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# More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20

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Re: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
Hi Can anyone explain to me why Option B is wrong.
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Re: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
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starbuzz wrote:
Hi Can anyone explain to me why Option B is wrong.

Hello starbuzz,

We hope this finds you well.

To answer your query, Option B incorrectly uses the construction "comma + that" to refer to extra information - the fact that 20 percent of the world's fresh water is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined; remember, “that” is used to provide information needed to preserve the core meaning of the sentence, and the “comma + which” construction is used to provide extra information.

To understand the concept of "Which" vs "That" on GMAT, you may want to watch the following video (~2 minutes):

All the best!
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Re: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
How do we say that comparison of amount of water is right in choice A]

''holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.'' looks like the comparison is b/w 20% of fresh water and other lakes.

I don't see a mention of ''all great lakes WATER combined''
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Re: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
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himanshu0123 wrote:
How do we say that comparison of amount of water is right in choice A]

''holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.'' looks like the comparison is b/w 20% of fresh water and other lakes.

I don't see a mention of ''all great lakes WATER combined''

Hello himanshu0123,

We hope this finds you well.

To answer your query, since lakes are bodies of water, the comparison between an amount of water and the lakes is perfectly logical.

We hope this helps.
All the best!
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Re: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
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himanshu0123 wrote:
How do we say that comparison of amount of water is right in choice A]

''holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.'' looks like the comparison is b/w 20% of fresh water and other lakes.

I don't see a mention of ''all great lakes WATER combined''

Yeah, this is what makes comparisons so maddening. Two ways to think about it:

1) Sometimes the verb in a comparison is implied. If I write, "Tim runs faster than Mike," it's clear that we're comparing how fast Tim runs to how fast Mike runs, even if the second verb isn't stated. So we could interpret the construction in (A) to compare the amount of water Lake Baikal holds to the amount all the North American Great Lakes hold, even if the second "hold" is only implied.

2) And if your objection is that you'd like see the word "water" in the second part of the comparison, well, lakes are water, right? If we compare the amount of water in Lake Baikal to other lakes, what else could we possibly mean, other than the amount of water in those lakes? A lake without water isn't a lake! In essence, we're comparing water to water. That seems okay.

All to say, comparisons cause plenty of brain cramps for good reason. We can make ourselves crazy trying to figure out if something is implied or if a given comparison, if taken literally, is logical.

So simplify the process. When you see, "20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined," ask yourself if the portion in blue logically could modify the part in red. If you think it's fine, keep it. And if you find yourself going in circles wondering whether you can compare an amount of water to lakes, which are themselves water, keep it.

Initially, you're only looking for stuff that's definitively wrong. If you've got one comparison you're unsure about, and four other answer choices that all have concrete errors, well, an uncertain comparison it will have to be.

The takeaway: you're not going to have 100% confidence about every SC issue you see. No one does, including (*cough*) tutors with perfect GMAT scores. So be clear about how you set your priorities: concrete issues first; then the murky stuff.

I hope that helps!
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Re: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
likar wrote:
More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

(A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

(B) With 20 percent of the world's fresh water, that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it.

(C) Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, it holds more of the world's fresh water than all that of the North American Great Lakes combined, 20 percent.

(D) While more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia's lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, which is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

(E) More than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water.

I have a doubt here.
Which is a non-vital modifier, (when dropped, it does not change the meaning of the sentence). But here it is stating a very important fact that the Siberia's Lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water. So, why is it correct to use which over here?
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Re: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
Thanks for a convincing explanation!

GMATNinja wrote:
himanshu0123 wrote:
How do we say that comparison of amount of water is right in choice A]

''holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.'' looks like the comparison is b/w 20% of fresh water and other lakes.

I don't see a mention of ''all great lakes WATER combined''

Yeah, this is what makes comparisons so maddening. Two ways to think about it:

1) Sometimes the verb in a comparison is implied. If I write, "Tim runs faster than Mike," it's clear that we're comparing how fast Tim runs to how fast Mike runs, even if the second verb isn't stated. So we could interpret the construction in (A) to compare the amount of water Lake Baikal holds to the amount all the North American Great Lakes hold, even if the second "hold" is only implied.

