Interest rates on mortgages have declined steadily during : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Interest rates on mortgages have declined steadily during

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VP
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26 Apr 2005, 11:43
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Interest rates on mortgages have declined steadily during the first six months of this year but virtually remained unchanged during the next three months.
(A) have declined steadily during the first six months of this year but virtually remained unchanged
(B) declined steadily during the first six months of this year but virtually remain unchanged
(C) steadily declined during the first six months of this year but remain virtually unchanged
(D) declined steadily during the first six months of this but have remained virtually unchangingâ€™
(E) declined steadily during the first six months of this year but have remained virtually unchanged
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26 Apr 2005, 13:10
E)...the first part is simple past, the action started in the past and ended at a specific point in the past. the second part is past perfect, the action start in the past and ends now.
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26 Apr 2005, 13:20
christoph wrote:
E)...the first part is simple past, the action started in the past and ended at a specific point in the past. the second part is past perfect, the action start in the past and ends now.

I guess u meant present perfect for the second part. Anyhow, how do u know that "next three months" indicates "ends now"....shudn't all the parts be in the past.
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26 Apr 2005, 13:30
banerjeea_98 wrote:
christoph wrote:
E)...the first part is simple past, the action started in the past and ended at a specific point in the past. the second part is past perfect, the action start in the past and ends now.

I guess u meant present perfect for the second part. Anyhow, how do u know that "next three months" indicates "ends now"....shudn't all the parts be in the past.

yes i meant present perfect. its an assumption that the second action ends now. but its also the best to show the two successive actions. it is also the best of the given options. i think simple past in both cases would be correct as well, but there is no choice.
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26 Apr 2005, 17:28
Of the given choices, only (E) makes sense.

Simple Present will be wrong here because:
"Interest rates remain unchaged" : seems like we are trying to establsih an universal truth.
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27 Apr 2005, 04:27
banerjeea_98 wrote:
Interest rates on mortgages have declined steadily during the first six months of this year but virtually remained unchanged during the next three months.
(A) have declined steadily during the first six months of this year but virtually remained unchanged
(B) declined steadily during the first six months of this year but virtually remain unchanged
(C) steadily declined during the first six months of this year but remain virtually unchanged
(D) declined steadily during the first six months of this but have remained virtually unchangingâ€™
(E) declined steadily during the first six months of this year but have remained virtually unchanged

why not C?

I think B and C are a bit of different.
(B) declined steadily and virtually remain

(C) steadily declined and virtually unchanged.

I think virtually should modify unchanged.
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27 Apr 2005, 04:42
banerjeea_98 wrote:
Interest rates on mortgages have declined steadily during the first six months of this year but virtually remained unchanged during the next three months.
(A) have declined steadily during the first six months of this year but virtually remained unchanged
(B) declined steadily during the first six months of this year but virtually remain unchanged
(C) steadily declined during the first six months of this year but remain virtually unchanged
(D) declined steadily during the first six months of this but have remained virtually unchangingâ€™
(E) declined steadily during the first six months of this year but have remained virtually unchanged

I dont think its so much a present perfect Issue as it is a "word modifier" issue.

You cannot simply say "A" is wrong because it uses "have declined". Present perfect isnt just used to show that an event started in the past and continues to date.

You can also use it to show "completion" of an event. The way to determine whether to use present perfect or simple past is to look at the adverb accompanying the verb.

In this case "during the first six months dont tell us anything".

e.g: I have done my homework.

I'm using present perfect to show the completion of the event. The same logic can be applied to "A".

I think "virtually" should modify unchanged and not remain. Therefore A, B are eliminated.

C is wrong because of "steadily declined". It should be declined steadily. Modifier issue again.

Between D, E the AC D is wrong because of "unchanging".

Therefore the AC is E.

Although the simple-past Vs persent perfect rule brings you to the same AC i dont think you can figure out why "simple past" should be used for the "first sixx months" and present perfect be used for the "next three months".

The time marker "during the first six months" and "during the next three months" doesnt explicitly tell you whether you need simple past or present perfect. A case could be made for both simple past & present perfect for the "first six months" and "next three months".

If some of the SC Gurus chime in that would be much appreciated. I think it would benefit everyone if we reached genernal consensus on this important "tense" Vs modifier issue in this question
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27 Apr 2005, 05:09
gmataquaguy wrote:
You can also use it to show "completion" of an event. The way to determine whether to use present perfect or simple past is to look at the adverb accompanying the verb.

In this case "during the first six months dont tell us anything".

e.g: I have done my homework.

I'm using present perfect to show the completion of the event. The same logic can be applied to "A".

You cannot use present perfect to show the completion of the event, it has to be a simple past tense - atleast in the GMAT world.

so it is - I did my homework and not I have done my homework
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27 Apr 2005, 05:19
gmataquaguy wrote:
You can also use it to show "completion" of an event. The way to determine whether to use present perfect or simple past is to look at the adverb accompanying the verb.

