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Traffic safety officials predict that drivers will be equally likely

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Joined: 30 May 2018
Posts: 74
Concentration: General Management, Marketing
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V45
GPA: 3.45
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Re: Traffic safety officials predict that drivers will be equally likely  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2018, 20:01
#MY10SECAPPROACH :
Equally likely is redundant , hence must be avoided - throws out option A,B & C.
Likely always carries "TO" as a conjunction , hence even option D is out - leaving answer choice option E.
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Traffic safety officials predict that drivers will be equally likely  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2018, 15:05
Hello Everyone!

This is a great example of a GMAT question that has to do with the rules concerning comparisons! Before we dive in, here is the original question with any major differences between the options highlighted in orange:

Traffic safety officials predict that drivers will be equally likely to exceed the proposed speed limit as the current one.

(A) equally likely to exceed the proposed speed limit as
(B) equally likely to exceed the proposed speed limit as they are
(C) equally likely that they will exceed the proposed speed limit as
(D) as likely that they will exceed the proposed speed limit as
(E) as likely to exceed the proposed speed limit as they are

After a quick glance over the options, 2 major differences jumped out:

1. equally likely vs. as likely
2. as vs. as they are


Let's start with #1 on our list: equally likely vs. as likely. The proper idiomatic structure for each of these options are:

equally likely X and Y will happen (suggests both events will happen at the same time)
as likely X will happen as Y will happen (suggests that both events happen at separate times, but could end up turning out the same)

Since ALL of the options use some version of the phrase "as Y will happen" at the end of each one, we know that the first half of the comparison MUST include the "as likely X will happen" for the idiom to be complete.

Therefore, we can eliminate options A, B, and C because they don't follow either idiom structure correctly.

Now, we're only left with options D and E! Let's now focus on #2: as vs. as they are. To make this a little easier to spot, I added in the non-underlined portion of the sentence to each option:

(D) Traffic safety officials predict that drivers will be as likely that they will exceed the proposed speed limit as the current one.

This option is INCORRECT because the wording of this is confusing and awkward. The phrase "that they will exceed" is not only written poorly, but also it might confuse readers into thinking we're now talking about traffic safety officials exceeding the speed limit, rather than the drivers!

(E) Traffic safety officials predict that drivers will be as likely to exceed the proposed speed limit as they are the current one.

This option is CORRECT! It uses the right idiom structure "as likely that X will happen as Y will happen." It's also absolutely clear that the pronoun "they" is referring only to the drivers!

There you go - option E is our correct choice!


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Traffic safety officials predict that drivers will be equally likely &nbs [#permalink] 17 Oct 2018, 15:05

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