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# Clarification : Between Aristotle Prep and MGMAT SC in Tense

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Clarification : Between Aristotle Prep and MGMAT SC in Tense [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2012, 11:36
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I have gone through both Aristotle prep's and MGMAT SC's chapter on Tenses:

however, they are polarised on two issues:

1.Use of Present continuous for indicating the future

Veritas Prep says that "will" is one form while " to be plus going to" is another form, While explaining that the former is used in voluntary cases or promises and the later is used for planning.

MGMAT on the other hand ,says that the use of progressive tense to indicate the future is "too colloquial".

2. In the use of past perfect tense:

MGMAT clearly states that when the sequences of two past events is very clear then there is no need for the earlier event to be in the past perfect . By the same token whenever before or after are used there is no need for past perfect.

Veritas's examples for past perfect tenses have very clearly established sequence of occurrence as far the verbs are concerned.

Eg:Before John won the lottery,he was a poor locksmith.
MGMAT says it s correct as it is . Veritas says the second should be in the past perfect tense.

I know any SC question could be solved in more than one way and that i could use the other errors after narrowing it down to these two.But to set things straight it would be great if someone could throw more light on the discrepancy.

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Re: Clarification : Between Aristotle Prep and MGMAT SC in Tense [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2012, 11:56
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1) I’ll stand by our position on the present progressive. Note that in the example you’re referring to, we are dealing with a simple present progressive, as in “I am going to work tomorrow.” However, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen an SC that used “going to” to indicate the future, either.

2) I’m not sure there’s a disagreement here. Be careful about saying “MGMAT says this is OK, and Veritas doesn’t” unless you’ve seen us write about the same sentence. Our book doesn’t state that you can drop past perfect if the sequence is clear. Rather, it says that past perfect is unnecessary if the earlier action does not have a direct bearing on the later action. In the case of your sentence, John stopped being poor when he won the lottery, so one clearly has a bearing on the other. Therefore, we should use the past perfect:

Before John won the lottery, he had been a poor locksmith.

However, let’s consider the following:

Before John won the lottery, he published a book of poems.

In this case, the sequence is no more or less clear than before, but we can drop the past perfect, because there is no connection between the poems and the lottery. He didn’t stop publishing the book because he won the lottery.

One more:

Before John started writing for the movies, he had published a book of poems.

Here, there is a connection between the two events. The publication of the book of poems provides a background for John’s work in the movies. The past perfect is justified again. If we left it out ("Before John started writing for the movies, he published a book of poems."), the sentence wouldn't be as clear. It almost indicates that he published the book directly before his work on the movies, perhaps as preparation. The past perfect establishes that the prior event was simply accomplished, at some point in the past (perhaps 20 years prior, for all we know), when the later action happened.

In the link below, our instructor Ron Purewal describes the past perfect in terms of “completion and relevance.” The action is not just over; it’s also relevant to the later event. I think that's a tidy way to remember this principle.
http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/pas ... t7698.html.
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Re: Clarification : Between Aristotle Prep and MGMAT SC in Tense [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2012, 13:55
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Good discussion, and I'll echo what Dmitry says that I don't think we're at all polarized on these explanations - the explanations are about the context in which they're offered.

One thing that I do really want to bring up is that there's a difference between "Sentence Correction" and "Grammar". I like Dmitry's point that explanations should really be seen within the context of the questions to which they relate. For example, there are plenty of cases in which the past perfect and simple past tense are both okay to use:

In the triathlon I biked 112 miles before I started the 26-mile run.
In the triathlon I had already biked 112 miles before I even started the 26-mile run.

Here the "had" exists to add emphasis to the fact that one massive undertaking preceded another. And the point - often the past perfect exists as a literary tool and not as a requirement. HOWEVER - the GMAT isn't a test of writing style or flair. It's testing "is this right or is this wrong?" - it's a binary set of corrections. And so it has to be written in a way such there is no gray area. Your job is to break down the individual decision points in each question and look for "that's definitely wrong". With verb tenses, incorrect tenses are typically illogical.

