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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2009, 22:52
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here direct costs is plural, so any thing singular such as " a lower sum" , " a sum less" or " a sum lower" should not come.
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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Dec 2009, 11:10
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past tense 'amounted' is needed.
amount and sum is redundant

'cost' is uncountable - hence less not lower
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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2010, 09:41
1
They're talking abt the past so -- amounted
Can't quantify 'amount' so it's 'less than' and not 'lower than'
Usage example 1: The water level is lower than expected
Example 2: The amount is far less than expected
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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Nov 2017, 22:31
1
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 to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post 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 to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Nov 2017, 00:04
1
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 to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Nov 2017, 00:19
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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,
'less' can be both an adjective and an adverb whereas 'lower' is always an adjective.

Hope that clears your query.

Thanks.
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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post 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
adverbs.
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
adjectives.
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 to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2019, 06:40
The phrase amount to a sum is a redundant way of saying amount to. The correct answer choice should omit the words a sum. Although amount to a sum is a stylistic flaw, it is one of the specific redundancies that should always be corrected in GMAT. Hence A and E are eliminated.

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 - as explained above
(B) amounts to less - "costs" is plural, hence the verb should be in plural form too
(C) amounted to less - Good
(D) amounted to lower - "cost" is uncountable
(E) amounted to a lower sum - same as A
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New post 29 Apr 2019, 06:37
wagic wrote:
The phrase amount to a sum is a redundant way of saying amount to. The correct answer choice should omit the words a sum. Although amount to a sum is a stylistic flaw, it is one of the specific redundancies that should always be corrected in GMAT. Hence A and E are eliminated.

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 - as explained above
(B) amounts to less - "costs" is plural, hence the verb should be in plural form too
(C) amounted to less - Good
(D) amounted to lower - "cost" is uncountable
(E) amounted to a lower sum - same as A


hi wagic

what is your take on this problem.
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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Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jul 2019, 00:10
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


Amounts is singular, but in the non-underlined portion we are dealing with a plural subject - "the direct costs" - so "amounts" doesn't agree in number. Eliminate (A) and (B)

When dealing with quantities or units we typically use "more" / "less" not "lower/ fewer" - We can eliminate (A), (D) and (E)

Amounted and Sum are actually the same thing, so these two things are logically redundant. Eliminate (A) and (E)
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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2019, 12:53
wagic wrote:
The phrase amount to a sum is a redundant way of saying amount to. The correct answer choice should omit the words a sum. Although amount to a sum is a stylistic flaw, it is one of the specific redundancies that should always be corrected in GMAT. Hence A and E are eliminated.

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 - as explained above
(B) amounts to less - "costs" is plural, hence the verb should be in plural form too
(C) amounted to less - Good
(D) amounted to lower - "cost" is uncountable
(E) amounted to a lower sum - same as A



Hi wagic ,

Your explanation for point B says since 'costs' is plural verb should be plural and D say 'costs' is uncountable.
Doesn't both the point contradict each other?
If 'costs' is in plural then it is a countable, right ?

All the people who are discarding the option on the account of countable and uncountable, can someone please explain me the above points.
I can drill down to cost is plural so plural verb needed, so A and B discarded. E discarded due to meaning. Between C and D im confused.

Experts can please chip in to explain this please MikeScarn aragonn GMATNinja egmat
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Re: Even though the direct costs of malpractice disputes amounts to a sum  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2019, 04:08
Mislead wrote:
wagic wrote:
The phrase amount to a sum is a redundant way of saying amount to. The correct answer choice should omit the words a sum. Although amount to a sum is a stylistic flaw, it is one of the specific redundancies that should always be corrected in GMAT. Hence A and E are eliminated.

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 - as explained above
(B) amounts to less - "costs" is plural, hence the verb should be in plural form too
(C) amounted to less - Good
(D) amounted to lower - "cost" is uncountable
(E) amounted to a lower sum - same as A



Hi wagic ,

Your explanation for point B says since 'costs' is plural verb should be plural and D say 'costs' is uncountable.
Doesn't both the point contradict each other?
If 'costs' is in plural then it is a countable, right ?

All the people who are discarding the option on the account of countable and uncountable, can someone please explain me the above points.
I can drill down to cost is plural so plural verb needed, so A and B discarded. E discarded due to meaning. Between C and D im confused.

Experts can please chip in to explain this please MikeScarn aragonn GMATNinja egmat


Mislead , there are 2 primary concepts in this question.
1. Subject Verb Agreement
2. Countable vs Uncountable

You misquoted @wagic's explanation for (D). wagic said "cost" not "costs." They are eliminating (D) due to the Countable vs Uncountable rule, not the subject verb agreement.

wagic is saying "cost" is an uncountable thing, therefore we need to use the word "less" rather than "lower."

Mislead, if you narrowed down to (C) vs (D), then you understand the subject verb agreement portion of this question. If you are unsure about less vs lower, I would take some time to learn the Countable vs Uncountable rule so that you are never unsure about whether to use less/lower/more/etc. Most SC books do a great job explaining the rule.

Does this make sense?
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