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Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil

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Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 12 Sep 2018, 04:54
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A
B
C
D
E

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Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain vallyes of the north.


(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them

(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom


Verbal Question of The Day: Day 156: Sentence Correction


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Spoiler: :: Doubt
Correct answer is E. I chose D, and I don't quite understand why E is better than D.

The explanation offered says "the coordinating conjunction and gives undue emphasis to the claim that many of the people in Laos live in inaccessible places." Isn't this a fact in all answers?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Originally posted by kenli on 12 Jul 2009, 15:17.
Last edited by Bunuel on 12 Sep 2018, 04:54, edited 2 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2011, 07:18
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Shall we look at it from a different angle?
A uses a wrong relative pronoun ‘where’ to modify population – reject
B, C, D compare land area with size, rather than another area. Reject all of them in single stroke.
E is left. E compares land area to another land area with the expression ‘that of’ – right choice
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QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 17:07
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This is one of those classic GMAT comparison questions that forces you to be mind-numbingly literal about what, exactly, is being compared. We also covered this in our YouTube webinar on comparisons, so head here if you prefer your explanations in video form.

Quote:
(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many

Literally, (A) is saying that the land area of Laos is the same as the country of Great Britain itself. That’s not cool.

Plus, the modifier beginning with “where” doesn’t make sense: “… four million in population, where many are members of a hill tribe…” Huh? “Where” needs to modify a location of some sort, and the population of Laos isn’t a place. (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many

It’s harder to pin down exactly why the comparison in (B) is logically wrong, but it’s clearly a mess. It’s comparing the land area of Laos to the size of Great Britain, and that’s not totally crazy… but then what the heck is “is” doing there? I guess I could live with something like “Laos is the same size as Great Britain is”, because we’d be comparing two verb phrases. But “Laos has a land area of about the same size as Great Britain is”? I can’t make sense of that.

Plus, the last part of the underlined portion isn’t great. What is “many” referring to, exactly? There’s no actual mention of people here – and I’m really not sure that “many” can operate by itself as a pronoun, anyway.

If you wanted to be really, really conservative, you could hang onto (B) for a moment, but we’ll have better options in a moment.

Quote:
(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them

The first part of the comparison isn’t illogical, but it’s wordy AF: “Laos has a land area that is about the same size as Great Britain’s land area.” Really, is that necessary? It’s not WRONG, and I wouldn’t eliminate it right away. But the version in (E) is much more succinct.

Here’s (arguably) the bigger problem: the second part of the underlined portion gently warps the meaning of the sentence. The “but” indicates some sort of contrast, but the contrast doesn’t make a ton of sense in (C). The sentence is trying to say that Laos is the same size as Great Britain, BUT that Laos has a much smaller population; the fact that much of the population lives in hill tribes is just extra, incidental information.

But if we strip down (C), the contrast surrounding the “but” doesn’t really work. I’ll strip out some stuff for clarity, and we’re left with something like this: “Laos… is about the same size as Great Britain…, but in Laos [modifier blah blah] many of them are members of hill tribes…” Nope, that’s not the part that deserves a “but.”

For that reason, (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many

Again, the comparison isn’t ideal: we’re comparing the “land area” of Laos to the “size of Great Britain.” That’s not great, especially when we compare it with (E). Plus, we still have that funny problem with the word “many.” It’s trying to act like a pronoun, and I’m not sure that “many” can stand alone as a pronoun – and “people” aren’t even mentioned here, so it’s not clear what “many” would refer to, exactly.

(D) doesn’t look great, so I hope we like (E).


Quote:
(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom

Yup, I think (E) is OK. “That” refers to “land area”, and that’s perfect: “Laos has a land area comparable to the land area of Great Britain…” Makes sense. The “but” makes sense now, too: we’re contrasting the fact that Laos is as large as Great Britain with the fact that the population is tiny. And now it’s clear whom we’re talking about: “… four million people, many of whom are members…” Cool, now we know that “many of whom” refers back to people in Laos.

So (E) is the best we can do.
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Re: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Feb 2013, 23:14
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"Land area" can mean two different things. It can mean the acreage, i.e. the number of acres, as in One MIT study claims that, in some U.S. cities, parking lots cover more than a third of the land area. It can also mean just some territory, not its size, as in Thunderstorms are well-monitored over land areas, where radar can keep an eye on their sometimes- quick development.

