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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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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: OA
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New post 10 May 2008, 08:47
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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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.

The answer should be B.

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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New post 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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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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New post 29 Nov 2012, 00:25
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.


Less is also used with adjectives and adverbs:

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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New post 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...

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

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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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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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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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New post 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?
Please explain.

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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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.

Please explain.

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/

Thus, we would talk about
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]

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New post 17 Sep 2013, 09:44
Dear Mike,

I can confirm that the OA is indeed B. I have verified it from GMAT PREP,as I encountered this question while taking test.

I'm producing a part of question in which I'm having doubt.

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
In option B, I wanted to understand the construction of the sentence. Can we say that the blue colored part is Clause.? if yes, then what is the subject?

E. movies, fewer than the ones
Again, what is highlighted portion depicting? Is it a modifier, if yes, then what kind of modifier is this? Appositive, and what is it modifying? Movies..?
Please explain.
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imhimanshu wrote:
Dear Mike,

I can confirm that the OA is indeed B. I have verified it from GMAT PREP,as I encountered this question while taking test.

I'm producing a part of question in which I'm having doubt.
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
In option B, I wanted to understand the construction of the sentence. Can we say that the blue colored part is Clause.? if yes, then what is the subject?

E. movies, fewer than the ones
Again, what is highlighted portion depicting? Is it a modifier, if yes, then what kind of modifier is this? Appositive, and what is it modifying? Movies..?
Please explain.

Dear imhimanshu,
I'm happy to help. :-) Thank you for verifying the OA.

Here's the full (B) version:
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.
Remember that one of the qualities of parallel structure --- in some sense, the very point of parallelism --- is that we can omit a large number of common words as assumed. In the first clause, the subject is "seven people", or somewhat more formally, [number] people or "the number of people" --- those words are assumed in the second part of the sentence--- "fewer than the number of people that have been killed by bee stings", with the green part showing the common words that were properly omitted in the parallel structure. One could say --- the very point of parallelism is to omit such words.

Technically, I guess we would say --- the first part, up to "movies", is an independent clause. Then we get "fewer than [a number]" --- here, "than" serves as a preposition, and the omitted noun "number of people" is the object of the preposition, and the verb "have been killed" is the verb of a "that" clause modifying the object of the preposition.

Here's the full (E) version:
Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movie, fewer than the ones killed by bee stings.
Again, "than" is a preposition, and the indefinite pronoun "the ones" is the object of the preposition, and this object is modified by a participial phrase "killed by bee stings." For more on participial phrases, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/participle ... -the-gmat/
I guess the GMAT prefers (B), because in (E) we are setting a full verb of a full close in parallel to participial phrase, instead of a full verb inside a noun-modifying "that" clause, which is what (B) does. Hmmm. :-|

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2013, 04:37
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.

Please explain.

Posted from my mobile device


When we say "melting point", it is uncountable. Its is like , the "level of water" in a pool. It can be less not fewer.
Thats why, "fewer" is appropriate here because we are counting the number of people.
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2013, 11:39
avik629 wrote:
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.

Please explain.

Posted from my mobile device


When we say "melting point", it is uncountable. Its is like , the "level of water" in a pool. It can be less not fewer.
Thats why, "fewer" is appropriate here because we are counting the number of people.

Dear avik629,
Just to be clear, "melting point" is neither countable nor uncountable --- it is a third category: numbers themselves. If I ask, "what is the melting point of zinc?", the correct answer to that question is a number.

For uncountable nouns, we use "more" and "less".
For countable nouns, we use "more" and "fewer".
For numbers, we use "greater" and "less", or "higher" and "lower", or something along those lines.

It would be 100% wrong to use "fewer" for "melting point". We could use "less" or "lower", as in:
The melting point of zinc is less than that of copper.
The melting point of copper is greater than that of zinc.
Zinc has a lower melting point than does copper.
Copper has a higher melting point than does zinc.

See this post:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-compa ... -vs-fewer/

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2015, 13:58
camlan1990 wrote:
stallone 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 ??

OA is B. PLease recheck. "THE ONES" in E is ambigious, is it "movies" or "people"???

Dear camlan,
I'm happy to respond. :-) First of all, I corrected the OA: you are indeed correct that the OA of this official question is (B).

Nevertheless, I wouldn't say that "the ones" is entirely ambiguous in (E). Here's (E):
Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, the man-eater of the movies, fewer than the ones killed by bee stings.
The presence of the same verb, "killed," is enough to signal the parallelism of the subjects. Admittedly, something is funny about the modifying phrase after the comma coming so far from its target word, "seven." The dash works better than the comma here, to make it clear that we are referring to the whole of the sentence before the dash. Also, (E) is wordy and flaccid and indirect.

...fewer than have been killed... = sleek & elegant & sophisticated
...fewer than the ones killed.. = clunky, like something from a substandard middle school student

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2015, 05:51
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A few good pointers on B Vs E:

http://www.beatthegmat.com/gmatprep-pro ... tml#376566
http://www.beatthegmat.com/comma-with-e ... tml#380374
http://www.beatthegmat.com/only-seven-p ... tml#257319
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2015, 23:41
abhishekv wrote:
I think the answer boils down to 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.
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

Well, generally (I believe so) "-" is used when the clause following the hyphen is either an independent clause.

OA please?


A,C,D are out. Between B and E, E is incorrect. What is 'ones' here? 'ones' is people. So was the number fewer than people?? No sense. ANSWER = B.
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Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2016, 03:45
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
Always read the non underlined part more carefully. It will give you some clue.

have been killed by the great white shark must be correct hence XXXXXX killed by bee stings. XXXXXX should have some thing + have been
A. is wrong for not having have been & also less is uncountable. INCORRECT
B. seems correct
C. Movies, which( movies has nothing to do with bee stings) the man-eater of the movies is used to define sharks. INCORRECT
D. movies, a number lower than the people. Which number it is talking about. The only number is in the clause Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark - INCORRECT
E. movies, fewer than the ones - INCORRECT same reason as D

Hence B is also correct

Also between Comma and Dash Here Dash is preferable.
Re: Only seven people this century have been killed by the great   [#permalink] 05 Oct 2016, 03:45

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