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When do we use "rather than" vs. "instead

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When do we use "rather than" vs. "instead [#permalink]

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When do we use "rather than" vs. "instead of" ?

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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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: SC [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2008, 15:10
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study wrote:
When do we use "rather than" vs. "instead of" ?

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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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 is used for nouns. If you don't see a noun, use rather than. GMAT prefers rather than to instead of

Now it comes down to A B and D.

D is correct even though it looks awkward because IMO A & B has modifier issue and "if". GMAT prefers whether to if

If you ask the Q who "Rather than accept the conventional wisdom that the earth was flat" only D gives the correct answer D. A & B have CC in passive voice and does not give CC as the answer.

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Re: SC [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2008, 15:42
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study wrote:
When do we use "rather than" vs. "instead of" ?



to answer in brief: In most of the cases, GMAT prefers "rather than" for "instead of "

Rather than - shows preference.

X rather than Y -idiom X and X must be grammatically and logically parallel

rather than + verb (or) rather than + noun.

Further rather than can act as a preposition and can introduce a prepositional phrase or can act as a conjunction and introduce a clause


e.g

1). We ought to invest in machinery rather than buildings.
2). I prefer starting early rather than leaving things to the last minute.

When the main clause has a to - infinitive, rather than is usually followed by an infinitive without to or -ing form.

e.g - I decided to write rather than phone/phoning.

Instead of - suggests that one person, thing or action replaces the other.

Instead of is only a preposition and can introduce only a phrase i.e no verb

Instead of is not usually followed by an infinitive.

instead of + noun phrase.

e.g

1). I'll have tea instead of coffee, please.
2). I stayed in bed all day instead of going to work.
3). Amit was invited to the reception, but he was ill, so Akash went instead of him.

e.g - She didn't go to Greece after all. Instead , she went to America.

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Re: SC [#permalink]

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New post 14 Dec 2008, 01:14
Thank you icandy and iamcste. Great explanations.

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Re: SC   [#permalink] 14 Dec 2008, 01:14
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