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# As if the doubly reinforced window was not enough, the jail also uses

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Re: As if the doubly reinforced window was not enough, the jail also uses [#permalink]
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NandishSS wrote:
HI GMATNinja , mikemcgarry , DmitryFarber , MagooshExpert (Carolyn), GMATGuruNY

I was b/w A & D. Was unable to decide b/w Was & Were can you pls help me out?

Hi NandishSS,

Here we have a statement that indicates a hypothetical situation -- "as if ...". This triggers the subjunctive mood. The subjunctive mood uses the plural past tense form of the verb. So here, we want to use "were". Check out that link for further details

I hope that helps!
-Carolyn
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Re: As if the doubly reinforced window was not enough, the jail also uses [#permalink]
Why C is wrong? Even though C presents a fact by stating '' As if the doubly reinforced window is not enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance, and a barbed wire fence around the perimeter to ensure that the dangerous prisoner can never escape''.

D answer states hypothetical situation. The clause takes fact answer '' the jail also uses panoptical surveillance''. Should not D follow the 'Would' construction? If it is taking hypothetical situation.
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Re: As if the doubly reinforced window was not enough, the jail also uses [#permalink]
Dear Friends,

Here is a detailed explanation to this question-

LMP wrote:
As if the doubly reinforced window was not enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance and a barbed wire fence around the perimeter to ensure that the dangerous prisoner can never escape.

(A) the doubly reinforced window was not enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance

(B) the window having been doubly reinforced was not enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance

(C) the doubly reinforced window is not enough, the jail also uses surveillance of the panoptical variety,

(D) the doubly reinforced window were not enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance

(E) the doubly reinforced window is not to be enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance

Choice A: This answer choice incorrectly uses the singular verb "was"; the phrase "As if" denotes a hypothetical scenario, meaning the subjunctive mood applies to this verb. Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Choice B: This answer choice incorrectly uses the past perfect verb "having been doubly reinforced was"; this tense is only used to refer to the earlier of two actions. This answer choice also repeats the subjunctive mood error seen in Option A. Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Choice C: This answer choice repeats the subjunctive mood error seen in Option A, through the use of the verb "is". Additionally, this answer choice utilizes the needlessly wordy phrase "surveillance of the panoptical variety". Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Choice D: This answer choice maintains correct tense use throughout the sentence by utilizing the simple past plural verb "were" and is quite concise. Thus, this answer choice is correct.

Choice E: This answer choice incorrectly utilizes the future tense verb "is not to be enough" to refer to an action in the past. Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Hence, D is the best answer choice.

One interesting thing to note here is that the subjunctive mood only applies to the first action in this sentence, the doubly reinforced window being insufficient. The reason why the second action, the jail's use of panoptical surveillance and a barbed wire fence, is not in the subjunctive mood is that this action is not hypothetical. The first part of the sentence proposes a hypothetical situation wherein the doubly reinforced window is insufficient for the jail's security requirements and the second part simply states the fact that the jail also uses panoptical surveillance and a barbed wire fence to prevent the prisoner from escaping. The meaning of this sentence is that even if we assume that one particular security measure is not enough, the jail also employs two additional measures to prevent escapes.

To understand the concept of "Subjunctive Mood on GMAT", you may want to watch the following video (~20 minutes):

To understand the concept of "Past Perfect Tense - Use of Had on GMAT", you may want to watch the following video (~2 minutes):

All the best!
Experts' Global Team
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Re: As if the doubly reinforced window was not enough, the jail also uses [#permalink]
I am really confused as I dont think that the scenario presented here should be hypothetical coz they have already installed the window and still they use the panoptical and barbed wire.
So i believe C should be the answer. Pls help.

Thanks
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Re: As if the doubly reinforced window was not enough, the jail also uses [#permalink]
jim441 wrote:
I am really confused as I dont think that the scenario presented here should be hypothetical coz they have already installed the window and still they use the panoptical and barbed wire.
So i believe C should be the answer. Pls help.

Thanks

Hello jim441,

We hope this finds you well.

To clarify your doubt, the hypothetical scenario here is the doubly reinforced window not being enough to prevent dangerous prisoners from escaping.

We hope this helps.
All the best!
Experts' Global Team
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As if the doubly reinforced window was not enough, the jail also uses [#permalink]
ExpertsGlobal5 wrote:
Dear Friends,

Here is a detailed explanation to this question-

LMP wrote:
As if the doubly reinforced window was not enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance and a barbed wire fence around the perimeter to ensure that the dangerous prisoner can never escape.

