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Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretic

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New post 09 Jul 2020, 21:37
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Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to movie-making, is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.

A) than to explore

B) than in the exploring of

C) than with the exploration of

D) than it is with exploring

E) than in the exploration of

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Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretic  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2020, 21:49
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OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

Project SC Butler: Sentence Correction (SC2)



Quote:
Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to movie-making, is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.

A) than to explore
B) than in the exploring of
C) than with the exploration of
D) than it is with exploring
E) than in the exploration of

SHORT ANSWER

The word pair less . . . than requires that the two things under comparison be parallel.
Thing ABC is less concerned with X than [it is concerned] with Y
X and Y must be parallel

The X element = with advancing
So for the Y element
→ we need an ___ING word. This requirement is not negotiable.
→ we may also see the preposition WITH repeated
→ in addition to the parallelism between things X and Y, we may also see the subject repeated in a pronoun (it) and the verb repeated (is)

Advancing is a gerund (a verbING).
Hence we need an option that contains exploring or with exploring.

Split #1: exploration and advancing are not parallel

Eliminate C and E (both incorrectly use the exploration of)
(I discuss option C more thoroughly below.)

Split #2: to explore and advancing are not parallel

Eliminate A, which incorrectly uses to explore.

Split #3: Compare B with D

Option B states: than in the exploring of
Option D states: than it is with exploring

Which one maintains parallelism with the phrase with advancing?
You could decide this issue right now, without thinking too much about B.
Option D is better than option B.
In D, with exploring is spot-on parallel to with advancing.

In addition, Option B contains clear errors:

(1) Option B uses IN rather than WITH
Correct: I am less concerned with finding a perfect sentence than I am with eliminating the four worst answers.
Wrong: I am less concerned with finding a perfect sentence than I am in the eliminating of the four worst answers. :x
-- concerned in is almost never idiomatic, and on the GMAT, concerned in has never been idiomatic

(2) Option B uses the eliminating of rather than eliminating.
The first phrase is unnecessarily wordy, hella awkward, and not grammatical (a simple gerund such as advancing cannot be paired with a complex gerund such as the exploring of).
We do not have to decide whether B is grammatical. Compared to the brevity and clarity of D, option B is inferior.

Eliminate B.

The correct answer is D.

• ANALYSIS

THE PROMPT
Quote:
Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to movie-making, is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.

• The keys to understanding this question are
(1) to recognize a very common word pairing: less . . . than AND
(2) to understand that parallelism requires that the items be similar parts of speech and that they play the same logical role AND
(3) to understand that parallelism does not require that words be phrased in identical order

A gerund (verbING) such as advancing and a dedicated noun such as exploration are not parallel.
See my Notes, below, for more discussion of gerunds and dedicated nouns.

In English, the placement of "less" in is less concerned with X than with Y is common.
We could also say: Film studies is concerned less with Xing than it is with Ying.
We could also say: Film studies is concerned less with Xing than with Ying.

• Parallelism matters. The most important items are the things being compared.
→ You cannot simply decide that advancing is parallel to exploration.
Advancing and exploring are the two things being compared.
IF this sentence were to state, "Film studies is less concerned with the advancement of proficiency in PQR than [it is] with the exploration of XYZ," then of course we would choose exploration over exploring.
But this sentence does not say what I just wrote.

Other things to know:
→ Repeating a preposition is okay. This sentence is long. Using with a second time clearly signals where the Y element begins.

→ Repeating a subject (pronoun) and a helping verb (it is in option D) is not wrong.
Such usage may be rare on the GMAT, but the repetition is not wrong, and that repetition is certainly not more wrong than the comparison of two not parallel entities.

Breaking down this sentence
→ Film studies is less concerned with Xing than film studies is concerned with Ying.
→ Film studies is less concerned with Xing than it is [concerned] with Ying
→ Film studies is less concerned with Xing than it is with Ying

• Watch for traps.
→ Do not always choose dedicated nouns.
True, in many cases, a dedicated noun such as exploration is preferred to a gerund (verbING) noun such as exploring.
-- Many cases does not equal all cases.
-- The non-underlined portion of the sentence uses with advancing after less.
Consequently, we are constrained.
We must find a similar part of speech to serve as the preposition and object attached to less concerned, i.e., less concerned with Xing . . . than . . . with Ying.

• Eliminate the four worst answers and compare different answers to one another if need be.
-- Stop looking for the perfect sentence.
-- Look at the five choices: which four are the worst?
Which four have the clearest error?
An awkward or stylistically clumsy answer is always better than an answer in which parallelism is lacking.

• Often, it helps to strip sentences of distracting material and to use shorthand for phrases.
Film studies , an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to movie-making, is less concerned with advancing proficiency in [ABC] film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of [XYZ] the cinema.

