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By 1999, astronomers had discovered

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By 1999, astronomers had discovered [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2015, 04:04
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OG16 SC137
By 1999, astronomers had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets about the size of Jupiter

A: had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets
B: had discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that were
C: had discovered that there were 17 nearby stars that were orbited by planets
D: have discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that are
E: have discovered that 17 nearby stars are orbited by planets
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: By 1999, astronomers had discovered [#permalink]

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We do require the past perfect here to denote a past event; By 1999 'have discovered' does not make sense. Drop D and E. Among A, B, C:

A: had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets --- correct choice ----- the 17 starts are the object of the verb discovered.

B: had discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that were ---‘them’ refers to stars logically, ‘ that were’ renders a wrong meaning that the stars were about the size of Jupiter

C: had discovered that there were 17 nearby stars that were orbited by planets --- This choice alters the meaning that the planets are not any more orbiting the stars
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Re: By 1999, astronomers had discovered [#permalink]

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JarvisR wrote:
By 1999, astronomers had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets about the size of Jupiter

A: had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planet
B: had discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that were
C: had discovered that there were 17 nearby stars that were orbited by planets
D: have discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that are
E: have discovered that 17 nearby stars are orbited by planets


Can you please explain how it can be A? had discovered means the discovery happened before the first action? Are you sure this is from OG?
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Re: By 1999, astronomers had discovered [#permalink]

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By 1999, astronomers had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets about the size of Jupiter

A: had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets
B: had discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that were
C: had discovered that there were 17 nearby stars that were orbited by planets
D: have discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that are
E: have discovered that 17 nearby stars are orbited by planets

OG Answer:
Opening with a past date (1999) describing the end point of a period of discovery, this sentence calls for a past perfect main verb to follow the subject astronomers. In order to economize on words and maximize clarity, the object of the main clause, stars, is modified by a passive relative clause that are orbited by planets followed by the adjective phrase about the size of Jupiter. This structure avoids an awkward and confusing clauses and prepositional phrases.
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Re: By 1999, astronomers had discovered [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2015, 15:15
By 1999, astronomers had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets about the size of Jupiter

Meaning is quite important here. "By 1999" implies that astronomers are continuously discovering these type of stars and that the number of the discovered stars by that year should be emphasized, not the discovery itself. C and E are ruled out.

The structure in C and E could be used if the sentence started with "In 1999". The way they are used now is awkward.

B and D are unnecessarily wordy.

A is sound and logical.

IMHO, when the given sentence only uses one tense, making decisions based on tenses is not the best idea. You cannot make comparisons to other events and are prone to errors.
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Re: By 1999, astronomers had discovered [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2015, 16:00
Hi,
I wonder whether there is a problem in "were about the size ..." in choice B? Does it indicate that the fact that those planets are about the size of Jupiter is no longer true, and that is the reason why this choice is incorrect.

In choice A, I did not choose it because of the word "are orbited". I though the sentence is about past event, then all verb should be in past tense.

Please help me with this problem. Thanks!
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Re: By 1999, astronomers had discovered [#permalink]

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tronghieu1987 wrote:
Hi,
I wonder whether there is a problem in "were about the size ..." in choice B? Does it indicate that the fact that those planets are about the size of Jupiter is no longer true, and that is the reason why this choice is incorrect.

In choice A, I did not choose it because of the word "are orbited". I though the sentence is about past event, then all verb should be in past tense.

Please help me with this problem. Thanks!


In B, there is an ambiguity. "that" could be referring to the stars or the planets. It's not a solid sentence.
Again, I would say answering based on tenses could be misleading here. There are safer clues you can use. But I think using simple present tense is okay since these planets probably have been orbiting these stars for billions of years and are going to do so for another billions of years.
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Re: By 1999, astronomers had discovered [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2015, 17:56
SevkoGs wrote:
tronghieu1987 wrote:
Hi,
I wonder whether there is a problem in "were about the size ..." in choice B? Does it indicate that the fact that those planets are about the size of Jupiter is no longer true, and that is the reason why this choice is incorrect.

In choice A, I did not choose it because of the word "are orbited". I though the sentence is about past event, then all verb should be in past tense.

Please help me with this problem. Thanks!


In B, there is an ambiguity. "that" could be referring to the stars or the planets. It's not a solid sentence.
Again, I would say answering based on tenses could be misleading here. There are safer clues you can use. But I think using simple present tense is okay since these planets probably have been orbiting these stars for billions of years and are going to do so for another billions of years.


Thanks for your explanation. I was concentrating too much on the different tenses in this questions.