2) And if your objection is that you'd like see the word "water" in the second part of the comparison, well, lakes are water, right? If we compare the amount of water in Lake Baikal to other lakes, what else could we possibly mean, other than the amount of water in those lakes? A lake without water isn't a lake! In essence, we're comparing water to water. That seems okay.

All to say, comparisons cause plenty of brain cramps for good reason. We can make ourselves crazy trying to figure out if something is implied or if a given comparison, if taken literally, is logical.

So simplify the process. When you see, "20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined," ask yourself if the portion in blue logically could modify the part in red. If you think it's fine, keep it. And if you find yourself going in circles wondering whether you can compare an amount of water to lakes, which are themselves water, keep it.

Initially, you're only looking for stuff that's definitively wrong. If you've got one comparison you're unsure about, and four other answer choices that all have concrete errors, well, an uncertain comparison it will have to be.

The takeaway: you're not going to have 100% confidence about every SC issue you see. No one does, including (*cough*) tutors with perfect GMAT scores. So be clear about how you set your priorities: concrete issues first; then the murky stuff.

I hope that helps!
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Re: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
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aryamaagarwal wrote:
likar wrote:
More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

(A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

(B) With 20 percent of the world's fresh water, that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it.

(C) Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, it holds more of the world's fresh water than all that of the North American Great Lakes combined, 20 percent.

(D) While more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia's lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, which is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

(E) More than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water.

I have a doubt here.
Which is a non-vital modifier, (when dropped, it does not change the meaning of the sentence). But here it is stating a very important fact that the Siberia's Lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water. So, why is it correct to use which over here?

Hello aryamaagarwal,

We hope this finds you well.

To clarify, the core meaning of this sentence is that more than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal; the fact that this lake holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water and that this amount is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined are extra pieces of information that are appropriately conveyed through modifying phrases.

We hope this helps.
All the best!
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Re: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
GMATNinja wrote:
For some reason, a large percentage of my students hate this question with the fury of a thousand suns. But you’ll love it… right?

Quote:
(A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

I don’t really see any problems with (A). The “which” jumps out at me, but that seems fine, since “which holds 20% of the world’s fresh water” logically modifies “Siberia’s Lake Baikal.” That last modifier seems fine, too: “more than all the North American Great Lakes combined” describes “20% of the world’s fresh water.”

So I guess we’ll keep (A), and hope that the other four answer choices have problems.

Quote:
(B) With 20 percent of the world's fresh water, that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it.

I’m not sure that anything is WRONG with (B), but there are three or four things that are spectacularly crappy about (B). (Craptacular? That’s not a word, but it should be.)

For starters, “with 20% of the world’s fresh water” is a lousy way to modify “Siberia’s Lake Baikal.” The preposition “with” generally suggests accompaniment of some sort (“I eat burritos with green chile” or “I went to the movies with my daughter”), and I can’t understand why we would use “with” in this context. Plus, it’s a long way from the thing it modifies. Again, I can’t prove that it’s WRONG, but it’s not great.

I also can’t make sense of the middle modifier, “that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.” For starters, I can’t figure out why we’re using a modifier beginning with “that” immediately after a comma. More importantly, the comparison doesn’t work: it’s basically saying that 20% of the world’s fresh water is more than the Great Lakes. You could say that the amount of water in Lake Baikal is greater than the amount of water in the Great Lakes, but it isn’t awesome to say that the amount of water is greater than the lakes themselves.

Finally, there’s no reason to write “…Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it” when we could use a more active construction (“more than 300 rivers drain into Lake Baikal”). The version in (B) isn’t WRONG, exactly, but it’s pretty craptacular compared to (A).

So we can ditch (B).

Quote:
(C) Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, it holds more of the world's fresh water than all that of the North American Great Lakes combined, 20 percent.

The most straightforward problem with (B) is that the subject is basically repeated twice: “Siberia’s Lake Baikal, (blah blah modifier), it holds…” That’s definitely not cool.