English grammar is far-reaching and contains quite a few tax-code-dense lists of conditions and exceptions. So it's best to study Sentence Correction within the context of Sentence Correction questions. If/when you see differences between what prep books say, it's often going to be in the way that they try to efficiently cover the larger "grammar" discussion while getting to the point of what you need to know for the GMAT. That seems to be the case here...
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Re: Clarification : Between Aristotle Prep and MGMAT SC in Tense [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2012, 11:57
Well i guess in an overzealous attempt to learn the fundamentals thoroughly,i digressed into learning grammar instead of concentrating on the task at hand(preparing for GMAT sc)

To sum it up:

Past Perfect:

The primary factor would be two actions/events in the past with an earlier action having an impact on the latter.

If the two actions have no relationship what so ever we could just as well stick to simple past.

Extra Points :
1.Before /after exemplify sequence and are pointers but cannot overrule the principal factor of relationship between the actions.

2.Same holds good for the note about "clauses linked with and/but " or "actions with the same subject" being conjugated in the simple past. They are pointers however they cannot overrule the relationship rule. Further i also reviewed the examples indicated in the MGMAT books for the above simple past rule,the actions in them do not have any relationship with each other.

Future:

Future tense is generally indicated using modal construction in the GMAT .Although in the odd case that after performing splits based on other errors if one ends up with an option with present progressive to indicate a future action ,it can't be wrong only on that basis .

Wanted to Summarize it so that i get a sense of clarity

Thanks a ton Dmitry and Brian and great brief by Ron as usual! Owe you guys one! My apologies for a little bit of misquoting in the original post !

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Re: Clarification : Between Aristotle Prep and MGMAT SC in Tense [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2012, 16:19
That all looks good. It's definitely a fine line between studying SC and studying English grammar. Anyway, I'm glad we could help!
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Re: Clarification : Between Aristotle Prep and MGMAT SC in Tense [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2012, 18:45
emailsatz wrote:
I have gone through both Aristotle prep's and MGMAT SC's chapter on Tenses:

however, they are polarised on two issues:

1.Use of Present continuous for indicating the future

Veritas Prep says that "will" is one form while " to be plus going to" is another form, While explaining that the former is used in voluntary cases or promises and the later is used for planning.

MGMAT on the other hand ,says that the use of progressive tense to indicate the future is "too colloquial".

2. In the use of past perfect tense:

MGMAT clearly states that when the sequences of two past events is very clear then there is no need for the earlier event to be in the past perfect . By the same token whenever before or after are used there is no need for past perfect.

Veritas's examples for past perfect tenses have very clearly established sequence of occurrence as far the verbs are concerned.

Eg:Before John won the lottery,he was a poor locksmith.
MGMAT says it s correct as it is . Veritas says the second should be in the past perfect tense.

I know any SC question could be solved in more than one way and that i could use the other errors after narrowing it down to these two.But to set things straight it would be great if someone could throw more light on the discrepancy.

Not to try to beat a dead horse, but in the MGMAT book pg 110:

*Words "before" and "after" indicate the sequence of events clearly and emphatically enough to make use of the past perfect unnecessary.

Ex: Laura LOCKED the deadbolt before she LEFT for work.

But isn't the point of the above sentence is to emphasize that before Laura could leave work, she "should" have locked the deadbolt? Why is past perfect unnecessary here. I do see the earlier event affects or impacts the later. I mean if the sentence is something like Laura locked the deadbolt before she bought ice cream, then i guess past perfect is not necessary.....please explain?

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Re: Clarification : Between Aristotle Prep and MGMAT SC in Tense [#permalink]

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18 Jul 2012, 23:25
Nice post man thanks for sharing helpfully post

Locksmith professional in Chicago is extremely trained and try to have a valid license for undertaking the job. WE provide various products such as vehicle washing, vehicle painting, vehicle maintenance, even vehicle insurance facilities to vehicle owners.

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Re: Clarification : Between Aristotle Prep and MGMAT SC in Tense   [#permalink] 18 Jul 2012, 23:25
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# Clarification : Between Aristotle Prep and MGMAT SC in Tense

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