Summer is Coming! Join the Game of Timers Competition to Win Epic Prizes. Registration is Open. Game starts Mon July 1st.

 It is currently 18 Jul 2019, 23:01

### GMAT Club Daily Prep

#### Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

# A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced

Author Message
TAGS:

### Hide Tags

Current Student
Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 4273
Location: India
GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V42
GPA: 3.8
WE: Marketing (Non-Profit and Government)

### Show Tags

Updated on: 22 Oct 2018, 23:47
11
191
00:00

Difficulty:

55% (hard)

Question Stats:

54% (01:02) correct 46% (01:16) wrong based on 1686 sessions

### HideShow timer Statistics

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

Attachment:

01.jpg [ 110.75 KiB | Viewed 10793 times ]

Attachment:

02.jpg [ 82.68 KiB | Viewed 10804 times ]

Attachment:

03.jpg [ 36.7 KiB | Viewed 10797 times ]

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 131: Sentence Correction

Subscribe to GMAT Question of the Day: E-mail | RSS

Originally posted by souvik101990 on 01 Sep 2004, 00:51.
Last edited by Bunuel on 22 Oct 2018, 23:47, edited 7 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2855
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

12 Sep 2013, 00:51
48
15
nelz007 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.

I wasn't fully convinced with the OA it was between A and D for me. When I pre-thought an answer choice I thought of the "were allowed" but that wasn't there in any of the answer choice.

Hi Nelson,
Let me address your doubt by first understanding the intended meaning of the sentence and analyzing the sentence structure. Then it will be easier to understand the differences between the options. (A and D in this case)
The intended meaning of the sentence is that till 1972, municipalities were allowed to dump a certain amount of phosphate into the Great Lakes. However, a 1972 agreement between Canada and the US reduced this amount. Now let us analyze the sentence structure.

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

The only error in this sentence is the use of past perfect tense “had been allowed”.

Let us understand how. Per the sentence, the agreement reduced the amount that municipalities were allowed to dump. Now in this sentence, 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).

Therefore Choice A is incorrect for the reason discussed above.

Choice D: reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump.
This choice conveys the intended meaning. In general, the municipalities are allowed to dump a certain amount of phosphate. However, an agreement between Canada and the US reduced that amount in 1972.
Therefore this option is correct.

The thing to note here is that both "were" and "are" can be correct. So, if any one of these is given in the option statements, we can mark that option statement.

Now, the question is: what difference does it make to use "are" over "were"?

The school reduced the fine that Joe was supposed to pay.
The school reduced the fine that Joe is supposed to pay.

Can you identify the difference between these two sentences?

In the first sentence, Joe "was" supposed to pay the fine sometime in the past and we do not know whether he has paid the fine till now or not.
In the second sentence, Joe "is" supposed to pay the fine presently and we know that he has not yet paid the fine.

Similar is the case with the use of "were" and "are" in the original sentence.

A 1972 agreement between Canada and the US reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities were allowed to dump into the Great Lakes

A 1972 agreement between Canada and the US reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump into the Great Lakes

The first sentence means that we are referring to amount of phosphates that municipalities were allowed to dump in the past whereas the second sentence means that we are referring to the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump currently.

Do you get the difference?

So, both "are" and "were" are grammatically correct but convey different meanings.

Hope this helps!

Regards,
Krishna
_________________
GMAT Club Verbal Expert
Status: GMAT and GRE tutor
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 2675
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V46
GMAT 2: 800 Q51 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

23 Oct 2017, 15:14
16
20
This one is a cruel classic that forces you to think really, really carefully about the connection between verb tenses and the intended meaning of the sentence. We covered this one at the end of our webinar on GMAT verb tenses, so head over there if you prefer your explanations in video form.

Quote:
(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump

(A) is awfully tempting. The agreement happened in the past (1972), so it’s reasonable enough to use “reduced” here.

But what about the use of past perfect tense (“had been allowed to dump”)? Whenever you see the past perfect tense, it has to describe an action that is completed in the past, but BEFORE some other “time marker” in the past – usually another action in simple past tense. And we do have another action in simple past here: “reduced the amount of phosphates.” Superficially, this looks good.

But those verb tenses don’t actually make sense! Literally, (A) is saying that the 1972 agreement “reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump” – meaning that the 1972 agreement changed the amount that municipalities had been allowed to dump BEFORE the agreement went into place. And that makes no sense: how could a 1972 agreement reach even further into the past to change municipalities' behavior?

