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# Only seven people this century have been killed by the great

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Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2005, 12:55
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Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movies—less than those killed by bee stings.

A. movies—less than those
B. movies—fewer than have been
C. movies, which is less than those
D. movies, a number lower than the people
E. movies, fewer than the ones

[Reveal] Spoiler:
My 2 issues here are: #1) what is the rule surrounding usage of "dashes"? and #2) what is the rule for usage of "lower"...is it a count or non-count word?

thx.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by broall on 28 May 2017, 19:33, edited 1 time in total.
Reformatted question

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2005, 17:54
1) Use of dashes...i don't know
2) Lower....should be uncountable. "Lower in value", "Lower in Quality"..

My pick is "E"

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2005, 18:27
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B. choosed it under llism.

-have been killed by the great white shark, ..
-movies - fewer than have been killed by bee stings.

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2005, 21:03
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A dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parentheses.
Unlike other forms of punctuation, the dash does not have one specific usage. when you want a phrase or another part of the sentence to have extra emphasis, a dash may be used. Take a look at this sentence:

There are three things every repairman must have: a screwdriver, a hammer, and a saw.

In this sentence, a colon has been used. The writing seems to be formal. In addition, the writing seems to NOT need any extra emphasis.

Look at the following sentence:
The only thing Tony could doâ€”if he could do anything at allâ€”was to sit and wait for the test results to come in the mail.

In this sentence, dashes are used because it seems informal and the clause inside the dashes needs some emphasis. The emphasis is added in order to show that Tony could do nothing in this situation. The writer could have used parentheses, but parentheses may have been too formal for this situation.

Here in the question the author is introducing bees to put more emphasis on his statements against white shark, the man-eater of the movies
so dash should be used here

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2005, 13:15
Picked E over B.

B. movies - fewer than (??what??) have been

HMTG.

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2005, 13:27
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700slave,

Checked my notes on the hyphen, and I am pasting it for your reference.

Hyphens are used for prefixes like ex-, self-. Hyphens are used in compound numbers like forty-five, and with fractions used as adjectives.
Right: A two-thirds vote was necessary to pass the law
Wrong: Only two-thirds of the students passed the final exam

Hyphens are used with a compound adjective when it comes before the word it modifies, but not after the word it modifies.

Wrong: The arguments continued into the night with no-holds-barred
Right: The no-holds-barred argument continued into the night

Hyphens are also used to emphasize a point being made in the sentence.

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

Ok!! With regards to the answer choices.

As it is possible to count the number of shark attack victims, fewer is preferable to less. Between B and E, "fewer than (what?) have been" has no clear referrent. fewer than what??

D is more wordy, and E conveys the same meaning using "fewer" words.

Enuf said.

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2005, 13:50
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See I too thoguht it was E. But this question in anotehr forums says the OA is B mainly because of the tenses. So what do you guys think the OA truely is?

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2005, 22:48
See I too thoguht it was E. But this question in anotehr forums says the OA is B mainly because of the tenses. So what do you guys think the OA truely is?

according to this book...the OA is E

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Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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09 May 2008, 14:11
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Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movies—less than those killed by bee stings.

A. movies—less than those
B. movies—fewer than have been
C. movies, which is less than those
D. movies, a number lower than the people
E. movies, fewer than the ones

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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10 May 2008, 08:47
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The answer is 'B' - the clue is the number 7. When talking about a definite number, 'fewer' must be used. When talking abstract numbers, 'lesser' is used.

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2008, 10:23
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amitdgr wrote:
Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movies—less than those killed by bee stings.
A. movies—less than those
B. movies—fewer than have been
C. movies, which is less than those
D. movies, a number lower than the people
E. movies, fewer than the ones

How exactly is "," & "-" should be used ??

Well, just goes to show you... some of those clowns making GMAT prep materials don't speak proper English.

A is wrong because "less" is obviously the improper modifier to use.
C is wrong because the "which is" construction makes it awkward and, again, you have "less."
D is wrong on face.
E is wrong because what "the ones" refers to is vague. You could infer it, of course, but the construction is all effed up.

