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# While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other

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While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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21 Jun 2012, 02:55
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The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2015

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 107
Page: 691

While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.

(A) While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.

(B) While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive.

(C) Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes the electricity they generate more expensive.

(D) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants.

(E) The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants, but the electricity they generate is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by macjas on 21 Jun 2012, 17:52, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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18 Mar 2013, 14:01
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imhimanshu wrote:
I tried to understand this concept by taking clues from MGMAT, but failed to do so. I would appreciate if someone can help me out.

Here is an example from MGMAT-
The incidence of the disease among men exceeds the incidence among women.
The incidence of the disease among men exceeds that among women.
Here, that is referring to incidence, per explanantion from MGMAT.

So, ellipsis should be -
The incidence of the disease among men exceeds that(of the disease) among women.
Now, going by same concept -

The cost of running nuclear plants is same as that for electric plants.
In the below sentence, what THAT is referring to . Is it "the cost" or "the cost of running".

If it is later, then why do we require an extra preposition?

The cost of running nuclear plants is same as {the cost of running }for electric plants.

Thanks
H

Very interesting question Himanshu.
When you are dealing with ellipsis, it always helps to begin from the completely expanded version with all the words and then move your way to the abbreviated version by applying ellipsis along the way. I will do the same here:

Let's consider only the pertinent portion of the sentence.

1. The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as the cost of running other types of power plants.
No issues here with the comparison. Both sides of the comparison are grammatically and logically parallel.

Now what if I replace "the cost of running" with "that". After it is obvious that we are comparing cost of running of the two categories of plants. But when I apply this ellipsis, I need something to connect "that" with "other types of power plants".

2. (Without connection with that)
The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as that other types of power plants. WRONG

2. (with correct connection)
The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as that for other types of power plants.
So this is where the preposition "for" comes from.

Now we continue with our ellipsis. We can indeed even omit "that" from here since this omission will not lead to any ambiguity.

3. The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants.

So this is how I get to the correct sentence containing "for".

Now let's apply the same on the set of sentences:
1. The incidence of the disease among men exceeds the incidence of the disease among women.
1 to 2 - The incidence of the disease among men exceeds the incidence of the disease among women.
2. The incidence of the disease among men exceeds the incidence among women.
2 to 3 - The incidence of the disease among men exceeds the incidence among women.
3. The incidence of the disease among men exceeds that among women.

So the key thing here is that as you replace or omit words, think about what connections you may need to get the correct sentence. The nature of the two sentences is different. In the Official sentence, the main component - cost of running - took direct object without the need of any preposition. So when we replaced this with "that" we needed a connection - i.e. a preposition. However, in the other example, the main component - incidence of the disease - itself needed a preposition to connect to the object and hence when we replaced it with "that" we did not need to get another preposition.

Thus when you cross-check your work in ellipsis, start from the complete sentence and then work your way to simplified version with replacement words and omitted words.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Payal
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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There are two distinct splits here, as you may see; one is the comparison of the costs to run a nuclear plant with just the other types of plants and not their running costs. The second split is the ambiguity of the pronouns, precisely the –third - it in the original. Of course the other two it pronouns may be argued as passable as place holders.

A. While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity. ----- 1.faulty comparison; cost of running compared with other types of power plants 2. The third pronoun it is dangling without an antecedent. Makes what more expensive? Makes electricity more expensive to generate electricity 3. Costs that makes … A SV mismatch

B While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive.
The comparison, the pronoun problem and the SV mismatch nicely fixed. Correct choice.

C. Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes the electricity they generate more expensive. -----Though the comparison problems are fixed, costs and that makes is S-V mismatch.

D. It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants.
Pronoun they is rather ambiguous; they may refer to either the nuclear or other types.

