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Instead of buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional

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Instead of buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2019, 10:34
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Instead of buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for someone new to financial planning, real estate has become increasingly the choice of young people as a first investment.

A) buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for someone new to financial planning, real estate has become increasingly the choice of young people

B) buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for those new to financial planning, increasingly young people have shown a choice for real estate

C) buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for someone new to financial planning, the choice of young people increasingly has become real estate

D) buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional investments for those new to financial planning, young people have increasingly chosen real estate

E) stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for those new to financial planning, young people have shown an increasing choice of real estate
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Re: Instead of buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2019, 14:45
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It's always nice when a long sentence openings with an -ing modifer like this, because then you can skip ahead to the comma to make sure that whatever follows can logically perform that action.

(A) "real estate" cannot "buy" stocks and bonds. Eliminate.
(B) "young people" could "buy" stocks and bonds. Keep.
(C) "the choice" cannot "buy" stocks and bonds. Eliminate.
(D) "young people" can "buy" stocks and bonds. Keep.
(E) different construction...Keep for now.

In (B), the adverb "increasingly" is oddly placed in front of the noun "young people." Normally, I wouldn't eliminate for something so petty, but (D) and (E) gives us two better choices, so you can assume the correct answer lies with them.

Let's look at our Final Two and highlight the differences:

D) Instead of buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional investments for those new to financial planning, young people have increasingly chosen real estate

E) Instead of stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for those new to financial planning, young people have shown an increasing choice of real estate

(E) is wordier and more awkward, but more important has a noun-verb issue. "Approach" is singular, but "stocks and bonds" are plural, and the sentence is using the plural "are."

It has to be (D). Notice how (D) nicely places the adverb "increasingly" right next to its verb. This what the GMAT prefers, if possible. Modifiers are nice when they touch! :)
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New post 01 Mar 2019, 19:50
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GMATRockstar wrote:
It's always nice when a long sentence openings with an -ing modifer like this, because then you can skip ahead to the comma to make sure that whatever follows can logically perform that action.

(A) "real estate" cannot "buy" stocks and bonds. Eliminate.
(B) "young people" could "buy" stocks and bonds. Keep.
(C) "the choice" cannot "buy" stocks and bonds. Eliminate.
(D) "young people" can "buy" stocks and bonds. Keep.
(E) different construction...Keep for now.

In (B), the adverb "increasingly" is oddly placed in front of the noun "young people." Normally, I wouldn't eliminate for something so petty, but (D) and (E) gives us two better choices, so you can assume the correct answer lies with them.

Let's look at our Final Two and highlight the differences:

D) Instead of buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional investments for those new to financial planning, young people have increasingly chosen real estate

E) Instead of stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for those new to financial planning, young people have shown an increasing choice of real estate

(E) is wordier and more awkward, but more important has a noun-verb issue. "Approach" is singular, but "stocks and bonds" are plural, and the sentence is using the plural "are."

It has to be (D). Notice how (D) nicely places the adverb "increasingly" right next to its verb. This what the GMAT prefers, if possible. Modifiers are nice when they touch! :)


Hi expert,

Thanks for your explanation. A similar question https://gmatclub.com/forum/instead-of-buying-stocks-and-bonds-which-is-the-more-39600.html.

In that question, "instead of doing sth" is not correct, and we should use "rather than do sth". In addition, I was told that noun, not gerund, should always follow "instead of".

The following sentence is provided by another expert.

Thoreau stood by his principles and went to jail instead of paying taxes supporting a war that he felt was unjust. Incorrect!

This Manhattan Question makes me confused. Could you clarify it?

Thanks.
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New post 01 Mar 2019, 20:03
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"Instead of" wasn't something we needed to look at with this particular question since it was non-underlined, but in the other question, it looks like we have lots of different constructions.

I'd think of these two sentences like this:

Thoreau stood by his principles and went to jail instead of paying taxes supporting a war that he felt was unjust.

Not ideal, but until I see it paired with 4 other answer choice options, I wouldn't call it 'dead wrong' just yet. Sometimes you have 5 crummy sentences, and you really have to have the mentality of, "Okay, which of these is the BEST of the group? Which one do I feel the GMAT WANTS me to pick?"

Thoreau did not pay taxes because he felt they supported an unjust war; instead, he stood by his principles and went to jail.

This is just a better sentence than the previous one! It's more clear, more parallel, and even gives us a nice, correctly used semicolon. If these were the 'Final Two' in a question, this would absolute be correct.

As for "instead of" versus "rather than," I would completely ignore that and focus on the Parallelism and the other more important things going on with the sentence. You won't have a question where you are literally given nothing else but those phrases to choose between. So, I know it's not always super helpful to hear, but really, context is key.
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New post Updated on: 01 Mar 2019, 20:30
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Official explanation by Manhattan:

The original sentence contains the idiom “Instead of A, [subject] B”, where A contains a verb ending in “-ing”. The correct form of this idiom can be seen in the following simple sentence:

Instead of doing his homework, Arthur watched TV.

Here “doing his homework” is A, “Arthur” is the subject, and “watched TV” is B. The original sentence is, when we take out the modifying “which” clause, as follows:

Instead of buying stocks and bonds, real estate has become…

The sentence is incorrect because “real estate” is in the position reserved for the subject. The sentence appears to be saying that real estate chose not to buy stocks and bonds! Another problem with the original sentence is that the clause “which are the conventional approach…” illogically describes “stocks and bonds.” (A clause that begins with “which” describes the noun or noun phrase that is closest to the word “which.”) Stocks and bonds are not an approach; “buying stocks and bonds” is an approach.

A. buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for someone new to financial planning, real estate has become increasingly the choice of young people.

This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.

B. buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for those new to financial planning, increasingly young people have shown a choice for real estate.

This choice reproduces the original sentence’s incorrect use of a “which” clause. In addition, answer choice buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for those new to financial planning, increasingly young people have shown a choice for real estate places the modifier “increasingly” in front of “young people”, giving the impression that the people in question are getting younger and younger. This distorts the meaning of the original sentence. Another problem is that “have shown a choice for” is unidiomatic.

C. buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for someone new to financial planning, the choice of young people increasingly has become real estate.

Like the original sentence, this answer choice misuses the idiom “Instead of A, [subject] B”. This time “the choice” is in the subject position so that the sentence appears to say that “the choice” refrained from buying stocks and bonds. Answer choice buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for someone new to financial planning, the choice of young people increasingly has become real estate also repeats the original sentence’s incorrect use of a “which” clause.

D. buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional investments for those new to financial planning, young people have increasingly chosen real-estate.

CORRECT. This choice uses the “Instead of A, [subject] B” idiom correctly, putting “young people” in the subject position. This choice also makes correct use of a “which” clause. The “which” clause still refers, as it did in the original sentence, to “stocks and bonds” - but this time “stocks and bonds” are properly identified as “investments” rather than as an “approach”.

E. stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for those new to financial planning, young people have shown an increasing choice of real estate.

This choice makes a familiar mistake with the “which” clause – “stocks and bonds” are illogically called an “approach”. In addition, “have shown an increasing choice of” is incorrect.

Originally posted by MartinTao on 01 Mar 2019, 20:10.
Last edited by MartinTao on 01 Mar 2019, 20:30, edited 3 times in total.
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Instead of buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2019, 05:19
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Take a look at this one. (source: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/foru ... t7242.html)


1. Instead of buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for someone new to financial planning, real estate has become increasingly the choice of young people as a first investment.

A) buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for someone new to financial planning, real estate has become increasingly the choice of young people

B) buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for those new to financial planning, increasingly young people have shown a choice for real estate

C) buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for someone new to financial planning, the choice of young people increasingly has become real estate

D) buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional investments for those new to financial planning, young people have increasingly chosen real estate

E) stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for those new to financial planning, young people have shown an increasing choice of real estate

Notes: 'instead of' is not underlined and the relative clause uses a plural (are)

2. Instead of buying stocks and bonds, which is the more conventional approach for someone new to financial planning, real estate has become increasingly attractive to young people looking for a first investment.


A) Instead of buying stocks and bonds, which is the more conventional approach for someone new to financial planning, real estate has become increasingly attractive to young people as a first investment.

B) Instead of buying stocks and bonds, which is the more conventional approach for those new to financial planning, young people have shown an increasing attraction to real estate as a first investment.

C) Rather than buying stocks and bonds, which is the more conventional approach for someone new to financial planning, real estate has become increasingly attractive to young people looking for a first investment.

D) Rather than buy stocks and bonds, which are the more conventional investments for those new to financial planning, young people have turned increasingly to real estate as a first investment.

E) Instead of stocks and bonds, which are the more conventional approach for those new to financial planning, young people have shown an increasing attraction to real estate as a first investment.

Notes: The entire topic including the 'instead of' is underlined and the relative clause uses a singular verb (is)

Obviously, both questions cannot be from the same source. The first one is said to be from the New York-based Manhattan Prep Company while it is not clear to what source the second example belongs.

The first question accepts that 'instead of' is good enough in the given context, although a preference for real estate seems to be prominently extant entailing the use of 'rather than' in order to identify with the intent of the topic.

But the relative clause "which are the conventional approach for someone new to financial planning" is ok as per S-V agreement as the relative pronoun 'which' does refer to a compound and plural object namely 'stocks and bonds. ' Which is' as in the second question is certainly wrong'. The primary problem is the medication error in most of the choices.

Overall, one might feel that the second version is better than the first one since the OA "D" is intently and grammatically is error- free.
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New post 02 Mar 2019, 07:26
Instead of buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for someone new to financial planning, real estate has become increasingly the choice of young people as a first investment.

"buying" needs a doer. A, B & C are out

A) buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for someone new to financial planning, real estate has become increasingly the choice of young people

B) buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for those new to financial planning, increasingly young people have shown a choice for real estate

C) buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for someone new to financial planning, the choice of young people increasingly has become real estate

D) buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional investments for those new to financial planning, young people have increasingly chosen real estate --> correct

E) stocks and bonds, which are the conventional approach for those new to financial planning, young people have shown an increasing choice of real estate
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New post 02 Mar 2019, 09:18
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Rather than nitpick about the choices, we can depend upon some broad-spectrum clues as seen in this topic.

The first such clue is that in the case adjectival modifiers, the first word after the comma should be the sensible subject of the sentence. By that reckoning, A and C could be the given the royal boot, while the intruding adverb 'increasingly' gives a wrong twist that people are turning younger while or because they invest in real estate rather than buy stocks and bonds.

With three choices in the dustbin, E falls on the wayside because it gives another wrong twist that a choice of real estate itself is increasing rather than people increasingly choosing it. The idiom ' a choice of real estate" is also a sore point in E. It should be "a choice for real estate". Therefore, it is D.

However, the larger problem is the use of the present perfect for the main clause; using the present perfect gives a feeling that the preference for real estate has come to an end. Does that mean that the habit is not there now? We are aware that universal happenings are best expressed in the simple present tense. Such errors make the question un-GMAT - like.
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Instead of buying stocks and bonds, which are the conventional   [#permalink] 02 Mar 2019, 09:18
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