• NEW! FREE Beat The GMAT Quizzes
    NEW! FREE Beat The GMAT Quizzes
    NEW! FREE Beat The GMAT Quizzes
    Hundreds of Questions Highly Detailed Reporting Expert Explanations TAKE A FREE GMAT QUIZ
  • 7 CATs FREE!
    If you earn 100 Forum Points

    Engage in the Beat The GMAT forums to earn
    100 points for $49 worth of Veritas practice GMATs FREE

    Veritas Prep
    VERITAS PRACTICE GMAT EXAMS
    Earn 10 Points Per Post
    Earn 10 Points Per Thanks
    Earn 10 Points Per Upvote
    REDEEM NOW

OG-12 SC Q-43 Laos has a land area

This topic has 9 expert replies and 18 member replies
Goto page Previous

GMAT/MBA Expert

Post
ngk4mba3236 wrote:
GMATGuruNY wrote:
Quote:
as for C, "with a population of only 4 million people, many of them are members of hill tribes" -- here,the usage of with seems incorrect, resulting into nonsensical meaning.
C: Laos with population of only 4 million people
Here, the with-modifier in red implies that there is MORE THAN ONE Laos -- Laos with a population of only 1 million people, Laos with a population of only 2 million people, Laos with a population of only 3 million people -- and that the sentence is referring to ONE SPECIFIC Laos:
Laos WITH A POPULATION OF ONLY 4 MILLION PEOPLE.
This meaning is nonsensical.
There is not more than Laos.
Eliminate C.
I can understand your point, but couple of quick questions on C -

1. is the reason to eliminate choice C that I mentioned in the above quote completely wrong ?
In my post above, I agree with your contention that the usage of the with-modifer conveys a nonsensical meaning.
If your line of reasoning differs from mine, please explain yours in greater detail.

Quote:
2. as for the just comparison portion of C , "Laos has a land area that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area" : can you please shed some light why/how this comparison is incorrect ?

I thought, although this comparison is ok (because land area of Laos seems to be correctly compared to the land area of Great Britain), C is still wrong for other reasons discussed earlier.
C: a land area that is about the same size
Here, land area = the SIZE of the land.
As a result, land area and size are redundant.
Eliminate C.

_________________
Mitch Hunt
Private Tutor for the GMAT and GRE
GMATGuruNY@gmail.com

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "UPVOTE" icon.

Available for tutoring in NYC and long-distance.
For more information, please email me at GMATGuruNY@gmail.com.
Student Review #1
Student Review #2
Student Review #3

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Free GMAT Practice Test How can you improve your test score if you don't know your baseline score? Take a free online practice exam. Get started on achieving your dream score today! Sign up now.
Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
18 Mar 2016
Posted:
176 messages
Upvotes:
1
Post
GMATGuruNY wrote:
In my post above, I agree with your contention that the usage of the with-modifer conveys a nonsensical meaning.
If your line of reasoning differs from mine, please explain yours in greater detail.
what I intend to mean:
here, i guess, usage of with is slightly ambiguous. with seems to modify the verb "are" ---> how many of them are members of hill tribes.

thus,the usage of with seems incorrect, resulting into nonsensical meaning - "with a population of only 4 million people, many of them are members of hill tribes".

GMATGuruNY wrote:
C: a land area that is about the same size
Here, land area = the SIZE of the land.
As a result, land area and size are redundant.
Eliminate C.
ok, then by this logic why the comparison portion of D is incorrect ?

please clarify.

p.s: as for the OA, I think, the verb "has" is in ellipsis immediately after "but". right ?

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag

GMAT/MBA Expert

Post
ngk4mba3236 wrote:
GMATGuruNY wrote:
In my post above, I agree with your contention that the usage of the with-modifer conveys a nonsensical meaning.
If your line of reasoning differs from mine, please explain yours in greater detail.
what I intend to mean:
here, i guess, usage of with is slightly ambiguous. with seems to modify the verb "are" ---> how many of them are members of hill tribes.

thus,the usage of with seems incorrect, resulting into nonsensical meaning - "with a population of only 4 million people, many of them are members of hill tribes".
This line of reasoning is valid.
C: with a population of only 4 million people, many of them are members of hill tribes
Here, if the red portion is interpreted as an adverb modifying the verb in the following clause, the conveyed meaning is illogical, since the red portion does not serve to express HOW many of the 4 million people ARE members of hill tribes.
Eliminate C.

