A long-term study of some 1,000 physicians indicates that

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A long-term study of some 1,000 physicians indicates that the more coffee these doctors drank, the more they had a likelihood of coronary disease.

(A) more they had a likelihood of coronary disease
(B) more was their likelihood of having coronary disease
(C) more they would have a likelihood to have coronary disease
(D) greater was their likelihood of having coronary disease
(E) greater was coronary disease likely


OA: D

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by [email protected] » Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:54 pm

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Hi Verbal Experts (Dave/Mitch/Ceilidh/others) - Could you please share your detail ANALYSIS on this SC ?

Also, please let me know why OA is preferred to Option A ?

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by GMATGuruNY » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:40 am

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[email protected] wrote:A long-term study of some 1,000 physicians indicates that the more coffee these doctors drank, the more they had a likelihood of coronary disease.

(A) more they had a likelihood of coronary disease
(B) more was their likelihood of having coronary disease
(C) more they would have a likelihood to have coronary disease
(D) greater was their likelihood of having coronary disease
(E) greater was coronary disease likely


OA: D
A: the more coffee these doctors drank, the more they had
C: the more coffee these doctors drank, the more they would have
Here, these doctors drank is an ADJECTIVE serving to describe coffee.
What KIND of coffee?
coffee THESE DOCTORS DRANK.
Thus, coffee these doctors drank = NOUN + MODIFIER.
But each of the portions in red consists of SUBJECT + VERB.
Result:
NOUN + MODIFIER (coffee these doctors drank) and SUBJECT + VERB (the two portions in red) are not parallel.
Eliminate A and C.

B: the more was their likelihood
Here, more seems to refer to likelihood.
likelihood = probability = a NUMBER.
A number cannot be MORE.
A number can only be GREATER.
Eliminate B.

E: the greater was coronary disease
Here, greater seems to refer to coronary disease, implying that CORONARY DISEASE was GREATER.
Not the intended meaning.
The intended meaning is that the LIKELIHOOD of coronary disease was greater.
Eliminate E.

The correct answer is D.

In the OA, more coffee and greater likelihood constitute a parallel and logical comparison.
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by [email protected] » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:07 am

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Hi GMATGuruNY,
Couple of quick questions -

1. The reason you mentioned above to eliminate B, I think, should also hold good to eliminate A & C. Isn't it ?

2. Could you please help me understand that how the following NOUN + MODIFIER structure is maintained in the OA ?
GMATGuruNY wrote: coffee THESE DOCTORS DRANK.
Thus, coffee these doctors drank = NOUN + MODIFIER.


In the OA, more coffee and greater likelihood constitute a parallel and logical comparison.

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by GMATGuruNY » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:00 am

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[email protected] wrote:Hi GMATGuruNY,
Couple of quick questions -

1. The reason you mentioned above to eliminate B, I think, should also hold good to eliminate A & C. Isn't it ?
No.
In B, more is an adjective serving to modify likelihood.
In A and C, more is an ADVERB serving to modify the following verb.
Please see my explanation below.
2. Could you please help me understand that how the following NOUN + MODIFIER structure is maintained in the OA ?
A: the more coffee these doctors drank, the more they had a likelihood
Here, the first more is an ADJECTIVE serving to modify coffee, while the second more is an ADVERB serving to modify had.
Since the two comparatives serve different functions, the result is a lack of parallelism.

The same reasoning can be applied to C.

OA: the more coffee these doctors drank, the greater was their likelihood
Here, greater is an ADJECTIVE serving to modify their likelihood, just as more is an adjective serving to modify coffee.
Since the two comparatives serve the same function, the result is parallelism.
Last edited by GMATGuruNY on Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by [email protected] » Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:46 am

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GMATGuruNY wrote: OA: the more coffee these doctors drank, the greater was the likelihood
Here, greater is an ADJECTIVE serving to modify the likelihood, just as more is an adjective serving to modify coffee.
Since the two comparatives serve the same function, the result is parallelism.
I understand your explanations on the other parts and NO ISSUE with the above part as well.

BUT, I'm just NOT able to understand clearly that how the NOUN + MODIFIER structure (=coffee these doctors drank) in the first clause is maintained in the OA ? How EXACTLY we're relating this structure with the second clause (=was their likelihood) in the OA ?

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by GMATGuruNY » Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:40 pm

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[email protected] wrote:I'm just NOT able to understand clearly that how the NOUN + MODIFIER structure (=coffee these doctors drank) in the first clause is maintained in the OA ? How EXACTLY we're relating this structure with the second clause (=was their likelihood) in the OA ?
The more coffee these doctors drink, the greater their likelihood of having coronary disease.
In each portion:
red = comparative.
blue = noun.
green = modifier.
Here, both portions refer to the PRESENT.

