While it costs about the same

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While it costs about the same

by aditya8062 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:10 am

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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.


my doubt : while i do understand that A is wrong for many other reason but plz confirm whether the initial comparison in A is oki :While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants

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by GMATGuruNY » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:22 am

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aditya8062 wrote:
my doubt : while i do understand that A is wrong for many other reason but plz confirm whether the initial comparison in A is oki :While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants
ELLIPSIS is the omission of words whose presence is understood.
Here, it is not crystal clear what words have been omitted.
A reader might make the following interpretation:
While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants [cost]...
The intended comparison is as follows:
While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as [to run] other types of power plants...
Since a reader might be confused, eliminate the answer choice.
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by aditya8062 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:45 am

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thanks a lot guru
but plz tell me when u say that one of the interpretation is :While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants [cost]..
isn't "cost to run" understood in this interpretation (what is preventing us to consider this ellipses )

also if i put the comparison as :: nuclear power plants cost twice as much to run as other power plants
then i believe this ambiguity does not arise
plz tell me what can be the reason ?
thanks and regards

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by spark » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:30 pm

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The meaning of the sentence is different if you insert "cost to run" instead of "cost" at the end of the comparison. If a sentence uses an implicitly understood word or phrase, there should be no doubt about what the intended word or phrase is.

Also, the "it costs" construction, which is described with a variety of terminology (placeholder it, syntactic expletive, or emphatic construction), is not technically incorrect on its own, but this type of construction makes answer A a bit awkward.

As I believe you saw, the subject-verb agreement error ("fixed costs...makes") makes it easier to eliminate answer A.
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by aditya8062 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:50 pm

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thanks spark but plz tell is this comparison oki : nuclear power plants cost twice as much to run as other power plants

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by GMATGuruNY » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:10 am

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aditya8062 wrote:thanks a lot guru
but plz tell me when u say that one of the interpretation is :While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants [cost]..
isn't "cost to run" understood in this interpretation (what is preventing us to consider this ellipses )
It must be CRYSTAL CLEAR what words have been omitted and what meaning is implied.
In the second clause, a reader could interpret other types as the subject of the implied verb cost or as the direct object of to run:
Other types of power plants cost about the same.
To run other types of power plants costs about the same
.
Since a reader might misinterpret the intended meaning, look for an answer choice that makes the comparison clear.
also if i put the comparison as :: nuclear plants cost twice as much to run as other types of power plants
then i believe this ambiguity does not arise
plz tell me what can be the reason ?
thanks and regards
Here, it's clear that other types of power plants serves as the subject of the second clause.
The GMAT might add a verb to the second clause, as in SC89 in the OG12:
Dirt roads cost twice as much to maintain as paved roads DO.
Last edited by GMATGuruNY on Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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by aditya8062 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:36 am

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thanks a lot Guru
guru said :In your example, it's clear that what NUCLEAR PLANTS COST is being compared what OTHER TYPES OF POWER PLANTS COST.
But by making nuclear plants and other types of power plants the subjects, you imply that the PLANTS THEMSELVES are being compared.
but plz tell me in the sentence i wrote : nuclear plants cost twice as much to run as other types of power plants

i have included "to run" (bolded) so why have u said that i am just comparing the NUCLEAR PLANTS COST with OTHER TYPES OF POWER PLANTS COST
i guess that "to run" is taking care to show that its the cost to run these plant thats being compared

plz guide me Mitch

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by GMATGuruNY » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:18 am

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aditya8062 wrote:thanks a lot Guru
but plz tell me in the sentence i wrote : nuclear plants cost twice as much to run as other types of power plants

i have included "to run" (bolded) so why have u said that i am just comparing the NUCLEAR PLANTS COST with OTHER TYPES OF POWER PLANTS COST
i guess that "to run" is taking care to show that its the cost to run these plant thats being compared

plz guide me Mitch
Please see my amended post above.
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by aditya8062 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:14 pm

