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# Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake

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Verbal Expert
Joined: 14 Dec 2013
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake [#permalink]

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12 Dec 2016, 08:20
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natley4788 wrote:
I understand why the past perfect "had reduced" is correct here - but how can the simple past tense "blocked" in the relative clause be correct? Doesn't this imply that the sequence of events is: "landings are reduced" followed by "the culverts blocked shad migrations"? But how is this logical? First the migrations are blocked by the culverts and subsequently (or perhaps at the same time) landings are reduced, so the verb tense for "blocked" should either be the same as "reduced" or further in the past then "reduced". Shouldn't the correct use of verb tenses be:
"...the proliferation of milldams and culverts that HAD BLOCKED shad migrations up their spawning streams HAD REDUCED landings to less than four million pounds"

?

The sequential relation is required to be established between the time reference 1920 and the verb "had reduced". The verb "blocked" is not a part of this relationship - hence past perfect is not to be used for this verb.

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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake [#permalink]

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12 Dec 2016, 20:45
sayantanc2k wrote:
natley4788 wrote:
I understand why the past perfect "had reduced" is correct here - but how can the simple past tense "blocked" in the relative clause be correct? Doesn't this imply that the sequence of events is: "landings are reduced" followed by "the culverts blocked shad migrations"? But how is this logical? First the migrations are blocked by the culverts and subsequently (or perhaps at the same time) landings are reduced, so the verb tense for "blocked" should either be the same as "reduced" or further in the past then "reduced". Shouldn't the correct use of verb tenses be:
"...the proliferation of milldams and culverts that HAD BLOCKED shad migrations up their spawning streams HAD REDUCED landings to less than four million pounds"

?

The sequential relation is required to be established between the time reference 1920 and the verb "had reduced". The verb "blocked" is not a part of this relationship - hence past perfect is not to be used for this verb.

Since the verb "blocked" does not need to be part of this sequential relationship, could another verb tense have been used correctly (i.e. if answer option B was one of the below, would it have been correct?)

• Present Simple tense (for an event the recurs) -> "...the proliferation of milldams and culverts that BLOCK shad migrations up their spawning streams HAD REDUCED landings to less than four million pounds"
• Present Perfect tense (for an event that occurred in the past and continues to be true) -> "...the proliferation of milldams and culverts that HAVE BLOCKED shad migrations up their spawning streams HAD REDUCED landings to less than four million pounds"

?

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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2016, 04:33
natley4788 wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:
natley4788 wrote:
I understand why the past perfect "had reduced" is correct here - but how can the simple past tense "blocked" in the relative clause be correct? Doesn't this imply that the sequence of events is: "landings are reduced" followed by "the culverts blocked shad migrations"? But how is this logical? First the migrations are blocked by the culverts and subsequently (or perhaps at the same time) landings are reduced, so the verb tense for "blocked" should either be the same as "reduced" or further in the past then "reduced". Shouldn't the correct use of verb tenses be:
"...the proliferation of milldams and culverts that HAD BLOCKED shad migrations up their spawning streams HAD REDUCED landings to less than four million pounds"

?

The sequential relation is required to be established between the time reference 1920 and the verb "had reduced". The verb "blocked" is not a part of this relationship - hence past perfect is not to be used for this verb.

Since the verb "blocked" does not need to be part of this sequential relationship, could another verb tense have been used correctly (i.e. if answer option B was one of the below, would it have been correct?)

• Present Simple tense (for an event the recurs) -> "...the proliferation of milldams and culverts that BLOCK shad migrations up their spawning streams HAD REDUCED landings to less than four million pounds"
• Present Perfect tense (for an event that occurred in the past and continues to be true) -> "...the proliferation of milldams and culverts that HAVE BLOCKED shad migrations up their spawning streams HAD REDUCED landings to less than four million pounds"

?

Yes, any tense could be used instead depending on the meaning required to be conveyed.

