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# Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than

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Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2009, 00:49
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55% (hard)

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57% (02:06) correct 43% (01:24) wrong based on 3825 sessions

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Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

(A) Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were
(B) Heating-oil prices are expected to rise higher this year over last because refiners pay about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did
(C) Expectations are for heating-oil prices to be higher this year than last year's becuase refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did
(D) It is the expectation that heating-oil prices will be higher this year over last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil now than what they were
(E) It is the expected that heating-oil prices will rise higher this year than last year's because refiners pay about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did

OG2017 SC772

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[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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18 Jun 2010, 10:46
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papillon86 wrote:
Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

(A) Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were
(B) Heating-oil prices are expected to rise higher this year over last because refiners pay about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did
(C) Expectations are for heating-oil prices to be higher this year than last year's because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did
(D) It is the expectation that heating-oil prices will be higher for this year over last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil now than what they were
(E) It is expected that heating-oil prices will rise higher this year than last year's because refiners pay about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did

You've done a good job guys! Let me see if I can help you out with some of the confusion regarding comparisons and ellipses:

A. Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were
What is compared here are the times-- "this year" and "last" (meaning "last year"-- this is an ellipses).

When comparing time or place, you have two options for structuring the comparison:

1. Joe studies more at night that he does during the day. (The sentence compares Joe to himself.)

2. Joe studies more at night than during the day. (The sentence compares "at night" to "during the day.")

B. Heating-oil prices are expected to rise higher this year over last because refiners pay about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did

Important Note!! The comparative structure requires that you use "than" after the "--er".

Correct: Tom is older than Bob.
Incorrect: Tom is older compared to/in comparison with/over Bob

You must use "than" after you've used a word ending with --er.

C. Expectations are for heating-oil prices to be higher this year than last year's because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did

You can stop reading as soon as you get to "for heating-oil prices" because that is not a correct description of the the expectations. The expectations are not for prices, but rather that prices will....

Important Note: Do not change a relative clause into a mere prepositional phrase!!

Ex. "I think that chickens fly" (relative clause: that+subject+verb) IS NOT EQUIVALENT TO "I think of chickens flying" (prepositional phrase: of chickens)

D. It is the expectation that heating-oil prices will be higher for this year over last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil now than what they were

Same problem as B.

E. It is expected that heating-oil prices will rise higher this year than last year's because refiners pay about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did

"prices will rise higher this year than last year's" uses ellipses that hide the logic problem. Complete everything that was left out, and the resulting sentence is: "prices will rise higher this year than last year's prices rose. This is not intended meaning of the sentence.

Second, the word "more" is not correctly placed.

Correct: I paid 5 dollars more for my sandwich today than I did yesterday.

Incorrect: I paid 5 dollars for my sandwich more than I did yesterday.

"More" describes \$5 and must therefore be placed next to \$5.

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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2010, 20:17
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Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

(A) Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were
(B) Heating-oil prices are expected to rise higher this year over last because refiners pay about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did
(C) Expectations are for heating-oil prices to be higher this year than last year's because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did
(d) It is the expectation that heating-oil prices will be higher for this year over last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil now than what they were
(E) It is expected that heating-oil prices will rise higher this year than last year's because refiners pay about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did
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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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18 Jun 2010, 13:41
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I have faced problems with these kinds of questions often...finally after reading Sara's note I am clear on how to handle these problems... would like to present a summary of my understanding to clear potential doubts in the minds of people who are struggling with these concepts...
---------------------------------------------
It is not correct to say -

HEATING OIL PRICES THIS YEAR ARE EXPECTED TO BE HIGHER THAN LAST YEAR – this way we are comparing heating oil prices of this year with the LAST YEAR (an illogical comparison) where as what we intend to compare are the prices of heating oil in each of the two years).