For bonus points, the modifier beginning with “with” still doesn’t seem quite right (see the explanation to (B) for more on that issue), and the comparison isn’t quite right, either: “Lake Baikal… holds more of the world’s fresh water than all that of the… Great Lakes…” “That” presumably refers to water, so that gives us “Lake Baikal… holds more of the world’s fresh water than [all the water of] the… Great Lakes.” And that’s wildly unnecessary: it’s better just to say that Lake Baikal holds more water than the Great Lakes.

But even if you ignore that last paragraph, the “Lake Baikal… it holds…” thing is a huge problem. So (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) While more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia's Lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, which is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

The “which” jumps out at me first. The phrase “which is more than… the Great Lakes…” seems to modify “20% of the world’s fresh water”, and that doesn’t quite work: it’s illogical to say that a quantity of water is “more than… the Great Lakes.” It might be more than the water in the Great Lakes, but not “more than” the Great Lakes themselves.

Plus, “while” is essentially a synonym for “although” in this case, and that doesn’t make sense: “[Although] more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia’s Lake Baikal…[is large].” “Although” suggests some sort of contrast, and there’s definitely no contrast between those two phrases.

So (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) More than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water.

That opening modifier, “more than all the… Great Lakes combined”, still isn’t great: it’s literally suggesting that Lake Baikal is “more than the Great Lakes”, and that doesn’t make sense. Maybe the amount of water in Lake Baikal is more than the amount in all of the Great Lakes, but Lake Baikal itself isn’t “more than” the Great Lakes.

I’m also not crazy about the use of “with” as a modifier in (E). For more on this issue, see the explanation for (B) above.

(E) isn’t a complete disaster, but (A) does a better job of conveying the meaning of the sentence, so (A) is our answer.

GMATNinja egmat KarishmaB AndrewN

Isn't in A the comparison incorrect where we are comparing water in lake Baikal with the North American Great Lakes combined
It should have been
water in lake Baikal with the water North American Great Lakes combined
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More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
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Jayshah1997 wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
For some reason, a large percentage of my students hate this question with the fury of a thousand suns. But you’ll love it… right?

Quote:
(A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

I don’t really see any problems with (A). The “which” jumps out at me, but that seems fine, since “which holds 20% of the world’s fresh water” logically modifies “Siberia’s Lake Baikal.” That last modifier seems fine, too: “more than all the North American Great Lakes combined” describes “20% of the world’s fresh water.”

So I guess we’ll keep (A), and hope that the other four answer choices have problems.

Quote:
(B) With 20 percent of the world's fresh water, that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it.

I’m not sure that anything is WRONG with (B), but there are three or four things that are spectacularly crappy about (B). (Craptacular? That’s not a word, but it should be.)

For starters, “with 20% of the world’s fresh water” is a lousy way to modify “Siberia’s Lake Baikal.” The preposition “with” generally suggests accompaniment of some sort (“I eat burritos with green chile” or “I went to the movies with my daughter”), and I can’t understand why we would use “with” in this context. Plus, it’s a long way from the thing it modifies. Again, I can’t prove that it’s WRONG, but it’s not great.

I also can’t make sense of the middle modifier, “that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.” For starters, I can’t figure out why we’re using a modifier beginning with “that” immediately after a comma. More importantly, the comparison doesn’t work: it’s basically saying that 20% of the world’s fresh water is more than the Great Lakes. You could say that the amount of water in Lake Baikal is greater than the amount of water in the Great Lakes, but it isn’t awesome to say that the amount of water is greater than the lakes themselves.

Finally, there’s no reason to write “…Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it” when we could use a more active construction (“more than 300 rivers drain into Lake Baikal”). The version in (B) isn’t WRONG, exactly, but it’s pretty craptacular compared to (A).

So we can ditch (B).

Quote:
(C) Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, it holds more of the world's fresh water than all that of the North American Great Lakes combined, 20 percent.

The most straightforward problem with (B) is that the subject is basically repeated twice: “Siberia’s Lake Baikal, (blah blah modifier), it holds…” That’s definitely not cool.

