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# In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to

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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2016, 16:37
SPLIT1) "THOSE" IS THE INCORRECT WORD TO USE BECAUSE IT IMPLIES PLURAL WHEN WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THE SINGULAR "RICE PRODUCTION". A IS OUT.

SPLIT2) LESS VS FEWER. IN THIS CASE YOU NEED TO USE LESS BECAUSE YOU CANNOT COUNT THE RICE PRODUCTION. WHY? BECAUSE WE ARE COMPARING THE OVERALL SIZE OF PRODUCTION. D AND E ARE OUT.

SPLIT3) COMPARISONS: YOU WANT TO COMPARE THE 1979 RICE PRODUCTION WITH THE 1978 HARVEST AND NOT WITH 1979 RICE PRODUCTION WITH THE YEAR 1978. OPTION C AND D ARE OUT.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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08 Dec 2016, 17:59
Correct Answer: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than the 1978 harvest.

If there were options,
1) In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than that of 1978.
2) In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than that of the harvest in 1978.

Would they both be correct? If no, what is wrong with these sentences?
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2017, 01:38
In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than those of the 1978 harvest.

(A) less than those of the 1978 harvest

(B) less than the 1978 harvest

(C) less than 1978

(D) fewer than 1978

(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2017, 18:18
Merged topics. Please, search before posting questions!
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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13 May 2017, 09:00
betterscore wrote:
In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than those of the 1978 harvest.

(A) less than those of the 1978 harvest

(B) less than the 1978 harvest

(C) less than 1978

(D) fewer than 1978

(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest

A "Those" here refers to "tons," but "tons" here is a measurement word representing a singular noun ("production") so it should be replace by the singular demonstrative adjective "that."
B Correct.
C It's falsely comparing a year with the production.
D It's falsely comparing a year with the production, and it's using "fewer than" when describing an uncountable noun.
E It's using "fewer than" when describing an uncountable noun ("production").
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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12 Jul 2017, 19:09
hi GMATNinja GMATNinja2 Experts

what does pronoun those refer to ? India's rice production or 41 million tons.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2017, 14:58

Use 'fewer' for countable nouns and 'less' for uncountable nouns.

Here the noun is 'rice production' is an uncountable noun, eliminate answers D & E

Now, we must compare the harvest from 1979 to the harvest from 1978.

Answer choice A compares the harvest from 1979 to those from 1978. What are those? Ambiguous. Eliminate

Answer choice C compares the harvest from 1979 to the year 1978 itself. Eliminate
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2017, 19:59
DmitryFarber wrote:
No, size makes no difference. We always use "fewer" for countable and "less" for uncountable. Here, we use "less" rather than "fewer" because we are comparing the overall size of production, rather than the specific number of tons. This generally happens with weights and measures. For instance, I would say "I weigh less than 200 pounds," not fewer, because I am talking about a measurement, not a group of things. I'd also say "I want less than 3 ounces of coffee" or "I have less than 5 feet of rope left." Sure, we can count pounds, ounces, and feet, but we are using them to talk about an amount, not a number. 3 ounces of coffee is a way of saying how much coffee you have, but we're not counting individual coffee beans. Similarly, in the original problem, we're not counting individual grains of rice; rather, we're measuring overall rice production.

hello, I have a question, in case we compare 2 number, we still use "that of" instead of "those of?"
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2017, 03:04
DmitryFarber wrote:
We only want to use "that of" or "those of" if we are comparing something *belonging* to something else:

The design of the new tablet is similar to that of its predecessor. (The design of one is similar to the design of the other.)
Jack wanted clothes similar to those of his friends. (He wants his clothes to be similar to his friends' clothes.)

In the above examples, it would be a big problem to get rid of the relative pronoun:

The design of the new tablet is similar to its predecessor. (The design is similar to the predecessor?)
Jack wanted clothes similar to his friends. (He wants his clothes to be similar to his friends?)

In B, we are correctly comparing the production in 1979 to the harvest in 1978. If we go with gmatfighter12's proposed phrasing, "less than that of," we have to ask what "that" stands for. If we say "less than that of the 1978 harvest," then "that" doesn't seem to stand for anything. If we say "less than that of 1978," the antecedent for "that" isn't entirely clear, although "production" seems like the most reasonable choice. E would then be clearer than the other wrong answer choices, but still not as clear as B.

Note that in my examples, it was very clear what "that" and "those" stood for. If we don't know what our pronouns stand for, we should probably replace them. In general, a specific noun is preferable to a vague pronoun (unless that specific noun is clearly wrong!).

You says "In B, we are correctly comparing the production in 1979 to the harvest in 1978. " But I doubt whether production can be compared with Harvest . Production is something we can measure but harvest is "the process or period of gathering in crops."
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2017, 09:36
gmat4varun wrote:
DmitryFarber wrote:
We only want to use "that of" or "those of" if we are comparing something *belonging* to something else:

The design of the new tablet is similar to that of its predecessor. (The design of one is similar to the design of the other.)
Jack wanted clothes similar to those of his friends. (He wants his clothes to be similar to his friends' clothes.)

In the above examples, it would be a big problem to get rid of the relative pronoun:

The design of the new tablet is similar to its predecessor. (The design is similar to the predecessor?)
Jack wanted clothes similar to his friends. (He wants his clothes to be similar to his friends?)

In B, we are correctly comparing the production in 1979 to the harvest in 1978. If we go with gmatfighter12's proposed phrasing, "less than that of," we have to ask what "that" stands for. If we say "less than that of the 1978 harvest," then "that" doesn't seem to stand for anything. If we say "less than that of 1978," the antecedent for "that" isn't entirely clear, although "production" seems like the most reasonable choice. E would then be clearer than the other wrong answer choices, but still not as clear as B.

Note that in my examples, it was very clear what "that" and "those" stood for. If we don't know what our pronouns stand for, we should probably replace them. In general, a specific noun is preferable to a vague pronoun (unless that specific noun is clearly wrong!).

You says "In B, we are correctly comparing the production in 1979 to the harvest in 1978. " But I doubt whether production can be compared with Harvest . Production is something we can measure but harvest is "the process or period of gathering in crops."

The aim of SC is to pick the best answer among the 5 choices. This answer may not be correct in your opinion and dont let your knowledge get in the way of picking the choice that is least flawed.

If the GMAT said, 'Maltania, a country near India.......', you would not question whether or not Maltania is indeed a country or near India. Hope you get my point.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2017, 21:53
sasyaharry wrote:
gmat4varun wrote:
DmitryFarber wrote:
We only want to use "that of" or "those of" if we are comparing something *belonging* to something else:

The design of the new tablet is similar to that of its predecessor. (The design of one is similar to the design of the other.)
Jack wanted clothes similar to those of his friends. (He wants his clothes to be similar to his friends' clothes.)

In the above examples, it would be a big problem to get rid of the relative pronoun:

The design of the new tablet is similar to its predecessor. (The design is similar to the predecessor?)
Jack wanted clothes similar to his friends. (He wants his clothes to be similar to his friends?)

In B, we are correctly comparing the production in 1979 to the harvest in 1978. If we go with gmatfighter12's proposed phrasing, "less than that of," we have to ask what "that" stands for. If we say "less than that of the 1978 harvest," then "that" doesn't seem to stand for anything. If we say "less than that of 1978," the antecedent for "that" isn't entirely clear, although "production" seems like the most reasonable choice. E would then be clearer than the other wrong answer choices, but still not as clear as B.

Note that in my examples, it was very clear what "that" and "those" stood for. If we don't know what our pronouns stand for, we should probably replace them. In general, a specific noun is preferable to a vague pronoun (unless that specific noun is clearly wrong!).

You says "In B, we are correctly comparing the production in 1979 to the harvest in 1978. " But I doubt whether production can be compared with Harvest . Production is something we can measure but harvest is "the process or period of gathering in crops."

The aim of SC is to pick the best answer among the 5 choices. This answer may not be correct in your opinion and dont let your knowledge get in the way of picking the choice that is least flawed.

If the GMAT said, 'Maltania, a country near India.......', you would not question whether or not Maltania is indeed a country or near India. Hope you get my point.

What you say is correct that we need to choose the best answer and here it is not a matter of Knowledge but it is English that says two similar type of things should be compared .
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2017, 13:50
In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than those of the 1978 harvest.

(A) less than those of the 1978 harvest

(B) less than the 1978 harvest

(C) less than 1978

(D) fewer than 1978

(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2017, 23:46
what is wrong with answer choice E
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2017, 03:32
Hi Saumya,

The option 'E' use 'fewer' which is incorrect usage as harvest is measurable in tons. For anything which cannot be measured will use either 'less' or 'few'. Hope this helps.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2017, 00:36
sayantanc2k wrote:
hatemnag wrote:
it is quite confusing. get crazy or understand this idea. the question stem includes numbers and percents, then we say production is uncountable. what about 41 tons or 25 %.
please help to fix my mind to such idea. I studied MGMAT sc book more than twice.

