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Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th

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Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and they occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.


(A) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and they occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

(B) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos, surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

(C) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, the Malay peninsula and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo are where fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive.

(D) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

(E) Surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, less than 400 Sumatran rhinos occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.


Verbal Question of The Day: Day 258: Sentence Correction


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https://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/14/science/genetic-differences-in-rhinos-complicate-conservation-effort.html

Fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, occupying a small fraction of the species' former range, the International Rhino Foundation says. It is the remnant Borneo population, numbering about 70 animals, that particularly concerns scientists at Columbia University. They report in the February issue of the journal Conservation Biology that DNA studies clearly distinguish the rhinos on Borneo from other members of the species, indicating that they have been isolated for thousands of years.

Originally posted by nycgirl212 on 04 Jun 2016, 12:36.
Last edited by Bunuel on 01 Nov 2018, 03:36, edited 2 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2018, 02:57
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Quote:
(A) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and they occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

This sounds perfectly fine to me… but it’s wrong, unfortunately. Whenever “less” is used to modify a noun, that noun must be non-countable. And you can definitely count rhinos, so it’s wrong to say “less than 400 Sumatran rhinos.”

So (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos, surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

(B) has exactly the same error as (A): “less” can only modify a non-countable noun, and “Sumatran rhinos” are still countable.

For whatever it’s worth, I’m also not sure that I understand why “surviving on the Malay peninsula…” has been turned into a modifier. That phrase makes more sense as part of the main clause, as it is in (A).

But even if you don’t agree with me on that, the “less… rhinos” thing is definitely a problem. (B) is gone.

Quote:
(C) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, the Malay peninsula and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo are where fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive.

Ha ha, this is literally saying that “the Malay peninsula and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo” literally occupy “a small fraction of the species’ former range." And that makes no sense -- how could a peninsula occupy the rhinos' range? (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please read this article about “-ing” modifiers.)

More generally, the construction of this sentence hides the most important part of the sentence. We have no idea that the sentence is about Sumatran rhinos until the last few words. That’s not cool.

So we have plenty of reasons to ditch (C).

Quote:
(D) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

This looks better! “Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range” correctly modifies the following clause: “fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive…” That works, especially since the countable modifier “fewer” correctly modifies “rhinos.”

So let’s keep (D).

Quote:
(E) Surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, less than 400 Sumatran rhinos occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

This isn’t terrible, except for that little modifier again: “less than 400 Sumatran rhinos” doesn’t work, since “less” can only modify non-countable nouns, and rhinos are clearly countable. (And large. I have a friend in Namibia who was tossed by one. He flew about 15 feet in the air, and lived to tell the tale. Tough dude.)

Anyway, (E) is gone, and (D) is our winner.
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2016, 18:15
fewer and less is the point

but the new lession is that

in the pattern
comma+doing+ main clause

the action presented by doing and by main verb can be interchangeble.

is that right?
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2016, 19:00
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nycgirl212 wrote:
Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2016
Practice Question
Question No.:73
Page: 261
Difficulty:


Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and they occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

A) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and they occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

B) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos, surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

C) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, the Malay peninsula and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo are where fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive.

D) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

E) Surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, less than 400 Sumatran rhinos occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.


1)The first split is LESS vs FEW..
since he # of rhinos is countable, FEW is correct here...... ONLY C and D are left..

2)In C, the phrase -Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range- is wrongly modifying regions/Areas Malay and Sumatra, whereas it should modify Rhinos.
D is corret answer
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2016, 03:21
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thangvietnam wrote:
fewer and less is the point

but the new lession is that

in the pattern
comma+doing+ main clause

the action presented by doing and by main verb can be interchangeble.

is that right?


In option B meaning of the sentence changes.
Usage of verb-ing modifier surviving on… conveys that there are certain number of Sumatran rhinos that survive in the mentioned peninsula and islands and that these rhinos occupy a small portion of their original range. This opens up the possibility that these Rhinos could be elsewhere too. However, the original sentence intends to convey that the Sumatran Rhinos exist only in the mentioned places and not anywhere else.
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2016, 03:41
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Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and they occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

A) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and they occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.
Less than is wrong here, as 400 Sumatran rhinos are mentioned which means the rhinos are countable. Also, notice what does 'they' refer to?

B) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos, surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range. Same mistake as A i.e. Less than

C) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, the Malay peninsula and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo are where fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive.
Though fewer than is correct in this sentence, but, as per the Comma Subject rule, after the first comma, Rhinos should be mentioned not the Malay peninsula and the islands of Sumatra

D) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.
Usage of 'fewer than' is correct and as you can notice, the comma subject rule is also in place for this sentence structure

E) Surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, less than 400 Sumatran rhinos occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.
Less than is again wrong over here.
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2017, 08:29
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Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and they occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

Issue: Modifier

Analysis:
1. First split to notice in options is "Less than" vs "Fewer than". Since, "rhinos" are countable we need to use "Fewer than" (eliminate A, B and E)
2. "Occupying a small fraction.." should modify "rhinos" to make sensible sentence. "Rhinos" are the main subject of the sentence who are occupying the fraction of range. (eliminate C)


A) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and they occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

B) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos, surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

C) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, the Malay peninsula and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo are where fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive.

D) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

E) Surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, less than 400 Sumatran rhinos occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

Answer: (D)

PS: There might be other errors in the incorrect options that I have not mentioned here.
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2018, 05:34
IMO C

A. " They " is ambiguous. 2 plural nouns - rhinos and islands.
B. Change of meaning - rhinos are occupying the species.
C. Correct.
D. Modifier error. The modified noun " islands " is far from the modifier.
E.change of meaning - rhinos occupy species

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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2018, 07:39
IMO D

A -- Usage of less with countable noun.
B --Usage of less with countable noun.
C-- Distorts meaning
E-- Usage of less with countable noun.
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2018, 07:48
IMO will be D, its parallel and using "fewer" instead of "less"
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2018, 06:19
IMO D. fewer should be used for number of rhinos. C has modifier errors.
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 21 May 2018, 01:23
So is the modifier at the beginning of the sentence would read - Occupying a small fraction of the species then can be continuing sentence be the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo?? I first marked option c as the answer then got to know that the range is in the places that follow the modifier which is incorrect .
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2018, 22:17
HI mikemcgarry, GMATNinja , GMATGuruNY

Quote:
For whatever it’s worth, I’m also not sure that I understand why “surviving on the Malay peninsula…” has been turned into a modifier. That phrase makes more sense as part of the main clause, as it is in (A).


Can you please explain a bit about the verb -ing (surviving on the Malay peninsula) present here?
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2018, 02:02
Split: Fewer / less.
Fewer is used for countable nouns.
Less is used with uncountable nouns.

What is counted here?
400 Sumatran rhinos. As rhinos are countable, we should use fewer here.
This eliminates A, B, E.

Between C and D, there is a modifier issue.
"Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range" - who / what?
The answer is rhinos. So, rhinos should precede the clause.
This eliminates C.
The correct answer is D.
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2018, 03:21
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NandishSS wrote:
Can you please explain a bit about the verb -ing (surviving on the Malay peninsula) present here?

In B and E, surviving serves to modify rhinos occupy, implying that act of SURVIVING is HOW the rhinos OCCUPY a small fraction of the species' former range.
This meaning is illogical.
Eliminate B and E.
In the OA, occupying serves to modify rhinos survive, implying that the act of OCCUPYING a small fraction of the species' former range is HOW the rhinos SURVIVE.
This meaning is logical.
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2018, 22:03
Please explain me the meaning of first sentence....i.e what does species former range means?
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 22 Oct 2018, 02:05
Bishal123456789 wrote:
Please explain me the meaning of first sentence....i.e what does species former range means?


In this context:
range = the area occupied by a species.
Consider the following case.

Former range:
The rhinos used to live on a parcel of land with an area of 1000 square miles.
Current range:
The rhinos now live on a parcel of land with an area of 100 square miles.
Since 100/1000 = 1/10, the rhinos now occupy a small fraction -- 1/10 -- of the species' former range.
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Originally posted by GMATGuruNY on 17 Jul 2018, 03:32.
Last edited by GMATGuruNY on 22 Oct 2018, 02:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2018, 04:48
Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and they occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

(A) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and they occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

(B) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos, surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

(C) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, the Malay peninsula and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo are where fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive.

(D) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. --> correct

(E) Surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, less than 400 Sumatran rhinos occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2018, 00:52
Quote:
Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and they occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

(A) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and they occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.
(B) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos, surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.
(C) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, the Malay peninsula and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo are where fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive.
(D) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.
(E) Surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, less than 400 Sumatran rhinos occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.


GMATNinja has explained each choice wonderfully.
I would like to add one more reason to eliminate the options now. It will make more sense.

Focus on the meaning the author wants to convey -
The author is mainly trying to tell or stress on the low rhino numbers in XYZ place. He is saying how we have fewer rhinos surviving.

Hence IMHO we need the above in the main clause rather than just in a modifier.
Considering this, try reading the options.

Option B is more or less stressing on less than 400 rhinos living in smaller area. It is not conveying the main point and the impact is missing.

Option C - we do not even know wtf is happening in this option. Misses the main point and the modifier literally is modifying the peninsula and islands.

Option D - Notice how this perfectly focuses on the main point? It tells us how we have fewer rhinos in XYZ place. It is not in a modifier. It perfectly captures the main point.

Option E - here too the emphasis is on the rhinos living in the smaller area. Similar to option B.



GMATNinja Do u agree with the above?
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2018, 06:00
(A) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and they occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

(B) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos, surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

(C) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, the Malay peninsula and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo are where fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive.

(D) Occupying a small fraction of the species’ former range, fewer than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

(E) Surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, less than 400 Sumatran rhinos occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th &nbs [#permalink] 11 Nov 2018, 06:00
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