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# Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth

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Senior Manager
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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08 Nov 2007, 07:30
I will go with B

Lets see whether its rather than or instead of....

Instead of is used as preposition, while rather than can be used both ways, i.e. as a preposition and conjuction... This means instead of + noun is correct.

In this case accept is verb so eliminate instead of. Now we have a,b, and d.

eliminate d, as it seems christopher columbus has not accepted the conventional wisdom.

between a) and b) choose b, because it says the king and queen have performed some action by sending columbus, similarly, they have performed another action by not accepting...
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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20 May 2008, 06:31
A, B and E have issues with modifier 'Rather than accept(ing) the con. wisdom that the earth was flat, Columbus was sent by the king and queen'

It is clearly king and queen that are not accepting the conventional wisdom not Columbus. So, A, B and E are out.

Between C and D, I have never seen 'instead of' working when 'rather than' is also available as a choice.

D.
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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20 May 2008, 07:02

The short answer is that in most cases, the two phrases are interchangeable, although "rather than" often has a more formal tone than "instead of."

The American Heritage Book of English Usage offers a much lengthier answer:

The phrase rather than consists of an adverb and a conjunction and often means "and not," as in I decided to skip lunch rather than eat in the cafeteria again. It is grammatically similar to sooner than in that it is used with a "bare" infinitive—an infinitive minus to: I would stay here and eat flies sooner than go with them.

Rather than can also be used with nouns as a compound preposition meaning "instead of": I bought a mountain bike rather than a ten-speed. But some people object to this use, insisting that than should be used only as a conjunction. They therefore object to constructions in which rather than is followed by a gerund, as in Rather than buying a new car, I kept my old one.

In some cases, however, rather than can only be followed by a gerund and not by a bare infinitive. If the main verb of the sentence has a form that does not allow parallel treatment of the verb following rather than, you cannot use a bare infinitive, and you must use a gerund. This is often the case when the main verb is in a past tense or has a participle. Thus, you must say The results of the study, rather than ending (not end or ended) the controversy, only added to it. If the main verb was in the present tense (add), you could use the bare infinitive end.

Curiously, when the rather than construction follows the main verb, it can use other verb forms besides the bare infinitive. Thus you can say The results of the study added to the controversy rather than ended it.

The overriding concern in all of this should be to avoid faulty parallels, as in sentences like Rather than buy a new car, I have kept my old one and Rather than take a cab, she is going on foot.

Clearly, it is grammatically defensible to follow rather than with a gerund, but if you prefer to avoid the controversy, use instead of with gerunds.
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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13 Oct 2009, 03:53
D.
Very good question. I learned something new. +1 to the poster

Between C and D.

'instead of' is always followed by a noun..so 'accepting' is a gerund..and C compares noun with a verb..
eg. Instead of <noun, e.g. a boat>, Columbus sailed west...- Incorrect
Rather than accept bla_bla, Columbus sailed....- correct

In short, 'rather than' should be used to compare verbs.
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2010, 19:27
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1) "Rather than" + verb is better than "instead of" + verb, so A, B, and D are left.

2) A and B have a problem with active + passive verbs, so they are out. Only D left.

BTW, in A and B, "he" can refer both to Columbus and to the king of Spain!
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2010, 21:33
IMO D. whether is more preferred than if so only options c and d remain. Rather than - shows preference so option D
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2010, 23:25
Can somebody please explain why this would be correct in D
"having been sent by the king and queen of Spain."

IMO E should have been the correct answer.

Dictionary.com usage for rather versus instead

Rather (Idiomatic Usage) - had / would rather, to prefer that or to:
I had much rather we not stay. We would rather go for dinner after the show.

You can use milk instead of cream in this recipe.

Now I think, Rather is used when comparing preference between two things or acts whereas Instead is used when we are comparing places. But I am not sure. Can somebody please clarify?
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2010, 07:45
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I accept .. rather than is incorrect .. there is no preference ..

aagar2003 wrote:
Can somebody please explain why this would be correct in D
"having been sent by the king and queen of Spain."

IMO E should have been the correct answer.

Dictionary.com usage for rather versus instead

Rather (Idiomatic Usage) - had / would rather, to prefer that or to:
I had much rather we not stay. We would rather go for dinner after the show.

You can use milk instead of cream in this recipe.

Now I think, Rather is used when comparing preference between two things or acts whereas Instead is used when we are comparing places. But I am not sure. Can somebody please clarify?
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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29 Jun 2010, 07:31
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'Rather than' is preferred over 'instead of' that levaes A, B and D

'whether' is preferred over 'if' usage

Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by sailing west.

