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# A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce

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Updated on: 30 Aug 2017, 18:37
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Edit: The discussion is locked. Go HERE for further discussion.

A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities

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Originally posted by rahul on 01 Sep 2004, 00:51.
Last edited by broall on 30 Aug 2017, 18:37, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2010, 19:47
Hi,

Its D, but There might be a conflict between A & D

D shows that the reduction is still valid

A shows that, earlies large amount was allowed( use of Had been-Past perfect) but it was reduced after that (use of simple past) . doesnot tell anything whether the Reduction is amount is still valid or not.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2010, 20:49
Mathematics drives me nuts. That is why I am in Verbal. But considering that numerics is all about the nuances behind numbers, you may be right. But the essence of tense usage, demands that when you talk of something that has ended, it must have stopped lock, stock and barrel. There is no question of something stopping half the mark and still calling it as “stopped”. It will fall on the side of continuance. That is why I am inclined to think that past perfect doesn’t fit.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2010, 03:59
1
daagh wrote:
The gist of the sentence boils down to the restriction the agreement imposed on future action rather than on past action. Obliviously the agreement can't ask those who exceeded the dumping limits prior to 1972, to recover the dumped material from the lakes. So any mention of past tense or past perfect for describing the dumping is null and void. Choices A and B will be incorrect for this reason.

The amount of phosphates that municipalities had/have been allowed to dump
Couldnt it mean .
The stipulated amount decided by the authorities.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2010, 06:01
Isn’t the issue about the habit of dumping rather than the amount? Dumping is an action, and we need to decide its tense.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2010, 09:29
past perfect: something happened in the past and completed but The agreement is still in effect.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2010, 11:32
1
Hey guys,

Interesting debate - with verb tense errors I firmly believe that logic plays a huge role in your ability to make tough decisions. When looking at the choices, ask yourself "is it possible the events happened in this order?".

Here, is it possible that this law reduced "the amount that municipalities (PREVIOUSLY) had been able to dump"? Remember, "had been" means "before the past-tense event". A law can't retroactively change something like an amount - whatever these cities dumped is already dumped. so "had been" logically doesn't make sense for any of these.

The fact that we're anchored in 1972 at the beginning of the sentence means that we're stuck with the past-tense "reduced" and not "reduces", so that narrows us down to D, the only choice that sets a logical timeline for these events.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2010, 12:25
Hey everyone:

It looks like we have two threads going on the same question right now so let me copy over what I just wrote on the other thread in case it's helpful:

 Interesting debate - with verb tense errors I firmly believe that logic plays a huge role in your ability to make tough decisions. When looking at the choices, ask yourself "is it possible the events happened in this order?".Here, is it possible that this law reduced "the amount that municipalities (PREVIOUSLY) had been able to dump"? Remember, "had been" means "before the past-tense event". A law can't retroactively change something like an amount - whatever these cities dumped is already dumped. so "had been" logically doesn't make sense for any of these.The fact that we're anchored in 1972 at the beginning of the sentence means that we're stuck with the past-tense "reduced" and not "reduces", so that narrows us down to D, the only choice that sets a logical timeline for these events.

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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2010, 20:26
has anyone reviewed the answers? I just downloaded the answer and found the answer to question 2 is wrong (should be D according to OG11, instead of A). wonder if I should continue use it....

2. A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.
(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2010, 03:40
yea. D looks right to me as well.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2010, 08:47
(D)

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2010, 08:52
(D)

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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07 Jun 2011, 12:54
IMO A
Firstly How do we know that the law is still in place or not.
The sentence used the relative word reduced, meaning that something that was happening earlier was lessened.And hence the past perfect makes the thing "that was happening earlier" i.e the dumping of phosphates by the municipalities grammatically correct.

The option D, which uses "are" in place of past perfect used in option A, makes one feel that the agreement in 1972 made a law, that reduced something that happened in the future.(denoted by the simple present are) which by all means is illogical.

Kindly correct me if I am wrong.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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07 Jun 2011, 13:32
suyash wrote:
IMO A
Firstly How do we know that the law is still in place or not.
The sentence used the relative word reduced, meaning that something that was happening earlier was lessened.And hence the past perfect makes the thing "that was happening earlier" i.e the dumping of phosphates by the municipalities grammatically correct.

The option D, which uses "are" in place of past perfect used in option A, makes one feel that the agreement in 1972 made a law, that reduced something that happened in the future.(denoted by the simple present are) which by all means is illogical.

Kindly correct me if I am wrong.

