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

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

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New post 23 Feb 2016, 10:25
1
sukanyar wrote:
Slightly confusing. In the answer we have "for" other types of power plants, but there is no "for" on the right hand side at all (in your 3a and 3b versions). So, how is "of' changing to "for".

sananoor wrote:
you have put a very good question, now just ask ur self what is right
the cost of X is same as it is FOR others (we arn't comparing cost of X to cost of others, we are trying to say that cost of running something is same as it is for other plants)
the cost of X is same as it is OF others--wrong

Dear sukanyar,
I'm happy to respond. :-) On behalf of the English Language, I apologize. Grammar is not mathematics. Grammar is not mathematics. There are patterns, to be sure, but none of the patterns of grammar are as rigorously clean and logical as the patterns of mathematics. If you approach GMAT grammar looking for the precise rules to follow, the English language will endlessly frustrate you.

There is absolutely no way to get to GMAT SC mastery by assembling some ideal set of grammar rules. You have to read. You have to develop an ear for the living language in all its idiosyncrasy. See this blog article:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score

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

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New post 25 Feb 2016, 10:24
2
2
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 types of  [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2016, 09:52
1
NoHalfMeasures wrote:
I am still not sure how choice B uses correct parallelism/comparison. It compares: cost of something with cost for something. If we were to write the complete sentence with omitting any words, we would write "While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as the cost of running other types of power plants,..." and not write "While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as the cost for running other types of power plants,..."

Does that make sense? Can experts help pls?

Dear NoHalfMeasures,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, I think you need to deepen your understanding of what parallelism is. Parallelism is a pattern of logical correspondence that is reflected in the grammar. Folks fixate on the grammatical aspects of parallelism and lose sight of the logical and rhetorical aspects. A typical mistake along these lines is to conceive of parallelism incorrectly as requiring a kind of military lockstep conformity. The sophisticated use of parallelism does not require the exact same details at all levels: it simply requires enough to convey the logical correspondence and no more. The GMAT loves to present sophisticated parallelism as in the OA of this problem, because it presents a challenge to all who hold to the more simplistic "lockstep" picture of parallelism.

Here's (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.

Once again, the GMAT absolutely loves this sort of structure. This is a very sophisticated use of parallelism, and the grammatical beancounters who want exact matches in prepositions in all cases will be frustrated. The simple phrase "as for other types of power plants" elegantly conveys the logical relationship flawlessly, without any ambiguity. It perfectly establishes the logical correspondence between nuclear plants and other types of power plants, and it established this with an economy of expression. For those who really understand what parallelism is, this is a masterpiece, a logical and rhetorical success. For folks stuck at the level of grammar alone, ignoring the logic and rhetoric, this looks like it doesn't able the rigid lockstep rules. Such a person clinging to this rule is left holding only an empty husk, because the meaning has eluded his grasp. I would strongly urge you to take your understanding of parallelism to the next level.

Here's another question that explores a similar issue:
The FDA enacted

It is a mistake to think that GMAT SC is only about grammar. In fact, grammar, logic, and rhetoric are all equally important. Mastery of SC comes from having an integrated understanding of the interaction of those three.

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

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New post 10 May 2016, 12:09
Thanks for your reply Mike. And sorry to make you write such a long post on parallelism while I didn't intend to ask you about that. What I meant was 'for other types of power plants' should stand for 'costs for other types of power plants' and until this point I thought 'cost for' was idiomatically wrong. Ive always thought that the correct preposition to go with 'cost' was 'of' or 'to'. For instance-

1. cost of acquiring - right
2. cost to acquire - right
3. cost for acquiring - wrong

But now I see on very few rare occasions that 'cost for' is also used although 'cost of' is far far more prevalent. In fact not even a single example uses cost+for here -->http://sentence.yourdictionary.com/cost. Until now whenever I heard someone say cost+for I always felt they(singular they) were making a dialectal error.

