# Thread: rhinoceroses: whether vs. if: DETAILED explanation

1. Good post? |
A proposal has been made to trim the horns from rhinoceroses to discourage poachers; the question is whether tourists will continue to visit game parks and see rhinoceroses after their horns are trimmed.

(A) whether tourists will continue to visit game parks and see rhinoceroses after their horns are
(B) whether tourists will continue to visit game parks to see one once their horns are
(C) whether tourists will continue to visit game parks to see rhinoceroses once the animals' horns have been
(D) if tourists will continue to visit game parks and see rhinoceroses once the animals' horns are
(E) if tourists will continue to visit game parks to see one after the animals' horns have been

Between C & D why is C better ?

Is have been trimmed better than are trimmed ?

2. Good post? |

## Whether vs. if

A proposal has been made to trim the horns from rhinoceroses to discourage poachers; the question is whether tourists will continue to visit game parks and see rhinoceroses after their horns are trimmed.

(A) whether tourists will continue to visit game parks and see rhinoceroses after their horns are
(B) whether tourists will continue to visit game parks to see one once their horns are
(C) whether tourists will continue to visit game parks to see rhinoceroses once the animals' horns have been
(D) if tourists will continue to visit game parks and see rhinoceroses once the animals' horns are
(E) if tourists will continue to visit game parks to see one after the animals' horns have been

Between C & D why is C better ?

Is have been trimmed better than are trimmed ?

Hi, isha!!

First, your focus on this question is a bit off; you're missing the "elephant in the living room."

The real focus of the question here is whether vs. if. This question comes up so much that I've come up with a little rhyme to help you remember:

If you see "whether" and "if"...

whether is better

Of course, this rhyme is just to help you remember, it doesn't explain the rule.

We use "if" for conditions: I will help you if I can.

and for things that might happen:

If you need a hand, please let me know.

We use "whether" when we have two options:

We will have the picnic whether or not it rains. (Two options: rain/no rain.)

Another way to think of this is if we can add "or not," then we MUST use "whether." (Of course, you'll remember that GMAT does NOT like to add "or not;" GMAT considers the "or not" redundant.)

Furthermore, in this sentence

question... is... __________

we are missing a noun complement.

Strictly speaking, we should NOT use an adjective clause as a noun complement; we should use a noun clause.

You will recall that if can NEVER be used in noun clauses (only in adverb clauses), but whether CAN be used in noun clauses.

If we understand these rules, we can see that the following sentence (one that I would say when speaking):

I don't know if we're having class tomorrow.

is wrong.

First, we have two options: class/no class, so we MUST use whether.

Furthermore, know, a transitive verb, requires an object, and in this case, we can use a noun clause as the object.

Finally, I really like B--I think we should trim the horns of tourists!!!

HTH!!

3. Good post? |

Why is A not an option, why B?

Kav

4. Good post? |
i am confused too....we have chosen B over A because its clear that its rhino's horns that we are talking about ;so we need not repeat word 'rhinoceroses' as in option A. Is my explanation correct??....please reply someone

5. Good post? |
A and B are wrong because the pronoun "their" is ambiguous--does it refer to "tourists" or to "rhinoceroses?" Actually, the closer noun is "tourists," so it really seems as if "their" is referring to "tourists."

Um, the best answer here is C; A and B are wrong. I hope my joke here didn't confuse anybody:

Finally, I really like B--I think we should trim the horns of tourists!!!

6. Good post? |

## Re: rhinoceroses: whether vs. if: DETAILED explanation

Hi Erin,
I have a doubt here. You have discarded B because their is not clear what is referring to, since tourists is most near to them . But with this analogy, A cannot be discarded since Rhinoceroses is most near to them and it is making sense.
Can u give me some more clarifications on wy C is better over A.

7. Good post? |

## Re: rhinoceroses: whether vs. if: DETAILED explanation

C is better because "have been" indicates that the horns were trimmed by the time the people had come to the zoo, especially because the sentence says "after their horns"...this is most logically followed by have been. Also, the meaning of the sentence is trying to say that the people were coming specifically TO see the rhinoceroses, which is why the author has doubt regarding whether the people will still want to come once the rhinoceroses have been tainted. Thus, C also has more clarity of meaning since it uses "to see" rather than "and see".

8. Good post? |
agreed C it is

9. Good post? |
Agreed with C.

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