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Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the

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New post 02 Nov 2006, 22:18
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The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 2017

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Question No.: SC 780
Page: 705

Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, was completed a decade later, during the reign of Titus, who opened the Colosseum with a one-hundred-day cycle of religious pageants, gladiatorial games, and spectacles.

(A) which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian,

(B) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and

(C) which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and

(D) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater and begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian it

(E) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, which was begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
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New post 18 Jan 2011, 03:00
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Relative pronouns such as which, that, who etc. should always touch the noun they are modifying. This is called the relative pronoun touch rule.

Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was: in this sentence the pronoun 'which' is modifying The Roman Colosseum. This is correct and should be the intented meaning of the sentence.

Construction of the Roman Colosseum, offi cially known : In this sentence the ...officially known.. phrase modifies the subject of the main clause i.e. Construction of the Roamn Colesseum. This is wrong.
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New post 18 Jan 2011, 03:43
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Relative pronouns are used for modifying a Noun only. Never use a relative pronoun to modify a verb. Examples of relative pronous :

Which
That
Who
When
Whom

Always remember the touch rule for relative pronouns. i.e. the Reltive pronoun should touch the noun its modifying.

Note:
1. Comma + 'which' : should be used when the modifying information that is non essential.
eg. The red car, which i drove when i was in college.

i drove when i was in college : non essential information.
The red : essential information.

2. 'That' : should be used when the information is essential. ( please never use comma with 'That' ).

e.g The car that i painted red.

i painted red : essential information.
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New post 19 Jan 2011, 01:05
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Astrologers saw the comet as a portent of the DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM, which happened as expected

OF JERUSALEM : A perpositional modifier. These types of modifiers are essential modifiers.

which happened as expected : A relative clause starting with 'which'. A non essential modifiers.

If you look at the sentence both the modifiers are modifying DESTRUCTION. But the essential modifiers is placed close to the Noun and the non essential modifier follows it.
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New post 19 Jul 2011, 00:16
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abhicoolmax wrote:
gb8 wrote:
Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, was completed a decade later, during the reign of Titus, who opened the Colosseum with a one-hundred-day cycle of religious pageants, gladiatorial games, and spectacles.

A. which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian,
B. officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
C. which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
D. officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater and begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian it
E. officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, which was begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and


Could somebody please please explain me why BEGAN is correct? Doesn't this need HAD BEGUN?

Seems to me like the reason why C is correct is because it is the "best" of the available choices, and there is NO HAD BEGUN in any of the option, CORRECT? Somebody please explain.


Actually, it'd unnecessary to use "Had Begun" (Past Perfect) in this scenario and there are reasons:
1. A construction can never finish before it begins. So, we already know the sequence of events.
2. completed a decade later; the word "later" clearly signifies that the event of completion occurred after the beginning of the construction.

Modifiers:
which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater
AND
officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater
Are both correct, with latter more elegant and GMAT style. However, we decide the correctness of the sentence on the basis of these modifiers because they both are correct.

A. which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian,
Let's shorten:
Construction began in A.D. 69 was completed later.
Two discrete events with two verbs "began" and "was" makes the sentence wrong. These verbs must be separated by AND.

B. officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
"begun in A.D. 69"-- acts as a modifier for Roman Colosseum; Roman Colosseum begun in AD 69: what does this mean?


Construction during the reign of Vespasian was completed a decade later: decade later of what.
Bad.

C. which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
Correct.
Construction began in A.D. 69 and was completed a decade later.
Construction had begun in A.D. 69 and completed a decade later. Guess this is correct as well.

D. officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater and begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian it
Same error as B's. Roman Colosseum begun in AD 69.

E. officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, which was begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
", and" -- demands a clause when the later part is a phrase
"was completed a decade later"-- No subject.
Roman Colosseum was begun in AD 69.
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New post 18 Jul 2012, 07:30
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Hii NonYankee.
Can you elaborate on one issue here?
"Contruction of the Roman Colosseum" intoduces a prepositional phrase here-"the Roman Colosseum". Since the prepositional phrase can't contain the subject, then how can "which" refer to "Roman Colosseum"?
Thanks in advance .
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New post 14 Dec 2012, 23:47
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Option C is correct.

a) which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, Punctuation issue connecting two verbs with a comma i.e began in ..... and, was completed.... you can't connect it with a comma. You create a run on sentence.

b) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and

what is the verb here...begun? no because it is a past participle.... it needs a helping verb...other wise the sentence is a fragment.
c)which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and-correct
d) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater and begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian it- here the modifier implies that construction was known as Flavian Amphitheater because the sentence lacks relative pronoun.
e) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, which was begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and- same as e

Hope I was able to clarify your query...lets kudos
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Re: Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2012, 01:43
Marcab wrote:
Hii NonYankee.
Can you elaborate on one issue here?
"Contruction of the Roman Colosseum" intoduces a prepositional phrase here-"the Roman Colosseum". Since the prepositional phrase can't contain the subject, then how can "which" refer to "Roman Colosseum"?
Thanks in advance .


Hi Marcab,

First, I don't know why you said that the prepositional phrase can't contain the subject. Is that a rule?

Second, the prepositional phrase doesn't contain the subject. The (simple) subject is construction.

Third, why wouldn't which be allowed to refer to Roman Colosseum?

Consider the following sentences:
She's a friend of my brother Rudolph.
She's a friend of my brother, whom you've met.

Both have as a subject She. Both have as a prepositional object brother. One follows the prepositional object with an appositive; one follows the prepositional object with a non-restrictive relative clause. Both sentences apply modifyers to the object of the preposition, and both are grammatically correct.

You might find these pages worth reading:
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/phrases.htm
http://www2.gsu.edu/~eslhpb/grammar/lec ... ative.html
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New post 15 Dec 2012, 01:51
Marcab wrote:
Hii NonYankee.
Can you elaborate on one issue here?
"Contruction of the Roman Colosseum" intoduces a prepositional phrase here-"the Roman Colosseum". Since the prepositional phrase can't contain the subject, then how can "which" refer to "Roman Colosseum"?
Thanks in advance .

Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, was completed a decade later, during the reign of Titus, who opened the Colosseum with a one-hundred-day cycle of religious pageants, gladiatorial games, and spectacles.

a) which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian,
b) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
c)which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
d) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater and begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian it
e) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, which was begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and

1. which modifies Colosseum and not construction.
2. subject of the main verbs in the sentence, however, is construction and not the Colosseum.
Is that what you are talking about Marcab?
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New post 15 Dec 2012, 01:55
In an other case if you are referring to the "which touches the preceding noun" rule and its exception, remember that the rule is flexible. This is difference between SC and Quant in that grammar is not as hardcore as algebra is.

I sent letters to my dad, which got lost in the post office.
Which modifies letters and "to my dad" is a small prepositional phrase.

I sent letters to the post office, which failed to deliver them to my dad.
Here, which modifies the post office.

hope this helps!
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Re: Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2012, 02:10
NonYankee wrote:
Marcab wrote:
Hii NonYankee.
Can you elaborate on one issue here?
"Contruction of the Roman Colosseum" intoduces a prepositional phrase here-"the Roman Colosseum". Since the prepositional phrase can't contain the subject, then how can "which" refer to "Roman Colosseum"?
Thanks in advance .


Hi Marcab,

First, I don't know why you said that the prepositional phrase can't contain the subject. Is that a rule?

Second, the prepositional phrase doesn't contain the subject. The (simple) subject is construction.

Third, why wouldn't which be allowed to refer to Roman Colosseum?

Consider the following sentences:
She's a friend of my brother Rudolph.
She's a friend of my brother, whom you've met.

Both have as a subject She. Both have as a prepositional object brother. One follows the prepositional object with an appositive; one follows the prepositional object with a non-restrictive relative clause. Both sentences apply modifyers to the object of the preposition, and both are grammatically correct.

