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# The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close

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The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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13 Sep 2009, 18:00
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The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's.

(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than
(B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than
(C) extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were
(D) extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had
(E) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than what they were
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by boeinz on 13 Sep 2009, 19:18, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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13 Sep 2009, 18:53
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boeinz wrote:
The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's.
(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than
(B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than
(C) extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were
(D) extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had
(E) extinction, now with numbers five times greater than

I think "when" shouldn't be underlined. If so, then all the answer choices don't make sense in my opinion. I think this question tests two areas pronouns and idioms. The subject is "gyrfalcon", which is singular so let's look at the answer choices ...

A) I like this answer because it is idiomatic and has the correct pronoun.

B) "Five times more" doesn't seem to be idiomatic.

C) "Their" and "they" are both pronouns that refer to a plural noun. The gyrfalcon is singular so this one is incorrect. Plus, the fivefold phrase seems unidiomatic.

D) Again pronoun "they" is not in agreement.

E) There is no pronoun worries with this one and the phrase five times greater is idiomatic but the phrase after the comma modifies extinction so I'll toss this one out too.

I'll go with A. What's the OA?
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2009, 12:53
I am confused between A and E.

Comparison between numbers now and numbers in early 1970's. Going by pre-edited option E, only A makes sense. Now if A can be right means option A has what they were implicitly in it.
its numbers are now five times greater than[what they were] when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's.

In post-edited version of this question, we have choice E, in which what they were is explicitly mentioned. Choice A has what they were implicitly mentioned.

Both A and E looks grammatically correct. On concision basis, I would go with A.

Could someone throw some light on this question?
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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17 Sep 2009, 11:42
Instead of opening a new thread, I am again posting the original question and slightly modified version. Please explain your reasoning for right and wrong choices.

Original question:
The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's.
(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than
(B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than
(C) extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were
(D) extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had
(E) extinction, now with numbers five times greater than

Slightly modified question (answer choice E is modified)

The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's.
(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than
(B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than
(C) extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were
(D) extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had
(E) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than what they were
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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18 Sep 2009, 17:37
Quote:
Aah ok .. so if you look at the statement and you read "greater than when the use of DDT was ... " , it becomes apparent why this statement is wrong. "greater than" is a comparative phrase and you need two entities to compare to. So here 'numbers' should have 'numbers' to be compared with. Hence Option E is the correct answer as 'what they were' clearly signifies numbers. Hope this helps.

pleonasm, thanks for the explanation. This is exactly what I had in my mind. But for the original question, which is a OG 10 question, I found below explanation.

OE: A, the best choice, uses a singular pronoun, its, to refer to the singular antecedent The gyrfalcon, and it
properly uses the construction its numbers are now ... greater than. In B, the construction its numbers are ...
more is not idiomatic: there are more birds, but not more numbers. Choices C and D use a plural pronoun, their
or they, to refer to a grammatically singular antecedent, The gyrfalcon. Choices D and E wrongly use a phrase
introduced by now with to modify The gyrfalcon. In both choices, the phrase confusingly seems to parallel with
extinction; a new clause with a present tense verb is needed to state what the gyrfalcon's numbers are now.

OE didn't even bother to mention about comparison of numbers to numbers. Not sure how they compared numbers to when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's.
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2010, 05:39
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The subject is gyrfalcon, a singular. So their numbers in C and they in D are wrong, not withstanding the grammar of using the comma itself in these cases. In addition five folds are not the same as five times greater. Five folds are 5x (original x + four folds) while five times greater is 6x (original x+ five times). This subtle point adds a significant alteration to the intent.

In E, the intent is altered by using the preposition with, as if the bird of prey has survived the close brush with extinction because of the five fold numbers now. On the contrary the original passage implies that five time greater number is the result of the survival rather than the cause of the survival.

B is dumped for using the inappropriate comparison term more to denote a countable plural subject numbers.

This leaves the original one as the right choice, which uses the correct description greater than for the countable plural subject of numbers.

If somebody claims Answer is E, I am bound to repudiate.
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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13 Sep 2013, 21:36
Hi guys, I have a doubt regarding the question in this part "Its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's"

The doubt is regarding the comparison. shouldn't it be like this."Its numbers are now five times greater than they were when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's"

If "they were" was not mentioned does it mean we can take it for granted?Is it a ellipses case?
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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10 Nov 2013, 20:11
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mohnish104 wrote:
daagh wrote:
(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than ------ Numbers is countable hence greater that required – correct choice.

(B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than – more than in most contexts to denote more volume or mass and to that extent is no- countable So does not go well with numbers . Generally when a plural noun such as numbers, books, pencils, mountains etc is involved, it entails greater than.

(C) extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were---- their a wrong pronoun

(D) extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had ---- they is a wrong pronoun.

