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QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 35: Sentence Correction


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Officials at the United States Mint believe that the Sacagawea dollar coin will be used more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than four quarters, which weigh 5.67 grams each.

A) more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than

B) more as a substitute for four quarters than the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far lighter than

C) as a substitute for four quarters more than for the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far less than

D) as a substitute for four quarters more than the dollar bill because its weight of only 8.1 grams is far lighter than it is for

E) as a substitute more for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than it is for

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QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe [#permalink]

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Well, the first thing I notice here is the pronouns, "its" and "it." I really want to say that the pronoun is ambiguous, because it could refer back to "dollar bill" (which is the closest singular noun) or the Sacagawea dollar coin.

But we can't do anything about the "it" or "its" -- it's in all five answer choices, so it can't really be much of an issue. Plus, pronoun ambiguity is NOT an absolute rule on the GMAT. We'll say more about that in an upcoming Topic of the Week.

I guess I can't get any quick eliminations from the pronouns, so let's take these guys in order:

Quote:
A) more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than

I don't like the comparison idiom here: "more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for..." But if you're not sure about the idiom, look for other stuff. (Check out this thread for more on idioms.)

The bigger issue is that the final comparison in the sentence doesn't make sense: "its weight... is far less than four quarters." We could say that the weight of the coin is less than the weight of the quarters, but it doesn't make sense to say that the weight of the coin is less than the quarters themselves. (A) is gone.

Quote:
B) more as a substitute for four quarters than the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far lighter than

I think I would be a little bit happier if the first comparison said "more as a substitute for four quarters than FOR the dollar bill" -- the second "for" is missing, and that bugs me a little bit. But I'm not 100% sure that it's wrong.

More importantly: at the end of the sentence, it's saying that the coin "weighs 8.1 grams, far lighter than four quarters." You could say "the coin IS far lighter than four quarters" or "it weighs less than four quarters", but not "it weighs lighter than four quarters." Eliminate (B).

Quote:
C) as a substitute for four quarters more than for the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far less than

I like that first comparison: "as a substitute for four quarters more than for the dollar bill" -- nice parallelism in the comparison, much better than in (A) or (B). More importantly, the last part makes sense now: "it weighs... far less than..." Keep (C).

Quote:
D) as a substitute for four quarters more than the dollar bill because its weight of only 8.1 grams is far lighter than it is for

As in (A) and (B), I think the first comparison idiom would be much stronger if "for" was included before "the dollar bill." But the last part of the sentence is a bigger problem: "(the coin's) weight is far lighter than it is for four quarters..."?? At the very least, this is a wordy mess compared with (C). You could also argue that it's nonsense: if "it" refer's back to "the coin's weight", then the sentence becomes illogical ("the coin's weight is lighter than the coin's weight is for four quarters").

Either way, (C) is clearly better than (D), so (D) is gone.

Quote:
E) as a substitute more for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than it is for

First part of the underlined portion suffers from the same idiom issue as in (A). The second part of the underlined portion is similar to (D): "the coin's weight... is far less than it is for four quarters." Again, at the very least, this is wordier and inferior to (C); at worst, it's illogical.

(C) is our winner.
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Re: QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2017, 09:19
Officials at the United States Mint believe that the Sacagawea dollar coin will be used more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than four quarters, which weigh 5.67 grams each.

A) more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than- Correct choice

B) more as a substitute for four quarters than the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far lighter than - Rather than is preferred, hence incorrect

C) as a substitute for four quarters more than for the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far less than - meaning change due to option in bold

D) as a substitute for four quarters more than the dollar bill because its weight of only 8.1 grams is far lighter than it is for - same as C

E) as a substitute more for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than it is for - same as C & D

A it is...conveys the intended meaning precisely!!

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Re: QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2017, 09:34
Chets25 wrote:
Officials at the United States Mint believe that the Sacagawea dollar coin will be used more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than four quarters, which weigh 5.67 grams each.

A) more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than- Correct choice

B) more as a substitute for four quarters than the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far lighter than - Rather than is preferred, hence incorrect

C) as a substitute for four quarters more than for the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far less than - meaning change due to option in bold

D) as a substitute for four quarters more than the dollar bill because its weight of only 8.1 grams is far lighter than it is for - same as C

E) as a substitute more for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than it is for - same as C & D

A it is...conveys the intended meaning precisely!!


