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# To this day, researchers and theorists debate whether

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To this day, researchers and theorists debate whether [#permalink]

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29 May 2012, 14:46
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57% (01:13) correct 43% (00:14) wrong based on 222 sessions

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To this day, researchers and theorists debate whether bubonic plague caused The Black Death, a pandemic that swept the world in the middle of the fourteenth century.

a) whether
b) whether or not
d) as to whether
e) if
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Current Student
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29 May 2012, 14:49
What is the specific rule regarding the phrase "whether or not" ? In this example, the explanation says that whether is the correct phrase and that "whether or not" is redundant.

Here is another example used on the GMAT SC

"Whether or not the board understands the ramifications of the proposal depends on how clearly the costs and benefits are laid out in the presentation this afternoon."

So why is it okay to use "whether or not" here but not in the OP?
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31 May 2012, 23:35
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Hi,

"whether" and "or not" should be kept apart.

For ex -
Right: Tell me whether you are coming or not?
Right: Tell me whether you are coming?
Wrong: Tell me whether or not you are coming?

Although on googling, I found this:
“when a whether clause modifies a verb, or not is needed"...and I am puzzled too!

Regards,
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03 Jun 2012, 15:59
"whether or not" is always wrong. It is considered redundant on the GMAT. Whether is the correct choice. Collect your points and move on.
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09 Jun 2012, 22:23
Cares wrote:
What is the specific rule regarding the phrase "whether or not" ? In this example, the explanation says that whether is the correct phrase and that "whether or not" is redundant.

Here is another example used on the GMAT SC

"Whether or not the board understands the ramifications of the proposal depends on how clearly the costs and benefits are laid out in the presentation this afternoon."

So why is it okay to use "whether or not" here but not in the OP?

I agree with roboas - "Whether or not" is consistently viewed as redundant on the GMAT and therefore incorrect (one of the few times you will use concision to make eliminations on Sentence Correction).

Did the 2nd example you cited come from the OG? If so, is "whether or not" part of the underlined portion?
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10 Jun 2012, 02:54
Eliminate C (you debate something, not about something), D, and E.

A or B.

I went with B here and am happy to have learned that "whether or not" is always incorrect on the GMAT!
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Re: To this day, researchers and theorists debate whether [#permalink]

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10 Nov 2013, 07:28
To this day, researchers and theorists debate whether bubonic plague caused The Black Death, a pandemic that swept the world in the middle of the fourteenth century.

a) whether
b) whether or not
d) as to whether
e) if

Need detailed explanation. Is "whether or not" redundant according to GMAT?
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Re: To this day, researchers and theorists debate whether [#permalink]

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20 Nov 2014, 10:54
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
Re: To this day, researchers and theorists debate whether   [#permalink] 20 Nov 2014, 10:54
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