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

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

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08 Aug 2012, 13:43
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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
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2012, 22:43
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

Less than in the start of phrase should be there so, D and E are out. however, after less than "that of" is required to make it parallel. "Those of" is wrong as it comes when noun is plural. "C' is also out.
But why "B" is right I dont know.

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

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21 Dec 2012, 13:52
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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!).
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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23 Dec 2012, 11:53
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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.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2013, 04:01
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.

great, thank you, manhantan expert.

I am satisfied with oa but

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

but "less than the 1978 harvest" modify "production" or " 41 million tons" pls, help
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2013, 23:06
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Thangvietnam, we contrast "fewer" and "less" as I discussed above, but not "few" and "less." Let me show some usages:

Fewer = a smaller number of something (a comparative word)

We have fewer visitors this week than we did last week.
My wife has fewer papers on the desk than I do.
There are five fewer men than women at the party.

Less = a smaller measurement or quantity of something (a comparative word)

I have less money than my brother.
If I had taken less time on question 7, I might have done better on the exam.
Cycling requires less upper body strength than rock climbing.

Few = a small number of something (not a comparative word)

We have had few visitors this week.
Few of my friends enjoy spicy food.
A few of my friends enjoy spicy food.

Note that these last two have different implications. When I say "few of my friends," I mean "not very many of my friends." I am emphasizing the small number. When I say "a few of my friends," I mean "several of my friends." I am emphasizing the fact that some friends *do* like spicy food.

I hope this list helps. Let me know if you had something else in mind, or if you have other questions.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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22 Jun 2013, 07:17
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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 . Plural. Rice production is singular

(B) less than the 1978 harvest

(C) less than 1978. Illogical . 25% less than 1978.

(D) fewer than 1978

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

With percent we use "less" not "fewer". Thus, D , E are out.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2013, 14:34
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honchos wrote:
thevenus wrote:
"production"is non countable so "less than " should be used.
CDE Out
A Vs B
X less than Y
production less than harvest

X less than Y

It also conveys that C ic orrect?

Hi Honchos.

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
Wrong.
- "production" is singular --> "those" is wrong.
- "production of the 1978 harvest" is redundant. "harvest" also means "production".

(B) less than the 1978 harvest
Correct.
"percent" is abstract number --> use "less", not "fewer". --> correct.

(C) less than 1978
Wrong.
- Comparison problem. "production" vs. "1978" <-- wrong.
- Should be "production" vs. "that in 1978" --OR-- "production" vs. "the 1978 harvest".

(D) fewer than 1978
Wrong.
- "percent" is abstract number --> Must use "less", not "fewer".
- Comparison problem: "production" vs. "1978"

(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest
Wrong.
- "percent" is abstract number --> Must use "less", not "fewer".
- "that of the 1978 harvest" is redundant. "harvest" also means "production".

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

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02 Sep 2013, 23:51
pqhai wrote:
honchos wrote:
thevenus wrote:
"production"is non countable so "less than " should be used.
CDE Out
A Vs B
X less than Y
production less than harvest

X less than Y

It also conveys that C ic orrect?

Hi Honchos.

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
Wrong.
- "production" is singular --> "those" is wrong.
- "production of the 1978 harvest" is redundant. "harvest" also means "production".

(B) less than the 1978 harvest
Correct.
"percent" is abstract number --> use "less", not "fewer". --> correct.

(C) less than 1978
Wrong.
- Comparison problem. "production" vs. "1978" <-- wrong.
- Should be "production" vs. "that in 1978" --OR-- "production" vs. "the 1978 harvest".

(D) fewer than 1978
Wrong.
- "percent" is abstract number --> Must use "less", not "fewer".
- Comparison problem: "production" vs. "1978"

(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest
Wrong.
- "percent" is abstract number --> Must use "less", not "fewer".
- "that of the 1978 harvest" is redundant. "harvest" also means "production".

Hope it helps.

Hi,

We can count production as it is given, "production to about 41 millions"

few is used for countable things.
Few books, few stores.

Besides, little is used for uncountable things.
little water.

So, why can't we use few here as we can count the production in its unit?

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

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03 Sep 2013, 01:03
jaituteja wrote:
Hi,

We can count production as it is given, "production to about 41 millions"

few is used for countable things.
Few books, few stores.

Besides, little is used for uncountable things.
little water.

So, why can't we use few here as we can count the production in its unit?

Thanks,
Jai

Technically, few is used for countable noun, less is used for uncountable noun.

Abstract numbers such as percentage is considered uncountable noun. Why? Because "percentage" itself is not complete. Percentage of what? That's why we call percentage is abstract number --> uncountable noun --> "less" is correct.

