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While airline travel can be detrimental to your health, ma

This topic has 6 expert replies and 6 member replies
varun289 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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While airline travel can be detrimental to your health, ma

Post Sun May 05, 2013 5:04 am
While airline travel can be detrimental to your health, many exercise experts point out that there is a surprising number of airports in the United States -even those in the major cities such as New York and Chicago - that are adjacent to public parks and pedestrian paths and that are easily reachable during long layovers.

is a surprising number of airports in the United States - even those in the major cities such as New York and Chicago - that are adjacent to public parks and pedestrian paths and that are easily reachable during long layovers.

is a surprising number of airports in the United States - even those in the major cities like New York and Chicago - that are adjacent to public parks, pedestrian paths, and easily reachable during long layovers.

are a surprising number of airports in the United States - even those in the major cities such as New York and Chicago - that are adjacent to public parks and pedestrian paths and that are easily reachable during long layovers.

are a surprising number of airports in the United States - even those in the major cities like New York and Chicago - that are adjacent to public parks and pedestrian paths, easily reachable during long layovers.

are a surprising number of airports in the United States - even those in the major cities such as New York and Chicago - that are adjacent to public parks and pedestrian paths, and easily reachable during long layovers.


??????????????

[spoiler]4[/spoiler][spoiler][/spoiler][spoiler][/spoiler]

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Post Fri May 10, 2013 8:27 am
As I posted earlier, I disagree on your assessment of those constructions (although I do find them unusual - which is exactly why they were chosen to create a difficult problem!). They were all three taken from meticulously edited materials so I am not the only one who disagrees with your assessment. Also, I have done every officially released sentence correction problem in my years of teaching and, although you have suggested otherwise in your last post, I am well aware of GMAT standards of usage and trends in GMAT sentence correction. I am also well aware of the different grammatical issues that you have raised in your last response (in particular you missed my argument about "easily reachable" at the end - it is not a participial phrase like "exhausted from...", which would indeed modify the subject, but an unusual modifier best thought of as a nonessential "relative clause" with the "which are" omitted!) Perhaps most importantly, I think you have misunderstood my point entirely about the concept of "false decision" points and perhaps at some point we can have a spirited intellectual debate about how to approach sentence correction.

Also, at Veritas, I am the first person to recommend dumping a question when doubts are raised about its validity by anyone - by you, by students, by competitors, etc. My long posts and complaints in this thread were mostly in response to your disturbingly "god-like" post below:

This problem is horrible. The ostensibly "correct" answer contains at least 3 errors, and none of the choices comes even remotely close to being a respectable English sentence.

Ignore this problem, and distrust the source from now on. What's the source?


I find such posts to be problematic and not helpful for students. Had you responded with specific issues on the question in a civil and engaging way, students would have benefited, and a proper debate on issues of grammar could have ensued. As an astute student of grammar for most of my life, it is surprising to me that someone would believe they have "absolute" answers to all grammar questions, on the GMAT or otherwise. I find "absolute" thinking to be entirely problematic in GMAT sentence correction, and one goal of this last post was to get people thinking differently in their approach to this problem type. Clearly, however, this has degraded into a personal debate that is no longer helpful for students, so I will end my posting on this topic here!

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Post Fri May 10, 2013 6:34 am
chris@veritasprep wrote:
1. “like” vs “such as” As I stated earlier, each could be used in this example. Top editors across the U.S. disagree on this matter and, as is noted in the blog post from one of America’s top grammar experts that I posted before, many top dictionaries list “such as” as a definition of “like” “Such as” vs. “Like” is a false decision point in this problem. Memorizing supposed airtight rules will get you into lots of trouble on GMAT sentence correction.
It doesn't matter what "many top dictionaries" do; it matters what GMAC does.

If GMAC were ever inconsistent on this usage, at any point whatsoever, then an argument would exist for this sort of "false decision point". On the other hand, GMAC has been absolutely 100% consistent in its use of "like" vs. "such as", even going so far as to state explicitly that "The preferred way to introduce examples is with the phrase such as, rather than with the word like, which suggests a comparison."