It’s subtle. And cruel and difficult. And if you wanted to be conservative on your first pass through the answer choices, you certainly could hang onto (A). But as you’ll see in a moment, we definitely have a better option.

Quote:
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping

(B) is an even worse version of (A). How can the 1972 agreement reach back into the even-more-distant past to change the amount that “municipalities had been dumping”? Plus, there’s no good reason to use the progressive tense here, and the phrase “phosphate amount” strikes me as being awfully weird.

But the logic of the sequence of actions is the real problem, just as it is in (A). So (B) is out, too.

Quote:
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump

There are all sorts of little problems with this one. First, I don’t think it’s ideal to say that the 1972 agreement “reduces” the phosphate amount. The agreement reduced that amount when it took effect in the past – so it’s hard to argue that the present tense would work here.

Second, the phrase “phosphate amount” still strikes me as weird. I’m not certain that it’s 100% wrong, and I wouldn’t eliminate (C) solely because of it. But “the amount of phosphates” is clearly better.

Finally, I don’t understand why we would use the present perfect “have been allowed to dump” in this sentence, particularly since it’s accompanied by the present tense “reduces.” “Have been allowed” suggests that the action started in the past and continues in the present. So the sentence is literally saying that municipalities “have been allowed” to dump a certain amount beginning in the past, but only because of a 1972 agreement… which “reduces” that amount only in the present? That doesn’t make sense.

So (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump

I know: this one doesn’t sound great. Why are we mixing the past tense with the present tense in this particular case? Superficially, it just doesn’t seem right.

But keep in mind that the simple present tense in English just describes a general characteristic. If we say “Mike surfs like a champion”, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Mike is surfing right now; it just means that he has the general characteristic of surfing like a champion.

So in this case, “the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump” is completely fine: it’s a general statement of how much the municipalities can dump. And back in the past – specifically in 1972 – the agreement reduced that amount to its current levels. So the past tense “reduced” makes sense, and so does the present tense “are allowed.”

It might make us squirm a bit, but we have no reason to eliminate (D).

Quote:
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities

Again, “reduces” doesn’t make a lot of sense here, for the same reasons as we mentioned in answer choice (C). Plus, what the heck is going on with the phrase “allowed for dumping by municipalities”? This is a weird passive construction, and it’s far less clear than “municipalities are allowed to dump.”

So (E) is out, and (D) is the best we can do.

_________________
GMAT/GRE tutor @ www.gmatninja.com (we're hiring!) | GMAT Club Verbal Expert | Instagram | Blog | Bad at PMs

Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal: RC | CR | SC

YouTube LIVE verbal webinars: Series 1: Fundamentals of SC & CR | Series 2: Developing a Winning GMAT Mindset

SC & CR Questions of the Day (QOTDs), featuring expert explanations: All QOTDs | Subscribe via email | RSS

Need an expert reply? Hit the request verbal experts' reply button; be specific about your question, and tag @GMATNinja. Priority is always given to official GMAT questions.

SC articles & resources: How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

RC, CR, and other articles & resources: All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for \$29.99 | Time management on verbal
Intern
Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Posts: 20
Location: SE Michigan
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

10 Mar 2005, 13:25
35
13
I picked D as it better follows the intent of the sentence...

"agreement reduced the amount that the municipalities are allowed to dump"....that the agreement refers to dumping that is ongoing is best expressed here.

"agreement reduced the amount that the municipalities had been allowed to dump" the agreement could not really have reduced the amount that had already been dumped, right?
##### General Discussion
Intern
Joined: 23 Oct 2005
Posts: 13
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

27 Aug 2006, 01:07
3
1
D it is.
Past perfect is used to suggest that something is over and done with before the main action of the past. It would be OK to say:

The 1972 agreement replaced the amount of phosphates that had been allowed with a new amount.

But if you are talking about changing an amount, then the amount existed before and continues to exist after the 1972 agreement. The present tense is used to refer to something that exists for all time.

Copernicus revealed that the Earth and the planets all revolve around the Sun.

"Revolve" is in the present tense because it is an action that was then and continues to take place. It would be wrong to say: "...revealed that the Earth and the planets revolved..." or "had revolved."

In the sentence under dicussion, there was and continues to be an amount of phosphates that municipalities can dump. The 1972 agreement reduced the amount, but the amount continues to exist.