Quote:
GMATGuruNY wrote:
C: a land area that is about the same size
Here, land area = the SIZE of the land.
As a result, land area and size are redundant.
Eliminate C.
ok, then by this logic why the comparison portion of D is incorrect ?
In many cases, the SIZE of a country serves to refer to aspects other than square footage (such as the size of the population).
D: a land area comparable to the size of Great Britain
Here, the usage of size -- which can refer to aspects other than square footage, such as the SIZE of the population -- clouds the comparison, since the intention of the original sentence is to compare one land area to another.
The comparison in the OA is clearer and thus better.
Eliminate D.

Quote:
p.s: as for the OA, I think, the verb "has" is in ellipsis immediately after "but". right ?
Correct.
The OA conveys the following:
Laos has a land area comparable to that of Great Britain but [has] a population of only four million people.
Here, the verb in brackets is omitted, but its presence is implied.

_________________
Mitch Hunt
Private Tutor for the GMAT and GRE
GMATGuruNY@gmail.com

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "UPVOTE" icon.

Available for tutoring in NYC and long-distance.
For more information, please email me at GMATGuruNY@gmail.com.
Student Review #1
Student Review #2
Student Review #3

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Free GMAT Practice Test How can you improve your test score if you don't know your baseline score? Take a free online practice exam. Get started on achieving your dream score today! Sign up now.
Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
04 Jun 2014
Posted:
53 messages
Followed by:
2 members
Upvotes:
6
Facebook Logo
Post
GMATGuruNY wrote:
ngk4mba3236 wrote:
hi gmatguru,
on top of what you mentioned as error in A, does the following constitute further error in A:

"4 million in population,where" -- here, where incorrectly modifies population, but in GMAT where can serve to modify actual places only. right ?
Correct.

Quote:
as for C, "with a population of only 4 million people, many of them are members of hill tribes" -- here,the usage of with seems incorrect, resulting into nonsensical meaning.
C: Laos with population of only 4 million people
Here, the with-modifier in red implies that there is MORE THAN ONE Laos -- Laos with a population of only 1 million people, Laos with a population of only 2 million people, Laos with a population of only 3 million people -- and that the sentence is referring to ONE SPECIFIC Laos:
Laos WITH A POPULATION OF ONLY 4 MILLION PEOPLE.
This meaning is nonsensical.
There is not more than Laos.
Eliminate C.
Hi Mitch,

Will you please suggest on what other grounds is the option C eliminated.
I get this point Laos with a population of 4 million means onely one laos with the mentioned population

Thanks

_________________
If you want to fly,you have to give up the things that weighs you down!

PS

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag

GMAT/MBA Expert

Post
prabsahi wrote:
Will you please suggest on what other grounds is the option C eliminated.
C: Laos has a land area that is about the same size as Great Britain’s land area.
Here, area = size, resulting in the following redundancy:
Laos has a land size that is about the same size as Great Britain’s land size.
Eliminate C.

C: Laos has a land area, but...many of them are members of hill tribes.
Here, an illogical contrast is drawn between a PLACE (Laos) and PEOPLE (many of them).
A place may be compared to another place.
People may be compared to other people.
A place may not be compared to people.
Eliminate C.

_________________
Mitch Hunt
Private Tutor for the GMAT and GRE
GMATGuruNY@gmail.com

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "UPVOTE" icon.

Available for tutoring in NYC and long-distance.
For more information, please email me at GMATGuruNY@gmail.com.
Student Review #1
Student Review #2
Student Review #3

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Free GMAT Practice Test How can you improve your test score if you don't know your baseline score? Take a free online practice exam. Get started on achieving your dream score today! Sign up now.
Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
04 Jun 2014
Posted:
53 messages
Followed by:
2 members
Upvotes:
6
Facebook Logo
Post
GMATGuruNY wrote:
prabsahi wrote:
Will you please suggest on what other grounds is the option C eliminated.
C: Laos has a land area that is about the same size as Great Britain’s land area.
Here, area = size, resulting in the following redundancy:
Laos has a land size that is about the same size as Great Britain’s land size.
Eliminate C.

C: Laos has a land area, but...many of them are members of hill tribes.
Here, an illogical contrast is drawn between a PLACE (Laos) and PEOPLE (many of them).
A place may be compared to another place.
People may be compared to other people.
A place may not be compared to people.
Eliminate C.
Thank you so much Mitch!!

_________________
If you want to fly,you have to give up the things that weighs you down!

PS

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
04 Jun 2014
Posted:
53 messages
Followed by:
2 members
Upvotes:
6
Facebook Logo
Post
GMATGuruNY wrote:
prabsahi wrote:
Will you please suggest on what other grounds is the option C eliminated.
C: Laos has a land area that is about the same size as Great Britain’s land area.
Here, area = size, resulting in the following redundancy:
Laos has a land size that is about the same size as Great Britain’s land size.
Eliminate C.

