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Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, aside from Pterocom, were a sigificant difference from the usual amounts given by large companies for major international disasters.

a) aside from Pterocom, were a significant difference from the usual amounts
b) Pterocom's expected, were a substantial departure from the usual amount of those
c) Pterocom expected, broke the usual mold of those
d) notwithstanding Pterocom, veered much from the usual levels
e) apart from Pterocom's, departed signficantly from the usual amounts

Please help explain the logic behind OA

Here we have corporate contributions....therefore we need to use ptercom's...thus we are down to B and E..B sounds wordy...that's why E
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CrackVerbalGMAT wrote:
lucbesson wrote:
Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, aside from Pterocom, were a sigificant difference from the usual amounts given by large companies for major international disasters.

a) aside from Pterocom, were a significant difference from the usual amounts
b) Pterocom's expected, were a substantial departure from the usual amount of those
c) Pterocom expected, broke the usual mold of those
d) notwithstanding Pterocom, veered much from the usual levels
e) apart from Pterocom's, departed signficantly from the usual amounts



Structure-

"few of the contributions", "aside from Pterocom"

Thanks

Sentence compares Contributions to Pterocom

Wrong comparison!

All options except E can be eliminate for this reason.


a) aside from Pterocom, were a significant difference from the usual amounts

"Contributions were a difference" is wrong. Contributions were not a difference on their own.



b) Pterocom's expected, were a substantial departure from the usual amount of those

"expected" is a verb.
for example-
No one expected him to be late.
They expected results.

Here it's seems to have been used as a noun. Comparison between "contributions" and "expected" is nonsensical. Also, "Pterocom's expected" is ungrammatical.

"those" seems to refer to "contributions". Amount of contributions- redundant



c) Pterocom expected, broke the usual mold of those

Here "expected" is used as a verb.

"noun" can't be compared with a clause. Also, expected doesn't make any sense in the context.



d) notwithstanding Pterocom, veered much from the usual levels

"notwithstanding" means "regardless of".

"Contributions regardless of Ptrerocom" is imprecise.



e) apart from Pterocom's, departed signficantly from the usual amounts

Contributions - apart from - Pterrocom's (contributions)

Correct!!!



Hope it helps!

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Thank you Dolly. However, I believe the original poster had a typo in the options. B and C are actually "excepted" rather than "expected". Expected as you said does not make sense.

I'm still having trouble understanding why "amount of contributions" is redundant. Why is it an incorrect usage?
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Re: Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, asid [#permalink]
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CrackVerbalGMAT wrote:
lucbesson wrote:

Thank you Dolly. However, I believe the original poster had a typo in the options. B and C are actually "excepted" rather than "expected". Expected as you said does not make sense.

I'm still having trouble understanding why "amount of contributions" is redundant. Why is it an incorrect usage?



"amount of contribution" is not redundant in general however "contributions" is unnecessary in the context.

Consider the predication...

B- Few of the contributions were a substantial departure from the usual amount of those (contributions) given by...

usual amounts given by large companies- Correct
usual amounts contributed by large companies- Correct
usual amounts of contribution contributed by large companies- Incorrect

Also, this option has bigger issues. It implies that "contributions" were a "departure". Contributions themselves can't be a "departure".

Example-
Donations were a change / Contributions were a departure- Incorrect
Donations changed... / Contribution departed... from the usual amount- Correct

Hope it helps!

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Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, aside from Pterocom, were a significant difference from the usual amounts given by large companies for major international disasters.

Few of corporate contributions -> Few/Many/ some will take subject in the preposition clause.

For example : Few of trains were running late. You can also visualize as that "few of trains" will be more than 1 train.

a) aside from Pterocom, were a significant difference from the usual amounts
b) Pterocom's expected, were a substantial departure from the usual amount of those
c) Pterocom expected, broke the usual mold of those
d) notwithstanding Pterocom, veered much from the usual levels
e) apart from Pterocom's, departed significantly from the usual amounts

Comparing corporation contributions to P's contribution. So we require a possessive or contributions of P.

Hence A/C and D are out.

those given by large corporations -> what is those ?
E) is concise and correct.
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Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, aside from Pterocom, were a sigificant difference from the usual amounts given by large companies for major international disasters.

(A) aside from Pterocom, were a significant difference from the usual amounts
(B) Pterocom's excepted, were a substantial departure from the usual amount of those
(C) Pterocom excepted, broke the usual mold of those
(D) notwithstanding Pterocom, veered much from the usual levels
(E) apart from Pterocom's, departed significantly from the usual amounts
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(B) is incorrect because of its incorrect comparison.

