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A historian attempting to predict in the 1870's which nation

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Senior Manager
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A historian attempting to predict in the 1870's which nation [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2008, 06:48
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33. A historian attempting to predict in the 1870's which nation would take over world leadership from the British probably would have guessed Bismarck's Prussia and been quite wrong.

(A) have guessed Bismarck's Prussia and been
(B) have guessed that it would have been Bismarck's Prussia and he would be
(C) have guessed Bismarck's Prussia and would be
(D) guess Bismarck's Prussia and be
(E) guess that it would be Bismarck's Prussia and would have been
If you have any questions
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11 Mar 2008, 08:48
As we are talking about past so guessed is the correct form of verb to be used in correct sentence.
So last 2 options are gone (Note the 3:2 split).

Now in these 3 options
A) have guessed Bismarck's Prussia and been
Falters at the end as "been quite wrong" does not sound that good.

(B) have guessed that it would have been Bismarck's Prussia and he would be
Seems OK, But Wordy

(C) have guessed Bismarck's Prussia and would be
Looks good and short as well.

So I will go with C.
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11 Mar 2008, 11:39
We are talking about past.... isn't it ?
One part of the sentence is correctly in past but the next past is in future "would be" !!!
Some thing is wrong. It means the person is not wrong till today , but will be in near future.

I dont go for B,C and E.

Left with A and D.

D tense error - "guess".

But something with "been" is generally what I hate to select.
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11 Mar 2008, 12:17
zoltan wrote:
33. A historian attempting to predict in the 1870's which nation would take over world leadership from the British probably would have guessed Bismarck's Prussia and been quite wrong.

(A) have guessed Bismarck's Prussia and been
(B) have guessed that it would have been Bismarck's Prussia and he would be
(C) have guessed Bismarck's Prussia and would be
(D) guess Bismarck's Prussia and be
(E) guess that it would be Bismarck's Prussia and would have been

Zoltan, these are brutal...
A & C are my picks. Can't decide..... What's the OA?
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12 Mar 2008, 23:04
Can anyone break this one down? I'm still stumped.
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13 Mar 2008, 01:50
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A historian attempting to predict in the 1870's which nation would take over world leadership from the British probably would have guessed Bismarck's Prussia and would have been quite wrong.

We know that a historian would fail to predict correctly if he ever tries. We are also given the exact time the actions took place. This is a conditional sentence (untrue condition in the past) and requires would + have + infinitive without to in order to state this condition.

In a simplified form:
If he had tried to predict he would have guessed... and he would have been wrong. It is very much ok to avoid the second "would have", which is understood from the context.

Hope, this clarifies some
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Re: A historian attempting to predict in the 1870's which nation [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2014, 06:26
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
Re: A historian attempting to predict in the 1870's which nation   [#permalink] 22 Aug 2014, 06:26
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