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An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun

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An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 27 Sep 2018, 04:05
2
11
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A
B
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An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago, has had no success despite the willingness of the Democratic Party to back a female candidate.

(A) to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago
(B) begun 15 years ago, to elect a woman as President of the United States
(C) begun for electing a woman as President of the United States 15 years ago
(D) at electing a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago
(E) that has begun 15 years ago to elect a woman as President of the United States


Spoiler: :: doubt&OE
OE says E has incorrect tense. GMATNinja Would you please explain what could have been the correct tense in E
OE:
This question has to do with word order. The attempt was begun fifteen years ago. Options A and D could imply that the United States was begun fifteen years ago. C has poor word order by splitting ‘begun’ and ‘fifteen years ago’. It also incorrectly uses ‘for electing’. E uses the wrong tense. Choice B is the correct answer.

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Originally posted by TaN1213 on 17 Dec 2017, 06:26.
Last edited by Bunuel on 27 Sep 2018, 04:05, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2017, 13:47
4
1
TaN1213 wrote:
I, too, am having the same doubt, which is why I have requested GMATNinja, in spoiler section, to clarify it.

Expert,

Please confirm whether the following understanding about tense issue in E is correct-

'Has'- present perfect- is inconsistent with 'had' - past perfect.
Further, in such case, isn't simple past - that began- sufficient? Or the sentence needs the structure- that had begun ?
Thanks!

There are a whole bunch of issues in here, and some of them don't seem to appear on the actual GMAT very often! The usual friendly warnings apply here about non-official verbal questions: GMAC spends somewhere between $1500 and $3000 developing each question, and even the very best test-prep companies can't quite compete with that.

I'm not sure if this is part of the issue, but for starters: "begun" in (B) isn't a verb at all -- it's actually an adjective. Consider these:

    1. Burritos smothered in green chile make Charles happy. --> "smothered" sounds like a verb, but it's actually an adjective
    2. Burritos eaten with unbridled joy will not make you fat. --> "eaten" sounds like a verb, but it's also an adjective
    3. The project started by Amber in 1998 will be complete in 2019. --> "started" is also an adjective...
    4. The project begun by Amber in 1998 will be complete in 2019. --> ... and so is "begun" in this case

More on these "-ed" words in this crusty old article: https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topi ... 40280.html

gmatexam439 is correct about the verb tense issues in (E). I'm not sure, but it sounds like part of the misconception might be that you're assuming that the word "had" automatically indicates the past perfect tense, and that's not quite right:

    1. Domenico had a colonoscopy this morning. --> simple past tense
    2. Domenico has had monthly colonoscopies since 2007. --> present perfect tense, indicating an action that starts in the past and continues in the present (presumably, Domenico will continue having monthly colonoscopies)
    3. Domenico had had several colonoscopies before he decided that his rectum is exit-only. --> "had had" is past perfect tense, and must indicate an action that happens in the past, before some other action or "marker" in the past (in this case, "he decided" is the later action in the past, so this sentence is acceptable)

(For a long-winded hour on verb tenses, feel free to check out this webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxANHcxwbeM.)

In this particular sentence, "begun" is just an adjective in (B), so that's completely fine. For (E) to be correct, "has begun" would have to be changed to "began", since the action of STARTING the attempt happened exclusively in the past. It would be wrong to use the present perfect "has begun", because the action of STARTING the attempt is already completed.

I hope this helps!
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Dec 2017, 06:41
is it a comma issue ? or infinitive clues issue ?
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Dec 2017, 06:43
Sager wrote:
is it a comma issue ? or infinitive clues issue ?

Added the OE for you to refer. I believe it's more about placement issue.
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2017, 12:39
3
An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago, has had no success despite the willingness of the Democratic Party to back a female candidate.
(A) to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago -displaced modifier
(B) begun 15 years ago, to elect a woman as President of the United States -Correct
(C) begun for electing a woman as President of the United States 15 years ago - To elect is correct; "15 years ago" is too far from begun
(D) at electing a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago - "at electing" is wrong
(E) that has begun 15 years ago to elect a woman as President of the United States -Incorrect verb tense. "An attempt that began"is correct
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2017, 21:27
gmatexam439 wrote:
An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago, has had no success despite the willingness of the Democratic Party to back a female candidate.
(A) to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago -displaced modifier
(B) begun 15 years ago, to elect a woman as President of the United States -Correct
(C) begun for electing a woman as President of the United States 15 years ago - To elect is correct; "15 years ago" is too far from begun
(D) at electing a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago - "at electing" is wrong
(E) that has begun 15 years ago to elect a woman as President of the United States -Incorrect verb tense. "An attempt that began"is correct


Hey, Are you sure the correct tense in E would be began, because in such case, the tense all over the sentence (has had)would not be uniform?
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2017, 22:06
TaN1213 wrote:
Sager wrote:
is it a comma issue ? or infinitive clues issue ?