As you said, there is not a 100% correct tense in this sentence. But according to the OG explanation for choice B, "the past tense verb "were" suggests, improbably, that the size of the planets may have changed significantly since 1999". So I don't know if I could use this kind of verb tense error in another questions.
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Re: By 1999, astronomers had discovered [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2016, 10:20
JarvisR wrote:
By 1999, astronomers had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets about the size of Jupiter

A: had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planet
B: had discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that were
C: had discovered that there were 17 nearby stars that were orbited by planets
D: have discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that are
E: have discovered that 17 nearby stars are orbited by planets


The typo of "planet" in a screwed me over, how silly that I didn't verify it by the question stem where it clearly says "planets" -_x
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Re: By 1999, astronomers had discovered [#permalink]

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JarvisR wrote:
By 1999, astronomers had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets about the size of Jupiter

A: had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planet
B: had discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that were
C: had discovered that there were 17 nearby stars that were orbited by planets
D: have discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that are
E: have discovered that 17 nearby stars are orbited by planets


Here, 1999 is implied past tense, so the discovery had taken place before 1999 so it takes Had#
eliminate D and E
B what does them refer to is it scientists or stars, this is reference error, so eliminate B
C were is wrong here because it is natural phenomena which is occurring even now so, we can eliminate C
Therefore answer is A
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Re: By 1999, astronomers had discovered [#permalink]

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This is an excellent question that checks the usage of "That"!

I found this game on "That" - Check it out. It's awesome - made the concept very clear.
http://web.ku.edu/~edit/that.html
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Re: By 1999, astronomers had discovered [#permalink]

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By 1999, astronomers had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets about the size of Jupiter

A: had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets
B: had discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that were
C: had discovered that there were 17 nearby stars that were orbited by planets
D: have discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that are
E: have discovered that 17 nearby stars are orbited by planets

Error Type(s):
Verb Tense (Past Perfect; Tense)

A quick scan of the options makes quick work of this one before we read the sentence carefully---Verb Tense is in play. Specifically, because of the word “had” we know to investigate whether there were two events that concluded in the past. If there were, then we got to get rid of options D and E since "have" would be incorrect. If there were not two events in the past, then we get to chuck options A, B and C since "had" would be incorrect. Either way, there’s a big victory to be had right at the start.

Since 1999 is being reference in terms of the discoveries that had taken place at that point, this sentence reverts us back to 1999, and then discusses the discoveries that had already occurred by that point. Past perfect? Yep. The chronology looks like this:

Chronology of Events
Event 1: Discovery of 17 stars with planetary systems
Event 2: 1999
Now (the time the sentence was written)

Chuck D and E. Specifically, these options are out because if we’re referring back to 1999, a point in the past, we wouldn’t use simple present ongoing tense (have).

So now, between options A, B, and C: when is this orbiting happening? The whole way through this discussion: before discovery, after, and ongoing from now. These stars ARE orbited by planets---the orbits didn’t suddenly stop after discovery. That means C is definitely out since it puts the orbit in the past.

With B, “were about the size of Jupiter” suggests that the size of these planets has changed since discovery. Gone.

A, correct as written: past perfect is correctly applied, and the Verb Tense is successfully structured to imply that the rotation and size are ongoing.
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Re: By 1999, astronomers had discovered [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2016, 23:36
another reason to eliminate C and E is "discovery was about the starts not about some phenomena"
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Re: By 1999, astronomers had discovered [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2016, 12:16
JarvisR wrote:
OG16 SC137
By 1999, astronomers had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets about the size of Jupiter


A: had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets
stars are still orbited by planets. hence present tense is correct. we use present tense for universal truths.

B: had discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that were
"stars with planets" is wrong.

C: had discovered that there were 17 nearby stars that were orbited by planets
there were stars that were orbited. -- looks like stars do not exist any more and planets are not there to orbit them.

D: have discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that are
by 1999 shows past. hence HAVE is wrong.

E: have discovered that 17 nearby stars are orbited by planets
same as D.
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Re: By 1999, astronomers had discovered [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2016, 01:01
JarvisR wrote:
OG16 SC137
By 1999, astronomers had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets about the size of Jupiter

A: had discovered 17 nearby stars that are orbited by planets
B: had discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that were
C: had discovered that there were 17 nearby stars that were orbited by planets
D: have discovered 17 nearby stars with planets orbiting them that are
E: have discovered that 17 nearby stars are orbited by planets


By Year -> always requiers past perfect. ->E/D out.

C. is very wordy compared to A and B ( 3 noun modifiers in a row is not a good style - that.. that...about..).

B has a modifier ambiguity:
Stars with planets... that were the size of jupiter. - here the "that" modifier can modify both "stars" and "planets".
b is out.

A is the correct answer.
Re: By 1999, astronomers had discovered   [#permalink] 23 Oct 2016, 01:01
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