In this case "during the first six months dont tell us anything".

e.g: I have done my homework.

I'm using present perfect to show the completion of the event. The same logic can be applied to "A".

You cannot use present perfect to show the completion of the event, it has to be a simple past tense - atleast in the GMAT world.

so it is - I did my homework and not I have done my homework

I was under the same impression as you were.....Take a look at the following thread:

http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=15416

I posted a similiar question. See HongHu's response.
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27 Apr 2005, 05:39
yes E sounds best to the ears, but to explain why is tough,

its time for paul to comment.
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27 Apr 2005, 16:03
gmataquaguy wrote:
C is wrong because of "steadily declined". It should be declined steadily. Modifier issue again.

I dont agree. Using adverb like this only changes the emphasis on the meaning of the sentence.

Regarding Present Tense Issue: What do you think about this sentence? Dont you think that Present Perfect will convey it more precisely?

Interest rates on mortgages remain virtually unchanged during the (next) three months.
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28 Apr 2005, 06:34
OA is "E"
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28 Apr 2005, 11:00

E has be correct and is the given OA.

Saurabh Malpani
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30 Apr 2005, 08:05
jpv wrote:
gmataquaguy wrote:
C is wrong because of "steadily declined". It should be declined steadily. Modifier issue again.

I dont agree. Using adverb like this only changes the emphasis on the meaning of the sentence.

So ure saying the following statements are the same:

She declined steadily all her suitors? --> What does this mean??
&
She steadily declined all her suitors?

jpv wrote:

Regarding Present Tense Issue: What do you think about this sentence? Dont you think that Present Perfect will convey it more precisely?

Interest rates on mortgages remain virtually unchanged during the (next) three months.

I dont see ure point. Was that supposed to be a rhetorical question? Take some more time to type succint questions rather than making others guess what ure saying in ure cryptic tone.

Based on ure question, I'm guessing ure asking whether you can use the present tense to describe something in the future. The answer would be no. And how does that apply in this context???
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30 Apr 2005, 08:24

I agree with gmataquaguy's elimination of A,B and D.
However, C is not eliminated because of the adverb position as shown in the above link. Instead, it should be because of verb tense structure. The whole sentence starts in the past perfect tense and suddenly reverts to the present tense and this is unwarranted. E is best.
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30 Apr 2005, 12:26
Paul wrote:
However, C is not eliminated because of the adverb position as shown in the above link. Instead, it should be because of verb tense structure. The whole sentence starts in the past perfect tense and suddenly reverts to the present tense and this is unwarranted. E is best.

Are there any rules on when a sentence can change its tense. For e.g. C changes from simple past to present. And therefore you are saying its wrong.

Between C and E both sentences change tenses.

C goes from simple past to present

E goes simple past to present perfect

Why does "E" get to change tenses and not C? Any rules on when a sentences tense can change and when not to? I've seen grammer books say that yet I've also seen many sentences change tenses.....
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30 Apr 2005, 15:03
There is no specific rule but you have to keep it as simple as possible according to the context.
C goes from simple past to present and this a breach of grammar as far as logic is concerned in this excerpt. Nothing warrants this transition and keep verb tenses parallel.
E goes from simple past to present perfect and this is fine. Why? Because remember that present perfect is very much linked to the past: It describes an ongoing or completed action which started in the past. Do not be misled by the fact that the verb tense says "present" perfect. It really has more to do with the past tense than the present one.
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30 Apr 2005, 18:20
gmataquaguy wrote:
I dont see ure point. Was that supposed to be a rhetorical question? Take some more time to type succint questions rather than making others guess what ure saying in ure cryptic tone.

I am sorry . I thought I was clear. Reagrding ur answers, now it's Paul's headache . I am of no use and off now .
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30 Apr 2005, 18:30
gmataquaguy wrote:
I dont see ure point. Was that supposed to be a rhetorical question? Take some more time to type succint questions rather than making others guess what ure saying in ure cryptic tone.

Hmmm, I did not see this... Please guys, let's be nice to each other and not say hurtful comments which may offend one another. I respect both of you and believe that you are both valued members of gmatclub and let's learn from each other in a constructive way. Thank you.
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01 May 2005, 07:33
jpv wrote:
gmataquaguy wrote:
I dont see ure point. Was that supposed to be a rhetorical question? Take some more time to type succint questions rather than making others guess what ure saying in ure cryptic tone.

I am sorry . I thought I was clear. Reagrding ur answers, now it's Paul's headache . I am of no use and off now .

My bad - sorry. I was just trying to say please take the time to fully explain yourself. That would benefit everyone. I apologize if i came across as boorish/aggresive.
Re: SC:Interest rates   [#permalink] 01 May 2005, 07:33

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