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In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force

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Project SC Butler: Day 178: Sentence Correction (SC1)


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In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

A) some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer

B) some 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with less

C) about 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with fewer

D) about 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies who have less

E) there are 55 percent of the labor force who are employed by companies with fewer

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Originally posted by generis on 15 Oct 2019, 06:19.
Last edited by generis on 16 Oct 2019, 10:22, edited 1 time in total.
corrected a typo
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In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2019, 06:21
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OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

Project SC Butler: Day 178: Sentence Correction (SC1)



• HIGHLIGHTS

This question tests countable and uncountable nouns.

The question may also test your willingness to choose an answer that has no grammar issues but contains a word you do not recognize: some.
Some used in this way means "approximately" or "about."
Some is not an indefinite pronoun in this sentence.
I say more about this word after the POE.

• QUICK POE

1) we can count workers. We use fewer than, not less than. Eliminate B and D.
2) labor force is an uncountable, collective, and singular noun. It thus takes the verb IS, not are. Eliminate C and E.

By POE, the answer is A.

• LONGER POE

THE PROMPT

Quote:
In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.


THE OPTIONS

Quote:
A) In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers

• I see no issues
some?
-- when some is placed before a number or quantity, some means about or approximately
-- some is not an indefinite pronoun in this sentence
labor force is a singular collective noun—and thus properly takes the verb is
workers are countable. We use fewer than for countable nouns.
KEEP

Quote:
B) In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with less than 100 workers

labor force is singular and requires the verb is, not are
• workers are countable. Countable = fewer. We need fewer than 100 workers.
ELIMINATE B

Quote:
C) In the United States, about 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers

labor force, singular, requires is, not are
ELIMINATE C

Quote:
D) In the United States, about 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies who have less than 100 workers

• companies are not people; companies cannot be referred to as who. The correct phrase is "by companies that"
less workers is incorrect

Quote:
E) In the United States, there are 55 percent of the labor force who are employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

• easiest error to spot: labor force is singular. The verb should be IS, not are.
• labor force, though composed of people, can take that or who as a relative pronoun. (Just a heads up.)
There are is a disaster. It creates nonsense.
-- in this kind of construction ("there are" is called an "expletive"), the subject is not there.
The subject is after the IS/ARE that follows there
-- There are 55 percent of a collective noun that itself is followed by a relative clause with a verb in it. Huh? Babble.
-- I cannot invert this sentence. (Sometimes expletive sentences cannot be inverted.)
When I try to invert the sentence, I lose one of the are verbs and end up with fragment.
Fifty-five percent of the labor force [are?] who are employed by companies with fewer than 100 employees. Ouch.
• this sentence is a hot mess. We need one reason to get rid of it. We have a few.
• as always, compare to (A). No contest. We might not know what this "some" is doing, but the rest of the sentence contains no errors and is intelligible.
ELIMINATE E

The answer is (A)

• NOTES

Percent of is singular or plural depending on the noun.

When percent of precedes a singular noun, the verb is singular.
Fifty percent of the pie was eaten.
When percent of precedes a plural noun, the verb is plural.
Fifty percent of the cookies were eaten.

Labor force
-- is singular. It is similar to committee, jury, faculty, and team.
-- if you are unsure about whether a collective noun is singular or plural, choose singular
-- speakers of British English, be a little bit careful.
Collective nouns are usually (or often) plural in British English, but not on the GMAT (and not in most standard U.S. formal writing, either).

Some 55 percent means about or approximately 55 percent.
See
Oxford Dictionary online proxy, definition #3 HERE.
Cambridge Dictionary online, HERE
Merriam-Webster Dictionary online, #3 of 6, HERE and usage guide HERE

Correct: Some 11,000 Kurdish soldiers, men and women, died in the war against ISIS.
Correct: Some 350 actors auditioned for that movie role.

If an aspirant found the errors in B, C, D, and E but had never seen "some" used in this way, the aspirant would, I hope, take a deep breath and say,
"Self, subject/verb errors are fatal. Less for countable nouns is fatal error.
I have no idea what this 'some' word is doing, but the two undeniable errors are fixed in option A. Mark (A)."
Or, "I think that 'some' is an indefinite pronoun, indicates an unknown quantity, and should not be placed before a certain quantity; however, indefinite pronouns are slippery. I will mark (A)."