So, there it is, directly from the horse's mouth. So, the correct answer choice here implies that we're only talking about cities that are actually like New York and Chicago.

You are correct that, in general usage, people often use "like" when they mean "such as" -- but that doesn't change the impetuous, and very likely misleading, nature of a problem that directly contradicts 100% of the relevant GMAC examples.


Quote:
2. The use of the definite article “the” before major cities is unusual, but not unheard of. Consider these two sentences:

At least in the United States, airports in the major cities tend to have substantial delays.
At least in the United States, airports in major cities tend to have substantial delays.

I prefer it WITHOUT the definite article “the”, but that does not it mean it is incorrect, as in this problem. Since all the answer choices have “the” in this problem, it is not important to assess.
The use of "the" by itself is not the problem. It's the use of both "the" and "such as/like" that's incorrect in standard usage, unless we are discussing a subset of a previously described group (Go through the OG and find all the questions like this one).


Quote:
3. The “easily reachable during long layovers” at the end is also unusual. I would prefer it like this: that are adjacent to public parks and pedestrian paths, which are easily reachable during long layovers. However, the “which are” does not HAVE to be stated here. Consider these two examples:

The two restaurants, easily reachable from our hotel, are excellent.
The two restaurants, which are easily reachable from our hotel, are excellent.
These examples don't illustrate the same construction. When this kind of thing follows just a noun (or noun phrase), as it does here, then of course it's fine.
On the other hand, when this kind of adjective construction follows an entire clause, it usually describes the subject, not the directly preceding noun (John came in from the cold, exhausted from shoveling snow). So in that case, unless you're trying to be "literary", you'd want a clarifying construction, such as "..., which can thus be reached easily..."


Quote:
As every test prep company knows (MGMAT/Kaplan, Veritas, Princeton Review, etc.), making perfect verbal questions is a difficult and tedious process that will occasionally yield flawed results.
Very true.

Quote:
Over my 10 years of teaching the GMAT, I have seen many flawed and/or unrealistic verbal problems from every test prep company!
Yes. Our SC problems have on occasion been far from spotless themselves. If someone points out a glaring issue with one of them, though, we're not too proud to say "Thanks" and go fix it.

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Post Fri May 10, 2013 8:27 am
As I posted earlier, I disagree on your assessment of those constructions (although I do find them unusual - which is exactly why they were chosen to create a difficult problem!). They were all three taken from meticulously edited materials so I am not the only one who disagrees with your assessment. Also, I have done every officially released sentence correction problem in my years of teaching and, although you have suggested otherwise in your last post, I am well aware of GMAT standards of usage and trends in GMAT sentence correction. I am also well aware of the different grammatical issues that you have raised in your last response (in particular you missed my argument about "easily reachable" at the end - it is not a participial phrase like "exhausted from...", which would indeed modify the subject, but an unusual modifier best thought of as a nonessential "relative clause" with the "which are" omitted!) Perhaps most importantly, I think you have misunderstood my point entirely about the concept of "false decision" points and perhaps at some point we can have a spirited intellectual debate about how to approach sentence correction.

Also, at Veritas, I am the first person to recommend dumping a question when doubts are raised about its validity by anyone - by you, by students, by competitors, etc. My long posts and complaints in this thread were mostly in response to your disturbingly "god-like" post below:

This problem is horrible. The ostensibly "correct" answer contains at least 3 errors, and none of the choices comes even remotely close to being a respectable English sentence.

Ignore this problem, and distrust the source from now on. What's the source?


I find such posts to be problematic and not helpful for students. Had you responded with specific issues on the question in a civil and engaging way, students would have benefited, and a proper debate on issues of grammar could have ensued. As an astute student of grammar for most of my life, it is surprising to me that someone would believe they have "absolute" answers to all grammar questions, on the GMAT or otherwise. I find "absolute" thinking to be entirely problematic in GMAT sentence correction, and one goal of this last post was to get people thinking differently in their approach to this problem type. Clearly, however, this has degraded into a personal debate that is no longer helpful for students, so I will end my posting on this topic here!

