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# Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town,

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Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, [#permalink]

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05 Mar 2010, 00:21
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Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

* has been
* was being
* was

[Reveal] Spoiler:
What is the problem in A ? Because I think past perfect is necessary as by using simple past distorts the meaning

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05 Mar 2010, 08:29
angel2009 wrote:
Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

* has been
* was being
* was

[Reveal] Spoiler:
What is the problem in A ? Because I think past perfect is necessary as by using simple past distorts the meaning

Simple past was required, because we don't know whether the town was one of the most popular resort for a period of time or just at the time when the strom destroyed.
If the sentence were to say that, the town had been most popular resort until strom destroyed. then use of Had been is correct.

Experts please correct me If I am wrong.

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05 Mar 2010, 11:44
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angel2009 wrote:
Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

* has been
* was being
* was

Before in the sentence already maintains the time sequence and we dont need the past perfect to define time sequence. A simple past will do as we already know that from the word before.

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07 Mar 2010, 07:26
Good catch Chix475ntu ... before is already there!!!

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07 Mar 2010, 21:45
chix475ntu wrote:
angel2009 wrote:
Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

* has been
* was being
* was

Before in the sentence already maintains the time sequence and we dont need the past perfect to define time sequence. A simple past will do as we already know that from the word before.

Hi chix475ntu, Where did you read that when "before" is there in the sentence, the earlier sentence need not to be past perfect.

See an example at http://www.monash.edu.au/lls/llonline/g ... se/3.3.xml

Before the installation of the new line, productivity had been very low.

The above sentence uses past perfect for earlier event that occurred in the past. How will you explain what you are saying?
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20 Jul 2011, 09:35
Sorry to start an old thread. Can someone comment on this pls?

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20 Jul 2011, 10:51
I need explanation on this one too.
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20 Jul 2011, 11:26
angel2009 wrote:
Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

* has been
* was being
* was

[Reveal] Spoiler:
What is the problem in A ? Because I think past perfect is necessary as by using simple past distorts the meaning

i think this sentence can go either way because the use of both past perfect and simple past makes sense depending on how we understand the sentence...
Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the east coast.. meaning, normally, as one would analyze the sentence that the town was popular before it was destroyed by harbor... importance is on 'before the destruction of the harbor'

Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town was one of the most popular resort destinations on the east coast ... i think here the importance is on 'popular resort destinations'... and not on the 'destruction'

what is the source?

some of the previous post said because of use of 'before' sentence is using simple past, i dont think thats a right statement, read this page for some examples -
http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/pastperfect.html

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20 Jul 2011, 11:32
I saw this in GMAT club verbal tests.

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20 Jul 2011, 11:37
Manhattan's rule for using Past Perfect:

 1. Past Perfect is used to clarify or emphasize a sequence of past events. The earlier event should somehow have a bearing on the context of the later event.2. The words "before" and "after" indicate the sequence of events clearly and emphatically enough to make the use of the Past Perfect unnecessary.

angel2009 wrote:
Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

* has been
* was being
* was

Before here clearly indicates the sequence of events. Town was most popular and then storm destroyed the town.
Hence use of HAD BEEN is unwarranted in this situation. Simple Past Tense will should be used.

OA E.
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20 Jul 2011, 11:41
agdimple333 wrote:
angel2009 wrote:
Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

* has been
* was being
* was

[Reveal] Spoiler:
What is the problem in A ? Because I think past perfect is necessary as by using simple past distorts the meaning

i think this sentence can go either way because the use of both past perfect and simple past makes sense depending on how we understand the sentence...
Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the east coast.. meaning, normally, as one would analyze the sentence that the town was popular before it was destroyed by harbor... importance is on 'before the destruction of the harbor'

Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town was one of the most popular resort destinations on the east coast ... i think here the importance is on 'popular resort destinations'... and not on the 'destruction'

what is the source?

