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# In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 milli

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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 milli  [#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 about 41 milli  [#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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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 milli  [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2014, 03:22
3
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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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 milli  [#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 about 41 milli  [#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 about 41 milli  [#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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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 milli  [#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 about 41 milli  [#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 about 41 milli  [#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 about 41 milli  [#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 about 41 milli  [#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 about 41 milli  [#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 about 41 milli  [#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 about 41 milli  [#permalink]

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31 Aug 2017, 02:39
hi GMATNinja GMATNinja2 Experts

what does pronoun those refer to ? India's rice production or 41 million tons.

The plural pronoun those has no logical antecedent in the original sentence.

Just replace those with both the nouns you have suggested in your post. You will see that none of the nouns will convey the intended meaning.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 milli  [#permalink]

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31 Aug 2017, 02:45
Saumya2403 wrote:
what is wrong with answer choice E

Hello Saumya2403,

There are the following two errors in Choice E:

1. Using fewer to refer to rice production is incorrect. Less should be used to refer to quantities.

2. Since the pronoun that refers back to India’s rice production, use of India’s is redundant here.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 milli  [#permalink]

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24 Dec 2017, 21:35
Hi Experts,

Could you please tell what type of a modifier is "nearly 25 percent less.... harvest" is? It is placed at the end of the sentence after the comma, and is modifying a noun earlier in the substance (rice production). If this is an absolute phrase, then those are usually in the form (Noun + Noun modifier), but I am not able to understand the structure of this phrase? Please advise.

Thank you!
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 milli  [#permalink]

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27 Dec 2017, 06:18
yt770 wrote:
Hi Experts,

Could you please tell what type of a modifier is "nearly 25 percent less.... harvest" is? It is placed at the end of the sentence after the comma, and is modifying a noun earlier in the substance (rice production). If this is an absolute phrase, then those are usually in the form (Noun + Noun modifier), but I am not able to understand the structure of this phrase? Please advise.

Thank you!

It is not an absolute phrase. First note that adjectives (and adjective phrases) are noun modifiers. Now observe that, "25 percent less than the 1978 harvest" is an adjective phrase ["less" is the head (comparative) adjective of the phrase].
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 milli  [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2018, 07:38
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 (SV)

(B) less than the 1978 harvest (Correct)

(C) less than 1978 (ambiguous)

(D) fewer than 1978 (wrong quantity modifier)

(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest (wrong quantity modifier)
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In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 milli  [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2019, 03:42
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.

Issue 1 - Countable v Uncountable Nouns (usage of less v.s few)
What's the topic of the sentence? Tons or Production? It's actually production and thus "nearly 25%..." modifies production and "less" refers to production.
Eliminate (D) and (E) as "few" is used to refer to countable nouns, but "production is uncountable. We can't have 1 production, 2 productions...
(D) fewer than 1978
(E) fewer than that of India's 1978 harvest

Issue 2: SV Agreement
(A) less than those of the 1978 harvest
Those should refer to production, but it should be "that". Those doesn't make sense at all and it's confusing readers into thinking that the subject should be "tons".
Eliminate A

(B) less than the 1978 harvest - Correct
Corrects previous errors identified

Issue 3 - (C) less than 1978
(C) compares production to 1978 - Eliminate
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Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 milli  [#permalink]

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14 May 2019, 02:40
less/fewer is a hard point here.

look at choice E.
"that" refers to "production". "production of 1978 harvest" is correct maybe if "harvest" means the time of gathering crops, and is incorrect (redundant) if the "harvest' means "amount of crops".

so, "production of 1978 harvest" is not decivie point.

now, we go to "less/fewer".

in choice e, you possibly are not sure whether "fewer" is fit with "41 tons". but because "that" refer to "production", the phrase become

fewer than production of 1978 havest.

production (except in the meaning of movies) is non count noun. so, "fewer than production" is clearly wrong. this point is decisive. choice e is gone.

the trick here is that it is unclear that "fewer " is unfit with "41 ton" and that to see fewer is unfit with production require understanding of "that"
Re: In 1979 lack of rain reduced India's rice production to about 41 milli   [#permalink] 14 May 2019, 02:40

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