I'll try one more example. Suppose I started a new diet last week. I formerly ate all the red meat I wanted. Under the new diet I allow myself to eat only 100 grams a day.

The diet I started last week reduced the amount of red meat I am allowed to eat to 100 grams a day.
It would be wrong to say:

The diet I started last week reduced the amount of red meat I had been allowed to eat to 100 grams a day.

Explanation by 800BOB.(testmagic)
HTH
_________________
Retired Moderator
Status: enjoying
Joined: 19 Feb 2007
Posts: 4775
Location: India
WE: Education (Education)
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

12 Oct 2010, 06:54
3
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.

Since it is an agreement that was mooted in 1972, we are required to use past tense to denote the main verb. So C and E which use the present tense verb reduces can be eliminated.

D for using the past tense reduce to expose the timing of the event, and the present tense for some thing the is currently in vogue and that which is going to continue in the future, is the preferred choice.
_________________
The Take-Away: Grammar First and Then the Rest
Retired Moderator
Status: enjoying
Joined: 19 Feb 2007
Posts: 4775
Location: India
WE: Education (Education)
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 Dec 2010, 10:49
4
1
The bottom-line here is - Which is the correct usage- a) Had been allowed to dump or b) were allowed to dump or C) are allowed to dump.

To understand the concept better, let’s delve into some definitions.

A present tense is used for a current activity or a daily activity or a universal activity.

A past tense used for an activity that started in the past and “ended” in the past. “Ending” in the past is an essential ingredient of past tense. If it had not ended and if it is still continuing, then we can not use the past and we have to use present perfect.

A past perfect is required to be used for distinguishing between two past tense events. The basic requirements are that both the events should have started and “ended” in the past; secondly one of the events should have ended distinctly earlier than the other event.

Given this backdrop, let us analyze the given choices. Has the dumping ended on the date of the agreement in 1972? The dumping had ended neither before nor after the date of the agreement.

Since the ending element is absent in the context, use of either past perfect or past tense is inappropriate.

You can perfectly use a present perfect, which is what Choice C is doing but unfortunately that choice suffers other anomalies such as “reduces” and “phosphate amount”.

D has no such infringements and hence the right choice.

There was a remark that Choice E is a fragment. A fragment lacks a verb. But the choice has ‘reduces’ as the main verb. Hence it is not a fragment, although it is still not the correct answer for using the present tense “reduces”
_________________
The Take-Away: Grammar First and Then the Rest
Veritas Prep Representative
Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Posts: 414
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

16 Dec 2010, 11:32
2
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.
_________________
Brian

Curriculum Developer, Instructor, and Host of Veritas Prep On Demand

Save \$100 on live Veritas Prep GMAT Courses and Admissions Consulting

Enroll now. Pay later. Take advantage of Veritas Prep's flexible payment plan options.

Veritas Prep Reviews
e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2855
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

26 Apr 2012, 07:20
1
1
Hi All,
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphate that municipalities had been allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.

The intended meaning of the sentence is that till 1972, municipalities were allowed to dump a certain amount of phosphate into the Great Lakes. However, a 1972 agreement between Canada and the US reduced this amount.

The only error in this sentence is the use of past perfect tense “had been allowed”. Let us understand how. Per the sentence, the agreement reduced the amount that municipalities were allowed to dump. Now in this sentence, 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).

Process of Elimination

Choice A: Incorrect for the reason discussed above.

Choice B: reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping. Incorrect. Per this choice the agreement itself did the action of "reduce". This cannot be true because the agreement cannot reduce the amount of phosphates dumped by municipalities. The agreement can only provide limits for this amount. The municipalities have to then take appropriate actions to reduce their emissions to meet the new allowable limits. Removal of “allow” distorts the meaning of the sentence. Also, this choice has the same verb tense issue as in choice A.

Choice C: reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump. Incorrect. Since agreement took place in 1972, use of present tense “reduces” is incorrect. Also, this sentence states a general fact about the amount of phosphate the municipalities are allowed to dump. This must be stated in the simple present tense. Use of present perfect tense “have been allowed” to state a general fact is not correct.

Choice D: reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump. Correct. This choice conveys the intended meaning. In general, the municipalities are allowed to dump a certain amount of phosphate. However, an agreement between Canada and the US reduced that amount in 1972.

Choice E: reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities. Incorrect. This choice has the same verb tense error as in choice C. Use of “for” after “allowed” is unidiomatic.

