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Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere

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Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2017, 06:13
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Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere and the inhabitants of several communities had to be relocated to an army base from their homes 20 miles away.

(A) had to be relocated to an army base from their homes 20 miles away.
(B) have to be relocated to an army base from their homes 20 miles away.
(C) had to be relocated 20 miles away from their homes to an army base.
(D) had to be relocated to an army base, 20 miles away from their homes.
(E) has to be relocated to an army base, 20 miles away from their house.

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Re: Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2017, 06:18
Confused between C and D. Is it D?


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Re: Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2017, 06:20
I'll change it to C. What is the answer?


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Re: Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2017, 06:38
What is the source of this question?

As far as I know, past perfect 'had' is used when there is a series of events and it is used for the earlier event. But here the earlier event is 'release of toxic fumes' and not 'relocation'.
The fumes got released and thus relocation took place.

Also 'Several communities' is plural here and plural verb 'have' makes the most sense.

Only option B uses 'have' but the placement of '20 miles away' is incorrect.
It should be (according to me): .......army base, 20 miles away from their homes.

It would be great if experts could clear this confusion.
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Re: Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2017, 07:09
Is the use of past perfect 'had' correct here?
I have presented my analysis and according to what I have understood the correct verb form should be 'have'.

It would be great if you could clear this confusion.
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Re: Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2017, 07:37
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It looks like there are two sources of confusion here. Let's start with the verb phrase "had to be."

I think the issue is that some of you are noticing the word "had", and automatically thinking that it's the past perfect tense. That isn't necessarily the case, though:

    Charles had seven burritos for breakfast. --> "had" is just simple past tense
    Charles had eaten burritos for breakfast every day until he gained 20 pounds. --> "had" + past participle = past perfect tense
    Charles had to feel terrible after eating seven burritos for breakfast. --> "had" isn't accompanied by a past participle, so this ISN'T past perfect tense!

In the third case, "had" actually functions as a helping verb (also called a modal or auxiliary verb). "Had to" basically functions the same way as "must" in this case:

    Charles had to feel terrible after eating seven burritos for breakfast.
    Charles must feel terrible after eating seven burritos for breakfast.

So in the original question, "inhabitants had to be relocated" is just simple past tense -- and "had" is just a helping verb for "to be relocated." In terms of the verb, (A), (C), and (D) are fine. And (B) & (E) don't make much sense: since the fumes "were released" in the past, it's hard to imagine why we'd use the present perfect "have to be" or "has to be."

Source of confusion #2 is the difference between (C) and (D). This part of the question looks fishy to me, and usual caveats apply about non-official questions -- these last two answer choices don't really look like real GMAT stuff. I don't think that (C) is wrong, but I think (D) is arguably a tiny bit clearer -- but reasonable people could disagree on that part. So don't worry too much about the difference between (C) and (D).
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Re: Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2017, 08:10
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Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere and the inhabitants of several communities had to be relocated to an army base from their homes 20 miles away.

(A) had to be relocated to an army base from their homes 20 miles away.
(B) have to be relocated to an army base from their homes 20 miles away.
(C) had to be relocated 20 miles away from their homes to an army base.
(D) had to be relocated to an army base, 20 miles away from their homes.
(E) has to be relocated to an army base, 20 miles away from their house.

First, 'had to be relocated' is not past perfect tense. It is simply the past tense of 'has to or have to be relocated'. If you want to use the past perfect, then you have to say 'had had to be relocated'.
We can't also conclude that the relocation happened only after the fumes stopped being released. For all that, both actions could have been simultaneous. Hence, a simple past (had to be relocated) would be good enough. Second, the army base was 20 miles away from their house. Hence, 'the army base' and 'twenty miles' away should go hand-in-hand.
WE can see why C is the best fit; a good question overall and the takeaway - beware of the past perfect.
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Re: Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2017, 09:07
GMATNinja wrote:
It looks like there are two sources of confusion here. Let's start with the verb phrase "had to be."

I think the issue is that some of you are noticing the word "had", and automatically thinking that it's the past perfect tense. That isn't necessarily the case, though:

    Charles had seven burritos for breakfast. --> "had" is just simple past tense
    Charles had eaten burritos for breakfast every day until he gained 20 pounds. --> "had" + past participle = past perfect tense
    Charles had to feel terrible after eating seven burritos for breakfast. --> "had" isn't accompanied by a past participle, so this ISN'T past perfect tense!

In the third case, "had" actually functions as a helping verb (also called a modal or auxiliary verb). "Had to" basically functions the same way as "must" in this case:

    Charles had to feel terrible after eating seven burritos for breakfast.
    Charles must feel terrible after eating seven burritos for breakfast.

So in the original question, "inhabitants had to be relocated" is just simple past tense -- and "had" is just a helping verb for "to be relocated." In terms of the verb, (A), (C), and (D) are fine. And (B) & (E) don't make much sense: since the fumes "were released" in the past, it's hard to imagine why we'd use the present perfect "have to be" or "has to be."

