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# A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce

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01 Sep 2004, 00:51
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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

Last edited by broall on 30 Aug 2017, 18:37, edited 3 times in total.
Too many pages for this topic. Do not try to unlock this post again!

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

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03 Jun 2012, 03:30
VeritasPrepBrian wrote:
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.

thanks Brian i have some doubt about A and D but your analysis has cleared all my doubt
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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02 Nov 2012, 03:38
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

[Reveal] Spoiler:
OA = D

I believe D should have been 'were' allowed to dump

This is 2012.. muncipalities have been dumping since years immemorial. .
in 1972, an agreement was passed that reduced something back then... not now. .

Am I correct?

and Please also let us know the right usage of 'had been' with some examples. .
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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04 Nov 2012, 03:04
Sachin9 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

[Reveal] Spoiler:
OA = D

I believe D should have been 'were' allowed to dump

This is 2012.. muncipalities have been dumping since years immemorial. .
in 1972, an agreement was passed that reduced something back then... not now. .

Am I correct?

and Please also let us know the right usage of 'had been' with some examples. .

Sachin,

'are' allowed to dump is correct because the 1972-agreement is still in effect. Hence, 'were' changes the meaning and is wrong. Though it is 2012, municipalities are still not allowed to dump more than x amount of phosphates because of the agreement.

Does this make sense?

For your second question, 'had been' refers to a time (A) in the past before another time (B) in the past such that A is before B. Take a look at this example:

..................A.......................................B......... ----> Timeline

Both the events 'reading' and 'arrived' are past. More importantly, considering the timeline, A happened before B. The event that is more in the past gets the 'had been' prefixed to it. Thus, 'had been reading'.

Hope this is clear.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2012, 04:54
Hi everyone,

How can "the amount of phosphates" be correct?

"Phosphates" is a plural count noun. Thus, we can not use "the amount" here!

Could someone help me explain? Thanks in advance!

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

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12 Dec 2012, 17:06
Hi tinyturtle,

Per the context of the sentence, we know that the municipalities were allowed to dump a certain amount of phosphate in the Great Lakes. This was a fixed amount, say 200 pounds per month. This is a specific amount. Hence, use of singular “amount” is absolutely correct here.

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

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13 Dec 2012, 01:22
I also did not understand the usage of the amount of since it is phosphateS

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

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13 Dec 2012, 09:01
egmat wrote:
Hi All

the verb tense - past perfect tense - had been allowed - is incorrect because it non-sensically implies that municipalities were allowed to dump a certain amount sometime in the past - (they are no longer allowed to dump now, since the action is already completed) and then the next event in the past happened - the agreement reduced this amount. It is not possible to reduce an amount for something that has already happened (had been allowed).

I am confused when you say both A and B has the same tense error i.e. the job is no more done...

I advised him because I had done the job in the past.<<<It means i am not doing that job>>>
I advised him because I had been doing it.<<<It means i am doing the job>>> or <<<I am no more doing the job>>>

Also what is the difference between "reduced the amount of phosphate" and "reduced the phosphate amount.."

Can we blindly infer that with which ever action "had" is used that will mean that action itself is over.......

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

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14 Dec 2012, 00:10

I got 2 sentences from http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... -vs-fewer/

1. This amount of mashed potatoes should be enough for dinner.

2. This number of baked potatoes should be enough for dinner.

I learned a rule that "Amount" is used for un-countable noun. I donn't understand the first sentence. Could you help explain?

Thanks,

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

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14 Dec 2012, 07:05
tinyturtle wrote:

1. This amount of mashed potatoes should be enough for dinner.

2. This number of baked potatoes should be enough for dinner.

I learned a rule that "Amount" is used for un-countable noun. I donn't understand the first sentence. Could you help explain?

Thanks,

Hi tinyturtle,

Yes, we do use "amount" for uncountable noun. And this rule is in play the first sentence.

1. This amount of mashed potatoes should be enough for dinner.

Mashed potatoes can not be counted because they are crushed and mashed after being boiled. Hence, it is not possible to count them.

2. This number of baked potatoes should be enough for dinner.

However, when a potato is baked, it still remains in its shape and can be counted. Hence, this sentence is correct.

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

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16 Dec 2012, 05:26
Thank you so much Shraddha. I got it now.

