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

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

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New post Updated on: 20 Sep 2018, 05:33
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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



Verbal Question of The Day: Day 233: Sentence Correction


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https://www.nytimes.com/1986/01/07/science/science-watch-reduction-of-pesticides-nets-increase-in-bird-populations.html

As recently as a decade ago, the scientists noted, bald eagles were sighted in only 39 states. Now their number has increased by 92 percent to 37,000 and the living national symbol, which feeds mainly on fish, can be sighted in every state but Hawaii. The gyrfalcon, an Arctic species that feeds on snowshoe hares and grouse, has survived a close brush with extinction, its numbers rising fivefold since the early 1970's to 500. The number of peregrine falcons, which breed in cities and wilderness areas across the continent, have climbed 19 percent in 14 years to an estimated total of 1,200. But during the same period the population of Harris's hawk, a dweller of the Southwestern deserts, declined 38 percent to 5,600.


Edit: Watch out - There is a similar but modified version of this question HERE

Originally posted by boeinz on 13 Sep 2009, 18:00.
Last edited by Bunuel on 20 Sep 2018, 05:33, edited 7 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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New post 11 Aug 2011, 07:23
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Let me put it this way. When you are comparing two nouns, the focus is on the nouns and not on the actions. For example:
John is taller than his brother . We don not say John is taller than his brother is. Because the comparison is just between two nouns namely John and his brother and not how tall both are.

However, look at this now.

John jumps higher than his brother- This is wrong; Here we are comparing John’s jumping with his brother‘s jumping, a comparison of two actions and hence both the actions must be explicitly stated.

In the given case, the numbers of the previous times are being compared with the numbers of the present time – essentially a comparison of two nouns. Hence, we can afford to drop the verbal comparison.

Context plays a large role in such cases than any given rule IMO.

Kudos to superfreak for his dogged quest of knowledge
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Re: QOTD: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2018, 15:51
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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.
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2009, 20:28
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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, now with numbers five times greater than

Primarily we need to understand that with GMAT we need to pick the best from the options available to us.

By POE we can eliminate the following:
C- "their numbers" does not match with the singularity of "the gryfalcon"
D- the same reason as C
E- numbers does not refer to anything specific.

We are now stuck with A & B . Now its between "greater than" and "more than".
When comparing number we do not say four is more than two, instead we say four is greater than two".
In this context we are comparing numbers hence we can eliminate B too.
So A is the OA.
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2009, 02:38
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Thanks for the reply. However, what puzzles me here is why "extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than" is grammatically correct. I was expecting it to be "extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than they were". To me "they were" seems like missing from the OA. So my question is what rule is it that enables the writer not to say "they were" here.

Thanks again,

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

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New post 01 Dec 2009, 04:34
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In GMAT when we find "numbers" in a comparison, we should use "greater than" and not "more than"
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2009, 10:47
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superfreak wrote:
Hi Jade3. Thanks for your response. You say:

Yes you can write "greater than they were" instead of "greater than" when you are comparing numbers

Is it just when comparing numbers? As a non native speaker I am looking for mechanical, non-intuitive methods when possible. Can you point me to some rule here? The reason I am so concerned here is because I have a feeling that I came across the same structure in some other questions as well.

Thanks,

superfreak


You will be required to make sure that the sentence compares like items.

Ex: “Samuel Sewall, like the views of other seventeenth-century colonists, viewed marriage as a property arrangement rather than as an emotional bond based on romantic love”

Notice that the above sentence attempts to compare a “person with the views of a contemporary group of people”. That is illogical. We need to compare between people and people or between views with views

You can fix the above sentence as “Samuel Sewall, like other seventeenth-century colonists, viewed marriage as a property arrangement rather than as an emotional bond based on romantic love.”

Now let us take the 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.

Make a habit of looking at the underlined part of the sentence for clues, and make sure that the choice you choose is logical, effective, parallel and concise. Here in the above sentence we have “when….” Which clearly indicates a time in the past. The sentence actually is comparing the present time (“now”) to past time (“when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970’s”). That is logical. Hence the correct answer

(A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than
- Correct
(B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than
-“Greater than” is preferred to “more than”. Hence incorrect
(C) extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were
- “their” has no referent. Hence incorrect
(D) extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had
-“they” has no clear referent
(E) extinction, now with numbers five times greater than
-the prepositional phrase “with numbers five times” is wrongly modifying “now”. Hence incorrect.
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New post 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 brush with  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Nov 2013, 20:11
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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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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 04 Jan 2015, 14:56
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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

Originally posted by mejia401 on 12 Feb 2014, 18:52.
Last edited by mejia401 on 04 Jan 2015, 14:56, edited 3 times in total.
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New post 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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New post 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 :oops: :shock:

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

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New post 31 Oct 2016, 12:48
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warriorguy wrote:


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 :oops: :shock:

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? :-D


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

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New post 02 Mar 2018, 12:46
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.


Thank you GMATNinja, but I am positing that A is incorrect (not just more concise). A has an incorrect parallelism issue. It would have to read: "extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than they were.... Otherwise, it incorrectly compares "its numbers" with "when the use of DDT was sharply restricted." Am I reading this incorrectly? Would love souvik101990 to weigh in with the source of this Q and reasoning behind OA. I always find it strange when the data reveals overwhelming support for a "wrong" answer (49% chose E vs. 34% for A).
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Re: QOTD: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2018, 12:55
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datatrader wrote:
Thank you GMATNinja, but I am positing that A is incorrect (not just more concise). A has an incorrect parallelism issue. It would have to read: "extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than they were.... Otherwise, it incorrectly compares "its numbers" with "when the use of DDT was sharply restricted." Am I reading this incorrectly? Would love souvik101990 to weigh in with the source of this Q and reasoning behind OA. I always find it strange when the data reveals overwhelming support for a "wrong" answer (49% chose E vs. 34% for A).

