## The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close

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RSCHUNTI

### The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close

The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970’s.
A. extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than
B. extinction; its numbers are now five times more than
C. extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were
D. extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had
E. extinction, now with numbers five times greater than
This is GMATPREP question. Pls help narrow down to the correct answer. Also what are the errors in the wrong choices?
vik

A is correct

D and C are wrong because The gyrfalcon <singular > and they in C. D pronoun reference error

E I presume is wrong for two reasons :-

close brush with extinction, now with numbers five times greater than

1. In E extinction is modified by prepositional phrase ( looks as if extinction has numbers five times greater)

2. In E numbers is absolute having no reference backward i.e whose numbers . It should be "its number implying gyrfalcon's numbers"

So Btw A and B since numbers is multiple countable that is we have to use greater not more

Jingle

I actually have a problem choosing between "more than" and "greater than" (between choice A and B in this case). The answer key says that it should be "greater than" because it mentions the gyrfalcon. If we use "more than", it refers to "numbers" which is wrong. To me, there is no difference between the gyrfalcon and the numbers. They are the same thing.....No idea....
RonPurewal
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wait a minute - if this is a gmatprep problem, where did you get an 'answer key'?

--

'greater' is better than 'more'. if you say that 'the numbers were more', that would somehow mean that the gyrfalcon 'had more numbers' than before, which is nonsense. on the other hand, 'the numbers are greater' makes sense: the numbers have increased.

it's a bit weird that 'numbers' would be plural here, though.
StaceyKoprince
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Location: San Francisco

Ok, guys, so what's going on here? As Ron says, GMATPrep does not provide explanations, so what answer key are we talking about? Is this not really a GMATPrep problem? Or are you referring to an explanation for this problem that you found elsewhere?

Remember that this thread is for GMATPrep problems!
Stacey Koprince
Instructor
Director of Online Community
ManhattanGMAT
rschunti

### I have taken question from GMATPREP

I have taken this question from GMATPREP collections only. I am not sure what answer key above guest is referring to. Thanks
GK

### Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a cl

RSCHUNTI wrote:The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970’s.
A. extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than
B. extinction; its numbers are now five times more than
C. extinction, their numbers now fivefold what they were
D. extinction, now with fivefold the numbers they had
E. extinction, now with numbers five times greater than
This is GMATPREP question. Pls help narrow down to the correct answer. Also what are the errors in the wrong choices?

Hi Ron/Stacey,
I have one question for you: though I understand that choice C is incorrect, is the use of 'their' incorrect in choice C? According to me 'their' can refer to 'the gyrfalcon' just as 'their' can refer to 'the French' or 'the Americans'. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks.
RonPurewal
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### Re: The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a cl

GK wrote:Hi Ron/Stacey,
I have one question for you: though I understand that choice C is incorrect, is the use of 'their' incorrect in choice C? According to me 'their' can refer to 'the gyrfalcon' just as 'their' can refer to 'the French' or 'the Americans'. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks.

nope, gyrfalcon is distinctly singular.

The examples you're talking about - the French and the Americans - are plural only; there is no way they can appear in the singular. similarly, the gyrfalcon is singular only, and cannot under any circumstances appear in the plural.

the only words that can toggle between singular and plural are (i) collective nouns (like 'team', 'band', or 'faculty'), which can be singular or plural depending on the context, and (ii) words whose singular and plural forms are the same (like 'moose' or 'fish').

there are some words that are weird exceptions to the usual singular/plural rules - such as 'the United States', which is singular all the time - but these words still don't switch back and forth between singular and plural.
RonPurewal
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### Re: I have taken question from GMATPREP

rschunti wrote:I have taken this question from GMATPREP collections only. I am not sure what answer key above guest is referring to. Thanks

well, ok.

we have an honor system of sorts here: we moderators don't spend the ridiculous amount of time it would take to verify the source of every problem. therefore, we trust that you are being straight about the source of the problems.

rschunti, we have already caught you posting at least a couple of official guide problems and passing them off as gmatprep problems (those threads have been deleted). please do not do so; those questions are forbidden, and your posting them jeopardizes the very existence of this forum.

additionally, there have been other problems you've posted as 'gmatprep problems' that are almost certainly not - like this one, which mysteriously begins with a problem number (gmatprep problems aren't numbered) - so we've become a bit suspicious.

nevertheless, we will still give the benefit of the doubt to, and will answer, any questions that do not definitely come from banned sources.
rschunti

### Pls explain

Hi Ron, Thanks for explaning above. I am still not clear when you say as mentioned in the bold letters "'greater' is better than 'more'. if you say that 'the numbers were more', that would somehow mean that the gyrfalcon 'had more numbers' than before, which is nonsense. "

Thanks for help.
RonPurewal
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### Re: Pls explain

rschunti wrote:Hi Ron, Thanks for explaning above. I am still not clear when you say as mentioned in the bold letters "'greater' is better than 'more'. if you say that 'the numbers were more', that would somehow mean that the gyrfalcon 'had more numbers' than before, which is nonsense. "

let's put it like this:
if X is an adjective and i say that 'NOUN is X', then i should also be able to describe the NOUN as an 'X NOUN'.

in other words, if i say 'this shirt is small', i should also be able to describe it as a 'small shirt' (which, of course, i can).

if you say 'the numbers are more', that means there are 'more numbers' than before. that doesn't make any sense: there aren't more numbers, just bigger numbers.

if you say 'the numbers are greater', though, that means that the numbers have gotten bigger ('greater'). that's what the sentence is supposed to be saying.
Hei

RPurewal wrote:wait a minute - if this is a gmatprep problem, where did you get an 'answer key'?

--

'greater' is better than 'more'. if you say that 'the numbers were more', that would somehow mean that the gyrfalcon 'had more numbers' than before, which is nonsense. on the other hand, 'the numbers are greater' makes sense: the numbers have increased.

it's a bit weird that 'numbers' would be plural here, though.

Umm..I crossed out A and B immediately when I worked on this problem because I thought that "its numbers" should be "its number".
Anyway, why "its numbers" is okay?
StaceyKoprince
ManhattanGMAT Staff

Posts: 8966
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:05 am
Location: San Francisco

Somebody wrote above "I have taken this question from GMATPREP collections only"

That sounds like this is from a collection of GMATPrep questions that you got from someplace other than taking a GMATPrep test yourself. Please remember that you should post GMATPrep questions ONLY directly from the software that you yourself use. Don't post from random collections found on the web, as these collections tend to introduce typos and errors that then create serious problems for people studying from them.

* * *
Hei, you may be thinking about a rule in the SC strategy guide that says a certain incarnation of "numbers" is always wrong. Specifically:

"A number of" is plural
"The number of" is singular

and either "A numbers of" or "The numbers of" is incorrect.

However, you can have "numbers" in other forms.
Stacey Koprince
Instructor
Director of Online Community
ManhattanGMAT
GMATboy

one concern about parallelism: should choice "its numbers are now five times greater than" be "its numbers are now five times greater than those"? thanks
RonPurewal
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GMATboy wrote:one concern about parallelism: should choice "its numbers are now five times greater than" be "its numbers are now five times greater than those"? thanks