For bonus points, the modifier beginning with “with” still doesn’t seem quite right (see the explanation to (B) for more on that issue), and the comparison isn’t quite right, either: “Lake Baikal… holds more of the world’s fresh water than all that of the… Great Lakes…” “That” presumably refers to water, so that gives us “Lake Baikal… holds more of the world’s fresh water than [all the water of] the… Great Lakes.” And that’s wildly unnecessary: it’s better just to say that Lake Baikal holds more water than the Great Lakes.

But even if you ignore that last paragraph, the “Lake Baikal… it holds…” thing is a huge problem. So (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) While more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia's Lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, which is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

The “which” jumps out at me first. The phrase “which is more than… the Great Lakes…” seems to modify “20% of the world’s fresh water”, and that doesn’t quite work: it’s illogical to say that a quantity of water is “more than… the Great Lakes.” It might be more than the water in the Great Lakes, but not “more than” the Great Lakes themselves.

Plus, “while” is essentially a synonym for “although” in this case, and that doesn’t make sense: “[Although] more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia’s Lake Baikal…[is large].” “Although” suggests some sort of contrast, and there’s definitely no contrast between those two phrases.

So (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) More than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water.

That opening modifier, “more than all the… Great Lakes combined”, still isn’t great: it’s literally suggesting that Lake Baikal is “more than the Great Lakes”, and that doesn’t make sense. Maybe the amount of water in Lake Baikal is more than the amount in all of the Great Lakes, but Lake Baikal itself isn’t “more than” the Great Lakes.

I’m also not crazy about the use of “with” as a modifier in (E). For more on this issue, see the explanation for (B) above.

(E) isn’t a complete disaster, but (A) does a better job of conveying the meaning of the sentence, so (A) is our answer.

GMATNinja egmat KarishmaB AndrewN

Isn't in A the comparison incorrect where we are comparing water in lake Baikal with the North American Great Lakes combined
It should have been
water in lake Baikal with the water North American Great Lakes combined

Whenever you have a problem with a given option of an official question, look for another option that resolves that problem. If it doesn't exist, then this is the takeaway from the question. It doesn't matter what you think is the 'correct' way of writing. The point is what is acceptable to GMAT. Note that there is no ambiguity here. The meaning comes across clearly.
Lake Baikal holds more water than all NA Great Lakes combined. Is there any confusion? What are NA Great Lakes anyway? Water bodies. So we can compare an amount of water with some water bodies. Our language doesn't need to be as precise as machine language and if we try to make it, it could in fact become cumbersome.
And this brings me back to something I keep telling all my students - there are few rights and wrongs in SC. Many points are a matter of debate among grammarians. When they cannot arrive at 'one correct way of writing,' how can we?
We are always looking for the "best of the 5 options."
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Re: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
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Jayshah1997 wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
For some reason, a large percentage of my students hate this question with the fury of a thousand suns. But you’ll love it… right?

Quote:
(A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

I don’t really see any problems with (A). The “which” jumps out at me, but that seems fine, since “which holds 20% of the world’s fresh water” logically modifies “Siberia’s Lake Baikal.” That last modifier seems fine, too: “more than all the North American Great Lakes combined” describes “20% of the world’s fresh water.”

So I guess we’ll keep (A), and hope that the other four answer choices have problems.

Quote:
(B) With 20 percent of the world's fresh water, that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it.

I’m not sure that anything is WRONG with (B), but there are three or four things that are spectacularly crappy about (B). (Craptacular? That’s not a word, but it should be.)

For starters, “with 20% of the world’s fresh water” is a lousy way to modify “Siberia’s Lake Baikal.” The preposition “with” generally suggests accompaniment of some sort (“I eat burritos with green chile” or “I went to the movies with my daughter”), and I can’t understand why we would use “with” in this context. Plus, it’s a long way from the thing it modifies. Again, I can’t prove that it’s WRONG, but it’s not great.