So we must rephrase it as - HEATING OIL PRICES THIS YEAR ARE EXPECTED TO BE HIGHER THAN THE HEATING OIL PRICE OF LAST YEAR

WHICH CAN BE ELLIPSED TO

HEATING OIL PRICES THIS YEAR ARE EXPECTED TO BE HIGHER THAN LAST YEAR’S [PRICE]
OR HEATING OIL PRICES THIS YEAR ARE EXPECTED TO BE HIGHER THAN THEY WERE LAST YEAR

Another form similar to the one above is -
THIS YEAR, THE HEATING OIL PRICES ARE EXPECTED TO BE HIGHER THAN THEY WERE LAST YEAR (NOT HIGHER THAN LAST YEAR)
Or ellipsed form THIS YEAR, THE HEATING OIL PRICES ARE EXPECTED TO BE HIGHER THAN LAST YEAR’S [HEATING OIL PRICE]

Now if we reword the whole sentence as below – (we have removed THIS YEAR from the first part of the sentence and positioned it AFTER the main verb (are)

HEATING OIL PRICES ARE EXPECTED TO BE HIGHER THIS YEAR THAN LAST
Now the comparison focus shifts from Price to Time frame (this year versus last)
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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2010, 20:32
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IMO A

rise and higher is redundant
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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2010, 04:51
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Hi Sam,

The issue of ambiguous pronouns is more a matter of logic than a GMAT 'trick'. If the pronoun has more than one logical referent, there is ambiguity.

Ex. Computer A is next to computer B, and it is broken.

In this sentence both computers are logical referents for "it". When you are presented with an ambiguous pronoun you will have trouble understanding what your sentence is saying. A correct answer will be a version of the sentence that is easier for you to understand because it is clearer.

Ex. Computer A, which is next to computer B, is broken.

In the problem at hand, "refiners" are the only word that make sense as the subject for the verb "were (paying)". Nothing else in the sentence has the ability to pay, so there is no problem with ambiguity here.

Hope that helps! Lots of luck!!!

-Sarai
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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last becau [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2010, 21:51
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A.

This is a comparison question I often have trouble with, but I will do my best to explain.

Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

A) Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were
Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than (heating-oil prices were) last (year) Parentheses are omitted. - correct compoarison
Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last year's or last's (Heating-oil prices) -wrong comparison. We are comparing this year to last year.
If you want to use last year's, we must write
This year's heating-oil prices are expected to be higher than last year's or last's -correct

Let's say Heating-oil prices are just A. We can rewrite
A is expected to be higher this year than (A was) last (year). - correct
A is expected to be higher this year than last's (A) - wrong as this sentence is comparing this year to last year's A.
This year's A is expected to be higher than last year's/last's A - correct

B) Heating-oil prices are expected to rise higher this year over last because refiners pay about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did
Higher over is unidiomatic. Higher...than is correct.
rise higher is redundant.

C) Expectations are for heating-oil prices to be higher this year than last year's becuase refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did
are for heating-oil prices to be is wordy and confusing
last year's should be last year for the same reason mentioned in A.
are paying should be followed by they were

D) It is the expectation that heating-oil prices will be higher this year over last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil now than what they were
It is the expectation that is unnecessarily wordy. It is expected that is better.
'higher....over' is wrong. 'higher...than' is correct.

E) It is the expected that heating-oil prices will rise higher this year than last year's because refiners pay about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did
I think that you made a typo. Answer choice must be 'It is expected that' not 'it is the expected that,' which is correct.
rise higher is redundant.
last year's is wrong for the same reason explained earlier in answer A.

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Last edited by scheol79 on 31 Oct 2010, 22:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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05 Jun 2010, 19:15
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Example of ellipsis

Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last [year's prices] ----> Bulls eye

A is correct. "expected to be" is correct idiom. and "paying" is correct.

hence A.

C: is comparing expectations of this year vs the last year's. change of meaning. OUT

A it is.
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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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05 Jun 2010, 23:42
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Yes by the process of elimination we reach A.

Can some one explain what exactly are we comparing here and whether the things being compared are parallel.

IMO we are comparing the prices last year with the prices this year and the years.
From a parallelism perspective is A correct? If yes How?

Thanks
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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2010, 03:27
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Hi tgtharvard,

Yes, this is ellipses. Since "paying" already appears in the sentence, there is no need to repeat it after the word "were".

