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QOTD: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other

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QOTD: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2018, 06:22
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 225: Sentence Correction


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While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.

(A) While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.

(B) While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive.

(C) Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes the electricity they generate more expensive.

(D) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants.

(E) The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants, but the electricity they generate is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants.

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QOTD: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2018, 08:44
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Awaiting OA. My take is "B"

While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.

(A) While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.--1. Incorrect comparison 2. SV disagreement

(B) While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive.--Correct

(C) Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes the electricity they generate more expensive. --1. SV disagreement

(D) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants. --1. Usage of whereas is wrong 2. Ambiguous pronoun

(E) The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants, but the electricity they generate is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants. --1. Incorrect comparison. Here the option is comparing the costs and not the plants. We need a "for" here 2. Ambiguous pronoun 3. Electricity is not made expensive; it "becomes" expensive because of the aforementioned issue.
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Re: QOTD: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2018, 10:19
IMO B.

While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.

(A) While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity. No clear antecedent of "them". Incorrect.

(B) While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive. Correct.

(C) Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes the electricity they generate more expensive. Incorrect verb forms used for parallel entities being compared using "as". Incorrect.

(D) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants.
Verb-ing modifier modifying a noun in previous clause. Ambiguous pronoun. Incorrect.

(E) The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants, but the electricity they generate is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants. "Made more expensive" is an awkward construction. Ambiguous pronoun. Incorrect.
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QOTD: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2018, 23:34
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(A) While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.

Hm, there’s some weird pronoun stuff going on here. The first “it” is a non-referential pronoun: in the phrase “it costs”, “it” doesn’t refer to anything at all. It’s sort of like saying “it is raining” or “it is a bad idea to lick frozen doorknobs.” (I may or may not speak from experience on that last one.)

Non-referential pronouns can be fine, but you don’t see them very often in correct GMAT answers, so they make me nervous.

And of course, there are three of those non-referential pronouns in the sentence! Both “…it is the fixed costs…” and “makes it more expensive” have non-referential versions of “it.” I can’t call them DEFINITE errors, but I don’t love them, and I can’t imagine that a correct GMAT sentence would have THREE non-referential pronouns. Non-referential pronouns just aren’t that awesome, and there’s no good reason to overuse them.

I also see no reason to use “them” toward the end of the sentence: why say “makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity” when you could just shorten it to “makes it more expensive to generate electricity”? Wasted words aren’t cool.

And if you’re not convinced by any of that stuff, there’s a wonderfully serious mistake in (A). “…the fixed costs… makes it more expensive…” That’s a clear subject-verb error.

I’m tired of (A) now. Let’s eliminate it.

Quote:
(B) While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive.

I don’t see any major issues in (B). The pronoun “they” jumps out at me, and it seems to refer to the nearest plural, “nuclear plants.” And that works just fine: “the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity [nuclear plants] generate more expensive.” No problem.

The only other potential objection I see is the comparison at the beginning of the sentence, but… hang on, it’ll be easier to explain WHY that comparison is OK if we put it side-by-side with another answer choice.

So for now, let’s keep (B), and I’ll say more about the comparison at the end of this post.

Quote:
(C) Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes the electricity they generate more expensive.

(C) has a few of the same problems we saw in (A). The subject-verb problem is the biggest issue: “the fixed costs… that makes” is definitely wrong.

We also have a couple of non-referential pronouns in the phrases “it costs about the same” and “it is the fixed costs…” These aren’t WRONG, exactly, but there’s no compelling reason to include them in the sentence unless they somehow clarify the meaning. For more detail, please see the explanation for (A).

But even if you’re OK with the funny non-referential pronouns, the subject-verb thing lets us eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants.

(D) is just plain old confusing. For starters, the pronoun “they” logically needs to refer to “nuclear power plants”, since we know from the context (“stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants”) that the nuclear plants generate more expensive electricity. But “they” is actually closer to “other types of power plants.” That’s confusing – and probably a good enough reason to eliminate (D).

Plus, I still don’t see any good reason to use a non-referential pronoun (“it costs…”) at the beginning of the sentence. See the explanation for (A) for more detail on this.

So (D) is out.

I promised that I’d come back to the comparison in (B), so here it is again, right next to (E):

Quote:
(B) While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive.
(E) The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants, but the electricity they generate is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants.

The comparison error at the beginning of (E) is pretty darned subtle: “the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants…” Wait, no. We’re trying to compare the COSTS of running the two types of plants, but (E) literally compares the costs of running nuclear plants to the other plants themselves. That doesn’t work.

The version in (B) (“the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants”) might not be perfect, but it’s definitely better: the use of the preposition makes it clear that we’re comparing the costs of running nuclear plants with the corresponding costs “for other types of plants.” Fair enough.

You could also argue that the second half of the sentence is clearer in (B) than in (E). (B) is in active voice and more direct: “the fixed costs… make the electricity… more expensive.” (E), on the other hand is passive: “the electricity… is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants.” (E) isn’t necessarily WRONG in this section, but it’s definitely not as clear and direct as (B).

So (B) is our answer.
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QOTD: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2018, 07:41
gmatexam439 wrote:
Awaiting OA. My take is "B"

While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.

(A) While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.--1. Incorrect comparison 2. SV disagreement

(B) While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive.--Correct

(C) Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes the electricity they generate more expensive. --1. SV disagreement

(D) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants. --1. Usage of whereas is wrong 2. Ambiguous pronoun

(E) The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants, but the electricity they generate is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants. --1. Incorrect comparison. Here the option is comparing the costs and not the plants. We need a "for" here 2. Ambiguous pronoun 3. Electricity is not made expensive; it "becomes" expensive because of the aforementioned issue.



Hi, sir!

I tried to follow a more mechanical method to solve this problem. Here's my method and a follow-up question at the end. Please tell me whether it RIGHT OR WRONG!

I had a question about the comparisons made in the first half of each of the 5 answer choices. The sentence can often omit words in the Y element as long as. the meaning is clear.

A. It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants. COMPARISON IS CORRECT!

Longer sentence:

It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as to run other types of power plants.

B. The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants. COMPARISON IS CORRECT!

Longer sentence:

The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as the cost for running other types of power plants.

C. It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants. INCORRECT COMPARISON!

Longer sentence:

It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as to run FOR other types of power plants.

D. It costs about the same to run nuclear power plants as for other types of power plants. INCORRECT COMPARISON!

Longer sentence:

It costs about the same to run nuclear power plants as to run FOR other types of power plants.

E. The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants. WHILE TECHNICALLY CORRECT, IT INCORRECTLY COMPARES cost to plants AND THAT IS WHY IT IS WRONG!

The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as COST OF RUNNING other types of plants.

Would really like your thoughts!

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Re: QOTD: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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New post 28 Apr 2018, 06:54
GMATNinja VeritasPrepKarishma

Is the usage of as + noun as a role correct in (A)?
Does the overall sentence indicates a contrast (with while)
or a comparison?
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Re: QOTD: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other   [#permalink] 28 Apr 2018, 06:54
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