You might find these pages worth reading:
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/phrases.htm
http://www2.gsu.edu/~eslhpb/grammar/lec ... ative.html


consider these sentences:
1)Angela, along with the other leaders of EU, wants Spain to get a bailout.
Here "along with the other leaders of EU" is a part of prepositional phrase.

2) The box of nails, which was kept upon the table, was black in color.
Here we are referring to box.

Since "construction of the Roman Colosseum" also introduces a prepositional phrase, thats why I was confused.

1) http://www.ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar/f ... subjpp.htm
As per this link, the prepositional phrases as subjects typically refer to only time and space.

2)www.chompchomp.com/terms/prepositionalphrase.htm
As per this link, the prepositional phrases never act as subjects.
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Re: Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2012, 02:47
souvik101990 wrote:
Marcab wrote:
Hii NonYankee.
Can you elaborate on one issue here?
"Contruction of the Roman Colosseum" intoduces a prepositional phrase here-"the Roman Colosseum". Since the prepositional phrase can't contain the subject, then how can "which" refer to "Roman Colosseum"?
Thanks in advance .

Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, was completed a decade later, during the reign of Titus, who opened the Colosseum with a one-hundred-day cycle of religious pageants, gladiatorial games, and spectacles.

a) which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian,
b) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
c)which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
d) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater and begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian it
e) officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, which was begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and

1. which modifies Colosseum and not construction.
2. subject of the main verbs in the sentence, however, is construction and not the Colosseum.
Is that what you are talking about Marcab?


Hii Souvik.
Can you please elaborate on the blue part?
Also consider this sentence:
Neither of these cookbooks contains the recipe for Manhattan-style squid eyeball stew.

In BDE, what is "officially known as....." modifying? Is it Construction or the Colosseum.
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New post 15 Dec 2012, 02:52
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which modifies Colosseum and not construction.

It is NOT the case that, just because there is a prepositional phrase after a noun, the first noun is automatically the modified noun.

Rather, IF there is a noun followed by an essential description (typically accomplished via a short prepositional phrase), then it is POSSIBLE for that first noun to be the main noun to which the following noun modifier applies. But this does not have to be the case - it could still be the case that the noun right before the comma (that is, the noun in the prepositional phrase) is the modified noun.

The presence of a short, essential descriptor simply makes the sentence more flexible. The default is to assume that the immediately preceding noun is the modified noun, unless that flexibility exists, in which case the main noun could be the modified noun. This is an exception - it does not happen that often.

-excerpt from Stacey Koprince on this issue.
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New post 15 Dec 2012, 05:16
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Marcab wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
Marcab wrote:
So in simple words, what she means to say is Follow the rule but be flexible.
Am i right?


Yes. Exactly.
However, I do want to emphasis that the RULE is that "which touches the noun preceding it". But it sometime is violated for some hard GMAT question such as this.

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.
A. Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering
B. Dickinson were written over a period that begins a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ended shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber
C. Dickinson, written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and that ends shortly before Emily’s death in 1886 and outnumbering
D. Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother, ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, and outnumbering
E. Dickinson, which were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumber

OA is E


Thats the question which showcases my point.
"which" will modify the noun preceding it but in case if the noun before "which" is a part of "prepositional phrase", then it will modify the "noun before the prepositional phrase".
Answer choice does exactly the same.

Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, which were...bla bla.
Now It will be great if you or anyone explain me when to apply the "touch rule" and when its "exception".

Moreover what does the "officially known as the ....." modify? Is it "construction" or is it "colosseum"?
How to move further with the correct split i.e. "which was officially known as" vs "officially known as"?
Thanks in advance



Marcab,
There are 2 VERY important things that you have to know here:
1. Grammar is flexible. You can't assign very stringent rules and that makes them more painful/interesting. Modifiers are most important to things that they modify and that changes with logic and meaning.
Emily Dickinson’s letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson were written over a period beginning a few years before Susan’s marriage to Emily’s brother and ending shortly before Emily’s death in 1886, outnumbering her letters to anyone else.