1. Understand the intended meaning of the sentence.
2. Past perfect tense denotes that the action is already over.
3. Be careful of the choices that remove certain words present in the original choice. Such removals may change the meaning of the sentence.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
_________________
Intern
Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 5
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

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!
e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2855
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

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.
_________________
Intern
Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 5
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

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,
e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2855
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

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.
_________________
Board of Directors
Joined: 01 Sep 2010
Posts: 3421
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

08 May 2013, 10:43
1
Thi sis a bit tricky question because someone could think that the agreement was done in 72 but curtail something until NOW and from this the right tense is the present.

But the logic is that: before 72 the amout was 100 for instance, after 72 instead was 50 and NOW what is permitted is that 50.

We do not know if this scenario unfolds untill now or in the future or it stops in 2005, for instance.

As such, the most important thing is to figure out the second scenario; that is: the agreement reduced the amount in the past and the countries was permitted to dump this amount

So C and E are out

We need the amount of X so B is out

A and D. A had allowed is wrong doesnt have any sense, is quite clear

So D remains
_________________
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 312
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

08 May 2013, 11:51
carcass wrote:
Thi sis a bit tricky question because someone could think that the agreement was done in 72 but curtail something until NOW and from this the right tense is the present.

But the logic is that: before 72 the amout was 100 for instance, after 72 instead was 50 and NOW what is permitted is that 50.

We do not know if this scenario unfolds untill now or in the future or it stops in 2005, for instance.

As such, the most important thing is to figure out the second scenario; that is: the agreement reduced the amount in the past and the countries was permitted to dump this amount

So C and E are out

We need the amount of X so B is out

A and D. A had allowed is wrong doesnt have any sense, is quite clear

So D remains

This kind of question is tricky, but the answer is always the same. When something occured in the past that made a change, the correct verb tense will always be in the present. The change was made in terms of what we are allowed to now, not in terms of what was done then. There are literally dozens of pages on this question from the past 10 years, but all questions of this type need to have a verb tense in the present. The timeline just doesn't work logically (think Terminator or MiB3) if you keep it this way. To preserve the timeline logic, the verb must be in the present.

Hope this helps!
-Ron
_________________
Retired Moderator
Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 1081
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

26 Oct 2013, 07:59
egmat wrote:
Hi All,
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphate that municipalities had been allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.

The intended meaning of the sentence is that till 1972, municipalities were allowed to dump a certain amount of phosphate into the Great Lakes. However, a 1972 agreement between Canada and the US reduced this amount.

The only error in this sentence is the use of past perfect tense “had been allowed”. Let us understand how. Per the sentence, the agreement reduced the amount that municipalities were allowed to dump. Now in this sentence, 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).

Process of Elimination

Choice A: Incorrect for the reason discussed above.

Choice B: reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping. Incorrect. Per this choice the agreement itself did the action of "reduce". This cannot be true because the agreement cannot reduce the amount of phosphates dumped by municipalities. The agreement can only provide limits for this amount. The municipalities have to then take appropriate actions to reduce their emissions to meet the new allowable limits. Removal of “allow” distorts the meaning of the sentence. Also, this choice has the same verb tense issue as in choice A.

Choice C: reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump. Incorrect. Since agreement took place in 1972, use of present tense “reduces” is incorrect. Also, this sentence states a general fact about the amount of phosphate the municipalities are allowed to dump. This must be stated in the simple present tense. Use of present perfect tense “have been allowed” to state a general fact is not correct.

Choice D: reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump. Correct. This choice conveys the intended meaning. In general, the municipalities are allowed to dump a certain amount of phosphate. However, an agreement between Canada and the US reduced that amount in 1972.

Choice E: reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities. Incorrect. This choice has the same verb tense error as in choice C. Use of “for” after “allowed” is unidiomatic.

1. Understand the intended meaning of the sentence.
2. Past perfect tense denotes that the action is already over.
3. Be careful of the choices that remove certain words present in the original choice. Such removals may change the meaning of the sentence.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

I've two possible explanations for this sentence so,please let me know whether any one of these is correct, if at all ?

1.Here, if we say that per the sentence and the meaning it's clear that 'till 1972 municipalities were allowed to dump a certain amount of phosphate into the Great Lakes but a 1972 agreement reduced this amount'. Now isn't it evident that the phrase "A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount" provides a time frame that clearly indicates that dumping was there before this agreement in 1972. So no need to use past perfect 'had been allowed to dump' explicitly.