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Post Fri May 10, 2013 6:34 am
chris@veritasprep wrote:
1. “like” vs “such as” As I stated earlier, each could be used in this example. Top editors across the U.S. disagree on this matter and, as is noted in the blog post from one of America’s top grammar experts that I posted before, many top dictionaries list “such as” as a definition of “like” “Such as” vs. “Like” is a false decision point in this problem. Memorizing supposed airtight rules will get you into lots of trouble on GMAT sentence correction.
It doesn't matter what "many top dictionaries" do; it matters what GMAC does.

If GMAC were ever inconsistent on this usage, at any point whatsoever, then an argument would exist for this sort of "false decision point". On the other hand, GMAC has been absolutely 100% consistent in its use of "like" vs. "such as", even going so far as to state explicitly that "The preferred way to introduce examples is with the phrase such as, rather than with the word like, which suggests a comparison."

So, there it is, directly from the horse's mouth. So, the correct answer choice here implies that we're only talking about cities that are actually like New York and Chicago.

You are correct that, in general usage, people often use "like" when they mean "such as" -- but that doesn't change the impetuous, and very likely misleading, nature of a problem that directly contradicts 100% of the relevant GMAC examples.


Quote:
2. The use of the definite article “the” before major cities is unusual, but not unheard of. Consider these two sentences:

At least in the United States, airports in the major cities tend to have substantial delays.
At least in the United States, airports in major cities tend to have substantial delays.

I prefer it WITHOUT the definite article “the”, but that does not it mean it is incorrect, as in this problem. Since all the answer choices have “the” in this problem, it is not important to assess.
The use of "the" by itself is not the problem. It's the use of both "the" and "such as/like" that's incorrect in standard usage, unless we are discussing a subset of a previously described group (Go through the OG and find all the questions like this one).


Quote:
3. The “easily reachable during long layovers” at the end is also unusual. I would prefer it like this: that are adjacent to public parks and pedestrian paths, which are easily reachable during long layovers. However, the “which are” does not HAVE to be stated here. Consider these two examples:

The two restaurants, easily reachable from our hotel, are excellent.
The two restaurants, which are easily reachable from our hotel, are excellent.
These examples don't illustrate the same construction. When this kind of thing follows just a noun (or noun phrase), as it does here, then of course it's fine.
On the other hand, when this kind of adjective construction follows an entire clause, it usually describes the subject, not the directly preceding noun (John came in from the cold, exhausted from shoveling snow). So in that case, unless you're trying to be "literary", you'd want a clarifying construction, such as "..., which can thus be reached easily..."


Quote:
As every test prep company knows (MGMAT/Kaplan, Veritas, Princeton Review, etc.), making perfect verbal questions is a difficult and tedious process that will occasionally yield flawed results.
Very true.

Quote:
Over my 10 years of teaching the GMAT, I have seen many flawed and/or unrealistic verbal problems from every test prep company!
Yes. Our SC problems have on occasion been far from spotless themselves. If someone points out a glaring issue with one of them, though, we're not too proud to say "Thanks" and go fix it.

_________________
Ron has been teaching various standardized tests for 20 years.

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Post Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:34 am
lunarpower wrote:
chris@veritasprep wrote:
1. “like” vs “such as” As I stated earlier, each could be used in this example. Top editors across the U.S. disagree on this matter and, as is noted in the blog post from one of America’s top grammar experts that I posted before, many top dictionaries list “such as” as a definition of “like” “Such as” vs. “Like” is a false decision point in this problem. Memorizing supposed airtight rules will get you into lots of trouble on GMAT sentence correction.
It doesn't matter what "many top dictionaries" do; it matters what GMAC does.

If GMAC were ever inconsistent on this usage, at any point whatsoever, then an argument would exist for this sort of "false decision point". On the other hand, GMAC has been absolutely 100% consistent in its use of "like" vs. "such as", even going so far as to state explicitly that "The preferred way to introduce examples is with the phrase such as, rather than with the word like, which suggests a comparison."

