# the average number of sales at A was double ..... at B

#### jakartaman

##### Senior Member
Hi
This is an SAT question. We are supposed to improve the underlined portion.

When Professor Zeynep Ton at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology compared two chains of warehouse club stores, one with better-than-average pay and benefits and another with lower employee wages, she found that the average number of sales per employee at the higher-wage club store was double the employees at the lower-wage club store.
1. NO CHANGE
2. the ones
3. the number
4. DELETE the underlined portion
I thought 4 was the best choice but the answer key says it is 3. I understand why 3 makes sense but I don't know why 4 is incorrect.
Can you please explain it to me? Thank you.

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• #### Englishmypassion

##### Senior Member
The average number of sales per employee/Number of X at the higher-wage club store was double/twice as many as WHAT??? at the lower-wage club store.

#### jakartaman

##### Senior Member
The average number of sales per employee/Number of X at the higher-wage club store was double/twice as many as WHAT??? at the lower-wage club store.
"Double" is also used as an adverb so instead of saying "double the amount", we can simply say "double", can't we?
For example: I paid double.

#### Englishmypassion

##### Senior Member
"Double" is also used as an adverb so instead of saying "double the amount", we can simply say "double", can't we?
For example: I paid double.
For that, one number/amount has to be established first, which is not the case in the OP "Contribute Rs. 100 and I'll contribute double."

#### manfy

##### Senior Member
"Double" is also used as an adverb so instead of saying "double the amount", we can simply say "double", can't we?
For example: I paid double.
Yes, I think that's possible -- in everyday speech, at least.
The first clause makes it very clear that you're comparing two specific entities: "...compared two chains of warehouse club stores, one with better-than-average pay and benefits and another with lower employee wages..."
So, it would be ok to say:
"...she found that the average number of sales per employee at the higher-wage club store was double."
or
"...she found that the average number of sales per employee was double at the lower-wage club store."

Grammatically and semantically both sentences are fine -- with the exception that the second sentence says the exact opposite of the first, of course!!

This form is grammatically wrong:
"...she found that the average number of sales per employee at the higher-wage club store was double at the lower-wage club store."

And that's because now you have two opposite adverbials that act on the predicate 'was double' -- that's not possible and it makes the sentence nonsensical.

#### Myridon

##### Senior Member
The average number of sales per employee/Number of X at the higher-wage club store was double/twice as many as WHAT??? at the lower-wage club store.
"the average number of sales per employee" was double.
Both 3 and 4 are possible for me. It's not a very good question (or it's a very good question and I've failed ).

#### manfy

##### Senior Member
"the average number of sales per employee" was double.
Both 3 and 4 are possible for me. It's not a very good question (or it's a very good question and I've failed ).
I fear you've failed.
4 says:
4. DELETE the underlined portion
...and not everything after the employee is underlined...:
...at the higher-wage club store was double the employees at the lower-wage club store.
A common 'trick question' in such kind of tests. It proves that the mind often sees what it wants to see.

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