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George is a dog rather than a cat.

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Senior Manager
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George is a dog rather than a cat. [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2008, 07:23
I learnt form this forum - "George is a dog rather than a cat." is wrong

Someone said "rather than" show preference. Georage does not have a choice between dog and cat. We should use instead of.

Question from OG:

Recently discovered fossil remains strongly suggest that the Australian eff-laying mammals of today are a branch of the main stern of mammalian evolution rather than developing independently from a common ancestor of mammals more than 220 million years ago.

(A) ...
(B) rather than a type that developed independently from
(C) rather than a type whose development was independent of
(D) instead of developing independently from
(E) instead of a development that was independent of

I immediately rule out (A), (B) and (C) because of the dog-cat rule above.

The OA is (B) and the explanation said both "rather than" and "instead of" are ok.

Please kindly advise.

Million thanks.
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Re: George is a dog rather than a cat. [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2008, 23:55
I would go for (B) as well...


This question however cannot be immediately reduced to a choice between 'rather than' and 'instead of'. We should first look if the two terms on both side of 'rather than' or 'instead of' are 'parallel' .

X rather than Y


X = a branch of the main stern of mammalian evolution
Y = ?

Comparing "a branch" with "a type" sounds reasonable.


Have a look at this site for comparison of 'rather than' and 'instead of': http://www.englishrules.com/writing/200 ... ead-of.php
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Re: George is a dog rather than a cat. [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2008, 00:21
judokan wrote:
I learnt form this forum - "George is a dog rather than a cat." is wrong

Someone said "rather than" show preference. Georage does not have a choice between dog and cat. We should use instead of.

Question from OG:

Recently discovered fossil remains strongly suggest that the Australian eff-laying mammals of today are a branch of the main stern of mammalian evolution rather than developing independently from a common ancestor of mammals more than 220 million years ago.

(A) ...
(B) rather than a type that developed independently from
(C) rather than a type whose development was independent of
(D) instead of developing independently from
(E) instead of a development that was independent of

I immediately rule out (A), (B) and (C) because of the dog-cat rule above.

The OA is (B) and the explanation said both "rather than" and "instead of" are ok.

Please kindly advise.

Million thanks.


You should not be victim of the rule. Better is Be flexible! Because the sentence here relies on the parallelism: "a branch"...."a type" or branch. In addition, you should find out what modifies best "a type", it will be correct option!
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Re: George is a dog rather than a cat. [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2008, 06:35
thanks all. Now I know it is not a strict rule.
Re: George is a dog rather than a cat.   [#permalink] 30 Jun 2008, 06:35
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