Whatever it takes. :)

COMMENTS

satya2029 , 11manish11 , and arcKnight , welcome to SC Butler. :) (And arcKnight , welcome to GMAT Club.)

As always, I am glad to see familiar posters, too.

(Just in case: if you have been watching but not posting, please, join us. )

I knew that this question would force some of you into a dilemma between four sentences with clear errors, on one hand, and another with what seems like a probable error (some) but gets the other two errors right.

Try to think strategically. We know s/v is being tested. We know fewer/less than is being tested.
And maybe we think that some/about is being tested.

So we get the choices down to A and C.
Which of these two do you know better: that subjects must agree with verbs or exactly how some works?
(Please, say the former.)

Kudos go to correct answers with good explanations.
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New post 15 Oct 2019, 06:51
A) incorrect as it uses "some". Some is incorrect usage unless we are denoting a minority.
Eliminate B for same reason

Less and fewer both are correct usage when we are comparing.

C) labor force is singular hence we cannot use "are"

E) Ends abruptly "with than 100 workers"

Hence D IS THE CORRECT ANSWER.

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New post 15 Oct 2019, 07:01
generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 178: Sentence Correction (SC1)


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In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

A) some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer

B) some 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with less

C) about 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with fewer

D) about 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies who have less

E) there are 55 percent of the labor force who are employed by companies with


I think it is D
Fewer than is clearly incorrect here so A and C gone.
Some is also incorrect so b gone.
Not sure why e is incorrect.

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New post 15 Oct 2019, 07:03
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generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 178: Sentence Correction (SC1)


For SC butler Questions Click Here


In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

A) some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer

B) some 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with less

C) about 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with fewer

D) about 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies who have less

E) there are 55 percent of the labor force who are employed by companies with


First split is between IS/ARE
- Since Labor Force is Singular, "IS" should be used with it. Therefore B, C and E are out because of using plural verbs

Second split is between Less and Fewer
Since "number of workers" is countable, FEWER should be used in place of LESS. Therefore we can cross out D also

Also "WHO" can not be used to refer to inanimate objects as "companies". Another reason to take out D.

So IMO A is the correct answer.

Thanks.
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New post 15 Oct 2019, 07:40
In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

1. some takes the verb of the noun which follows it. but labor force can be used as both singular and plural. But in this context, it is part of the greater whole. ie, 55 percent of lot of workers. so individually it is considered. so i think it should be plural .

2. fewer is the countable noun to be used for 100 workers. less
A) some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer (is wrong due to usage of labor force here as singular. it gives the meaning part of one single entity is employed. which is wrong. )


B) some 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with less (is wrong due to usage of less )


C) about 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with fewer( correct with proper usage of fewer and plural verb ( are) to labor force )

D) about 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies who have less (is wrong due to usage of labor force here as singular. it gives the meaning part of one single entity is employed. which is wrong. )


E) there are 55 percent of the labor force who are employed by companies with ( companies with 100 workers gives wrong intended meaning. so wrong)
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New post 15 Oct 2019, 08:21
No option seems correct to me.

55% of labor force = need singular verb= sentences containing "is" are ahead in race. A and D are contender.

100 workers= countable noun. Fewer is correct. A is on top.

But I couldn't understood the the use of SOME before 55% of labor force.

How some is correct here!
Explanation will be appreciated.
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New post 15 Oct 2019, 10:02
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Imo. A.

This question tests pure grammar rules, such as usage of some as subject or usage of quantitative adjective, fewer and SVA.

In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

A) some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer - Indefinite pronouns such as “some”, “any”, “none”, “all” and “most” (SANAM) may be singular or
plural depending what they refer to. Let me explain more with following examples,
- Some of the food is cold.
- Some of the vegetables are cold.
The similar rule is applied to percent. It takes a plural verb when followed by of and a plural noun, and takes a singular verb when followed by of and a singular noun. e.g. 80 percent of the cookies were eaten, but only 20 percent of the milk was drunk.
When adjectives of quantity (like much, more, little, less, lots, etc.) are used as subjects, they take a singular verb. - Dear generis, correct me if this is wrong as i read this rule somewhere long ago.
100 workers are countable nouns hence, fewer than is required rather than less, which is to be used for uncountable nouns. So, hold it.