Is 'cost+for' a recent (a few decades old) addition to the grammar books or has it existed for centuries in formal writing? Do you know good resources where I can find etymology of 'cost+for' and not just 'cost'? or http://english.stackexchange.com/ is the way to go?
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of  [#permalink]

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New post 11 May 2016, 09:14
NoHalfMeasures wrote:
Thanks for your reply Mike. And sorry to make you write such a long post on parallelism while I didn't intend to ask you about that. What I meant was 'for other types of power plants' should stand for 'costs for other types of power plants' and until this point I thought 'cost for' was idiomatically wrong. Ive always thought that the correct preposition to go with 'cost' was 'of' or 'to'. For instance-

1. cost of acquiring - right
2. cost to acquire - right
3. cost for acquiring - wrong

But now I see on very few rare occasions that 'cost for' is also used although 'cost of' is far far more prevalent. In fact not even a single example uses cost+for here -->http://sentence.yourdictionary.com/cost. Until now whenever I heard someone say cost+for I always felt they(singular they) were making a dialectal error.

Is 'cost+for' a recent (a few decades old) addition to the grammar books or has it existed for centuries in formal writing? Do you know good resources where I can find etymology of 'cost+for' and not just 'cost'? or http://english.stackexchange.com/ is the way to go?

Dear NoHalfMeasures,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, with all due respect, you are entirely misconceptualizing the situation. Here's (B) again:
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.
You are misunderstanding the role of the word "for."

It is NOT a new idiom for the word "cost." As you said, the principle idiom is "cost of X," where X is the item whose value is assessed. The "to" would arise in attaching an infinitive of purpose to the noun "cost." The "for" could arise if we were talking about a specific group of purchases.
The movie costs $15 for adults, but the cost for senior citizens is less.
That's what might be happening with idioms, but the "for" in sentence (B) is not an idiom with a particular word.

The use of "for" in this sentence has the connotation "for the case of." It's a rhetorical way to introduce a different logical focus. Consider this sentence.
My friend thinks baseball is boring, but for me it's the most engaging sports game.
In that sentence, the word "for" indicates a shift from my friend's perspective to my perspective. More generally, it is a formal way to indicate a shift in rhetorical focus. That's what the word "for" is doing in sentence (B). It has nothing to do with idioms.

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

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New post 15 May 2016, 13:51
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.
Error-1: cost is compared with other types of power plants
Error-2: it is the fixed cost.....that makes it... (Empty it).

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.
running is ellipsed here. "cost of running....is about the same as for (running) other types of power plants,....
no ambiguity for they as well.

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.
Error-1:ellipsis error. "Cost about the same to run nuclear plants as for (running) other types of power plants,..." running is not parallel to run. and "for run" will be wrong anyway.
Error-2: makes is wrong for the subject plants.
Error-3: Even though it costs about the same..... it is the fixed costs... (Empty it).

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.
Error-1: Same as error-1 in choice "C"
Error-2: they is ambiguous.

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.
Error-1: cost is compared with other types of power plants
Error-2: they is ambiguous.
Error-3: "is made " this passive construction is wrong.
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2016, 23:43
HKD1710 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.
Error-1: cost is compared with other types of power plants
Error-2: it is the fixed cost.....that makes it... (Empty it).

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.
running is ellipsed here. "cost of running....is about the same as for (running) other types of power plants,....
no ambiguity for they as well.

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.
Error-1:ellipsis error. "Cost about the same to run nuclear plants as for (running) other types of power plants,..." running is not parallel to run. and "for run" will be wrong anyway.
Error-2: makes is wrong for the subject plants.
Error-3: Even though it costs about the same..... it is the fixed costs... (Empty it).

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.
Error-1: Same as error-1 in choice "C"
Error-2: they is ambiguous.

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.
Error-1: cost is compared with other types of power plants
Error-2: they is ambiguous.
Error-3: "is made " this passive construction is wrong.


Hi HKD1710,

Why is The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as " the cost of running " other types of power plants
an incorrect comparison?

Isn't "the cost of running" implied in the second clause.

