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OG Most of the country's biggest daily newspapers

This topic has 6 expert replies and 5 member replies

OG Most of the country's biggest daily newspapers

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Most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers had lower circulation in the six months from October 1995 through March 1996 than a similar period a year earlier.
A. a similar period
B. a similar period’s
C. in a similar period
D. that in a similar period
E. that of a similar period

C

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iongmat wrote:
Hi Mitch, I came across the following:

In addition to having more protein than wheat does, rice has protein of higher quality than that in wheat, with more of the amino acids essential to the human diet.

This seems to have the structure

SUBJECT + FORM OF TO HAVE + COMPARATIVE, but is followed by that.

Appreciate your response.
Rice has protein of higher quality than that in wheat.
Here, has is followed not by a comparative but a NOUN (protein).
Thus, the rule in my post above does not apply.

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AbeNeedsAnswers wrote:
Most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers had lower circulation in the six months from October 1995 through March 1996 than a similar period a year earlier.
A. a similar period
B. a similar period’s
C. in a similar period
D. that in a similar period
E. that of a similar period

C
I received a PM requesting that I explain the error in D.

In D, that seems to stand in for the circulation, as follows:
D: Most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers had lower circulation in the six months from October 1995 through March 1996 than the circulation in a similar period a year earlier.
Here, the phrase in blue refers to the sales figures for each newspaper:
Newspaper A = 1,000,000 copies.
Newspaper B = 900,000 copies.
Newspaper C = 875,000 copies.
But the phrase in red -- THE circulation -- implies that a year earlier ONE SPECIFIC CIRCULATION was shared by all of the newspapers.
It is illogical to compare the different sales figures for each newspaper to one specific circulation.
Eliminate D.

The OA implies the following:
Most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers had lower circulation in the six months from October 1995 through March 1996 than [they had circulation] in a similar period a year earlier.
Here, the words in brackets are omitted but implied.
The result is a logical comparison: the sales figures for each newspaper from October 1995 through March 1996 are compared to the sales figures for each newspaper in a similar period a year earlier.

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Thanks for responding to my PM Mitch.

Had a quick follow up question. Why can't D be interpreted as:

Most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers had lower circulation in the six months from October 1995 through March 1996 than (most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers had) that in a similar period a year earlier.

Here, the portion in blue is the elliptical part.

So, this does seem to be comparing how much most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers had:
i) circulation in the six months from October 1995 through March 1996
ii) circulation in a similar period a year earlier

Appreciate, as always.

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iongmat wrote:
Thanks for responding to my PM Mitch.

Had a quick follow up question. Why can't D be interpreted as:

Most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers had lower circulation in the six months from October 1995 through March 1996 than (most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers had) that in a similar period a year earlier.

Here, the portion in blue is the elliptical part.

So, this does seem to be comparing how much most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers had:
i) circulation in the six months from October 1995 through March 1996
ii) circulation in a similar period a year earlier

Appreciate, as always.
Note the following:
that cannot stand in for circulation IN GENERAL.
It must stand in for ONE SPECIFIC CIRCULATION.

Most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers had lower circulation in the six months from October 1995 through March 1996 than most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers had that in a similar period a year earlier.
Here -- because the comparison is illogical -- the referent for that is unclear.
The implied comparison seems to be as follows:
Most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers had lower circulation in the six months from October 1995 through March 1996 than THE circulation in a similar period a year earlier.
As noted in my post above, the phrase in blue refers to the sales figures for each newspaper:
Newspaper A = 1,000,000 copies.
Newspaper B = 900,000 copies.
Newspaper C = 875,000 copies.
But the phrase in red -- THE circulation -- implies that a year earlier ONE SPECIFIC CIRCULATION was shared by all of the newspapers.
It is illogical to compare the different sales figures for each newspaper to one specific circulation.
As a result, the sentence is incomprehensible.

Generally, SUBJECT + FORM OF TO HAVE + COMPARATIVE should not be followed that or those.
Incorrect: The company had higher profits in 1990 than those in 1980.
Correct: The company had higher profits in 1990 than in 1980.

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Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Hi Mitch, I came across the following:

In addition to having more protein than wheat does, rice has protein of higher quality than that in wheat, with more of the amino acids essential to the human diet.

This seems to have the structure

SUBJECT + FORM OF TO HAVE + COMPARATIVE, but is followed by that.

Appreciate your response.

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ok. So, the sentence is:

Rice has protein of higher quality than that in wheat.

Instead of this, if the sentence had been:

Rice has higher quality protein than that in wheat.

Then the sentence would be incorrect. Is my understanding right?

This is really proving to be quite confusing.

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iongmat wrote:
ok. So, the sentence is:

Rice has protein of higher quality than that in wheat.

Instead of this, if the sentence had been:

Rice has higher quality protein than that in wheat.

Then the sentence would be incorrect. Is my understanding right?

This is really proving to be quite confusing.
Your understanding is correct.
Generally, COMPARATIVE + than serves to compare one clause to another, even if portions of the clauses are omitted but implied.

