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# Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its san

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

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Updated on: 26 Jan 2019, 02:13
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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.

B. has been

D. was being

E. was

What is the problem in A ? Because I think past perfect is necessary as by using simple past distorts the meaning

Originally posted by Minheequang on 08 May 2009, 08:38.
Last edited by Bunuel on 26 Jan 2019, 02:13, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its san  [#permalink]

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05 Mar 2010, 00:21
5
IMO E. This will be a big trap for anyone who automatically applies past perfect tense. Because if the answer choice were (A), it would be too easy to qualified to be a Gmat question. So, lets think that the test makers wouldn't be so good that they could give us such a chance to score an easy point

Back to the main point, we can completely apply past simple here because the attractiveness of a tourist spot is not only a simple action happened before another action in the past, but it is indeed a so-called trade-mark of a place. So, it's like an unchanged-thing in the past rather than a spontaneous action in the past

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.

2. has been
4. was being
5. was
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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its san  [#permalink]

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01 Jan 2011, 16:09
here we need verb agreement: we have destroyed........that indicate a tense totally gone. finished. it's over

so, E is the right answer. if you ahve doubt on this, maybe a problem with question much more difficult

You must think on this question not more than ten seconds
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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its san  [#permalink]

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02 Jan 2011, 02:12
In my opinion, (A) is not wrong, but when we compared (A) with (E), (A) is more redundant than (E) because the use of "before" in the sentence has shown the order of different time. That's why (E) is better than (A).
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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its san  [#permalink]

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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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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its san  [#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, with its san  [#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,

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

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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: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its san  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 23 Jul 2013, 15:06
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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.

B -has been
D -was being
E -was

<Amit> I marked it 'A' (although it sounds inappropriate) considering the event happened before a past event. The correct answer is 'WAS'. Please clarify my understanding on this.

Originally posted by Amit0507 on 23 Jul 2013, 11:25.
Last edited by Zarrolou on 23 Jul 2013, 15:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its san  [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2013, 11:53
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Amit0507 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.

B -has been
D -was being
E -was

<Amit> I marked it 'A' (although it sounds inappropriate) considering the event happened before a past event. The correct answer is 'WAS'. Please clarify my understanding on this.

Hi Amit.

As far as I know, verb tenses are "basic" but in fact difficult (if the questions only test you about verb tenses). The basic idea of past perfect is that one action completed before another action also completed in the past.

The past perfect form is: X (completed before Y) and Y also completed in the past.

Normally, if you want to emphasize Y ==> we use "past perfect" for X
However, if you want to emphasize X ==> the fact Y happened in the past does not matter ==> we use "simple past" for X.

In this question, the point we want to emphasize is "this town was the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast", not " the storm destroyed much of the harbor". ==> The fact about when storm happened does not matter. ==> "WAS" is more appropriate.

IMO, this question is NOT easy, the difference between "had been" and "was" is very subtle.

Hope it helps.
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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its san  [#permalink]

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25 May 2015, 09:14
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

What is the problem in A ? Because I think past perfect is necessary as by using simple past distorts the meaning

One of the most beautiful resort on the East Coast--------- > Storm---------> Destroyed Everything.

A clear picture can be drawn from the given statement - Sentence points out clearly the word before - Hence simple past tense is used , because we can clearly understand which actions / incident happened bofre something in the past.

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

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12 Jul 2015, 16:32
charleshsu0952 wrote:
In my opinion, (A) is not wrong, but when we compared (A) with (E), (A) is more redundant than (E) because the use of "before" in the sentence has shown the order of different time. That's why (E) is better than (A).

I see (A) as being no more redundant than (E). Taken to the extreme, if "before" signals the past, then "was" shouldn't be grammatically allowed out of redundancy either. And, what about the continuous nature implied in "had been", where the town continuously ranked at the top, as opposed to, say, just one period before the storm, in which case "was" is appropriate?

I believe that the justification for (E) is that you cannot infer the town's continuous rank. It doesn't say anywhere else in the sentence the continuous nature of the town's rank, and the town's past status is in fact the portion we're correcting. Therefore, the most we can know is that it was at least once ranked as a top East Coast destination. If, however, the GMAT required readers to take the entire meaning of the original sentence as-is, then (A) must be correct (but the GMAT doesn't, since the original sentence may or may not be correct).
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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its san  [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2015, 09:18
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.