(A) the doubly reinforced window was not enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance

(B) the window having been doubly reinforced was not enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance

(C) the doubly reinforced window is not enough, the jail also uses surveillance of the panoptical variety,

(D) the doubly reinforced window were not enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance

(E) the doubly reinforced window is not to be enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance

Choice A: This answer choice incorrectly uses the singular verb "was"; the phrase "As if" denotes a hypothetical scenario, meaning the subjunctive mood applies to this verb. Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Choice B: This answer choice incorrectly uses the past perfect verb "having been doubly reinforced was"; this tense is only used to refer to the earlier of two actions. This answer choice also repeats the subjunctive mood error seen in Option A. Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Choice C: This answer choice repeats the subjunctive mood error seen in Option A, through the use of the verb "is". Additionally, this answer choice utilizes the needlessly wordy phrase "surveillance of the panoptical variety". Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Choice D: This answer choice maintains correct tense use throughout the sentence by utilizing the simple past plural verb "were" and is quite concise. Thus, this answer choice is correct.

Choice E: This answer choice incorrectly utilizes the future tense verb "is not to be enough" to refer to an action in the past. Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Hence, D is the best answer choice.

One interesting thing to note here is that the subjunctive mood only applies to the first action in this sentence, the doubly reinforced window being insufficient. The reason why the second action, the jail's use of panoptical surveillance and a barbed wire fence, is not in the subjunctive mood is that this action is not hypothetical. The first part of the sentence proposes a hypothetical situation wherein the doubly reinforced window is insufficient for the jail's security requirements and the second part simply states the fact that the jail also uses panoptical surveillance and a barbed wire fence to prevent the prisoner from escaping. The meaning of this sentence is that even if we assume that one particular security measure is not enough, the jail also employs two additional measures to prevent escapes.

All the best!
Experts' Global Team

But the word "window" is singular, so how can we use "were" with it? It makes sense to use singular verb "was". Can you please explain?
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Re: As if the doubly reinforced window was not enough, the jail also uses [#permalink]
ExpertsGlobal5 wrote:
Dear Friends,

Here is a detailed explanation to this question-

LMP wrote:
As if the doubly reinforced window was not enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance and a barbed wire fence around the perimeter to ensure that the dangerous prisoner can never escape.

(A) the doubly reinforced window was not enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance

(B) the window having been doubly reinforced was not enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance

(C) the doubly reinforced window is not enough, the jail also uses surveillance of the panoptical variety,

(D) the doubly reinforced window were not enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance

(E) the doubly reinforced window is not to be enough, the jail also uses panoptical surveillance

Choice A: This answer choice incorrectly uses the singular verb "was"; the phrase "As if" denotes a hypothetical scenario, meaning the subjunctive mood applies to this verb. Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Choice B: This answer choice incorrectly uses the past perfect verb "having been doubly reinforced was"; this tense is only used to refer to the earlier of two actions. This answer choice also repeats the subjunctive mood error seen in Option A. Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Choice C: This answer choice repeats the subjunctive mood error seen in Option A, through the use of the verb "is". Additionally, this answer choice utilizes the needlessly wordy phrase "surveillance of the panoptical variety". Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Choice D: This answer choice maintains correct tense use throughout the sentence by utilizing the simple past plural verb "were" and is quite concise. Thus, this answer choice is correct.

Choice E: This answer choice incorrectly utilizes the future tense verb "is not to be enough" to refer to an action in the past. Thus, this answer choice is incorrect.

Hence, D is the best answer choice.

One interesting thing to note here is that the subjunctive mood only applies to the first action in this sentence, the doubly reinforced window being insufficient. The reason why the second action, the jail's use of panoptical surveillance and a barbed wire fence, is not in the subjunctive mood is that this action is not hypothetical. The first part of the sentence proposes a hypothetical situation wherein the doubly reinforced window is insufficient for the jail's security requirements and the second part simply states the fact that the jail also uses panoptical surveillance and a barbed wire fence to prevent the prisoner from escaping. The meaning of this sentence is that even if we assume that one particular security measure is not enough, the jail also employs two additional measures to prevent escapes.

All the best!
Experts' Global Team

But the word "window" is singular, so how can we use "were" with it? It makes sense to use singular verb "was". Can you please explain?

We hope this finds you well.

To answer your query, “wishful trigger (if) + plural form of verb” is the correct, subjunctive usage; example: "If I were an athlete, I would be super fit."

We hope this helps.
All the best!
Experts' Global Team
Re: As if the doubly reinforced window was not enough, the jail also uses [#permalink]
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