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# Historians and economists have disagreed about whether the 1929 collap

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Joined: 01 Feb 2019
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Updated on: 02 Mar 2019, 09:31
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75% (01:15) correct 25% (01:26) wrong based on 57 sessions

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Historians and economists have disagreed about whether the 1929 collapse of stock prices caused the international catastrophe known as the Great Depression or did it simply reflect the underlying weakness of the United States economy.

A. did it simply reflect the underlying weakness of
B. simply reflected the underlying weakness of
C. was simply reflecting the weakness underlying
D. if it was simply reflecting the weakness underlying
E. whether it simply reflected the weakness which underlay

Hello, I'd like to know the difference between A&B. Because I thought its structure should be "whether S+V or S+V" so I chose A but the answer is B.

Originally posted by janeyeo on 02 Mar 2019, 05:50.
Last edited by janeyeo on 02 Mar 2019, 09:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Historians and economists have disagreed about whether the 1929 collap  [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2019, 09:13
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janeyeo, Can you underline the sentence, which needs to be corrected?
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Re: Historians and economists have disagreed about whether the 1929 collap  [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2019, 09:27
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IMO B .

This is to check the whether ---- Or usage

underlined part starts from "did" in the original passage.

I understood it from the given option in A.

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Re: Historians and economists have disagreed about whether the 1929 collap  [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2019, 09:31
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B.
My thought process - “Or” is used for listing two items, so I thought both of them should be parallel structured. Thus introduction of “it” was not justified IMO and only B seemed to be right. I know its not a solid justification but this came first to my mind.

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Re: Historians and economists have disagreed about whether the 1929 collap  [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2019, 09:32
Afc0892 wrote:
janeyeo, Can you underline the sentence, which needs to be corrected?

Afc0892

haha it should be A. Thanks for checking and it's amended !
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02 Mar 2019, 09:49
janeyeo wrote:
Hello, I'd like to know the difference between A&B. Because I thought its structure should be "whether S+V or S+V" so I chose A but the answer is B.[/spoiler]

Can someone reply to janeyeo 's question?
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Re: Historians and economists have disagreed about whether the 1929 collap  [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2019, 20:21
1
Mahmoudfawzy83 wrote:
janeyeo wrote:
Hello, I'd like to know the difference between A&B. Because I thought its structure should be "whether S+V or S+V" so I chose A but the answer is B.[/spoiler]

Can someone reply to janeyeo 's question?

hello janeyeo, Mahmoudfawzy83

I'm not an expert, but try to help

Historians and economists have disagreed about whether the 1929 collapse of stock prices caused the international catastrophe known as the Great Depression or did it simply reflect the underlying weakness of the United States economy.

Meaning:
1. Historians and economists have disagreed about something
2. this something whether the 1929 collapse of stock prices
3. caused the international catastrophe known as the Great Depression
4. or did it simply reflect the underlying weakness of the United States economy

Attachment:

A.JPG [ 52.99 KiB | Viewed 409 times ]

janeyeo wrote:
Hello, I'd like to know the difference between A&B. Because I thought its structure should be "whether S+V or S+V" so I chose A but the answer is B

I think you've confused with usage of

either ... or
neither ... nor

whether is used when the intent is to depict a choice, an alternative or a possibility.
Two specific situations in which whether should be used:
1. After prepositions
2. After verbs

in the given sentence we have only one //ism marker "or"
we have "caused" and "did" // to each other - fine so far

this "or" is NOT part of the 'weather or not'

'weather or not' -- 'or not' of the weather is usually ellipsed, but we have to keep in mind that the meaning demands so.

in our case:

weather the collaspe {caused or did} or not

But to me the main problem with (B) is pronoun "it"

it - refers to what? --> collapse ?
collapse did collapsee simply reflect the underlying weakness of the United States economy -- seems not so logical

We have more clear and concise (B)

Attachment:

B.JPG [ 46.39 KiB | Viewed 413 times ]

Attachments

Whether Vs If.pdf [16.44 KiB]

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(no one is ideal, please correct if you see any mistakes or gaps in my explanation, it will be helpful for both of us, thank you)

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Re: Historians and economists have disagreed about whether the 1929 collap  [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2019, 21:15
2
Usually with "whether" we get a parallel structure: WHETHER X...OR Y, and we are looking for two Parallel verbs. We don't need to repeat the word "whether" in the second-part of the idiom.

EX: Whether I will go to the store or visit the mall.

But also the modifiers could be parallel:

EX: Whether he studies today or tomorrow, he will still do well on the exam. (Here it's understood the "studies" applies to the second part of the idiom, so we don't have to repeat it.)

Anyway, let's look at choice (A):

Historians and economists have disagreed about whether the 1929 collapse of stock prices caused the international catastrophe known as the Great Depression or did it simply reflect the underlying weakness of the United States economy.

Let's strip out some non-essentials:

Historians and economists have disagreed about whether the collapse caused... or did it reflect....

As written we have "collapse caused" parallel with "did it reflect." This is not perfectly parallel, and we should look for a better option. (B) gives is to us by placing "reflected" in parallel with "caused" without screwing up the nice idiomatic structure of "WHETHER X...OR Y...."
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Re: Historians and economists have disagreed about whether the 1929 collap   [#permalink] 02 Mar 2019, 21:15
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