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

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30 Dec 2012, 10:03
A – No necessity to change the tense. Eliminate.
B – Amount of phosphate is better than phosphate amount. Eliminate
C – Same as B
D – Same tense. Keep
E – “that are” allowed for dumping is better. Plus its passive. Eliminate

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

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30 Dec 2012, 10:04
A – No necessity to change the tense. Eliminate.
B – Amount of phosphate is better than phosphate amount. Eliminate
C – Same as B
D – Same tense. Keep
E – “that are” allowed for dumping is better. Plus its passive. Eliminate

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

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30 Dec 2012, 10:05
A – No necessity to change the tense. Eliminate.
B – Amount of phosphate is better than phosphate amount. Eliminate
C – Same as B
D – Same tense. Keep
E – “that are” allowed for dumping is better. Plus its passive. Eliminate

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

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16 Mar 2013, 13:49
Hi

first of all the part of the sentence must be always underlined. Thanks

Secondly: 1000 series is not a good resource to study at all.

B is wron because the right verbe tense is had been allowed to dump not dumping

D is wrong because it seems to suggest that the permission to municipalities is given by itself and not by an agreement. The verb must point out to the real subject of the sentece: the agreement NOT municipalities

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

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16 Mar 2013, 18:28
i strongly feel that D sud be the answer . in fact A is wrong !!
A gives a nonsensical meaning that the agreement of 1972 reduced some thing that these countries had dumped in the past !! u can reduce the amount of something that these countries are dumping at the moment and not of something that they had dumped

Quote:
carcass wrote:D is wrong because it seems to suggest that the permission to municipalities is given by itself and not by an agreement. The verb must point out to the real subject of the sentece: the agreement NOT municipalities

no where it is suggesting such a meaning !! in fact all that D means is that some agreement reduced the amount of some blah blah thing that these municipalities are allowed to dump

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

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17 Mar 2013, 06:38
kabilank87 wrote:
neha24 wrote:
i strongly feel that D sud be the answer . in fact A is wrong !!
A gives a nonsensical meaning that the agreement of 1972 reduced some thing that these countries had dumped in the past !! u can reduce the amount of something that these countries are dumping at the moment and not of something that they had dumped

Quote:
carcass wrote:D is wrong because it seems to suggest that the permission to municipalities is given by itself and not by an agreement. The verb must point out to the real subject of the sentece: the agreement NOT municipalities

no where it is suggesting such a meaning !! in fact all that D means is that some agreement reduced the amount of some blah blah thing that these municipalities are allowed to dump

In "D" can we use the present tense " are " ? Since the entire argument is in past, why can't we use "were" , instead of "are".

in your explanation of "A", since there are 2 actions happened in the past ( the agreement reduced ... and the countries dumped ), and the action dumped occurs earlier , what's wrong in using " past perfect - had dumped " ? - It is according to the definition of usage of past perfect in manhattan SC.

Similarly in "B" .. the background event is " countries dumping " and the interrupting foreground event is " the agreement reducing what the countries dumping " .. i feel this is also correct according to the usage of past progressive in manhattan SC.

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

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17 Mar 2013, 08:59
kabilank87 wrote:
1. 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

The correct answer is A. Why not B or D ?

A used past perfect "had been". This is not needed as no 2 past events are chronologically arranged. Likewise, the usage of past perfect continuous is also not needed in option B.

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

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18 Mar 2013, 20:04
kabilank87 wrote:
anandrajakrishnan wrote:
kabilank87 wrote:
1. 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

The correct answer is A. Why not B or D ?

A used past perfect "had been". This is not needed as no 2 past events are chronologically arranged. Likewise, the usage of past perfect continuous is also not needed in option B.

Hi anandrajakrishnan / Neha

In " A " i see the 2 events are chronologically arranged .

By assuming we are in 1972 when the agreement have just passed, we would have told that " The countries have been dumping it for some years blah blanh blah .. and the agreement reduced that( Dumping). The " dumping" started in the past and continues till the agreement came into effect and reduced it. Since it involves 2 different time complex time periods. So i think past perfect / perfect continuous should be used here. But i am not certain about it.

There is a subtle difference in meaning here. Option A changes the meaning to "the agreement reduced the amount of phosphates that munipality has dumped so far". How can the agreement reduce the amount of already dumped phosphate?
Option D gives the meaning outright that "the amount of phosphates that the municipalities were allowed to dump is reduced after the agreement"

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

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19 Mar 2013, 00:05
kabilank87 wrote:
1. 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

The correct answer is A. Why not B or D ?

anandrajakrishnan,

You are right - How can the agreement reduce the amount of already dumped phosphate?
But the agreement can put a restriction on the amount of phosphate to be dumped.

Moreover, D changes the tense flow of the sentence by the usage of 'are'.
Hope this clarifies.

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

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08 May 2013, 00:26
All duplicate threads on this topic have been merged.

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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce   [#permalink] 08 May 2013, 00:26

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