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# Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than

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Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 11 Dec 2018, 04:56
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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

Originally posted by JarvisR on 17 Aug 2015, 04:13.
Last edited by Bunuel on 11 Dec 2018, 04:56, edited 2 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2015, 10:01
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There is an adage which says that be wary of the obvious. The first obvious is to say that when there was an earlier event in 1990, a later event as in 1920 should never be assigned a past perfect. Second, obvious is that use of less is inappropriate because 17 million pounds is countable. Therefore, a lower amount should be the right one. Both these assumptions are wrong as per the custom of American English, including GMAT.
It is customary to use a past perfect for a later event, when there is a time reference such as 1920. Don’t we say that I started my GMAT preparation in 2005 and by 2015, I had completed it. As there are exceptions to every rule, the use of past perfect is taken for granted in such rare cases.
17 million pounds is taken as a mass quantity rather than as countable individual pounds. Therefore the use of less is justified
By this token of reasoning, B is an acceptable answer.

(A) that have blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams have
reduced landings to less that have blocked is a wrong tense for an event that was completed in the past

(B) That blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less ------ Correct
(C) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to a lower amount ----- 'lower' is out of sync
(D) having blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to less ---Shad migrations were blocked by the hurdles and not the shads themselves

(E) Having blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to an amount lower –amount lower is out of sync

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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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29 Mar 2016, 04:08
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SamuelWitwicky wrote:
So basically, this fisherman question, like the honeybee question, is merely stating facts ("narration" as Ron called it) - that at 1900, this was the scenario, then fastforward 20 years later, 1st event (i.e. overfishing +building) happened and resulted in another scenario. Same for the honeybee, after their release, then the first event (i.e. migration) happened. Therefore, this is the exception to the past perfect>>past tense rule.

Yes, while daagh has already explained it with an official example, another GMATPrep sentence that comes to mind:

In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 that figure had grown to nearly
six hours a week
.

There are actually 3 events that this sentence talks about:

(a) children in the United States spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores (1981)

(b) 16 years passing since then (between 1981 and 1997)

(c) But, before those 16 years passed (within those years, as indicated by the words by 1997), that figure (two and a half hours a week doing household chores) went up to 6 hours.

However, while (b) and (c) both happened in the past, (c) happened before (b) and hence, (c) should be in past perfect (in this case: had grown). In fact, this is a classical usage of Past Perfect.

Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses this concept of Past perfect tense, its application and examples in significant detail. In the book, we have provided a similar example:

In 2007, a typical web user spent less than 4 hours a month on Facebook; by 2011, that figure had gone up to 8 hours.

If someone is interested, PM me your email-id, I can mail the corresponding section of the book.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2015, 04:30
7
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SamulWitwicky
Hi

Point 1.
We are guided by a similar official example from GMATPREP as given below , which has given us the clue why such structures are accepted by GMAT. This is really different from normal thinking and we have to accept it as such.

Quote:
Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, their descendants, popularly known as killer bees, had migrated as far north as southern Texas.

A) Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil,

B) In less than 35 years since releasing African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil,

C) In less than the 35 years since African honeybees had been released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil,

D) It took less than 35 years from the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, when

E) It took less than the 35 years after the time that African honeybees were released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, and then

After seeing that, please go through the explanation by Ron, one of the most noted personalities of GMAT SC in the link given
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/foru ... t1864.html

Point 2.
Quote:
Next question, I still don't understand the sequence of events happening here. Is it: 17mill landings --> some guys build stuff --> these stuff block shad migration + they guys overfish --> therefore landings are reduced??

Quote:
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

For an understanding of the of the sequence, you may need to know a little bit about the life-cycle of the shad. Adult shads are sea –living; but the young ones cannot tolerate sea water. So the adults reach the seashores and then swim up the rivers that join the bay from the land. After travelling a good length, they spawn in fresh waters; they adults may either die away immediately after spawning or may return to the sea to pick up strength and re-enter rivers for spawning again.

