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In the major cities of industrialized countries at the end of the nine

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Re: In the major cities of industrialized countries at the end of the nine  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2020, 23:08
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Ah, of course--THAT'S why people are looking at this another way. :D I was hurrying a bit and didn't refer back to the original question. Sorry if I appeared to be oversimplifying.

The short answer may not be very satisfying: the GMAT didn't give us a choice of less/fewer, so we have to go with less here. Why is it okay? Because in some cases, we have some leeway about whether our less/fewer modifier refers to the percent itself or to the noun in question. Is it (<1%)*# of houses, or is it fewer than (1%*# of houses)? Therein lies the controversy that Mr. Stewart's link gets into. From a technical standpoint, "fewer" might seem to be more accurate/consistent, but honestly, "fewer" is a word most Americans don't even use much. That may account for some of the unevenness on the GMAT. Although we SC folks would turn up our noses (correctly) at "I ate less cookies than you did," many people would say exactly that! I don't think the GMAT will go that far, though.
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In the major cities of industrialized countries at the end of the nine  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2020, 23:37
IanStewart DmitryFarber AjiteshArun

i wanted to clarify a meaning issue with this sentence. It says:

In the major cities of industrialized countries at the end of the nineteenth century, important public places such as theaters, restaurants, shops, and banks had installed electric lighting, but electricity was in less than one percent of homes, where lighting was still provided mainly by candles or gas.

Here, "where" modifies homes that actually had electricity. How can the homes that had electricity still provide light through candles or gas? if they have electricity there's no need to use candles or gas. Shouldn't there be an AND to separate the homes with electricity from the ones without?

i thought this was too ambiguous to be right and hence went with B cus it had an "and" even tho wasn't parallel.
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Re: In the major cities of industrialized countries at the end of the nine  [#permalink]

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New post 29 May 2020, 02:42
Kritisood wrote:
i wanted to clarify a meaning issue with this sentence. It says:

In the major cities of industrialized countries at the end of the nineteenth century, important public places such as theaters, restaurants, shops, and banks had installed electric lighting, but electricity was in less than one percent of homes, where lighting was still provided mainly by candles or gas.

Here, "where" modifies homes that actually had electricity. How can the homes that had electricity still provide light through candles or gas? if they have electricity there's no need to use candles or gas. Shouldn't there be an AND to separate the homes with electricity from the ones without?

i thought this was too ambiguous to be right and hence went with B cus it had an "and" even tho wasn't parallel.


I agree it's a bit of a strange construction, because you can read it in two different ways - if you take "where..." to describe the "less than one percent of homes" with electricity, as you are, that creates an illogical meaning. Instead it's meant only to describe "homes" in general, which is why the word "mainly" appears near the end (to exclude the 1% with electricity).
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Re: In the major cities of industrialized countries at the end of the nine   [#permalink] 29 May 2020, 02:42

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