In this example the "which must touch the preceding noun" is violated just to establish the fact that grammar is not always mechanical.
But that does not mean that the touch rule is completely invalid for prepositional phrases. It still has its weight.
But there is a bigger picture here
ALMOST ALL SENTENCE CORRECTION ANSWER CHOICES ARE WRONG BECAUSE OF MULTIPLE REASONS
If you see the above example "outnumbering" does not apply AT ALL as an ING modifier will always modify the entire preceding clause and that distorts the meaning. So we go with a better "outnumber".

As to your second question:
both "officially known as" and "which is known has" have nothing inherently wrong with them and both refer to the Colosseum not because there are specific rules but simply because "which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater" or " officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater" CAN NOT refer to "construction". So just because the Colosseum is wrapped in a prep phrase does not make it too impotent to be modified.

But then Colosseum, however is still not the subject. Remember that modifiers can modify nouns. These nouns CAN or CAN NOT be the main subject of the sentence. In this particular sentence the main verbs "was began" and "was completed" can only make sense if the subject is construction.

So bottom line is, Rules do not make subjects/verbs/tenses. Logic and meaning does.
Does this help?
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Re: Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2013, 04:43
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Hi,

In grammatical terms, it's this: "began" is past tense and "begun" is the past participle.

What this means in use is that if you are talking about something in the simple past tense, you would always use "began." These sentences are correct:

- I began music lessons when I was 6.
- The story began in the Colonial Period.
- Where were you when the game began?
- Our relationship began when we were in high school.

A participle can't be used all by itself as a verb. Another verb has to go with it. So you can't say something "begun." You have to say it "has begun," "had begun," "was begun," "will be begun," and so on.

"Begun" would be wrong in every one of the examples above and in any other sentence like them.

Here are some correct uses of "begun." Notice the helping verb (the auxiliary verb) that goes along with it. The verbs can be separated--such as by "not"--but they still work together.

- You cannot be seated after the play has begun.
- I have begun a shopping list.
- We have not yet begun to fight.
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New post 15 Jul 2013, 04:54
themask03 wrote:
I get that the OA is C, but what is the difference between began and begun


hi

BEGAN VS BEGUN:

In grammatical terms, it's this: "began" is past tense and "begun" is the past participle.

What this means in use is that if you are talking about something in the simple past tense, you would always use "began." These sentences are correct:

- I began music lessons when I was 6.
- The story began in the Colonial Period.
- Where were you when the game began?
- Our relationship began when we were in high school.

A participle can't be used all by itself as a verb. Another verb has to go with it. So you can't say something "begun." You have to say it "has begun," "had begun," "was begun," "will be begun," and so on.

"Begun" would be wrong in every one of the examples above and in any other sentence like them.

Here are some correct uses of "begun." Notice the helping verb (the auxiliary verb) that goes along with it. The verbs can be separated--such as by "not"--but they still work together.

- You cannot be seated after the play has begun.
- I have begun a shopping list.
- We have not yet begun to fight.

Likewise, if you are using "had" or "have" or another auxiliary, you must use "begun" and not "began." These sentences are all wrong:

WRONG - Have you began your assignment?
WRONG - My shift had began at 3:00.
WRONG - The party has not began yet.
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Re: Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2013, 22:59
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zazoz wrote:

1. 'Construction' is the subject, right? so how this sentence possible : 'construction of the Roman.....began in blah blah'. My point is how the 'construction' began something?? It seems illogical to me. :help2 :?: Shouldn't it be 'construction was begun' in 'C'? I know! I must be wrong, but I couldn't justify myself until now.


Hi zazor.
I'm glad to help.

"Construction began in A.D. 69....." is 100% correct. Because "begin" is intransitive verb that is complete in itself and does not require any further elements to make its meaning complete.
For example: When I listen that song, my heart breaks ==> even though "heart" is a passive doer of action "break", but we don't need to say "my heart is broken".
Other intransitive verbs: appear, arrive, begin, break, come, cough, decrease, die, disappear, drown, fall, go, happen,.....