So, there it is, directly from the horse's mouth. So, the correct answer choice here implies that we're only talking about cities that are actually like New York and Chicago.

You are correct that, in general usage, people often use "like" when they mean "such as" -- but that doesn't change the impetuous, and very likely misleading, nature of a problem that directly contradicts 100% of the relevant GMAC examples.
.
While the GMAT was consistent on this issue in the past, students should take note that evidence from OG 2017 suggests that the GMAT appears to have changed its mind on the "like" v. "such as" rule!

See #685 in OG 2017:

Quote:
Especially in the early years, new entrepreneurs may need to find resourceful ways, like renting temporary office space or using answering services, that make their company seem large and more firmly established than they may actually be.
(A) that make their company seem large
(B) to make their companies seem larger
(C) thus making their companies seem larger
(D) so that the companies seem larger
(E) of making their companies seem larger
Here, "like" is used to introduce a list in the non-underlined portion of the sentence; thus, it is implied that this usage is correct.

Language and grammar shift over time, and the GMAT (eventually) adapts to reflect this. The GMAT used to test the "like" v. "such as" issue with some regularity; you'll find examples in older versions of OGs and GMATPrep tests 1&2 (both over 10 yrs old at this point). Because "like" is very commonly used to introduce lists in colloquial spoken English, though, the GMAT seems to have adapted its policy on this rule. We can infer that it's unlikely that you'll see this issue on the real test in future (though you may still see it in practice questions).

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Post Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:42 am
shailendra.sharma wrote:
Though I am not an expert, but I can also put forth my points as someone who have used Veritas Prep question bank for a while --

1) While Veritas Prep have quite good representation of GMAT Quant questions but I think lot of aspects are lacking on Sentence Correction.

2) Most questions are testing very obscure fundamentals - very different from what Official Guide tests. Question banks shall train people on fundamentals that cover 90-95% of the mass.

3) Answer choices are not so logical - for example in official guide, only the part that matters most is often underlined - full sentence is generally underlined only when there are modifier placements that changes whole sentence structure - but some questions in Veritas prep have answer choices with full sentence underlined even if 40% of initial sentence is same on all five choices.

4) On most sentences official guide and such questions - hold the intended meaning in very accurate manner - and from answer choices we look for a better representation of that logical meaning which might have been made flawed using modifier placements or alike mechanisms. But on some Veritas prep's question - meaning changes are very drastic.

5) While sentences in Veritas prep might be accurate if they existed in big article that has tons of text preceding and following it - but when we take out such single sentence for testing logical sentence structure - we can not really put in front any obscure construction that does not have complete meaning.

In summary,

Why a student needs to train himself with all the grammatical rules that exist in world ? Only thing that is most important for a GMAT student, like me, is to focus on what GMAC tests - and if 99.99% of questions say "such as" shall be used for examples and not "like" - if test prep companies starts putting questions that takes deviations from what GMAT has been testing, then students like me would loose the confidence on the question bank.

Now, I will definitely cross off item on my post-item that said I need to do 200 SC questions from Veritas Prep. And now I am not sure I would be so excited to do other categories question banks too - I am sure Veritas prep has not created question bank for that purpose. While they are testing the CAT rating for a question, in a way these questions might attract more students to their course. But set of obscure questions and half-heart explanation might not excite too many students.

In the end - my request to all test prep companies out there - please do not un-train students but instead train them. Some material out there is un-training.

My opinion - it was definitely not a personal debate - but a debate that matters a lot to students, like me.

My 2 cents !
Could not agree with you more. Absolutely spot on!

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Post Sat May 11, 2013 8:49 pm
Though I am not an expert, but I can also put forth my points as someone who have used Veritas Prep question bank for a while --

1) While Veritas Prep have quite good representation of GMAT Quant questions but I think lot of aspects are lacking on Sentence Correction.

2) Most questions are testing very obscure fundamentals - very different from what Official Guide tests. Question banks shall train people on fundamentals that cover 90-95% of the mass.