I also can’t make sense of the middle modifier, “that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.” For starters, I can’t figure out why we’re using a modifier beginning with “that” immediately after a comma. More importantly, the comparison doesn’t work: it’s basically saying that 20% of the world’s fresh water is more than the Great Lakes. You could say that the amount of water in Lake Baikal is greater than the amount of water in the Great Lakes, but it isn’t awesome to say that the amount of water is greater than the lakes themselves.

Finally, there’s no reason to write “…Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it” when we could use a more active construction (“more than 300 rivers drain into Lake Baikal”). The version in (B) isn’t WRONG, exactly, but it’s pretty craptacular compared to (A).

So we can ditch (B).

Quote:
(C) Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, it holds more of the world's fresh water than all that of the North American Great Lakes combined, 20 percent.

The most straightforward problem with (B) is that the subject is basically repeated twice: “Siberia’s Lake Baikal, (blah blah modifier), it holds…” That’s definitely not cool.

For bonus points, the modifier beginning with “with” still doesn’t seem quite right (see the explanation to (B) for more on that issue), and the comparison isn’t quite right, either: “Lake Baikal… holds more of the world’s fresh water than all that of the… Great Lakes…” “That” presumably refers to water, so that gives us “Lake Baikal… holds more of the world’s fresh water than [all the water of] the… Great Lakes.” And that’s wildly unnecessary: it’s better just to say that Lake Baikal holds more water than the Great Lakes.

But even if you ignore that last paragraph, the “Lake Baikal… it holds…” thing is a huge problem. So (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) While more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia's Lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, which is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

The “which” jumps out at me first. The phrase “which is more than… the Great Lakes…” seems to modify “20% of the world’s fresh water”, and that doesn’t quite work: it’s illogical to say that a quantity of water is “more than… the Great Lakes.” It might be more than the water in the Great Lakes, but not “more than” the Great Lakes themselves.

Plus, “while” is essentially a synonym for “although” in this case, and that doesn’t make sense: “[Although] more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia’s Lake Baikal…[is large].” “Although” suggests some sort of contrast, and there’s definitely no contrast between those two phrases.

So (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) More than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water.

That opening modifier, “more than all the… Great Lakes combined”, still isn’t great: it’s literally suggesting that Lake Baikal is “more than the Great Lakes”, and that doesn’t make sense. Maybe the amount of water in Lake Baikal is more than the amount in all of the Great Lakes, but Lake Baikal itself isn’t “more than” the Great Lakes.

I’m also not crazy about the use of “with” as a modifier in (E). For more on this issue, see the explanation for (B) above.

(E) isn’t a complete disaster, but (A) does a better job of conveying the meaning of the sentence, so (A) is our answer.

GMATNinja egmat KarishmaB AndrewN

Isn't in A the comparison incorrect where we are comparing water in lake Baikal with the North American Great Lakes combined
It should have been
water in lake Baikal with the water North American Great Lakes combined

Hello Jayshah1997,

We hope this finds you well.

To answer your query, there is no comparison error in Option A, as the phrase "more than all the North American Great Lakes combined" refers to the collective water within the North American Great Lakes.

We hope this helps.
All the best!
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Re: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
Expert Reply
Jayshah1997 wrote:

Isn't in A the comparison incorrect where we are comparing water in lake Baikal with the North American Great Lakes combined
It should have been
water in lake Baikal with the water North American Great Lakes combined

Hey Jayshah1997

Happy to chip in.

Let's start with meaning analysis of choice A:

A: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

Sentence Structure:
More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal,

which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water,

more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

Aspects of Meaning:
1. Over 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal.
2. Siberia's Lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water.
3. The quantity of water in Lake Baikal is greater than that in all the North American Great Lakes combined.

Answer Choice Analysis:

A: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.
a. In the phrase "more than 300 rivers", the words "more than" do not indicate comparison. They're merely convey a quantity, meaning "over": over 300 rivers.
b. The relative clause "which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water" gives us additional information about "Siberia's Lake Baikal". Hence, no error here either.
c. "more than all the North American Great Lakes combined" is yet another modifier and it modifies the preceding noun "20 percent of the world's fresh water".
- which (Lake Baikal) holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more (water) than all the North American Great Lakes combined (hold)
- The words 'water' and 'hold' have been omitted from this modifier.

