This sentence needs careful reading. Read the portion “by the time tickets go on sale.” This suggests a future action. We know that the tickets are not up for sale yet. They will be sold some time in the future.
This understanding helps us in eliminating choice E as it is written in the present perfect tense and hence leads to inconsistency in tense in the sentence.
With choice E
, the sentence reads: The fanatical, young group of girls has been waiting in the concert line the whole night by the time the tickets go on sale.
The present perfect tense “has been waiting” denotes an action that has already begun in some time in the past and is continuing in the present as well. It renders the sense that the group of girls has already begun to wait in the line for the tickets which will be sold sometime in the future. This is not the logical intended meaning of the sentence.
The logical intended meaning of the sentence is that By the time the tickets will be up for sale, these girls will have been waiting in the line already.
Take this example: By the time Joe appears for the exam, he will have been completely prepared. The sense of the sentence is that by the time Joe will appear for the exam, he will be completely prepared.
However, we do not if he is completely prepared in the present or not. The sentence says nothing about the present. It talks about a situation that is yet to happen.
We cannot say: By the time Joe appears for the exam, he has been completely prepared. “has been prepared” suggests that Joe is already prepared in the present and it does not relate to the event that will take place in the future, i. e. appearing for the exam.
In the very same way, the original sentence is also talking about a situation that is yet to happen. Hence we must use future tense to correspond the related event with that future event only. Again, understanding the intended logical meaning of the sentence is the key here to use the correct verb tense knowledge.Choice C
correctly conveys the logical intended meaning of the sentence: The fanatical, young group of girls will have been waiting in the concert line the entire night by the time the tickets go on sale. This choice clearly says that by the time the tickets will be up for sale, the girls will already be standing in the line from the previous night.
Say for example if the tickets will be sold on February 3, the girls will already have been standing in the line from the night of February 2.
Hope this helps.