(E) extinction, now with numbers five times greater than --- This is a tricky issue. There is a temptation to allege that the phrase, now with ……. modifies extinction. More importantly, number does not indicate whose numbers it is, which is an Achilles’ heel. However, from whatever dimension, this choice is inferior to Choice A.

Can ypu help me out with this question. I am confused between A AND E

28) The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's.

(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than
(B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than
(C) extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were
(D) extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had
(E) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than what they were

Hi mohnish104,
I think either you have made an error in reproducing the question or you are asking a new question,if it is the latter pls. make a separate post for it
I will explain the current question
The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970’s.
(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than
(B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than
(C) extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were
(D) extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had
(E) extinction, now with numbers five times greater than

A and E differ mainly because of meaning
The original sentence is stating 2 fact abt gyrfalcon --the bird has survived a close brush with extinction AND its numbers have increase 5 times
so we need two independent clauses or sentences to state the above --this is done with Option A where the two independent clauses are joined by a semicolon;

While E uses a modifier [,now with numbers ..]
The modifier is not required since neither does it explain the earlier clause (how the bird survived a close brush with extinction) nor does it give any more information about it.
So A
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The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with [#permalink]

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10 Nov 2013, 21:21
The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's.

(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than
(B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than
(C) extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were
(D) extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had
(E) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than what they were
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with [#permalink]

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10 Nov 2013, 21:30
mohnish104 wrote:
The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's.

(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than
(B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than
(C) extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were
(D) extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had
(E) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than what they were

I belive this question has already been discussed before the-gyrfalcon-an-arctic-bird-of-prey-has-survived-a-close-83884.html

Pls. check before you post and read the forum rules for posting -given in my signature
in case if you have any further doubts pls feel free to post them.
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with [#permalink]

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10 Nov 2013, 21:41
Thank you. I searched the forum for the question but didn't find it. I will remove my post.
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2014, 08:22
gmat6nplus1 wrote:
what confuses me is the comparison. We are comparing "its numbers" to those when the DDT use was sharply restricted, aren't the latter numbers different from the first and thus should be specified with "those"?

The way to read A would be:
its numbers are now five times greater than (its numbers were) when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970’s.

So, there is a logical comparison between two "time indicators": "now" and "when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970’s".

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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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12 Feb 2014, 18:52
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(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than Best choice. The comparative elements are the number of now and the number of when ... I believe it's best to use "greater than" because the number itself is unknown and is generally referred to as something whole (uncountable noun in the sentence).

(B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than Wrong - "more" should be used with countable nouns. It is true that a "gyrfalcon" is countable noun, but the comparison is between "numbers now" and "[numbers] when". The numbers of either one are really understood as something whole.

(C) extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were Wrong - "their number" must be close to the noun "gyrfalcon" in order to modify it; "what they were" is generally wordy

(D) extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had Wrong - must have conjunction between "extinction" and "now"; "they" must be singular because gyrfalcon is singular;

(E) extinction, now with numbers five times greater than Wrong - imprecise. It's not clear what "numbers" refers to

A

Last edited by mejia401 on 04 Jan 2015, 14:56, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2015, 09:41
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B/w A and B . More is used for comparing two things.
Ex. I like apples more than oranges.
Greater/Lesser is used to compare similar things.
Ex. The cost of living is greater today than it was ten years ago.
Option C uses their for singular subject so its wrong also they and were are all incorrectly used
Option D uses they same error as C, also the comparison is illogical

hence A is right .
more v/s greater :
More is used for comparing two things.
Greater/Lesser is used to compare similar things.

thanks
kudos appreciated
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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10 May 2015, 06:01
I accept that A is the right answer.. Infact thats what I chose..

However
I am still not convinced why answer choice B is wrong.

I saw some comments above but they are not convincing somehow..

Just by saying "greater than" is preferable to "more than" -- is not a good answer...
Also daagh said "more than" cannot be used for countable items.. -- This is totally wrong.. "more than" can be used for both countable and uncountable items...

Can anyone detail the clear difference between choice A and choice B ???
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2015, 02:17
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1. Here is an explanation of the nature of the dependent clause by Purdue.
( https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/598/01/)

Dependent Clause
A dependent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and verb but does not express a complete thought. A dependent clause cannot be a sentence. Often a dependent clause is marked by a dependent marker word.
When Jim studied in the Sweet Shop for his chemistry quiz . . . (What happened when he studied? The thought is incomplete.)
Dependent Marker Word
A dependent marker word is a word added to the beginning of an independent clause that makes it into a dependent clause.
When Jim studied in the Sweet Shop for his chemistry quiz, it was very noisy.
Some common dependent markers are: after, although, as, as if, because, before, even if, even though, if, in order to, since, though, unless, until, whatever, when, whenever, whether, and while.