Sadly, (A) is unambiguously the correct answer. It's an official question, straight from the official GMAT verbal guide. And keep in mind that when you take an actual, adaptive GMAT, the test is trying to find the level of question at which you get roughly half of the questions right -- so if this is a 700-level question, we'd expect close to half of the test-takers who get 700s to get it wrong. And in a broader population, we might expect much more than half to miss a really hard question, unfortunately.

Anyway, here are (A) and (E) again:

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

Let me come at (E) from a different direction this time. Sorry friends, I was a little bit lazy above in basically saying "hey, you really don't need the extra words" in (E). But there's a more technical problem: "what" is trying to act as some sort of pronoun in (E), and I don't think that works. "What" can occasionally be used as a pronoun in a non-question (technically, a relative pronoun if you like jargon), but when it is used as a pronoun, it basically is a singular phrase that means "the things that." So these two sentences would be OK:

  • "What I did after drinking 17 beers last night was regrettable." --> In other words, "the things that I did last night [were] regrettable." Grammatically, that works fine.
  • "Mike couldn't believe what he saw on the beach in Chile." --> Mike couldn't believe "the things that he saw" on the beach. That also works fine.

But in (E)? We have "its numbers are now five times greater than the things that they were when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's." And that doesn't quite make sense.

Honestly, I agree with the heart of what some of you are arguing here. If the sentence said "it's numbers are now five times greater than they were when the use of DDT was sharply restricted...", then I'd be happier. That would set up the comparison nicely. But that's not one of our options, and the word "what" turns (E) into a mess.

In (A), the key is that the comparison isn't fundamentally illogical or confusing -- even though I agree that it would be clearer if "they were" were added. We're directly comparing the numbers in two different time periods: "its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's." Logically, that actually makes perfect sense, and the GMAT would argue that there's no need to repeat "they were," because it's clear enough (at least in the GMAT's view) that we're comparing those two time periods. And adding the phrase "what they were" would definitely be wrong in (E), for the reasons I explained above.

To be fair: this one is tricky, and I can't really understand why the GMAT thinks it's important to test these concepts. But (A) is unambiguously correct, sadly.

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

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New post 22 Mar 2018, 00:40
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
Thanks in advance
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Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2018, 08:08
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
Thanks in advance



Hello kunalkhanna,


Thank you for the query. I will be glad to help you with this one. :-)

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.
Shraddha
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QOTD: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2018, 07:55
1
GMATNinja wrote:
datatrader wrote:
Thank you GMATNinja, but I am positing that A is incorrect (not just more concise). A has an incorrect parallelism issue. It would have to read: "extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than they were.... Otherwise, it incorrectly compares "its numbers" with "when the use of DDT was sharply restricted." Am I reading this incorrectly? Would love souvik101990 to weigh in with the source of this Q and reasoning behind OA. I always find it strange when the data reveals overwhelming support for a "wrong" answer (49% chose E vs. 34% for A).

Sadly, (A) is unambiguously the correct answer. It's an official question, straight from the official GMAT verbal guide. And keep in mind that when you take an actual, adaptive GMAT, the test is trying to find the level of question at which you get roughly half of the questions right -- so if this is a 700-level question, we'd expect close to half of the test-takers who get 700s to get it wrong. And in a broader population, we might expect much more than half to miss a really hard question, unfortunately.

Anyway, here are (A) and (E) again:

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

Let me come at (E) from a different direction this time. Sorry friends, I was a little bit lazy above in basically saying "hey, you really don't need the extra words" in (E). But there's a more technical problem: "what" is trying to act as some sort of pronoun in (E), and I don't think that works. "What" can occasionally be used as a pronoun in a non-question (technically, a relative pronoun if you like jargon), but when it is used as a pronoun, it basically is a singular phrase that means "the things that." So these two sentences would be OK:

  • "What I did after drinking 17 beers last night was regrettable." --> In other words, "the things that I did last night [were] regrettable." Grammatically, that works fine.
  • "Mike couldn't believe what he saw on the beach in Chile." --> Mike couldn't believe "the things that he saw" on the beach. That also works fine.

But in (E)? We have "its numbers are now five times greater than the things that they were when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's." And that doesn't quite make sense.

Honestly, I agree with the heart of what some of you are arguing here. If the sentence said "it's numbers are now five times greater than they were when the use of DDT was sharply restricted...", then I'd be happier. That would set up the comparison nicely. But that's not one of our options, and the word "what" turns (E) into a mess.

In (A), the key is that the comparison isn't fundamentally illogical or confusing -- even though I agree that it would be clearer if "they were" were added. We're directly comparing the numbers in two different time periods: "its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's." Logically, that actually makes perfect sense, and the GMAT would argue that there's no need to repeat "they were," because it's clear enough (at least in the GMAT's view) that we're comparing those two time periods. And adding the phrase "what they were" would definitely be wrong in (E), for the reasons I explained above.

To be fair: this one is tricky, and I can't really understand why the GMAT thinks it's important to test these concepts. But (A) is unambiguously correct, sadly.

I hope this helps!


I totally agree with your solution but I think the original question differs minutely from the current one. The fifth option has been tweaked.
Please check the attachment.


Spoiler: :: attachment
Attachment:
File comment: Question cropped from OG
Gyrfalcon question.PNG
Gyrfalcon question.PNG [ 83.12 KiB | Viewed 1734 times ]
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QOTD: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived &nbs [#permalink] 22 Aug 2018, 07:55
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