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# Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-

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Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-  [#permalink]

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24 Sep 2013, 11:48
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64% (01:13) correct 36% (01:26) wrong based on 724 sessions

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Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-for-measure comparison is sobering: a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% of a latte.

1. a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% of a latte
2. a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% of what a latte does
3. a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% as compared to a latte
4. the cost of a coffee cup of gas is roughly 10% of a latte
5. the cost of a coffee cup of gas is roughly 10% as compared to a latte

Can any Expert Explain this?

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Re: Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-  [#permalink]

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25 Sep 2013, 10:47
2
6
honchos wrote:
Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-for-measure comparison is sobering: a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% of a latte.

1. a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% of a latte
2. a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% what a latte does
3. a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% as compared to a latte
4. the cost of a coffee cup of gas is roughly 10% of a latte
5. the cost of a coffee cup of gas is roughly 10% as compared to a latte

Can any Expert Explain this?

Dear honchos,
Because of your p.m., I will respond, even though there already are some excellent responses above. BTW, the choices in a high quality GMAT SC should be (A) - (E), not (1) - (5).

Whether the beginning is "a cup of coffees costs" or "the cost of a cup of coffee is", what follows must be a price. For example, both of the following would be grammatically & logically correct.
(i) A cup of coffees costs \$5.00.
(ii) The cost of a cup of coffee is \$5.00.
Of course, in this sentence, we are not given a dollar amount --- what the sentence is trying to say is that the price is 1/10 of the price of a latte. Once I saw that the beginning of the sentence required a price at the end, I just scanned the endings looking for something that constitutes a legitimate dollar-amount price
(A) & (D) ..... 10% of a latte --- that's a quantity of liquid, not a price
(B) ..... what a latte does ---- here, the "substitute verb" "does" stands in for the verb at the beginning of the sentence, "costs", and "what a latte costs" is a legitimate dollar-amount price. This works. Incidentally, on this grammatical structure, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/repeating- ... -the-gmat/
In (C) & (E), the "as compared to a latte" structure is problematic. We could logically say "As compared to a latte, a coffee cup of gasoline is more/less". The structure "10% as compared to ..." is particular ambiguous ---- 10% more? less? of? This structure is a grammatical and logical trainwreck, so these two answers are incorrect.

The only answer that works is (B).

I really like this question. It is a high quality question with a clear right answer and good tempting wrong answers. It's not the first time that I have been impressed with a Veritas question.

BTW, re: the content --- I remember seeing an email, about a decade ago --- "Do you think the price of gas is high?" ---- then they listed a number of other common liquids ---- juice, salad dressing, Starbucks, beer, wine, etc., typical prices in units of cost/gallon, and they were all more than the price of gas; the topper of the list was some Britney Spears perfume that cost something like \$80/ounce, so its price per gallon was well over \$1000!!

Mike
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Magoosh Test Prep

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##### General Discussion
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Re: Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-  [#permalink]

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24 Sep 2013, 18:13
"a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% of a latte"

"does" is required at the end for parallel and right comparison.

Only B has it.
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Re: Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-  [#permalink]

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24 Sep 2013, 19:04
2
This is tricky because we so often use the collocation percent of:

(1) Ten percent of the electorate are total morons.
(2) China bought five percent of the Ukraine yesterday.

However, we need to ignore this collocation and look at the grammar of the sentence. It's asking is to correct a sentence that compares two quantities using the pattern verb + number + what + noun + do. As in:
(3) She earns ten times what I do.
(4) He eats twice as much as I do but still stays skinny!

honchos wrote:
Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-for-measure comparison is sobering: a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% of a latte.

1. a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% of a latteThis has the meaning that you pay for the cup of gas with ~10% of your latte. Wrong.
2. a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% what a latte does
3. a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% as compared to a latte Again, 10% of what?
4. the cost of a coffee cup of gas is roughly 10% of a latte This sentence means that to buy a coffee cup of gas, you pay with ~10% of a latte. I think it would be right if it said roughly 10% that of a latte.
5. the cost of a coffee cup of gas is roughly 10% as compared to a latte"is roughly ten percent" doesn't work because it doesn't say 10% of what.

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Re: Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-  [#permalink]

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24 Sep 2013, 20:09
3
Statements that are compared need to be logically parallel. When you say, " a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% of a latte" it sounds like you're comparing the gas 'cost' to a 'latte'. But you want to compare gas 'cost' to coffee 'cost'

So you require the 'does' at the end to refer back to the cost
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Re: Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-  [#permalink]

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24 Sep 2013, 21:37
The best way to approach is to do it by Split approach, based on 2-3 split we should be able to remove few answer choices. Doing so will make the solutions here more organized and future readers will benefit from it, Like in quant threads Bunuel is so systematic and precise that he gives the best answer choice here.

