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.

Option A
Option B
Option C
Option D
Option E

(This question is from Official Guide. Therefore, because of copyrights, the complete question cannot be copied here. The question can be accessed at GMAT Club)


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.

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