A.Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by sailing west. - incorrect. This sentence has a mixture of active voice and passive voice. 'Rather than accept the wisdom that..... [active voice], CC was sent by the king and queen of Spain [passive voice]

B.Rather than accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by sailing west. - incorrect. This sentence has a mixture of active voice and passive voice. 'Rather than accept the wisdom that..... [active voice], CC was sent by the king and queen of Spain [passive voice]

C.Instead of accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus sailed west to see whether he could reach India, having been sent by the king and queen of Spain.

D.Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus sailed west to see whether he could reach India, having been sent by the king and queen of Spain. - correct. 'Rather than accept the wisdom that...[active voice], CC sailed west to see..[active voice]'. Also, 'having been sent by the king and queen of Spain' modifies the clause 'Christopher Columbus sailed west to see whether he could reach India' and not just the word 'India'

E.Instead of accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to sail west to see if he could reach India.
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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29 Jun 2010, 11:29
D seems to convey that Christopher Columbus did not accept conventional wisdom and hence decided to sail. "Rather than accept conventional wisdom" should modify the king and not Christopher Columbus. D seems to change the meaning?
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2012, 02:03
manhattangmat flagged this question for revision. if you want to choose the correct option go with 'rather than' and 'whether'.
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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04 Jun 2013, 07:36
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fozzzy wrote:
what's wrong with E? what's the OA?

The OA is D.

E vs D. At glance we could solve this as Rather than VS Insted of, but if we do not know the proper usage of those, we can look at the structure of the sentence.

D.Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus sailed west to see whether he could reach India, having been sent by the king and queen of Spain.
E.Instead of accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to sail west to see if he could reach India.

Instead of accepting (...), Columbus was sent. Does this sound right?
Rather than accept (...), Columbus sailed.

The clause before the comma refers to C., so we can solve this as:
In D the subject of the two clauses it's the same, and the structure is very clear: (Columbus) Rather than accept (...), Columbus sailed.
In E, on the other hand the structure is not correct: (Columbus) Instead of accepting, Columbus was sent by the king.
The first subject is Columbus, the second is the king.
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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20 Jun 2013, 14:12
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Is Rather than "ACCEPT" really correct? should it not be an ing form, whenever it is used as a modifier?
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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20 Jun 2013, 19:14
Zarrolou wrote:
fozzzy wrote:
what's wrong with E? what's the OA?

The OA is D.

E vs D. At glance we could solve this as Rather than VS Insted of, but if we do not know the proper usage of those, we can look at the structure of the sentence.

D.Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus sailed west to see whether he could reach India, having been sent by the king and queen of Spain.
E.Instead of accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to sail west to see if he could reach India.

Instead of accepting (...), Columbus was sent. Does this sound right?
Rather than accept (...), Columbus sailed.

The clause before the comma refers to C., so we can solve this as:
In D the subject of the two clauses it's the same, and the structure is very clear: (Columbus) Rather than accept (...), Columbus sailed.
In E, on the other hand the structure is not correct: (Columbus) Instead of accepting, Columbus was sent by the king.
The first subject is Columbus, the second is the king.

Just to complete the thought here: Rather is used to indicate preference. Instead is used to indicate that one thing replaces other.
Ex : We ought to invest in machinery rather than buildings.
Amit was invited to the reception, but he was ill, so Akash went instead of him.
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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29 Jun 2013, 14:19
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Silvers wrote:
Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by sailing west.

A.Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by sailing west.
B.Rather than accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by sailing west.
C.Instead of accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus sailed west to see whether he could reach India, having been sent by the king and queen of Spain.
D.Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus sailed west to see whether he could reach India, having been sent by the king and queen of Spain.
E.Instead of accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to sail west to see if he could reach India.

1. Rather than + Verb > instead of + verb (we left with A,B and D)
2. Whether > If (A & B out left with D)
Ans D

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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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29 Jun 2014, 21:50
thefibonacci wrote:
Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus
was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by traveling west.

• Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus
was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by traveling west.
• Rather than accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus
was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by sailing west.
• Instead of accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus
sailed west to see whether he could reach India, having been sent by the king and queen of
Spain.
• Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus
sailed west to see whether he could reach India, having been sent by the king and queen of
Spain.
• Instead of accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus
was sent by the king and queen of Spain to sail west to see if he could reach India.