A)had been Since we have the cue "before," the past perfect isn't necessary to indicate which action took place.
E)was
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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its san  [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2015, 11:04
OptimusPrepJanielle 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.

A)had been Since we have the cue "before," the past perfect isn't necessary to indicate which action took place.
E)was

OptimusPrepJanielle: There's one explanation on this forum that seems to contradict what you say, which is why I'm confused.

"Before the teacher entered the room, John had been cheating on the exam." (First, John was in the act of cheating on the exam. Later, the teacher walked in. Did John stop because the teacher walked in? Or had he already stopped for some other reason before she walked in? We don't know - but the OG prefers to interpret this as: John cheated. Then John stopped. Then the teacher walked into the room.)

According to the above, with the use of "before", (A) and (E) are equivalent. That still leads us to at least three different justifications, 2 for (E) and 1 for (A), depending on what takes priority:

1. Be concise, (E) correct: (A) is grammatically correct, and (E) takes priority only because it's less wordy and slightly less redundant (if at all).

2. Go with what we know, (E) correct: "Was" and "had been" are still different, because in the example above, John "was" cheating before the teacher walked in, may mean he was cheating at one time, say, 1 hour beforehand. Whereas, John "had been" cheating before the teacher walked in means John cheated on the exam for a while or for an unknown duration up until and because the teacher walked in. In which case, (E) changes the meaning of (A), and we accept (E) only because there is no way to know for sure how long something was going on before the storm, since the past duration and even cause is exactly what we're correcting in the sentence. Therefore, (E) is at least true, and (A) is possible but not known 100%.

3. Preserve Meaning, (A) correct: In contrast to (2), if we were to accept the original sentence's meaning, then (A) must be true, and (E) must be false, because there was an unknown duration of X before Y, and the storm directly causes X's duration to stop; it's not simply a one time occurrence of X sometime before the storm with a causal relationship not necessarily existing - only a temporal relationship is established by the word "before". For example, "Before the war, I was a singer, a dancer, and a mathematician." This only means sometime before the war, one was a singer, a dancer, and a mathematician, and not necessarily that the war caused one to cease being a singer, dancer, and mathematician. One could just be recalling a memory from long ago, and the war is just a major life event or reference point to recall a memory.

The real question is, whose question is this? OG? Manhattan? Magoosh? If it's from OG, then whatever the justification, go with their rule. If it's another's example, then it's still confusing. In that case, we'll need a different OG example in the same sort of setup (e.g. had been vs. was, "before" used, "had been"/"was" is underlined for correction) to clarify this matter.
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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its san  [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2015, 04:31
Use of the past perfect or simple past is optional when used with conjunctions. For GMAT optional is often synonymous with redundant. Here's a nice quick explanation in the "special cases" section: http://www.perfectyourenglish.com/gramm ... -tense.htm
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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its san  [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2015, 08:21
OptimusPrepJanielle wrote:
Use of the past perfect or simple past is optional when used with conjunctions. For GMAT optional is often synonymous with redundant. Here's a nice quick explanation in the "special cases" section: http://www.perfectyourenglish.com/gramm ... -tense.htm

Thanks for the link! I'm thinking that "was" is still preferred over "had been", for one past action before another, even in the special case when we want to emphasize the idea of completion. But, why would they call it a special case if it wasn't necessary? That "had been" is still grammatically correct, though "was" takes preference?
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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its san  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2015, 02:03
icandy wrote:
ssandeepan 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.

Here we are presented with a sentence where clearly it is stated which event precceeds which one.

Thus we can say that before the storm the town was most popular.

When we are certain about the precedence / occurence of a certain event in the time elements ( In this case the starting - Before the storm .....) we do not need past perfect tense.

Past Perfect Tense must only be used to express the idea that a certain event precceeds another event in the timeline.

To me Befoe + had been for this particular sentence is redundent.

Hence I am with (E), simple past Was

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

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Re: Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its san   [#permalink] 26 Jan 2019, 02:14
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