C: Laos has a land area, but...many of them are members of hill tribes.
Here, an illogical contrast is drawn between a PLACE (Laos) and PEOPLE (many of them).
A place may be compared to another place.
People may be compared to other people.
A place may not be compared to people.
Eliminate C.
I took the comparison wrong initially by taking X but Y as
X=''is about the same size as Great Britain’s''
land area
Y=in Laos with a population of only
four million people

Will you please help me how did you recognize this pattern..
As X BUT in LAOS with ..blah blah many people...is it that you saw 'with a population of only four million people'- as a prepositional modifier answer so you ignored them.

Please help!!
Thanks

_________________
If you want to fly,you have to give up the things that weighs you down!

PS

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag

GMAT/MBA Expert

Post
prabsahi wrote:
Will you please help me how did you recognize this pattern..
As X BUT in LAOS with ..blah blah many people...is it that you saw 'with a population of only four million people'- as a prepositional modifier answer so you ignored them.

Please help!!
Thanks
A clause contains both a subject and a verb.
In C, but is serving to connect two CLAUSES.
To determine the implied contrast, isolate the main subject and verb in each clause:
The main subject and verb of the first clause are Laos and has.
The main subject and verb of the second clause are many of them and are.
As a result, the following contrast is implied:
LAOS HAS, but MANY OF THEM ARE.
Since this contrast is illogical, eliminate C.

Quote:
is it that you saw 'with a population of only four million people'- as a prepositional modifier answer so you ignored them.
The main subject of a clause will NEVER be contained within a prepositional phrase.
A prepositional phrase is a MODIFIER.
It cannot contain the main subject of a clause.

_________________
Mitch Hunt
Private Tutor for the GMAT and GRE
GMATGuruNY@gmail.com

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "UPVOTE" icon.

Available for tutoring in NYC and long-distance.
For more information, please email me at GMATGuruNY@gmail.com.
Student Review #1
Student Review #2
Student Review #3

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Free GMAT Practice Test How can you improve your test score if you don't know your baseline score? Take a free online practice exam. Get started on achieving your dream score today! Sign up now.
Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
04 Jun 2014
Posted:
53 messages
Followed by:
2 members
Upvotes:
6
Facebook Logo
Post
Thank you so much Mitch!!

You are just the best.

_________________
If you want to fly,you have to give up the things that weighs you down!

PS

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
05 Dec 2015
Posted:
120 messages
Target GMAT Score:
720
Post
GMATGuruNY wrote:
As X BUT in LAOS with ..blah blah many p
I want to know if we can eliminate C because the clause that follows 'but', in this case, must be an independent clause.

Here it is :but in Laos with a population of only Four million people, many of them


Because the clause after 'but' is incomplete, can we eliminate C for this reason

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Post
Hello Everyone!

This is a great example question you might find on the GMAT exam! Let's start by taking a quick look at the question, and highlight any major differences between the options in orange:

Laos has a land area about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.

(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many
(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many
(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them
(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many
(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom

While it looks like there is a lot here that's different about each option, there are some things we can focus on to eliminate wrong options:

1. about the same / about the same size / comparable to the size / comparable to that
2. in population / a population
3. where many / and many / many of them / many of whom


Let's start with #1 on our list. If we look carefully, this has to do with parallelism! We need to make sure each sentence is comparing two items that are parallel in structure, type, number, wording, etc. Here is how each sentence handles the comparison between the land area of Laos and the land area of Great Britain:

(A) about the same as Great Britain but only four million in population, where many
land area of Laos + the entire country of Great Britain = NOT PARALLEL

(B) of about the same size as Great Britain is, but in Laos there is a population of only four million, and many
land area of Laos + the size of Great Britain = NOT PARALLEL

(C) that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them
land area of Laos + land area of Great Britain = PARALLEL

(D) comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many
land area of Laos + the size of Great Britain = NOT PARALLEL

(E) comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom
land area of Laos + land area of Great Britain = PARALLEL

We can eliminate options A, B, and D because they do not have parallel comparisons between the land areas of both countries!

Now that we have it narrowed down to only 2 options, let's take a closer look at each and determine which is the best option. To make errors easier to catch, let's add in the non-underlined parts of the sentence:

(C) Laos has a land area that is about the same size as Great Britain's land area, but in Laos with a population of only four million people, many of them are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.

This is INCORRECT for a couple reasons. First, there is a missing comma between "Laos" and "with" because the phrase "with a population of only four million people" was turned into a non-essential clause that needs to be surrounded by commas. Second, if we treat the phrase "with a population of only four million people" as a non-essential phrase, the pronoun "them" doesn't have a clear antecedent. Who is "them" referring to? It's not clear - and the GMAT requires that all pronouns have absolutely clear antecedents!

