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That the Fifth Lateran Council (1512 – 1517), [u]had it addressed the

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Re: That the Fifth Lateran Council (1512 – 1517), [u]had it addressed the  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2016, 06:17
mikemcgarry wrote:
That the Fifth Lateran Council (1512 – 1517), had it addressed the growing concerns of reformers within the Catholic Church rather than simply shoring up its own political prerogatives with respect to the monarchies of Western Europe, could have avoided the series of events that led to the Protestant Reformation, still causes regret among modern Western Christian thinkers.
(A) had it addressed the growing concerns of reformers within the Catholic Church rather than simply shoring up its own political prerogatives with respect to the monarchies of Western Europe, could have avoided the series of events that led to the Protestant Reformation still causes
(B) if it addressed the growing concerns of reformers within the Catholic Church rather than simply shoring up their own political prerogatives with respect to the monarchies of Western Europe, could have avoided the series of events that led to the Protestant Reformation still cause
(C) if they addressed the growing concerns of reformers within the Catholic Church instead of simply shoring up their own political prerogatives with respect to the monarchies of Western Europe, they might have avoided the series of events that led to the Protestant Reformation still cause
(D) if they addressed the growing concerns of reformers within the Catholic Church instead of simply shoring up their own political prerogatives with respect to the monarchies of Western Europe, they could have avoided the series of events that led to the Protestant Reformation, still a cause of
(E) if it had addressed the growing concerns of reformers within the Catholic Church rather than simply having shored up its own political prerogatives with respect to the monarchies of Western Europe, it might have avoided the series of events that led to the Protestant Reformation, still a cause of


See a full discussion of this question, and a full discussion of noun clauses (a.k.a. substantive clauses) in general, see this blog:


http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/substantiv ... -the-gmat/


Classic example of how to intimidate test takers by long sentences with lot of obnoxious data ...

That the Fifth Lateran Council (1512 – 1517), had it addressed the growing concerns of reformers within the Catholic Church rather than simply shoring up its own political prerogatives with respect to the monarchies of Western Europe, could have avoided the series of events that led to the Protestant Reformation, still causes regret among modern Western Christian thinkers.
(A) had it addressed the growing concerns of reformers within the Catholic Church rather than simply shoring up its own political prerogatives with respect to the monarchies of Western Europe, could have avoided the series of events that led to the Protestant Reformation still causes

Could not understood the structure and flow of the sentence ..but just tried to understand the meaning and then kept this option on HOLD.

(B) if it addressed the growing concerns of reformers within the Catholic Church rather than simply shoring up their own political prerogatives with respect to the monarchies of Western Europe, could have avoided the series of events that led to the Protestant Reformation still cause

the "if ...then..." structure
in if then structure ...
if the "if" clause is in simple past tense ...then the "then" clause must have "would + Verb" or must be in "simple past tense" (depending on the context).
Here, none is given ..so WRONG


(C) if they addressed the growing concerns of reformers within the Catholic Church instead of simply shoring up their own political prerogatives with respect to the monarchies of Western Europe, they might have avoided the series of events that led to the Protestant Reformation still cause

the "if ...then..." structure
in if then structure ...
if the "if" clause is in simple past tense ...then the "then" clause must have "would + Verb" or must be in "simple past tense" (depending on the context).
Here, none is given ..so WRONG
Also, "THEY" is PLURAL whereas the antecedent "THE FIFTH LATERAL COUNCIL" is SINGULAR

(D) if they addressed the growing concerns of reformers within the Catholic Church instead of simply shoring up their own political prerogatives with respect to the monarchies of Western Europe, they could have avoided the series of events that led to the Protestant Reformation, still a cause of

[b]the "if ...then..." structure
in if then structure ...
if the "if" clause is in simple past tense ...then the "then" clause must have "would + Verb" or must be in "simple past tense" (depending on the context).
Here, none is given ..so WRONG
Also, "THEY" is PLURAL whereas the antecedent "THE FIFTH LATERAL COUNCIL" is SINGULAR


