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QOTD: The energy source on Voyager 2

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QOTD: The energy source on Voyager 2 [#permalink]

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 120: Sentence Correction


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The energy source on Voyager 2 is not a nuclear reactor, in which atoms are actively broken apart; rather a kind of nuclear battery that uses natural radioactive decay to produce power.

(A) apart; rather
(B) apart, but rather
(C) apart, but rather that of
(D) apart, but that of
(E) apart: it is that of

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QOTD: The energy source on Voyager 2 [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2017, 09:05
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This one is short and sweet. Nice way to end the week, no?

Quote:
(A) apart; rather

Hopefully, the semicolon jumps off the page at you immediately. In general, semicolons need to separate full, independent clauses. (There's also a rare usage in which semicolons can separate items in a list of individual items that already contain commas, but that's unlikely to cause you much pain -- an official example is available here.) In this case, the semicolon makes no sense: "rather a kind of nuclear battery..." is not a full, independent clause. (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) apart, but rather

This looks fine. "The energy source is not a nuclear reactor..., but rather a kind of nuclear battery." It's a classic "not X, but rather Y" sort of construction, and it makes logical sense: we're clarifying that the energy source is something other than what we might expect. And there are no semicolon issues. Let's keep (B).


Quote:
(C) apart, but rather that of

If you've ready our post on the GMAT's many uses of the word "that", then the "that of" construction should leap off the page at you. "That" is used as a singular pronoun here, so your job is to figure out what the singular pronoun refers back to... and then reread the sentence to make sure that it actually makes sense.

OK, so what are our options for singular referents for "that"? Well, there's "the energy source" or "a nuclear reactor." Let's try both of those, and see if either of them work:

  • "The energy source on Voyager 2 is not a nuclear reactor, in which atoms are actively broken apart, but rather the energy source of a kind of nuclear battery that uses natural radioactive decay to produce power." --> Huh? That's just weird and redundant, and doesn't really make sense. We could say that the energy source IS a nuclear battery, but "the energy source is... the energy source of a kind of nuclear battery" really doesn't work.
  • "The energy source on Voyager 2 is not a nuclear reactor, in which atoms are actively broken apart, but rather a nuclear reactor of a kind of nuclear battery that uses natural radioactive decay to produce power." --> Nope, that's even worse.

So (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) apart, but that of

(D) has exactly the same error as (C). Removing the word "rather" doesn't change the fact that the pronoun is completely nonsense.

Quote:
(E) apart: it is that of

(E) has the same mistake as (C) and (D). And we can probably argue about the "it", too. But either way, (E) is gone, and (B) is the best of the bunch.
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Re: QOTD: The energy source on Voyager 2 [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2017, 10:42
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One basic factor in this topic is that the energy source is equated with a nuclear reactor in the non-underlined part. It is not talking about the source as 'that of' a nuclear reactor. Therefore, any mention of the phrase 'that of ' in the second part is an unparallel comparison since we are comparing an energy source with something of another energy source namely the nuclear battery.
We can simply dump C, D, and E on this count. Of course, in A the second part after the semicolon is not an IC.
B is the indisputable winner.
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Re: QOTD: The energy source on Voyager 2 [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2017, 00:30
Aren't "but" and "rather" redundant?
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Re: QOTD: The energy source on Voyager 2 [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2017, 00:57
But followed by rather is acceptable in GMAT. Have seen its usage earlier as well.
+1 for B

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Re: QOTD: The energy source on Voyager 2 [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2017, 01:07
TaN1213 wrote:
But followed by rather is acceptable in GMAT. Have seen its usage earlier as well.
+1 for B

Trust the timing of your life!


Can you please share the link of that question?

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Re: QOTD: The energy source on Voyager 2 [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2017, 01:55
Hi,

Can someone please explain why do we need to use "but rather" and not only "rather" here?

As pointed above, is it not redundant?

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Re: QOTD: The energy source on Voyager 2 [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2017, 06:53
I am not sure of the redundancy. But went for option B(out of A and B) for 2 factors.
1- A doesn't have independent clause after ;
2- A doesn't bring out the required difference

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Re: QOTD: The energy source on Voyager 2 [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2017, 07:33
Novice90 wrote:
Hi,

Can someone please explain why do we need to use "but rather" and not only "rather" here?

As pointed above, is it not redundant?




Hello Novice90,


I will be glad to help you out with this one. :-)


Since the phrase but rather appears in the correct answer choice of this official question, the expression is most certainly NOT redundant.


The sentence uses the contrast word but to bring out the intended contrast. ABC is not X but Y.

Now, the word rather does NOT present contrast, and hence, its usage with but does NOT lead to redundancy.

The word rather is used either to present preference or to mean somewhat. It is the second meaning that the usage of the word rather denotes in the correct answer choice.


So basically, this sentence intends to say that the energy source on Voyager 2 is not a nuclear reactor but somewhat a kind of nuclear battery.



Hope this helps. :-)
Thanks.
Shraddha
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Re: QOTD: The energy source on Voyager 2 [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2017, 22:04
gmatexam439 wrote:
TaN1213 wrote:
But followed by rather is acceptable in GMAT. Have seen its usage earlier as well.
+1 for B

Trust the timing of your life!


Can you please share the link of that question?

Regards


Sure,
here you go:)

https://gmatclub.com/forum/not-x-but-y- ... 48666.html
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Re: QOTD: The energy source on Voyager 2   [#permalink] 09 Oct 2017, 22:04
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