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# Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Ch

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Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2007, 21:08
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95% (hard)

Question Stats:

36% (01:25) correct 64% (01:43) wrong based on 1890 sessions

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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.

This question is part of the GMAT Club Sentence Correction : Parallelism" Revision Project.
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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19 Feb 2015, 03:58
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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 was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2014, 07:46
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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.
##### General Discussion
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2007, 21:18
1
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 was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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12 Jul 2007, 11:21
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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 was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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20 May 2008, 06:02

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 was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2010, 18:27
2
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 was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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29 Jun 2010, 06:31
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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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Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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04 Jun 2013, 06:36
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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 was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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29 Jun 2013, 13:19
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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 was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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05 Jun 2015, 01:41
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Its good to be back after a very long time

Here's my take on this question, but before that couple of important concepts.

Rather than/instead of --> Correct Idiom is 'X' rather than/instead of 'Y', So each can be used.
Having been is used to describe an event that happened in the past, but If we are given a time frame then that event may continue till present. Ex- Having been a smoker for past 10 year....Josh cannot quit smoking.

Now comes the question.

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. Its ambiguous who didn't accept the conventional wisdom. King and Queen OR Christopher Columbus

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. Same as A + accepting is wrong here because it cannot be used as a verb without any helping verb such as is or are

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. accepting is wrong here because it cannot be used as a verb without any helping verb such as is or are

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. Same as B
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2015, 03:28
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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 was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2017, 23:11
This is originally a Manhattan SC question and it did raise a storm at the Manhattan forums.

https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/forums/rather-than-accept-the-conventional-wisdom-that-the-earth-t1177.html

Hope that thread helps you too.

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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2017, 15:15
Himalayan 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.

(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.

Good question.
Lets try first point deduction: If vs whether
If is used for conditional; shows multiple possibilities
whether is used to show certainty; it conveys almost a binary result - YES or NO

In this context, whether is appropriate.
That leaves us with 2 contenders: C and D

(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.

Instead of can only be used to show contrast between two noun. In C accepting is a gerund [hence a noun] however sailed is a verb, hence cannot to be paralleled with a noun accepting

essentially: instead of accepting [noun] || sailed [verb] - Does not work
So, C Out

(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.

Rather than is used to show contrast between two verbs. Here in D
Rather than accept || sailed - Correct

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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2018, 23:40
1
I feel all the explanations given are little too mathematical and not based on meaning.

My 2 cents:

Some people have stated here that, the first part "Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat" should modify King and Queen. But that will be incorrect, because although the Kind and Queen had sent Columbus, it was
Columbus decision to go west (he could have gone east but he didn't accept the conventional wisdom).

Hence the first part should modify Columbus, and thus the order shall be:

Modifier + Columbus decision to go west, he was sent by King and Queen.

Some have stated that active voice is preferred over passive voice, which maybe right most of the times but not all the time, understanding the meaning really helps here.

Also, I believe the answer should have been "C" as accepting seems like the correct tense, as it talks about columbus doing so in that time period, and this should have been among those exceptional cases when accepting and sailed were parallel, I think meaning prevails here than the likes and dislike of GMAC for using rather than and not instead of
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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09 Sep 2018, 04:09
C,E - Instead of is followed by noun.
A,B - If is conditional statement (If he could..)

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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat, Ch  [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2018, 01:02
3
hero_with_1000_faces wrote:
I feel all the explanations given are little too mathematical and not based on meaning.

My 2 cents:

Some people have stated here that, the first part "Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat" should modify King and Queen. But that will be incorrect, because although the Kind and Queen had sent Columbus, it was
Columbus decision to go west (he could have gone east but he didn't accept the conventional wisdom).

Hence the first part should modify Columbus, and thus the order shall be:

Modifier + Columbus decision to go west, he was sent by King and Queen.

Some have stated that active voice is preferred over passive voice, which maybe right most of the times but not all the time, understanding the meaning really helps here.

Also, I believe the answer should have been "C" as accepting seems like the correct tense, as it talks about columbus doing so in that time period, and this should have been among those exceptional cases when accepting and sailed were parallel, I think meaning prevails here than the likes and dislike of GMAC for using rather than and not instead of

I agree with you. Not at all satisfied with the other explanations - literally Horrible!! People are just looking at the OA and trying to justify it in any way possible.

How can "Rather than accept... he sailed"
or "Rather than accept... he was sent" be correct?

The only sensible one is "Instead of accepting.....he sailed"
OA E which says "Instead of accepting.....he was sent" - is grammatically correct but changes meaning (illogical).
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth  [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2020, 05:35
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Re: Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth   [#permalink] 26 Mar 2020, 05:35
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