I selected correct answer choice A. But my doubt is if one of the answer choice was:
and the sub languages or dialects within it. but those who tried to count found
would this be correct in the context of the question? I feel am overlooking a very simple concept but just not able to get my head around this. Any help is much appreciated.
That's a great question, and I am happy to help.
In the phrase "those who tried to count typically found
...", those verbs are in the simple past tense. This contains the subtle implication that these efforts took place in the past, but no one is even trying to answer this question any more. It's a done deal. In other words, academically, it's a dead question, no longer pursued in any way.
In the phrase those "who have tried to count typically have found ...
", those verb are in the present perfect tense
. See this blog article on the perfect tenses:http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-verb- ... ct-tenses/
This has the subtle implication that the effort to count was started in the past but still, somehow, is under way --- that folks today are still, in some way, wrestling with this question. Academically, it's a living question.
Within the context of the question, we don't have much way to decide between these two, other than what's in the underlined section. If (A)
contained the present perfect tenses but were incorrect for some unrelated reason, so that we had to look for another answer, then I would say that a choice with the simple past would change the meaning too much to be a correct answer, but the GMAT is not going to have a subtle connotation such as this as the only deciding factor separating answer choices. If the prompt and the answers consistent made one of these two choices, either one would be grammatically correct.
I imagine, since the OG opted for the present perfect, that the question is still an open, living, debated question in academia today. The GMAT SC sentences usually reflect real-world facts. Of course, there would be absolutely no way you would be expected to know this real-world fact independently.
Does all this make sense?
Magoosh Test Prep