Source of confusion #2 is the difference between (C) and (D). This part of the question looks fishy to me, and usual caveats apply about non-official questions -- these last two answer choices don't really look like real GMAT stuff. I don't think that (C) is wrong, but I think (D) is arguably a tiny bit clearer -- but reasonable people could disagree on that part. So don't worry too much about the difference between (C) and (D).



Hi GMAT Ninja
Thanks for your reply.
Usage of 'had' is really confusing and your post is helpful in understanding the usage.
Was I right about the placement of '20 miles...' with army base as it modifies army base ? Though the difference between the house and the base is 20 miles but A,B,C doesn't make much sense to me.

One more thing: What are the best sources apart from official guide to practice from whether its verbal or quant? Sources that provide more GMAT like questions.

Thanks.
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Re: Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2017, 09:09
daagh wrote:
Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere and the inhabitants of several communities had to be relocated to an army base from their homes 20 miles away.

(A) had to be relocated to an army base from their homes 20 miles away.
(B) have to be relocated to an army base from their homes 20 miles away.
(C) had to be relocated 20 miles away from their homes to an army base.
(D) had to be relocated to an army base, 20 miles away from their homes.
(E) has to be relocated to an army base, 20 miles away from their house.

First, 'had to be relocated' is not past perfect tense. It is simply the past tense of 'has to or have to be relocated'. If you want to use the past perfect, then you have to say 'had had to be relocated'.
We can't also conclude that the relocation happened only after the fumes stopped being released. For all that, both actions could have been simultaneous. Hence, a simple past (had to be relocated) would be good enough. Second, the army base was 20 miles away from their house. Hence, 'the army base' and 'twenty miles' away should go hand-in-hand.
WE can see why C is the best fit; a good question overall and the takeaway - beware of the past perfect.


Thank you for your response. That makes sense!!
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Re: Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2017, 09:38
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Shiv2016, I agree with you on the placement of the modifier, but I wouldn't overthink it here. I think you could justify (C) if you really think that the sentence is trying to emphasize that residents had to go 20 miles away -- and that the army base is "extra" information. I think (D) makes more sense than (C) for the same reasons you do, but there's some room for debate. And actual GMAT questions don't leave a whole lot of room for debate.

Quote:
One more thing: What are the best sources apart from official guide to practice from whether its verbal or quant? Sources that provide more GMAT like questions.


Heh heh. That's a sticky, sticky question. For quant, I don't think there's any harm at all in doing non-official questions. At worst, they might not really nail the style of the GMAT -- and non-official practice tests can be pretty inaccurate -- but you're still practicing math when you do non-official questions, and that's good, right?

For verbal... well, it is sooooo unbelievably hard for anybody to copy the style of the actual exam. As you've probably heard us say before: GMAC spends between $1500 and $3000 developing each question, and there's no way that even the best test-prep companies can compete. And when one tiny little detail is the difference between a right and wrong answer on verbal, we're demanding the impossible of test-prep companies if we expect them to write "realistic" verbal questions.

So I can't really endorse any of them -- and if we ever write a gigantic book of GMAT Ninja verbal practice problems, those will be flawed, too. It's fine to learn verbal techniques (and grammar, of course) from test-prep guides, but the best bet is to stretch the official materials as best you can. Official LSATs are good for extra CR & RC -- we'll post something about those soon. And there's always the GMATPrep Question Pack, and you can also purchase older editions of the OGs. For example, only about half of the questions in OG 12 are repeated in OG 2017 -- so if you have both books, you can squeeze out some extra practice.

I know: it not a particularly satisfying answer. And we'll post more about all of this in the next few weeks and months.
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Re: Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2019, 05:00
rohan2345 wrote:
Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere and the inhabitants of several communities had to be relocated to an army base from their homes 20 miles away.

(A) had to be relocated to an army base from their homes 20 miles away.
(B) have to be relocated to an army base from their homes 20 miles away.
(C) had to be relocated 20 miles away from their homes to an army base.
(D) had to be relocated to an army base, 20 miles away from their homes.
(E) has to be relocated to an army base, 20 miles away from their house.


IMO D

The intent of this sentence was to discuss about a timeline in which an accident happened before the people were relocated to the army base.

Past Perfect tense had to be used here, B and E eliminated

(A) had to be relocated to an army base from their homes 20 miles away.
now this is not clear on the part what is 20 miles away, the home or the army base - Eliminated

(C) had to be relocated 20 miles away from their homes to an army base.
here the location of the subject army base is quite far from the verb relocated(let me know if this reasoning is correct) - Eliminated

(D) had to be relocated to an army base, 20 miles away from their homes
20 miles,is correctly referring to the army base
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Re: Because of the accident, toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere   [#permalink] 22 Jan 2019, 05:00
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