If both portions are converted to the PAST, we get the OA:
The more coffee these doctors drank, the greater was their likelihood of having coronary disease.
Here, the verb was is added to the second portion to make it clear that their likelihood WAS greater IN THE PAST.
Last edited by GMATGuruNY on Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by [email protected] » Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:04 am

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GMATGuruNY wrote: If both portions are converted to the PAST, we get the OA:
The more coffee these doctors drank, the greater was the likelihood of their having coronary disease.
Here, the verb was is added to the second portion to make it clear that the likelihood WAS greater IN THE PAST.
Got this now...however, I think the OA is actually : The more coffee these doctors drank, the greater was their likelihood of having coronary disease -- their likelihood is basically NOUN-phrase here. Right ?

A quick question - JUST to VERIFY the correctness of a comparison in a Sentence involving TWO COMPARATIVES (such as MORE/GREATER), won't it be SUFFICIENT to check ONLY whether the TWO COMPARATIVES serve the same function ? Because TWO COMPARATIVES serving the same function means the result is parallelism.

I guess, after doing the above check, if we find that parallelism is attained then we can proceed to find whether there is any other ERROR or not! Thoughts ?

(For example, in this SC, for each of the two options B and D, we can see that the two comparatives serve the same function in BOTH underlined and non-underlined portions. So, COMPARISON is grammatically CORRECT till this point, but as there is OTHER ERROR in B we ultimately choose the OA and eliminate B.)

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by GMATGuruNY » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:33 am

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[email protected] wrote:
GMATGuruNY wrote: If both portions are converted to the PAST, we get the OA:
The more coffee these doctors drank, the greater was the likelihood of their having coronary disease.
Here, the verb was is added to the second portion to make it clear that the likelihood WAS greater IN THE PAST.
Got this now...however, I think the OA is actually : The more coffee these doctors drank, the greater was their likelihood of having coronary disease -- their likelihood is basically NOUN-phrase here. Right ?
Good catch.
I've amended my response above to reflect the actual wording in the OA.
A quick question - JUST to VERIFY the correctness of a comparison in a Sentence involving TWO COMPARATIVES (such as MORE/GREATER), won't it be SUFFICIENT to check ONLY whether the TWO COMPARATIVES serve the same function ? Because TWO COMPARATIVES serving the same function means the result is parallelism.

I guess, after doing the above check, if we find that parallelism is attained then we can proceed to find whether there is any other ERROR or not! Thoughts ?
Sounds reasonable.
But please note the constraint below.
(For example, in this SC, for each of the two options B and D, we can see that the two comparatives serve the same function in BOTH underlined and non-underlined portions. So, COMPARISON is grammatically CORRECT till this point, but as there is OTHER ERROR in B we ultimately choose the OA and eliminate B.)
The comparison in B is not grammatically viable.
The idiom in B is as follows:
The more X, the more Y.
In this idiom, the more cannot be followed by a verb.
Consider this an idiomatic constraint.

B: The more coffee these doctors drank, the more was their likelihood.
Here, the more in red is incorrectly followed by a verb (was).
Eliminate B.
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by Crystal W » Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:19 pm

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GMATGuruNY wrote:
[email protected] wrote:I'm just NOT able to understand clearly that how the NOUN + MODIFIER structure (=coffee these doctors drank) in the first clause is maintained in the OA ? How EXACTLY we're relating this structure with the second clause (=was their likelihood) in the OA ?
The more coffee these doctors drink, the greater their likelihood of having coronary disease.
In each portion:
red = comparative.
blue = noun.
green = modifier.
Here, both portions refer to the PRESENT.

If both portions are converted to the PAST, we get the OA:
The more coffee these doctors drank, the greater was their likelihood of having coronary disease.
Here, the verb was is added to the second portion to make it clear that their likelihood WAS greater IN THE PAST.
Thank you for your explanation. This question makes me so confused. Only thing is do you miss "is" at the end of your present sentence? Or we do not need the verb "is" in the present tense?

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by thang » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:59 am

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GMATGuruNY wrote:
[email protected] wrote:A long-term study of some 1,000 physicians indicates that the more coffee these doctors drank, the more they had a likelihood of coronary disease.