This is the best way to approach GMAT, However in these threads I have noticed that most of the time, answers are approached first and elimination is not paid attention. I have solved this question correctly, But I posted as it was new question so that other can get benefit.
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Re: Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-  [#permalink]

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11 Nov 2013, 10:09
Here is the official explanation from Veritas

answer B is the only answer choice that results in a logical comparison. It may be easier to understand the logic of this structure if you think of replacing "roughly 10% what" with "less than" or "one-tenth as much as" or some other phrase that uses the more typical language of comparisons. Considering "[a coffee cup of gas costs] less than [a latte does]," we can detect the balance--a complete clause on either side of the fulcrum "less than." (A) and (D): The comparison is illogical because "10% of a latte" is 1.2, 1.6, or 2.0 ounces (depending on whether you swing tall, grande, or venti!), and none of these measurements could be a cost. (C) and (E): "As compared to" is a bit wordy, and moreover, these phrasings raise and never answer the question "10% of what?".
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Re: Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-  [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2014, 12:57
Is there a typo in the option B?

Shouldn't it read as ".........10% OF what a latte does" ?

Thanks
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Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4489
Re: Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-  [#permalink]

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07 Apr 2014, 14:35
virinchiwiwo wrote:
Is there a typo in the option B?

Shouldn't it read as ".........10% OF what a latte does" ?

Thanks

Dear virinchiwiwo,
Yes, good eye. I corrected the typo.
Mike
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Re: Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-  [#permalink]

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09 Nov 2017, 22:12
mikemcgarry wrote:
honchos wrote:
Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-for-measure comparison is sobering: a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% of a latte.

1. a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% of a latte
2. a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% what a latte does
3. a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% as compared to a latte
4. the cost of a coffee cup of gas is roughly 10% of a latte
5. the cost of a coffee cup of gas is roughly 10% as compared to a latte

Can any Expert Explain this?

Dear honchos,
Because of your p.m., I will respond, even though there already are some excellent responses above. BTW, the choices in a high quality GMAT SC should be (A) - (E), not (1) - (5).

Whether the beginning is "a cup of coffees costs" or "the cost of a cup of coffee is", what follows must be a price. For example, both of the following would be grammatically & logically correct.
(i) A cup of coffees costs \$5.00.
(ii) The cost of a cup of coffee is \$5.00.
Of course, in this sentence, we are not given a dollar amount --- what the sentence is trying to say is that the price is 1/10 of the price of a latte. Once I saw that the beginning of the sentence required a price at the end, I just scanned the endings looking for something that constitutes a legitimate dollar-amount price
(A) & (D) ..... 10% of a latte --- that's a quantity of liquid, not a price
(B) ..... what a latte does ---- here, the "substitute verb" "does" stands in for the verb at the beginning of the sentence, "costs", and "what a latte costs" is a legitimate dollar-amount price. This works. Incidentally, on this grammatical structure, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/repeating- ... -the-gmat/
In (C) & (E), the "as compared to a latte" structure is problematic. We could logically say "As compared to a latte, a coffee cup of gasoline is more/less". The structure "10% as compared to ..." is particular ambiguous ---- 10% more? less? of? This structure is a grammatical and logical trainwreck, so these two answers are incorrect.

The only answer that works is (B).

I really like this question. It is a high quality question with a clear right answer and good tempting wrong answers. It's not the first time that I have been impressed with a Veritas question.

BTW, re: the content --- I remember seeing an email, about a decade ago --- "Do you think the price of gas is high?" ---- then they listed a number of other common liquids ---- juice, salad dressing, Starbucks, beer, wine, etc., typical prices in units of cost/gallon, and they were all more than the price of gas; the topper of the list was some Britney Spears perfume that cost something like \$80/ounce, so its price per gallon was well over \$1000!!

Mike

----------------------------------------------------

Mike sir,

a cup of : Does it not necessary?

Now we compare,
a cup of gas costs // a cup of latte costs

But I can`t find 'a cup' part at the right side.

mikemcgarry
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4489
Re: Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-  [#permalink]

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10 Nov 2017, 11:33
1
bluetrain wrote:
Mike sir,

a cup of : Does it not necessary?

Now we compare,
a cup of gas costs // a cup of latte costs

But I can`t find 'a cup' part at the right side.

mikemcgarry

Dear bluetrain,

I'm happy to respond.

First of all, my friend, I going to correct your grammar. You wrote:
Does it not necessary?
This should be
Is it not necessary?
That's a very formal phrasing. A more casual way to ask this would be:
Isn't it necessary?
You see the factual sentences would involve the verb "is":
P is necessary.
Q is not necessary.

Because we use "is" in the factual statement, we would have to use that same verb in the question.

Now, as to your question: this is a subtle issue that often confuses non-native speakers. It's perfectly true that the sentence is comparing "a cup of latte" to "a cup of gasoline." What is subtle is the following: when the same words appear in both branches of parallelism, is it correct and in fact very elegant to drop the repeated words. See:
Dropping Common Words in Parallel on the GMAT
In this SC question, only the word "cup" was dropped, but a large group of words can be dropped.

