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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 25 Sep 2016, 17:16
mikemcgarry,


Thank you so much for the elaborate post. So, comma, then participle can modify a preceding clause starting with the conjunction. isn't ?
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New post 26 Sep 2016, 10:05
DeepikaV wrote:
mikemcgarry,


Thank you so much for the elaborate post. So, comma, then participle can modify a preceding clause starting with the conjunction. isn't ?

Dear DeepikaV,

My friend, the short answer is: it depends. I would have to see contextual examples, in official questions, to give an answer. There's no black & white rule here.

My friend, students sometimes have the mistaken idea that the way to achieve SC mastery is to assembly some mythical "complete set" of rules. That approach is impossible, because especially in the more sophisticated material, everything is context. Developing SC mastery certainly involves learning the important grammar & idiom rules, but it also involves honing one's intuition for the language. One builds deep intuition only through a habit of reading. See this blog:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score

Does 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 13 Nov 2016, 09:01
I understand that in A (after the comma) is wrong. But what's wrong with the comparison, can't it be:

While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as [it costs to run] other types of power plants?
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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 13 Nov 2016, 12:11
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kivalo wrote:
I understand that in A (after the comma) is wrong. But what's wrong with the comparison, can't it be:

While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as [it costs to run] other types of power plants?


There is no comparison error in option A. In addition to the error you stated, there are three more errors in the option:
1. The relative pronoun "that" wrongly refers to " plants" - it should refer to "fixed costs".
2. The verb "makes" should be singular because its subject is "that" that should refer to "fixed costs".
3. The pronoun "them" has no antecedent - generating electricity is expensive for power plants (them) is not meaningful.
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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 09 Dec 2016, 08:19
Can someone please explain to me why the pronounce "they" in B has only one antecedent? Can "fixed costs" refer to the antecedent of "they" in the sentence too?

Thank you
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New post 09 Dec 2016, 16:11
Pasorns wrote:
Can someone please explain to me why the pronounce "they" in B has only one antecedent? Can "fixed costs" refer to the antecedent of "they" in the sentence too?

Thank you

Dear Pasorns,

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.

As a general rule, if there are multiple possible target nouns, a pronoun can refer to the nearest noun without ambiguity. Here, the writer deliberately repeated the words "nuclear plants" in the second half of the sentence, because using a pronoun there would have been too ambiguous. Even though this repetition is logically necessary, the very fact that these words are repeated--an exceptionally rare occurrence in a GMAT SC sentence!--gives them a kind rhetorical significance which makes even clearer the pronoun-antecedent relationship.

The pronoun-antecedent relationship is multilayered, involving grammar, rhetoric, and logic. In an ideal scenario, all three of those should work together, as they do in this OA.

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 05 May 2017, 00:37
macjas wrote:
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.


First Glance

Yuck−the entire sentence is underlined. be prepared for anything, especially Structure, Modifier, Meaning, or Parallelism issues.

Issues

(1) Subject−Verb: makes

In the original sentence, the plural noun costs is the subject of the modifying clause that makes it more expensive. The verb makes, however, is singular.

Check the remaining answers for the same subject−verb mismatch. Answer (C) repeats the original error: costs....makes. The other answers don't maintain this error. Eliminate answers (A) and (C).

(2) Comparison: the same to do X as to do Y

The five answer choices contain small differences in the comparison structure:

(A) it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of plants
(B) the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of plants.
(C) it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of plants
(D) it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as for other types of plants
(E) the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of plants

Each sentence requires the reader to carry some words of the comparison to both the X and the Y components. Answer (A0 is properly parallel and maintains an appropriate meaning: It costs the same to run X as [to run] Y. Likewise, in answer (B), the cost of running X is the same as [the cost] for [running] Y.

Answers (C), (D), and (E), however, are problematic. Answers (C) and (D) indicate that it costs the same to run X as [to run] Y. To run for plants? That's a big difference in meaning (and an illogical one). Answer (E) says that the cost of running X is the same as the cost running Y; the preposition (either of or for) is missing from the second part. Eliminate answers (C), (D), and (E).

(3) Meaning / Pronoun: it; they

The original sentence uses the pronoun it three times. Are all three instances clear, and do they refer to the same noun?

In the first instance, it is used as a dummy pronoun, as in the sentence "It is raining outside." This is an acceptable usage of it. Each additional instance of the word it in the sentence is also a dummy pronoun, but each refers to somewhat different abstract ideas. Such ambiguity is not preferred. Don't choose answer (A) unless all of the other answers contain clear error.

Answers (D) and (E) also introduce some ambiguity related to a pronoun. Both introduce nuclear plants versus other power plants and then use the word they. It's not clear until finishing the sentence that the pronoun they is intended to refer to the nuclear plants and not to the other power plants. Again, don't choose answer (D) or (E) unless all of the other answers contain clear errors.