(B) compares "few of the corporate contributions" to "the usual amount of [contributions]". It compares contributions to an amount of contributions.
To help illustrate, all of the following are incorrect comparisons:
The contributions differed from the usual amount of contributions.
The contributions differed from the usual sum of contributions.
The contributions differed from the usual number of contributions.


The following are correct comparisons:
The amount of contributions differed from the usual amount of contributions.
The sum of contributions differed from the usual sum of contributions.
The number of contributions differed from the usual number of contributions.
The contributions differed from the usual contributions.


Also, note that "contributions" and "amounts given" are synonyms, but that "contributions" and "amount of contributions" are not. Thus, the comparison of "contributions" to "amounts given" is accurate.
Definitions of contribution:
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/defin ... ntribution
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dic ... ntribution
Definitions of amount:
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/amount
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dic ... ish/amount
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Re: Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, asid [#permalink]
GMATNinja Please help me understand what is wrong with (B). I am not able to understand it from any of the posts here!
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Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, aside from Pterocom, were a significant difference from the usual amounts given by large companies for major international disasters.



aside from Pterocom, were a significant difference from the usual amounts

you are comparing contributions to a company? That comparison is not homogeneous.


Pterocom’s excepted, were a substantial departure from the usual amount of those

You cannot say "Pterocom's excepted". You could probably say "except Pterocom's". More detailed analysis on B and C in other answers.

Pterocom excepted, broke the usual mold of those

Same as B

notwithstanding Pterocom, veered much from the usual levels

Here I am going to assume that you do not know what "notwithstanding" means. Like in A, you are comparing contributions to a company; this comparison is NOT homogeneous.

apart from Pterocom’s, departed significantly from the usual amounts

Nice, now we are comparing contributions to a companies contributions.
Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, apart from Pterocom’s [contributions].

Originally posted by hassan233 on 26 Jun 2021, 15:27.
Last edited by hassan233 on 26 Jun 2021, 20:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, asid [#permalink]
hassan233 wrote:
Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, aside from Pterocom, were a significant difference from the usual amounts given by large companies for major international disasters.



aside from Pterocom, were a significant difference from the usual amounts

you are comparing contributions to a company? That comparison is not homogeneous.


Pterocom’s excepted, were a substantial departure from the usual amount of those

You cannot say "Pterocom's excepted". You could probably say "except Pterocom". More detailed analysis on B and C in other answers.

Pterocom excepted, broke the usual mold of those

Same as B

notwithstanding Pterocom, veered much from the usual levels

Here I am going to assume that you do not know what "notwithstanding" means. Like in A, you are comparing contributions to a company; this comparison is NOT homogeneous.

apart from Pterocom’s, departed significantly from the usual amounts

Nice, now we are comparing contributions to a companies contributions.
Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, apart from Pterocom’s [contributions].


hassan233
We cannot say "except Pterocom" because that would be a comparison between funds and Pterocom. But what is the issue with "Pterocom's excepted"?
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generis AjiteshArun IanStewart - it was between B vs E for me. I eliminated E because of the active voice verb [departed specifically ]

E) Few contributions departed.......

implies as if the contributions got up themselves and performed the verb (in the past tense) themselves.

Rememeber we have to take what the GMAT gives us 'literally' in terms of meaning - i have certainly seen that as a elimination strategy for SC

Thus i thought E can be knocked out because of the usage of the active voice verb (Departed) with the subject [Contributions]

Contributions cannot perform the verb by itself.

Thoughts ?

Originally posted by jabhatta2 on 19 Jan 2022, 16:23.
Last edited by jabhatta2 on 19 Jan 2022, 17:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Hi GMATGuruNY - If I replace the word "Amount" in option B and option E with 100 $

Quote:
Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, aside from Pterocom, were a sigificant difference from the usual amounts given by large companies for major international disasters.

