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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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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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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 ?

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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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 ?

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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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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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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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

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:
(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).
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

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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23 Sep 2016, 12:48
zoezhuyan wrote:
thanks so much Mike

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

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

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

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

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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).

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

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09 Jul 2019, 00:45
[quote="EMPOWERgmatVerbal

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.

While there are a lot of differences between these options, a few key ones jump out that we can focus on to start:

1. while / even though / whereas / but (conjunctions to show contrast)
2. as / as for (idiom structure/parallelism)
3. it is the fixed costs / the fixed costs / the electricity they generate (parallelism)

Whenever we see parallelism on our list, it's a good idea to start there. So let's focus on #3 on our list to start with. This sentence has two clauses:

Clause #1: Running nuclear power plants and other plants costs the same.
Clause #2: The cost of building nuclear power plants is higher, which is why they're more expensive than other.

Parallel structure will allow these two clauses to "flow" better because they will sound similar to the ear - and both English speakers and the GMAT love the easy flow of parallelism! So let's take a closer look at how both clauses are structured, and eliminate any that are confusing or not parallel:

(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.

This is INCORRECT for a couple reasons. First, the two clauses aren't written using parallel structure. One clause starts with "it costs," but later uses "it is the fixed costs," which sounds overly complicated. We also have issues the pronouns "it" being vague and unnecessary - just say "the costs" instead of "it is the costs," which both mean the same thing. Also, there is a subject-verb disagreement problem with the plural subject "costs" and singular verb "makes."

.[/quote]

why "make" modify "costs" ? why not "plants"? the rule is that "that" could pass some modifier to modify antecedent?

in this question, the choice E , that modify plants or techniques?

By the same techniques used for genetically enhancing plants, making them disease- or pest-resistant, researchers have been able to increase the amount of protein in potatoes, sweet potatoes, and tobacco.

(A) By the same techniques used for genetically enhancing plants, making them

(B) With the same techniques to genetically enhance plants, so that they are

(C) Employing the same techniques used to genetically enhance plants so that they are

(D) Employing the same techniques to genetically enhance plants, which makes them

(E) Employing the same techniques for genetically enhancing plants that make them

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

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09 Jul 2019, 13:04
Sophia0516 wrote:
why "make" modify "costs" ? why not "plants"? the rule is that "that" could pass some modifier to modify antecedent?

in this question, the choice E , that modify plants or techniques?

By the same techniques used for genetically enhancing plants, making them disease- or pest-resistant, researchers have been able to increase the amount of protein in potatoes, sweet potatoes, and tobacco.

(A) By the same techniques used for genetically enhancing plants, making them

(B) With the same techniques to genetically enhance plants, so that they are

(C) Employing the same techniques used to genetically enhance plants so that they are

(D) Employing the same techniques to genetically enhance plants, which makes them

(E) Employing the same techniques for genetically enhancing plants that make them

Hello @Sophia0506!

Let's tackle your questions, one at a time:

why "make" modify "costs" ? why not "plants"?

The word "make" doesn't modify anything in this sentence. I'm not sure what you're referring to, so if you could, please add some detail about what's confusing you about the word "make."

The only issue I addressed with the word "make" is subject-verb agreement. We have to eliminate the options that use the singular verb "makes" because the verb is referring to a plural subject (costs). The word "plants" in that part of the sentence is not the subject - it's part of a prepositional phrase (from building nuclear power plants), and prepositional phrases are NOT subjects.

the rule is that "that" could pass some modifier to modify antecedent?

I'm not sure what you're referring to here - the sentence uses "that" a couple times, so I would need to know specifically what part of the sentence you have a question about.

in this question, the choice E , that modify plants or techniques?

What is the phrase "that make them disease- or pest-resistant" referring to? Techniques! Plants can't make themselves disease or pest resistant, so the "that" modifier cannot be referring to plants. It must refer back to "techniques." Pronouns, however, can refer back to any previous nouns, just as long as it's clear to readers which nouns they're referring to. The pronoun "them" in this sentence is referring back to plants.

I hope that helps, and please let me know if you need anything else clarified!
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Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2019, 05:08
(A) While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants,...

Initially I thought this sentence is wrong because there was a comparison error, but after having read the whole thread, I'm confused right now...

In my opinion, we have dropped out some words from the original sentence to make it more concise, and the expanded sentence should be 'While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as to run other types of power plants,...', and since the 'cost' here is a verb, we are not comparing the 'costs' with 'plants', but the 'to run nuclear plants' with 'to run other types of power plants', which seems more logical to me. So there is no comparison error here. And it seems to me that we can drop out the 'to run' between 'as' and 'other types of power plants' so that the sentence is shorter. According to one of the Payal's posts in the thread, since there is no preposition between 'to run' and 'other types of power plants' in the original sentence, I suppose there is no need to add a preposition like 'for' here, which means that we can drop out the 'to run' directly, and therefore 'While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants, ...' is correct.

I know it may sound ridiculous but I think my reasoning above seems correct... As for the ambiguity, I'm not sure if could mean that we compare 'to run nuclear plants' with 'other types of power plans'. It seems so strange to me that I would never think of it in this way.

Can experts explain it to me, please?
Re: While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of   [#permalink] 06 Dec 2019, 05:08

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