E. The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants, but the electricity they generate is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants. -------- Faulty comparison
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2012, 23:39
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One more imp learning from this SC:

A costs the same as B- sub to sub comparison
The costs of running A is same for B---Obj to Obj comparison need Preposition
{Got this rule from Magoosh video so can rely on it }

Analysis based on above rules:
A. While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.->correct

Use of "makes " is wrong, Also "It is" in second clause is not needed [/color]

B While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive.->Correct

C. Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes the electricity they generate more expensive.-> wrong we don't need prep here

D. It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants.--> wrong same as C

E. The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants, but the electricity they generate is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants.----> wrong Need a preposition
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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03 Feb 2014, 15:20
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aeglorre wrote:
IMO, this is quite a bad question. Because arguably, the "they" in B is ambiguous. Both costs and nuclear plants are plural, so there is definitely room for confusion.
The pronoun "they" in D clearly refers back to power plannts, there's no pronoun ambiguity there. Sure, the present participle "stemming" modifies the whole preceding clause but I don't see why that's a problem, what's "stemming" is, in fact, the expensive electricity, so I don't see where the modifier error is.
All in all, this question is just confusing..

Dear aeglorre,
This is a high quality question, SC #107 from the OG13. Yes, it's one of the harder questions in the OG, probably a question that many test takers would get wrong, but it is a very solid question, as are all the questions in the OG. The questions in the OG of such high quality that all other practice questions are striving to reach that level. If I may give you some advice, it usually doesn't reflect well on a student who argues that an OG question is of low quality.
In choice (B)the subject of the sentence unarguably is "nuclear plants." This rhetorical focus, as well as the logic of the context, makes the antecedent of the pronoun "they" completely unambiguous.
You're correct, in (D), "stemming" begins a dangling modifier. Choice (D) is clearly wrong, and choice (B) is clearly correct.

SleeB wrote:
Many people have chimed in on aspects of the question/answers and, moreover, a few tangents have been well developed.
But can someone (preferably an expert ) break down exactly what is wrong with each of the wrong answers here. There is so much going on and I'm still confused.
-Some people say "they" or "it" is wrong, others say it's right.
-There's this topic of "emphatic construction"
Also, I'm still pretty confused on the use of "for" in B versus the wrong answers. Can someone please elaborate on that?
Thank you!!

Dear SleeB,
First of all, about emphatic construction, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-idiom ... ed-idioms/
Here's the question again:
While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.
A. While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.

The comparison in the first half is fine, but in the second half, we have the unnecessary emphatic construction. This is incorrect.
B While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive.
Correct.
C. Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes the electricity they generate more expensive.
The comparison at the beginning is funky .....we could have
(1) it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants
or
(2) the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants
but combining these two correct versions, putting the "for" in with the verb "to run," is redundant. This also has the unnecessary emphatic construction in the second half. This is incorrect.
D. It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants.
Second half, beginning with "stemming," is a dangling modifier. This is incorrect.
E. The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants, but the electricity they generate is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants.
We meed the "for" in the comparison in the first part, and "is made more expensive" is awkward because it is excessively wordy. This is incorrect.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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18 May 2014, 12:49
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D is, i guess, wrong because it uses 'to run' along with 'as for'.
i mean take B, "cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for" is the correct usage.

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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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16 Mar 2013, 21:54
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Yes, I do understand that Choice B is best amongst all, and this is what I have mentioned above as well.
But, I also acknowledge the fact that there is always something to learn from every correct official answer, and that learning should be carried forward. That is the only way to improve.

sdas wrote:
You see, leaving apart too many rules, we need to chose the answer which is best out of the given options. All other choices except for B, in the question above, have noticeable grammar issues. Quite unlike, Choice B, only uses an additional preposition, which if you notice, most other choices uses as well, so...we choose an option which overcomes other more critical grammar issues (the logical comparison and SV error)

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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2014, 12:18
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While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.

A. While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.
B While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive....CORRECT
C.Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes the electricity they generate more expensive.
D. It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants.
E. The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants, but the electricity they generate is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants.

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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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18 May 2014, 18:19
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rishi081992 wrote:
D is, i guess, wrong because it uses 'to run' along with 'as for'.
i mean take B, "cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for" is the correct usage.

Dear rishi081992
I'm happy to respond.

Choice (D) has multiple problems. Here it is:
(D) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants.
I would say the first part, before the first comma, is more-or-less correct. It may be a little awkward, but there is nothing unambiguously incorrect about that first part.
One problem is ambiguous pronoun "they" --- to whom does this refer? The "nuclear plants" or the "other types of power plants"? That is a major logical flaw.
The whole arrangement of the second half of the sentence has a choppy awkward feel to it. Among other things, the putative cause of the increased expense, the building costs, is illogically relegated to a parenthetical structure, and is not part of a direct & powerful statement of cause & effect.
Overall, choice (D) is just a poor way to phrase the information, and (B) is much more powerful & clear & direct.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2016, 11:24
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baaniNitin wrote:
. While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.