The Correct Answer

Correct answer (B) offers a proper subject-verb pairing and a structure that accurately compares the two sets of costs. Furthermore, answer (B) doesn't contain even slight pronoun ambiguity.
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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 31 May 2017, 12:18
kivalo wrote:
I understand that in A (after the comma) is wrong. But what's wrong with the comparison, can't it be:

While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as [it costs to run] other types of power plants?



Hello kivalo,

I am not sure if your query still persists. Nonetheless, here is my response to your query. :-)

When as is used to present comparison, it must be followed by a clause.

When as is followed just be a noun entity, then it presents the role of that noun entity. For example:

John is a big soccer fan, as is Jack.

In the above mentioned sentence, as has been used to present a comparison between John and Jack. They have been compared because they both are soccer fan. In the sentence, as is followed by a clause.

John joined the soccer team as a goalkeeper.

In the above mentioned sentence, as has been used to present the role of John. John joined the teams as a goalkeeper. Hence, John = goalkeeper.

Now let's take a look at the official sentence.

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.

Please note that in this official sentence, as is followed by a noun phrase other types of power plants. Hence, the original sentence does not present comparison. It presents the role of nuclear plants. The sentence suggests that nuclear plants run as other types of power plants. This meaning certainly does not make any sense.

Now let's evaluate the correct answer choice B that says: 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.

By looking at this choice, you may say in this choice too, as is not followed by a clause. It is rather followed by a prepositional phrase for other types of power plants. Then how does it present comparison.

Let me explain you the reason. See, choice B can be written in the following way:

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

Since, the clause the cost is is common before and after as, it has been kept understood after as. So is the word running. The preposition for does the job of presenting the intended comparison. If we remove this preposition after as, then again we will have the same structure as we see in Choice A. Again as will be followed by the noun entity other types of power plants, and the choice will present the role rather than comparison.

This topic is dealt in details with quite a few examples in our SC course in the concept named Usages of As.


Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha
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New post 19 Feb 2018, 07:44
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Awaiting OA. My take is "B"

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.--1. Incorrect comparison 2. SV disagreement

(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. --1. SV disagreement

(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. --1. Usage of whereas is wrong 2. Ambiguous pronoun

(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. --1. Incorrect comparison. Here the option is comparing the costs and not the plants. We need a "for" here 2. Ambiguous pronoun 3. Electricity is not made expensive; it "becomes" expensive because of the aforementioned issue.
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Re: QOTD: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2018, 15:46
In Choice D and E,

Is it fine to connect 'the electricity they generate is' without the use of any connector since the portion contains 2 Subject-Verb pairs?
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Re: QOTD: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2018, 18:26
abhinavkgp wrote:
In Choice D and E,

Is it fine to connect 'the electricity they generate is' without the use of any connector since the portion contains 2 Subject-Verb pairs?


I'm not quite sure what you mean, since there's a "connector" (conjunction, if you prefer the technical term) right before the phrase "the electricity they generate" in both (D) and (E).

Quote:
(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.

So there's really no structural problem in either case: both versions start with an independent clause, followed by a dependent clause that begins with a conjunction ("whereas" or "but"). At least in that regard, both are fine.

I hope this helps!
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Re: QOTD: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2018, 09:22
GMATNinja wrote:
Quote:
(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.

Hm, there’s some weird pronoun stuff going on here. The first “it” is a non-referential pronoun: in the phrase “it costs”, “it” doesn’t refer to anything at all. It’s sort of like saying “it is raining” or “it is a bad idea to lick frozen doorknobs.” (I may or may not speak from experience on that last one.)

Non-referential pronouns can be fine, but you don’t see them very often in correct GMAT answers, so they make me nervous.

And of course, there are three of those non-referential pronouns in the sentence! Both “…it is the fixed costs…” and “makes it more expensive” have non-referential versions of “it.” I can’t call them DEFINITE errors, but I don’t love them, and I can’t imagine that a correct GMAT sentence would have THREE non-referential pronouns. Non-referential pronouns just aren’t that awesome, and there’s no good reason to overuse them.

I also see no reason to use “them” toward the end of the sentence: why say “makes it more expensive for them to generate electricity” when you could just shorten it to “makes it more expensive to generate electricity”? Wasted words aren’t cool.

And if you’re not convinced by any of that stuff, there’s a wonderfully serious mistake in (A). “…the fixed costs… makes it more expensive…” That’s a clear subject-verb error.

I’m tired of (A) now. Let’s eliminate it.

Quote:
(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.

I don’t see any major issues in (B). The pronoun “they” jumps out at me, and it seems to refer to the nearest plural, “nuclear plants.” And that works just fine: “the fixed costs that stem from building nuclear plants make the electricity [nuclear plants] generate more expensive.” No problem.

The only other potential objection I see is the comparison at the beginning of the sentence, but… hang on, it’ll be easier to explain WHY that comparison is OK if we put it side-by-side with another answer choice.

So for now, let’s keep (B), and I’ll say more about the comparison at the end of this post.

