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The weight of the average American male today is roughly

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The weight of the average American male today is roughly [#permalink]

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The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago.

A. The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago.

B. The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than fifty years ago.

C. Today, the weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago.

D. The average American male weighs roughly fifteen percent more today than fifty years ago.

E. The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than it was fifty years ago.

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[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: The weight of the average American male today is roughly [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2013, 16:52
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avohden wrote:
The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago.

A. The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago.

B. The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than fifty years ago.

C. Today, the weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago.

D. The average American male weighs roughly fifteen percent more today than fifty years ago.

E. The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than it was fifty years ago.

Dear avohden
I'm happy to help. :-)

This is a funny question.

The comparative form "fifteen percent more .. than" is not correct. That's why (D) is wrong.

Choices (A) - (C) just slide the word "today" around. I don't think there's a problem with any of the three locations for this word.

The only other split is that (E) includes a subject & verb after "than" for clarity. Certainly (E) is impeccable, but we are allowed to omit all words in parallel & comparison, as long as ambiguity doesn't arise, and I don't believe (A)-(C) are ambiguous in their comparisons. Sometimes omitting the verb after "than" produces gigantic ambiguities, but that's simply not the case here. For example
correct: I like lasagne more than John does.
ambiguous: I like lasagne more than John. This could mean the same as the first, or it could mean that I prefer lasagne to John!
Here, I don't believe any ambiguity arises, because it's clear that "fifty years ago" is a time reference, not a possible term in the comparison. Therefore, four of the five choices would be correct.

I don't find this a very GMAT-like question. The whole sentence is underlined, but despite that, there's exceedingly little difference among the answer choices. A good SC question has one very clear correct answer, and four choices that can be eliminated for absolutely unambiguous reasons.

That's my take.
Mike :-)
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Re: The weight of the average American male today is roughly [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2013, 17:26
After so many wrongs in this type of problem I started loving this type. while test taker's mind is busy in finding the comparison, test makers subtly change the meaning. - is it OK to compare mind vs test makers? :)

Back to the question.

A. The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago. - weight vs time.

B. The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than fifty years ago. weight vs time.

C. Today, the weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater than fifty years ago. - weight vs time.

D. The average American male weighs roughly fifteen percent more today than fifty years ago. - remove today and then read, no sense

E. The weight of the average American male today is roughly fifteen percent greater than it was fifty years ago.

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Re: The weight of the average American male today is roughly [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2013, 10:25
Official Explanation

Answer: E
- This is a classic comparison question. We need to be comparing today’s average weight to the former average weight, but answer choices (A) through (D) all fill one of those two comparison slots with “fifty years ago.” (E) employs an “it” to substitute for “weight,” and thus it effects a fair comparison.

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Re: The weight of the average American male today is roughly [#permalink]

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Re: The weight of the average American male today is roughly [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2017, 22:33
Question to experts:
Can someone please tell me why B is wrong?
B. The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than fifty years ago.

I think here the comparison is correct between 'today' and '50 years ago'.
I choose this over E because it is succinct and clear. I am genuinely confused on this one!!!
:(

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Re: The weight of the average American male today is roughly [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2017, 22:34
Question to experts:
Can someone please tell me why B is wrong?
B. The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than fifty years ago.

I think here the comparison is correct between 'today' and '50 years ago'.
I choose this over E because it is succinct and clear. I am genuinely confused on this one!!!

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The weight of the average American male today is roughly [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2017, 07:47
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manishtank1988 wrote:
Question to experts:
Can someone please tell me why B is wrong?
B. The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than fifty years ago.

I think here the comparison is correct between 'today' and '50 years ago'.
I choose this over E because it is succinct and clear. I am genuinely confused on this one!!!



Hey manishtank1988,

The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than fifty years ago.

greater today than fifty years ago

This is something done to mislead the test taker into believing it is a correct comparison.

What is before than is compared to what is after it. Therefore, one of the things compared is fifty years ago, but the other is not today.

The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than fifty years ago.

It can be corrected in either of these ways:

The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than it was fifty years ago.
The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than that fifty years ago.
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Last edited by Scorpi0n on 28 Oct 2017, 11:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The weight of the average American male today is roughly [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2017, 09:00
Scorpi0n wrote:
manishtank1988 wrote:
Question to experts:
Can someone please tell me why B is wrong?
B. The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than fifty years ago.

I think here the comparison is correct between 'today' and '50 years ago'.
I choose this over E because it is succinct and clear. I am genuinely confused on this one!!!



Hey manishtank1988,

The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than fifty years ago.

greater today than fifty years ago

This is something done to mislead the test taker into believing it is a correct comparison.

What is before than is compared to what is after it. Therefore, one of the things compared is fifty years ago, but the other is not today.

The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than fifty years ago.

It can be corrected in either of these ways:

The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than it was fifty years ago.
The weight of the average American male is roughly fifteen percent greater today than that fifty years ago.


Thanks Scorpi0n

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Re: The weight of the average American male today is roughly   [#permalink] 28 Oct 2017, 09:00
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