Could someone please tell me what it refers to in A ? is it power plants or costs ? i know its comparison issues . please explain for my understanding

Dear baaniNitin,
I'm happy to respond.

This is a very tricky grammatical issue. It is called the "empty it." Here's a blog explaining it in detail:
The Empty ‘It’ on the GMAT Sentence Correction

Of course, there are two it's in the sentence, but both are empty. Here's a simpler example.
It is better to give than to receive.
Technically, the antecedent of the word "it" is the infinitive "to give" that comes after it. The empty "it" is used when a subject or clause is the subject and it would be awkward to put the subject before the verb. For example, this sentence is very awkward:
"To give is better than to receive."
It's grammatically correct but it sounds awful. The empty "it" makes it much more eloquent. Similarly,
"To run nuclear plants costs about the same as for other types of power plants ..."
That sounds atrocious. The empty "it" makes this construction much more natural sounding.
"It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants ..."
Technically, the antecedent of the "it" is the infinitive phrase "to run nuclear plants." Technically, that is the subject of this clause.

The second empty "it" employs a particular structure that creates rhetorical emphasis. It is used to create a kind of contrast, especially when the contrasting element may defy common expectations. Consider this sentence.
People think Edison invented the light bulb, but James Lindsay created the first.
That sentence is grammatically correct. Rhetorically, it is so-so: yes, there's the contrast word "but," but it's a mealy-mouthed wet-noodle contrast. It doesn't pack any punch. Here's a revision:
People think Edison invented the light bulb, but it was James Lindsay who created the first.
That is much more rhetorically effective: it creates a great deal of emphasis on the contrast. Grammatically, the antecedent of the empty "it" is "James Linsday," whose name comes after the verb. The antecedent of the empty "it," the real subject, is always after the verb.
Consider this sentence
While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make it more expensive for them to generate electricity.
Grammatically correct, but YAWN! Not all that exciting. By contrast
While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.
That creates more emphasis, and highlights something that might contradict our expectations about the situation. That is a very effective sentence rhetorically.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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13 Jan 2013, 12:10
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daagh wrote:
There are two distinct splits here, as you may see; one is the comparison of the costs to run a nuclear plant with just the other types of plants and not their running costs. The second split is the ambiguity of the pronouns, precisely the –third - it in the original. Of course the other two it pronouns may be argued as passable as place holders.

A. While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity. ----- 1.faulty comparison; cost of running compared with other types of power plants 2. The third pronoun it is dangling without an antecedent. Makes what more expensive? Makes electricity more expensive to generate electricity 3. Costs that makes … A SV mismatch

B While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive.
The comparison, the pronoun problem and the SV mismatch nicely fixed. Correct choice.

C. Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes the electricity they generate more expensive. -----Though the comparison problems are fixed, costs and that makes is S-V mismatch.

D. It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants.
Pronoun they is rather ambiguous; they may refer to either the nuclear or other types.

E. The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants, but the electricity they generate is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants. -------- Faulty comparison

Daagh,

Can you please clarify this -

'doesn't B change the meaning? B talks about the electricity becoming more expensive but the original sentence talks about it becoming more expensive for the plant to generate electricity. These are two different things'
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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16 Mar 2013, 10:22
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When expanded in full (with ellipsis in brackets), B will be
B While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for (the cost of running) other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive.
The comparison is still between the costs of running one type with the costs for running other types. The only difference is that in the first case we are using ‘of’ as the preposition while in the second arm, we are using ‘for’. As long as we use a preposition for another acceptable preposition, the comparison can be considered be logical and parallel, IMO.

As far as B changing the meaning from the original, I feel the meaning is flawed. There is no way we can ascertain what the “it” stands for. The term ‘it’ does not convey clearly and logically the intended meaning. Hence we have to amend it. B is logical.
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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18 Mar 2013, 18:56
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Thanks Payal for providing great insights.Kudos to you and your team.