2. Semicolon Usage
Taken from ---(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semicolon)

One of the applications of the semicolon in English includes:

3. Between closely related independent clauses not conjoined with a coordinating conjunction, when the two clauses are balanced, opposed or contradictory:

• My wife would like tea; I would prefer coffee.
• I went to the basketball court; I was told it was closed for cleaning.
• I told Kate she's running for the hills; I wonder if she knew I was joking.

The Link between a Dependent Clause and an Independent Clause

When a dependent clause is used as an adjective or an adverb, it will usually be part of a complex sentence (i.e., a sentence with an independent clause and at least one dependent clause). The link between a dependent clause and an independent clause will often be a subordinating conjunction or a relative pronoun. For example

He literally stitched mail sacks until his fingers bled. -- until is the subordiante conjunction.

So the second sentences in the choices A and B, while are related to the first, are not dependent clauses, since they lack the subordinating conjunctions.

HTH
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2016, 08:27
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Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2016, 01:27
Ankit04041987 wrote:
The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970’s.
(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than
(B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than
(C) extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were
(D) extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had
(E) extinction, now with numbers five times greater than

A - we have 2 options to understad this sentence:
1. its numbers are [now] five times greater than [when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970’s]. - this is very clear that we are comparing the numbers in 2 different time periods.
2. [its numbers] are now five times greater than [when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970’s]. - this makes no sense.

so in option A we have no ambiguity. the rest is fine.

B - "Five times more" is not the correct idiom.

C - "thier" is not the correct pronoun to refer to the singular subject.

D - "they" is not the correct pronoun. in addition, the time sequence does not make any sense: they first had somthing and later it was restricted.

E - "[Now] with numbers five times greater than [when]..." - this answer has good comparison between the 2 time periods. the question is what does it modify?
"with + noun" is a prepositional phrase - which means it can modify verbs or nouns.
- as a noun modifier it modifies the closest noun - extinction. This is clearly not the intended meaning.
- as a verb modifier - it should modify "has survived"- but this modification sounds awkward & illogical (has survived...now with numbers)
Hence E is not correct.
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2016, 12:27
daagh wrote:
(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than ------ Numbers is countable hence greater than required – correct choice.

(B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than – more than in most contexts to denote more volume or mass and to that extent is no- countable So does not go well with numbers . Generally when a plural noun such as numbers, books, pencils, mountains etc is involved, it entails greater than.

(C) extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were---- their is a wrong pronoun

(D) extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had ---- they is a wrong pronoun.

(E) extinction, now with numbers five times greater than --- This is a tricky issue. There is a temptation to allege that the phrase, now with ……. modifies extinction. More importantly, number does not indicate whose numbers it is, which is an Achilles’ heel. However, from whatever dimension, this choice is inferior to Choice A.

I am not sure I understand your explanation correctly. I have seen instances wherein more is used for a countable noun. If not, then I need to start from scratch

E.g. Peter has 48 pencils fewer than Sally but 16 pencils more than Kevin.

I think some of the V experts can shed more light on usage more than v/s greater than.

Do we prefer more than when we compare between two objects/quantities and greater than when we compare the same quantity over a period of time?
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2016, 12:48
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warriorguy wrote:
daagh wrote:
(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than ------ Numbers is countable hence greater than required – correct choice.

(B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than – more than in most contexts to denote more volume or mass and to that extent is no- countable So does not go well with numbers . Generally when a plural noun such as numbers, books, pencils, mountains etc is involved, it entails greater than.

(C) extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were---- their is a wrong pronoun

(D) extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had ---- they is a wrong pronoun.

(E) extinction, now with numbers five times greater than --- This is a tricky issue. There is a temptation to allege that the phrase, now with ……. modifies extinction. More importantly, number does not indicate whose numbers it is, which is an Achilles’ heel. However, from whatever dimension, this choice is inferior to Choice A.

I am not sure I understand your explanation correctly. I have seen instances wherein more is used for a countable noun. If not, then I need to start from scratch

E.g. Peter has 48 pencils fewer than Sally but 16 pencils more than Kevin.

I think some of the V experts can shed more light on usage more than v/s greater than.

Do we prefer more than when we compare between two objects/quantities and greater than when we compare the same quantity over a period of time?

Following is an excerpt from Manhattan SC guide, which explains the use of "numbers".

"However, numbers is possible in a few contexts. If you wish to make a comparison, use greater than, not more than (which might imply that the quantity of numbers is larger, not the numbers themselves). See the Idiom List for more details.
Wrong: The rare Montauk beaked griffin is not extinct; its NUMBERS are now suspected to be much MORE than before. Right: The rare Montauk beaked griffin is not extinct; its NUMBERS are now suspected to be much GREATER than before."

To explain a bit more on the underlined part above:
5 is greater than 4... correct
The number of boys is the class is greater than the number of girls in the glass.... correct
BUT
There are more boys in the class than there are girls..... correct

When the number itself is compared, use "greater".
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