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In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to

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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2011, 02:25
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D is more correct tense. Clause with although will go with "would take", another go with "was". "had been" is wrong tense and change the chronological sentences.
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2012, 13:54
As referenced on this post: http://www.gmatpill.com/practice-questi ... orrection/

"Would take" = the period from 1860 to 60 years from that - so that would be 1860 looking forward til 1920ish

You would only use "took" if you were from the perspective of some future date (like today's present) and you looked back at 1860 and say that it took 60 years. But in that case, you would have to differentiate the distinct time of the "birthing" of the book and use "had been born". You need to do this to show which of the 2 past events happened first. The dictionary was born first, and then it as completed. So "it had been born"..and then "it was completed" is what we want.

So you have two options:
(1) would take......was born
"would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was

or

(2) took...had been born..
""took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary has been born"
Hope that helps.
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2012, 16:10
Nice question and nice explanation guys....
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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New post 26 May 2014, 18:07
GMATPill wrote:
As referenced on this post: http://www.gmatpill.com/practice-questi ... orrection/

"Would take" = the period from 1860 to 60 years from that - so that would be 1860 looking forward til 1920ish

You would only use "took" if you were from the perspective of some future date (like today's present) and you looked back at 1860 and say that it took 60 years. But in that case, you would have to differentiate the distinct time of the "birthing" of the book and use "had been born". You need to do this to show which of the 2 past events happened first. The dictionary was born first, and then it as completed. So "it had been born"..and then "it was completed" is what we want.

So you have two options:
(1) would take......was born
"would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was

or

(2) took...had been born..
""took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary has been born"
Hope that helps.


Hi GMATpill -- not sure if there a typo in the second point and still a little blurry still on this top

1) How does "would take" and "was" differentiate time. Isn't "would take" implying a future event from 1860? If so, is "was" implying a "past" event? Isn't the book physically born AFTER it starts and not before?

2) If I look at it from present. I would have to say that it took 60 years, the ...HAD been born. Are we referring to the book being born AFTER it was completed or are we saying that it was born(thought about) before it started. I'm assuming the latter and that's why using "HAD".

On the other hand, if we are implying that the book was born after the 60 years(not conceptually, but physically), then we would say, it took and it was born. Correct? Why would we use "has been born" over simple present?

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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2015, 09:41
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.

• would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been -> This is the last event and cannot have past perfect tense.
• took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
• would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was being -> being is used to indicate an action which is happening as we speak.
• would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
• took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was about to be -> Too verbose and clearly too much of words.

B) took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
Both past tense -> implies both the action occurred at the same time. Which is not logical.

D) would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
From the past point of view, "would take" make sense and "was" make sense as we are talking about an action which happened in the past.
Would implies a possible event from past time frame


D) is correct.
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2015, 12:54
In the last sentence, there are two events: 1) project would take....and 2) dictionary born. So ideally, birth of a dictionary would happen earlier than its completion, and therefore the second event must be in simple past (as this is the only past event between 2 events; Event 1 is a prediction about something)

As far as B is concerned, it was a trap answer, as it sounds good to ear, but doesn't take into account the sequence of events. Philological society "launched"(simple Past) efforts....now the project if mentioned as "took 10 years"(simple Past), it implies that launching of effort and completion of project both happened simultaneously in the past -- which is Not true! The timeline of the project completion is a "prediction" of future, so cannot be took, and should use conditional "would take"

SO answer should be D
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2016, 23:47
Fistail 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




Hello mikemcgarry, can you please give your insights about this question? Is this the same concept mentioned in Magoosh video lesson: Sequence of tenses?

Thank you,
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2016, 00:57
i read all the replies and still didn't get the answer. i feel B is better choice. what i got from the sentence is that 'in 1860 a project was started which took more than 60 years for the completion but at the end, a dictionary was born.'
Now why do we have to assume that we are in 1860 frame and the project has not completed yet. and even if that is the case, the ending phrase should have been "dictionary will b born" rather than "was born". Please help
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2016, 16:51
What is chronology here?

World had ever seen-------> launched (1860)------ > took-----------> born
Why answer is saying
World had ever seen-------> launched (1860)-----------> born------ > took

What am I missing?
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2016, 03:57
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nahid78 wrote:
What is chronology here?

World had ever seen-------> launched (1860)------ > took-----------> born
Why answer is saying
World had ever seen-------> launched (1860)-----------> born------ > took

What am I missing?


The correct sentence -->

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

"would take" is the past future - when we talk about the past and in that we refer to the future
We are talking about the past (1860) and at that time, we are talking about 60 years in the future.
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2016, 15:19
When we want to denote future in an event which has already occurred i.e in past tense, use conditional would

Past --- Future --> Would

Present -- Future --> will


C is out because of being and A used had been born - for an event which occurred last in the sequence.

Hence C
Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to   [#permalink] 13 Oct 2016, 15:19

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