Requesting help on Past Perfect tense : GMAT Verbal Section
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# Requesting help on Past Perfect tense

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Requesting help on Past Perfect tense [#permalink]

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06 Nov 2005, 16:02
Hi all,

I have recently started working on the MGMAT SC book, and came across this chapter on Past Participles. I have a question, but first ....

The rule is "HAD + Past Participle (esp. those ending with -ed)", for those sentences where more than one action has taken place at different times in the past.

Therefore, "I had just started driving the car when my cell phone rang" is in the past participle form.

The MGMAT book says that there are exceptions to the rule, especially for past participles not ending with -ed.

e.g. The correct sentence is "She has drunk all the soda by herself", and not "She had drunk all the soda by herself".
But, my question is - has/have indicates that the verb is in the present perfect tense. So is MGMAT correct?? Also is the sentence "She had drunk all the soda by herself" correct?, if it is correct, then isn't it in the past perfect form.

Thank you for patiently reading through my long message, and getting this far. Please chip in with your thoughts on this.

Cheers,
Darth

PS - Paul, could you help me on this one!!
If you have any questions
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06 Nov 2005, 16:39
The answer to your question depends on what you intend to say.

She has drunk all the soda by herself --> This is correct insofar that it is an action that stretched over time(and potentially extended to the present). The present perfect is known as a continuous tense.

She had drunk all the soda by herself --> The past perfect tense implies that an action happened prior to another one and it is something which you clearly want to bring out. Yet in this case, which other action do you want to relate the drinking to?

In GMAT world, the present perfect tense would be better because there is no prior action to which you can relate the drinking action. However, the simple past tense would have been best and most concise. As long as the above two are the only 2 possible choices available, MGMAT is correct.
_________________

Best Regards,

Paul

Senior Manager
Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 352
Location: USA
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 97 [0], given: 1

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06 Nov 2005, 17:08
Thanks a lot Paul. Its a lot clearer now. I know you must be very busy with school, and it is nice that you have taken time off your tight schedule to explain my doubt.

Best regards.
06 Nov 2005, 17:08
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