generis wrote:

prasadyanz wrote:

In 1998, there were 3.2 million public school students who were not proficient in English in the USA, almost twice as many as 1990.

A) almost twice as many as

B) almost twice as many as in

C) almost twice as many as there were in

D) nearly twice as many as in

E) about twice as many as there were in

gmatbusters wrote:

Hi

generisWhat about difference between C & E- Almost/About Split?

gmatbusters - This distinction is SUBTLE. Good catch.

The words do not have the same meaning.

Almost means "very nearly" or "not quite" [not enough to be equal, but very close]

About means "approximately" or "roughly"

"Almost" means slightly fewer or just a little less than.

"Almost"

cannot equal more.

"About"

can equal more.

Almost: ONLY fewer than. NOT more than.

About can mean

more AND/OR fewer than.

In this question, "about" would change the meaning

from "

fewer than 6.4 million (proficient students) but close to that number"

to

"some number

a little higher or a little lower than 6.4 million."

The number of proficient students is NOT more than two times 3.2 million.

That distinction might seem to be without any meaningful difference.

Reason through the number of proficient students that each word makes possible.

ABOUT twice as many as 3.2 million

• could mean MORE than twice as many: 6.5 million, OR

• could mean FEWER than twice as many: 6.3 million

ALMOST twice as many as 3.2 million

• could mean ONLY FEWER than 6.4 million

• could NOT mean more than twice as many -- could NOT mean 6.5 million

"About," in short, changes the meaning of the sentence because

more or fewer does not mean

fewer.

Uncountable"Almost" and "about" function the same way for both countable and uncountable nouns.

"money" is not countable (one money, two moneys)

Natasha has some money.

Amelia has

almost as much money as Natasha, N.

Amelia has nearly as much money as N. BUT

--Amelia does not have exactly as much money as N, and

--Amelia does not have more money than N

--Amelia has less money than N

Amelia has

about as much money as Natasha.

-- Amelia has slightly more or slightly less money than N

Almost - SLIGHTLY Finally, the "slightly" part of almost is important.

almost =

slightly fewer (or less) than.

#1) If I have 20 coins and you have 10 coins, you do not have "almost" (nearly) as many coins as I have.

#2) If I have 20 coins and you have 18 coins, you DO have "almost as many coins" as I have.

#3) If I have 20 coins and you have

22 coins, we cannot say that you have almost as many coins as I have.

You do not have "almost as many."

You have MORE coins.

"Almost" does not = more.

We CAN say in scenarios #2 and #3, however, that you have ABOUT as many coins as I have.

Hope that helps.

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