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Ultimate GMAT Grammar - Using the Past Tense Forms of Verbs

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Ultimate GMAT Grammar - Using the Past Tense Forms of Verbs [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2012, 05:27
this is from the Exercise 7 in the Ultimate GMAT Grammar book by gmatclub

7. I ___________________ (read) that story last year in literature class.

OA given :

7. I read (read) that story last year in literature class.


please tell me what's wrong with -

7. I had read (read) that story last year in literature class.
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Re: Ultimate GMAT Grammar - Using the Past Tense Forms of Verbs [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2012, 05:41
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Hi there,

In GMAT, we use past perfect tense to establish sequence between two past events one of which took place earlier than the other. We use past perfect tense for the event that took place earlier and simple present tense for the event that took place later to show the sequence. For example:

I had finished his dinner when Joe arrived.

This sentence talks about two actions - one of finishing dinner and the other of Joe arriving. Both these actions have taken place in the past. Use of past perfect tense us that the action of finishing dinner took place first and then Joe arrived. So the prior event has been written in past perfect tense and the later event in simple past. The sequencing has been correctly established in this sentence by using past perfect tense.

7. I read (read) that story last year in literature class.
In thise sentence, there is only one action that took place in the past. Hence, use of past perfect tense is incorrect. Moreover, when we present general information, we must use simple present/past tense, depending upon the context of the sentence.

The above mentioned sentence is presenting general information about what I did last year in the literature class. Hence, use of simple past tense "read" is correct here.

Use of past perfect tense has been covered in details with quiz in the e-gmat course content namely "Verb - Past Perfect".

Hope this helps.
Thanks. Shraddha
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Re: Ultimate GMAT Grammar - Using the Past Tense Forms of Verbs [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2012, 07:48
there is only one case in which past perfect is used and which is said above.

past perfect is not used to show an action begining before and continuing into a latter past action. question number 3 in og 12 illustrate this my thinking.

Is my thinking correct?, pls, comment.
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Re: Ultimate GMAT Grammar - Using the Past Tense Forms of Verbs [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2012, 19:48
Expert's post
thangvietnam wrote:
there is only one case in which past perfect is used and which is said above.

past perfect is not used to show an action begining before and continuing into a latter past action. question number 3 in og 12 illustrate this my thinking.

Is my thinking correct?, pls, comment.

To indicate an action beginning before another and continuing on to the time of the later event, you usually would use the past perfect progressive--"I had been eating for 20 minutes when the rest of my family finally arrived at the restaurant." Note that the "Had been -ing" tense appears in far more wrong answers than correct ones on the GMAT. However, it is a real grammatical tense, and can be used properly in the right situation.
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Re: Ultimate GMAT Grammar - Using the Past Tense Forms of Verbs   [#permalink] 11 Aug 2012, 19:48
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Ultimate GMAT Grammar - Using the Past Tense Forms of Verbs

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