A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC) - Page 16
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# A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce

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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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29 Dec 2010, 07:52
(D)

(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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07 Jun 2011, 11:54
IMO A
Firstly How do we know that the law is still in place or not.
The sentence used the relative word reduced, meaning that something that was happening earlier was lessened.And hence the past perfect makes the thing "that was happening earlier" i.e the dumping of phosphates by the municipalities grammatically correct.

The option D, which uses "are" in place of past perfect used in option A, makes one feel that the agreement in 1972 made a law, that reduced something that happened in the future.(denoted by the simple present are) which by all means is illogical.

Kindly correct me if I am wrong.
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07 Jun 2011, 12:32
suyash wrote:
IMO A
Firstly How do we know that the law is still in place or not.
The sentence used the relative word reduced, meaning that something that was happening earlier was lessened.And hence the past perfect makes the thing "that was happening earlier" i.e the dumping of phosphates by the municipalities grammatically correct.

The option D, which uses "are" in place of past perfect used in option A, makes one feel that the agreement in 1972 made a law, that reduced something that happened in the future.(denoted by the simple present are) which by all means is illogical.

Kindly correct me if I am wrong.

Your line of thinking is correct. But, there is a minor glitch.
Had been allowed-> would mean that law/limit on the amount of dumping was not valid at the time this agreement was made.
e.g.
In 1900, there was a limit imposed. In 1950, the limit was waived of. In 1972, the limit was reimposed by reducing the limit that was valid in 1950. This entire scenario is not true.
Past perfect should be used only when we need to mention two related activities that occurred at two different times in the past.

Here, the limit was REDUCED in 1972, when there already was a different limit present. Thus, these two events co-existed in the time frame.

Thus, we know "A" is not conveying the intended meaning, making "D" as the only correct option.
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07 Jun 2011, 22:01
Thanks Fluke.But this does not clear my doubt.
Correct me in assuming this scenario:
Till 1972 the municipal authorities in both US and Canada had been dumping some amount(depending on their individual laws of land) into the Great Lakes.But in 1972 the agreement between both countries reduced that amount thereby putting a limit to it.
Hence sayng that
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.
makes a lot of sense.
hence, Option A.
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Re: SC 74 OG 12 [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2011, 10:48
lnarayanan wrote:
Yha.. i hope that i understood the actual problem... But I am not clear about the solution
Shall we reatate
where to use " past perfect + past participle" passive (Had been allowed )
&
Where to use " present + past participle" passive ( are allowed )
for " past perfect + past participle" - two action should be taken place.
One should be completed while other is in starting position.
I hope here it is not the case.

Moreover

A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates into the great lakes "(Main sentence ).
“that municipalities had been allowed to dump” - is an essential relative clause
modefier. i think we don't need to use " had been + past participle " in modefier.
Plz suggest whether i am in right track or not...

Almost bingo

Not necessarily starting position..for ex..

When I reached the station, the train had left.

train left before I reached the station..both the actions are in the past but the train left before my action..

Hope this helps!
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28 Jun 2011, 08:39
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

Explanation given:

An agreement that occurred in 1972 is correctly described with the past tense verb reduced. Since the dumping continued after the date of the
agreement, the past perfect verb had been allowed should instead be the present are allowed (if the agreement remained in eff ect when the sentence was written) or the past were allowed (if the agreement was no longer in eff ect when the sentence was written). Since were allowed does not appear in any of the options, we can assume that the correct verb tense is are allowed. Th e phrase amount of phosphates is clear and idiomatically correct, whereas phosphate amount is not idiomatic.

A Had been allowed should be are allowed.
B Th e phosphate amount should be the amount of phosphates; the omission of some form of allow is incorrect since the agreement changed not the amount dumped, but the amount permitted to be dumped.
C Present tense reduces should be the past tense reduced; the phosphate amount should be the amount of phosphates; have been allowed should be are allowed.
D Th e past tense reduced is correctly used in this sentence to describe a past action, and the present tense are allowed is used to describe the present situation.
E Present tense reduces should be the past tense reduced; allowed for dumping is an incorrect idiom; allowed for dumping by municipalities is awkward.
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Re: need more clarity on the explanation to a question [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2011, 09:02
john2roll2 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

Explanation given:

An agreement that occurred in 1972 is correctly described with the past tense verb reduced. Since the dumping continued after the date of the
agreement, the past perfect verb had been allowed should instead be the present are allowed (if the agreement remained in eff ect when the sentence was written) or the past were allowed (if the agreement was no longer in eff ect when the sentence was written). Since were allowed does not appear in any of the options, we can assume that the correct verb tense is are allowed. Th e phrase amount of phosphates is clear and idiomatically correct, whereas phosphate amount is not idiomatic.