Can you explain the thought process behind the answer

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Re: QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2017, 09:38
Chets25 wrote:
Officials at the United States Mint believe that the Sacagawea dollar coin will be used more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than four quarters, which weigh 5.67 grams each.

A) more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than- Correct choice

B) more as a substitute for four quarters than the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far lighter than - Rather than is preferred, hence incorrect

C) as a substitute for four quarters more than for the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far less than - meaning change due to option in bold

D) as a substitute for four quarters more than the dollar bill because its weight of only 8.1 grams is far lighter than it is for - same as C

E) as a substitute more for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than it is for - same as C & D

A it is...conveys the intended meaning precisely!!


I believe the its mentioned in A is a little ambiguous. I would opt for B as the correct answer in this question. You have stated that Rather than is preferred, but you failed to mention that rather than is preferred more than instead of. In this case the comparison is not between these two.

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QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe [#permalink]

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Officials at the United States Mint believe that the Sacagawea dollar coin will be used more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than four quarters, which weigh 5.67 grams each.

A) more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than -Incorrect. The comparison here is between dollar coin's weight and quarter, which is wrong. "less than THAT OF" would have been correct

B) more as a substitute for four quarters than the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far lighter than -Incorrect comparision.

C) as a substitute for four quarters more than for the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far less than -CORRECT. Comparing dollar coin with the quarter.

D) as a substitute for four quarters more than the dollar bill because its weight of only 8.1 grams is far lighter than it is for -Incorrect comparision

E) as a substitute more for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than it is for -Incorrect. Usage of "more" is inappropriate. "it" pronoun is dangling.
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Last edited by gmatexam439 on 16 Jun 2017, 12:09, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2017, 09:45
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Chets25 wrote:
Officials at the United States Mint believe that the Sacagawea dollar coin will be used more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than four quarters, which weigh 5.67 grams each.

A) more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than- Correct choice

B) more as a substitute for four quarters than the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far lighter than - Rather than is preferred, hence incorrect

C) as a substitute for four quarters more than for the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far less than - meaning change due to option in bold

D) as a substitute for four quarters more than the dollar bill because its weight of only 8.1 grams is far lighter than it is for - same as C

E) as a substitute more for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than it is for - same as C & D

A it is...conveys the intended meaning precisely!!


Can you explain the thought process behind the answer - I will be more than happy to help you mate.

As per the sentence, it says... Officials believe that the coin will be used more as a substitute for X rather than Y because of reasons as stated in the sentence.
Here the comparison is correct since we are comparing four quarters with dollar bill.
Other choices are either changing the meaning or using words which are less preferred (rather instead of rather than).

Hope I am clear, let me know if you need further clarification. :)

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Re: QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2017, 10:25
OA must be C, The point is dollar coin is a better substitute for four quarters than it is for dollar bill because of its low weight. This meaning is clearly reflected in C. A is changing the entire meaning by saying that coin is used more for a substitute purpose than for some other purpose. This is not the intended meaning of the sentence. OA must be C

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Re: QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2017, 11:39
Officials at the United States Mint believe that the Sacagawea dollar coin will be used more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than four quarters, which weigh 5.67 grams each.

A) more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than

B) more as a substitute for four quarters than the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far lighter than

C) as a substitute for four quarters more than for the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far less than

D) as a substitute for four quarters more than the dollar bill because its weight of only 8.1 grams is far lighter than it is for

E) as a substitute more for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than it is for

Observing the form: as a substitute for x than for y : x and y has to be parallel: only C has the parallel structure, we need to explicitly insert "for" before the dollar bill to make the comparison and the structure parallel.


Can anyone please explain the usage of "substitute" and "rather than " in the same statement? Isn't the usage of rather is redundant?
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Re: QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2017, 12:04
i think it is A.

only option A seems to compare 4 quarters with dollar.

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Re: QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2017, 17:45
It must be C despite the fact that C changes the original meaning.
A. Is incorrect, because it compares weight with quarters, while it has to compare weight withweight
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Ashokshiva wrote:
i think it is A.

only option A seems to compare 4 quarters with dollar.