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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake [#permalink]

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16 Mar 2017, 15:01
C, E out: amount is used with uncountable
D having blocked modifies clause incorrectly and is wordy
A is wrong because of the false tense used

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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake [#permalink]

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17 Mar 2017, 00:37
natley4788 wrote:
Shouldn't the correct use of verb tenses be:
"...the proliferation of milldams and culverts that HAD BLOCKED shad migrations up their spawning streams HAD REDUCED landings to less than four million pounds"

Hi natley4788, that would not be a great construct. Normally, past perfect is used to depict chronological sequence of two events/instances that happened one after the other in the past. Here however, clearly milldams and culverts were still there in 1920. So, at the very least, had blocked would make the sequence quite cryptic to understand.

Quote:
could another verb tense have been used correctly (i.e. if answer option B was one of the below, would it have been correct?)

Present Simple tense (for an event the recurs) -> "...the proliferation of milldams and culverts that BLOCK shad migrations up their spawning streams HAD REDUCED landings to less than four million pounds"

Present Perfect tense (for an event that occurred in the past and continues to be true) -> "...the proliferation of milldams and culverts that HAVE BLOCKED shad migrations up their spawning streams HAD REDUCED landings to less than four million pounds"

That would be incorrect because the entire sentence talks about events/instances that happened in the past. So, we cannot be using present tense.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake [#permalink]

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16 Apr 2017, 05:12
Hi mikemcgarry,

Long time no see.
How are you?

Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than seventeen million pounds of shad in a single year, but by 1920, over-fishing and the proliferation of milldams and culverts that have blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less than four million pounds.

(A) that have blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less
(B) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less
(C) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to a lower amount
(D) having blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to less
(E) having blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to an amount lower

When I practiced this question,

I first eliminated choice C, D because past perfect (had reduced ) is necessary if there is a signal " by 1920" that means an action happens before a past time,

second, I think "having blocked" is ok if modifies preceding noun "milldams and culverts"

third, I think block ... from doing is a good idiom, so i eliminated A, and E, unfortunately, I haven't read the idiom issue throughout the posts., Am i right ?

Last, I think less than is more concise than a lower amount / an amount lower

Although I got the right answer choice B, I have some confusion when i checked the OA, so i genuinely want your help.

First OA said "migrations up their spawning streams" in choice A is incorrect, I am not sure why it is incorrect

Second, In choice D and E, "having blocked ... streams" should be set off in commas, this point is opposite of my reasoning above (second),

Does OA mean that "having blocked ... streams" is nonessential modifier ? so it should be set off in commas ?
while I think that "having blocked ... streams" is essential modifier, so it can follow the noun "milldams and culverts"

thanks so much in deed.

Have a nice day.
>_~

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Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake [#permalink]

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04 May 2017, 11:39
Quick question:

In B, shouldn't "blocked" be in the past perfect? The block happened first, and then came the reduction?

Or is blocked OK because it's part of the noun modifying phrase that modifies milldams and culverts, and the only verb that connects to 1920 is reduced, requiring a past perfect?

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Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake [#permalink]

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04 May 2017, 17:44
Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than seventeen million pounds of shad in a single year, but by 1920, over-fishing and the proliferation of milldams and culverts that have blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less than four million pounds.

(A) that have blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less

(B) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less

(C) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to a lower amount

(D) having blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to less

(E) having blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to an amount lower
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2017, 07:12
Can someone help explain why 'lower' is wrong? Is it because the term 'amount' is attached to it? According to MGMAT and other sources, if it is countable you use 'lower'. If it is not countable, you use the term 'less'. I believe this is a countable situation.

http://www.beatthegmat.com/countable-vs ... 65919.html
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2017, 09:10
Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than seventeen million pounds of shad in a single year, but by 1920, over-fishing and the proliferation of milldams and culverts that have blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less than four million pounds.

(A) that have blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less
(B) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less
(C) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to a lower amount
(D) having blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to less
(E) having blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to an amount lower
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Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one - Bruce Lee

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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2017, 07:41
Hi All,

Can someone please summarize the concept here as I feel this is a very different concept and not covered explicitly in any notes or by anyone. Going through the thread, I think I have a rough idea about this but I am not 100% sure on this. Would be great if somebody can summarize this please.

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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake   [#permalink] 02 Sep 2017, 07:41

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