Please see the non-underlined part, which says "25 percent" <-- we can't use "fewer" here. You can ONLY count one percent, two percent,..... BUT you can't count one percent of 1978 harvest. That is abstract number.

In short, "Less" is used for uncountable, usually abstract nouns:level, quantity, rate, figure, percentage, etc. ect...

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

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27 Nov 2013, 06:57
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.

we do not have the formal instruction of the use of less or fewer in the cases of measure/weight. and this is hard for us to obsorb/remember the usage in those cases.

in the book "advanced grammar in use by Martin", both less and fewer can be used with percentage. so, it is possible that both "less" and "fewer" are correct in this sc problem

another point

here the comparision is "amount of 41 tons" is 25 less than the 1978 havest. the sentence dose not compare "production" with the havest because "production" is general, not "production of 1979"

so the only reason why e is wrong is that "that" in e is wrong.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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01 Jun 2014, 00:25
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

Production is non countable so less than is correct,leading out Option D,E.
Option A: This version exhibits redundant word choice.The pronoun those refers to the tons of the 1978 harvest. Both harvests are
measured in tons, and it is clearer and simpler to compare with the harvest itself, not with the tons of the harvest.
Option B: correctly compares the 1978 harvest with the 1979 harvest.
Option C: This version is illogical. It compares rice production in tons with a year, 1978.

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

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15 Aug 2014, 03:22
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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

Quick question:

If the sentence were to compare 41 million tons produced in 1979 and tons harvested in 1978, would the correct sentence be:
In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than the number/that of 1978 harvest?

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

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15 Aug 2014, 22:27
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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- production is not plural..so those is not correct
(B) less than the 1978 harvest- Perfect..production in 78 vs production/harvest in 79
(C) less than 1978- production vs year- incorrect
(D) fewer than 1978- fewer is not appropriate..1 production,2 production,3 production...doesn't makes sense..so production is uncountable noun..hence less goes with production
(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest..fewer - same as above, than that of India's 1978 harvest- wrong comparison..u r not comparing harvest with that of 1978 harvest..What is 'that of' exactly..??..u r comparing harvest with harvest..explicitly conveyed in B

If the sentence were to compare 41 million tons produced in 1979 and tons harvested in 1978, would the correct sentence be:
In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than the number/that of 1978 harvest?
As u can see in E..U r not comparing numbers here..u r comparing harvests..So harvest in less than the number/that of harvest in 79 is wrong comparison...here the number of is redundant..
If we were to compare numbers..In 1979, the amount of India's rice production in 1978 was reduced to about 41 million tons, nearly 25 percent less than that of 1978 harvest
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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06 May 2015, 05:45
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

Explanation- Since it is a comparison question ask yourself what is being compared? Rice production in 1978 to rice production in 1979.Right!
Now can we count rice production?
1 rice production, 2 rice production doesn’t make sense
So rice production is uncountable thus we have to use less(not few)
(A) is wrong because of use of those for singular rice production
(C) is wrong because you cannot compare rice production in one year to another year(1978)
Hence (B) stands correct
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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11 May 2015, 23:42
That's a hard one to answer, because A as written doesn't make more sense. How can we say that the production is less than the tons?

In any case, we choose "less" or "fewer" based on what we're counting, so be careful about using "those" to make your decision. For instance, both of the following are correct:

Investors in Country X earn less money than those in Country Y.
His strategy produced less profit than that of his competitor.

Notice that here we choose "less" based on what we have less of (money, profit), not what produces less (those [investors], that [strategy]).
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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21 Nov 2015, 04:34
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Quote:
I still have a question in Option B. Although it was bought up earlier in the thread, can someone address my concern Below.

If option B said less than that of 1978 Harvest or less than that of 1978

What exactly is wrong with this structure.

Well think of what is the reference for the pronoun ‘that’. If you are meaning that it refers to the production or harvest, then you are saying that it is less than the production or harvest of 1978 harvest; Can you see the redundancy there?

But the second choice of yours is ok because now there is no redundancy since you have removed 'harvest'
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2016, 05:34
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Expert's post
thangvietnam wrote:
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.

THANK YOU expert,
do you have any tips for "few " and "less" , pls help

Few:
used with countable things - the three forms are:
Few - fewer (comparative) - fewest (superlative)

Little:
used with uncountable things - the three forms are:
Little - less (comparative) - least (superlative)

Example:
You may use this check-out counter, if you have less than ten items...wrong , items are countable. (Frequently you see a sign less than 10 items in a supermarket... it is wrong !)
You may use this check-out counter, if you have fewer than ten items... right.

My sister takes fewer milk than I do. .. wrong, milk is uncountable.
My sister takes less milk than I do. .. right.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2016, 05:46
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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.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to [#permalink]

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30 Apr 2016, 11:48
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 (compared with 1978)

(D) fewer than 1978

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