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# A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some

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A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some [#permalink]  02 Mar 2004, 08:46
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A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, the Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, believed to be the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.
(A) believed to be
(B) and that is believed to be
(C) and it is believed to have been
(D) which was, it is believed,
(E) which is believed to be
[Reveal] Spoiler:
The answer is C..When exactly to use Have been, Had been and had. can anybody point out the subtle differences..thankx....

Last edited by doe007 on 03 May 2013, 05:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quetzalcoatlus [#permalink]  28 Dec 2010, 09:20
I've never come across an instance where you can have two objects in a sentence and a single ambiguous pronoun. I've also never come across an instance where you can have an object and a subject of the same type and have the pronoun be unambiguous. Quite simply, the rule is this: A pronoun must clearly refer to one, and only one, antecedent.

I suppose an example would be:

"Bill gave Ted $5, and he said thank you." Here, "Bill" is the subject and "Ted" is the object. The "he" is still ambiguous even though we have only one "subject." Although we know logically that Ted is the one who would need to say "thank you," grammatically there's some ambiguity there. Brett _________________ Brett Beach-Kimball | Manhattan GMAT Instructor Manhattan GMAT Discount | Manhattan GMAT Reviews SVP Joined: 16 Jul 2009 Posts: 1627 Schools: CBS WE 1: 4 years (Consulting) Followers: 39 Kudos [?]: 654 [0], given: 2 Re: Quetzalcoatlus [#permalink] 28 Dec 2010, 11:55 BKimball wrote: I've never come across an instance where you can have two objects in a sentence and a single ambiguous pronoun. I've also never come across an instance where you can have an object and a subject of the same type and have the pronoun be unambiguous. Quite simply, the rule is this: A pronoun must clearly refer to one, and only one, antecedent. I suppose an example would be: "Bill gave Ted$5, and he said thank you."

Here, "Bill" is the subject and "Ted" is the object. The "he" is still ambiguous even though we have only one "subject." Although we know logically that Ted is the one who would need to say "thank you," grammatically there's some ambiguity there.

Brett

OK, so how can "it" be unambiguous here?

The Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, and it is believed to have been the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.

If the "it" were removed, it would be better: The Quetz had X, and is Y.

Thoughts on that?

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Re: Quetzalcoatlus [#permalink]  01 Jan 2011, 07:14
Thx Raptor. Picking c is not the issue. My question pertains to why "it" in C is not ambiguous, i.e., it possesses a valid "clear antecedent" as stated somewhere in the OG; in terms of choosing b/w wingspan vs. the Q in relation to "IT":

The Q <------------------------ "IT" ---------------------------> Wingspan
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Re: Quetzalcoatlus [#permalink]  02 Jan 2011, 17:27
noboru and gmat1011 -

The clause says "it is believed to have been the largest flying creature the world has ever seen."

The antecedent of a pronoun has to be clear, unambiguous, and logical. You cannot logically say "The wingspan is believed to be the largest flying creature..." because a wingspan is not a creature. As such, "wingspan" would be a nonsensical antecedent.

Similarly, if a sentence said:

"The beaver knocked over the tree, and then it ate it." --> Technically, both "its" could be considered ambiguous. However, I'd argue that since a tree cannot eat something, you're pretty safe writing this sentence.

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Re: SC-Donosaurs [#permalink]  06 Jan 2011, 19:12
monarc,

Good question. Let's dive into the difference between "have been" and "had been"...

"Have been" is used for an action from the past that is still in progress. For example:

"I have been walking since 2:00 p.m., and I'm not tired yet!"
"I have been searching for my dog all month, but we haven't found him!"

Notice how in these examples, there is no past tense verb in the sentence and I am still walking/searching. As a result, I use "have been" (present perfect tense).

On the other hand, "had been" is used for an action that happened before something else in the sentence occurred. For example:

"I had been walking for six hours before I stepped on a rock and sprained my ankle."
"I had been searching for nine hours before I decided to give up."

Notice how in these examples, you do have a past tense verb in the sentence ("stepped" and "decided") that describes something that occurred after the first thing started. Since you have an ongoing action in the way past and another action in the past that comes later in time than the first action, you need to use "had been" (past perfect tense).