So, preposition can be used in following two ways
1) For removing the ambiguity in the sentence, whether we are comparing subject or object.
e.g John is more interested in video games than {in} his girlfriend. Here, we are comparing objects of prepositions, and we need preposition to clarify the meaning else it will result in ambiguity.
2) The usage of prepositions is as mentioned by you. It could work as a connector with the ellipsis element(that).

2 to 3 - The incidence of the disease among men exceeds the incidence among women.
3. The incidence of the disease among men exceeds that among women.

One question - Can we clear off "that" in the final sentence.
i.e The incidence of the disease among men exceeds among women.

I believe, had the sentence been The incidence of the disease among men exceeds women., then the sentence would have been ambiguous, because then the comparison could be b/w the incidence vs women or men or women.

egmat wrote:
Very interesting question Himanshu.
When you are dealing with ellipsis, it always helps to begin from the completely expanded version with all the words and then move your way to the abbreviated version by applying ellipsis along the way. I will do the same here:

Let's consider only the pertinent portion of the sentence.

1. The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as the cost of running other types of power plants.
No issues here with the comparison. Both sides of the comparison are grammatically and logically parallel.

Now what if I replace "the cost of running" with "that". After it is obvious that we are comparing cost of running of the two categories of plants. But when I apply this ellipsis, I need something to connect "that" with "other types of power plants".

2. (Without connection with that)
The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as that other types of power plants. WRONG

2. (with correct connection)
The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as that for other types of power plants.
So this is where the preposition "for" comes from.

Now we continue with our ellipsis. We can indeed even omit "that" from here since this omission will not lead to any ambiguity.

3. The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants.

So this is how I get to the correct sentence containing "for".

Now let's apply the same on the set of sentences:
1. The incidence of the disease among men exceeds the incidence of the disease among women.
1 to 2 - The incidence of the disease among men exceeds the incidence of the disease among women.
2. The incidence of the disease among men exceeds the incidence among women.
2 to 3 - The incidence of the disease among men exceeds the incidence among women.
3. The incidence of the disease among men exceeds that among women.

So the key thing here is that as you replace or omit words, think about what connections you may need to get the correct sentence. The nature of the two sentences is different. In the Official sentence, the main component - cost of running - took direct object without the need of any preposition. So when we replaced this with "that" we needed a connection - i.e. a preposition. However, in the other example, the main component - incidence of the disease - itself needed a preposition to connect to the object and hence when we replaced it with "that" we did not need to get another preposition.

Thus when you cross-check your work in ellipsis, start from the complete sentence and then work your way to simplified version with replacement words and omitted words.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Payal

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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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19 Mar 2013, 06:10
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@himanshu if that is the case then why does this ambiguity does not arise in this comparison : nuclear power plants cost twice as much to run as other power plants

Quote:
As far as your reasoning goes for negating choice A, I would refrain myself for using it until and unless I have other better choices.

my reasoning of eliminating A was not the initial "it" but the later "it" that comes in the sentence .: nuclear plants that makes it more expensive

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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2013, 00:36
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TO EGMAT

A says:While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.

though i had eliminated A but i want to know if the initial comparison in A is faulty ?

if i say : nuclear power plants cost twice as much to run as other power plants . i know that this comparison is oki even without the helping verb "do" because there is no ambiguity

so i get a feeling that in A this initial comparison :While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants seems to be right comparison wise .it might be wrong because of usage of "it" or because of some redundancy but comparison wise it seems oki .
any thought

Sorry about the delay. I was been busy with some schedule driven activities I am pasting my response here: Hope this helps.
I took your sentence sets and applied my method of ellipsis to figure out if the ellipsis results in clear sentence or not.

• Nuclear power plants cost twice as much to run as other power plants cost.
o Nuclear power plants cost twice as much to run as other power plants do.
o Nuclear power plants cost twice as much to run as other power plants.

• It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants
o It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as it does to run other types of power plants
o It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants.
 Here IMO the meaning is distorted a bit. One may construe this sentence to state the following non-sensical meaning - running “nuclear plants” in the role of “other types of power plants”.
 This is the reason why I believe the ellipsis cannot be applied in the manner we can in the previous set of sentence.

Notice another thing – in the first set of sentences we have “as much as” comparison marker. Whereas in the second set of sentences, we only have “as” marker and hence this can be construed to mean “function” instead of “comparison”.