Honestly, the so-called "rules" for using dashes change all the time, depending on what medium you're communicating in. The "&" symbol is inappropriate almost anywhere, except perhaps in a title (eg. Johnson & Johnson). How and where to use commas is worthy of an entire book of English grammar, and to tell the truth, the vast majority of people misuse them. College-educated folks here in the States write with awful comma splices and usage all the time. Pick up an MLA manual and read about it.

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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30 Apr 2012, 15:15
The Columbia Guide to Standard American English by Kenneth G. Wilson, lists the following under the entry "Indefinite pronoun":

"Anyone, anybody, someone, somebody, none, each, either, neither, one...."

All of these take an apostrophe when forming the possessive. I can be confident of this because (1) none of them has a possessive form written simply with a terminal s as an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary--and if any dictionary would list such forms it is the OED--and (2) the possessive forms using apostrophe-s can be found in works archived in Google Books. (Even none! Do a search in Google Books for none's business" for one example.)

So possessive pronouns have to use an apostrophe to be grammatically correct.
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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13 Aug 2012, 00:44
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Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movies—less than those killed by bee stings.
A. movies—less than those

Problem one - Less is normally used for uncountable things. People is countable. This kills C as well.
Even while using less than, verb forms should be parallel. Have been killed is not parallel to killed. Kills D and E

B. movies—fewer than have been
Perfect.
C. movies, which is less than those
Less than used again. Verb form not parallel.
D. movies, a number lower than the people
Lower is does not mean less. Lower is more closer to shorter/smaller.
E. movies, fewer than the ones
Verb form error.

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2012, 00:25
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Answer is provided by many guys appropriately. Just trying to explain the difference between usage of fewer and less.

Fewer:
Fewer is used with countable nouns: people, animals, chairs, shoes.

1.You know fewer people than I do.
2.There should be fewer books on the table.
3.I have fewer ideas than everyone else.
4.Fewer of us show up each year.

Less
Less is used for uncountable, usually abstract nouns: money, happiness, snow, idealism.

1.I hope less snow falls this year.
2.We need more money and less debt.
3.I have less computer savvy than you.
4.You should spend less of your time complaining.

1.I'm less happy than I used to be.
2.He runs less quickly than you.

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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04 Feb 2013, 00:43
Ankit04041987 wrote:
Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movies—less than those killed by bee stings.

A. movies—less than those
B. movies—fewer than have been
C. movies, which is less than those
D. movies, a number lower than the people
E. movies, fewer than the ones

Only seven HAVE BEEN KILLED by Animal A- less/fewer than HAVE BEEN by Animal B.

C,D and E are out because "which", "a number", "fewer" touch the movies. By touch rule, these phrases modify the movies. This is incorrect.
Now, we are left with A and B. We need to maintain parallelism and only B uses HAVE BEEN...

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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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06 Jul 2013, 06:08
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ankurgupta03 wrote:
Can someone throw some light on why E is wrong and when to use the touch rule of modifier ...

There is a verb tense error in E

Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movies—less than those killed by bee stings.

B. movies—fewer than have been (killed)
E. movies, fewer than the ones (killed)

The touching rule is used for noun-modifiers and has only few exceptions:
1)parallel structure like
noun, which(touches the noun) .... and which (does not touch the noun, but is in a parallel structure)
2)noun with modifiers or prepositional phrases like
the car of the year (prep phrase) that won the championship(refers to the car even if it touches the noun "year")

At the moment I cannot remember any other case... hope this answers your question!
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2013, 13:08
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imhimanshu wrote:
Hi Experts,

Can anyone comment on how correct option works? What kind of construction is this?

Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movies—less than those killed by bee stings.

B. movies—fewer than have been

Thanks
H

Hi imhimanshu. I'm glad to help.
Hi gmatter0913. I'd like to confirm OA is E. Please refer to my explanation below.

Some theories:
(1) If A modifier is blocked off by commas, it should be blocked off both sides with the same punctuations.. If you use a comma on the left, you must use a comma on the right. The same pattern is used for a dash (-)
(2) The dash (-) is a flexible punctuation mark. You can use a dash as an emphatic comma, semicolon, or colon.

Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movies—less than those killed by bee stings.

A. moviesless than those
Wrong. The left side of the modifier is a comma --> the dash on the right is wrong. In addition, "less" is wrong here.