2. 'allowed to dump' and 'reduced this amount' are NOT really related - dumping can occur even if there is no REDUCTION in 1972. So, two unrelated events in the past - no need to use past perfect.

_________________
e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2855
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

05 Dec 2013, 11:00
1
1
bagdbmba wrote:
I've two possible explanations for this sentence so,please let me know whether any one of these is correct, if at all ?

1.Here, if we say that per the sentence and the meaning it's clear that 'till 1972 municipalities were allowed to dump a certain amount of phosphate into the Great Lakes but a 1972 agreement reduced this amount'. Now isn't it evident that the phrase "A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount" provides a time frame that clearly indicates that dumping was there before this agreement in 1972. So no need to use past perfect 'had been allowed to dump' explicitly.

This is not the reason that past perfect cannot be used here. We are not referring to the act of dumping itself, but to a reduction in the AMOUNT that can be dumped. So, it is illogical to say that a 1972 agreement can reduce the amount that was dumped before the agreement was made. The agreement can only reduce the amount that is dumped in the future. So, it makes no sense to use the past perfect tense here.

bagdbmba wrote:
2. 'allowed to dump' and 'reduced this amount' are NOT really related - dumping can occur even if there is no REDUCTION in 1972. So, two unrelated events in the past - no need to use past perfect.

Again, the way to eliminate past perfect tense here is not to say that the two events are unrelated, but to focus on the fact that the reduction is to be done after the agreement is made.

I hope this helps!

Regards,
Meghna
_________________
Intern
Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 9
Schools: ISB - Class of 2016
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

16 Feb 2014, 08:09
rahul 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

Pl review my analysis

Meaning

Agreement to reduce the amt of phosphate that was allowed to be dumped

POE

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

SV correct
Agreement...reduced

Modifier
into the Great Lakes...is correctly placed

Meaning Correct

Parallelism
B/w C and the US...correct

Pronoun-

Idiom
allowed to...correct

Other-

Verb

Here though even after the agreement municipalities will dump the waste (of reduced amt) the sequence is

Municipalities allowed to dump waste --->Agreement to reduce waste----> Municipalities allowed to dump less waste

POE A correct

As per the sequence it is correct to state that municipalities had been allowed, because agreement happened later

So why is D correct here?
Also, what is the difference in amt of phosphate and phosphate amount
e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2855
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

27 Feb 2014, 05:04
2
jrashish wrote:
rahul 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

Pl review my analysis

Meaning

Agreement to reduce the amt of phosphate that was allowed to be dumped

POE

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

SV correct
Agreement...reduced

Modifier
into the Great Lakes...is correctly placed

Meaning Correct

Parallelism
B/w C and the US...correct

Pronoun-

Idiom
allowed to...correct

Other-

Verb

Here though even after the agreement municipalities will dump the waste (of reduced amt) the sequence is

Municipalities allowed to dump waste --->Agreement to reduce waste----> Municipalities allowed to dump less waste

POE A correct

As per the sequence it is correct to state that municipalities had been allowed, because agreement happened later

So why is D correct here?
Also, what is the difference in amt of phosphate and phosphate amount

Dear Ashish,

As I explained in my post above, according to the intended meaning of the sentence, the agreement can only reduce the amount of phosphates that can be dumped AFTER the agreement is made. "Had been dumped" refers to the amount that was dumped BEFORE the agreement was made. So, logically, it doesn't make sense to say that the agreement can reduce this amount. The correct answer must use either the simple past tense or the present tense.

There is no real difference in meaning between "amount of phosphates" and "phosphate amount", but idiomatically, we use "number of" and "amount of". So, "amount of phosphates" is better.

I hope this helps with your doubts.

Regards,
Meghna
_________________
Intern
Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Posts: 18
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

22 Apr 2014, 01:48
rahul 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

Analysis Done :-

1. E option is NG as allowed for is unidiomatic.
2.Options B C are NG as amount of phosphate = phosphate's anount and not phosphate amount.
Now I can not decide between A and D.

I chose A as my understanding of the OS is : Prior to agreement municipalities dumped hence past pefect tense is Ok.

Experts pl help

1.
Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced   [#permalink] 22 Apr 2014, 01:48

Go to page    1   2    Next  [ 35 posts ]

Display posts from previous: Sort by