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

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

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03 Aug 2019, 08:38
You can compare "numbers" with "when the use of XXX(a time)"?
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with  [#permalink]

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07 Oct 2019, 21:19
GMATNinja wrote:
I kinda hate this question. And I swear that I’m basically a very happy person.

Quote:
(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than

Two things jump out at me right away in (A), and neither of them are a problem. First, the semicolon needs to separate two independent clauses, and it does exactly that. Second, the “its” needs to refer back to a singular noun, and it does exactly that – “its” refers to “the gyrfalcon.”

So I wouldn't eliminate (A) right away. But it is awfully similar to (B), so let’s put them side-by-side:
Quote:
(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than
(B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than

The only difference is that (A) uses the phrase “greater than”, and (B) uses “more than.” In real life, I don’t think that either of these necessarily sounds better than the other, and I probably wouldn't notice if somebody said the incorrect version.

Here’s the thing: if you’re comparing numbers themselves – not quantity in general, but actual numbers – it’s generally better to use “greater than” instead of “more than.” For example, you would read the mathematical expression 20 > 10 as “twenty is greater than ten.”

Or you consider the following two sentences:
• I ate more burritos than Mike last night. → we’re comparing quantities of burritos in general, not the numbers themselves, so “more” is OK
• I ate a greater number of burritos than Mike last night. → now that we’re comparing the numbers, we need to use “greater”
• I ate a more number of burritos than Mike last night. → not remotely tempting to use “more” to compare the numbers themselves in this case, right?

Back to the GMAT question. Since we’re directly and literally comparing the numbers themselves, we need to use “greater than”, and not “more than”.

So we can eliminate (B), and hang onto (A).

Quote:
(C) extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were

Hopefully, the pronouns jump right off the page at you. “Their” needs to refer to a plural noun, and… well, we don’t have any plurals earlier in the sentence. “The gyrfalcon” is singular.

So (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had

(D) has a similar problem as (C): there’s some general awkwardness, but the much more important issue is that “they” doesn’t have a logical referent. The only plural noun earlier in the sentence is “the numbers”, and that definitely wouldn’t work: “… now with fivefold the numbers the numbers had…” Yikes. Of course, “they” is logically trying to refer to “the gyrfalcon”, and that’s singular.

So (D) is gone, too.

Quote:
(E) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than what they were

(E) is just a crappier version of (A). The only real difference is that (E) adds the phrase “what they were” to the end of the sentence, and there’s no good reason to do that – it adds nothing to the meaning, and just makes the sentence wordier and messier.

We can eliminate (E), and (A) is the best we can do.

But as per MGMAT greater is used in case of uncountable nouns so if we say 20 is greater than 10 how can we say that 20 is uncountable. Also “ more” can be used with both countable and uncountable noun so isn’t it that B is better.

Getting confused......?

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with  [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2019, 20:10
2
I was recently pointed by one of my students that the incorrect option (E) in the given question (let's name it Version 1) is the correct option in this question (let's say Version 2): https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-gyrfalco ... 13398.html

In my research, I found out Version 2 in GMAC Paper Test (Test Code 42 Section 5 Question 4). However, I have not been able to find Version 1. Rather, I have found Version 3 in OG 10 (Ques 251), Verbal Review 2017 (Q 208), and Verbal Review 2019 (Q 209). The tags for Version 1 suggest that this version is there in OG 10, VR 2017, and VR 2019. However, Version 1 is not there in these 3 guides.

Given my research, I'm doubtful that Version 1 even exists. Can somebody point to an official guide that has this version?

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

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25 Dec 2019, 09:10
daagh wrote:
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.

Dear daagh sir,

There is no with in E.
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with  [#permalink]

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25 Dec 2019, 09:17
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Some confusion with this question. One of the versions seems to have with. Pointless discussing something that has different versions.
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with  [#permalink]

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25 Dec 2019, 09:20
daagh wrote:
Some confusion with this question. One of the versions seems to have with. Pointless discussing something that has different versions.

hahahaha yes sir, you are absolutely right. I just checked out the second version.
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with  [#permalink]

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27 Dec 2019, 01:48
egmat wrote:
kunalkhanna wrote:
my confusion is
1) doesn't it sound unidiomatic numbers 5 times greater than ( normally we use 5 times the) I am asking this not in context to this particular question but as a rule in general
2) confused between A and E

Hello kunalkhanna,

1) There is no issue with the expression numbers are five times greater than.... Another correct expression, as you indicated, is numbers are five times the number.... Don't we explain the expression 5 > 2 as five is greater than 2? So the expression the numbers are greater than... is absolutely fine.