Your line of thinking is correct. But, there is a minor glitch.
Had been allowed-> would mean that law/limit on the amount of dumping was not valid at the time this agreement was made.
e.g.
In 1900, there was a limit imposed. In 1950, the limit was waived of. In 1972, the limit was reimposed by reducing the limit that was valid in 1950. This entire scenario is not true.
Past perfect should be used only when we need to mention two related activities that occurred at two different times in the past.

Here, the limit was REDUCED in 1972, when there already was a different limit present. Thus, these two events co-existed in the time frame.

Thus, we know "A" is not conveying the intended meaning, making "D" as the only correct option.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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07 Jun 2011, 23:01
Thanks Fluke.But this does not clear my doubt.
Correct me in assuming this scenario:
Till 1972 the municipal authorities in both US and Canada had been dumping some amount(depending on their individual laws of land) into the Great Lakes.But in 1972 the agreement between both countries reduced that amount thereby putting a limit to it.
Hence sayng that
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.
makes a lot of sense.
hence, Option A.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2011, 11:48
lnarayanan wrote:
Yha.. i hope that i understood the actual problem... But I am not clear about the solution
Shall we reatate
where to use " past perfect + past participle" passive (Had been allowed )
&
Where to use " present + past participle" passive ( are allowed )
for " past perfect + past participle" - two action should be taken place.
One should be completed while other is in starting position.
I hope here it is not the case.

Moreover

A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates into the great lakes "(Main sentence ).
“that municipalities had been allowed to dump” - is an essential relative clause
modefier. i think we don't need to use " had been + past participle " in modefier.
Plz suggest whether i am in right track or not...

Almost bingo

Not necessarily starting position..for ex..

When I reached the station, the train had left.

train left before I reached the station..both the actions are in the past but the train left before my action..

Hope this helps!
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2011, 09:39
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities

Explanation given:

An agreement that occurred in 1972 is correctly described with the past tense verb reduced. Since the dumping continued after the date of the
agreement, the past perfect verb had been allowed should instead be the present are allowed (if the agreement remained in eff ect when the sentence was written) or the past were allowed (if the agreement was no longer in eff ect when the sentence was written). Since were allowed does not appear in any of the options, we can assume that the correct verb tense is are allowed. Th e phrase amount of phosphates is clear and idiomatically correct, whereas phosphate amount is not idiomatic.

A Had been allowed should be are allowed.
B Th e phosphate amount should be the amount of phosphates; the omission of some form of allow is incorrect since the agreement changed not the amount dumped, but the amount permitted to be dumped.
C Present tense reduces should be the past tense reduced; the phosphate amount should be the amount of phosphates; have been allowed should be are allowed.
D Th e past tense reduced is correctly used in this sentence to describe a past action, and the present tense are allowed is used to describe the present situation.
E Present tense reduces should be the past tense reduced; allowed for dumping is an incorrect idiom; allowed for dumping by municipalities is awkward.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2011, 10:02
john2roll2 wrote:
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities

Explanation given:

An agreement that occurred in 1972 is correctly described with the past tense verb reduced. Since the dumping continued after the date of the
agreement, the past perfect verb had been allowed should instead be the present are allowed (if the agreement remained in eff ect when the sentence was written) or the past were allowed (if the agreement was no longer in eff ect when the sentence was written). Since were allowed does not appear in any of the options, we can assume that the correct verb tense is are allowed. Th e phrase amount of phosphates is clear and idiomatically correct, whereas phosphate amount is not idiomatic.

A Had been allowed should be are allowed.
B Th e phosphate amount should be the amount of phosphates; the omission of some form of allow is incorrect since the agreement changed not the amount dumped, but the amount permitted to be dumped.
C Present tense reduces should be the past tense reduced; the phosphate amount should be the amount of phosphates; have been allowed should be are allowed.
D Th e past tense reduced is correctly used in this sentence to describe a past action, and the present tense are allowed is used to describe the present situation.
E Present tense reduces should be the past tense reduced; allowed for dumping is an incorrect idiom; allowed for dumping by municipalities is awkward.

This is discussed innumerable times in the past.

Here's one of the discussions:
sc-1000-oa-not-sure-102695.html
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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03 Nov 2011, 01:54
B and C are wrong- phosphates amount is wrong.... noun adjective should not be used with measurement or qualtity woards.....

A and E are wrong- meaning issue- A nd E indicates that the agreement is no longer exist...

D is right
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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03 Nov 2011, 06:57
Between A and D.
I settled for D because had been reports an action that occurred earlier in time before another. This happened after the agreement.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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03 Nov 2011, 08:03
Interesting question. I was torn between A and D.

D because the amount of phosphates that was reduced was the pre-agreement amount. So I picked "had been". They were allowed to dump that amount but not anymore. Can anyone clarify why this is wrong?
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce   [#permalink] 03 Nov 2011, 08:03

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