Unlike water, which is complimentary

This topic has expert replies
Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Posts: 418
Joined: 04 Jul 2010
Thanked: 6 times
Followed by:2 members

Unlike water, which is complimentary

by gmatdriller » Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:15 pm
Unlike water, which is complimentary, all passengers will need to
pay cash for beverages during the transoceanic flight.

(A) Unlike water, which is complimentary
(B) Besides water, which is offered free of charge
(C) Unless the drink is water, which is complimentary
(D) Not like water, which is offered free of charge
(E) With water being the only exception

Can someone explain how to arrive at the correct response to this question
please?

Source: VeritasPrep
OA: C

User avatar
Legendary Member
Posts: 1083
Joined: 24 Feb 2010
Thanked: 127 times
Followed by:14 members

by gmat_perfect » Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:25 pm
gmatdriller wrote:Unlike water, which is complimentary, all passengers will need to
pay cash for beverages during the transoceanic flight.

(A) Unlike water, which is complimentary
(B) Besides water, which is offered free of charge
(C) Unless the drink is water, which is complimentary
(D) Not like water, which is offered free of charge
(E) With water being the only exception

Can someone explain how to arrive at the correct response to this question
please?

Source: VeritasPrep
OA: C
The issues:

Unlike X, Y, where X and Y MUST be parallel. --> A is out.
Besides X, Y is also needed.--> Means Both X abd Y are needed. --> ELiminate B.
Not like water, passenger---Water Vs Passenger ---Eliminate D.
With water being the only exception.....AWakward and being is not correct. With X, Y--> Means Y has X. So, eliminate E.
[spoiler]Answer: C[/spoiler]

User avatar
Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 55
Joined: 16 Nov 2010
Location: Karachi, Pakistan
Thanked: 7 times

by Salman Ghaffar » Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:54 pm
Unlike water, which is complimentary, all passengers will need to
pay cash for beverages during the transoceanic flight.

(A) Unlike water, which is complimentary
(B) Besides water, which is offered free of charge
(C) Unless the drink is water, which is complimentary
(D) Not like water, which is offered free of charge
(E) With water being the only exception

The construction "Unlike water, all passengers...." compares water to passengers, resulting in a comparison error.
Same problem with B, D and E. All three compare "water" to "all passengers"
The correct answer is C which keeps the meaning clear without introducing a comparison error.

This question is based on an actual gmat question available in the OG 10th Edition. The original question goes something like:
Unlike transplants between identical twins, all patients recieving translplants must take anti-rejection drugs.

This question also introduced a comparison error, comparing transplants with "all patients".

Hope this helps.

User avatar
Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Posts: 406
Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Location: Syracuse, NY
Thanked: 23 times
Followed by:4 members
GMAT Score:740

by tomada » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:58 am
How is choice E comparing water to "all passengers"? If I rearrange the sentence, I get "all passengers will need to
pay cash for beverages during the transoceanic flight, with water being the only exception". Is that grammatically incorrect?
I'm really old, but I'll never be too old to become more educated.

User avatar
Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 55
Joined: 16 Nov 2010
Location: Karachi, Pakistan
Thanked: 7 times

by Salman Ghaffar » Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:23 am
A major error with E is that it needlessly uses "being" (which we know GMAT generally doesn't prefer if the sentence works fine without it).

If I remove "being" from E, I get:
"With water the only exception, all passengers...... " which sounds pretty OK, unless one could find fault with using the construction "With water...., all passengers....". All passengers are definitely not "with water".

With so many issues working against it, seems like a good idea to knock off E.

This sentence is really tricky (as is the original on which this one is based).

User avatar
Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Posts: 406
Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Location: Syracuse, NY
Thanked: 23 times
Followed by:4 members
GMAT Score:740

by tomada » Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:06 am
Thanks, Salman. I did overlook the use of "being" which, as you pointed out, is generally frowned upon by GMAT writers.
Salman Ghaffar wrote:A major error with E is that it needlessly uses "being" (which we know GMAT generally doesn't prefer if the sentence works fine without it).

If I remove "being" from E, I get:
"With water the only exception, all passengers...... " which sounds pretty OK, unless one could find fault with using the construction "With water...., all passengers....". All passengers are definitely not "with water".

With so many issues working against it, seems like a good idea to knock off E.

This sentence is really tricky (as is the original on which this one is based).
I'm really old, but I'll never be too old to become more educated.

User avatar
GMAT Instructor
Posts: 2193
Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Location: Vermont and Boston, MA
Thanked: 1186 times
Followed by:512 members
GMAT Score:770

by [email protected] » Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:53 pm
This is one of my favorite questions to teach in the Veritas Sentence Correction 2. It is certainly based on an official question. Comparison errors are among the favorite errors of GMAT test writers.

I use this question to teach my "Use it or Lose it" modifier strategy.

What is the "Use it or Lose it" strategy? Basically a modifier is either misplaced and so therefore can be used to eliminate an answer choice or else it is not misplaced and we should ignore it. So we either "use" the modifier to eliminate (based on it being misplaced) or we "lose" it and evaluate the sentence without it.

In this case, the modifiers that are used repeatedly are "which is complimentary" in choices A and C and "which is offered free of charge" in choices B and D. E has no such modifier. Let's apply "use it or lose it" In choices A and C is the modifier misplaced? Ask yourself if water can be "offered free of charge." It can, so this is not misplaced. So ignore it. Now read answer choice A as "Unlike water... all passengers will need to pay cash." This is a comparison between water and passengers = incorrect.

Here is a tip: If you can replace one part of the comparison with something that is completely different and it makes more sense then what you have is a logical problem. That is one of the things that we emphasize at Veritas is the fact that many of the errors in sentence correction are errors of logic.

Let's try this with answer choice A. Right now we have "unlike water....all passengers will need to pay cash..." What if we replace water with something more appropriate? How about "employees." Would it make more sense? It would. Do you see that "unlike employees...all passengers will need to pay cash" makes more sense? This applies for choices B and D as well.

What about choice E? No need to rely on the "being" (I agree this is usually not correct!) instead see that if we replace the water with a proper name, such as "Jones" that this will make more sense. "With Jones being the only exception, all passengers need to pay cash..."

Remember that if you can replace one side of the comparison with something that is completely different and if that makes more sense then you likely have a comparison error!

Thanks guys for the great discussion on this problem!
Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor

Veritas Prep Reviews
Save $100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course