some of the previous post said because of use of 'before' sentence is using simple past, i dont think thats a right statement, read this page for some examples -
http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/pastperfect.html

I still don't understand why you need progression in this sentence. You might need progression in a sentence in which ranking is maintained--for example, Australia had maintained 1st rank in the test cricket before India took over. However, question above has a very general statement "one of the most popular resort destinations", not even "The most popular resort destination". I still can't figure out the reason for "had been" in this sentence, but I can in most of the sentences in the link you sent.
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20 Jul 2011, 11:58
sgupta0827 wrote:
agdimple333 wrote:
angel2009 wrote:
Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

* has been
* was being
* was

[Reveal] Spoiler:
What is the problem in A ? Because I think past perfect is necessary as by using simple past distorts the meaning

i think this sentence can go either way because the use of both past perfect and simple past makes sense depending on how we understand the sentence...
Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the east coast.. meaning, normally, as one would analyze the sentence that the town was popular before it was destroyed by harbor... importance is on 'before the destruction of the harbor'

Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town was one of the most popular resort destinations on the east coast ... i think here the importance is on 'popular resort destinations'... and not on the 'destruction'

what is the source?

some of the previous post said because of use of 'before' sentence is using simple past, i dont think thats a right statement, read this page for some examples -
http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/pastperfect.html

I still don't understand why you need progression in this sentence. You might need progression in a sentence in which ranking is maintained--for example, Australia had maintained 1st rank in the test cricket before India took over. However, question above has a very general statement "one of the most popular resort destinations", not even "The most popular resort destination". I still can't figure out the reason for "had been" in this sentence, but I can in most of the sentences in the link you sent.

I think example is not correct in the above post. Here is a better example:
Australia had been 1st in rank in the test cricket before India took over.
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21 Jul 2011, 06:00
i took A, thank for explanation.
NOw i think the correct is E

Tricky one

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21 Jul 2011, 06:08
Manhattan's rule for using Past Perfect:

 1. Past Perfect is used to clarify or emphasize a sequence of past events. The earlier event should somehow have a bearing on the context of the later event.2. The words "before" and "after" indicate the sequence of events clearly and emphatically enough to make the use of the Past Perfect unnecessary.

angel2009 wrote:
Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

* has been
* was being
* was

Before here clearly indicates the sequence of events. Town was most popular and then storm destroyed the town.
Hence use of HAD BEEN is unwarranted in this situation. Simple Past Tense will should be used.

OA E.

I am using GMATclub's Ultimate grammar book which has specified the following rule:

Before+subject+simple past+subject+past perfect.
So clearly, there seems to be difference of opinion on whether or not to use past perfect in 2nd part of sentence if 1st part contains before.

Another point is that had been is past perfect continuous and not past perfect.

I still think that this sentence is debatable.

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21 Jul 2011, 11:23
Chetangupta wrote:
Manhattan's rule for using Past Perfect:

 1. Past Perfect is used to clarify or emphasize a sequence of past events. The earlier event should somehow have a bearing on the context of the later event.2. The words "before" and "after" indicate the sequence of events clearly and emphatically enough to make the use of the Past Perfect unnecessary.

angel2009 wrote:
Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

* has been
* was being
* was

Before here clearly indicates the sequence of events. Town was most popular and then storm destroyed the town.
Hence use of HAD BEEN is unwarranted in this situation. Simple Past Tense will should be used.

OA E.

I am using GMATclub's Ultimate grammar book which has specified the following rule:

Before+subject+simple past+subject+past perfect.
So clearly, there seems to be difference of opinion on whether or not to use past perfect in 2nd part of sentence if 1st part contains before.

Another point is that had been is past perfect continuous and not past perfect.

I still think that this sentence is debatable.

Hi Chetan,
This is not past perfect continuous because Been here is used as form of "to be". The participle of "to be" is been.