Pardon my hurried response.
-Payal
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2013, 17:14
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blueseas wrote:
macjas wrote:
While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.

A. While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity.
B While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity they generate more expensive.
C. Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, it is the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants that makes the electricity they generate more expensive.
D. It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants, whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants.
E. The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants, but the electricity they generate is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants.

hi folks,
regarding the solution of this question OG13 SAYS :
The emphatic construction "It is X that does Y"(as in the phrase it is Jane who knows answer)should be used only when there is a compelling reason to emphasize the doer of the action.IN this sentence ,emphatic construction is used without good reason.

I am unable to understand what does this mean and request all experts to share their views on this with examples.

Dear blueseas
The emphatic structure "it is the fixed costs that ..." would be most appropriate if there were several cost sources under consideration, perhaps one that most people commonly thought was the most expensive, and the sentence were saying: no, contrary to what you expect, the fixed building costs are the most expensive, etc. In this sentence, we have emphatic structure, and it's not particularly clear what contrast we are trying to make. If we emphasize one thing, it should be clear --- this thing is being picked out, highlighted, from what other thing or from among what other things.

You will find a few more examples here:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-idiom ... ed-idioms/

I hope this helps.
Mike
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Mike McGarry
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Kudos [?]: 8109 [1], given: 99

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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2014, 12:43
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saumya12 wrote:
mikemcgarry wrote:
... that of women. (correct)

Hello Mike, can you let me what "that" would refer to in this sentence.

Is my following understanding correct:

..that among women.

"that" refers to "incidence of disease".

..that of women.

"that" refers to "incidence". I somehow am not getting convinced about this. Because this could either mean:
(A) incidence of women
(B) incidence of (disease among) women

Can you explain; would help us understand better.

Dear saumya12,
I'm happy to respond.

Here's egmat's original sentence:
The incidence of the disease among men exceeds that among women.
Perfectly correct. Now, think about the parallelism. Think if we didn't abbreviate with the word "that":
The incidence of the disease among men exceeds the incidence of the disease among women.
Of course, that version is very wordy and never would be correct on the GMAT, but it makes clear the nature of the parallelism. Men are parallel to women in this sentence. No one is talking about the incidence of men. It's all about the "incidence of the disease among men."

Notice that, in the structure "that among women," whatever the "that" represents must be followed by the word "among."
incidence among women = incidence of what??? This is not the same as "incidence of women"
incidence of among women = wrong
incidence of the disease among women = correct

Does this make sense?
Mike
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2015, 10:14
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apolo wrote:
Hey Mike,
Could we solve this question ONLY by using S-V agreement and pronoun ambiguity?

A) Violates S-V
C) Violates S-V
D) "they" is ambiguous: 'other types of power plants' is closer.
E) "they" is ambiguous: 'other types of power plants' is closer

B) S-V agreement is met; 'they' is now closer to the 'nuclear power plants' and actually 'nuclear plants' has been repeated in the second part of the sentence, and only after this repetition the 'they' pronoun appears. In contrast, in D and E, 'they' appears before the second repetition of the nuclear plants in the sentence.

Dear apolo,
I'm happy to respond.

My friend, the "ONLY" approach is not the most productive approach to studying GMAT SC. When you are studying these sentences, your job is to understand, in depth, everything wrong with each wrong answer choice. Any approach which allows you to jump to a "done with that" perspective on a question cuts short deeper kinds of understanding.

Having said that, SVA certainly is one good reason to reject both (A) & (C). The pronoun usage in (D) &(E) are problematic, but not too different from what might be acceptable. It's very important to understand not merely the grammatical issues, but the rhetorical issues: the logical flow of the sentence, the power of phrasing things a certain way, what sounds clear vs. awkward, etc. Rhetorical Construction is one of the eight major areas tested on the GMAT SC. For more on this, see:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/rhetorical ... orrection/

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2015, 11:28
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apolo wrote:
Thanks Mike.
My question did not mean that we should only restrict ourselves to purely grammatical rules.
Actually I asked this question to know whether using pronoun ambiguity is a safe tool for eliminating some choices in the case of this question; that turned out to be: not! (as you have explained in the bold part of your answer).
I know from MGMAT that generally slight pronoun ambiguity might be tolerated, and even some of the published questions in OG have some slight pronoun ambiguity in their correct answer choices.
However, for me it was interesting that the right choice in this questions ALSO has the least problematic usage of the pronoun 'they' compared to answer choices E and D. So I was just curious to know whether this has happened intentionally or simply accidentally.