(E) if it had addressed the growing concerns of reformers within the Catholic Church rather than simply having shored up its own political prerogatives with respect to the monarchies of Western Europe, it might have avoided the series of events that led to the Protestant Reformation, still a cause of

the "if ...then..." structure
in if then structure ...
if the "if" clause is in PAST PERFECT tense ...then the "then" clause must have "would have + Verb"
Here, none is given ..so WRONG


So the Correct Answer is A
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Re: That the Fifth Lateran Council (1512 – 1517), [u]had it addressed the  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2017, 10:08
Hi mike,

Can you please elaborate on the difference between 'rather than' and 'instead of', highlighting various cases in which each of them can be used.

Thanks for clarifying many doubts :)

mikemcgarry wrote:
saikarthikreddy wrote:
Hi Mike,

Thanks for the awesome hard question.
In the above question "That the Fifth Lateran Council" is acting as the subject for the verbs beginning with " had it addressed ", "could have avoided and still causes" . Is this type of construction valid. P.S . The three verbs do not form a list and there are no conjunctions used.

Dear saikarthikreddy,
With all due respect, I think you don't quite understand the grammar of the sentence.

This part -----
"had it addressed the growing concerns of reformers within the Catholic Church rather than simply shoring up its own political prerogatives with respect to the monarchies of Western Europe" is a modifying clause. The subject of the verb "addressed" is the pronoun "it"

Take that modifier out. Still, inside the "that" clause, we have the clause ---
"....the Fifth Lateran Council .....could have avoided the series of events that led to the Protestant Reformation...."
Here, the subject of the verb "could have avoided" is "the Fifth Lateran Council".

Now, step back to the entire sentence. The main verb is "causes", and the subject of this verb is the entire "that"-clause. The "that" clause is a substantive clause, a clause that takes a noun role in a sentence, and thus it can act as the subject of the sentence.

So, you see, those three verbs are not in parallel ---each one has a different subject, and each one is the main verb at a different grammatical level within the sentence.

Does all this make sense?

Mike :-)
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Re: That the Fifth Lateran Council (1512 – 1517), [u]had it addressed the  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2017, 13:22
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anuj.gmat wrote:
Hi mike,

Can you please elaborate on the difference between 'rather than' and 'instead of', highlighting various cases in which each of them can be used.

Thanks for clarifying many doubts :)

Dear anuj.gmat,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Fundamentally, the word "of" is a preposition, and thus can be followed only by a noun or something behaving as a noun (e.g. a gerund). By contrast, the word "than" is a subordinate conjunction, so it would be followed by an entire clause--or any part of a clause after common words have been omitted. Right away, this means that virtually any grammatical structure can follow "rather than," but only nouns can follow "instead of." This is difference #1: the former is much more flexible and can handle a wide variety of grammatical forms.

Thus, we get complete mistakes in some instances when we use "instead of." All of these mistakes are avoided with the use of "rather than."
He said the longest part of the drive was across the plain instead of up the mountain.
He said the longest part of the drive was across the plain rather than up the mountain.
(We cannot put one prepositional phrase inside another!)

After the accident, she was relieved instead of upset.
After the accident, she was relieved instead of upset.
(An adjective cannot be the object of a preposition!)

She said she would record a podcast instead of write a book.
She said she would record a podcast rather than write a book.
(A verb cannot be the object of a preposition!)

Of course, we could change that verb to a gerund, and grammatically, a gerund can be the object of a preposition.
She said she would record a podcast instead of writing a book.
That is 100% grammatically correct, but not a good sentence. You see, in the "rather than" version above, we had perfect parallelism between the two verbs. Since these two actions are logically juxtaposed, it makes sense to reflect that with parallel structure. The "instead of" version with the gerund has to disrupt the parallelism to make the grammar work. This is difference #2. The "rather than" structure elegantly allows for complete parallel structure, whereas the "instead of" structure is a jerry-rigged half-baked mediocrity. This is like a race between Usain Bolt and a toddler learning to walk--it's no contest!