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thanks a lot Mitch
Please see my amended post above.
i somehow get the feeling that the whole answer to this riddled sentence lies in ur last amended post especially this line : :Here, it's clear that other types of power plants serves as the subject of the second clause. . i feel because the sentence---nuclear plants cost twice as much to run as other types of power plants --- is so parallel in terms of subject -verb- object order that the construction after as is also deemed as subject .hence this construction does not create any ambiguity and we are able to compare the cost of running the nuclear power plant with the cost of running the other power plant

now
for this sentence --While it costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants ---such parallelism does not exist and hence the portion after as can act as a subject or as an object and hence the ambiguity that u told does exists
mitch told :The GMAT might add a verb to the second clause, as in SC89 in the OG12:


yeah thanks for putting that reference as i was about to come on this but Mitch what i guess is that version of this sentence without the working verb might just work well and gmat might test that
Mitch kindly corroborate my understanding

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by voodoo_child » Wed May 22, 2013 11:05 am

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GMATGuruNY wrote: It must be CRYSTAL CLEAR what words have been omitted and what meaning is implied.
In the second clause, a reader could interpret other types as the subject of the implied verb cost or as the direct object of to run:
Other types of power plants cost about the same.
To run other types of power plants costs about the same
.
Since a reader might misinterpret the intended meaning, look for an answer choice that makes the comparison clear.
Hello Mitch,
About D) - do you think it could be interpreted as "It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as it costs for the other types of power plants to run nuclear plants "

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by apoorva.rattan » Wed May 22, 2013 3:04 pm

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What is the OA for this question, though ? Is it E ?

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by ramitagrawal » Thu May 23, 2013 4:03 am

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IMO: B....Please post OA..

Thanks!

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by iongmat » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:17 pm

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Hello Mitch, after going thru your posts above, I believe following is what you recommend:

(I) Nuclear plants cost twice as much to run as other types of power plants

This is a correct sentence, since it can only be interpreted in one way:

Nuclear plants cost twice as much to run as other types of power plants (cost to run)

(II) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants

This is an incorrect sentence, since it can only be interpreted in two ways:

(a) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants (cost)
(b) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants (cost to run)


Is my understanding of your recommendation correct? I am having difficulty in appreciating how we can infer (a) above; how we can just stop at "cost" and not assume "cost to run".

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by GMATGuruNY » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:08 pm

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iongmat wrote:Hello Mitch, after going thru your posts above, I believe following is what you recommend:

(I) Nuclear plants cost twice as much to run as other types of power plants

This is a correct sentence, since it can only be interpreted in one way:

Nuclear plants cost twice as much to run as other types of power plants (cost to run)

(II) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants

This is an incorrect sentence, since it can only be interpreted in two ways:

(a) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants (cost)
(b) It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants (cost to run)


Is my understanding of your recommendation correct? I am having difficulty in appreciating how we can infer (a) above; how we can just stop at "cost" and not assume "cost to run".
It costs about the same to run nuclear plants as other types of power plants.
Here, we cannot assume the presence of cost to run in the second clause because this phrase does not appear in the first clause.
In the phrase cost to run, to run serves as a modifier.
But in the first clause, to run serves not as a modifier but as part of the SUBJECT.
In the first clause, it is an expletive standing in for the infinitive subject to run nuclear plants.
First clause: It costs about the same to run nuclear plants.
Conveyed meaning: To run nuclear plants costs about the same.
As you can see, the phrase cost to run is not included in the conveyed meaning.
Thus, we can not assume the presence of this phrase in the second clause.
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by iongmat » Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:13 pm

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GMATGuruNY wrote: First clause: It costs about the same to run nuclear plants.
Conveyed meaning: To run nuclear plants costs about the same.
Hello Mitch, even if this is the conveyed, meaning the sentence would be:

To run nuclear plants costs about the same as (to run) other types of power plants (costs).

This seems ok to me. So, why is it incorrect?