2) Choice E is very wordy compared to Choice A. There is no need for the expression what they were mentioned in Choice E. Choice A presents correct comparison in a very concise manner.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

Hi egmat, GMATNinja, daagh ...

its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's.

According to the rules of ellipsis, the omitted phrase should be exactly present elsewhere in the sentence, else it should be repeated. In the correct version of this sentence "than they were" is omitted. But this phrase is present nowhere in the sentence. And "its numbers are" is present tense. And "they were" is past tense, hence, IMHO it should be repeated. I'd love to hear your opinion.
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with  [#permalink]

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27 Dec 2019, 07:25
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@jkbk

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 1970s.

(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

Pl appreciate, 'they were' cannot be repeated because 'they' has no antecedent. Probably you are trying to say, 'it was' when DDT was restricted. However, the reference is for the bird now, while the comparison is between the numbers previously with the numbers now, a comparison of some numbers at two different times.
Let's also remember that we need not repeat the verb since 'are' is a linking verb only. The repetition is such cases is optional than essential.
An example is -- "I am taller than my brother"-- There is no need to say, "I am taller than my brother is".

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

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18 Apr 2020, 01:27
Hi GMATNinja,

Thank you for your very detailed explanation.

However, I'm quite confused with this question.

You mentioned that E is incorrect because the word "what (the things that)" they were when the use of DDT...
doesn't quite make sense.

However, I try to search for similar GMAT official question that view this usage as correct.

In the 1980's the rate of increase of the minority population of the United States was nearly twice as fast as the 1970's.

(A) twice as fast as
(B) twice as fast as it was in
(C) twice what it was in
(D) two times faster than that of
(E) two times greater than

If I literally interpret your meaning of "what" as "the things that" ,
the sentence would be " In the 1980's the rate of increase of the minority population of the United States was nearly
twice "the things that" it was in the 1970's "
That sentence probably doesn't make sense as per your earlier explanation.
Then so, why "what they were" in (E) in the question of this thread is incorrect?

In my opinion, "what" is a pronoun that can be referred to the previous noun "the rate" in the right above question;
And for the question on the thread "what" can be referred to "its numbers".

I usually have problem with comparison question, especially ellipsis issue.
I'm not a native speaker, so I cannot determine the extent to which the sentence can omit some words so that
the intended meaning is kept and unambiguously.

Thank you very much.
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with  [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2020, 12:25
ballest127 wrote:
Hi GMATNinja,

Thank you for your very detailed explanation.

However, I'm quite confused with this question.

You mentioned that E is incorrect because the word "what (the things that)" they were when the use of DDT...
doesn't quite make sense.

However, I try to search for similar GMAT official question that view this usage as correct.

In the 1980's the rate of increase of the minority population of the United States was nearly twice as fast as the 1970's.

(A) twice as fast as
(B) twice as fast as it was in
(C) twice what it was in
(D) two times faster than that of
(E) two times greater than

If I literally interpret your meaning of "what" as "the things that" ,
the sentence would be " In the 1980's the rate of increase of the minority population of the United States was nearly
twice "the things that" it was in the 1970's "
That sentence probably doesn't make sense as per your earlier explanation.
Then so, why "what they were" in (E) in the question of this thread is incorrect?

In my opinion, "what" is a pronoun that can be referred to the previous noun "the rate" in the right above question;
And for the question on the thread "what" can be referred to "its numbers".

I usually have problem with comparison question, especially ellipsis issue.
I'm not a native speaker, so I cannot determine the extent to which the sentence can omit some words so that
the intended meaning is kept and unambiguously.

Thank you very much.

Do you know the source of the question referenced in your post ("In the 1980's the rate of increase of the minority population...")?
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Artic bird of prey, has survived a close  [#permalink]

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10 May 2020, 13:23
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