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# Just forty years ago, the idea of any planets outside our Solar System

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SC Moderator
Joined: 23 Sep 2015
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Just forty years ago, the idea of any planets outside our Solar System  [#permalink]

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13 Sep 2018, 18:27
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Difficulty:

15% (low)

Question Stats:

80% (00:52) correct 20% (01:17) wrong based on 83 sessions

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Just forty years ago, the idea of any planets outside our Solar System was purely speculative, but by now astrophysicists have confirmed the discovery of over 3000 exoplanets throughout the galaxy, although much less of these fall in the “habitable zone,” where Life is thought to be possible.

A. much less of these fall
B. much less of these had fallen
C. many less of these fall
D. many fewer of these fall
E. many fewer of these had fallen

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Simple strategy:
“Once you’ve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

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My Notes:
Reading comprehension | Critical Reasoning | Absolute Phrases | Subjunctive Mood
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Re: Just forty years ago, the idea of any planets outside our Solar System  [#permalink]

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13 Sep 2018, 18:51
aragonn wrote:
Just forty years ago, the idea of any planets outside our Solar System was purely speculative, but by now astrophysicists have confirmed the discovery of over 3000 exoplanets throughout the galaxy, although much less of these fall in the “habitable zone,” where Life is thought to be possible.

A. much less of these fall
B. much less of these had fallen
C. many less of these fall
D. many fewer of these fall
E. many fewer of these had fallen

+1 for D

A. much less of these fall
B. much less of these had fallen
C. many less of these fall
D. many fewer of these fall --> Planets are countable. Hence, fewer should be used
E. many fewer of these had fallen
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Posts: 1746
Re: Just forty years ago, the idea of any planets outside our Solar System  [#permalink]

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14 Sep 2018, 19:43

Official Explanation:

Split #1: countable vs. uncountable

Countable items (people, cars, days, ideas, etc.) are items for which we would say “how many?” Uncountable items (water, air, time, space, etc.) are items for which we say “how much?” When the number or amount is decreasing, we still stick with the “many”/”much” split; for uncountable items we use “less” and “much less”; for countable items, we use “fewer” and “many fewer.”

These latter constructions may sound unfamiliar to native English speakers, because this is one of the most misused diction rules in colloquial American English.

Planets and exoplanets are countable, so we need the construction “many fewer.” The constructions “much less” and “many less” are incorrect, so choices (A) & (B) & (C) are all incorrect.

Split #2: verb tense

The context reports current scientific facts, so the present tense is the appropriate verb. The past perfect “had fallen” is completely inappropriate here. Choices (B) & (E) are incorrect.

The only possible choice is (D).
_________________
Thanks!
Do give some kudos.

Simple strategy:
“Once you’ve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

GMAT Ninja YouTube! Series 1| GMAT Ninja YouTube! Series 2 | How to Improve GMAT Quant from Q49 to a Perfect Q51 | Time management

My Notes:
Reading comprehension | Critical Reasoning | Absolute Phrases | Subjunctive Mood
Re: Just forty years ago, the idea of any planets outside our Solar System   [#permalink] 14 Sep 2018, 19:43
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