Hi Friends,
Does it matter if I would add some definite time period with first part of sentence.
Ex. "Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor yesterday" or "Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor in 1984"
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21 Jul 2011, 11:49
rphardu wrote:
Hi Chetan,
This is not past perfect continuous because Been here is used as form of "to be". The participle of "to be" is been.

Hi Friends,
Does it matter if I would add some definite time period with first part of sentence.
Ex. "Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor yesterday" or "Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor in 1984"

As per you, this is not past perfect continuous tense. Let's say if you were to create past perfect continuous for this, how would you create? Storm had been been most popular? I think it's a past perfect continuous tense.
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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2013, 08:32
Quote:

Before here clearly indicates the sequence of events. Town was most popular and then storm destroyed the town.
Hence use of HAD BEEN is unwarranted in this situation. Simple Past Tense will should be used.

Is it a real thing ? I mean, from my understanding, it does not matter whether the sequence of events is already clear or not, as a grammatical rule you SHOULD use past perfect to refer to an event which happens before another one and both events are somehow related. I think had been is perfectly correct here, and as it is the original sentence I don't see why we should change it. Any expert insight on this one ?

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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2013, 10:02
Darmody wrote:
Quote:

Before here clearly indicates the sequence of events. Town was most popular and then storm destroyed the town.
Hence use of HAD BEEN is unwarranted in this situation. Simple Past Tense will should be used.

Is it a real thing ? I mean, from my understanding, it does not matter whether the sequence of events is already clear or not, as a grammatical rule you SHOULD use past perfect to refer to an event which happens before another one and both events are somehow related. I think had been is perfectly correct here, and as it is the original sentence I don't see why we should change it. Any expert insight on this one ?

Hi Darmody,

I too had the same doubt; everyone says that we should use past perfect verb when we want to express an event that happened before another event. I came across such sentence and was surprised.

However, it is a real thing. Past perfect tense is used to indicate such a past action, but if the meaning of the sentence clearly marks such a sequence then the use of past perfect would be considered as redundant (or in other words less preferred). Such a sentence would be grammatically correct, but if you have an answer choice without the past perfect then that would be the better one. I have not really seen an official question which tests this exception, however it could be tested, so, just make a note of this rule.

Hope that helps,

Vercules
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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2013, 10:27

What I thought of the rule you are talking about is that it applied in the case we are talking about two past event that are not directly logically connected or in the case where the sequence of action is irrelevant to the idea we want to express, example (taken from MGMAT verbal book)

Antonio drove to the store and bought some ice cream.

I completely agree that here the past perfect is not necessary as the sequence of events is completely pointless for understanding the overall meaning of the sentence. On the other side in our sentence:

Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

Here the sequence of action is completely relevant: the city was a popular destination until the storm which cause it to stop.

But I understand the fact that the sequence is clear because of the word "before" even though I find this question really tricky

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17 Feb 2013, 11:21
Manhattan's rule for using Past Perfect:

 1. Past Perfect is used to clarify or emphasize a sequence of past events. The earlier event should somehow have a bearing on the context of the later event.2. The words "before" and "after" indicate the sequence of events clearly and emphatically enough to make the use of the Past Perfect unnecessary.

angel2009 wrote:
Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

* has been
* was being
* was

Before here clearly indicates the sequence of events. Town was most popular and then storm destroyed the town.
Hence use of HAD BEEN is unwarranted in this situation. Simple Past Tense will should be used.

OA E.

Apart from the above there are more other situations mentioned in MGMT guide in which use of past perfect is not required even when two actions have occurred in the past and one before the other.
1. If both the actions are performed by the same subject OR if the time sequence is already obvious then we do not require past perfect.
e.g. Antonio drove to the store and bought some icecream
2. Main clauses linked by AND or BUT do not require the past perfect. The reason is that in such case we are not emphasizing the order or time sequence here.
e.g. Antonio drove to the store and Cristina bought some icecream

Regards,

Abhijit
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Re: tense related   [#permalink] 17 Feb 2013, 11:21

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