Quote:
(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.

(C) has a few of the same problems we saw in (A). The subject-verb problem is the biggest issue: “the fixed costs… that makes” is definitely wrong.

We also have a couple of non-referential pronouns in the phrases “it costs about the same” and “it is the fixed costs…” These aren’t WRONG, exactly, but there’s no compelling reason to include them in the sentence unless they somehow clarify the meaning. For more detail, please see the explanation for (A).

But even if you’re OK with the funny non-referential pronouns, the subject-verb thing lets us eliminate (C).

Quote:
(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.

(D) is just plain old confusing. For starters, the pronoun “they” logically needs to refer to “nuclear power plants”, since we know from the context (“stemming from the fixed costs of building nuclear plants”) that the nuclear plants generate more expensive electricity. But “they” is actually closer to “other types of power plants.” That’s confusing – and probably a good enough reason to eliminate (D).

Plus, I still don’t see any good reason to use a non-referential pronoun (“it costs…”) at the beginning of the sentence. See the explanation for (A) for more detail on this.

So (D) is out.

I promised that I’d come back to the comparison in (B), so here it is again, right next to (E):

Quote:
(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.
(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.

The comparison error at the beginning of (E) is pretty darned subtle: “the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants…” Wait, no. We’re trying to compare the COSTS of running the two types of plants, but (E) literally compares the costs of running nuclear plants to the other plants themselves. That doesn’t work.

The version in (B) (“the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants”) might not be perfect, but it’s definitely better: the use of the preposition makes it clear that we’re comparing the costs of running nuclear plants with the corresponding costs “for other types of plants.” Fair enough.

You could also argue that the second half of the sentence is clearer in (B) than in (E). (B) is in active voice and more direct: “the fixed costs… make the electricity… more expensive.” (E), on the other hand is passive: “the electricity… is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants.” (E) isn’t necessarily WRONG in this section, but it’s definitely not as clear and direct as (B).

So (B) is our answer.


Hi GMATNinja ,

If I were to fill in the omitted words in the compariosn in B, would the sentence be "The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as the cost of running for other types of power plants"? It sounds a bit clumsy. is the FOR okay there?
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Re: QOTD: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jul 2018, 19:42
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oasis90 wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
I promised that I’d come back to the comparison in (B), so here it is again, right next to (E):

Quote:
(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.
(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.

The comparison error at the beginning of (E) is pretty darned subtle: “the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as other types of power plants…” Wait, no. We’re trying to compare the COSTS of running the two types of plants, but (E) literally compares the costs of running nuclear plants to the other plants themselves. That doesn’t work.

The version in (B) (“the cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as for other types of power plants”) might not be perfect, but it’s definitely better: the use of the preposition makes it clear that we’re comparing the costs of running nuclear plants with the corresponding costs “for other types of plants.” Fair enough.

You could also argue that the second half of the sentence is clearer in (B) than in (E). (B) is in active voice and more direct: “the fixed costs… make the electricity… more expensive.” (E), on the other hand is passive: “the electricity… is made more expensive because of the fixed costs stemming from building nuclear plants.” (E) isn’t necessarily WRONG in this section, but it’s definitely not as clear and direct as (B).

So (B) is our answer.


Hi GMATNinja ,

If I were to fill in the omitted words in the compariosn in B, would the sentence be "The cost of running nuclear plants is about the same as the cost of running for other types of power plants"? It sounds a bit clumsy. is the FOR okay there?

Boiled way down, we're comparing the "cost of x" to the "cost for y." The change in prepositions is incidental. We just want to make sure x and y are logical things to compare.

In this case, we'd end up with "The cost of running nuclear power plants is about the same as the cost for running for other types of power plants." Sounds fine to me. More importantly, it's a perfectly logical comparison.

I hope that helps!
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Re: QOTD: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2018, 10:06
I answered it correctly. B is the correct choice. I just want to make a point on option A, as it reads "While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants", which seems to me as if nuclear plants are playing a ROLE of other plants (as + noun) and thus is nonsensical. Please let me know, in case, I am incorrect.
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Re: QOTD: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other  [#permalink]

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aalekhoza wrote:
I answered it correctly. B is the correct choice. I just want to make a point on option A, as it reads "While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants", which seems to me as if nuclear plants are playing a ROLE of other plants (as + noun) and thus is nonsensical. Please let me know, in case, I am incorrect.

Hm, that interpretation hadn't occurred to me, but it seems valid. If I write "Ronald went to the party as a hamburger-wielding clown," I'm communicating that Ronald performed the role of a clown. So it seems reasonable to conclude that if someone runs "nuclear plants as other types of power plants," they're operating the nuclear plants as though the facilities are actually other kinds of plants. At the very least, the legitimate possibility of a nonsensical interpretation is a good reason to eliminate (A). Nicely done, aalekhoza!
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Re: QOTD: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other &nbs [#permalink] 30 Aug 2018, 00:13

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

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