The young ones then hatch in the river waters and stay there for six months or so, before they return to the sea via the same sea shore from where the mother entered the river. Now overfishing can occur in the following areas. 1. of the adults at the sea-shore area before entering the rivers. 2. in the rivers while they swim up for spawning, or when the growing young ones are trying to return to the sea. Meantime the inland guys are building dams and culverts for agriculture and energy production.The building of dams and culverts blocks the free flow of water as well as the swim of both the adults upstream and the young ones downstream. The young ones, if they do not reach seawaters with in a given time, will die out. The point is that all the impediments progressively have brought down the population of fish in the bay area, in a span of 20 years from 17mn in 1900 to barely 4 mn in 1920. Landings here imply the overall population.

Samuel! This is as far as I know of this episode from my readings. I may be wrong too.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2015, 03:17
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The sequence of events here is

First there was 1900....then culverts were built and reduced the amount to 4 million ----then came 1920.

So the mid event - "reduction" happened before 1920.. so it should be " had reduced"

So ans is B

I too chose the wrong ans the first time.

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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2016, 12:19
3
1
ishajindal wrote:
In over-fishing and the proliferation of milldams and culverts that blocked shad migration
That refers to the preceding noun (culverts here), but it is not the culverts that blocked shad migration.
'over fishing and proliferation ' overall had an effect that blocked the migration. So ing+verb should be used to refer to the effect of the preceding statement.

Please correct me in this concept.

Hi ishajindal,

I hope my explanation will be of help to 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

Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than seventeen million pounds of shad in a single year is a complete sentence by itself.

Looking at the next sentence, we realize that the contrast is mentioned. The sentence says that by year 1920, over-fishing and the proliferation of mill dams and culverts landings were already reduced to less than four million pounds. And, milldams and culverts blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams.

To answer your question,-ing form preceded by ',' shows results or additional information. But, -ing form not preceded by ',' modifies the closest noun. That is why choice D and E are wrong.

(A) that have blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less. 'have' represents past particple, but the event ended in past. Hence, past participle is not required.
(B) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less. Correct option. 'had' is correctly used to show that the even happened already before 1920
(C) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to a lower amount. 'lower amount' is not right.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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27 Dec 2017, 15:30
3
1
monidip1010 wrote:
How is B the right answer??? It uses Past Perfect tense for an event that is happening later in the timeline. Pls help.

Hello monidip1010,

I will be glad to help you out with this one.

This official sentence uses the phrase by 1920. Whenever the phrase by 1234 is used in a sentence, it requires the usage of past perfect tense. It is so because the expression denotes that first some other action took place, and then 1234 arrived.

Same is the case with the usage of by 1920 in this official sentence. Presence of this phrase says that over-fishing and the proliferation of milldams and culverts had already reduced the amount of landings by the time 1920 arrived. Hence, use of past perfect tense verb had reduced is correct.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2015, 04:53
2
B. 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 mill dams and culverts that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less than four million pounds.

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

fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than seventeen million pounds of shad, over-fishing and the proliferation of mill dams and culverts had reduced landings to less than four million pounds.

How can the answer be 'B' ?

Doesn't use of Past perfect in B show that 'Reduced landings' is happening before 'Fisherman landed more than 17m pound' ?
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 17 Aug 2015, 07:59
2
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Hi dinesh86,

as per the sentence construction it is obvious that "landing more than seventeen million pounds of shad in a single year" happened prior to the events in 1920 so there is no need to include that in the timeline.

As per B, "that" is rightly used to refer to what caused the blockage that is:"over-fishing and the proliferation of milldams and culverts" and the option follows a cause and effect relationship. so as per the timeline.. "had reduced" is correct..

In D and E.. having (verb-ing modifier) wrongly modifies" the milldams and culverts".

Regards,
Dom.