B and C mention the size of the land area; thus, they assume the second interpretation above. C then proceeds to use the expression "land area" in the first sense, i.e. size. Thus, C compares the size of one land area with another land area, which seems unnecessarily complicated. Now, B is more logical, yet B changes the meaning of the sentence! We can also say that the United States has a land area of about the same size as the entire Great Britain; for example, the State of Texas would qualify. A suggests that many people in Great Britain are members of hill tribes.

In D the non-idiomatic "but only four million in population" is offset by commas, which suggests that "many are members..." should make sense with the first part of the sentence: "Laos has a land area comparable to the size of Great Britain, and many are members..." Even if we rewrite the sentence to say "Laos has four million citizens, and many are members...", this still doesn't quite sound right because it is not specified, many of whom or of what. It would be better to say "Laos has four million citizens, many of whom are members..."

Basically, we are left with E. Note that "...to that of Great Britain..." makes it clear, in which sense the words "land area" are used. In this context Great Britain has one, the land area, which is a number, rather than a piece of land. The logic of the sentence still escapes me. I understand that Laos is sparsely populated, but why this detail about hill tribes? Is it saying that the mountain valleys are densely populated, thus even further lowering the population density at the accessible part of Laos?
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Re: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2009, 23:35
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Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain vallyes of the north.
D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many
E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom

IMO :
- in E, many of whom is correctly referring to a group from 'population of 4 million people',

- 'many of whom' introduces subordinate/dependent clause. which is correct/in sync with the structure.

in D
- I didn't like the comparison of land area of X to Size of Y. Opinions?
- 'and many' introduces independent clause which doesn't seem to be parallel with the structure
Country C has X but (has implicit) Y, and (has doesn't go well here) z are ...


rashminet84 wrote:
The sentence begins as "Laos has........"

So it should be "laos has X and Y"

"Laos has ..... only four million in population..." If you eliminate the land area portion, you get this structure, which is wrong. E has it correctly as : "Laos has land and but a population of only ...."


I am confused whether "Country Y has only x million in population" is correct or not.
It seems fine to me!!
Opinions?
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Re: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2013, 00:26
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Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain vallyes of the north.
A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many. Comparing land area with Great Britain
B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many. Comparing land area with Great Britain
C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them. After "But" prepositional phrase which is not parallel to preceding part of the sentence
D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many. Comparing land area with size ofGreat Britain
E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom. correct
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Re: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2013, 13:30
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A and B incorrectly compare the land area to Great Britain. Eliminate A and B. The SC must compare apples to apples: it must compare either the two countries themselves (Laos and Britain) or the land area of one country to the land area of the other country.

D incorrectly compares land area to the size. Eliminate D.

C states that Laos has a land area...but many of them are members, incorrectly drawing a contrast between Laos (the country) and many (the people).

The correct answer is E.

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Re: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2013, 07:17
1
I am having trouble understanding the structure of the statement. With the correct answer choice plugged in, the question stem reads - Laos has a land area comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom are members of hill tribes.

Here is my analysis:

The clauses found in this sentence are:

Laos has a land area

that is comparable to that of Great Britain but

a population of only 4 million

many of whom are members of hill tribes

In the 'a population of only 4 million' clause, I dont see a verb explicitly mentioned in this clause. Is ellipses playing a role here? Can the verb 'has' from the previous clause be applied here? Is this statement similar to the sentence 'He is young but mature.'?
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Re: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2013, 09:44
Yes, "has" is in ellipsis.

Laos has a land area comparable to that of Great Britain but (has) a population of only four million people, many of whom are members of hill tribes.
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Re: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2013, 23:12
1
(Responding to your message)
@ abm03 & @ gmatter0913 - you are absolutely correct here.

Yes. There is ellipsis in this sentence. Let me present you the sentence structure analysis.
• Laos has
o a land area comparable to that of Great Britain
o but a population of only four million people,
• many of whom are members of hill tribes.

The sentence is essentially same as saying “Laos has a land area comparable to that of Great Britain but has a population of only four million people.”
Yes. As you have rightly identified, this sentence is similar to the following sentences
• He is young but mature.
• He is tall but weak

Hope this helps!
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New post 11 Nov 2013, 23:59
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Hi EGMAT!

Can you please help me with answer d ? Why exactly is e right and d wrong??

Thanks!!
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Re: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2014, 02:37
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dp26389 wrote:
Hi EGMAT!

Can you please help me with answer d ? Why exactly is e right and d wrong??

