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Though widely used for decades to fuel home heating systems, utility

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Manager
Joined: 27 Jul 2011
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Though widely used for decades to fuel home heating systems, utility [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2012, 21:44
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85% (00:38) correct 15% (00:26) wrong based on 143 sessions

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Though widely used for decades to fuel home heating systems, utility boilers, and industrial furnaces, natural gas has still accounted for far less of the energy consumed in the United States than has oil.

(A) natural gas has still accounted for far less of the energy consumed in the United States than has oil
(B) natural gas has still accounted for far less of the energy consumed in the United States as oil
(C) natural gas still has accounted for far less of the energy consumed in the United States as oil has
(D) still far less of the energy consumed in the United States has been accounted for by natural gas as by oil
(E) still far less of the energy consumed in the United States has been accounted for by natural gas than has oil
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Kudos [?]: 290 [0], given: 103

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GMAT 1: 620 Q49 V26
Re: Though widely used for decades to fuel home heating systems, utility [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2012, 22:47
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The underlined part must be started with "natural gas" because natural gas is the subject of this sentence. So, D, E out
The intended comparison, between two options metioned here, is to be established through correct idom - "than". Only A has that correct idom. B,C OUT

The sentence has two split to consider. Option A has the correct implications.

HTH

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Re: Though widely used for decades to fuel home heating systems, utility [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2012, 11:18
Just to add to that, if it's not clear enough. What G800 means in terms of idiom is "less...than....".

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Re: Though widely used for decades to fuel home heating systems, utility [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2012, 11:50
The beginning of the sentence requires "natural gas" for the start (what was widely used to fuel home heating systems?). A,B,C are left. B is really bad because it states that natural gas did all that stuff as oil (so natural gas can be oil?). C is missing a comparison word (natural gas did less...where's the than?). So A is left.

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Re: Though widely used for decades to fuel home heating systems, utility [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2012, 04:26
the intial modifier : Though widely used to fuel ....................... ( What is widely used?)

Guess natural gas : This eliminates D n E

Between A / B / C :

This construction makes sense : ...............X (natural Gas ) has accounted for less of the energy consumed THAN has Y (oil)

Leading to A = my take

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Re: Though widely used for decades to fuel home heating systems, utility [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2016, 10:20
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Expert's post
Mbawarrior01 wrote:
Hi mikemcgarry,

I needed your help in understanding the official explanation for a wrong choice.

I understand the question and got the correct answer but the explanation about Choice B is bothering me.

Choice B : "Natural gas has still accounted for far less of the energy consumed in the United States as Oil

The OE says that sentence attempts to compare oil with what gas has done.

I thought the comparison was fine (leaving the idiom error - less than)

For eg : I have same pen as you [have]..... is correct

Then, accordingly " Gas has less energy consumption than oil " [has].. Shouldn't this be correct?

May be I am over thinking but need this confusion to be resolved.

Regards

Dear Mbawarrior01

I'm happy to respond.

Here is a very difficult to appreciate fact about the official questions. The official questions, in GMAT Prep or the OGs, are former live GMAT questions. In order to get onto the live GMAT, questions undergo an extensive statistical evaluation, from which many questions are weeded out. Once a question is on the GMAT, it continues to accumulate an extraordinary amount of data. Then, some of these questions, the ones that have done well, are released and put in the OG or in GMAT Prep. At this point, these are some of the highest quality test questions on earth! Each questions has tens of thousands of data points behind it assuring its quality.

By contrast, the explanations were written once by somebody, maybe a starving graduate student, and so far as I can tell, they have undergone almost no feedback whatsoever. A few are excellent, many are OK, and some are atrocious.

Now, the deceptive thing is that the questions and the explanations are all bundled together, whether in GMAT Prep or the OG, all in the same font and format, so that it may appear to the naive reader that they are of the same quality. They are NOT!

Keep this in mind. Here's a text version of the question:
Though widely used for decades to fuel home heating systems, utility boilers, and industrial furnaces, natural gas has accounted for far less of the energy consumed in the United States than has oil.

A. natural gas has still accounted for far less of the energy consumed in the United States than has oil
B. natural gas has still accounted for far less of the energy consumed in the United States as oil
C. natural gas still has accounted for far less of the energy consumed in the United States as oil has
D. still far less of the energy consumed in the United States has been accounted for by natural gas as by oil
E. still far less of the energy consumed in the United States has been accounted for by natural gas than has oil

First of all, the problem that simply torpedoes (B) is the idiom blunder, "less ... as." That should be front and center in any discussion of why (B) is wrong. There is, though, something else going on, to which the explanation refers.

See this post:
4 Challenging Comparison Questions on the GMAT
In that post, I explain the difference between what I call a subjective comparison and objective comparison.

If we changed (B) and replaced the word "as" with the word "than," we would have corrected the idiom problem but we would still have the logical problem. In particular, the sentence would leave unclear whether "oil" was intended to be a subjective comparison or an objective comparison.

Read that blog carefully, and I think what the official explanation was trying to say will make more sense.

Mike
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Kudos [?]: 8732 [1], given: 105

Re: Though widely used for decades to fuel home heating systems, utility   [#permalink] 16 Aug 2016, 10:20
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