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# According to MGMAT SC, The word before and after indicate

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Senior Manager
Joined: 05 Jul 2010
Posts: 330
According to MGMAT SC, The word before and after indicate  [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2011, 12:51
2
According to MGMAT SC,
The word before and after indicate the sequence of events clearly and emphatically enough to make the use of Past Perfect unnecessary.
eg. RIGHT: Laura LOCKED the deadbolt before she LEFT for work.

However, According to Aristotle SC,
RIGHT: Before John won the lottery, he had been a poor locksmith.
WRONG: Before John won the lottery, he was a poor locksmith.
also,
RIGHT: John had traveled to many different countries before he decided to settle down in New Zealand

I am now confused. What is the right usage? Should I use past perfect/past perfect continuous OR simple past when the sentence already has an emphatic preposition, such as before, indicating time previous to another past event?

Manhattan Prep Instructor
Joined: 22 Mar 2011
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10 Jul 2011, 23:46
Both are correct--what you are seeing is a difference in verb forms that would occur even if the sentences were taking place in the present.

The Aristotle examples describe an ongoing situation and an accomplishment that would both be described in the present perfect:

John has been a poor locksmith up to now.
John has traveled to many countries, and is now moving to New Zealand.

Our example is an action that would be described in the simple present:

As Laura leaves, she locks the door.

So, when you add "before," present perfect becomes past perfect:

He has been working as a children's dance instructor.
Before he was discovered by a talent scout, he had been working as a children's dance instructor.

Simple present or present continuous becomes simple past:

Jack is confused.
Before he took Dmitry's class, Jack was confused.

I am eating the rest of the cake.
Before I took went to sleep, I ate the rest of the cake.

I hope this helps!
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Joined: 06 Jun 2012
Posts: 129
Re: According to MGMAT SC, The word before and after indicate  [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2013, 01:13
Thanks Dmitry, That was a wonderful explanation.
So when you say when we use before with present perfect it becomes past perfect and when we use before with simple present or present continuous it becomes simple past. However we will not know which tense is used before using "before".

Take the below example:
Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

Here the sentence could have been
* this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, has been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.
OR
*this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, is one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.
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Re: According to MGMAT SC, The word before and after indicate  [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2017, 07:44
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).

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Re: According to MGMAT SC, The word before and after indicate &nbs [#permalink] 20 Oct 2017, 07:44
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