Rice has protein of higher quality than that in wheat.
Here, the following comparison is implied:
Rice has protein [that is] of higher quality than the protein in wheat [is of high quality].
The implied clause in blue is compared to the implied clause in red.
The two implied usages of is serve to compare the state-of-being of the first protein to the state-of-being of the second protein.
In short:
Each protein IS of a particular level of quality.

Rice has higher quality protein than that in wheat.
Here, no action or state-of-being is attributed to the two phrases in red.
Since it is unclear what clauses are being compared, the sentence is not viable.

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GMATGuruNY wrote:
Generally, SUBJECT + FORM OF TO HAVE + COMPARATIVE should not be followed that or those.
Incorrect: The company had higher profits in 1990 than those in 1980.
Correct: The company had higher profits in 1990 than in 1980.
Dear Mitch
In your example above: Why 'those' is wrong? is the meaning clear as follows:

The company had higher profits in 1990 than the company had profits in 1980.

or

The company had higher profits in 1990 than profits in 1980 that the company had

If both meanings are incorrect, what is the correct meaning here?

Thanks

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Mo2men wrote:
GMATGuruNY wrote:
Generally, SUBJECT + FORM OF TO HAVE + COMPARATIVE should not be followed that or those.
Incorrect:
The company had higher profits in 1990 than those in 1980.
Correct:
The company had higher profits in 1990 than in 1980.
Dear Mitch
In your example above: Why 'those' is wrong? is the meaning clear as follows:

The company had higher profits in 1990 than the company had profits in 1980.
This is the comparison conveyed by the green sentence above.
Here, each blue portion has a subject (the company) and a verb (had) and thus constitutes a clause.
The result is a logical comparison.

Quote:
or

The company had higher profits in 1990 than profits in 1980 that the company had
This is the comparison implied by the incorrect red sentence above.
The first blue portion has a subject (the company) and a verb (had) and thus constitutes a CLAUSE.
The second blue portion has a noun phrase (profits in 1980) and a that-modifier (that the company had) but no main verb and thus does NOT constitute a clause.
The result is an illogical comparison.

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GMATGuruNY wrote:
Mo2men wrote:
GMATGuruNY wrote:
Generally, SUBJECT + FORM OF TO HAVE + COMPARATIVE should not be followed that or those.
Incorrect:
The company had higher profits in 1990 than those in 1980.
Correct:
The company had higher profits in 1990 than in 1980.
Dear Mitch
In your example above: Why 'those' is wrong? is the meaning clear as follows:

The company had higher profits in 1990 than the company had profits in 1980.
This is the comparison conveyed by the green sentence above.
Here, each blue portion has a subject (the company) and a verb (had) and thus constitutes a clause.
The result is a logical comparison.
Dear GMATGuru,

1- Which is true to construct the following sentence:

A : The profits of my company are HIGHER than THOSE of any other company in the region [ARE].

B: The profits of my company are MORE than THOSE of any other company in the region [ARE].

Here, profits are plural so it seems countable like cars, chairs..etc but it makes no sense consider countable. So we should use HIGHER to mean an AMOUNT of profits.

2- Regarding the rule : SUBJECT + FORM OF TO HAVE + COMPARATIVE should not be followed that or those

The following follows the structure above but it has no meaning:

The Pacific Ocean has a greater depth than any other ocean.

Is it correct to re-write?
The Pacific Ocean has a greater depth than THAT of any other ocean. ..............here THAT refers to depth.

if true, What are the CLAUSES being compared?

3- Most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers had lower circulation in the six months from October 1995 through March 1996 than in a similar period a year earlier.

Why 'lower' is used instead of 'less'?

Your thoughts is highly appreciated

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Mo2men wrote:
Dear GMATGuru,

1- Which is true to construct the following sentence:

A : The profits of my company are HIGHER than THOSE of any other company in the region [ARE].

B: The profits of my company are MORE than THOSE of any other company in the region [ARE].

Here, profits are plural so it seems countable like cars, chairs..etc but it makes no sense consider countable. So we should use HIGHER to mean an AMOUNT of profits.
Plural terms such as profits, revenues, costs, etc. refer to NUMERICAL VALUES.
When comparing plural terms that refer to numerical values, we generally do not use more but instead use -ER comparatives such as higher, lower, greater, etc.
Thus, the blue sentence above is correct; the red sentence is not.

Quote:
2- Regarding the rule : SUBJECT + FORM OF TO HAVE + COMPARATIVE should not be followed that or those

The following follows the structure above but has no meaning:

The Pacific Ocean has a greater depth than any other ocean.
The sentence above is not incorrect, but the intended meaning can be expressed more directly as follows:
The Pacific Ocean is deeper than any other ocean.

Quote:
Is it correct to re-write?
The Pacific Ocean has a greater depth than THAT of any other ocean.[..............here THAT refers to depth.

if true, What are the CLAUSES being compared?
The sentence above is incorrect.
As noted in my earlier post:
SUBJECT + FORM OF TO HAVE + COMPARATIVE should not be followed that or those.

Quote:
3- Most of the country’s biggest daily newspapers had lower circulation in the six months from October 1995 through March 1996 than in a similar period a year earlier.

Why 'lower' is used instead of 'less'?

Your thoughts is highly appreciated
Here, circulation refers to a numerical value: the number of copies sold.
For a numerical value, an -ER comparative such as lower is appropriate.

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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.
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