• Our sentence is now:

Film studies . . . is less concerned with advancing proficiency in [ABC] . . . than to explore . . . the implications of [XYZ].

with advancing = WITH + GERUND (verbING)
The Y element that follows than:
-- must include an ___ING word that is parallel to advancing.
-- may include the repeated preposition with, especially in a dense sentence similar to this one
-- may include a repeated subject and verb

THE OPTIONS
Quote:
A) than to explore

to explore is not parallel with advancing
• in English we cannot say "than with to explore"
-- so in option A, whether with should be included is irrelevant.
ELIMINATE A

Quote:
B) than in the exploring of

• concerned IN is not idiomatic.
• we can be concerned with something (interested in, attending to, focused on)
Correct: I am more concerned with getting people to think critically than I am with teaching them to obey rules blindly.
→ This idiomatic error is fatal.

the exploring of, a complex gerund, is
-- not parallel with the simple gerund advancing
-- needlessly wordy compared to the simple word exploring
-- a stylistic disaster
ELIMINATE B
Quote:
C) than with the exploration of

exploration and advancing are not parallel
the advancement of XYZ and the exploration of ABC would be parallel
→ We cannot just decide to ignore parallelism between the two items under comparison (advancing proficiency in film production and exploring the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.)
ELIMINATE C
Quote:
D) than it is with exploring

• I see no error
with advancing and with exploring are parallel
→ as I mentioned above, we can repeat prepositions, subjects, and verbs when necessary.
We can certainly do any or all of those things when this option is the only one whose noun is parallel to advancing.
KEEP
Quote:
E) than in the exploration of

the exploration of and advancing are not parallel, just as in option C
ELIMINATE E

The best answer is D.

NOTES

Takeaway: never sacrifice parallelism between the actual items being compared.
Start with the items being compared, and use logic before word order to determine what to focus on.

• common phrases
→ these phrases are very common in English:
less concerned with X than with Y (or "than Y")
Modernist art is less concerned with representing reality than it is with defying tradition.

more concerned with X than with Y (or "than Y")
Recent executive orders are more concerned with inflicting pain than they are with responding to a political base.

less afraid of X than of Y (or just "Y")
I am much less afraid of gun laws than I am of gun violence.

→ some ____ING nouns have no "dedicated" or "regular" noun and thus can be parallel to a dedicated noun.
Correct: The sinking of the passenger ship Lusitania and the deaths of hundreds propelled the U.S. into WWI.
Sinking is the only noun in English that means the act of causing something to sink.

Advancing, by contrast, has a dedicated noun—namely, advancement.
This author chose to use advancing. We look for noun similarity first.

COMMENTS

I have spent a long time trying to figure out from what source a few of you decided that it is was not allowed.
"Possibly unnecessary" or "probably unnecessary" is not the same as clear error.

I am glad that people gave the question a shot (posted an answer).
I am always glad to see all of you.

HouseStark , welcome to SC Butler. :)

Kudos go to sanjayparihar16 , who posted the correct answer.
Smiley faces go to wrong answers that were explained rather than asserted.

I am heartened by the enthusiasm or expressiveness that many of you bring to the forum.
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New post 09 Jul 2020, 22:56
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Film studies,( an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to movie-making ), is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.

Structure of sentence -> A is.... X... than Y.... -> X and Y should be parallel -> X in above sentence -> with advancing -> Look for answer option with similar structure -> Only option D has same structure -> D is the correct answer

A) than to explore

B) than in the exploring of

C) than with the exploration of

D) than it is with exploring

E) than in the exploration of
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Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretic  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 10 Jul 2020, 00:42
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Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to movie-making, is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.

A) than to explore // the correct idiom is "to be concerned with/for/about/to. this option is a challenging contender. "to be less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema." is grammatically correct. it seems to me that, it is meaningful as well. options C and D are better because they maintain the parallelism with the same word, "with".

B) than in the exploring of // to be less concerned in??? the correct idiom is "to be concerned with/for/about/to" plus, "exploration" is the correct noun.

C) than with the exploration of // "to be less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than with the exploration of the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema." is grammatically correct. "advancing proficiency" and "the exploration" can be considered a noun. to be less concerned with [a noun] than [a noun] maintains parallelism. it seems to me that, it is meaningful as well.

D) than it is with exploring // "it is" is unnecessary and can be omitted. "exploring" is parallel with "advancing". so, this option maintains parallelism and thus can be considered OK, too.

E) than in the exploration of // to be less concerned in??? the correct idiom is "to be concerned with/for/about/to" [/quote]

hehe, I got stuck.

Originally posted by tyildirim92 on 10 Jul 2020, 00:19.
Last edited by tyildirim92 on 10 Jul 2020, 00:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretic  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 10 Jul 2020, 21:52
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Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to movie-making, is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.