(E) Laos has a land area comparable to that of Great Britain but a population of only four million people, many of whom are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.

This is CORRECT! It compares the land are of Laos to the land area of Great Britain using parallelism, and the modifier that begins with "many of whom" is clearly referring back to "four million people," which makes sense!

There you have it - option E is the correct choice! If you know some of the tendencies of GMAT test writers, it's a lot easier to spot frequently used grammatical errors!


Don't study for the GMAT. Train for it.

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
17 Mar 2019
Posted:
5 messages
Post
I narrowed down the answer choices to D and E. To me it was a toss up and I would have just ended up guessing if this was on the actual exam. Can someone please explain to me why D is incorrect?

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag

GMAT/MBA Expert

Post
myspecialtie wrote:
I narrowed down the answer choices to D and E. To me it was a toss up and I would have just ended up guessing if this was on the actual exam. Can someone please explain to me why D is incorrect?
D: Laos has a land area comparable to the size of Great Britain, but only four million in population, and many are members of hill tribes ensconced in the virtually inaccessible mountain valleys of the north.

Error 1:
The intent here is to compare the LAND AREA of Laos to the LAND AREA of Great Britain:
E: Laos has a land area comparable to THAT of Great Britain.
In the OA, that is standing in for land area, with the result that one land area is logically compared to another.
In D, the usage of size is ambiguous: size has many meanings aside from land area.
the size of a POPULATION
the size of an ECONOMY
the size of a SHIRT

Since the wording in E is more precise, eliminate D and choose E.

Error 2:
many must refer to a PLURAL noun.
E: a population of only four million people, many of whom
Here, many correctly refers to people (plural).
D: four million in population, and many
In D, four million is a NUMBER and thus is singular, as follows:
Four million IS a relatively smaller number.
As a result, many lacks a plural referent.
Eliminate D.

Error 3:
four million in population is unidiomatic
Correct: a population OF four million

Error 4:
When and serves to connect two complete clauses, the first clause must logically connect to the second.
An OA in the OG12:
Josephine Baker made Paris her home, and she remained in France during the Second World War.
Here, the blue clause logically connects to the green clause.
In D, the usage of and is illogical:
Laos has a land are comparable to the size of Great Britain...and many are members of hill tribes.
Here, the blue clause (which is about Laos and its land area) does not logically connect to the red clause (which is about people and their tribal membership).
Thus, the usage of and is improper.
Eliminate D.

_________________
Mitch Hunt
Private Tutor for the GMAT and GRE
GMATGuruNY@gmail.com

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "UPVOTE" icon.

Available for tutoring in NYC and long-distance.
For more information, please email me at GMATGuruNY@gmail.com.
Student Review #1
Student Review #2
Student Review #3

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Free GMAT Practice Test How can you improve your test score if you don't know your baseline score? Take a free online practice exam. Get started on achieving your dream score today! Sign up now.
  • Kaplan Test Prep
    Free Practice Test & Review
    How would you score if you took the GMAT

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Kaplan Test Prep
  • Economist Test Prep
    Free Trial & Practice Exam
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Economist Test Prep
  • Varsity Tutors
    Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
    Register now and save up to $200

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Varsity Tutors
  • Veritas Prep
    Free Veritas GMAT Class
    Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Veritas Prep
  • EMPOWERgmat Slider
    1 Hour Free
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    EMPOWERgmat Slider
  • e-gmat Exclusive Offer
    Get 300+ Practice Questions
    25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    e-gmat Exclusive Offer
  • PrepScholar GMAT
    5 Day FREE Trial
    Study Smarter, Not Harder

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    PrepScholar GMAT
  • The Princeton Review
    FREE GMAT Exam
    Know how you'd score today for $0

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    The Princeton Review
  • Magoosh
    Magoosh
    Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Magoosh
  • Target Test Prep
    5-Day Free Trial
    5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Target Test Prep

Top First Responders*

1 Brent@GMATPrepNow 43 first replies
2 Ian Stewart 35 first replies
3 Jay@ManhattanReview 32 first replies
4 GMATGuruNY 27 first replies
5 Scott@TargetTestPrep 13 first replies
* Only counts replies to topics started in last 30 days
See More Top Beat The GMAT Members

Most Active Experts

1 image description Scott@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

189 posts
2 image description Max@Math Revolution

Math Revolution

90 posts
3 image description Brent@GMATPrepNow

GMAT Prep Now Teacher

75 posts
4 image description GMATGuruNY

The Princeton Review Teacher

44 posts
5 image description Ian Stewart

GMATiX Teacher

42 posts
See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts