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QOTD: Unlike mainstream American businesses, more than half of which

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QOTD: Unlike mainstream American businesses, more than half of which  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2017, 22:42
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A
B
C
D
E

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59% (00:40) correct 41% (00:35) wrong based on 333 sessions

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 183: Sentence Correction


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Unlike mainstream American businesses, more than half of which fail, the failure rate for businesses in the Amish community hovers around 5 percent.

(A) Unlike mainstream American businesses, more than half of which fail
(B) Unlike mainstream American businesses, in which the failure rate is more than half
(C) Unlike mainstream American businesses, where more than half of them fail
(D) While the rate of mainstream American businesses failing is more than half
(E) While more than half of mainstream American businesses fail

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https://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/business/smallbusiness/08sbiz.html

The businesses, which favor such Amish skills as furniture-making, quilting, construction work and cooking, have been remarkably successful. Despite a lack of even a high school education (the Amish leave school after the eighth grade), hundreds of Amish entrepreneurs have built profitable businesses based on the Amish values of high quality, integrity and hard work. A 2004 Goshen College study reported that the failure rate of Amish businesses is less than 5 percent, compared with a national small-business default rate that is far higher. (According to a federal study, only two-thirds of all small-business start-ups survive the first two years and fewer than half make it to four years.)

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Re: QOTD: Unlike mainstream American businesses, more than half of which  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2017, 22:43
2
1
We covered this one in a recent YouTube webinar on comparisons, so if you prefer your explanations in video form, head on over here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dsa-RaX765o

Quote:
A. Unlike mainstream American businesses, more than half of which fail

This one is similar to Monday’s QOTD: basically, the first order of business is to notice the word “unlike”, and then make sure that the two things that follow can logically be compared to each other. And in (A), we clearly have a problem: “Unlike mainstream American businesses…, the failure rate for businesses in the Amish community…” Nope, we can’t compare “businesses” with a “failure rate for businesses.”

So (A) is out.

Quote:
B. Unlike mainstream American businesses, in which the failure rate is more than
half

(B) has exactly the same problem as (A): “Unlike mainstream American businesses…, the failure rate for businesses in the Amish community…” It’s still wrong to compare any type of “businesses” to “the failure rate for businesses.”

I’m also really uncomfortable with the phrase between the commas: “in which the failure rate is more than half”. First of all, I’m not sure that “in” is the right preposition here. The failure rate is inside the businesses, somehow? (“The files are IN the computer?!”) Second, I’m not crazy about the phrase “the failure rate is more than half.” Half of what? I guess we can assume that it’s half of the total, but we could also do much better.

And even if you don’t buy anything I wrote in that last paragraph, the comparison is still very, very wrong, so we can ditch (B).

Quote:
C. Unlike mainstream American businesses, where more than half of them fail

(C) has exactly the same problem as (A) and (B): “Unlike mainstream American businesses…, the failure rate for businesses in the Amish community…” It’s still wrong to compare any type of “businesses” to “the failure rate for businesses.”

Plus, the use of the modifier “where” is pretty illogical. A modifier beginning with “where” needs to modify a place or location of some sort. And sure, I suppose that “mainstream American businesses” are sometimes places, but there’s no good reason for us to emphasize the idea that “more than half of them fail” at the location of the businesses themselves.

And again: even if you don’t give a crap about anything I wrote in that last paragraph, the comparison is still very, very wrong. (C) is gone.

Quote:
D. While the rate of mainstream American businesses failing is more than half

The phrase “the rate of… failing is more than half” is an absolute mess. You could say “more than half of businesses fail” or maybe “the rate of failure is greater than 50%” – but I’m not even sure that that last one is ideal, when we could just say that more than half of businesses fail. But it’s definitely wrong to say “the rate of failing.”

So (D) is gone, and I really really hope that we like (E)…

Quote:
E. While more than half of mainstream American businesses fail

Party on, this fixes our problem with (D), and sets up the comparison in a completely reasonable and logical way: “While more than half of mainstream American businesses fail, the failure rate for businesses in the Amish community hovers around 5 percent.” We have two nice, clean clauses that nicely express the comparison between the failure rates of two types of businesses.

So (E) is our answer.
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Re: QOTD: Unlike mainstream American businesses, more than half of which  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2017, 23:25
The question tests comparison issue.

In A, B, C American business is compared to failure rate for business. - eliminate A, B, C

D uses preposition + noun + ing form
. Also it's not idiomatic to say rate is half. Incorrect

Imo E


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Re: QOTD: Unlike mainstream American businesses, more than half of which  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2017, 00:07
Unlike mainstream American businesses, more than half of which fail, the failure rate for businesses in the Amish community hovers around 5 percent.

A. Unlike mainstream American businesses, more than half of which fail
- incorrect comparison of business to rate [unlike business, the rate]

B. Unlike mainstream American businesses, in which the failure rate is more than half
- incorrect comparison of business to rate [unlike business, the rate]

C. Unlike mainstream American businesses, where more than half of them fail
- incorrect comparison of business to rate [unlike business, the rate]

D. While the rate of mainstream American businesses failing is more than half
- 'rate is more than half' and 'businesses failing' incorrect usage

E. While more than half of mainstream American businesses fail - correct
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Re: QOTD: Unlike mainstream American businesses, more than half of which  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2017, 01:08
Its E, the only option that is parallel....failure of mainstream american business vs failure of amish community business
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Re: QOTD: Unlike mainstream American businesses, more than half of which  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2017, 08:30
A. Unlike mainstream American businesses, more than half of which fail - This statement literally compares mainstream American businesses to failure rate (we simply cannot compare businessex to rate of failure)
B. Unlike mainstream American businesses, in which the failure rate is more than half - Same issue as in A
C. Unlike mainstream American businesses, where more than half of them fail - Same issue as in A
D. While the rate of mainstream American businesses failing is more than half - Rate of failing is unidiomatic. It should be the rate of failure or failure rate
E. While more than half of mainstream American businesses fail - :-)

Hence E
Re: QOTD: Unlike mainstream American businesses, more than half of which &nbs [#permalink] 21 Dec 2017, 08:30
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