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Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth

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

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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 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.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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

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'Rather than' for PREFERENCE and 'Instead of' for Replacement.
'Whether' for ALTERNATIVE and 'IF' for Condition or Hypothetical situation.
Active is preferred over Passive voice.

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 - Correct

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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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.

[Reveal] 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]

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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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this is from the manhattan

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]

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

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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/Rather express a contraposition:
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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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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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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eyunni 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.

(1) 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.

(2) 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.

(3) 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.

(4) 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.

(5) 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.

Please explain your answers.


A does not use gerund (accept-ing) therefore sounds bad.

king and queen are the one, who did not accept the fact therefore after comma they should be treated as subject for proximity that removes C & D. Both C & D give the feel that Christopher Columbus is the one who did not accept the fact and that's not true.

E - Redundant to sail, to see - to see is enough here

My take is B.

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

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

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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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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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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.



I think there is a confusion between C and D i.e. Instead of accepting vs. Rather than accept.

Instead of normally takes NOUNS and are rarely preferred to rather than in GMAT. Further, rather than is always preferred in comparing verbs, e.g. accept in the present case. So, all these reasons make D a better choice than C.

Now, why accept and why not accepting after rather than??

Pls note that Christopher Columbus sailed rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat. Right?

So, Columbus actually sailed, but he never really accepted the blah blah... this is hypothetical. So, we have to use the subjunctive form of the verb - accept.
I think this is the reason why accepting would have been improper here.

Guys, I am no expert. I learned some grammar in Gmatclub from experts such as mikemcgarry and egmat. Hope it helps.

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

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New post 11 Jul 2007, 22:18
I say the answer is D
A,B, and E all have passive voice with "was sent", so they're out.
Between C and D, "Rather than accept" tends to agree more with "sailed" than does "Instead of accepting"
Any other thoughts?

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

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New post 11 Jul 2007, 23:32
Will go with B. Rather than accepting seems like correct usage to me.

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

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New post 12 Jul 2007, 07:00
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.

If I see something like that on G-day, I would go with B but here I believe they are all wrong or correct me if I am wrong?

'Rather than accepting the wisdom that earth was flat' is a modifier it should modify king & queen not Columbus?

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

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Hi Folks,

I do not have OA on this one. I do not remember from where I picked it but it seems quite complicate and controversial.

imo, B is best but I found D as OA in some posts. I cannot go with D for "having been sent by". Having been is generally not accepted in gmat.

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

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New post 12 Jul 2007, 07:57
Well on a second thought A, B and E can not be the answer because of modifier issues.

We are left with C and D.
I dont like either but we have to pick one so i guess 'rather than' more formal than 'instead of'. So, D. but both C and D look really funny to me!

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

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New post 12 Jul 2007, 09:25
there is a good explanation here on why it is D

http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic ... r+columbus
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth   [#permalink] 12 Jul 2007, 09:25

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