Finally, notice that it doesn't matter which part comes first; the past perfect part can follow the past tense part in the sentence even though the order in which they occurred is the reverse. Just remember that if there are two things that happened at different times in the past, you'll need to use past perfect somewhere. For example:

"Before I stepped on a rock and sprained my ankle, I had been walking for six hours."
"I decided to give up after I had been searching for nine hours."

Happy studying!

Brett
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Re: Believe [#permalink]  07 Sep 2011, 08:41
mainhoon wrote:
A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, the Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, believed to be the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.
(A) believed to be
(B) and that is believed to be
(C) and it is believed to have been
(D) which was, it is believed,
(E) which is believed to be

+1 for C.

First read through: "and" is needed to keep original meaning of sentence.

A: the sentence is ambiguous...is the 36 foot wingspan believed to be the largest flying creature? nope, A out.
D and E: ",which" refers to the thing (noun) right before the comma, so we will have the same issues as A.

between B and C, chose C because "that" in choice B can refer to the wingspan OR Quetzalcoatlus.
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SC - Pls Help Q2...(17/11/11) [#permalink]  17 Nov 2011, 09:33
Hi guys, Explanations will be MOST USEFUL and any suggestions to improve on the concepts i'm going wrong on are MOST WELCOME

Q. A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, the Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet , believed to be the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.

A. believed to be
B. and that is believed to be
C. and it is believed to have been
D. which was, it is believed,
E. which is believed to be

In this questions i ticked answer Choice E. Can you help me figure out why answer choice C is better suited.. why an 'and' is required ?
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Re: SC - Pls Help Q2...(17/11/11) [#permalink]  17 Nov 2011, 10:14
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Here's the explanation.

Let's consider the question stem, specifically the underlined part. Here, 'believed to be' is an adjective modifier/clause and it is supposed to modify the noun 'Quetzalcoatlus'. However, the adjective modifier/clause should modify the noun immediately before. In this case, the noun before it is '36 feet'. Hence the modifier incorrectly modifies the wrong noun.
Now, let's look for an answer which will resolve this issue.

Option A - incorrect for the reason mentioned above.

Option B - This option connects the clause 'believed to be ...' using the conjunction 'and'. However, 'that' in the answer incorrectly modifies the clause 'the Quetzalcoatlus had a wing span of 36 feet' instead of only modifying the noun 'Quetzalcoatlus'. Hence this is incorrect as well.

Option C - This option correctly modifies the noun 'Quetzalcoatlus' by using the pronoun 'it' for reference and connecting the adjective modifier using the conjunction 'and'.

Option D - this is very ambiguous and also incorrectly uses the relative pronoun 'which' to modify the noun '36 feet' immediately preceding it.

Option E - this option also incorrectly modifies the noun '36 feet' immediately preceding the adjective modifier 'believed to be ...'.

Hope this helps.

Cheers!
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Re: A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some [#permalink]  27 Nov 2011, 11:39
A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, the Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, believed to be the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.
(A) believed to be [an verb required for passive purpose]
(B) and that is believed to be [Awkward]
(C) and it is believed to have been [Correct]
(D) which was, it is believed, [Awkward]
(E) WHICH is believed to be [Awkward]
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SudiptoGmat wrote:
Its a bad question...all options are wrong.

A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, the Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet is in wrong structure here..

Well, not quite. It may not be a familiar way for most people to write, but on the GMAT, this structure is OK.

It's basically what we identify as Framework #3: [phrase], [main sentence]

Here the [phrase] - "A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago]"

The [main sentence] = "The Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet."

So the structure is: [Phrase], [main sentence].
The [phrase] describes the subject of the main sentence - which in this case is the Quetzalcoatlus. Does it make sense? Is the Quetzalcoatlus a huge flying reptile that died out? Sure. Sounds fine.

Of course, you can also rewrite the sentence like so:

"The Quetzalcoatlus, a huge flying reptile that died out..."

Both versions are OK.