B) some 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with less - SVA error and quantified comparative adjective error (as mentioned above).

C) about 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with fewer - SVA error.

D) about 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies who have less - Relative pronoun reference error, who is used for the human beings, so pronoun error and quantified comparative adjective error

E) there are 55 percent of the labor force who are employed by companies with[/quote] - Relative pronoun reference error and SVA error, usage of who is incorrect. Here, who refers to LF ,which is singular and the verb is plural. Subject should never be in the prepositional structure. Hence, sentence structure error.
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New post 15 Oct 2019, 10:42
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IMO the correct answer is A

In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

The split#1 is between usage of fewer & less.
Fewer generally is used when the noun is countable, whereas less is used for uncountable nouns

no. of workers here is countable, so we can ignore options ending with less

We are left with option A & C

A) some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer - SANAM pronouns - some 55 percent of the labor force is singular in this context. No error with A - CORRECT

C) about 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with fewer - SVA error - Incorrect
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New post 15 Oct 2019, 11:28
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Quote:
In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

A) some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer

B) some 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with less

C) about 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with fewer

D) about 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies who have less

E) there are 55 percent of the labor force who are employed by companies with


I guess all of the sentences have errors as highlighted and only A does a good job. A uses singular "is" for the 55 percent of the labor force and "fewer" for 100 workers.

Let's see. Looks like this is going to be an interesting one.!
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New post 15 Oct 2019, 12:04
In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

I started with eliminating D

D) about 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies who have less
In this sentence, Who refers to companies, who can be used to refer to people but not to companies... THAT is appropriate to refer to companies

E) there are 55 percent of the labor force who are employed by companies with
this is wordy, there Is no need for 'There are' 55 percent

Between Fewer/Less: If we use fewer , then we are referring to companies with fewer than 100 workers meaning companies with 97, 98, 99.
If we say Less, then the comparison is between the companies with less than 100 workers and companies with more than 100 workers. Less -> does not modify number 100 here. Based on the comparison meaning 'Less' is appropriate in the context.

Labor force -> is mostly singular but can be plural such as 55% of labor force are women. So Is/Are both are good here..

I will go with B as the answer!

A) some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer
fewer - changes the comparison meaning

B) some 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with less
less is apt at this comparison

C) about 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with fewer
fewer changes the comparison meaning
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New post 15 Oct 2019, 17:08
I appreciate the elucidation you have presented here for A to be correct.
And if I go with your rule, I understand that labor force is singular collective noun.
But 55% of collective noun sound like plural. So some of X in this context requires plural verb, in my opinion.

Today I also read one more sentence in MGMAT, 6TH EDITION BOOK, Page no. 164.
Any of these women IS a suitable candidate for marriage to my son.

Raxit85 wrote:
Imo. A.

This question tests pure grammar rules, such as usage of some as subject or usage of quantitative adjective, fewer and SVA.

In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

A) some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer - Indefinite pronouns such as “some”, “any”, “none”, “all” and “most” (SANAM) may be singular or
plural depending what they refer to. Let me explain more with following examples,
- Some of the food is cold.
- Some of the vegetables are cold.
The similar rule is applied to percent. It takes a plural verb when followed by of and a plural noun, and takes a singular verb when followed by of and a singular noun. e.g. 80 percent of the cookies were eaten, but only 20 percent of the milk was drunk.
When adjectives of quantity (like much, more, little, less, lots, etc.) are used as subjects, they take a singular verb. - Dear generis, correct me if this is wrong as i read this rule somewhere long ago.
100 workers are countable nouns hence, fewer than is required rather than less, which is to be used for uncountable nouns. So, hold it.

B) some 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with less - SVA error and quantified comparative adjective error (as mentioned above).

C) about 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with fewer - SVA error.