Same with While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as " it costs " other types of power plants

Please explain. This is killing lot of my questions :(
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2016, 11:16
pranav6082 wrote:
Hi HKD1710,

Why is The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as " the cost of running " other types of power plants
an incorrect comparison?

Isn't "the cost of running" implied in the second clause.

Same with While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as " it costs " other types of power plants

Please explain. This is killing lot of my questions :(

Dear pranav6082,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

Many students mistakenly believe that the GMAT SC is purely a test of grammar. In fact, grammar & logic & rhetoric are three important criteria, and many many answer choices are wrong even though they are 100% grammatically correct because they have logical or rhetorical challenges.

With this in mind, think about these two versions:
1) The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as the cost of running other types of power plants . . .
2) The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as that of other types of power plants . . .
Both are 100% grammatically correct. Both are 100% logically correct. Version #2 is rhetorically much better than version #1. Rhetorically, #1 is quite awkward: if someone were to speak or write like this, it would incline fast thinking people not to be impressed with this person. That makes #1 "wrong," despite the fact that it is grammatically & logically correct.

I think you might be having trouble with this issue:
Dropping Common Words in Parallel on the GMAT

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

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New post 26 Jun 2016, 19:05
mikemcgarry wrote:
pranav6082 wrote:
Hi HKD1710,

Why is The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as " the cost of running " other types of power plants
an incorrect comparison?

Isn't "the cost of running" implied in the second clause.

Same with While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as " it costs " other types of power plants

Please explain. This is killing lot of my questions :(

Dear pranav6082,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

Many students mistakenly believe that the GMAT SC is purely a test of grammar. In fact, grammar & logic & rhetoric are three important criteria, and many many answer choices are wrong even though they are 100% grammatically correct because they have logical or rhetorical challenges.

With this in mind, think about these two versions:
1) The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as the cost of running other types of power plants . . .
2) The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as that of other types of power plants . . .
Both are 100% grammatically correct. Both are 100% logically correct. Version #2 is rhetorically much better than version #1. Rhetorically, #1 is quite awkward: if someone were to speak or write like this, it would incline fast thinking people not to be impressed with this person. That makes #1 "wrong," despite the fact that it is grammatically & logically correct.

I think you might be having trouble with this issue:
Dropping Common Words in Parallel on the GMAT

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


Hi Mike

Much thanks for the response.

Going by the logic that we can drop common words, i am wondering why "The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants . . ." is incorrect. (drop off "that of" as "the cost of running" is implied)
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2016, 10:19
pranav6082 wrote:
Hi Mike

Much thanks for the response.

Going by the logic that we can drop common words, i am wondering why "The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants . . ." is incorrect. (drop off "that of" as "the cost of running" is implied)

Dear pranav6082,
I'm happy to respond. :-) The rule is that we are allowed to drop common words in the second branch of parallel structure as long as we don't introduce ambiguity.

Consider this structure that you suggested:
The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants . . .
This now is identical to the phrasing for an illogical comparison, comparing "cost" of one type of power plant to the "power plants" of other types. This is perfect phrasing for the illogical comparison, so we have to make clear that we actually understand comparisons by indicating some difference between this illogical version and what we want to say.

If we drop so many words that we can read the phrase in another way, even if this alternative reading is 100% illogical, then we have dropped too many words.

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

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New post 18 Sep 2016, 10:45
zoezhuyan wrote:
hard one
any one can explain the "for" in the choices. how to identify it is unnecessary,


In the above question, "it costs.... " construction does not require " for". On the other hand "the cost..." construction requires "for". The basic structures are:

It costs same to run XXX as it costs to run YYY. (no "for" required)
The cost for XXX is same as the cost for YYY. ("for" required).
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2016, 21:39
sayantanc2k wrote:
zoezhuyan wrote:
hard one
any one can explain the "for" in the choices. how to identify it is unnecessary,


In the above question, "it costs.... " construction does not require " for". On the other hand "the cost..." construction requires "for". The basic structures are:

It costs same to run XXX as it costs to run YYY. (no "for" required)
The cost for XXX is same as the cost for YYY. ("for" required).