Best,
Sarai
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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2011, 09:37
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abhicoolmax wrote:
Why "they were" is correct in A? Why not they did? In-fact, should we be repeating the entire verb when we change the tense - Re: MGMAT SC?

This is a very good question. The general strategy followed is, whenever you come across an ellipsis (ommitting a part of the sentence if there is no ambiguity) the best way to check is to complete the sentence and see if the verb is correct.

Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were paying ...

Vs

Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they did paying ...

As you can see the second version does not make sense (it should have been pay for did to be correct).

However if the original sentence is reworded as

Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners paid about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they did pay ... => did is correct here. (I agree this version does not make logical sense , just for illustration purposes).

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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last becau [#permalink]

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21 May 2014, 21:53
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holdem wrote:
Can please someone explain, under what circumstances “they were” is right in this case?

Isn’t it referring to “refiners are paying”?
Therefore “refiners are paying 5\$ more, than they did last year”, instead of “… than they were” last year?

Were payed sounds totally weird to me, even if agree with the rest of the official answer

Hi holdem,

It’s a case of ellipsis and the word missing is ‘paying’ not ‘paid’. So, the verb is ‘were paying’ not ‘were paid’.

Let’s take two simplified versions of the sentence to understand the difference in the meaning conveyed by ‘were’ and ‘did’ in this context.

Refiners are paying 5\$ more for crude oil than they were (paying) last year.

The past continuous tense (were) tells us that this action of paying happens weekly/monthly/quarterly. So, when we compare ‘are paying’ with ‘were paying’ it means that the payments were made in the same interval last year as well.

Refiners are paying 5\$ more for crude oil than they did (pay) last year.

The simple past tense (did) here tells us that this action happened once in the past. So, the refiners are paying 5\$ more than they paid last year. It means that last year there was only one payment of X dollars and this year the refiners are paying ‘X+5’ dollars weekly/monthly/quarterly.

Hope this helps!
Manyu
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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2009, 05:37
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A was the most simple of all.
good question!
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Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2012, 16:18
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Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

(A) Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were
(8) Heating-oil prices are expected to rise higher this year over last because refiners pay about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did
(C) Expectations are for heating-oil prices to be higher this year than last year's because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did
(d) It is the expectation that heating-oil prices will be higher for this year over last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil now than what they were
(E) It is expected that heating-oil prices will rise higher this year than last year's because refiners pay about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Whats going on with this problem?

Is this a comparsion problem or some kind of Idiom like OG12 classifies it.

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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2012, 02:50
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gmatpunjabi wrote:
Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were last year.

(A) Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were
(8) Heating-oil prices are expected to rise higher this year over last because refiners pay about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did
(C) Expectations are for heating-oil prices to be higher this year than last year's because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did
(d) It is the expectation that heating-oil prices will be higher for this year over last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil now than what they were
(E) It is expected that heating-oil prices will rise higher this year than last year's because refiners pay about \$5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did

Whats going on with this problem?

Is this a comparsion problem or some kind of Idiom like OG12 classifies it.

B- Whenever you have comparative ie words ending with 'er' you should also have than, which is missing in B.
C- Ecpectation are for- is awakward
D-It is ecpectation that- again awakwardly worded,
E-Tense issue, the first part of the sentence is in present, the second part to be parallel should also be in present tense, ie refiners are paying about

A is correct
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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2012, 07:05
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+1 A

B = than is missing
C = awakward
D = awakward
E = last years´ awakward and tens issue
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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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08 Feb 2012, 00:47
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B & E - "Rise Higher" is incorrect.
C - Awkward.
D - Higher "FOR" This year - Incorrect & "Paying.... now than what they were PAYING last year"

IMO A
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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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08 Feb 2012, 01:06
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A) Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last because refiners are paying about \$5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were

is the usage they were justified .Cant it be they did ?
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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher th is year than [#permalink]

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25 Sep 2013, 10:32
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Bumping for review and further discussion*.

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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last becau [#permalink]

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21 May 2014, 20:47
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Refiners "are paying" more than they "were (paying)" last year.

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Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last becau   [#permalink] 21 May 2014, 20:47

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