Thanks!!




Hi dp26389,
Thank you for the query. :)


Let’s first take a look at option D:

Laos has a land area comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population,
• and many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.

ERRORS

1. This sentence illogically compares “a land area” to “the size of Great Britain”. As we know, the compared entities should be logically as well as grammatically parallel. So, we need to compare “land area” of one country to “land area” of another country.
2. The fact that most of the population of Laos lives in mountain valleys is mentioned as a modifier in the original sentence, and the main point of the sentence is to convey the contrast between the land sizes and populations of two countries. However, by using “comma + and” to connect the two clauses, this sentence makes the second clause “many are….” an independent clause, and hence attaches an undue importance to this fact.
3. This sentence has a fragment. Note that Comma + but indicates presence of an independent clause. However, 'but only four million in population' does not have the subject – verb pair. Ideally there should not be any comma prior to “but” for it to be grammatically correct sentence.
4. It's not clear what "many" refers to.


Now, let’s take a look at option E:

Laos has a land area comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people,
o many of whom are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.

1. This choice has correct idiom comparing “the land area” of Laos to “that (= land area) of Great Britain”.
2. “a population of only four million” is parallel to “a land…”. Notice that “has” is understood before “a population…” to avoid repetition.
3. Relative pronoun “whom” is correct to refer to “people”.

Hope this helps! :)
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Re: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2014, 03:17
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This is the way I looked at it:

Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain vallyes of the north.
A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many (should refer to people, so cannot use where)
B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many (repeats the original error - 'and many are members' cannot refer to the population)
C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them (cannot have an independent clause)
D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many (repeats the error)
E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom (correct - the pronoun clearly refers to the people)
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Re: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2015, 09:27
Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain vallyes of the north.
A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many
B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many
C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them
D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many
E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom

CHOICE A:
Incorrect:
The sentence has a few errors .“The land area of Laos” has been compared to “Great Britain”. These entities are logically not parallel to each other

CHOICE B:
Incorrect:
Verb “is” after “Great Britain” makes the comparison incorrect. Here, “land area” of Laos is compared to the “size of Great Britain” itself, and not its land size.
Also prepositional phrase “in Laos there is” makes the choice way too wordy.

CHOICE C
Incorrect:
This choice attaches undue importance to the fact that most of the population of Laos lives in mountain valleys. But actually, the sentence intends to establish the contrast that although Laos is as big as Great Britain, its population is just four million. Now, where the majority of this population lives is irrelevant to the contrast. This choice subdues the contrast and focuses on the location of the residents of Laos which is irrelevant.

CHOICE D
Incorrect:
Again, “the land area” of Laos is compared to “the size of Great Britain”.
Again “only four million…” is not parallel to “a land size…”.
This choice also attaches an undue importance to the fact that most the population of Laos lives in mountain valleys.

CHOICE E
Correct:
This choice has correct idiom comparing “the land area” of Laos to “that (= land area) of Great Britain”.
“a population of only four million” is parallel to “a land…”. Notice that “has” is understood before “a population…” to avoid repetition.
Relative pronoun “whom” is correct to refer to “people”.
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Re: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2016, 03:22
anilnandyala wrote:
Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain vallyes of the north.



Comparison: Area of Laos and area of GB is compared.
Contrast: BUT is used to show the contrast that AREA is same but population only 4 million. many of these are member of hill tribes.


A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many
Mistake:1- wrong comparison: AREA compared with country-- "Area about same as GB."
Mistake:2- where refers to a place. so if we replace where with LAOS then meaning is completely destroyed.

B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many
Mistake:1 "GB is". here 'is' is not required.
Mistake:2 'and many' is incorrect. many of whom or many of these is proper use here.
Mistake:3 on the gorunds of brevity this sentence would fail completely. "LAOS HAS...... BUT IN LAOS there is A population.." Improper construction .

C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them
Mistake1: wrong use of possessive pronoun here. we dont require 'land area' after GB's.
Mistake2: same as mistake3 of choice B.

D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many
Mistake1: same as mistake2 of choice B.
Mistake2: Area comparable to the size of GB. this is not correct. because we dont know the dimension of size here. is it length, width OF AREA. so wrong comparison here again.

E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom correct.
1. GMAT likes this construction for comparison :"AREA comparable to that of GB". because this is clear, error free and concise.
2. many of whom referes of four million people. correct.
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Re: QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 12:09
2
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Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain vallyes of the north.