hi Sayantackc2k
the cost of running A is the same as (the cost) FOR B, not of ?

please clarify

thanks a lot
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2016, 08:16
zoezhuyan wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:
zoezhuyan wrote:
hard one
any one can explain the "for" in the choices. how to identify it is unnecessary,


In the above question, "it costs.... " construction does not require " for". On the other hand "the cost..." construction requires "for". The basic structures are:

It costs same to run XXX as it costs to run YYY. (no "for" required)
The cost for XXX is same as the cost for YYY. ("for" required).


hi Sayantackc2k
the cost of running A is the same as (the cost) FOR B, not of ?

please clarify

thanks a lot


Yes, you have a point. Ideally the construction should have been:

The cost of running A is the same as the cost of running B.
Parallel elements:
Cost of running A
Cost of running B.

However,the construction in option B is not grammatically wrong either:

the cost of running A is the same as (the cost) for B.. (repeated part cost omitted)
Parallel elements:
Cost of running A
Cost for B.

In both cases the comparison is between costs. It is not mandatory to maintain parallelism for what follows "cost", i.e. the rest of the two parallel elements.
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2016, 21:47
sayantanc2k wrote:

Yes, you have a point. Ideally the construction should have been:

The cost of running A is the same as the cost of running B.
Parallel elements:
Cost of running A
Cost of running B.

However,the construction in option B is not grammatically wrong either:

the cost of running A is the same as (the cost) for B.. (repeated part cost omitted)
Parallel elements:
Cost of running A
Cost for B.

In both cases the comparison is between costs. It is not mandatory to maintain parallelism for what follows "cost", i.e. the rest of the two parallel elements.


thanks so much.

cost of running A
is the same as
cost of running B
-- parallelism: cost (of doing ) & cost (of doing )

cost of running A
is the same as
cost of B
-- illogical because parallelism : cost (of doing) & cost of (thing)

cost of running A
is the same as
cost for B = cost of running B
--- parallelism: cost (of doing ) & cost (of doing )

my understanding is right?

thanks a lot
have a nice day

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

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New post 22 Sep 2016, 07:51
zoezhuyan wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:

Yes, you have a point. Ideally the construction should have been:

The cost of running A is the same as the cost of running B.
Parallel elements:
Cost of running A
Cost of running B.

However,the construction in option B is not grammatically wrong either:

the cost of running A is the same as (the cost) for B.. (repeated part cost omitted)
Parallel elements:
Cost of running A
Cost for B.

In both cases the comparison is between costs. It is not mandatory to maintain parallelism for what follows "cost", i.e. the rest of the two parallel elements.


thanks so much.

cost of running A
is the same as
cost of running B
-- parallelism: cost (of doing ) & cost (of doing )

cost of running A
is the same as
cost of B
-- illogical because parallelism : cost (of doing) & cost of (thing)

cost of running A
is the same as
cost for B = cost of running B
--- parallelism: cost (of doing ) & cost (of doing )

my understanding is right?

thanks a lot
have a nice day

>_~


Let me elaborate a bit more clearly. As long as the comparison is between cost and cost , the sentence is grammatically correct. If the prepositional modifiers of cost are different, then the sentence cannot be said wrong. Nonetheless using similar modifiers is preferred.

All the three cases you have mentioned above is alright

cost (of doing) & cost of (thing): NOT illogical.
Cost of eating dinner at XYZ restaurant (say INR 1000) is less than the cost of this bicycle (say INR 5000)..... alright.
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2016, 10:02
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1
zoezhuyan wrote:
thanks so much.

cost of running A
is the same as
cost of running B
-- parallelism: cost (of doing ) & cost (of doing )

cost of running A
is the same as
cost of B
-- illogical because parallelism : cost (of doing) & cost of (thing)

cost of running A
is the same as
cost for B = cost of running B
--- parallelism: cost (of doing ) & cost (of doing )

my understanding is right?

thanks a lot
have a nice day
>_~

Dear zoezhuyan,

I'm happy to respond. :-) I see that my intelligent colleague sayantanc2k already gave you a good response. I just want to add a little more.