B. moviesfewer than have been
Wrong. Same error as in A. The left side of the modifier is a comma --> the dash on the right is wrong.

C. movies, which is less than those
Wrong. "which" modifies the movies --> Make no sense --> wrong. In addition, "less" is incorrect.

D. movies, a number lower than the people
Wrong comparison: "a number vs. the people"

E. movies, fewer than the ones
Correct. The comparison is: Only seven people have been killed by white shark fewer than the ones (have been) killed by bee stings.

Same color denotes comparisons in the sentence.

Hope it helps.
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2013, 12:02
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imhimanshu wrote:
Hi Experts,

Can anyone comment on how correct option works? What kind of construction is this?

Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movies—less than those killed by bee stings.

B. movies—fewer than have been

Thanks
H

Dear imhimanshu,
I am replying to your pm, and I'm happy to give my 2 cents on this question.

I have looked at various websites, and I am astounded how the web seems almost equally divided between people who insist the OA is (B) and people who insist the OA is (E). If this indeed a GMAT Prep, then either GMAT Prep itself showed inconsistencies, or tons of people mistakenly cite a wrong answer as the OA. Something is very fishy here.

I really liked what pqhai had to say about the dash --- a more emphatic break than a comma or semicolon. It can indicate an unexpected shift in the flow of the sentence.
Ted Williams was a Hall-of-Fame baseball player --- and a champion fisherman.
It can also be used for an appositive phrase or other noun modifier, especially if the modifier is long.
Americans consider Washington the "Father of the Country" --- a title that indicates how much he is endeared to Americans.

In the (B) version of the sentence,
Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movies—fewer than have been killed by bee stings.
the dash serves to show an unexpected shift in the logic --- folks are deathly afraid of sharks, and the movies (such as "Jaws") have made notorious death by sharks. The unexpected irony is that little old bees have killed more people than gigantic sharks. The dash indicates this unexpected shift. Notice the good verb parallelism ---- "have been killed by X ... have been killed by Y". What pqhai says about this choice doesn't make sense to me --- it's verb parallelism --- what follows the dash is not a modifier.

Here, I would say both (B) & (E) are correct, grammatically and stylistically. We are dealing with the number of something, i.e. something countable, so we absolutely need the word "fewer" instead of "less." Choices (A) & (C) make the countable/uncountable mistake, so they are plain wrong, and (D) is an awkward wordy disaster. Choice (B) make be a tad shorter and more elegant than (E), but it's not really characteristic of the GMAT to have two answers, both of which are essentially correct: they are usually very good about making one clearly right answer and making something clearly flawed about each of the other four answers. Something is very fishy with this question.

Mike
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2013, 16:01
akijuneja wrote:
Hi mike,
I read in Magoosh's idiom book that for comparison less is preferred, so in this case shouldn't less be correct?

Dear akijuneja,
I have no idea what passage you might be citing from the idiom ebook, but this is a fundamental Diction issue ---- we use "less" for continuous uncountable items ---
less water, less air, less freedom, less democracy, less justice, less time, less space, less money
and we use "fewer" for countable items:
fewer people, fewer houses, fewer cards, fewer court cases, fewer hours, fewer inches, fewer dollars
See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... -vs-fewer/

This is a very important issue, which the GMAT frequently tests. It's very good to be clear on this.

Mike
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2013, 17:34
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akijuneja wrote:
Dear mike
I read that when we compare numbers and numbers decrease we use less.
For eg: the melting point of zinc is less than that of copper.

Dear akijuneja,
You must distinguish between three different scenarios
(a) uncountable items
(b) countable items
(c) numbers

There's a difference between, say, a melting point or price of something --- that's a number, as opposed to seven cars or ten newspapers, which are counts of countable items. The rules for countable items is not the same as the rules for numbers. See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-sente ... ve-idioms/

more time vs. less time (uncountable)
more justice vs. less justice (uncountable)
more people vs. fewer people (countable)
more barrels vs. fewer barrels (countable)
a higher melting point vs. a lower melting point (number)
a higher price vs. a lower price (number)
the price of A is greater/higher than the price of B (number)
the price of B is less/lower than the price of A (number)

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great   [#permalink] 16 Sep 2013, 17:34

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