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# The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environm

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Manager
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The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environm [#permalink]

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22 Dec 2010, 17:52
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Difficulty:

95% (hard)

Question Stats:

39% (02:23) correct 61% (01:42) wrong based on 631 sessions

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The SC problem below is a tough modifier problem. I was able to narrow down the choices to (c) or (e). The "cost to the United States...of" dissuaded me against option (e) for some unknown reason. Why is (e) a preferable answer choice to (b)? Also, I've noticed that in modifier problems where the entire passage is underlined, the GMAT likes to contrast possessive subjects or possessive collective nouns (such as in answer choices (a), (b), (c)), with placeholder "it" subjects (such as in question (e) ).

I would appreciate any analysis or advice anyone has on this problem and on my modifier problem observation. Thanks!

The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environmental regulations is projected at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum by the end of the decade.

a. The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environmental regulations is projected at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum by the end of the decade.

b. The United States petroleum industry's cost by the end of the decade to meet environmental regulations is estimated at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum.

c. By the end of the decade, the United States petroleum industry's cost of meeting environmental regulations is projected at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum.

d. To meet environmental regulations, the cost to the United States petroleum industry is estimated at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum by the end of the decade.

3. It is estimated that by the end of the decade the cost to the United States petroleum industry of meeting environmental regulations will be ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum.
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Re: The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environm [#permalink]

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22 Dec 2010, 19:26
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tonebeeze wrote:
The SC problem below is a tough modifier problem. I was able to narrow down the choices to (c) or (e). The "cost to the United States...of" dissuaded me against option (e) for some unknown reason. Why is (e) a preferable answer choice to (b)? Also, I've noticed that in modifier problems where the entire passage is underlined, the GMAT likes to contrast possessive subjects or possessive collective nouns (such as in answer choices (a), (b), (c)), with placeholder "it" subjects (such as in question (e) ).

I would appreciate any analysis or advice anyone has on this problem and on my modifier problem observation. Thanks!

The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environmental regulations is projected at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum by the end of the decade.

a. The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environmental regulations is projected at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum by the end of the decade.

b. The United States petroleum industry's cost by the end of the decade to meet environmental regulations is estimated at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum.

c. By the end of the decade, the United States petroleum industry's cost of meeting environmental regulations is projected at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum.

d. To meet environmental regulations, the cost to the United States petroleum industry is estimated at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum by the end of the decade.

e. It is estimated that by the end of the decade the cost to the United States petroleum industry of meeting environmental regulations will be ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum.

Hi!

I quickly arrived at (E) because of the improperly used idioms "projected at" and "estimated at" - in both cases, "to be" should be used instead of "at".

Since A, B, C and D all have "at", and E has "is estimated that... [it] will be", which is also fine, that's the choice that immediately jumped out at me.

"The cost to X of Y is Z" is an acceptable phrase.
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Re: The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environm [#permalink]

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22 Dec 2010, 21:10
Why is "estimated at" unidiomatic? Its used all the time!? I mean surely the GMAT can't have a problem with "estimated at" or "projected at"? Is "estimated/projected at" grammatically wrong?

The direct economic value the Internet provides to the rest of the U.S. economy is estimated at $175 billion. http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6268.html Thanks. Kaplan GMAT Instructor Joined: 21 Jun 2010 Posts: 148 Location: Toronto Followers: 44 Kudos [?]: 191 [3] , given: 0 Re: The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environm [#permalink] ### Show Tags 22 Dec 2010, 21:57 3 This post received KUDOS 2 This post was BOOKMARKED gmat1011 wrote: Why is "estimated at" unidiomatic? Its used all the time!? I mean surely the GMAT can't have a problem with "estimated at" or "projected at"? Is "estimated/projected at" grammatically wrong? The direct economic value the Internet provides to the rest of the U.S. economy is estimated at$175 billion. http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6268.html

Thanks.

Hi,

when you're talking about the present, "estimated at" is fine; when you're projecting to the future, "estimated to be" (or, even better, changing the sentence to use the future "will be") is correct.

For idioms, it's all about what the GMAT considers correct - that's the "fun" thing about idioms, there are no rules, it's just what "is" correct.
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Re: The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environm [#permalink]

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23 Dec 2010, 08:38
its quiet straight forward question. as petroleum industry has to meet the regulation but not the industry's cost. hence the answer E is correct. pls correct me if i am wrong.
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Re: The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environm [#permalink]

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23 Dec 2010, 10:54
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tirupatibalaji wrote:
its quiet straight forward question. as petroleum industry has to meet the regulation but not the industry's cost. hence the answer E is correct. pls correct me if i am wrong.

After further review, you can certainly arrive at the answer in under 60 seconds:
(1) If you identify the improper idioms "estimated at" & "projected at"

(2) You have a firm grasp of the concept of possessives. Possessive cases (- ‘s) is used only with the names of living things.

We don't say:
Table's legs...
Industry's cost...

We say:
Legs of the table...
Cost to the industry...
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Re: The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environm [#permalink]

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23 Dec 2010, 18:19
tonebeeze wrote:
tirupatibalaji wrote:
We don't say:
Table's legs...
Industry's cost...

We say:
Legs of the table...
Cost to the industry...

Actually, it's perfectly OK to use possessives with inanimate objects (or even intangibles).

"The table's legs are uneven", "the industry's costs are high this year" and "the plan's advantages are clear" are all well constructed sentences.
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Re: The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environm [#permalink]

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23 Dec 2010, 18:40
@tirupatibalaji I think you're correct in pointing out logical explanation.
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Re: The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environm [#permalink]

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23 Dec 2010, 19:44
B is also incorrect because the cost is separated from the figures. You should try to have the cost be modified by the actual cost rather than other parts of the sentence.
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Re: The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environm [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2011, 06:18
When GMAC’s psychometrician remarked about removing the idioms from the database, he must have certainly meant including this one. However, I got interested in this because the title said it is a tough modifier problem. Which modifier?
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Re: The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environm [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2011, 22:02
I picked C...but I see why E is correct
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Re: The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environm [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2011, 12:28
Had picked C. But realize why E is right. Did'nt know the idiom for projected.
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Re: The United States petroleum industry's cost to meet environm [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2011, 21:36
tirupatibalaji wrote:
its quiet straight forward question. as petroleum industry has to meet the regulation but not the industry's cost. hence the answer E is correct. pls correct me if i am wrong.

Can you elucidate the shift in meaning? I'm unable to grasp this.
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