Think about what parallelism is. Many students mistakenly believe that parallelism is a grammatical structure. It's not. It's a logical structure, a logical matching pattern, and the grammar simply mirrors the logic. In fact, the grammar has only to match enough to make the logic clear. Sometimes, additional matching creates a strong rhetorical effect, but there is absolutely no requirement that parallelism should involve lockstep precision between the two branches down to the last detail.

cost of X and the cost of Y
That's a very sensible pattern of matching: the parallel grammar makes clear the logic.

Now, suppose X is a noun and Y is a gerund phrase.
the cost of auto insurance and the cost of getting a speeding ticket
The real question is whether these are logically parallel? Are these two costs of the same category, the kind we would compare and contrast? Yes! A person in the real world might have make one payment for her auto insurance and another payment because she got a speeding ticket. These are logically similar, so the parallelism works. The fact that we have the matching "cost of" pair is enough to indicate the pattern of matching: that's all the grammatical matching we need. It doesn't matter at all that the X & Y are different parts of speech.

By contrast, we could have the same parts of speech, two nouns, and the parallelism could be complete nonsense:
I made dinner with the leftovers in the refrigerator and with my friend Chris.
Either "with" statement alone would be fine, but together they are a train wreck. The first "with" suggest the materials and the second one suggest accompaniment. These are NOT logically parallel at all, even though the grammar is the same.

On the GMAT SC, you can't afford to pay attention only to the grammar. Grammar and logic and rhetoric are three equally important strands.

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

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New post 22 Sep 2016, 22:10
mikemcgarry wrote:
I'm happy to respond. :-) I see that my intelligent colleague sayantanc2k already gave you a good response. I just want to add a little more.

Think about what parallelism is. Many students mistakenly believe that parallelism is a grammatical structure. It's not. It's a logical structure, a logical matching pattern, and the grammar simply mirrors the logic. In fact, the grammar has only to match enough to make the logic clear. Sometimes, additional matching creates a strong rhetorical effect, but there is absolutely no requirement that parallelism should involve lockstep precision between the two branches down to the last detail.

cost of X and the cost of Y
That's a very sensible pattern of matching: the parallel grammar makes clear the logic.

Now, suppose X is a noun and Y is a gerund phrase.
the cost of auto insurance and the cost of getting a speeding ticket
The real question is whether these are logically parallel? Are these two costs of the same category, the kind we would compare and contrast? Yes! A person in the real world might have make one payment for her auto insurance and another payment because she got a speeding ticket. These are logically similar, so the parallelism works. The fact that we have the matching "cost of" pair is enough to indicate the pattern of matching: that's all the grammatical matching we need. It doesn't matter at all that the X & Y are different parts of speech.

By contrast, we could have the same parts of speech, two nouns, and the parallelism could be complete nonsense:
I made dinner with the leftovers in the refrigerator and with my friend Chris.
Either "with" statement alone would be fine, but together they are a train wreck. The first "with" suggest the materials and the second one suggest accompaniment. These are NOT logically parallel at all, even though the grammar is the same.

On the GMAT SC, you can't afford to pay attention only to the grammar. Grammar and logic and rhetoric are three equally important strands.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


thanks so much Mike
I am glad that I got your explanation, I like your courses on magoosh.

you are right, I pay more attention to grammar parallelism. because I am not native speaker, to understand the sentence is a little harder for me.

for this case, I am sunk in the prep "for",
but I am afraid I need your further explanation:

mikemcgarry wrote:
Let's start with your two sentences
(1a) The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as the cost of running other types of power plants. = wordy but OK
(1b) The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as that of running other types of power plants. = not much better
Because of the phrasing, it's not immediately obvious how to omit repeated words to shorten this more without introducing ambiguity or awkwardness. This is not a structure that lends itself to elegant revisions.

