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# Around the tenth century A.D, the Byzantine Empire was a

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Around the tenth century A.D, the Byzantine Empire was a [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2010, 08:55
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Around the tenth century A.D, the Byzantine Empire was a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, the mighty empire eventually cracked and fell to the Ottomans in the middle of the fifteenth century

(A) was a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, the mighty empire eventually cracked and fell

(B) was a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III had turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, the mighty empire eventually cracked and fell

C) ) had been a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III had turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, eventually the mighty empire cracked and fell

(D) had been a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III had turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, the mighty empire eventually cracked and had fallen

(E) had been a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III had turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, the mighty empire had cracked eventually and then fell
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Last edited by daagh on 20 Oct 2010, 04:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Byzantine Empire [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2010, 09:29
daagh wrote:
Around the tenth century A.D, the Byzantine Empire was a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, the mighty empire eventually cracked and fell to the Ottomans in the middle of the fifteenth century

(A) was a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, the mighty empire eventually cracked and fell

(B) was a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III had turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, the mighty empire eventually cracked and fell

C) ) had been a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III had turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, eventually the mighty empire cracked and fell

(D) had been a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III had turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, the mighty empire eventually cracked and had fallen

(E) had been a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III had turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, the mighty empire had cracked eventually and then fell

Another problem dealing with tenses.
I will simply go for A. I think there is no need to use the perfect tense since the sequence of events in the past are already emphasized in the sentence.

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Re: The Byzantine Empire [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2010, 15:26
A.

Thank you Pkit for nice explanation.

But is past perfect tense considered flat out wrong or only unnecessary when dates are given in GMAT?

I'm wondering if a sentence that starts with a past perfect can actually be an answer.
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Re: The Byzantine Empire [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2010, 22:23
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scheol79 wrote:
A.

Thank you Pkit for nice explanation.

But is past perfect tense considered flat out wrong or only unnecessary when dates are given in GMAT?

I'm wondering if a sentence that starts with a past perfect can actually be an answer.

If the author had been interested in subsequence of two or more events, he would have used past perfect.

Look here: "Two years ago the hurricane destroyed buildings, which had been constructed with violation of main construction procedures.
Buildings were constructed before the hurricane destroyed them. Look for subsequences.
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Re: The Byzantine Empire [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2010, 04:21
When I coined this history passage for the GMAT SC, I had the uppermost idea of bringing to the fore the chronology of the events. Timing was essential to the substance of this passage and I felt the best way to express chronology was through the use of differential tenses

There are four distinct events here. In the order of timing they are

1. The affluence of the Byzantine in 10 A.D. until the crusade- until is the cue
2. Its subsequent fall into penury after fourth crusade
3. The might empire cracked due to the penury – marked by the cue word eventually
4. Then the empire fell. Marked by the cue word then

Going by the syntax, IMO, among all the four, the first three events do entail past perfect tenses. The last of the series indicating the empire’s fall qualifies for a simple past.

This is what is apparent in the passage and going beyond this simple reading might land the test taker into time trouble, should a similar thing appear at all in the real GMAT.

E is my official choice
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Re: The Byzantine Empire [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2010, 23:15
Glad I revisited this thread.

These sequence questions are really tough.

I thought A was the answer because I thought the passage made the sequence clear by using words and phrases such as until, in days to come, Around the tenth century A.D, and fifteenth century.

I was told simple past was the best option when the passage already made sequence clear by using specific dates or such words that describe timing.

I'm very confused now. Can someone clarify when to use past perfect and when not to?

I will review MGMAT SC later and see if I can find something.
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Re: The Byzantine Empire [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2010, 02:25
daagh wrote:
Around the tenth century A.D, the Byzantine Empire was a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, the mighty empire eventually cracked and fell to the Ottomans in the middle of the fifteenth century

(A) was a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, the mighty empire eventually cracked and fell

(B) was a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III had turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, the mighty empire eventually cracked and fell

C) ) had been a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III had turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, eventually the mighty empire cracked and fell

(D) had been a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III had turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, the mighty empire eventually cracked and had fallen

(E) had been a picture of great affluence and prosperity, until the disastrous fourth crusade fought under the initiation of Pope Innocent III had turned the immense fortune into penury and in days to come, the mighty empire had cracked eventually and then fell

unbelievable if the answer is E, i think that the answer is simply A...
this ST is like its reporting an event which happened in the past... dunnit past perfect tense, simple tense is good...
hey, do you have its OE?

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Re: The Byzantine Empire [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2010, 07:07
I am unable to see the logic behind dropping the distinction a past perfective renders from the use of simple past, under the pretext of some time line.

IMO, between the occurrences of more than one event, there will
Be always some kind of an ostensible time line that divides them.

Now a correct version from OG

Never before had taxpayers confronted as many changes at once as they confronted in the Tax Reform Act of 1986. (This is the correct Choice D)

In this case, the non-underlined portion expresses a past perfect tense. OG could have simply said “Never before taxpayers confronted”, even though there are definite time lines such as “never before” and the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

Another Correct OG sentence

Before George Eliot became the popular and respected novelist known as George Eliot, she had been an anonymous translator and essayist

Both these cases have very obvious time markers in the form of --before.-

This is my conviction as one who coined the text. If anyone feels otherwise, there is no need to change his or her opinon.
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Re: The Byzantine Empire   [#permalink] 23 Oct 2010, 07:07
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