Consider this poorly written sentence
The turtle's primary defense against natural predators is its shell, and the skunk's primary defense against natural predators is its odor.
That's grammatically correct, but it's so repetitively awkward that it never would be correct on the GMAT. Here's the improved version.
The turtle's primary defense against natural predators is its shell, and the skunk's, its odor.
That's much more elegant, and it's 100% correct. Even though this particular subject matter is too elementary for the GMAT, this kind of sentence structure is typical of what could be correct on the GMAT SC.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-  [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2017, 19:44
bluetrain wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
honchos wrote:
Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-for-measure comparison is sobering: a coffee cup of gas costs roughly 10% of a latte.

Dropping Common Words in Parallel on the GMAT
In this SC question, only the word "cup" was dropped, but a large group of words can be dropped.

Consider this poorly written sentence
The turtle's primary defense against natural predators is its shell, and the skunk's primary defense against natural predators is its odor.
That's grammatically correct, but it's so repetitively awkward that it never would be correct on the GMAT. Here's the improved version.
The turtle's primary defense against natural predators is its shell, and the skunk's, its odor.
That's much more elegant, and it's 100% correct. Even though this particular subject matter is too elementary for the GMAT, this kind of sentence structure is typical of what could be correct on the GMAT SC.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Hi mikemcgarry,

Thank you for such an awesome explanation.
My confusion is with ellipsis. Can't D be correct? i.e the cost of a coffee cup of gas is roughly 10% the costof a latte. There are several examples (in addition to the one you mentioned above) in which tempting answers are wrong because the right answer uses an ellipsis. I chose D because of the presence of an "of" which is not a typo in B. The official question has "of" in A & D only.
How do we decide whether ellipsis has been used?

Regards
Manish
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4489
Re: Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-  [#permalink]

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21 Nov 2017, 10:12
ManishKM1 wrote:
Hi mikemcgarry,

Thank you for such an awesome explanation.
My confusion is with ellipsis. Can't D be correct? i.e the cost of a coffee cup of gas is roughly 10% the costof a latte. There are several examples (in addition to the one you mentioned above) in which tempting answers are wrong because the right answer uses an ellipsis. I chose D because of the presence of an "of" which is not a typo in B. The official question has "of" in A & D only.
How do we decide whether ellipsis has been used?

Regards
Manish

Dear ManishKM1,

I'm happy to respond.

The only limit on the ellipsis rule for parallelism is when the shorted phrase directly and literally implies another illogical meaning.

This would be wordy but correct:
(1) the cost of a coffee cup of gas is roughly 10% of the cost of a latte.
That's awkward and clunky, but grammatically and logically correct.

Now, here's (D):
(2) the cost of a coffee cup of gas is roughly 10% of a latte
While we could read this as a version of (1) with common words dropped, the more direct literal meaning is that we are comparing a price, "the cost of a coffee cup of gas" to a liquid, a latte. We are making a direct illogical comparison of unequal things, money vs. beverage. This is the literal meaning: the fact that this version has a literal illogical meaning, and a more sophisticated correct meaning, means that it's ambiguous. Ambiguity is always wrong 100% of the time.

A correct answer on the GMAT SC is grammatically correct, logically correct, and rhetorically sound, and all three of these strands cooperate to produce a single unambiguous meaning.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
_________________

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Re: Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-  [#permalink]

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21 Nov 2017, 10:53
mikemcgarry wrote:
ManishKM1 wrote:
Hi mikemcgarry,

Thank you for such an awesome explanation.
My confusion is with ellipsis. Can't D be correct? i.e the cost of a coffee cup of gas is roughly 10% the costof a latte. There are several examples (in addition to the one you mentioned above) in which tempting answers are wrong because the right answer uses an ellipsis. I chose D because of the presence of an "of" which is not a typo in B. The official question has "of" in A & D only.
How do we decide whether ellipsis has been used?

Regards
Manish

Dear ManishKM1,

I'm happy to respond.

The only limit on the ellipsis rule for parallelism is when the shorted phrase directly and literally implies another illogical meaning.

This would be wordy but correct:
(1) the cost of a coffee cup of gas is roughly 10% of the cost of a latte.
That's awkward and clunky, but grammatically and logically correct.

Now, here's (D):
(2) the cost of a coffee cup of gas is roughly 10% of a latte
While we could read this as a version of (1) with common words dropped, the more direct literal meaning is that we are comparing a price, "the cost of a coffee cup of gas" to a liquid, a latte. We are making a direct illogical comparison of unequal things, money vs. beverage. This is the literal meaning: the fact that this version has a literal illogical meaning, and a more sophisticated correct meaning, means that it's ambiguous. Ambiguity is always wrong 100% of the time.

A correct answer on the GMAT SC is grammatically correct, logically correct, and rhetorically sound, and all three of these strands cooperate to produce a single unambiguous meaning.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Awesome...thanks a lot mikemcgarry,
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Re: Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure-  [#permalink]

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23 Nov 2017, 08:15
The second part of the sentence can stand alone and should be looked at in isolation.

Now only B compares - Cost of Gas with cost of latter, all other are comparing cost with the 'drink' latte.
Re: Many of us complain about rising fuel prices, but a measure- &nbs [#permalink] 23 Nov 2017, 08:15
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