(2a) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as it costs to run other types of power plants. = correct but too wordy
(2b) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as to run other types of power plants. = better, with the common words "to run" dropped in the second branch.
(2c) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants. = even more elegant: this is what the GMAT loves!

Now, look at the structure in the OA:
(3a) "... the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as the cost of running other types of power plants ..." = that's the full version. That's grammatically correct but a rhetorical disaster! It reeks of redundancy! We need to drop some of the repeated words.
(3b) "... the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as that of running other types of power plants ..." = only slightly better
(3b) "... the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants ..." = an elegant gem! Again, this is what the GMAT loves, and this is the version in the OA.

The very hard thing about this is that when we look at parallelism of a complex structure, it is up to us, the readers, to infer which repeated elements from the first branch have been omitted in the second branch. We get (2c) or (3c) printed on the page and we have to understand that everything in (2a) or (3a) is implicit in that.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


after reading this thread, I got an idea that both 2c and 3c are correct.

mikemcgarry wrote:


(B) While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as it is for other types of power plants
This is perfectly correct. A perfect comparison. This, of course, is the OA.

(C) Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for it costs to run other types of power plants
This one has the same structure, but because what comes before is different, the structure is problematic here. The preposition "for" is not needed here. A different set of words would be implied.

(D) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for it costs to run other types of power plants
Same problem as (C).
after reading this thread,
both option C and D are incorrect, because "for" is unnecessary.


I have no idea about difference between 2C,3C and C,D,

would you please clarify for me ?

another question :
as you said:
mikemcgarry wrote:


(B) While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as it is for other types of power plants
This is perfectly correct. A perfect comparison. This, of course, is the OA.

(C) Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for it costs to run other types of power plants
This one has the same structure, but because what comes before is different, the structure is problematic here. The preposition "for" is not needed here. A different set of words would be implied.

(D) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for it costs to run other types of power plants
Same problem as (C).


why not

(C) Even though it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as it costs to runfor other types of power plants
(D) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as it costs to run forother types of power plants

waiting for your reply
have a nice day
>_~
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2016, 12:48
zoezhuyan wrote:
thanks so much Mike
I am glad that I got your explanation, I like your courses on magoosh.

you are right, I pay more attention to grammar parallelism. because I am not native speaker, to understand the sentence is a little harder for me.

for this case, I am sunk in the prep "for",
but I am afraid I need your further explanation:

mikemcgarry wrote:
(2c) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants. = even more elegant: this is what the GMAT loves!

(3c) "... the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants ..." = an elegant gem! Again, this is what the GMAT loves, and this is the version in the OA.

after reading this thread, I got an idea that both 2c and 3c are correct.

Dear zoezhuyan,
I'm happy to respond. :-) Yes, (2c) and (3c) are correct. This construction is subtle and sophisticated: I certainly can understand why it would be puzzling to someone who has learned English as a second language!

Of course, part of what is hard is that common words have been omitted in the second branch of the parallelism and we have figure out what those are. See:
Dropping Common Words in Parallel on the GMAT

Let's look at these with the extra words put back in.

The version in (B)
(B expanded) ... the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as the cost is for other types of power plants...
This is 100% correct. Why is "for" used in this construction? It sounds so right to a native ear, but it's hard to put this in words. Sometimes, the preposition "for" is used for a separate situation or case, for the experience of another person or the process of another object.
I love opera, but the experience is not the same for her.
Americans stridently clamor for individual liberties, but for the Chinese, responsibilities to the family and to the country are more meaningful.
The lion struts across the Serengeti as if it owns the place, but for the gazelle, this large plain is forever a precarious place of danger.
We can reheat leftovers, but for frying food, we need a stove top.
Once again, this is a sophisticated structure, used only in very high quality writing.
This is the construction used in (B). This compares two nouns, "cost" to "cost." If we drop the implied extra words, we get:
(B) ... the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants ....
That's the OA.