(B) Pterocom's excepted, were a substantial departure from the usual 100$ of those
(E) apart from Pterocom's, departed significantly from the usual 100$


Then i think the reason to knock out B is because of of those is giving the impression that within 100 $ -- there is subgroup modifier almost

Within the 100$ - of those implies there are 2 sub-groups
(a) of those given by large companies
(b) of those given by small companies

Fair ?
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Quote:
Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, aside from Pterocom, were a sigificant difference from the usual amounts given by large companies for major international disasters.

a) aside from Pterocom, were a significant difference from the usual amounts
b) Pterocom's excepted, were a substantial departure from the usual amount of those
c) Pterocom excepted, broke the usual mold of those
d) notwithstanding Pterocom, veered much from the usual levels
e) apart from Pterocom's, departed signficantly from the usual amounts


A: Few of the corporate contributions, aside from Pterocom
C: Few of the corporate contributions, Pterocom excepted
D: Few of the corporate contributions, notwithstanding Pterocom
In these options, contributions are illogically compared to a CORPORATION (Pterocom).
Eliminate A, C and D.

B: those given by large corporations
Here, the referent for those seems to be contributions, implying the following:
contributions given by large companies.
A contribution = SOMETHING GIVEN.
It is redundant to say that SOMETHING GIVEN was GIVEN by large companies.
Eliminate B.

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MDK wrote:
Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, aside from Pterocom, were a sigificant difference from the usual amounts given by large companies for major international disasters.

(A) aside from Pterocom, were a significant difference from the usual amounts
(B) Pterocom's excepted, were a substantial departure from the usual amount of those
(C) Pterocom excepted, broke the usual mold of those
(D) notwithstanding Pterocom, veered much from the usual levels
(E) apart from Pterocom's, departed significantly from the usual amounts


Hi experts AndrewN avigutman IanStewart GMATNinja GMATNinjaTwo

Though this question is labeled with a "low" difficulty level at the forum, it gave me a hard time in my practice exam since I thought that no option could be correct. I have checked all posts in this thread, but I still do not understand why the option (E) is correct. Could you share some of your thoughts when you have time please? :)

The original sentence reads:
Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, aside from Pterocom, were a sigificant difference from the usual amounts given by large companies for major international disasters.

The author tries to compare several donations--the donations to the earthquake fund, the donations from P company, and other donations for major disasters. So, we can eliminate the options (A), (C) and (D) since they compare donations with the P company itself.

But I am confused how to choose between options (B) and (E).

(B): Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, Pterocom's excepted, were a substantial departure from the usual amount of those given by large companies for major international disasters.

(E): Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, apart from Pterocom's, departed significantly from the usual amounts given by large companies for major international disasters.

1. Contribution vs amounts?

No option seemed correct to me in the practice exam because I found it strange to compare the contributions to the amount. I thought that we can compare "contributions" to "contributions", or "amount" to "amount." But comparing "contributions" to "amount"? It does not seem to be the right comparison preferred by GMAT. So I was puzzled when I found out that (B) and (E) both compare the two words.

The word "those" in (B) is not my concern, since I think it could only refer to the plural noun "contributions."
Hence, the split between (B) and (E) is:

(B): contributions...departure from the usual amount of those ("contributions") given by large companies...
(E): contributions...departed significantly from the usual amounts given by large companies.....

Some members said that "contribution" could mean "amount," so it is acceptable to compare the two words directly. Is this claim correct? In my opinion, it is not weird to say "he makes a contribution of one million US dollar to the agency," but it is also okay to say "the amount of his contribution totals $1 million." Is the "amount of contribution" redundant? If it is, we can get rid of (B), but I hope to confirm your opinions on this issue. I could not find adequate information from dictionaries.

2. "amount given by"?

Even if the word "contribution" can mean "amount," I still have doubt for (E) for the phrasing "amounts given by large companies." We might say "money/donations given by companies," but we do not really say "amounts given by companies," do we? This phrasing does not seem acceptable in GMAT's SC world, which focuses much on the literal meaning of words, but (E) is the correct answer. I am not saying that (E) should not be the correct answer, but I hope to know why this phrasing is viable.

3. Is "contributions given by" redundant?

An expert said that (B) is incorrect because the word "contribution" means "something given," so (B) has redundancy issue--it is redundant to say that SOMETHING GIVEN was GIVEN by large companies. But, I am not sure about this opinion, because we say "make a contribution to (something)," do not we? It seems okay to use a verb before the word "contribution." So I personally think that (B)'s "those (contributions) given by companies" is fine.


The two options have other splits, such as "excepted" vs "apart from," as well as "departure" vs "depart." But because I cannot determine which is better, I choose not to discuss them in this post. If experts you have some insights to these splits, I would also be happy to know. :)

Appreciate your time and thoughts.
Thank you for helping me learn.
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GraceSCKao wrote:
1. Contribution vs amounts?

