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New post 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!!!

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New post 11 Jul 2010, 04:55
Thank You for a gr8 & also a very prompt reply.

Will keep this thing in mind. .......

Thanks a lot ......

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

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New post 20 Jul 2010, 06:14
Hi, Sarai! thanks for the nice explanation first, helps a lot.

but I still have a question concerning A...

SaraiGMAXonline wrote:

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).


OA says that "the sentense connects a comparison between this year's and last year’s heating-oil prices", not the time frame...

i'm so confused, hope you can shed some light on this issue.
thank you in advance:)

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

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

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New post 31 Oct 2010, 21:18
i did this question based on elimination, rather than selection.

you can straight away rule out c, d, and e because of the wordy nature of the sentences and the wrong grammar used.

from a and b, higher should be followed by 'than', so the OA should be A.

The options you suggested don't go with this construction of the sentence as the word
prices has been mentioned in the start of the sentence.

ps: if you give gmat prep's sc's, you'll find plenty of sc qsns which are not about the correct sentence/construction but finding the best of the lot.

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

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New post 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 this year than last becau [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2010, 22:24
scheol79 wrote:
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 this year 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 this year 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.



IMO A too.
it's all correct.Moreover, in options B and E rise higher is redundant.
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New post 01 Nov 2010, 00:49
C, D, E Out
B --> Higher ...over incorrect idiom
A is best option
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New post 27 Apr 2011, 08:41
kindly post OA along with the questions

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New post 20 Aug 2011, 07:51
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?

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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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New post 23 Aug 2011, 13:09
KimiHana wrote:
KimiHana wrote:
Hi, Sarai! thanks for the nice explanation first, helps a lot.

but I still have a question concerning A...

SaraiGMAXonline wrote:

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).


OA says that "the sentense connects a comparison between this year's and last year’s heating-oil prices", not the time frame...

i'm so confused, hope you can shed some light on this issue.
thank you in advance:)


Can anybody explain this one?


Yes the OG mentions 'the possessive last year's does not parallel the adverbial phrase this year' as one of the reasons for 'E' being wrong.

We are comparing last year's heating-oil prices to this year's heating-oil prices! And option 'E' clearly creates a parallel between the prices. I don't understand what is OG's point.

Any expert please?

Thanks a lot in advance!!

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

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New post 24 Aug 2011, 18:53
SaraiGMAXonline wrote:
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.


These are great points! Although I did not analyze this sentence so thoroughly, I came to A since the more was oddly placed in most sentences I would have considered

$5 a barrel more for crude oil Vs. $5 a barrel for crude oil more

After narrowing those down, then I started comparing the options.

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

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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

[Reveal] Spoiler:
These are my doubts:
Option A is not clear to me because it seems that it is comparing "heating-oil prices" with "last [year]", so it would be incorrect, but it is the OA. In this sense, I suppose that option A is ommiting some words, but I cannot identify which words. It is not clear whether the prices in this year are expected to be higher than the estimated prices in the last year or the real prices in that year. For example:
Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than [they were] last because refiners are paying about $5 a barrel more for crude oil than they were.
The first "were" seems that it is ommiting "expected to be", so we would be talking about the estimated prices last year. But if it is not omitting "expected to be", it could seem that we are talking about the real prices.

But if we write in this way:
Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last year's [prices] because ....
Here we are comparing nouns: heating-oil prices of this year with those prices of the las year (last year's). However, the OE says that this is not parallel. Why? I don't understand it.

Please your comments about it.

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

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New post 17 Nov 2011, 16:10
Ok - lets consider why others are NOT 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 than something is correct and not higher...over...[color=#4000FF][/color]

C) Expectations are for heating-oil prices(distorts meaning) to be higher this year than last year's becuase refiners are paying about $5 a barrel for crude oil more than they did. Clearly a run on sentence and is not preferred on GMAT.

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----(wordy) and higher....over is oncorrect too)

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. (It is the expected ---> incorrect . rise higher --> redundant words)

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New post 17 Nov 2011, 18:42
Hi metallicafan, parallelism is the most popular topic, but it also is the tough topic, especially parallel in comparisons. I always have problem with "which items is parallel in comparisons". You should read again the comparisons topic in MGMAT SC, you can improve this problem. I swear. Although I read this chapter many times, I still sometimes got wrong answer with comparisons.
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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.

If its Idiom do I even need to worry about this problem?

Thanks in advance!

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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.

If its Idiom do I even need to worry about this problem?

Thanks in advance!


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 this year than last becau [#permalink]

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New post 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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New post 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

Kudos [?]: 7 [1], given: 2

Re: Heating-oil prices are expected to be higher this year than last becau   [#permalink] 08 Feb 2012, 00:47

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