In contrast to S-V agreement, for example, pronoun ambiguity in some cases, like the one in this question, seems not to be a pretty suitable reason used for eliminating a choice.

Dear apolo,
My friend, I will say SVA is one of the few areas of grammar that is almost mathematical in its sharp right/wrong distinction.
The company is . . . correct
The company are . . . incorrect
With pronouns, mistake of number are similarly black/white:
The store opened in June, and by July it was successful. = correct
The store opened in June, and by July they were successful. = incorrect
For number mistakes in pronoun, we can be just as certain in rejecting answers as we are with SVA mistakes.

The multiple pronoun thing, the same pronoun for two different things, is also a big no-no:
When anthropologist first encountered, they were surprised by their mode of dress.
Who was surprised by who? This is also a wrong-100%-of-the-time kind of error. See:
https://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-pronoun-traps/

As for antecedent, which noun is the antecedent, then we get into shades of gray. This involves issues of rhetoric and style, not just pure mathematical word order. Parallelism and logical focus of the sentence can sway issues of pronoun-antecedent pairings.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other [#permalink]

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12 Mar 2015, 11:12
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apolo wrote:
Thanks Mike.
For the second case that you have mentioned, let me show an example from Verbal review, SC problem #92:

Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become more widespread as irrigation projects have enlarged the habitat of the freshwater snails that are the parasite’s hosts for part of its life cycle.

(the original sentence is correct)

According to Manhattan SC book, every 'it and its' and every 'they, them, their' must refer to the same antecedent in a sentence.

However, in this sentence 'it' refers to the disease and 'its' refers to 'parasite'.
Of course they explained this contradiction by saying that we have two clauses, and that rules is about clauses not sentences: kind of weird, because in their book they have not clearly mentioned this. Also here (after 'and') indeed we have a complex sentence made of a main clause and a subordinate clause ...

Dear apolo
My friend, I think you misunderstand the sense of that rule. Yes, it's absolutely true, as MGMAT says, that it's a big no-no to have the same pronoun referring to two different things in the same part of the sentence.
. . . they would not sell them the rights . . .
. . . it prevented it from . . .
Think of it this way: every clause within sentence is a mini-sentence in itself. Similarly, participial & infinitive & gerund phrases revolve around a verb-form, exactly as a clause revolves around a verb. Each one is a kind of mini-sentence within the whole. Using the same pronoun inside the same mini-sentence for two different things is a huge no-no. By contrast, if in one part of the sentence, I have [antecedent #1] . . "its," and then later, in another part, I have [antecedent #2] . . . "it," that's perfectly fine. How close is too close? When are two of the same pronoun far enough away that no ambiguity arises? To some extent, this is a judgment call, but certainly when they only a few words apart in the same phrase or clause, that's a problem.

In that sentence from the OG Verbal Review,
Schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, is prevalent in hot, humid climates, and it has become . . .
The main sentence structure involves two parallel independent clauses. The first "it" is the subject of the second independent clause, parallel to the subject of the first. This parallelism, as well as the rhetorical focus of the sentence on schistosomiasis, make it unambiguously clear that this "it" should refer to schistosomiasis.

Then, later in the sentence, we have a that-clause, a relative clause that modifies the noun "freshwater snails."
. . . freshwater snails that are the parasite’s hosts for part of its life cycle.
In that region of the sentence, that mini-sentence zone, the only singular noun is "parasite," because the snails are plural. Normally, a noun in the possessive cannot be an antecedent, but it can be if the pronoun is also in the possessive, as it is here. This is a dependent clause. Think about if we made this information a sentence on its own:
Freshwater snails are the parasite’s hosts for part of its life cycle.
That's a perfectly clear sentence. The pronoun usage in that sentence is completely unambiguous. That's precisely why we can turn the sentence back into the clause, stick it in the larger sentence, and the pronoun usage is still clear. The two "it" usages are "far away" from each other, doing very different things in very different parts of the sentence, and each one has its own strong relationship with its own antecedent.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other   [#permalink] 12 Mar 2015, 11:12

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