No option seemed correct to me in the practice exam because I found it strange to compare the contributions to the amount. I thought that we can compare "contributions" to "contributions", or "amount" to "amount." But comparing "contributions" to "amount"? It does not seem to be the right comparison preferred by GMAT. So I was puzzled when I found out that (B) and (E) both compare the two words.

The word "those" in (B) is not my concern, since I think it could only refer to the plural noun "contributions."
Hence, the split between (B) and (E) is:

(B): contributions...departure from the usual amount of those ("contributions") given by large companies...
(E): contributions...departed significantly from the usual amounts given by large companies.....

Some members said that "contribution" could mean "amount," so it is acceptable to compare the two words directly. Is this claim correct? In my opinion, it is not weird to say "he makes a contribution of one million US dollar to the agency," but it is also okay to say "the amount of his contribution totals $1 million." Is the "amount of contribution" redundant? If it is, we can get rid of (B), but I hope to confirm your opinions on this issue. I could not find adequate information from dictionaries.

Thinking about the meaning, 'contributions' is comparable to 'amounts given'. So, not 'amount' by itself, but 'amounts given' (available in the correct answer choice).

GraceSCKao wrote:
2. "amount given by"?

Even if the word "contribution" can mean "amount," I still have doubt for (E) for the phrasing "amounts given by large companies." We might say "money/donations given by companies," but we do not really say "amounts given by companies," do we? This phrasing does not seem acceptable in GMAT's SC world, which focuses much on the literal meaning of words, but (E) is the correct answer. I am not saying that (E) should not be the correct answer, but I hope to know why this phrasing is viable.

Let's not look at the phrase in isolation - it's part of a sentence. Stripping away some of the modifiers to help us focus:
Quote:
Contributions departed from the usual amounts given by large companies.

We can probably agree that a contribution is a specific case of 'amount given' (every contribution is an 'amount given', but not every 'amount given' is a contribution). So, having set up the subject as 'contributions', the author can reasonably expect readers to infer that 'amounts given' are also contributions.


GraceSCKao wrote:
3. Is "contributions given by" redundant?

An expert said that (B) is incorrect because the word "contribution" means "something given," so (B) has redundancy issue--it is redundant to say that SOMETHING GIVEN was GIVEN by large companies. But, I am not sure about this opinion, because we say "make a contribution to (something)," do not we? It seems okay to use a verb before the word "contribution." So I personally think that (B)'s "those (contributions) given by companies" is fine.

I suppose it's true, GraceSCKao, that a contribution is something that you make, not something that you give. However, I dislike this as a reason to eliminate the answer choice, because it's a very specific quirk of the English language, so any potential takeaways would be useless in other problems. I think a much better reason to eliminate (B) is the meaning of that phrase (starting from "amount"):
Quote:
Few of the corporate contributions were a substantial departure from the usual amount of those given by large companies

Can you articulate a clear meaning for "the usual amount of contributions given by large companies"? I cannot. I feel like we're talking about the number of contributions, but that's nonsensical in the context of the overall sentence.
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GraceSCKao wrote:
The two options have other splits, such as "excepted" vs "apart from," as well as "departure" vs "depart." But because I cannot determine which is better, I choose not to discuss them in this post. If experts you have some insights to these splits, I would also be happy to know. :)

Appreciate your time and thoughts.
Thank you for helping me learn.

Hello, GraceSCKao. I am satisfied with the response avigutman provided to your numbered queries. I thought I would take the opportunity to address these other points you brought up at the end of your post, because believe it or not, I used just those differences to arrive at my answer (in 24 seconds... and I am guessing that this question is from one of the paid Practice Exams, since these are the only official questions I have not touched in my own practice—I thought it would be okay to spoil an easier one).

Quote:
Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, aside from Pterocom, were a sigificant difference from the usual amounts given by large companies for major international disasters.

(A) aside from Pterocom, were a significant difference from the usual amounts
(B) Pterocom's excepted, were a substantial departure from the usual amount of those
(C) Pterocom excepted, broke the usual mold of those
(D) notwithstanding Pterocom, veered much from the usual levels
(E) apart from Pterocom's, departed significantly from the usual amounts

As you said yourself, answer choices (A), (C), and (D) all name the corporation rather than referring correctly to the earlier corporate contributions, in which corporate serves as an adjective. We do not need to concern ourselves with the quirks of any of these options. (Broke the usual mold as a one-off has to be one of the stranger considerations I have seen centering on tone. Is it too casual? And in (D), notwithstanding goes in the opposite direction, as though we are reading a legal document. Again, we do not need to get bogged down in such detail when we find an easy target in Pterocom. Phew!) So, how about we look at just (B) and (E), side by side?