As for the question itself, here we want (C). Since there's a comma after "36 feet" - the phrase afterwards should describe the "36 feet." That is, UNLESS what follows is actually not a phrase. (A), (D), and (E) are all phrases that cannot make sense in this structure.

(B) does not make sense because "that is believed to be..." needs to describe the 36 feet, which doesn't make sense.

Only (C) says "and it is believed to have been..." - which continues the sentence and says "it" to reference the reptile. NOW, what follows: "the largest flying creature" accurately describes the "it" - the Quetzalcoatlus.

So (C) is the only one that makes sense.
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Re: Sc : huge flying reptile [#permalink]  10 Dec 2011, 01:43
ingoditrust wrote:
C is correcto

in choice B: I believe, "that" correctly modifies Quetzalcoatlus.
in Choice C: "It" also modifies Quetzalcoatlus correctly.

Why "believed to have been" is preferred over the "believed to be"
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what is the answer to this question [#permalink]  16 Feb 2012, 11:44
A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, the Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, believed to be the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.
(A) believed to be
(B) and that is believed to be
(C) and it is believed to have been
(D) which was, it is believed,
(E) which is believed to be
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what is the answer to this question [#permalink]  16 Feb 2012, 11:45
A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, the Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, believed to be the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.
(A) believed to be
(B) and that is believed to be
(C) and it is believed to have been
(D) which was, it is believed,
(E) which is believed to be
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Re: what is the answer to this question [#permalink]  17 Feb 2012, 01:32
Expert's post
C. All of the others incorrectly modify (or refer to) the wingspan of 36 feet, rather than the Quetzalcoatlus itself. "It," unlike "that," can refer back to the subject of the sentence.
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A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some [#permalink]  21 Apr 2012, 21:44
A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, the Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, believed to be the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.
(A) believed to be
(B) and that is believed to be
(C) and it is believed to have been
(D) which was, it is believed,
(E) which is believed to be
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Re: A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some [#permalink]  21 Apr 2012, 22:07
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A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, the Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, believed to be the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.

(A) believed to be
Incorrect: This is saying that "36 feet" is "believed to be the largest flying creature the world has ever seen. Incorrect modifier.

(B) and that is believed to be
Incorrect: The use of "that' is incorrect. "That" cannot refer back to the reptile. "It" would have to be used instead.

(C) and it is believed to have been
Correct:

(D) which was, it is believed,
Incorrect: Again, incorrect modifier. Says "36 feet" was believed . . .

(E) which is believed to be
Incorrect: Modifier issue again
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A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some [#permalink]  19 May 2012, 03:38
A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, the Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, believed to be the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.

(A) and it is believed to have been
B) and it is believed to be
C)Both are correct
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Re: Need clarification between "To be" or " to have been" [#permalink]  21 May 2012, 07:34
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Have been is more appropriate for the simple reason that you cannot use the present tense to be. As it will mean that, the animals are still existent. On the contrary, have been denotes, that the animals existed in the past but are not so at this point: have been thus seals the rear end of the phenomenon, which is the reality now.
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Re: A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some [#permalink]  12 Jun 2012, 21:37
Good Q.. OA is c .. .Please visit below link for further explanation:

http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/a-h ... t4056.html
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Re: believed to be [#permalink]  01 Sep 2012, 23:40
[quote="seekmba"]A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, the Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, believed to be the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.

(B) and that is believed to be - awkward

(C) and it is believed to have been - 'it' correctly refers to 'Quetzalcoatlus'. 'it' cannot refer to 'wingspan' because 'wingspan' is the object of the earlier clause. So the pronoun 'it' is unambiguously refering to the noun 'Quetzalcoatlus'

B) is wrong...because, it states about the current scenario; however the above sentence targets for long past.
Here is the similar kind of example, we used to say in couple of occasions -

The Taj Mahal is said to have been built in mughal era, (Use Present Perfect to refer Past incidents in current time)
However,
The Taj Mahal is said to be renovated soon. (Use Present Infinitive\Simple Present Tense to refer current incident in current time)

And (C) is my choice, that follows my above logic.
Re: believed to be   [#permalink] 01 Sep 2012, 23:40

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