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# Although the fear last year that the trade zone might break apart had

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Hi experts,

Please can you explain why the usage of 'had' is incorrect here. Is it because of the presence of "now"?
I am also finding option E a little awkward because of the phrase "that which". Can we use both of these together?
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AZBG wrote:
Hi experts,

Please can you explain why the usage of 'had' is incorrect here. Is it because of the presence of "now"?

The purpose of the past perfect -- had + VERBed -- is to express an action completed before another past action or event.
A: Although the fear last year that the trade zone might break apart had receded, the risk now could be prolonged stagnation.
Here, the past perfect action in red is NOT completed before another past action or event.
Thus, this usage of the past perfect is illogical.
Eliminate A.

Quote:
I am also finding option E a little awkward because of the phrase "that which". Can we use both of these together?

The most common form of suffering in this novel is the suffering that characters inflict on themselves.

One purpose of that is to serve as a COPY PRONOUN.
Here, we can avoid the repetition of suffering by replacing the noun in blue with the copy pronoun that, as follows:
The most common form of suffering in this novel is that that characters inflict on themselves.

But now we have a problem: the double-usage of that, highlighted in color above.
To avoid this double-usage, we replace the red that with which:
The most common form of suffering in this novel is that which characters inflict on themselves.
The resulting sentence in green appeared in the NY Times.

The usage of that which is rare but valid.
Its purpose is to avoid the usage of that that.
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Official Explanation

Solution: E

Explanation: The easiest decision point on this question relates to the tense. The past perfect “had receded” is illogical in (A) and (B). There is nothing before which the fear receded! It could either have been completed at some point in the past (using the simple past receded), or more likely given the context of this sentence, be ongoing with the present perfect (has receded). In (C) and (D) the “it” is problematic as it creates a reference error – the pronoun seems to be referring back to the risk, when the goal is to compare the current stagnation with that in Argentina. Only (E), uses the logical tense “has receded” and uses “like” to make it clear that the comparison is between the possible prolonged stagnation in this cases, with the stagnation that took place in Argentina for the past two decades. Answer is (E).
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Please explain how to decide the use of past perfect. Also, is the second part of A correct?
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anurag2018

Sure, the second part of A is fine.

As for past perfect, think of it as "the past of the past." To use it, we need to be referring to one past event that precedes another. For instance, we could say "I had already been waiting for 20 minutes when he texted to say he couldn't make our appointment."

Past event: He texted. Preceding past event: I had been waiting.

Even in these cases, I may not need the past perfect, as long as the meaning is clear. For instance, I might say "I disliked Patty until I got to know her better." I don't need to say "I had disliked Patty" just because I have two past events.
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Kindly help GMATNinja mikemcgarry VeritasKarishma GMATNinjaTwo

I understand the 'HAD' error in A.
I still forced myself to choose it as the moment I saw the 2 commas ", content," structure. I focused on the non-essential modifier test.

And I still feel that ", the risk now could be prolonged stagnation," is crucial to the meaning of the sentence. and hence picked A.

Can you please correct me on this and provide some clarification?
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tangokilo23
But the part you're talking about isn't a modifier at all. It's the main clause of the sentence! The format here is (dependent clause), (main clause), (modifier). Here's a simple sentence with that structure:

While I didn't enjoy the movie, I appreciate the book, one of the classics of its genre.

Again, note that "I appreciate the movie" is the main clause, not a modifier (essential or otherwise). In general, don't get too excited about essential vs. non-essential. It's a very small issue on the GMAT.
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tangokilo23 wrote:
Kindly help GMATNinja mikemcgarry VeritasKarishma GMATNinjaTwo

I understand the 'HAD' error in A.
I still forced myself to choose it as the moment I saw the 2 commas ", content," structure. I focused on the non-essential modifier test.

And I still feel that ", the risk now could be prolonged stagnation," is crucial to the meaning of the sentence. and hence picked A.

Can you please correct me on this and provide some clarification?

"Although the fear ... has receded" is the dependent clause beginning with the conjunction "although". So after the comma, you will get the main clause.
Main clause: the risk now could be prolonged stagnation, like that which has plagued Argentina for the past two decades

Note that not everything between two commas will be a non essential modifier. A modifier in between two commas is a non essential modifier.
My brother, who is very close to me, will visit me tomorrow.
"who is very close to me" - non essential modifier

But consider this sentence:
Since I am down with fever, my brother will bring my medicines, Ibuprofen and Benadryl, to me.

What is the structure here and which one is the non essential modifier, if there is one?

Since I am down with fever - Dependent clause
my brother will bring my medicines, Ibuprofen and Benadryl, to me. - Main clause
Ibuprofen and Benadryl - Non essential modifier (appositive)
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sayantanc2k wrote:
AnotherGmater wrote:
Can someone please explain why not C? Is there any wrong in using simple past tense just "receded" since it happened in the last year?

The car I have is identical to that standing outside.... correct.
I have a car just as it is standing outside.... wrong.

I don't think "it" in this sentence, "I have a car just as it is standing outside", is wrong.
It refers to a car but it does not necessarily belong to me. On the other hand, the car standing outside might is my car (your brother drove it out)
Could anyone correct me if I am wrong?
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I need some suggestions here.

the sentence says "...fear last year....".

Now if the fear was in last year we need to have an "had" to indicate that it was receded last year only.
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Hi, can someone explain why C is the wrong answer?
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jeremqui wrote:
Hi, can someone explain why C is the wrong answer?

Hello jeremqui,

We hope this finds you well.

To answer your query, Option C incorrectly compares "prolonged stagnation" to "it has plagued Argentina for the past two decades"; remember, comparisons must always be made between similar elements.

We hope this helps.
All the best!
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Do anyone have the same feeling that "that" in E will refer to "the risk" rather than "stagnation"?
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louisinau wrote:
Do anyone have the same feeling that "that" in E will refer to "the risk" rather than "stagnation"?

Hello louisinau,

We hope this finds you well.

To answer your query, "that" will refer to "stagnation" because the modifier phrase "like that which has plagued Argentina for the past two decades" is linked by a comma to the noun "stagnation".

We hope this helps.
All the best!
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