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One benefit of learning to speak a language while learning

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One benefit of learning to speak a language while learning [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2010, 12:39
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One benefit of learning to speak a language while learning to read it rather than sepretelyis that the student can more efficiently apply his or her knowledge in social settings.
1.rather than separately
2.rather than independently
3.instead of separately
4.instead of as separate processes
5.rather than in a separate process

GMAT 800:Answer:E But why?
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Re: What is the answer? [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 24 Jan 2010, 11:27
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Note the split between rather than and instead of. They have nearly identical meaning, and the OG rarely even mentions this split as a deciding factor, usually only citing the fact that both require parallelism (i.e. in X rather than Y, X and Y must be parallel).

However, rather than is slightly more likely to be correct. Whether that is due to nuance and style is debatable, but there is an important grammar restriction on the use of instead of: because of is a preposition, it must have a noun as its object.

So you CAN say:
I want chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla today.
Miguel decided to play guitar instead of drums.

But you SHOULDN'T say:
I walked to work instead of drove.
Miguel played guitar instead of drummed.

In choices (C) and (D), the instead of is incorrectly followed by an adverb and prepositional phrase, respectively.

In choices (A) and (B), it could be ok to follow rather than with adverbs. However, I think it is unclear what these adverbs modify (learning to speak separately? learning to speak a language separately? just learning separately, i.e. in a separate location?), and the parallelism is not great.

In (E), the parallelism between prepositional phrases while learning to read it and in a separate process makes the meaning much clearer. These are clearly two ways one would learn to speak a language.

Here are two similar examples:
In the talent show, Maya plans to whistle while eating crackers rather than inside a tank of water.
(It's clear that Maya was considering two ways to whistle!)

In the talent show, Maya plans to whistle while eating crackers rather than loudly.
(Not only is the parallelism poor (a grammar error itself), but the bad parallelism creates confusion about the intended meaning. What is "loudly"? The whistling? The cracker eating? the planning?)
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Originally posted by esledge on 14 Jan 2010, 15:50.
Last edited by esledge on 24 Jan 2010, 11:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: One benefit of learning to speak a language while learning [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2018, 00:13
"rather than" is preferred most of the time in gmat.
Both A and B use adverbs which modify a verb. However, we are looking for a modifier that supports the noun -> E remains.
Re: One benefit of learning to speak a language while learning   [#permalink] 05 Feb 2018, 00:13
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One benefit of learning to speak a language while learning

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