The version in (C) & (D), instead of the noun "cost" we use the verb "it cost." Here are the words in (C) and in (D)
(CD) ... it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of power plants...
This involves the empty "it" construction: the subject of the verb "costs" is the infinitive "to run" after the verb. I would say that I unfairly criticized this construction in one of the posts above. This is fine. The expanded version is:
...it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as it costs for other types of power plants ...
That part of (C) & (D) is correct, but those two have other problems!

In (C), both clauses begin with "it" but it's not the same "it." Typically, when the same pronoun opens the two clauses of a sentence, this pronoun has the same reference. This is not the case at all in (C), and that mismatch creates a very awkward sentence.

In (D), I would say everything up to the first comma is fine, but the "they" is ambiguous, and "stemming from" is an extremely awkward construction.

Does all this make sense now, my friend?

Have a wonderful weekend.

Mike :-)
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2016, 17:18
hi, in option B, im confused with what 'they' refers to. As pronouns can refer to antecedent in previous clauses it can either refer to nuclear plants or 'other plants'. then, it makes this sentence also wrong. please explain

i know that verb +ing modifier preceded with comma and clause modifies the entire clause before it. but, when the preceding clauses has conjunction. does it still modify the preceding clause? like in this case -whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants.
please explain i'm confused.
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New post 25 Sep 2016, 16:50
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Dear zoezhuyan,

My friend, I responded to your request on that page:
suggestion-on-reading-economists-226090.html#p1739852
DeepikaV wrote:
hi, in option B, im confused with what 'they' refers to. As pronouns can refer to antecedent in previous clauses it can either refer to nuclear plants or 'other plants'. then, it makes this sentence also wrong. please explain

i know that verb +ing modifier preceded with comma and clause modifies the entire clause before it. but, when the preceding clauses has conjunction. does it still modify the preceding clause? like in this case -whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants.
please explain i'm confused.

Dear DeepikaV,

I'm happy to respond. Here's (B), the OA.
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.
This is 100% correct.

In this sentence, the word "while" begins a dependent clause, and the comma marks the end of the dependent clause and the beginning of the independent clause.

My friend, what determines the antecedent of a pronoun is a sophisticated matter. It is determined by a combination of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. If you are only looking at the level of grammar, and ignoring logic and rhetoric, you will miss 2/3 of what is happening in any SC sentence.

As a general grammar guideline, if there is a single noun that could be in antecedent of the pronoun that is by far the nearest noun to it, in the same clause, then we never need to look at the other clause. Look at the independent clause, everything after the comma. There is only one plural noun, "nuclear plants," and all other plural nouns are further away and in another clause. Just at the level of grammar, this is a slam-dunk: the closest appropriate noun is the antecedent. Like the OA of many other GMAT SC problems, this is correct and valid at many different levels.

Furthermore, consider at the level of rhetoric: what is the subject of this sentence? The subject, the topic at hand, is "nuclear plants." That's the focus of the whole sentence. Sometimes great rhetorical focus can make up for a little grammatical ambiguity. For example, if two clauses appear in the sentence, and the subject of the first is the focus of the sentence, then a pronoun subject for the second clause almost always refers back to this original subject, even if other potential antecedents were intervening. In this sentence, though, there is no grammatical ambiguity whatsoever, and the rhetorical focus of the sentence simply strengthens the already clear pronoun-antecedent relationship.

My friend, I would urge you not to use the terminology "VERB-ing." That is sloppy imprecise language, and imprecise language leads to imprecise thought. In fact, a verb with the -ing suffix may be playing one of three different roles:
1) a participle
2) a gerund
3) part of a progressive tense verb
Those are the proper terms to use.

If we have a clause, then a comma, then a participle, the participle often modifies the whole clause before it--often, but not always. You quoted part of (D) ...whereas the electricity they generate is more expensive, stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants
In (D), the antecedent of the pronoun "they" is less clear: that's one problem with (D). Also, the construction "stemming from" to explain a cause is very casual and awkward. This might appear in colloquial English, but in the formal writing of the GMAT, this is wrong. As to your question, yes, "stemming" is attempting to modify the action of the previous clause, purporting to give an explanation of why the electricity is more expensive. Choice (D) is wrong.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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