Added the OE for you to refer. I believe it's more about placement issue.

Hey Tan123,
I was convinced with B, until I saw option E. Can you elaborate that what is wrong with the tense use.
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2017, 22:09
Hi Expert,
What is wrong with the tense form in option E. I was convinced with B until I sawoption E.
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2017, 22:21
sunny91 wrote:
TaN1213 wrote:
Sager wrote:
is it a comma issue ? or infinitive clues issue ?

Added the OE for you to refer. I believe it's more about placement issue.

Hey Tan123,
I was convinced with B, until I saw option E. Can you elaborate that what is wrong with the tense use.


I, too, am having the same doubt, which is why I have requested GMATNinja, in spoiler section, to clarify it.

Expert,

Please confirm whether the following understanding about tense issue in E is correct-

'Has'- present perfect- is inconsistent with 'had' - past perfect.
Further, in such case, isn't simple past - that began- sufficient? Or the sentence needs the structure- that had begun ?
Thanks!
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 08:46
TaN1213 wrote:
gmatexam439 wrote:
An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago, has had no success despite the willingness of the Democratic Party to back a female candidate.
(A) to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago -displaced modifier
(B) begun 15 years ago, to elect a woman as President of the United States -Correct
(C) begun for electing a woman as President of the United States 15 years ago - To elect is correct; "15 years ago" is too far from begun
(D) at electing a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago - "at electing" is wrong
(E) that has begun 15 years ago to elect a woman as President of the United States -Incorrect verb tense. "An attempt that began"is correct


Hey, Are you sure the correct tense in E would be began, because in such case, the tense all over the sentence (has had)would not be uniform?


Hi,

Let me try to answer your questions.

1. "Hey, Are you sure the correct tense in E would be began, because in such case, the tense all over the sentence (has had)would not be uniform?"
--Yes, it should be "began". We use present perfect tense to show the continuity of an even that started in the past. In the given sentence, the attempt is still not continuing to begin right now, it began in the past and its effects are still felt. So the event "beginning of attempt" should be represented with a simple past; thus "began" should be used instead of "has begun".

2. "Please confirm whether the following understanding about tense issue in E is correct-'Has'- present perfect- is inconsistent with 'had' - past perfect."
--Usage of "has had" is absolutely correct here. We need "had" to depict the completion of an event and "has" to show the impact of the attempt that is still visible i.e. no success.

I hope it was of some help !!
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Dec 2017, 03:40
Further discussion :

Thanks GMATNinja for your detailed explanation.

Btw, I realized also that B and E have a different construction.

(B) begun 15 years ago, to elect a woman as President of the United States.
As GMATNinja explained, "begun" is not a verb, but an adjective.
Long version : An attempt, which was begun 15 years ago... Here we shortened the sentence become "An attempt begun..."

(E) that has begun 15 years ago to elect a woman as President of the United States
However in E, the tense is written in ACTIVE, so "An attempt that has begun".
Regardless of the wrong tense, does this sufficient to say that this is wrong?

Wdyt?
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Dec 2017, 23:34
It was tricky because answer A seems right. Choice B is slightly better, since begun stands closer to attempt.
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2018, 06:17
Hi mikemcgarry

I have a question for choice B, comma before and after "to elect a woman as President of the United States" makes it non-essential.

so if we remove non-essential fluff, Choice B reads as "An attempt begun 15 years ago has had no success despite the willingness of the Democratic Party to back a female candidate." and looses its intended meaning.

do you think comma is wrongly placed before and after "to elect a woman as President of the United States"? can you please help

Thanks
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2018, 11:51
hellosanthosh2k2 wrote:
Hi mikemcgarry

I have a question for choice B, comma before and after "to elect a woman as President of the United States" makes it non-essential.

so if we remove non-essential fluff, Choice B reads as "An attempt begun 15 years ago has had no success despite the willingness of the Democratic Party to back a female candidate." and looses its intended meaning.

do you think comma is wrongly placed before and after "to elect a woman as President of the United States"? can you please help

Thanks

Dear hellosanthosh2k2,

I'm happy to respond.

Normally, the MGMAT are excellent and very GMAT-like. This is overall a very good question, but one aspect in which is somewhat non-GMAT-like is that the underlined section in the prompt ends with a comma. I don't think the underlining in an official GMAT SC question ever ends with a piece of punctuation: if the GMAT wants to test the presence or absence of a piece of punctuation in a particular place, it extends the underlining to the following word, even if that word appears at the end of all five answer choices.

The fact that MGMAT departed from this convention here led to your confusion. Notice that a comma comes at the end of the underlining and at the end of choice (A), but NOT at the end of choice (B). Therefore, (B) is NOT followed by a comma. Again, it's understandable that you overlooked this detail, since the official GMAT would not put you in this position. Here's all of (B) in one place:

(B) An attempt begun 15 years ago, to elect a woman as President of the United States has had no success despite the willingness of the Democratic Party to back a female candidate.

