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The MGMT SC has the following sentences - By 1945, the US

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The MGMT SC has the following sentences - By 1945, the US [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2010, 09:11
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The MGMT SC has the following sentences -

By 1945, the US had been at war for several years.

Here we use past perfect, because we have a time reference - 1945. So no need for the simple past. There are however 2 phases
1. by 1945 - replaces simple past
2. the US had been at war for several years - this happened before 1945, so past perfect.. Ok so far so good.

The band U2 was just one of the many new groups on the rock music scene in the early 1980's, but less than ten years later, U2 had fully eclipsed its early rivals in the pantheon of popular music.
Again 2 phases
1. 1980s - simple past, was is used
2. ten years later, 1970s - had eclipsed used for a closer event?

I don't understand this example, should the past perfect not always refer to an earlier event? What am I missing?
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Re: Explain... [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2010, 10:33
The use of the word early in 'U2 had fully eclipsed its early rivals'.

The sentence could also be written as below.
.........but less than ten years later, U2 has fully eclipsed its rivals in the pantheon of popular music.
But here it does not specify the era of U2's rivals.

By saying 'U2 had fully eclipsed its early rivals' we are comparing U2 with the rivals the group had when they had started out.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Explain... [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2010, 14:06
I don't think the "early" is what is causing us to use past perfect. Remove "early", would you change the sentence?

MGMT was trying to make a point that because we are referring to specific timelines, we can get away without using the simple past as in the 1945 example and was trying to highlight that we could actually reverse the use of simple past and past perfect in the second example, I don't understand how though...
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Re: Explain... [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2011, 04:20
In order to nail this sentence, we have to understand that the first part of sentence and second part of sentences are sort of independent. Infact they are joined with a conjunction "BUT".

The first part of sentence(The band U2 was just one of the many new groups on the rock music scene in the early 1980's) has no timeline and infact says something going within a timeperiod rather than going before or after 1980’s. Therefore simple past is justified.

The second part of sentence creates a timeline “less than ten years later” first and then talks about event before that timeline justifying the need for present perfect in second part of second sentence/clause(U2 had fully eclipsed its early rivals in the pantheon of popular music).

The second part of this sentence is quite similar to: By 1945, the US had been at war for several years.
where the use of perfect tense is just justified due to introduction of a timeline "By 1945".
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Re: Explain...   [#permalink] 23 Mar 2011, 04:20
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The MGMT SC has the following sentences - By 1945, the US

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