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# Correct Usage of "to have been"

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Correct Usage of "to have been" [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2011, 07:34
Combining enormous physical strength with higher intelligence,the neanderthals appear as equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path,but their relatively sudden disappearnce during the paleolithic era indicates that an inability to adapt to some environmental change led o their extinction.

A)appear as equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path,
B)appear to have been equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their path,
C)appear as equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their paths,
D)appeared as equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their path,
E)appeared to have been equipped for facing any obstacle the environment could put in their path,

Source: GMATPrep SC

Official explanation says that Present-tense appear is needed to parallel present-tense indicates and to reinforce that this is current evidence about Neanderthals in the past. Is it really necessary that verbs should be in the same tense when connected by any connector? Doesn't this depend on the context of time frame for which the sentence is talking about?

Experts please explain why option B is the correct answer? As the neanderthals disappeared, shouldn't past tense be used to express their disappearance?

Present perfect tense indicates the action that started at some point in the past and continues to present. Why the use of "present perfect" in option B is correct?
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Re: Correct Usage of "to have been" [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2011, 08:06
Sungoal, I think you ask an excellent question here and I don't see anyone addressing it in previous posts. I also don't know the answer and hope someone will help with the specific question as to why present perfect is OK here. If I were to venture a guess, I'd say it has to do with the "appear" before it, and that maybe because of it being in present tense the order should be- present, present perfect. Or maybe the idea that this observation still holds today? I don't know. Unlike most issues, MGMAT and other sources I've checked out, don't address this.
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Re: Correct Usage of "to have been" [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2011, 11:03
Theory #1:
Maybe this is why: According to MGMAT SC guide, "the Present Perfect indicates either continued action or continued effect of a completed action."
Completed action = equipped to face any obstacle the environment could put in their path
I think the key lies in "indicates that an inability to adapt." So there still exists an effect. Even though what caused this current effect is their "sudden disappearance." Because "equipped to face" works in conjunction with "sudden disappearance" (with the "but") to make a point, and that point still holds today.
Theory #2:
Also, if nothing else, we really have no other choice but to use the present perfect. (Let’s even pretend the “as” is not there because “appear as” is an incorrect idiom.) We know we can't use simple past because of the use of the simple past ("appear") before it (which we concede we need for parallelism) because "appear equipped" means you are observing that right now. "Jack appears equipped to fight." And based on what you said about them disappearing, one might consider Past Perfect if it were a choice here. Even if it was, "In general, you should use Past Perfect only to clarify or emphasize a sequence of past events. The earlier event should somehow have a bearing on the context of the later event. Moreover, if the sequence is already obvious, we often do not need the Past Perfect." And "Clauses linked by 'and' and 'but' do not require the Past Perfect unnecessary."
But like you, I hope an expert chimes in.
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Re: Correct Usage of "to have been" [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2011, 11:20
ugggg, also it's an idiom. How lame right, but it's true: "The dinosaurs appear to have been relatively smart." IS CORRECT! MGMAT SC guide P. 144.
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Re: Correct Usage of "to have been" [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2011, 11:25
I never expected it to be an idiom.

Thanks stringworm...
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Re: Correct Usage of "to have been" [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2011, 16:50
No prob...hope to see more good questions from you.
Re: Correct Usage of "to have been"   [#permalink] 17 Oct 2011, 16:50
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