Option A compares "weight" with "4 quarters".

souvik101990 wrote:
i think it is A.

its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than four quarters

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New post 19 Jun 2017, 06:08
Should be C
A: incorrect - parallelism error.must be ' more as than as'
B: incorrect same reason as A
C: correct
D: incorrect pronoun is used wrong
E: incorrect same pronoun error

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Re: QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe [#permalink]

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GMATNinja wrote:
Well, the first thing I notice here is the pronouns, "its" and "it." I really want to say that the pronoun is ambiguous, because it could refer back to "dollar bill" (which is the closest singular noun) or the Sacagawea dollar coin.

But we can't do anything about the "it" or "its" -- it's in all five answer choices, so it can't really be much of an issue. Plus, pronoun ambiguity is NOT an absolute rule on the GMAT. We'll say more about that in an upcoming Topic of the Week.

I guess I can't get any quick eliminations from the pronouns, so let's take these guys in order:

Quote:
A) more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than

I don't like the comparison idiom here: "more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for..." But if you're not sure about the idiom, look for other stuff. (Check out this thread for more on idioms.)

The bigger issue is that the final comparison in the sentence doesn't make sense: "its weight... is far less than four quarters." We could say that the weight of the coin is less than the weight of the quarters, but it doesn't make sense to say that the weight of the coin is less than the quarters themselves. (A) is gone.

Quote:
B) more as a substitute for four quarters than the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far lighter than

I think I would be a little bit happier if the first comparison said "more as a substitute for four quarters than FOR the dollar bill" -- the second "for" is missing, and that bugs me a little bit. But I'm not 100% sure that it's wrong.

More importantly: at the end of the sentence, it's saying that the coin "weighs 8.1 grams, far lighter than four quarters." You could say "the coin IS far lighter than four quarters" or "it weighs less than four quarters", but not "it weighs lighter than four quarters." Eliminate (B).

Quote:
C) as a substitute for four quarters more than for the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far less than

I like that first comparison: "as a substitute for four quarters more than for the dollar bill" -- nice parallelism in the comparison, much better than in (A) or (B). More importantly, the last part makes sense now: "it weighs... far less than..." Keep (C).

Quote:
D) as a substitute for four quarters more than the dollar bill because its weight of only 8.1 grams is far lighter than it is for

As in (A) and (B), I think the first comparison idiom would be much stronger if "for" was included before "the dollar bill." But the last part of the sentence is a bigger problem: "(the coin's) weight is far lighter than it is for four quarters..."?? At the very least, this is a wordy mess compared with (C). You could also argue that it's nonsense: if "it" refer's back to "the coin's weight", then the sentence becomes illogical ("the coin's weight is lighter than the coin's weight is for four quarters").

Either way, (C) is clearly better than (D), so (D) is gone.

Quote:
E) as a substitute more for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than it is for

First part of the underlined portion suffers from the same idiom issue as in (A). The second part of the underlined portion is similar to (D): "the coin's weight... is far less than it is for four quarters." Again, at the very least, this is wordier and inferior to (C); at worst, it's illogical.

(C) is our winner.


Thanks you for a concise and clear explanation !!
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New post 20 Jun 2017, 10:50
Ashokshiva wrote:
i think it is A.

only option A seems to compare 4 quarters with dollar.

Awaiting expert reply.



Hello Ashokshiva,

I would be glad to help you with this query.

Choice A is incorrect because the comparison has not been presented in grammatically parallel list.

The original sentence uses the phrase more X than Y in which X and Y should be parallel. But per choice A, X = as a substitute for four quarters and Y = for the dollar bill. Clearly, the two entities are not parallel. Also, use of rather with this comparison idiom is incorrect.

Choice C corrects this parallelism by changing the structure of the comparison idiom to X more than Y in which X = for four quarters and Y = for the dollar bill.


Hope this helps. :-)
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New post 21 Jun 2017, 04:58
GMATNinja wrote:
Well, the first thing I notice here is the pronouns, "its" and "it." I really want to say that the pronoun is ambiguous, because it could refer back to "dollar bill" (which is the closest singular noun) or the Sacagawea dollar coin.