(A) more they had a likelihood of coronary disease
(B) more was their likelihood of having coronary disease
(C) more they would have a likelihood to have coronary disease
(D) greater was their likelihood of having coronary disease
(E) greater was coronary disease likely


OA: D
A: the more coffee these doctors drank, the more they had
C: the more coffee these doctors drank, the more they would have
Here, these doctors drank is an ADJECTIVE serving to describe coffee.
What KIND of coffee?
coffee THESE DOCTORS DRANK.
Thus, coffee these doctors drank = NOUN + MODIFIER.
But each of the portions in red consists of SUBJECT + VERB.
Result:
NOUN + MODIFIER (coffee these doctors drank) and SUBJECT + VERB (the two portions in red) are not parallel.
Eliminate A and C.

B: the more was their likelihood
Here, more seems to refer to likelihood.
likelihood = probability = a NUMBER.
A number cannot be MORE.
A number can only be GREATER.
Eliminate B.

E: the greater was coronary disease
Here, greater seems to refer to coronary disease, implying that CORONARY DISEASE was GREATER.
Not the intended meaning.
The intended meaning is that the LIKELIHOOD of coronary disease was greater.
Eliminate E.

The correct answer is D.

In the OA, more coffee and greater likelihood constitute a parallel and logical comparison.
i do not understand why a and c are wrong.
i can say: the more this kind of coffee i drink, the more i hate it. is this sentence correct?

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by thang » Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:18 am

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[email protected] wrote:A long-term study of some 1,000 physicians indicates that the more coffee these doctors drank, the more they had a likelihood of coronary disease.

(A) more they had a likelihood of coronary disease
(B) more was their likelihood of having coronary disease
(C) more they would have a likelihood to have coronary disease
(D) greater was their likelihood of having coronary disease
(E) greater was coronary disease likely


OA: D
hard one:
likelihood of doing something is logic and idiomatic
likelihood of something can be used with some nouns, not all. likelihood of existence of agent is correct.
likelihood of desease is not logic , using our common sense of this world.

this is the reason why a and c are wrong
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by GMATGuruNY » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:22 am

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Crystal W wrote:
GMATGuruNY wrote:
[email protected] wrote:I'm just NOT able to understand clearly that how the NOUN + MODIFIER structure (=coffee these doctors drank) in the first clause is maintained in the OA ? How EXACTLY we're relating this structure with the second clause (=was their likelihood) in the OA ?
The more coffee these doctors drink, the greater their likelihood of having coronary disease.
In each portion:
red = comparative.
blue = noun.
green = modifier.
Here, both portions refer to the PRESENT.

If both portions are converted to the PAST, we get the OA:
The more coffee these doctors drank, the greater was their likelihood of having coronary disease.
Here, the verb was is added to the second portion to make it clear that their likelihood WAS greater IN THE PAST.
Thank you for your explanation. This question makes me so confused. Only thing is do you miss "is" at the end of your present sentence? Or we do not need the verb "is" in the present tense?
The construction here is as follows:
THE + COMPARATIVE , THE + COMPARATIVE.

Other examples:
The more John talked, the less Mary understood.
The longer the team practices, the greater its chances of winning.
The bigger the risk, the bigger the payout.


As illustrated by the portions in red, is and are may be omitted in this construction.
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by GMATGuruNY » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:39 am

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thang wrote:i do not understand why a and c are wrong.
Generally, to compare statistical data, we use greater rather than more:
a GREATER number of people
a GREATER percentage of citizens
a GREATER probability of success


The same holds true for likelihood:
a GREATER likelihood of victory

A: the more they had a likelihood
B: the more was their likelihood
C: the more they would have a likelihood
In these options, more is incorrectly ascribed to a likelihood.
The correct comparative for a likelihood is GREATER.
Eliminate A, B and C.
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by thuyduong91vnu » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:16 pm

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GMATGuruNY wrote:
A: the more coffee these doctors drank, the more they had
C: the more coffee these doctors drank, the more they would have
Here, these doctors drank is an ADJECTIVE serving to describe coffee.
What KIND of coffee?
coffee THESE DOCTORS DRANK.
Thus, coffee these doctors drank = NOUN + MODIFIER.
But each of the portions in red consists of SUBJECT + VERB.
Result:
NOUN + MODIFIER (coffee these doctors drank) and SUBJECT + VERB (the two portions in red) are not parallel.
Eliminate A and C.

The correct answer is D.

In the OA, more coffee and greater likelihood constitute a parallel and logical comparison.
Hi GMATGuruNY,

I have 2 questions for this one:

1, In case we have the first part in the same structure (Adverb + Subject + Verb instead of Adjective + Noun + Modifier), does it reasonable to say "the more they had a likelihood of..." ? I just find this bold expression somewhat strange, is it a right one? :D

2, OG gave the comment that "would have a likelihood" (C choice) is a redundant expression without any explanation, is it because the meanings of "would" and "likelihood" somewhat overlap?

Please help me to clarify, many thanks!