Quote:
Quote:
Few of the corporate contributions to the earthquake relief fund, aside from Pterocom, were a sigificant difference from the usual amounts given by large companies for major international disasters.

(B) Pterocom's excepted, were a substantial departure from the usual amount of those
(E) apart from Pterocom's, departed significantly from the usual amounts

You may have noticed that I marked excepted in red above. Although such usage is more common in British English, I can think of a single use for the word in American English: present company excepted, almost as a sarcastic remark. In a sentence such as the one we see above, I would put money on except for every time. (Interestingly enough, certain other languages such as French bypass such specificity, using the same word, in this case sauf, to mean any of except for, excepted, or, perhaps in a more antiquated sense, save, depending on whatever the context dictates.) In terms of American English, I can only interpret excepted in (B) as a poor substitute for excluded. Even that word would be stretching the way Americans would typically express the thought. However, I understand if this usage eluded you.

We then have to consider why, in (B), a reference to the plural contributions is followed up by the singular a... departure. I know you asked about the plural amounts in (E). Well, now it should make more sense: contributions pairs well with amounts, and in SC, such plural-plural matches are safer than their mismatched counterparts. Another nod to (E).

Finally, although I would not consider this a reason to make a hard elimination, active verbs tend to express the vital meaning of a sentence more clearly and concisely than noun phrases. Some people, even Experts, have touted the "V-A-N rule" on this forum (for verb-adjective-noun). I do not subscribe to such a so-called rule, but I do find that in many cases, the tendency holds true. Compare the barebones sentence:

(B) Few of the contributions were a substantial departure from the usual amount of [contributions] given...
(E) Few of the contributions departed significantly from the usual amounts given...

Avi brought up a fine point about the meaning that (B) conveys. It is a little murky. Answer choice (E) leads to a single reasonable interpretation.

On balance, I have zero reasons to favor (B) and three to select (E) on just these few issues. I do not like to work hard for my answers, so I would select (E) and move on.

Thank you for thinking to ask me about the question.

- Andrew
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avigutman wrote:
We can probably agree that a contribution is a specific case of 'amount given'(every contribution is an 'amount given', but not every 'amount given' is a contribution). So, having set up the subject as 'contributions', the author can reasonably expect readers to infer that 'amounts given' are also contributions.
*
GraceSCKao wrote:
3. Is "contributions given by" redundant?

I suppose it's true, GraceSCKao, that a contribution is something that you make, not something that you give.


Thank you avigutman for your explanations! :)

From your response, I learned new things about the word "contribution."

1. Since "contribution" can mean "the amount of money given," it does not need to be used with the word "amount."

I was not aware of this aspect. I mistakenly thought that it would be okay to say "the amount of his contribution totals $1 million." But now I can see that the word "contribution" is a member of a small family of words that contain the meaning of "amount" themselves, such as "payment" and "deposit." We do not need to say "the amount of payment totals one million" or "the amount of deposit totals three thousands," but can just use the two words.

2. We do say "make a contribution," but not "give a contribution," since the word "contribute" means "to give something (especially money)."

However, to be honest, although now I understand more about the word "contribution", I still think that it is strange to compare "contributions" directly to "the amount given," because I think that it is weird to just use the word "amount" without a following unaccountable noun, and that the latter should be "the amount of money given."

But I decide to let the issue go, because as an expert said, the way GMAT designs its correct answer is not common and might be near "the boundary of acceptable usage," and because moreover, as you said "So, having set up the subject as 'contributions', the author can reasonably expect readers to infer that 'amounts given' are also contributions," (E) is still understandable despite the lack of "money."

Thank you!

AndrewN wrote:
Hello, GraceSCKao. I am satisfied with the response avigutman provided to your numbered queries. I thought I would take the opportunity to address these other points you brought up at the end of your post, because believe it or not, I used just those differences to arrive at my answer (in 24 seconds... and I am guessing that this question is from one of the paid Practice Exams, since these are the only official questions I have not touched in my own practice—I thought it would be okay to spoil an easier one).

We do not need to concern ourselves with the quirks of any of these options. (Broke the usual mold as a one-off has to be one of the stranger considerations I have seen centering on tone. Is it too casual? And in (D), notwithstanding goes in the opposite direction, as though we are reading a legal document. Again, we do not need to get bogged down in such detail when we find an easy target in Pterocom. Phew!)