3) Answer choices are not so logical - for example in official guide, only the part that matters most is often underlined - full sentence is generally underlined only when there are modifier placements that changes whole sentence structure - but some questions in Veritas prep have answer choices with full sentence underlined even if 40% of initial sentence is same on all five choices.

4) On most sentences official guide and such questions - hold the intended meaning in very accurate manner - and from answer choices we look for a better representation of that logical meaning which might have been made flawed using modifier placements or alike mechanisms. But on some Veritas prep's question - meaning changes are very drastic.

5) While sentences in Veritas prep might be accurate if they existed in big article that has tons of text preceding and following it - but when we take out such single sentence for testing logical sentence structure - we can not really put in front any obscure construction that does not have complete meaning.

In summary,

Why a student needs to train himself with all the grammatical rules that exist in world ? Only thing that is most important for a GMAT student, like me, is to focus on what GMAC tests - and if 99.99% of questions say "such as" shall be used for examples and not "like" - if test prep companies starts putting questions that takes deviations from what GMAT has been testing, then students like me would loose the confidence on the question bank.

Now, I will definitely cross off item on my post-item that said I need to do 200 SC questions from Veritas Prep. And now I am not sure I would be so excited to do other categories question banks too - I am sure Veritas prep has not created question bank for that purpose. While they are testing the CAT rating for a question, in a way these questions might attract more students to their course. But set of obscure questions and half-heart explanation might not excite too many students.

In the end - my request to all test prep companies out there - please do not un-train students but instead train them. Some material out there is un-training.

My opinion - it was definitely not a personal debate - but a debate that matters a lot to students, like me.

My 2 cents !

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Post Thu May 09, 2013 2:38 pm
I have to respectfully disagree with Ron’s previous post regarding this sentence correction problem. First, I encourage you all to VERY much trust the source of this problem. It is currently in the Veritas question bank as we collect difficulty data and establish statistical validity for questions before putting them in our new practice tests. All of these new verbal questions are being carefully created and vetted using methods that are very similar to those used by ACT (the company that makes the questions for the GMAT). The sources for the sentences in our new sentence correction questions (such as the one above) are from highly respected and meticulously edited materials, and our goal is to create difficult sentence problems that mimic what you actually see on the test: problems that reward good problem solving skills, sound logic, and a good understanding of fundamental grammar (not obscure grammar).

One important, but unstated, point of my last post was to reiterate that the goal of GMAC with sentence correction (stated by Dr. Larry Rudner, head of GMAC, at a recent meeting for prep companies) is not to test obscure grammar and idiomatic constructions, but rather problem solving and logic, with grammar and verbal knowledge as the underpinnings for that testing process. Dr. Rudner noted that he had even advocated getting rid of the sentence correction question type altogether because of its perceived reliance on obscure grammar, until item writers proved to him that sentence correction was appropriately testing skills relevant to business school. Sentence correction problems reward people who leverage core grammar knowledge effectively and focus on logical meaning: generally speaking, incorrect answer choices can be eliminated with fairly basic and fundamental grammar knowledge and/or logic, but it is easy to get distracted by “false decision” points like “such as vs. like.” Also, the correct answer will often contain highly unusual or complex structures (everyone remembers the “So dogged were Frances Perkins' investigations of the garment industry, so persistent her lobbying for wage and hour reform…”question) that even the most experienced grammarians will find oft putting. However, the other incorrect answer choices will contain clear, but often well hidden, errors.

Anyway, I digress…back to the sentence correction problem in this post and the supposed three problems with the correct answer. There are several unusual structures in the correct answer that I suspect (but do not know for sure because they were not stated) that Ron was taking issue with in his statement: “The ostensibly "correct" answer contains at least 3 errors.” They were probably:

1. “like” vs “such as” As I stated earlier, each could be used in this example. Top editors across the U.S. disagree on this matter and, as is noted in the blog post from one of America’s top grammar experts that I posted before, many top dictionaries list “such as” as a definition of “like” “Such as” vs. “Like” is a false decision point in this problem. Memorizing supposed airtight rules will get you into lots of trouble on GMAT sentence correction.

