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# A little under a million years ago, the briny waters of the

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A little under a million years ago, the briny waters of the [#permalink]

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30 Mar 2007, 00:28
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A little under a million years ago, the briny waters of the Baltic Sea began flooding into the cold North Atlantic: geologists are still debating whether the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm.
(A) whether the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm
(B) if the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm
(D) whether the flood was gradual or cataclysmic
(E) whether the flood was gradual or it created a cataclysm

Had it been, cataclysmic in all of the aforementioned choices, then shall we choose "IF" as compared to "Whether" ?

if the flood was gradual or cataclysmic

OR

whether the flood was gradual or cataclysmic

Which of the above two is correct?
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30 Mar 2007, 01:56
'was gradual or catalcysmic' is correct -> Left C and D

Go with D
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30 Mar 2007, 05:43
on the GMAT, "Whether" is always prefered to "If", in General.

E: it's not clear what it refers to. also unneccessary use of pronoun.

B: whether is better than if.

C: awkward and wordy. NO need to use "about" here.

A: Cataclysmic is more concise than created a catalcysm.

D: The Winner
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30 Mar 2007, 09:56
"D" is correct.

Two keys to solve this-
1-'Whether' wins over 'If' in GMAT land.
2- Maintain parellelism
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31 Mar 2007, 06:49
I think in D both gradual and cataclysmic are acting as adjectives and hence parallel.

C on the other hand has "about" which is wordy
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30 Jun 2007, 21:56
LM wrote:
A little under a million years ago, the briny waters of the Baltic Sea began flooding into the cold North Atlantic: geologists are still debating whether the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm.
(A) whether the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm
(B) if the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm
(D) whether the flood was gradual or cataclysmic
(E) whether the flood was gradual or it created a cataclysm

Easy!

Whether is used when choosing between two choices.
If is used for conditional statements.

I will go to the mall if you come with me.
He could not decide whether he should go to the beach or the movies.

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27 May 2008, 20:54
(A) whether the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm
(B) if the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm
(D) whether the flood was gradual or cataclysmic
(E) whether the flood was gradual or it created a cataclysm

A-- changes the meaning
B-- changes the meaning
C--Non-idiomatic
E-- again changes the meaning.
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19 Jul 2008, 10:18
I would like to add that whether x or Y is also presen that is the correct idiom usage in addition to the two x and y should be parallel
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01 Jan 2011, 08:36
(D)

(A) whether the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm
(B) if the flood was gradual or created a cataclysm
(D) whether the flood was gradual or cataclysmic
(E) whether the flood was gradual or it created a cataclysm
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Re: 1000SC #12   [#permalink] 01 Jan 2011, 08:36
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