Now, think of the way English is used in real life. Uneducated native English speakers--and in America, we have an unimaginably LARGE number of these!--make these "instead of" mistakes all the time and don't understand the "rather than" structure. All this poor usage serves to give the "rather than" structure sound that much more intelligent and well-spoken. This is difference #3. Even when "instead of" would be 100% correct, say with ordinary nouns, the "rather than" version sounds more elegant.
He is building a treehouse instead of a shed.
He is building a treehouse rather than a shed
Now, I want to emphasize that the "instead of" is 100% grammatically correct. Strictly speak, the latter is still parallel, while the former isn't, but this matters less with nouns. Think about who would say each. Anyone could say the first one, but only someone well educated and well spoken would say the second. Therefore, people who are well spoken gravitate away from the former and toward the latter. If you want to impress others when you write, always use "rather than" rather than "instead of."

In this vein, the structure "instead of" is almost never part of a correct answer on the GMAT SC.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: That the Fifth Lateran Council (1512 – 1517), [u]had it addressed the  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2018, 08:31
egmat - Please correct my POE it it is wrong

A - Correct
B - Their
C - They
D - They
E - As per the concept lesson "If +past perfect within the sentence should be followed by a "would have"

And that is the reason i eliminated E.

Thanking in advance.
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Re: That the Fifth Lateran Council (1512 – 1517), [u]had it addressed the  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2018, 01:14
This is a complicated sentence! There are at least three different layers of grammar of which to keep track here. First of all, there is a gargantuan substantive clause, “That the Fifth Lateran Council … the Protestant Reformation”: this is the subject of the whole sentence, and requires singular verb, the main verb of the entire sentence.

Within this monstrosity of a substantive clause, there’s a main subject of the clause (“the Fifth Lateran Council”), a main verb of the clause (“could have avoided”), and two subordinate clauses nested within it.

The first subordinate clause nested inside the substantive clause is the large hypothetical clause (“had it addressed …. Western Europe”). The second subordinate clause is a relatively short adjectival clause (“that led to the Protestant Reformation”), a restrictive clause, modifying the noun “events.”

First of all, in the overall sentence, the enormous substantive clause is the subject and requires singular verb. Only (A) has the singular verb “causes” —- (B) & (C) have the plural verb “cause”, and in (D) & (E) there’s actually no verb at all in the main sentence.

Furthermore, within the hypothetical clause beginning with “had” or “if”, the subject is a pronoun. The antecedent of the pronoun is “the Fifth Lateral Council”, which is singular. This needs to take singular pronouns: it and its. This is a mistake the GMAT loves — using plural pronouns (“they”, “their”) for a singular collective noun. Yes, there were many people participating in the Fifth Lateral Council, but the entity itself, the Fifth Lateral Council, was a singular event. GMAT loves to bait test-takers with this mistake. (B) & (C) & (D) make this mistake.

Also, within the epic substantive clause, the main subject of the clause is “the Fifth Lateral Council”, followed by a long “if” clause, followed by the main verb of the clause. Answer choices (C) & (D) & (E) all make another classic GMAT mistake, a pattern of the form:



This is the "double subject" mistake. The main subject of the clause (“the Fifth Lateral Council”) is directly the subject of the main verb of the clause (“could have avoided”) — we don’t need the extra pronoun (“they” or “it”) in front of that verb. The GMAT loves to stick a large modifying clause between the subject and the verb because, with so many words intervening, people not reading carefully will not see the connection between the subject and the verb, and will mistakenly think the verb needs a pronoun subject directly in front of it. Beware of this common GMAT SC mistake.

For a variety of reason, (B) & (C) & (D) & (E) are all wrong. Answer =(A).
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Re: That the Fifth Lateran Council (1512 – 1517), [u]had it addressed the &nbs [#permalink] 22 Aug 2018, 01:14

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