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I found this one debatable. This is from OG 11th edition [#permalink]
13 Oct 2010, 16:45
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I found this one debatable. This is from OG 11th edition Q62.
"A 1972 agreement... reduced the amount of phosphates municipalities ____ allowed to dump into the Great Lakes".
1. Are 2. Were 3. Had been
The original choices could be reduced down to the 1 and 3 (but I have included 2 as an additional possibility).
The OG is 1. However, I had selected 3, and I still think it should be either 2 or 3. My rationale is that the agreement did something in 1972, and not today. This should mean that it reduced the amount M were allowed to dump or had been allowed to dump, and not are allowed to dump back then.
What is there was another agreement in 1992 that increased the amount - the one in 1972 didnt decrease the amount M ARE allowed to dump then isnt it.
Is this one of those gray areas where we blindly agree with OG or am I missing some key grammatical rule here?
The answer should be ARE. Because the agreement is still in place. If the passage mentioned that there is a new agreement replacing the 1972 one, then we should use WERE to denote past tense because then the agreement is no longer valid. But since the agreement is still valid, we are correct in using the word ARE as it denotes present tense.
Thanks guys. Although I see your point, I also think that #1 is based on the assumption that the agreement is still valid - which thus requires outside knowledge.
Now, thinking more about this, I think GMAT intentionally didn't provide #2 as an option. Perhaps #3 is wrong because "had been" is unnecessary - even if the agreement weren't valid today, "were" would be enough:
- A 1972 agreement reduced the amount of Phosphates Muncipalities WERE allowed to dump.. - sounds prefectly alright. Hence, "had been" actually gets ruled out by POE. So the question boils down to #1 (#2 wasn't provided).
Re: are, were or had been
14 Oct 2010, 16:42