OA after some discussion

Columbus didn't accept the conventional wisdom. So after comma will come the Active subject. So eliminate A,B and E. Also all these have 'if' -> this is also incorrect. It should be 'whether'... as 'if' corresponds to a condition & 'whether' suggests alternatives. So out A,B & E options.
Now we are left with C & D.
Only difference is Rather than accept VS instead of accepting. In the case of showing preference Rather Than is better.
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2014, 02:22
ani781 wrote:
thefibonacci wrote:
Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus
was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by traveling west.

• Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus
was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by traveling west.
• Rather than accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus
was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by sailing west.
• Instead of accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus
sailed west to see whether he could reach India, having been sent by the king and queen of
Spain.
• Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus
sailed west to see whether he could reach India, having been sent by the king and queen of
Spain.
• Instead of accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus
was sent by the king and queen of Spain to sail west to see if he could reach India.

OA after some discussion

Columbus didn't accept the conventional wisdom. So after comma will come the Active subject. So eliminate A,B and E. Also all these have 'if' -> this is also incorrect. It should be 'whether'... as 'if' corresponds to a condition & 'whether' suggests alternatives. So out A,B & E options.
Now we are left with C & D.
Only difference is Rather than accept VS instead of accepting. In the case of showing preference Rather Than is better.

Hi,

I picked C because I could not understand the nuances of using 'Instead of' vs 'Rather Than'. Ron(MGMAT Instructor) says that such kind of differences won't be tested in GMAT. Still, what Ani781 has said is true. Accept is compared with Sailed in the stem i.e. verb to verb comparison.

OA shud be 'D'.

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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2014, 08:46
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This question is posted multiples times and discussed in-depth on MGMAT forum as well as on Gmatclub. MGMAT said that they would revise this problem as answers were debatable. I see no point in discussing this problem further.

Only takeaway : Active and passive issue in both halves of the sentence.
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2014, 23:39
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BankerRUS wrote:
Is Rather than "ACCEPT" really correct? should it not be an ing form, whenever it is used as a modifier?

Hello experts,

I totally agree with the above comment. Does this make sense to use "accept"? Should we not use "accepting"? Please help!

Thanks Anuj!!!
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth [#permalink]

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19 Feb 2015, 00:38
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This question is part of the GMAT Club Sentence Correction : Parallelism" Revision Project.

Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by traveling west.

A. Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by traveling west.

B. Rather than accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to see if he could reach India by sailing west.

C. Instead of accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus sailed west to see whether he could reach India, having been sent by the king and queen of Spain.

D. Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus sailed west to see whether he could reach India, having been sent by the king and queen of Spain.

E. Instead of accepting the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Christopher Columbus was sent by the king and queen of Spain to sail west to see if he could reach India.

Spoiler: :: OE
The original sentence contains several errors. First, the construction "X rather than Y"
requires parallelism between X and Y, but the original sentence pairs an active verb
("accept") with a passive one ("was sent"). Second, the use of "if" in this context is
incorrect. On the GMAT, "if" is used only to introduce conditional clauses (e.g. “if X,
then Y”). Here, "whether" should be used instead of “if” to indicate uncertainty about
reaching India by traveling west.
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) The construction "X rather than Y" requires parallelism between X and Y, but this
choice pairs an active verb ("accepting") with a passive one ("was sent"). Second, the
use of "if" in this context is incorrect. On the GMAT, "if" is used only to introduce
conditional clauses (e.g. “if X, then Y”). Here, "whether" should be used instead of “if”
to indicate uncertainty about reaching India by traveling west.
(C) This choice begins with "instead of," which is incorrectly used to compare
the verbs “accepting” and “sailed.” When comparing verbs, “rather than” is the
correct choice.
(D) CORRECT. This choice uses the construction “X rather than Y” to correctly
compare the parallel active verbs “accept” and “sailed.” The uncertainty about
reaching India by traveling west is correctly indicated by the word “whether.”
(E) This choice begins with "instead of," which is incorrectly used to compare the
verbs “accepting” and “sailed.” When comparing verbs, “rather than” is the correct
choice.
Even if “instead of” were correct, the construction "X instead of Y" requires parallelism
between X and Y, but this choice pairs an active verb ("accepting") with a passive one
("was sent"). Finally, the use of "if" in this context is incorrect. On the GMAT, "if" is
used only to introduce conditional clauses (e.g. “if X, then Y”). Here, "whether" should
be used instead of “if” to indicate uncertainty about reaching India by traveling west.

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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth   [#permalink] 19 Feb 2015, 00:38

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