Scientists believe that the great white shark has evolved : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Scientists believe that the great white shark has evolved

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Scientists believe that the great white shark has evolved [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2011, 14:20
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Scientists believe that the great white shark has evolved from the megalodon, a prehistoric shark measuring over 50 feet in length.

A. believe that the great white shark has evolved
B. believe that the great white shark evolved
C. believed that the great white shark has evolved
D. are believing that the great white shark as evolved
E. have believed that the great white shark has evolved

[Reveal] Spoiler:
B

I need a lucid explanation for this question.

Source: Powerscore SC

Thanks,
Rakesh
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
you can ask an expert
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Re: Great white shark [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2011, 19:22
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1. Do the scientists still believe in the white shark’s evolution? There is no indication that
they believed only in the past but not believe any more. We have to then use simple present tense ‘believe”. Therefore, believed, have believed, and believing (progressive tense inappropriate since, the belief is a generalization and not an ongoing affair) are out. The finals is now between and A and B.

2. The act of evolution is a thing of past. The white shark is still not evolving. So the simple past ‘evolved’ is the right verb. B wins
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Last edited by daagh on 27 Feb 2011, 20:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Great white shark [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2011, 19:30
Yes it should be B. Although I have never seen such a subtle split. Anyone can mark A !

A - "has evolved" - its correct. The action happened sometime in the past - indefinite past

But when speaking I will never use the present perfect. e.g.
I believe that something happened in the past. ---- simple past tense. Thats the reason I chose B.

Anyone agree ? We prefer the present perfect, if the condition is still in effect.

Last edited by gmat1220 on 25 Feb 2011, 19:34, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Great white shark [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2011, 19:31
Well, I am divided between A and B. Can any expert throw some light?
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Re: Great white shark [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2011, 20:22
gmat1220:

I agree B is better for the simple fact the process of evolution stopped long ago.

These subtle differences mark these topics as tough ones.
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Re: Great white shark [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2011, 20:02
daagh wrote:
1. Do the scientists still believe in the white shark’s evolution? There is no indication that
they believed only in the past but not believe any more. We have to then use simple present tense ‘believe”. Therefore, believed, have believed, and believe (progressive tense inappropriate since, the belief is a generalization and not an ongoing affair) are out. The finals is now between and A and B.

2. The act of evolution is a thing of past. The white shark is still not evolving. So the simple past ‘evolved’ is the right verb. B wins

Evolution is an ongoing process and can't stop in the past. I am still more inclined towards A...
Can some expert shed some light on this question please?

Thank you.
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Re: Great white shark [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2011, 20:11
I found a video on youtube discussing the distinction between simple past and present perfect.

But still not 100% sure.
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Re: Great white shark [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2011, 20:14
I have the same question ! But I think you missed the word "prehistoric". Does "megalodon" exist today? Can that be a counter argument? If yes, "has evolved" is imperfect here.

rakeshou wrote:
Evolution is an ongoing process and can't stop in the past. I am still more inclined towards A...
Can some expert shed some light on this question please?

Thank you.
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Re: Great white shark [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2011, 06:52
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evolution is an ongoing process . has evolved is more appropriate. the answer should be A
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Re: Great white shark [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2011, 07:16
A :
The problem with this option is it can be countered easily. The shark has to evolve from X (megalodon). The assumption is X exists while the shark copy evolution. But megalodon is "prehistoric" and it may have died a long time ago.........even before author wrote this SC. So the author is assuming that evolution "stopped" a long time ago. daagh's explanation is very reasonable.

garimavyas wrote:
evolution is an ongoing process . has evolved is more appropriate. the answer should be A
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Re: Great white shark [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2011, 08:08
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megalodon died several years before the author wrote this sc :D . fine . but the white shark which evolved from megalodon is still evolving just like humans have evolved from monkeys , those monkeys died ,but humans are still evolving.

this should clarify why 'has evolved' is a better choice than 'evolved'
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Re: Great white shark [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2011, 08:14
Sorry mate ! I have to disagree. The last line in red.

B is credited answer.

garimavyas wrote:
megalodon died several years before the author wrote this sc :D . fine . but the white shark which evolved from megalodon is still evolving just like humans have evolved from monkeys , those monkeys died ,but humans are still evolving.

this should clarify why 'has evolved' is a better choice than 'evolved'
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Re: Great white shark [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2011, 08:17
well humans are still evolving . you bet ? individual cases may be different , which may explain why you disagree :d
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Re: Great white shark [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2011, 07:45
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Hi guys,

I find your discussion funny

I was asked to help with this question.

My choice is A.

ask yourself what is present perfect and past simple?

The present perfect is a grammatical combination of the present tense and the perfect aspect, used to express a past event that has present consequences.

The simple past is the past tense of Modern English. It is used to describe events in the past.

Now remember that when the simple past is used there is often an indication of time, for example: The second world war began in 1939.

When the present perfect is used, the author is more interested about the present result rather than about the exact timing of the event.

From the given sentence I see that the "scientists believe that the great white shark HAS EVOLVED from the Me...on"(i don't actually care what does the "megalodon" means, though the author tries to explain me that "megalodon" is prehistoric shark. so the part after the comma is a modification).

the indendent meaning of the sentence is the following: the shark has evolved - the scientists still believe that this evolution happened 9from prehistoric shark), this evolution happened over a certain period of time, and not on exact point of time.

this evolution is the PRESENT RESULT of some past events . Keeping this in mind, please reread once again the defition of present perfect and try to match it with the intendednt meaning of the sentence. "If this does help, please retry the operation" (I am joking too).

hope this helps.
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Re: Scientists believe that the great white shark has evolved [#permalink]

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21 Mar 2013, 09:44
the matter is to choose between A and B.

as said above
have done is uesed to say about past action without a specific time in the past.
we use "did" when there is specific time in past

I agree to A.
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Re: Scientists believe that the great white shark has evolved [#permalink]

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23 May 2013, 06:55
this is not good question. A is also correct.
that is my thinking
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Re: Scientists believe that the great white shark has evolved [#permalink]

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23 May 2013, 07:04
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From what i have learned from E gmat's slide. Present perfect must be used for an action, whose effect continues in the present time. So once an animal has evolved from something, it still remains the progeny of that thing.
Hence i think that A is the correct answer

Consider kudos if my post helps!!

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Re: Scientists believe that the great white shark has evolved [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2013, 09:38
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Expert's post
I agree with PTK.

Present perfect means that the action is over, but its effect is still relevant to the present moment, So in above example we can see the modified version of the shark even today. Moreover Choice A is grammatically correct so we should stick to the meaning expressed by Choice A.

Here is pertinent example that would highlight the difference between simple past and present perfect.(Source :- Manhattan Sentence Correction Guide 4th Edition)

The child HAS DRAWN a square in the sand.

In this example, the child is no longer drawing a square. The act of drawing is finished. However, the square must still be here somehow; the effect of the act is still operative. If the square has disappeared, you should use Simple Past.

Right: The child DREW a square in the sand, but the ocean ERASED it.
Right: The child DREW a square in the sand, but the ocean HAS ERASED it.
Awkward: The child HAS DRAWN a square in the sand, but the ocean HAS ERASED it.

Note that the act of erasing could be in either Simple Past or Present Perfect. In the first example above {with erased}, the current state of the sand is not known; in the second example (with has erased), the current state of the sand is square-free, since the Present Perfect has erased indicates that this action's effect is still true.
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Re: Scientists believe that the great white shark has evolved [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2014, 02:40
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Re: Scientists believe that the great white shark has evolved   [#permalink] 19 Aug 2014, 02:40
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