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I think there is some serious flaw in my understanding of

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I think there is some serious flaw in my understanding of [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2010, 19:30
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I think there is some serious flaw in my understanding of the use of HAD.
Need some help with this. I have my GMAT on Wednesday; cannot afford to make such fundamental mistakes.

Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

(a) had been
(b) has been
(c) had been being
(d) was being
(e) was

In my view:
(a) is correct because 'Had' is required with the verb which takes place first as the sentence has two action: 'destroy' and 'being a popular resort destination'. .

The OA is (e). (highlight)

Pls. help me find the gap in my understanding. Thx.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: Need Help with this SC! Test in 2 days. [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2010, 19:44
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hey dude,

go thru this link... am sure it will reduce your tension, it really helped me.

http://www.beatthegmat.com/present-perf ... 49438.html
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Re: Need Help with this SC! Test in 2 days. [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2010, 20:36
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I usually follow a simple time line when I have to decide between simple past or past perfect.

Provided the events are connected to one another (i.e one influences the other in some way) and they are NOT parallel, then you use the time-line and say that the event that happened in the far past takes a perfect tense and the event in the near past takes a simple tense.

In this case, we can clearly see that the events are linked, but the word "before" indicates that you don't need to use a perfect tense. But in the following case:

Quote:
Before its independence in 1947, Britain ruled India as a colony and they would relinquish power only after a long struggle by the native people.

A. Before its independence in 1947, Britain ruled India as a colony and they would relinquish power
B. Before independence in 1947, Britain had ruled India as a colony and relinquished power
C. Before its independence in 1947, India was ruled by Britain as a colony and they relinquished power
D. Before independence in 1947, India had been ruled as a colony by Britain, which relinquished power
E. Before independence in 1947, India had been a colony of the British, who relinquished power


Just by looking at the sentence, you can see that the modifier is misplaced. "Before its independence in 1947" refers to India and not Britain. So you can eliminate options A and B immediately.

Let's look at the remaining issues and answer choices now:

C: The modifier issue is corrected, but "they relinquished power" uses the wrong pronoun. No matter which antecedent you're referring to by using "they" it's wrong since all the entities mentioned take singular pronouns.

D: "India had been ruled as a colony by Britain, which relinquished power" adopts a passive voice and hence is not preferred on the GMAT. Also, Britain as a country did not relinquish power - the British people relinquished power, so the use of "which" in this scenario is also wrong.

E: This sentence correctly makes use of the modifier, and converts the pronoun to refer to the antecedent British, and hence corrects that issue as well.

A lot of people find this one confusing since you use a perfect tense here despite being given the word "before" - so in this situation, the other answers all had OTHER wrong elements. Though the usage of simple perfect is preferred in this situation, option E is grammatically consistent and the best among the given choices. Similarly, in the question you posted, if "was" was not an option, then "had been" would have been the right answer.
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Re: Need Help with this SC! Test in 2 days. [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2010, 23:22
Thx. and kudos.

whiplash2411 wrote:
I usually follow a simple time line when I have to decide between simple past or past perfect.

Provided the events are connected to one another (i.e one influences the other in some way) and they are NOT parallel, then you use the time-line and say that the event that happened in the far past takes a perfect tense and the event in the near past takes a simple tense.

In this case, we can clearly see that the events are linked, but the word "before" indicates that you don't need to use a perfect tense. But in the following case:

Quote:
Before its independence in 1947, Britain ruled India as a colony and they would relinquish power only after a long struggle by the native people.

A. Before its independence in 1947, Britain ruled India as a colony and they would relinquish power
B. Before independence in 1947, Britain had ruled India as a colony and relinquished power
C. Before its independence in 1947, India was ruled by Britain as a colony and they relinquished power
D. Before independence in 1947, India had been ruled as a colony by Britain, which relinquished power
E. Before independence in 1947, India had been a colony of the British, who relinquished power


Just by looking at the sentence, you can see that the modifier is misplaced. "Before its independence in 1947" refers to India and not Britain. So you can eliminate options A and B immediately.

Let's look at the remaining issues and answer choices now:

C: The modifier issue is corrected, but "they relinquished power" uses the wrong pronoun. No matter which antecedent you're referring to by using "they" it's wrong since all the entities mentioned take singular pronouns.

D: "India had been ruled as a colony by Britain, which relinquished power" adopts a passive voice and hence is not preferred on the GMAT. Also, Britain as a country did not relinquish power - the British people relinquished power, so the use of "which" in this scenario is also wrong.

E: This sentence correctly makes use of the modifier, and converts the pronoun to refer to the antecedent British, and hence corrects that issue as well.

A lot of people find this one confusing since you use a perfect tense here despite being given the word "before" - so in this situation, the other answers all had OTHER wrong elements. Though the usage of simple perfect is preferred in this situation, option E is grammatically consistent and the best among the given choices. Similarly, in the question you posted, if "was" was not an option, then "had been" would have been the right answer.
Re: Need Help with this SC! Test in 2 days.   [#permalink] 26 Dec 2010, 23:22
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