A Had been allowed should be are allowed.
B Th e phosphate amount should be the amount of phosphates; the omission of some form of allow is incorrect since the agreement changed not the amount dumped, but the amount permitted to be dumped.
C Present tense reduces should be the past tense reduced; the phosphate amount should be the amount of phosphates; have been allowed should be are allowed.
D Th e past tense reduced is correctly used in this sentence to describe a past action, and the present tense are allowed is used to describe the present situation.
E Present tense reduces should be the past tense reduced; allowed for dumping is an incorrect idiom; allowed for dumping by municipalities is awkward.

This is discussed innumerable times in the past.

Here's one of the discussions:
sc-1000-oa-not-sure-102695.html
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03 Nov 2011, 00:54
B and C are wrong- phosphates amount is wrong.... noun adjective should not be used with measurement or qualtity woards.....

A and E are wrong- meaning issue- A nd E indicates that the agreement is no longer exist...

D is right
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03 Nov 2011, 05:57
Between A and D.
I settled for D because had been reports an action that occurred earlier in time before another. This happened after the agreement.
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03 Nov 2011, 07:03
Interesting question. I was torn between A and D.

D because the amount of phosphates that was reduced was the pre-agreement amount. So I picked "had been". They were allowed to dump that amount but not anymore. Can anyone clarify why this is wrong?
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03 Nov 2011, 20:31
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D. great question though! tricky if you over look the "are allowed" part
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09 Dec 2011, 17:02
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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09 Dec 2011, 20:39
Correct choice is D. I also see this question on OG12.
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09 Dec 2011, 22:40
This one is simple. D is the answer. As already mentioned above, this question is a part of OG12 too.
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31 Dec 2011, 09:43
understudy wrote:
This one seems really screwed up. I just took my first GMAT Prep and scored a V45 with 100% accuracy in SC and can't figure out why A is not a perfectly good answer.

Logically, the 1972 agreement reduces the amount of phosphate dumping that was allowed prior to the agreement, hence the HAD BEEN ALLOWED. Prior to the agreement, munis were allowed to dump X (had been allowed to dump X) and after the agreement, they've since been allowed to dump Y.

The 1972 agreement didn't reduce the amount of phosphate dumping currently allowed (as OA choice A implies)... it reduced the amount of phosphate dumping allowed before the agreement. I can't see how "are allowed" can be rationalized.

Here, what we need to understand is - the agreement DID NOT COMPLETELY STOP the dumping. It just reduced the amount. Had it completely stopped, we can think of the dumping as the first event and can use past perfect.

And I don't agree with the option F as well. Because, there is no clue that there was some other event(or agreement) that changed the dumping quantity again, whatever 1972 agreement tried to achieve is still true today and hence 'are allowed' is correct.
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02 Jan 2012, 06:02
had F been there, i would have fell for it...otherwise D
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16 Apr 2012, 23:08
2. 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 am a bit confused by this question.I saw this a couple of times and the answered is different in both places.The 1st answer says that had been should be used because it is past continous and the 2nd answer says that are should be used as the act of dumping is still taking place si it should be in simple present.

I favour the 2nd reasoning, any thoughts?
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Re: simple present Vs past continuous [#permalink]

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17 Apr 2012, 00:25
2. 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 am a bit confused by this question.I saw this a couple of times and the answered is different in both places.The 1st answer says that had been should be used because it is past continous and the 2nd answer says that are should be used as the act of dumping is still taking place si it should be in simple present.

I favour the 2nd reasoning, any thoughts?

I think D should be correct.
C/D out -->wrong tense
Also the agreement cant reduce the amount already dumped A/B out

Hence D
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Re: simple present Vs past continuous [#permalink]

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17 Apr 2012, 04:53
2. 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 am a bit confused by this question.I saw this a couple of times and the answered is different in both places.The 1st answer says that had been should be used because it is past continous and the 2nd answer says that are should be used as the act of dumping is still taking place si it should be in simple present.

I favour the 2nd reasoning, any thoughts?

You cannot reduce the amount dumped earlier...
D is correct and it is from OG, please change the answer
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Re: simple present Vs past continuous [#permalink]

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17 Apr 2012, 07:32
vikram4689 wrote:
2. 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 am a bit confused by this question.I saw this a couple of times and the answered is different in both places.The 1st answer says that had been should be used because it is past continous and the 2nd answer says that are should be used as the act of dumping is still taking place si it should be in simple present.

I favour the 2nd reasoning, any thoughts?

You cannot reduce the amount dumped earlier...
D is correct and it is from OG, please change the answer

You looked up this question in the OG and found that it was actually D? Out of curiosity, which guide is this from?
Re: simple present Vs past continuous   [#permalink] 17 Apr 2012, 07:32

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