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The team of research scientists will not know

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The team of research scientists will not know  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2015, 01:12
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80% (01:08) correct 20% (01:18) wrong based on 142 sessions

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The team of research scientists will not know whether the procedure for reversing damage to individual genes was successful if the scientists do not get access to the advanced optical technology at the university.

(A) whether the procedure for reversing damage to individual genes was successful if

(B) whether the procedure of gene damage reversal was successful depending whether or not

(C) if the procedure to reverse damage to individual genes was successful if

(D) if the gene damage reversal procedure was successful, and if

(E) if the procedure of reversing damage to individual genes was successful whether
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Re: The team of research scientists will not know  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2015, 07:00
The team of research scientists will not know whether the procedure for reversing damage to individual genes was successful if the scientists do not get access to the advanced optical technology at the university.

here the structure (y if x) is as follows:
The team of research scientists will not know [u]whether the procedure for reversing damage to individual genes was successful = Y ( future tense)
IF
the scientists do not get access to the advanced optical technology at the university = X (simple present)
structure is Correct "Y if X".


(A) whether the procedure for reversing damage to individual genes was successful if - Correct.

(B) whether the procedure of gene damage reversal was successful depending whether or not

(C) if the procedure to reverse damage to individual genes was successful if

(D) if the gene damage reversal procedure was successful, and if

(E) if the procedure of reversing damage to individual genes was successful whether
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The team of research scientists will not know  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2015, 07:12
Use "whether" to show that TWO alternatives are possible
Use "if" when you have a conditional sentence, i.e., if - then.

The team of research scientists will not know whether the procedure for reversing damage to individual genes was successful if the scientists do not get access to the advanced optical technology at the university.

As per the meaning:
The team will not know whether the procedure was successful or NOT successful (TWO alternatives - successful or NOT successful)
And bigger picture is: "The team will not know X if not Y". This is a conditional statement. No TWO alternatives are present.


This eliminates choices C,D and E.

(A) whether the procedure for reversing damage to individual genes was successful if
Answer choice A is correct as per our meaning

(B) whether the procedure of gene damage reversal was successful depending whether or not - You don't use "whether or not", because "whether" already includes TWO conditions in itself. Correct style is "whether" only.

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Re: if vs whether:The team of research scientists will not know  [#permalink]

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The simple principle behind use of 'whether' and 'if' is:

1. If you are in a dilemma then use 'whether'.
2. If x happens then why will happen means use 'if'.
3. 'Whether or not' is redundant. A simple 'whether' will do.


A. whether the procedure for reversing damage to individual genes was successful if -- It is clear that the scientists have a dilemma; so use 'whether' for the first part ; If the scientists do not get X, then they will not have Y; so use 'if' for the second part. The choice as such is good enough.

B. whether the procedure of gene damage reversal was successful depending whether or not --- cannot use 'whether' for conditional situations.

C. if the procedure to reverse damage to individual genes was successful if --- cannot use 'if' for a dilemma.

D. if the gene damage reversal procedure was successful, and if--- same error as in C
E. if the procedure of reversing damage to individual genes was successful whether ----- same error as in C; in addition, we cannot use 'whether' for a conditional context.
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Re: if vs whether:The team of research scientists will not know  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2017, 03:59
......genes was successful......
I am confused whether the usage of 'was' is correct.
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Re: if vs whether:The team of research scientists will not know  [#permalink]

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The procedure was a specific procedure tried out sometime in the past. It is not yet an accepted theory or a general fact. Therefore, was is quite fitting.
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Re: The team of research scientists will not know  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2017, 21:34
daagh wrote:
The procedure was a specific procedure tried out sometime in the past. It is not yet an accepted theory or a general fact. Therefore, was is quite fitting.


Thanks Sir,

But the follwing construction seems to be awkward to me.

Future---past---present

will not know ...... was successful ......do not get access

Would you please share something about this?
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Re: The team of research scientists will not know  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2017, 22:16
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Mahmud
You cannot escape shift of tense in conditional clauses. After all, only if the condition is fulfilled, we are going to get the result, which will be always one tense later than the condition.
The past tense here is about a specific experiment that is over now but awaiting further interpretation.
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Re: The team of research scientists will not know  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2018, 03:49

Official Explanation

Split 1A: the first whether/if split. The scientists want to know, "was the procedure successful?" That is the content of what they want to know, the answer to that yes/no question. For the content of a yes/no question, the answer to which someone wants to know, we use "know whether." At the beginning of the underlined section, we need "whether," not "if." Only (A) & (B) have this correct.

Split 1B: the second whether/if split. Will the scientist get access to the optical technology? This is a condition. If they get this access, then they will know what they want to know. For a genuine if-then condition, we always use "if", not "whether," and that's what we should have at the end of the underlined section. Choices (A) & (C) & (D) get this correct.

Split 2: the phrasings of "procedure for reversing", "procedure to reverse," and "procedure of reversing" are all correct, all legitimate idioms. The phrasing "gene damage reversal procedure," in (D), is awkward.

The only possible answer is (A).
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Re: The team of research scientists will not know &nbs [#permalink] 08 Sep 2018, 03:49
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