I'm just going to shorten the statement first so that it's easy to focus on the bit that needs to be corrected. Let's begin by omitting the modifier, the condensed version:

Film studies is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.
(Much better, isn't it ? :P)

Now let's further break down the statement

Film studies ( subject)
is less concerned with .... ( is as we know is the verb)

The statement highlights a contrast between 'less concerned with' and 'to explore'

'explore' features 'to' - an infinitive. So this isn't parallel to 'advancing'-ing construction.

The correct option should correct this to state :

than film studies is with exploring

Option C replaces film studies with an appropriate pronoun -it. And hence, that's going to be our pick

OA : C

6 weeks to Round 1 deadlines . Let's nail it !

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Originally posted by VERBAL1 on 10 Jul 2020, 00:37.
Last edited by VERBAL1 on 10 Jul 2020, 21:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretic  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2020, 04:13
generis wrote:

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Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to movie-making, is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.

A) than to explore

B) than in the exploring of

C) than with the exploration of

D) than it is with exploring

E) than in the exploration of


Cross out the part after the comma from"an academic discipline....movie making"

A) than to explore

B) than in the exploring of

C) than with the exploration of - CORRECT, as it fixes parallelism

D) than it is with exploring

E) than in the exploration of
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New post 10 Jul 2020, 04:56
Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to movie-making, is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.

POE:
Eliminate (A),(B),(D) & (E)- Comparison error; 'with advancing proficiency..........than with...'


A) than to explore

B) than in the exploring of

C) than with the exploration of - CORRECT

D) than it is with exploring

E) than in the exploration of
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Re: Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretic  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2020, 07:44
generis wrote:

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Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to movie-making, is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.

A) than to explore

B) than in the exploring of

C) than with the exploration of

D) than it is with exploring

E) than in the exploration of


Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to movie-making, is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.

A) than to explore

B) than in the exploring of

C) than with the exploration of

D) than it is with exploring

E) than in the exploration of

Less concerned with ..... than with ..... is correct parallelism in C

IMO C
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Re: Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretic  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2020, 17:31
Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to movie-making, is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.

A) than to explore

- Parallelism error; "less" & "than" should be parallel.

- Incorrect

B) than in the exploring of

- Parallelism error

- Incorrect

C) than with the exploration of

- it removes the parallelism error

- Correct

D) than it is with exploring

- Parallelism error

- Incorrect

E) than in the exploration of

- parallelism error

- Incorrect

IMO(C)
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New post 10 Jul 2020, 18:12
Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to movie-making, is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.

Film studies is less concerned with advancing proficiency in X than Y



A) than to explore (parallelism error) wrong

B) than in the exploring of (parallelism error "in the exploration of" would be much more appropriate) wrong

C) than with the exploration of (parallelism error)

D) than it is with exploring (parallelism error)

E) than in the exploration of (correct)

IMO E

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New post 11 Jul 2020, 10:34
Hi generis
What is the OE?

generis wrote:

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Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to movie-making, is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than to explore the cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema.

A) than to explore

B) than in the exploring of

C) than with the exploration of

D) than it is with exploring

E) than in the exploration of

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New post 12 Jul 2020, 23:28
The official explanation is here.
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Re: Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretic  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2020, 01:46
Dear generis

I can see why D works. I have seen similar examples from Ron
here :

- Chemistry involves philosophy less than it does physics.

However, I think E also works, pretty much in the way that Ron explains here and here :

- It is nearly four times more likely that minority graduates will plan to practice in socioeconomically deprived areas than to work for multinational pharmaceutical corporations.

When we compare “minority graduates” with “minority graduates”, it’s ok if “that minority graduates will plan” interferes the construction. In other words, in the construction “more likely A than B”, A and B don't have to be similar structures. We can compare B with some parallel part of A.

- It is nearly four times more likely that minority graduates will plan to practice... than that other graduates will.

However, when we compare “minority graduates” with “other graduates”, A and B should be similar structures. Now, let’s take a look at E:

- E) Film studies is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than in the exploration of the cultural implications of the cinema.

Since we are comparing “film studies” with “film studies”, it’s ok if “with advancing proficiency” interferes the construction. “Film studies is more concerned with advancing proficiency in the exploration of the cultural implications of the cinema” doesn’t sound ridiculous. So, there is no need to eliminate E.

I searched multiple reputable publications for the phrase “advancing proficiency in the exploration of”, and it seems pretty common. Even though, Film studies is actually not about advancing proficiency in the exploration but just about exploring, we are not supposed to know this. Am I right?

Your comments on my thoughts are much welcome.
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Re: Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretic   [#permalink] 25 Jul 2020, 01:46

Film studies, an academic discipline that deals with various theoretic

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