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A long-term study of some 1,000 physicians indicates that the more

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2016 GMAT Official Guide , Question 10, Pg. 675
A long-term study of some 1,000 physicians indicates that the more coffee these doctors drank, the more they had a likelihood of coronary disease .
(A) more they had a likelihood of coronary disease
(B) more was their likelihood of having coronary disease
(C) more they would have a likelihood to have coronary disease
(D) greater was their likelihood of having coronary disease
(E) greater was coronary disease likely

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GMATwithCJ
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Solution

Sentence Analysis

The sentence talks about the correlation a study of some 1000 physicians indicates. The study indicates that there was a positive correlation between the amount of coffee these doctors drank and the likelihood they had of having coronary disease.

The sentence has the following errors:

  1. "more" is not used when we are talking about numbers e.g. distance, probability, population, amount, percentage etc. Since "likelihood" essentially means probability, we cannot use "more" with it. We can use either "greater" or "higher". (However, we do use "more" and "likely" together e.g. "It is more likely to happen". English is a funny language!)
  2. The likelihood was not of "the disease" but of "having the disease". Right?
  3. "more they had a likelihood" seems to say that the doctors had likelihood to a greater extent rather than that they had a greater likelihood.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect . For the errors mentioned above.

(B) Incorrect . Error no. 1 of the original sentence.

(C) Incorrect . For the following reasons:

  1. Error no. 1 of the original sentence
  2. Error no. 3 of the original sentence

(D) Correct . This option corrects all the errors in the original sentence.

(E) Incorrect . This option says that the coronary disease was greater! Clearly, illogical.

answered Jun 10, 2017 by Beginner (1 point)
gmatclubforum
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Top Pick from GMAT Club Forum

Let's look at the structure here-
"the more coffee these doctors drank, more they had a likelihood of coronary disease
As the second part of the structure refers to 'likelihood', we need 'greater'. 'greater' is used when the noun is a number. For example: percentage, rate, likelihood, distance and population.
Also, 'likelihood' means 'the probability of a specified outcome'. Thus, it's imprecise to say they had a likelihood/probability of coronary disease. The correct usage should be "likelihood of having coronary disease'.
E goes out as it distorts the meaning. 'likelihood' was greater, NOT the disease.
This leaves us with D.
 

 

 

answered Jun 10, 2017 by Beginner (21 points)
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