Quote:
2. The verb 'was completed' is passive or 'was' is a linking verb and 'completed' is the adjectives to describe 'construction'. I ask this in regard to my approach to this question; I thought that 'and' must be there, so after 'and' we need a parallel construction, so I said to myself we have 'was completed' so we must have 'was begun' to create parallelism. But when I saw the correct answer I said to myself maybe 'was completed' is not passive (I am REALLY confused) and we need 'began'. When I reached to this point of my logic my first question popped up. Now here I am with lots of paradoxes in my mind. Please help me getting rid of some annoying misunderstandings. Thanks a million.


We have to say "was completed" because "complete" is NOT a transitive verb. ==> The parallel structure in C is: the construction began .....and was completed......

Quote:
3. According to my descriptions, Why 'E' is incorrect?


E is 100% incorrect because "which" modifies " the Flavian Amphitheater" wrongly. Let ask yourself what began in A.D. 69.? the Flavian Amphitheater (the Roman Colosseum) --OR-- The construction? ==> Clearly, the construction did. Thus, "which" is a misplaced modifier --> E is wrong.

Hope it's clear.
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Re: Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 19 Sep 2016, 10:14
Answer is C

Just reading the question stem makes it clear that it needs an "AND" at the end of the underlined portion because it is connecting the two clauses:- the main clause and the dependent clause. Therefore the decision point here is the presence of a coordinating non-contrasting conjunction} ---> "AND" in the correct sentence.

Therefore A, D are out because these options do not have the proper conjunction "AND"
Option B, C and E remaining.
Option B and E use "begun" - WRONG TENSE

Option C Uses the correct tense "Began"- Simple Past for begin as well as the proper conjunction "AND"

ANSWER IS C

KC wrote:
Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, was completed a decade later, during the reign of Titus, who opened the Colosseum with a one-hundred-day cycle of religious pageants, gladiatorial games, and spectacles.

A. which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian,
B. officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
C. which was officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, began in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and
D. officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater and begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian it
E. officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater, which was begun in A.D. 69, during the reign of Vespasian, and

OG16 SC114

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Originally posted by LogicGuru1 on 08 Jul 2016, 23:22.
Last edited by LogicGuru1 on 19 Sep 2016, 10:14, edited 5 times in total.
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Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2016, 16:48
Doubt is: There are two actions that happened in the past: a) began in A.D. 69 and b) was completed a decade later. If there are two actions that happen in a past and in a sequence, then the 1st action in the sequence should be a past perfect tense Vs past tense. So "began" should be "had begun". Is that not correct?
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Construction of the Roman Colosseum, which was officially known as the  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Feb 2017, 15:03
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ramyagmatclub wrote:


Doubt is: There are two actions that happened in the past: a) began in A.D. 69 and b) was completed a decade later. If there are two actions that happen in a past and in a sequence, then the 1st action in the sequence should be a past perfect tense Vs past tense. So "began" should be "had begun". Is that not correct?

Dear ramyagmatclub,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, please do not start a brand-new thread for any question that already exists here on GMAT Club. I guarantee that every single question in the GMAT OG is already posted here. Always search first for an already existing thread: if you don't find your answer there in the discussions on that thread, then that would be an appropriate place to post your question. I merged your thread into a much larger thread on this same question.

Also, if you do post a GMAT SC, please underline the prompt properly. I added the underlining to your post.

Finally, to answer your question: we have to use the past perfect tense to indicate an earlier past action if there is no other evidence in the sentence that would allow us to figure this out. If there are other markers in the sentence that allow us to figure out the time sequence, then the GMAT often considers it redundant to use the past perfect tense also. In this sentence, there are other time phrases (the year "A.D. 69" and "a decade later") which make the time sequence absolutely unambiguous. No need for the past perfect.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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