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# Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth

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Senior Manager
Joined: 06 Jul 2004
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Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]  06 Aug 2006, 10:26
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Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by traveling west.

A) Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by sailing west

B) Rather than accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by sailing west

C) Instead of accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus sailed west to see whether he could reach India, having been sent by the king and queen of Spain

D) Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus sailed west to see whether he could reach India, having been sent by the king and queen of Spain

E) Instead of accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to sail west to see if he could reach India
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VP
Joined: 14 May 2006
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C and D left because of "whether"

I pick C, because "rather than accept" is awkward in D
Manager
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is it ok if the sentence change to "rather than accepting"
Senior Manager
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u2lover, would it be incorrect to pick (D) as "accept" and "sailed" are parallel.
VP
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sperinko wrote:
u2lover, would it be incorrect to pick (D) as "accept" and "sailed" are parallel.

would be wrong... why? try to reverse the sentence...

Columbus accept??? should be ACCEPTS... due to SVA
if it was an infinitive "rather than TO accept" (which I think 'accepting' is better because 1st part is a modifier to Columbus) then it would be a different story.
VP
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Whats the OA for this?

Why is B wrong here? Please explain
SVP
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Me too.

I think GMAT prefers "rather than" to "instead of".
My two cents are on D.
Director
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Since GMAT prefers "rather than" to " instead of"
I caught between B and D.

I prefer D . can someone explain why B is wrong ?

Is it because of passive sent by ???
VP
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Phew!! Tough..

Believe it's C. I think it was Columbus's belief that the earth wasn't flat and so he was not ready to accept it. So, instead of accepting the conventional wisdom Columbus sailed west (Active construction) to see whether he could reach india, having been sent etc..

It's still debatable whether rather is preferable to instead but somehow instead looks just fine.

Besides i think B, D and E have problems of their own - B employs a passive constrution (was sent by the king and queen) and also uses "if" where "whether" is more appropriate

D - I believe D has a problem of tense sequence ---- Rather than accept denotes something I will not accept but reject -- rather than accept is present tense so the phase it modifies should also maintain the continuity; you can't break into the past tense and say (Columbus sailed..)

It would have been correct if the sentence said - Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that .... columbus decided to sail west to see......

I am not 100% sure though.. I have taken a long shot here.. U2/Dahiya..please share your views..
VP
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I already explained that prior to Columbus is a Modifier, which describes him... and it is perfectly ok to use gerund in a modifier. I am 99% sure here.

D uses "accept" talking about Columbus... when Columbus is 3rd person and needs "s" for SVA... However, even with correct SVA the sentence wouldn't make sense and needs rearrangement. It seems like they tried to use infinitive in D, but forgot to put "to" in the front... and even with that it would be wrong because it wouldn't be parallel to "sailed"

I don't even feel that "rather" or "instead" plays a major role here.
Senior Manager
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should be D [#permalink]  08 Aug 2006, 11:06
i think the phrase 'rather not accept' is correct.
i googled on the phrase and this returned a lot many news sites which have used that phrase.

Some Fox affiliates walk rather than accept tougher deal
Rather than accept any trade offers, the Yanks release Tony Lazzeri

Also though m nt sure instead of sort of does nt give the choice to the doer of the action whereas rather than gives a choice to the doer of the action. Instead looks like someone is offering u a choice nd u r refusing it.
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Re: should be D [#permalink]  08 Aug 2006, 11:14
sangarelli wrote:
i think the phrase 'rather not accept' is correct.

where do you see "NOT" in any of the choices? there is no answer that says "columbus rather not accept"...
VP
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Re: SC : christopher columbus [#permalink]  08 Aug 2006, 11:52
it should be D. "ratrher than" is better than "instead of"
Current Student
Joined: 29 Jan 2005
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Ive seen so many of these types of SCs all I can say is that 99% of the time the makers of the GMAT, for some strange reason, prefer rather over instead.

On T-day, Id be selecting (D) here.
Senior Manager
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I selected C. but i think the oa is D.

http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=26577
VP
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Happy Ending..Lessons learnt?

1) "Rather than accept" is idiomatic

2) "instead of" is used for nouns; "rather than" is used for phrases (from the earlier explanation by hot face..this was actualy a nice one)

3) Whether is better than if (I wonder where "If" would be good)
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