I hope this explanation addresses your query and helps improve your understanding.

Happy Learning!

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Re: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
I don't have a clear idea how can we compare sentences that are completely underlines, what to look for in them, and how to answer this one?
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Re: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
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Jatin16 wrote:
I don't have a clear idea how can we compare sentences that are completely underlines, what to look for in them, and how to answer this one?

More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

(A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

(B) With 20 percent of the world's fresh water, that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it.

(C) Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, it holds more of the world's fresh water than all that of the North American Great Lakes combined, 20 percent.

(D) While more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia's lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, which is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

(E) More than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water.

When the entire sentence is underlined, it is often testing sentence structure. What is the main clause, dependent clause, how are they placed with respect to each other, how are the modifiers placed with respect to what they are modifying etc.
Though I suggest focusing on the structure of the sentence in every SC question but it is certainly the most important concern in case the whole sentence is underlined.

(A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

Looking at option (A), the main clause is ‘More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal’

‘which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water’ is a relative clause that refers to ‘Lake Baikal’ which is right before it.

‘more than all the American Great Lakes combined’ is a reduced relative clause that modifies ‘20% of the world’s fresh water’ and is right next to it. We could have written it as
… 20% of the world’s fresh water, which is more than all the American Great Lakes combined.
And this has been reduced to
… 20% of the world’s fresh water, more than all the American Great Lakes combined.

This is absolutely acceptable. So option (A) has no errors.

(B) With 20 percent of the world's fresh water, that is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal has more than 300 rivers that drain into it.

Option (B) uses ‘that’ for a non-essential relative clause. This is incorrect. Non-essential relative clauses use the relative pronoun ‘which.’
When we use ‘with,’ it often implies ‘accompanied by’ though it can mean ‘characterized by/ having’ too. Hence, it leads to some confusion here. So options (B), (C) and (E) are less preferable.

(C) Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, it holds more of the world's fresh water than all that of the North American Great Lakes combined, 20 percent.

In option (C), when we remove the parenthetical phrase ‘with more than 300 rivers draining into it’, we get the main clause as:
Siberia's Lake Baikal it holds more of the world's fresh water than all that of the North American Great Lakes combined, 20 percent.
This is certainly a train wreck.

(D) While more than 300 rivers drain into it, Siberia's lake Baikal holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, which is more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

Option (D) uses ‘while’ without the use of progressive. Hence, ‘while’ should give us a contrast (as we discussed in our section on Adverbial clauses) but there is no contrast in the sentence. Hence, option (D) is not correct.

(E) More than all the North American Great Lakes combined, Siberia's Lake Baikal, with more than 300 rivers draining into it, holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water.

In option (E), ‘More than all the North American Great Lakes combined’ modifies ‘Siberia's Lake Baikal’ but that doesn’t make sense. A particular lake is more than all other lakes combined is nonsensical. We can say that a lake holds more water than all other lakes combined.

Hence, option (A) is the answer.
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More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
GMATNinja MartyTargetTestPrep

Quote:
A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

Doesn't this seem to be comparing the world's fresh water to all the North American Great Lakes combined? As in, it's comparing fresh water and lakes, while it should actually be comparing fresh water, and the water in all the North American Great lakes combined?

This was why I straight-away rejected this option as a comparison issue, while this is marked as the correct option.

Could you please shed light onto it?

Thanks!
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Re: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
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Sam978754351 wrote:
GMATNinja MartyTargetTestPrep

Quote:
A) More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined.

Doesn't this seem to be comparing the world's fresh water to all the North American Great Lakes combined? As in, it's comparing fresh water and lakes, while it should actually be comparing fresh water, and the water in all the North American Great lakes combined?

That version uses ellipsis to express the following idea.

which holds 20 percent of the world's fresh water, more than all the North American Great Lakes combined HOLD

In other words, "hold" at the end is understood even though it's not written.
Re: More than 300 rivers drain into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds 20 [#permalink]
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