But we can't do anything about the "it" or "its" -- it's in all five answer choices, so it can't really be much of an issue. Plus, pronoun ambiguity is NOT an absolute rule on the GMAT. We'll say more about that in an upcoming Topic of the Week.

I guess I can't get any quick eliminations from the pronouns, so let's take these guys in order:

Quote:
A) more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than

I don't like the comparison idiom here: "more as a substitute for four quarters rather than for..." But if you're not sure about the idiom, look for other stuff. (Check out this thread for more on idioms.)

The bigger issue is that the final comparison in the sentence doesn't make sense: "its weight... is far less than four quarters." We could say that the weight of the coin is less than the weight of the quarters, but it doesn't make sense to say that the weight of the coin is less than the quarters themselves. (A) is gone.

Quote:
B) more as a substitute for four quarters than the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far lighter than

I think I would be a little bit happier if the first comparison said "more as a substitute for four quarters than FOR the dollar bill" -- the second "for" is missing, and that bugs me a little bit. But I'm not 100% sure that it's wrong.

More importantly: at the end of the sentence, it's saying that the coin "weighs 8.1 grams, far lighter than four quarters." You could say "the coin IS far lighter than four quarters" or "it weighs less than four quarters", but not "it weighs lighter than four quarters." Eliminate (B).

Quote:
C) as a substitute for four quarters more than for the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far less than

I like that first comparison: "as a substitute for four quarters more than for the dollar bill" -- nice parallelism in the comparison, much better than in (A) or (B). More importantly, the last part makes sense now: "it weighs... far less than..." Keep (C).

Quote:
D) as a substitute for four quarters more than the dollar bill because its weight of only 8.1 grams is far lighter than it is for

As in (A) and (B), I think the first comparison idiom would be much stronger if "for" was included before "the dollar bill." But the last part of the sentence is a bigger problem: "(the coin's) weight is far lighter than it is for four quarters..."?? At the very least, this is a wordy mess compared with (C). You could also argue that it's nonsense: if "it" refer's back to "the coin's weight", then the sentence becomes illogical ("the coin's weight is lighter than the coin's weight is for four quarters").

Either way, (C) is clearly better than (D), so (D) is gone.

Quote:
E) as a substitute more for four quarters rather than for the dollar bill because its weight, only 8.1 grams, is far less than it is for

First part of the underlined portion suffers from the same idiom issue as in (A). The second part of the underlined portion is similar to (D): "the coin's weight... is far less than it is for four quarters." Again, at the very least, this is wordier and inferior to (C); at worst, it's illogical.

(C) is our winner.


Sir I believe that the use of for in option B and D is important because the meaning will change if we dont use FOR.

--Officials at the United States Mint believe that the Sacagawea dollar coin will be used more as a substitute for four quarters than the dollar bill because it weighs only 8.1 grams, far lighter than four quarters, which weigh 5.67 grams each.--

The meaning changes - the SACAGEWEA will be used more than the dollar bill will be as a substitute for a 4 quater.

It was a trap, though wrong option because options did not repeated the predicate "will do" in the option B and D.

Please let me know if you find a problem in my understanding.

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Re: QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2017, 01:12
is the conjunction rather than incorrect in option A?

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Re: QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2017, 09:31
haardiksharma wrote:
is the conjunction rather than incorrect in option A?


This idiom structure (More X rather than Y .) has always been wrong on all similar GMAT question I have encounter yet. And if I remember correctly- a similar question is there in OG 17, in which OE eliminate this option because of wrong idiom. Plus Manhattan SC states that with MORE X you should always have THAN Y structure only.

So I guess as far as GMAT is concerned we can eliminate this option on this basis.

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Re: QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2017, 00:46
haardiksharma wrote:
is the conjunction rather than incorrect in option A?

Hi haardiksharma, you are right. The issue is the following incorrect usage:

more...rather than

The correct idiom is: more...than (or less...than).

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses this usage as part of idioms. Have attached the corresponding section of the book, for your reference.
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Re: QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2017, 21:34
In C, is far less than correct? Shouldn't it be far lighter than?

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Re: QOTD: Officials at the United States Mint believe   [#permalink] 14 Sep 2017, 21:34

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