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A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce

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A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink] New post 31 Aug 2004, 23:51
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A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2005, 09:58
Wow, a real test of verb tenses. This is a good one. I would go for A.
C and E improperly describe a past event as though it were present
B) past perfect progressive is used to describe an ongoing event in the past rather than a defined action.
D) improperly describes an event in the past with the present tense.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2005, 10:48
OA is not "A"
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2005, 12:29
OA is indeed (A).

This question was posted here:
http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=14723
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2005, 17:36
A note here on past perfect progressive and why B is wrong(or when such a tense should be used). You will use it to describe an ongoing but completed event in the past.

eg I had been snowing for days when the sun finally came. --> As you can see, past perfect progressive describes an event which, similar to a background description, was ongoing in the past but which also finished when the sun came.

Back to the current question, B would describe a background information whereby municipalities had been dumping, erroneously as a background/ continuous information, when this should be a static(clearly defined at a point in time) event.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2005, 17:47
Paul wrote:
A note here on past perfect progressive and why B is wrong(or when such a tense should be used). You will use it to describe an ongoing but completed event in the past.

eg I had been snowing for days when the sun finally came. --> As you can see, past perfect progressive describes an event which, similar to a background description, was ongoing in the past but which also finished when the sun came.

Back to the current question, B would describe a background information whereby municipalities had been dumping, erroneously as a background/ continuous information, when this should be a static(clearly defined at a point in time) event.


So a past perfect should stop when the next action ie., the past tense comes into picture....Right?
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2005, 18:04
Yes, but the difference b/w past perfect progressive and past perfect is that the former is used in the past to describe an ongoing background info whereas the latter is used to describe a static action which happened in the past. Hence, you will not say: "It had snowed for days when the sun finally came", instead, you will say: "It had been snowing for days when the sun finally came".
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2005, 09:33
i took this Question from another forum, where the forum members seem to converge on "D".

got my answere as A but to see D as a potential answere, i was confused enough and hence this posting.

sorry! to announce that A is not the OA. infact OA is not yet posted in the forum.

i am convinced now that A has to be the OA.

once again sorry for the misunderstanding.

here is the link
http://www.sentencecorrection.com/forum ... topic=1767
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bringing this back to life [#permalink] New post 27 May 2005, 15:21
question for you all on this one.

so what about the case where the municipalities are still allowed to dump into the lakes? what if you are just trying to say that that

the amount the munies are allowed to dump today is becuase of reduction agreement in 1972. Sentence A does not allow for munies dumping today while D does. How do you know what is the intent of the question?
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Re: bringing this back to life [#permalink] New post 28 May 2005, 04:53
damit wrote:
question for you all on this one.

so what about the case where the municipalities are still allowed to dump into the lakes? what if you are just trying to say that that

the amount the munies are allowed to dump today is becuase of reduction agreement in 1972. Sentence A does not allow for munies dumping today while D does. How do you know what is the intent of the question?


I vote for A.

damit, we shouldn't be bother about the situation today, as it not possible for us to second guess, for all that we know, the following year the agreement might have been repealed.

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Re: Sc - 1972 agreement [#permalink] New post 28 May 2005, 09:25
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dipaksingh wrote:
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States (reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump) into the Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities


I guess its risky to even wade in on this one, but I believe the answer is (D). I certainly see no reason it cannot be (D). If the agreement reached 30 years ago still stands, then it's clearly OK to say:

that agreement reduced the amount that municipalities are allowed to [now] dump.

There is truly nothing wrong with that verb tense or that sentence. Similarly, the Interstate speed limit in the US used to be an absurd 55 mph....
But legislation passed in the 1980s increased [past tense] the speed that drivers can drive [present tense].
That sentence is fine too.

If there's nothing wrong with (D), it's probably right.
Now look at (A).
reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump

I think this contains a subtle trap. (A) can only be correct if you have a time machine. Consider:

- Prior to 1972, municipalities had been allowed to dump X amount of phospahtes.
- That is a statement of historical fact. Nothing we can do now will change the reality that prevailed prior to 1972.
- In other words, an agreement reached in 1972 cannot change the historical fact that prior to that, municipalities had been allowed to dump X amount of phosphates.

