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In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to

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In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to create a dictionary more comprehensive than the world had ever seen; although the project would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been born.


A . would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been
B. took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
C. would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was being
D. would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
E. took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was about to be

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I reluctantly marked B , not convinced by other options . I was expecting a past perfect verb in the second clause as well but was surprised to see the answer . Would like some explanation.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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To understand the logic behind this question, let us travel back to 1860 and view the events from thereon. In 1860, the project did not take sixty years; rather it was just launched and would take another sixty years to complete thenceforth. Secondly in 1860, the Dictionary was born and not had been born nor was about to be born.

D conveys both perspectives rightly and is the answer
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Thanks for the explanation, It is kind of hard to answer questions like this one,

Gave you +1 and for the question.
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New post 19 Dec 2010, 21:31
mymail0sap wrote:
Thanks for the explanation, It is kind of hard to answer questions like this one,

Gave you +1 and for the question.


Thanks..Good Explanation....
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New post 25 Jan 2011, 13:40
great explanation about the "took"/"would take" split daagh.

Another quick clue--the launch of the PS's effort *was* the birth of the OED, so those two tenses should match up. "Had been" is in the past perfect, and would imply that the birth happened *before* the other specified past event (the launch).

Sometimes if I have a question about whether to use a perfect tense or not, I do a quick sketch of the events in a timeline. Any event in the same "slot" along that timeline should have matching tenses.


[pre-1860 ]---------------[1860]---------------[post-1860]

[other dictionaries: "the world had ever seen"]-----[PS Launched effort/OED born]-----[project completed]
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2016, 06:09
Raths wrote:
In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to create a dictionary more comprehensive than the world had ever seen; although the project would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been born.


A . would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been
B. took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
C. would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was being
D. would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
E. took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was about to be

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I reluctantly marked B , not convinced by other options . I was expecting a past perfect verb in the second clause as well but was surprised to see the answer . Would like some explanation.


Intention of the sentence is that in 1960, it was predicted that dictionary will take 60 years to complete. Since future is talked about in the past, we need 'would'. B and E are out.

D is the correct answer. We don't need past perfect and 'being' as in A and C respectively.
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to   [#permalink] 21 Jul 2016, 06:09
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