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A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence

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A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2009, 16:18
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A
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A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence was not so painful, it would have a droll comedic aspect, at least in retrospect.

(A) was not so painful, it
(B) was not so painful, they
(C) were not so painful, they
(D) were not so painful, it
(E) were not so painful, being one
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Re: A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2013, 00:17
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ugimba wrote:
sk88 wrote:
A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence was not so painful, it would have a droll comedic aspect, at least in retrospect.

was not so painful, it

was not so painful, they

were not so painful, they

were not so painful, it

were not so painful, being one


The correct choice is D and the answer explanation says that adolescence is singular (so we use 'it'), but why do we use "were" instead of "was" if it's singular?? What is were referring to anyway?


good question... I too went for A at first glance, but realized that option D is correct. the sentece is talking about past unreal condition. some thing like this ..

if she were studying, she would pass the exam ...




Here is another explanation:

subjunctive mood (indicating a hypothetical state or a state contrary to reality, such as a wish, a desire, or an imaginary situation). It is harder to explain the subjunctive. Five hundred years ago, English had a highly developed subjunctive mood. However, after the fourteenth century, speakers of English used the subjunctive less frequently. Today, the mood has practically vanished; modern speakers tend to use the conditional forms of "could" and "would" to indicate statements contrary to reality. The subjunctive only survives in a few, fossilized examples, so they can be confusing. Here are the most common uses:

1. By far the most common use of the subjunctive is the use of the subjunctive after "if" clauses that state or describe a hypothetical situation.

Subjunctive: "If I were a butterfly, I would have wings."

Note that in the indicative, we normally write, "I was." For instance, "When I was a young boy, I liked to swim." However, to indicate the subjunctive, we write "I were." The subjunctive indicates a statement contrary to fact. In the butterfly example above, I am not really a butterfly, but I am describing a hypothetical situation that might occur if I were one.

Indicative: "When I was a butterfly in a former life, I had wings."
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Re: A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2009, 16:24
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I think it has to do with the "if" before adolescence.

Adolescence was not so painful

If adolescence were not so painful
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Re: A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2009, 17:03
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sk88 wrote:
A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence was not so painful, it would have a droll comedic aspect, at least in retrospect.

was not so painful, it

was not so painful, they

were not so painful, they

were not so painful, it

were not so painful, being one


The correct choice is D and the answer explanation says that adolescence is singular (so we use 'it'), but why do we use "were" instead of "was" if it's singular?? What is were referring to anyway?


good question... I too went for A at first glance, but realized that option D is correct. the sentece is talking about past unreal condition. some thing like this ..

if she were studying, she would pass the exam ...
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New post 09 Jun 2012, 12:05
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alchemist009 wrote:
A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence was not so painful, it would have a droll comedic aspect, at least in retrospect.

A. was not so painful, it
B was not so painful, they
C. were not so painful, they
D. were not so painful, it
E. were not so painful, being one

never judge a SC by its size!!!



For subjunctive mood which is indicated by the conditional "if" always use "WERE" not "WAS". Therefore eliminate A,B

Among C,D,E the subject adolescence is singular so we need a singular pronoun --- eliminate C
E is using being one -- wrong.

Answer is D.
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Re: A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2013, 00:28
A past conditional subjunctive case, where the normal idiomatic usage is simple past in the if clause (if I were, If it were etc,) and a modal future perfect tense in the main clause. Answer choice D is the correct one. Adolescence is the subject of the sub-clause, hence its pronoun is –it-. Choice D is the best answer.
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Re: A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2013, 04:02
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The meaning of this sentence speaks about a hypothetical scenario. Hence the structure is "If I were ..., I would ...".

a. was not so painful, it
b. was not so painful, they adolescence is singular
c. were not so painful, they adolescence is singular
d. were not so painful, it
e. were not so painful, being one
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Re: A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2014, 12:39
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sk88 wrote:
A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence was not so painful, it would have a droll comedic aspect, at least in retrospect.

A) was not so painful, it
B) was not so painful, they
C) were not so painful, they
D) were not so painful, it
E) were not so painful, being one



The question is about subjunctive 'would' . Hence in (A) we need a 'were' instead of 'was'

In (B) and (C), 'they' does not have an antecedent. In (E), being one is incorrect / wordy

D = Correct
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A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2017, 22:45
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sk88 wrote:
A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence was not so painful, it would have a droll comedic aspect, at least in retrospect.