D) about 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies who have less - Relative pronoun reference error, who is used for the human beings, so pronoun error and quantified comparative adjective error

E) there are 55 percent of the labor force who are employed by companies with
- Relative pronoun reference error and SVA error, usage of who is incorrect. Here, who refers to LF ,which is singular and the verb is plural. Subject should never be in the prepositional structure. Hence, sentence structure error.[/quote]
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New post 15 Oct 2019, 19:03
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In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

I am not certain with is/are for 55 percent of the labor force, therefore I'm doing the split with fewer and less. Fewer should be use since the subject is a countable noun and "about" seems right to me. I am going with C

A) some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer

B) some 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with less

C) about 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with fewer

D) about 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies who have less

E) there are 55 percent of the labor force who are employed by companies with -- I think fewer/less is missing in this sentence but to make it correct it should be fewer.
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New post 15 Oct 2019, 21:06
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generis wrote:

Project SC Butler: Day 178: Sentence Correction (SC1)


For SC butler Questions Click Here


In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

A) some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer

B) some 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with less

C) about 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with fewer

D) about 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies who have less

E) there are 55 percent of the labor force who are employed by companies with


"Some 55% of the labor force" Here the subject is "the labor force"-(Singular) because in "Some 55% of the labor force" is a quantity prepositional phrase. Subject of a clause can never reside in prepositional phrase, but in quantity prepositional phrase subject can reside in prepositional phrase.
Ex- Some of the bikes are fast.
Since here "some" tells us about the quantity so the subject is "bikes"
100 workers- is a countable noun so we can not use less. Fewer is perfect.
Ex. The quantity of milk in jar A is less than that of milk in jar B.
here you can not use "FEW" since Milk is an uncountable noun.
A:)
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New post 15 Oct 2019, 21:11
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In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

A) some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer - CORRECT

B) some 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with less - workers is countable noun, so we need 'fewer' here

C) about 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with fewer - should be 'is' because the subject 55% is singular

D) about 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies who have less - same problem as B

E) there are 55 percent of the labor force who are employed by companies with - no comparison here, wrong

Thus, A is the correct answer choice
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New post 15 Oct 2019, 23:02
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This question is very interesting, and I am looking forward to reading the OE.

There three splits out of which two can be used to answer this question.
Split #1 Subject-verb agreement.

Option A: In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.
The subject of the sentence is 55 percent. I believe some modifies 55 percent. The of phrase of the labor force is key to determining whether the subject is plural or singular. Since of the labor force is singular, the subject is singular, hence the singular verb is employed is correct.
Based on this subject-verb split, we can eliminate options B, C, and E, because the verbs are plural for a singular subject, hence subject-verb disagreements.

Split #2. fewer than vs less than.
fewer than is used for countable nouns, while less than is for uncountable nouns.
What is the noun or noun phrase in contention? Workers of companies. This is a countable noun. Hence, the correct modifier required is fewer than. Based on this, option D can be eliminated.

The right answer is A in my view.
Option D.
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New post 16 Oct 2019, 06:22
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generis wrote:
In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

A) some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer
B) some 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with less
C) about 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with fewer
D) about 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies who have less
E) there are 55 percent of the labor force who are employed by companies with


MEANING: a percentage of the force is employed by comps with a similar characteristic.
What type of companies? those with a typical NUMBER of workers, thus "FEWER" (count noun)
What is employed by comps? the FORCE [singular], thus "IS" [singular]

B) "are employed" plural, "force" sing, sva; "less" uncount;
C) "are employed" plural, "force" sing, sva;
D) "less" uncount; also, "who" is used to refer to a person/people, not a company;
E) "are employed" plural, "force" sing, sva; "there are…" unintended;

Answer (A)
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New post 16 Oct 2019, 08:39
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In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

A) some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer

B) some 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with less

C) about 55 percent of the labor force are employed by companies with fewer

D) about 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies who have less

E) there are 55 percent of the labor force who are employed by companies with

A is correct

B & D are incorrect as it uses less which is used for uncountable since employees are countable fewer is appropriate

E ends abruptly with “with”

Between A and C, C uses are for singular percent, here labour force is prepositional phase and cannot be subject of the verb.

Hence A is correct

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New post 16 Oct 2019, 09:07
11manish11 wrote:
In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force is employed by companies with fewer than 100 workers.

E ends abruptly with “with”

Posted from my mobile device


Hey, I think (E) has a typo.
generis could you help?
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New post 16 Oct 2019, 10:10
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Fewer vs less...Fewer for countable nouns always. B and D are out. E anyways doesn't make sense without less/fewer

Between A and C: C has Number agreement error, by mentioning "labour force are".

Hence A is correct
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Re: In the United States, some 55 percent of the labor force   [#permalink] 16 Oct 2019, 10:10

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