Originally posted by dominicraj on 17 Aug 2015, 07:55.
Last edited by dominicraj on 17 Aug 2015, 07:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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12 Dec 2016, 08:20
2
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 Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2015, 21:43
1
daagh wrote:
SamulWitwicky
Hi

Point 1.
We are guided by a similar official example from GMATPREP as given below , which has given us the clue why such structures are accepted by GMAT. This is really different from normal thinking and we have to accept it as such.

For an understanding of the of the sequence, you may need to know a little bit about the life-cycle of the shad. Adult shads are sea –living; but the young ones cannot tolerate sea water. So the adults reach the seashores and then swim up the rivers that join the bay from the land. After travelling a good length, they spawn in fresh waters; they adults may either die away immediately after spawning or may return to the sea to pick up strength and re-enter rivers for spawning again.

The young ones then hatch in the river waters and stay there for six months or so, before they return to the sea via the same sea shore from where the mother entered the river. Now overfishing can occur in the following areas. 1. of the adults at the sea-shore area before entering the rivers. 2. in the rivers while they swim up for spawning, or when the growing young ones are trying to return to the sea. Meantime the inland guys are building dams and culverts for agriculture and energy production.The building of dams and culverts blocks the free flow of water as well as the swim of both the adults upstream and the young ones downstream. The young ones, if they do not reach seawaters with in a given time, will die out. The point is that all the impediments progressively have brought down the population of fish in the bay area, in a span of 20 years from 17mn in 1900 to barely 4 mn in 1920. Landings here imply the overall population.

Samuel! This is as far as I know of this episode from my readings. I may be wrong too.

Hey thanks a lot Daagh. And thanks a lot for the link. Took me awhile to get it, but I think I do now. It's hard to put my thoughts into words but i'll try. So basically, this fisherman question, like the honeybee question, is merely stating facts ("narration" as Ron called it) - that at 1900, this was the scenario, then fastforward 20 years later, 1st event (i.e. overfishing +building) happened and resulted in another scenario. Same for the honeybee, after their release, then the first event (i.e. migration) happened. Therefore, this is the exception to the past perfect>>past tense rule.

VS

2 explicit actions for e.g. this question on buildings and earthquakes --> 37-og-vr-some-buildings-that-were-destroyed-and-heavily-56040.html

buildings had to be FIRST constructed badly, then SECOND, be destroyed by an earthquake. This is where the rule is essential in demonstrating the sequence of events.

what do you think of my reasoning?
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2016, 23:43
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2016, 09:39
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In over-fishing and the proliferation of milldams and culverts that blocked shad migration
That refers to the preceding noun (culverts here), but it is not the culverts that blocked shad migration.
'over fishing and proliferation ' overall had an effect that blocked the migration. So ing+verb should be used to refer to the effect of the preceding statement.

Please correct me in this concept.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2018, 11:30
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Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than seventeen million pounds of shad in a single year, but by 1920, overfishing 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.

=> Why " less than" but not " fewer than", as pounds is countable.
Hope someone could help
Thanks
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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30 Apr 2019, 10:39
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nitinkarnwal wrote:
Please explain how the use of "less than four million pounds" is justified when "four million pounds" is countable.

I think the way that most of us learn "countable" vs. "non-countable" is *close* but not exactly the rule. Whether you choose less/much vs. fewer/many (or any of those other singular/plural, countable/not-countable distinctions) isn't really about whether you can count it, but instead how the reader should treat it. In a case like this, or "our investors have earned as much as 10 million dollars" or "if your flight is less than 500 miles," using the singular "much" or "less" treats the dollars/miles as thresholds (this large amount, or this large distance) and not as individual dollars or miles. You could count them, but that's not the intent of the sentence; the sentence is trying to set up a threshold of weight/distance/wealth to compare against.

Most GMAT instructors at some point teach countable/uncountable by having students laugh at those grocery store "15 items or less" signs because "items is countable." But the signs are okay - 15 items is a threshold and if you have less than that amount you can use this aisle, if you have more you'd better get in another line! It's not really countable/uncountable...it's "are we counting this?" or "are we treating it as a single entity or threshold?"
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2019, 20:06
1
payalkhndlwl wrote:
GMATNinja can you pls explain the diff between B&D?