(A) was not so painful, it
(B) was not so painful, they
(C) were not so painful, they
(D) were not so painful, it
(E) were not so painful, being one


Official Explanation


The original contains a verb mood error. “If adolescence was” is improper subjunctive. “Was” should not be used in an “if” clause indicating a hypothetical condition. "If adolescence were” is correct.

(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.

(B) This choice has a verb mood error. “Was” should not be used in an “if” clause indicating a hypothetical condition; “were” would be correct. Also, the plural “they” can not refer to the singular “adolescence.”

(C) This choice correctly employs the subjunctive mood by stating “if adolescence were.” However, the plural “they” can not refer to the singular “adolescence.”

(D) CORRECT. The “if” clause properly uses the subjunctive mood, “if adolescence were.” The singular “it” refers to the singular “adolescence.

(E) This choice correctly employs the subjunctive mood by stating “if adolescence were.” However, “being one” is wordy and awkward; using “it” is preferable. “Being” is virtually always wordy and incorrect.
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Re: A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2017, 04:00
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On a side note: Manhattan Prep has this question listed under 700-800 category
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Re: A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2017, 09:36
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pra1785 wrote:
On a side note: Manhattan Prep has this question listed under 700-800 category


Very much possible...because there is a difference in attempting a question in an exam environment and as a discrete problem.

That's one of the potential reason why you would find many official questions categorized as "low" in gmatclub, yet they are presented in the last set in OG.

Cheers !! :-)
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A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2018, 20:53
A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence was not so painful, it would have a droll comedic aspect, at least in retrospect.

(A) was not so painful, it
(B) was not so painful, they
(C) were not so painful, they
(D) were not so painful, it
(E) were not so painful, being one

daagh wrote:
A past conditional subjunctive case, where the normal idiomatic usage is simple past in the if clause (if I were, If it were etc,) and a modal future perfect tense in the main clause. Answer choice D is the correct one. Adolescence is the subject of the sub-clause, hence its pronoun is –it-. Choice D is the best answer.


Sir daagh,

Is it impossible for adolescence to be not painful ???

if we use "were" it means that it is impossible situation. Hypothetically we are assuming the situation of adolescence not being painful and interpreting the Then clause.

If its possible for adolescence to be not painful. Then we need to use simple past to show that if it was not painful , it would .....

Can you please clarify where am going wrong.
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Re: A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2018, 22:41
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HI Experts , pls help me understand why A is incorrect choice here ?
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Re: A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2018, 22:42
Still unsure why A is the wrong option here , Can someone help me understand the same ?
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Re: A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2019, 09:55
Hi,
1. I thought that subjunctive verb is used when the sentence contains signal words such as demand, dictate etc.
2. Should we always use subjunctive verb when 'if' is used?
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A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 30 Mar 2019, 10:29
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amanguptaiitr wrote:
Hi,
1. I thought that subjunctive verb is used when the sentence contains signal words such as demand, dictate etc.
2. Should we always use subjunctive verb when 'if' is used?

The subjunctive is indeed used in situations involving those signal words, in which case it is termed "the command subjunctive."

The subjunctive is also used when situations described are hypothetical.

For example:

If John were here, he would know what to say.

In that sentence, the subjunctive "were" rather than the indicative "was" is used, because John's being here is not actual or possible. It is hypothetical.

At the same time, we don't always use the subjunctive after "if," because not every clause that begins with "if" describes something hypothetical.

For example:

If John was here, then probably he saw what happened to the apples.

In that example, John's being here is not hypothetical. Rather it is possible.
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Originally posted by MartyTargetTestPrep on 30 Mar 2019, 10:11.
Last edited by MartyTargetTestPrep on 30 Mar 2019, 10:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2019, 10:27
amanguptaiitr wrote:
Hi,
Should we always use subjunctive verb when 'if' is used?

Hi Aman, as Marty mentions in his post, we need to distinguish between the if statements that are hypothetical constructs vis-a-vis simple conditional.

For example, you would say:

If Aman works hard, he will score well.

There is no reason for us to use the following subjunctive version:

If Aman were to work hard, he would score well.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses Conditional constructs, their application and examples in significant detail. If you or someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Mar 2019, 19:33
Subjunctive mood is used here so were will be used. So option A,B eliminated. Now Adolescence is a singular entity so it will be used. So narrow down to D and E. Now in E there is a sentence structure problem using "Being" .

So +1 for D.

A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence was not so painful, it would have a droll comedic aspect, at least in retrospect.

(A) was not so painful, it
(B) was not so painful, they
(C) were not so painful, they
(D) were not so painful, it
(E) were not so painful, being one
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Re: A recent and popular self-help book wryly notes that if adolescence   [#permalink] 31 Mar 2019, 19:33
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