- And so, you cannot go back in time and reduce the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump prior to the agreement; that amount is fixed for all time at X, as historial fact.

This is a slightly weird concept with regard to verb tense and time, and I'm not sure how to explain it clearly, but that's enough of a problem for me to rule out (A).
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Re: Sc - 1972 agreement [#permalink] New post 28 May 2005, 10:07
Supercat wrote:
dipaksingh wrote:
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States (reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump) into the Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities


I guess its risky to even wade in on this one, but I believe the answer is (D). I certainly see no reason it cannot be (D). If the agreement reached 30 years ago still stands, then it's clearly OK to say:

that agreement reduced the amount that municipalities are allowed to [now] dump.

There is truly nothing wrong with that verb tense or that sentence. Similarly, the Interstate speed limit in the US used to be an absurd 55 mph....
But legislation passed in the 1980s increased [past tense] the speed that drivers can drive [present tense].
That sentence is fine too.

If there's nothing wrong with (D), it's probably right.
Now look at (A).
reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump

I think this contains a subtle trap. (A) can only be correct if you have a time machine. Consider:

- Prior to 1972, municipalities had been allowed to dump X amount of phospahtes.
- That is a statement of historical fact. Nothing we can do now will change the reality that prevailed prior to 1972.
- In other words, an agreement reached in 1972 cannot change the historical fact that prior to that, municipalities had been allowed to dump X amount of phosphates.

- And so, you cannot go back in time and reduce the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump prior to the agreement; that amount is fixed for all time at X, as historial fact.

This is a slightly weird concept with regard to verb tense and time, and I'm not sure how to explain it clearly, but that's enough of a problem for me to rule out (A).


Well D make it very awkward.
It says that the proposal reached in 1972 reduced the amount of phosphates munies are "now" allowed to dump.(which is self contradictory).

I don't see any red in A.
Please consider this sentence.
The judge reduced the pension of the retired personnel to one half of what had been earlier agreed/allowed.
Is it not OK !

OA please ?
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Re: Sc - 1972 agreement [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2005, 12:58
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dipaksingh wrote:
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States (reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump) into the Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities


I think the AC should be D.

I eliminated A based on the following:

In order for past perfect to be used you need to have 2 independant EVENTS - say Event A and Event b. If Event B "logically" completes before Event A and Event A happened in the past and there is no relationship [see thread for details on what i mean by relationship: http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=97059] between the 2 events then you use past-perfect.

However in this case Event B [had been allowed] cannot "logically" be complete before Event A [1972 agreement]. Whenever you use past-perfect you have to see clearly how 2 events happened and one event explicitly happened before the other event, which also happened in the past.

I think SuperCat is saying the same thing.

Dipak could you please post OA? What is the source of this question?
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A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2005, 00:43
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.
(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2005, 07:33
B and C can be out.. We need amout of phosphate...
E can go out, awkward passive structure

A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump

I see it from a total different angel, if that agreement still holds true then D is the choice.

But boy, A is so very extremely pathetically close....

Need OA and ofcourse OE
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2005, 09:59
I got with E...i think the agreement still stands and is still holding the phosphate counts...
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2005, 12:51
A)...2nd action (reduced) happened after 1st action (had been allowed to dump). only A) uses the right tenses to show this pattern.
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2005, 00:30
The OA is A
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SC [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2005, 10:28
Pls explain ur ans.

A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States "reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump"
into the Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump

(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping

(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump

(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump

(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2005, 10:39
Ranga,
But one event took place earlier than another .
In this case we use Past Perfect and Past Indefinite Tesnse.

Isn't it?

By the by, What do u mean by IMO, can u tell me pls?
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2005, 10:43
modon wrote:
Ranga,
But one event took place earlier than another .
In this case we use Past Perfect and Past Indefinite Tesnse.

Isn't it?

By the by, What do u mean by IMO, can u tell me pls?


IMO -> In My Opinion

I am sorry. I am poor at explaining SC, most of teh time i go with what sounds correct..here I choose reduced because it was done in 1972 (pastense) and selected "are allowed.." becasue the law still holds good.
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