Thank you AndrewN for providing such a lively and detailed response! :)

24 seconds...I cannot envy you enough. :D But more importantly, I am impressed by the fact that you have reviewed almost all SC official questions. And yes, this question is from my Practice Exam 3&4.

To be frank, I did not know the idiom "broke the usual mold of those" in (C), or the word "notwithstanding" in (D) (I only knew the word "withstand"). The two phrasing/words did give me a headache.

AndrewN wrote:
So, how about we look at just (B) and (E), side by side?

(B) Pterocom's excepted, were a substantial departure from the usual amount of those
(E) apart from Pterocom's, departed significantly from the usual amounts

You may have noticed that I marked excepted in red above. Although such usage is more common in British English, I can think of a single use for the word in American English: present company excepted, almost as a sarcastic remark. In a sentence such as the one we see above, I would put money on except for every time.

In terms of American English, I can only interpret excepted in (B) as a poor substitute for excluded. Even that word would be stretching the way Americans would typically express the thought. However, I understand if this usage eluded you.

We then have to consider why, in (B), a reference to the plural contributions is followed up by the singular a... departure. I know you asked about the plural amounts in (E). Well, now it should make more sense: contributions pairs well with amounts, and in SC, such plural-plural matches are safer than their mismatched counterparts. Another nod to (E).

Finally, although I would not consider this a reason to make a hard elimination, active verbs tend to express the vital meaning of a sentence more clearly and concisely than noun phrases. Some people, even Experts, have touted the "V-A-N rule" on this forum (for verb-adjective-noun). I do not subscribe to such a so-called rule, but I do find that in many cases, the tendency holds true. Compare the barebones sentence:

(B) Few of the contributions were a substantial departure from the usual amount of [contributions] given...
(E) Few of the contributions departed significantly from the usual amounts given...

On balance, I have zero reasons to favor (B) and three to select (E) on just these few issues. I do not like to work hard for my answers, so I would select (E) and move on.


Thank you for your clear explanations!

In fact I never saw the word "excepted" before the mock exam (and it puzzled me a while), but since there are too many words that I do not know or am unsure about, I did no use it as an elimination point. I think you make a great point that in GMAT world, the comparison between two plural nouns (contributions vs amounts) in (E) makes more sense than that between a plural noun and a singular noun (contributions vs amount) in (B).

In sum, (E) has three advantages: the use of "apart from," the comparison between plural nouns and the use of the verb. Thank you for clearly pointing them out. They are helpful takeaways. :)

Appreciate your time and thoughts.
Thank you for helping me learn.
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GraceSCKao wrote:
Thank you AndrewN for providing such a lively and detailed response! :)

24 seconds...I cannot envy you enough. :D But more importantly, I am impressed by the fact that you have reviewed almost all SC official questions. And yes, this question is from my Practice Exam 3&4.

To be frank, I did not know the idiom "broke the usual mold of those" in (C), or the word "notwithstanding" in (D) (I only knew the word "withstand"). The two phrasing/words did give me a headache.

...

Thank you for your clear explanations!

In fact I never saw the word "excepted" before the mock exam (and it puzzled me a while), but since there are too many words that I do not know or am unsure about, I did no use it as an elimination point. I think you make a great point that in GMAT world, the comparison between two plural nouns (contributions vs amounts) in (E) makes more sense than that between a plural noun and a singular noun (contributions vs amount) in (B).

In sum, (E) has three advantages: the use of "apart from," the comparison between plural nouns and the use of the verb. Thank you for clearly pointing them out. They are helpful takeaways. :)

Appreciate your time and thoughts.
Thank you for helping me learn.

Hello again, GraceSCKao. I mentioned the fact about 24 seconds not to boast, but to suggest that there are often ways to arrive efficiently at an accurate conclusion, even if you are unsure about a few elements of the sentence. That is often the beauty of an official question: it is not written with a one-note grammar lesson in mind, but with several facets, any of which can be used to distinguish one answer choice from another. I am amazed that you seem to be doing as well as you are, despite not being intimately familiar with the language that appears in many of the sentences. (I would fare much worse if GMAT™ SC questions were written in any other language, I can assure you.)

It is always a pleasure to help someone who is earnest in seeking assistance on self-identified problem areas, and who takes the time to articulate their thoughts in a manner that contributes to the community dialogue.

- Andrew
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