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

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New post 15 Feb 2014, 11:47
can someone explain why C is wrong

the book said A uses emphatic construction. Does anyone know when to use this construction the book was not clear.
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New post 03 Mar 2014, 13:02
kedusei wrote:
can someone explain why C is wrong

the book said A uses emphatic construction. Does anyone know when to use this construction the book was not clear.

Dear kedusei,
For option (C), look at my post from February 3, 2014, immediately above your post. Let me know if anything there is not clear.

For emphatic construction, see this post:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-idiom ... ed-idioms/

Mike :-)
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New post 05 Mar 2014, 22:04
egmat wrote:
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.



Hi Payal,

I have a question regarding 3rd statement.

If your 3rd statement changed to below by inserting 'OF' after that then it would be right?
The incidence of the disease among men exceeds that of among women.

Regards,
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New post 06 Mar 2014, 11:30
chetan86 wrote:
egmat wrote:
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.


Hi Payal,
I have a question regarding 3rd statement.
If your 3rd statement changed to below by inserting 'OF' after that then it would be right?
The incidence of the disease among men exceeds that of among women.
Regards, Chetan

Dear Chetan,
We definitely don't need two prepositions in a row.
... that of women. (correct)
... that among women. (correct)
... that of among women. (a disaster)
Does this make sense?
vietmoi999 wrote:
I think "as for other types of plants" is correct in B,C and D. but I do not know why.

pls, help. what is the full version of comparison in choice B, C and D.
the full versions are
cost of running nuclear plant are about the same as the cost for other types of power plants.
it costs about the same (expenditure) to run nuclear plant as the expenditure for other types of power plants.

I do not see the parallelism in comparison. this non-parallelism are not preferred certainly but it can still appear in OA if there is no choice better.

but when this non-parallelism is acceptable? when not acceptable? anyone has any idea about this ?

Dear vietmoi999

(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).

Incidentally, the GMAT loves this trick --- one correct option with (Structure A)(Structure B), and then other incorrect choices with (Structure C)(Structure B), ---- even though (Structure B) would be correct on its own, it works only with (Structure A) and not with (Structure C). They love this pattern.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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New post 09 Mar 2014, 22:52
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.
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New post 12 May 2014, 12:04
vietmoi999 wrote:

this question is most difficult of comparison.

if the full sentence is wrong, we can find the error. if the elliptical sentence is wrong, it is harder to find the error. but we need to write this sentence and gmat tests us.

While it costs about the same THING to run nuclear plants as THE THING other types of power plants COSTS

clearly this is wrong. not logic, not parallel

While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as THE COST OF RUNNING for other types of power plants

this is logic though not absolutely parallem. we do not need absolute parallelism. we can see that the second part of comparison is not perfect. But, it is logic and logicness is most important factor for justfying sc.

Dear vietmoi999
In the OA:
While the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants, ...
This comparison actually involves perfect parallelism and perfect logic. It is an idiomatic construction, but it is 100% correct on all counts.
Mike :-)
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New post 09 Mar 2015, 04:11
mikemcgarry wrote:
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 :-)


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.
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New post 10 Mar 2015, 02:58
mikemcgarry wrote:
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 :-)


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.
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New post 12 Mar 2015, 02:36
mikemcgarry wrote:
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 :-)


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 ...
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New post 17 Feb 2016, 20:24
Hi can some one please explain the ellipsis of the same...as? I just got more confused after reading those posts...
(A) The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as the cost of running other types of power plants.
(B) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as it costs to run other types of power plants.
Also, why is the sentence "the incidence of the disease among men exceeds among women" ambiguious? Some one explained it in the post but I still dont get it. Thanks~
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New post 18 Feb 2016, 11:13
phemiaYu wrote:
Hi can some one please explain the ellipsis of the same...as? I just got more confused after reading those posts...
(A) The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as the cost of running other types of power plants.
(B) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as it costs to run other types of power plants.
Also, why is the sentence "the incidence of the disease among men exceeds among women" ambiguious? Some one explained it in the post but I still dont get it. Thanks~

Dear phemiaYu,
I'm happy to respond. :-) I think one of thing that is potentially confusing is the fact that common words have been dropped in the second branch of the parallelism. See this blog article:
Dropping Common Words in Parallel

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 :-)
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New post 22 Feb 2016, 01:05
mikemcgarry wrote:
phemiaYu wrote:
Hi can some one please explain the ellipsis of the same...as? I just got more confused after reading those posts...
(A) The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as the cost of running other types of power plants.
(B) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as it costs to run other types of power plants.
Also, why is the sentence "the incidence of the disease among men exceeds among women" ambiguious? Some one explained it in the post but I still dont get it. Thanks~

Dear phemiaYu,
I'm happy to respond. :-) I think one of thing that is potentially confusing is the fact that common words have been dropped in the second branch of the parallelism. See this blog article:
Dropping Common Words in Parallel

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 :-)


That's very kind of you. Thank you. But I still have this question.
[1] The incidence of this disease among men exceeds that among women.
[2] The incidence of this disease among men exceeds among women.
I can tell that the first version is correct, but someone said in the posts that the second one is ambiguous. What do you think about it? Is there any grammatic problem in the second version?
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New post 22 Feb 2016, 11:10
phemiaYu wrote:
That's very kind of you. Thank you. But I still have this question.
[1] The incidence of this disease among men exceeds that among women.
[2] The incidence of this disease among men exceeds among women.
I can tell that the first version is correct, but someone said in the posts that the second one is ambiguous. What do you think about it? Is there any grammatic problem in the second version?

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

There is a very subtle rhetorical issue here. We can drop common words in the second branch of the parallelism, but if we drop too much, the sentence becomes awkward.

Sentence [1] is perfectly fine, perfectly correct: it has a rigorously clear meaning. Sentence [2] is awkward: it no longer effectively conveys the same information that Sentence [1] conveys, and it is unclear exactly what it is trying to say. It is not clear whether it is grammar problem or a logic problem or a rhetoric problem, but it is a disaster.

I guess I would say that, in Sentence [2], the speaker is clearly trying to make some comparison, but exactly what comparison the speaker intends in unclear. Sentence [2] is awkward and illogical and unclear enough that it is not the correct way to phrase any conceivable comparison.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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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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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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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] 27 Jun 2016, 10:19

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