2. The use of the definite article “the” before major cities is unusual, but not unheard of. Consider these two sentences:

At least in the United States, airports in the major cities tend to have substantial delays.
At least in the United States, airports in major cities tend to have substantial delays.

I prefer it WITHOUT the definite article “the”, but that does not it mean it is incorrect, as in this problem. Since all the answer choices have “the” in this problem, it is not important to assess.

3. The “easily reachable during long layovers” at the end is also unusual. I would prefer it like this: that are adjacent to public parks and pedestrian paths, which are easily reachable during long layovers. However, the “which are” does not HAVE to be stated here. Consider these two examples:

The two restaurants, easily reachable from our hotel, are excellent.
The two restaurants, which are easily reachable from our hotel, are excellent.

A large part of the difficulty in this question (as in most difficult official problems) is finding the decision points that matter, and I think everyone can agree on the error that I brought up for (A), (B), (C), and (E) in my previous post.

As every test prep company knows (MGMAT/Kaplan, Veritas, Princeton Review, etc.), making perfect verbal questions is a difficult and tedious process that will occasionally yield flawed results. Over my 10 years of teaching the GMAT, I have seen many flawed and/or unrealistic verbal problems from every test prep company! So I agree that trusting and knowing sources is essential, particularly in verbal preparation, and I agree with Ron that any MGMAT/Kaplan, Veritas, Princeton Review, etc. verbal question could potentially have problems, whereas that is not a concern with official problems. Everyone in this sentence correction forum should remember that not Ron, not me, and not any “expert” - even top grammarians with PHDs who work with words for a living - have all the answers for difficult grammar questions (because there are not as many hard-and-fast rules as in math). The good news is that official GMAT sentence correction problems are created in a way that everyone can agree on distinct errors of grammar or logic in the four incorrect answers or they could not be on a standardized test! I hope this post clarifies some issues brought up by Ron’s post and by the preceding questions, and please feel free to follow up with any additional questions.

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lunarpower GMAT Instructor
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Post Tue May 07, 2013 7:58 pm
I received a private message about this thread.

This problem is horrible. The ostensibly "correct" answer contains at least 3 errors, and none of the choices comes even remotely close to being a respectable English sentence.

Ignore this problem, and distrust the source from now on. What's the source?

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Post Tue May 07, 2013 4:08 pm
You should be very careful on any GMAT sentence correction problem about applying rules that you believe are absolute. Sentence correction is an exercise in problem solving and leveraging differences in answer choices, not a rote regurgitation of memorized rules. In math, 2 + 2 is always 4, but in grammar, things are not so cut and dry (but people try to make it that way, particularly in forums!) There is perhaps no better example of this than the choice between "such as" and "like" in this sentence correction problem. Because people have memorized the supposed rule - "such as" is used only for examples and "like" is used only to make comparisons - they are too quick to eliminate answer choices containing "like" in this problem. However (A), (B), (C), and (E) all contain an error that everyone can agree on: it is not the airports that are easily reachable during long layovers (of course they are - you are in them!) but rather the public parks and pedestrian paths. Only (D) employs the proper structure to convey this meaning but people have eliminated it because they believe "like" is wrong. If you don't believe me on "such as" vs "like," just pick up today's copy of the New York TImes, generally regarded as one of the most well edited publications in the world. I guarantee well over 50 uses of "like" in the manner of answer choice (D) in one newspaper alone. If you would like to read more on the matter, here is an excellent blogpost: :

http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2012/02/like-such-as.html

While I agree that GMAT sentence correction problems tend to use "such as" in this case, don't count on it and be ready for "misdirection" with a correct usage of "like" as you have seen on this problem. Hope this helps with your question and with the frequent discussions regarding "like" vs. "such as"!

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apoorva.rattan Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon May 06, 2013 7:31 am
I saw another BTG post which explains the use of Like and As. May be this helpful:
http://www.beatthegmat.com/a-higher-interest-rate-is-only-one-of-the-factors-t227610.html#635926

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Ankur87 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Sun May 05, 2013 7:24 pm
I think it should be cities such as not cities like..
EXPERTS please help.

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