(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many -1. where is wrongly used // 2. wrong comparison between land are and Great Britain

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many -wrong comparison between land area and Great Britain

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them -This is a fragment (Laos with ....)

(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many -1. unclear comparison between land area and size of Great Britain // 2. change in meaning by the use of second "and"

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom -Correct
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Re: QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2017, 10:09
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Let's not bother to look at the main statement but concentrate the choices and try to eliminate the four wrong choices

(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many --- Where cannot refer to a population -- wrong

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos, there is a population of only four million, and many ---Four million of what? A population can refer to any of the inhabitants of an area such as the tiger's population in India or the wild boar's population in the prairies of the US and so on. It is essential to denote explicitly what the population stands for. ---wrong.
2. a land area of A is being compared to what a country B is -- wrong

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them-- Whenever 'as' is used in comparisons, the comparison can happen only between two verbed entities. --- wrong

(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many--same comparison error of 'as' found in C =wrong

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom --- We have already removed the four potential errors ; the fifth one must be the correct one. However, for the sake of satisfaction, one can note that choice E has effectively removed all the errors noted in the other four choices and is error-free. --Correct choice.

Whether missing the comma before 'but' is proper? The right way to parse choice E is:
Laos has (a land area comparable to that of Great Britain) but (a population of only four million people) - It may be seen that 'but' is a coordinate conjunction involving only two nouns and therefore does not require the use of a comma. A comma is used before a fanboys conjunction only when a new verbed clause involving a subject and verb is started. You cannot even expect the comma to be there when the subject is missing but a verb only exists. In this case, both the subject and the verb are missing after the 'but' hence a comma is not required. For the sake of the record, is there any official instance wherein a comma is used before coordinate conjunctions such as but' or 'and' without an accompanying clause?
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Re: QOTD: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Dec 2017, 07:15
daagh wrote:
Let's not bother to look at the main statement but concentrate the choices and try to eliminate the four wrong choices

(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many --- Where cannot refer to a population -- wrong

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos, there is a population of only four million, and many ---Four million of what? A population can refer to any of the inhabitants of an area such as the tiger's population in India or the wild boar's population in the prairies of the US and so on. It is essential to denote explicitly what the population stands for. ---wrong.
2. a land area of A is being compared to what a country B is -- wrong

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them-- Whenever 'as' is used in comparisons, the comparison can happen only between two verbed entities. --- wrong

(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many--same comparison error of 'as' found in C =wrong

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom --- We have already removed the four potential errors ; the fifth one must be the correct one. However, for the sake of satisfaction, one can note that choice E has effectively removed all the errors noted in the other four choices and is error-free. --Correct choice.

Whether missing the comma before 'but' is proper? The right way to parse choice E is:
Laos has (a land area comparable to that of Great Britain) but (a population of only four million people) - It may be seen that 'but' is a coordinate conjunction involving only two nouns and therefore does not require the use of a comma. A comma is used before a fanboys conjunction only when a new verbed clause involving a subject and verb is started. You cannot even expect the comma to be there when the subject is missing but a verb only exists. In this case, both the subject and the verb are missing after the 'but' hence a comma is not required. For the sake of the record, is there any official instance wherein a comma is used before coordinate conjunctions such as but' or 'and' without an accompanying clause?

I have question regarding usage of 'as' in Option C.Use of 'as' without a verb/phrase is of a role player . eg: as a doctor
So, in that way : as Great Britain's land area
Is it incorrect for comparison ?
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Re: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2018, 01:07
Option E is -
Laos has a land area comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain vallyes of the north.
My doubt is about the many of whom are ...
Isn't it a run on sentence. Shouldn't there be any connector between first sentence and other one.
Or many of whom is an absolute phrase.

Obviously, there is a gap in my understanding.
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Re: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2018, 08:38
nikhilbhide wrote:
Option E is -
Laos has a land area comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain vallyes of the north.
My doubt is about the many of whom are ...
Isn't it a run on sentence. Shouldn't there be any connector between first sentence and other one.
Or many of whom is an absolute phrase.

Hi nikhilbhide, a run-on sentence is when two Independent clauses are connected by a comma.

In this sentence, many of whom are members.... is a relative clause (relative clauses are dependent clauses, not Independent clauses). Hence, this is not a run-on sentence.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses run-on sentences, gtheir application and examples in significant detail. If someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four mil &nbs [#permalink] 03 Mar 2018, 08:38

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