The first decision point is "that" vs "having." When we're using a modifier to specify a noun, or differentiate that noun from a larger group, we'd use "that." For example:

"The dog that ate Dana's homework is kind of a jerk."

In this case, there could be multiple dogs, and I'm differentiating between the dog that ate Dana's homework and other dogs with better etiquette.

I'm not sure there's ever a time when "having" would be mandatory, but if we were to use it as a modifier, we'd do so to add incidental information:

"The dog, having eaten Dana's homework, is no longer hungry."

Notice that in this case, "having eaten Dana's homework" is set off by commas to communicate that this information isn't crucial. There's only one dog, and this dog happened to have eaten Dana's homework. (Notice also that the phrase beginning with "having + verb" describes an action that happened before the other action in the sentence.)

In this question, we're talking specifically about the "milldams sand culverts that blocked shad" as opposed to milldams and culverts, in general. And while comma usage is rarely important, notice also that "having" isn't set off by commas. Therefore we'd prefer "that" to "having." That's one reason to pick (B).

A second decision point is the verb tense, "had reduced" vs. "reduced." Any time we have the construction "By + YEAR IN PAST," and we wish to communicate that the action in question happened before this year, we'd use "had." In this case, the sentence includes the phrase "by 1920," and the reduction seems to have happened before 1920, so "had reduced" is correct, and (B) is again our champion.

I hope that helps!
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Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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27 Jul 2019, 03:33
1
azhrhasan wrote:
what is the antecedent for "their" in B ?
Hi azhrhasan,

The their in option B refers to shad.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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27 Jul 2019, 04:14
1
azhrhasan wrote:
But isn't shad singular ? That's the reason i rejected B.

Are there any other situations like these which i need to keep note of ?
Shad is both the singular form and the plural form of shad. Shads is also a word, like fishes.

All 5 options use their, and their really can't refer to migrations (migrations can't have spawning streams), so we don't need to take a singular/plural call in this question.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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31 Aug 2019, 09:14
1
lower amount would be incorrect, because amount (quantity) cannot be lower; amount is always lesser.
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Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than  [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2015, 00:20
daagh wrote:
There is an adage which says that be wary of the obvious. The first obvious is to say that when there was an earlier event in 1990, a later event as in 1920 should never be assigned a past perfect. Second, obvious is that use of less is inappropriate because 17 million pounds is countable. Therefore, a lower amount should be the right one. Both these assumptions are wrong as per the custom of American English, including GMAT.
It is customary to use a past perfect for a later event, when there is a time reference such as 1920. Don’t we say that I started my GMAT preparation in 2005 and by 2015, I had completed it. As there are exceptions to every rule, the use of past perfect is taken for granted in such rare cases.
17 million pounds is taken as a mass quantity rather than as countable individual pounds. Therefore the use of less is justified
By this token of reasoning, B is an acceptable answer.

(A) that have blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams have
reduced landings to less that have blocked is a wrong tense for an event that was completed in the past

(B) That blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams had reduced landings to less ------ Correct
(C) that blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to a lower amount ----- 'lower' is out of sync
(D) having blocked shad from migrating up their spawning streams reduced landings to less ---Shad migrations were blocked by the hurdles and not the shads themselves

(E) Having blocked shad migrations up their spawning streams had reduced landings to an amount lower –amount lower is out of sync

Daagh, I really need your help on this one. My GMAT centre tells me that for 2 sequential events, the 1st event is in past perfect, and the second in simple past. The example it gave is: "He had never seen (1st event) a GMAT question before he actually took (later event) the exam".

Next question, I still don't understand the sequence of events happening here. Is it: 17mill landings --> some guys build stuff --> these stuff block shad migration + they guys overfish --> therefore landings are reduced??

Do hope you see this, this question is driving me nuts lol
Re: Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than   [#permalink] 15 Sep 2015, 00:20

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# Around 1900, fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay area landed more than

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