First: 25% of a countable noun is countable and 25% of uncountable noun is uncountable. This is true for all percent and fraction words.

Now the question is whether we are referring to 25% of production (uncountable) or 25% of tonnes (countable). The sentence conveys the meaning that the production is reduced rather tonnes are reduced. 25% of production is uncountable and thus less is used.

Hello sayantanc2k

In one of the above posts, Dmitry has mentioned that measurements and weights are uncountable. But in your post you have mentioned that tonnes is countable. Is there some difference between the two that I am not able to spot here?

Is there some way that we can use to conclude what is countable and what is not?

Thanks
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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30 Aug 2017, 01:48
1
2
Shiv2016, Sayantan and I are coming at the same idea in two different ways. When I said that weights and measures are typically uncountable, I meant that when we are talking about the measurement itself, we are not counting things. We are just referring to a number. For instance, we would say "I weigh 10 pounds less than my brother," not "10 pounds fewer," because we are simply comparing total weight. We are not counting individual pounds and seeing who has more. We'd say "I have 10 fewer dollars" or "I have 3 more children," but not "my height is 3 inches fewer."

So are pounds countable? Sure, and if we are looking at them directly, we use language that reflects that. For instance, we say "How many pounds of candy did you buy?" and not "How much pounds." However, usually when we talk about pounds or inches (or more civilized units, such as meters or kilograms ), we are using them to compare one measurement to another. We are talking about weight or height or production, rather than counting individual things.

Correct:
How much does the job pay?
How many dollars do you have?
How much do you weigh?
How many pounds of vegetables do you need?
The production was 5 tons less than last year. (Comparing this year's production to last.)
I hauled 5 fewer tons this year than last year. (Comparing what I hauled this year to what I hauled last year.)
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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31 Aug 2017, 00:33
DmitryFarber wrote:
We only want to use "that of" or "those of" if we are comparing something *belonging* to something else:

The design of the new tablet is similar to that of its predecessor. (The design of one is similar to the design of the other.)
Jack wanted clothes similar to those of his friends. (He wants his clothes to be similar to his friends' clothes.)

In the above examples, it would be a big problem to get rid of the relative pronoun:

The design of the new tablet is similar to its predecessor. (The design is similar to the predecessor?)
Jack wanted clothes similar to his friends. (He wants his clothes to be similar to his friends?)

In B, we are correctly comparing the production in 1979 to the harvest in 1978. If we go with gmatfighter12's proposed phrasing, "less than that of," we have to ask what "that" stands for. If we say "less than that of the 1978 harvest," then "that" doesn't seem to stand for anything. If we say "less than that of 1978," the antecedent for "that" isn't entirely clear, although "production" seems like the most reasonable choice. E would then be clearer than the other wrong answer choices, but still not as clear as B.

Note that in my examples, it was very clear what "that" and "those" stood for. If we don't know what our pronouns stand for, we should probably replace them. In general, a specific noun is preferable to a vague pronoun (unless that specific noun is clearly wrong!).

Hi

I marked answer as "A" because I thought those refers to "tonnage/tons" of harvest. So the option "A" becomes "less than "tonnage/tons"of the 1978 harvest". Is it not correct?

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In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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31 Aug 2017, 02:24
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gmat4varun wrote:

You says "In B, we are correctly comparing the production in 1979 to the harvest in 1978. " But I doubt whether production can be compared with Harvest . Production is something we can measure but harvest is "the process or period of gathering in crops."

Hello gmat4varun,

I would just like to pitch in with my take on the usage of the word harvest.

This word is also used to mean produce or fruits or result. So technically, there is no issue in comparing production with harvest that has been used to mean produce.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to  [#permalink]

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31 Aug 2017, 02:37
1
Jabjagotabhisavera wrote:
Hi

I marked answer as "A" because I thought those refers to "tonnage/tons" of harvest. So the option "A" becomes "less than "tonnage/tons"of the 1978 harvest". Is it not correct?

Hello Jabjagotabhisavera,

Let's focus on the meaning if those refers to 41 million tons in the original sentence.

The sentence would convey that in 1979, India produced nearly 25 percent less than 41 million tons of the 1978 harvest.

Does this information make sense? No because the sentence clearly says that India produced 41 million tons of rice in 1979. This production was 25 less than the production in 1978.

But per the above-mentioned sentence, India produces less than 41 million tons in 1979.

So you see the illogical meaning due to the incorrect reference of pronoun those.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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