The part that you believed was between two commas is the infinitive phrase "to elect a woman as President of the United States"--this is the subject of the sentence!

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2018, 08:48
TaN1213 wrote:
An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago, has had no success despite the willingness of the Democratic Party to back a female candidate.
(A) to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago
(B) begun 15 years ago, to elect a woman as President of the United States
(C) begun for electing a woman as President of the United States 15 years ago
(D) at electing a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago
(E) that has begun 15 years ago to elect a woman as President of the United States

Spoiler: :: doubt&OE
OE says E has incorrect tense. GMATNinja Would you please explain what could have been the correct tense in E
OE:
This question has to do with word order. The attempt was begun fifteen years ago. Options A and D could imply that the United States was begun fifteen years ago. C has poor word order by splitting ‘begun’ and ‘fifteen years ago’. It also incorrectly uses ‘for electing’. E uses the wrong tense. Choice B is the correct answer.

Hiii, Can you post the official solution by MGMAT?
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2018, 08:55
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rajatkataria14@gmail.com wrote:
Hiii, Can you post the official solution by MGMAT?


Hey rajatkataria14@gmail.com ,

Official MGMAT Solution:

This question has to do with word order. The attempt was begun fifteen years ago. Options A and D could imply that the United States was begun fifteen years ago. C has poor word order by splitting ‘begun’ and ‘fifteen years ago’. It also incorrectly uses ‘for electing’. E uses the wrong tense. Choice B is the correct answer.
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2018, 01:32
GMATNinja wrote:
TaN1213 wrote:
I, too, am having the same doubt, which is why I have requested GMATNinja, in spoiler section, to clarify it.

Expert,

Please confirm whether the following understanding about tense issue in E is correct-

'Has'- present perfect- is inconsistent with 'had' - past perfect.
Further, in such case, isn't simple past - that began- sufficient? Or the sentence needs the structure- that had begun ?
Thanks!

There are a whole bunch of issues in here, and some of them don't seem to appear on the actual GMAT very often! The usual friendly warnings apply here about non-official verbal questions: GMAC spends somewhere between $1500 and $3000 developing each question, and even the very best test-prep companies can't quite compete with that.

I'm not sure if this is part of the issue, but for starters: "begun" in (B) isn't a verb at all -- it's actually an adjective. Consider these:

    1. Burritos smothered in green chile make Charles happy. --> "smothered" sounds like a verb, but it's actually an adjective
    2. Burritos eaten with unbridled joy will not make you fat. --> "eaten" sounds like a verb, but it's also an adjective
    3. The project started by Amber in 1998 will be complete in 2019. --> "started" is also an adjective...
    4. The project begun by Amber in 1998 will be complete in 2019. --> ... and so is "begun" in this case

More on these "-ed" words in this crusty old article: https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topi ... 40280.html

gmatexam439 is correct about the verb tense issues in (E). I'm not sure, but it sounds like part of the misconception might be that you're assuming that the word "had" automatically indicates the past perfect tense, and that's not quite right:

    1. Domenico had a colonoscopy this morning. --> simple past tense
    2. Domenico has had monthly colonoscopies since 2007. --> present perfect tense, indicating an action that starts in the past and continues in the present (presumably, Domenico will continue having monthly colonoscopies)
    3. Domenico had had several colonoscopies before he decided that his rectum is exit-only. --> "had had" is past perfect tense, and must indicate an action that happens in the past, before some other action or "marker" in the past (in this case, "he decided" is the later action in the past, so this sentence is acceptable)

(For a long-winded hour on verb tenses, feel free to check out this webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxANHcxwbeM.)

In this particular sentence, "begun" is just an adjective in (B), so that's completely fine. For (E) to be correct, "has begun" would have to be changed to "began", since the action of STARTING the attempt happened exclusively in the past. It would be wrong to use the present perfect "has begun", because the action of STARTING the attempt is already completed.

I hope this helps!


I GMATNinja,
I eliminated option B because of the comma.
Shouldn't the structure be: ,begun 15 years ago, to elect a woman as President of the United States.
I felt the presented option seemed to distort the meaning.
Or is the option correct as is ?
Kindly share your opinion on the above concerns.
Thanks
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2018, 02:08
Hey guys!

Could anyone explain why 'begun 15 years ago' in the first choice is not an appositive?

(A) An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago, has had no success despite the willingness of the Democratic Party to back a female candidate.
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2018, 06:09
yhdiwujw wrote:
Hey guys!

Could anyone explain why 'begun 15 years ago' in the first choice is not an appositive?

(A) An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun 15 years ago, has had no success despite the willingness of the Democratic Party to back a female candidate.


This post above directly answers your question:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/an-attempt-t ... l#p2031639

United states did not begin 15 years ago. it was the attempt that began. Hope it is clear.
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Re: An attempt to elect a woman as President of the United States, begun &nbs [#permalink] 19 Mar 2018, 06:09
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