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# His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside

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His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 25 Jan 2019, 03:26
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His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside the range of present-day glaciers, led Louis Agassiz in 1837 to propose the concept of an age in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas.

(A) in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas

(B) in which great ice sheets existed in what are now temperate areas

(C) when great ice sheets existed where there were areas now temperate

(D) when great ice sheets had existed in current temperate areas

(E) when great ice sheets existed in areas now that are temperate

The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition, 2005

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 59
Page: 646

The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 2015

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 72
Page: 685

Attachment:

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Attachment:

02.jpg [ 60.89 KiB | Viewed 25773 times ]

Attachment:

03.jpg [ 34.16 KiB | Viewed 25752 times ]

Originally posted by Curly05 on 30 Jun 2003, 10:28.
Last edited by Bunuel on 25 Jan 2019, 03:26, edited 1 time in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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24 Jun 2014, 08:19
gennia wrote:
His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine
homeland, far outside the range of present-day
glaciers, led Louis Agassiz in 1837 to propose the
concept of an age in which great ice sheets had
existed in now currently temperate areas.
(A) in which great ice sheets had existed in now
currently temperate areas
(B) in which great ice sheets existed in what are now
temperate areas
(C) when great ice sheets existed where there were
areas now temperate
(D) when great ice sheets had existed in current
temperate areas
(E) when great ice sheets existed in areas now that
are temperate

In above question, the 'great ice sheets existed' EVEN BEFORE Louis Agassiz studies 'led' him to propose the concept. So, why answer B is correct when correct verb tense showing sequence of events is 'had existed'.

Hi there,

Thanks for posting your doubt here.

The reason why usage of past perfect tense "had existed" is incorrect in Choice A is that the two events that are mentioned n the sentence, i. e. "led" and "had existed", are not related to each or has no bearing on each other.

Even if Agassiz did not propose his theory, the fact remains that the ice sheets still existed. If in place of Agassiz, somebody else would have proposed the theory at some other point in time, still the fact that the ice sheets existed would remain unchanged. So you see, there is no relationship between these two events that needs to be expressed by using past perfect tense.

We use past perfect tense only for those two past events that have some effect on the occurrence of each other. For example:

My friend had left the theater by the time I reached.

Here use of past perfect tense is needed because the two events are related. Because of my reaching late, I could not meet my friend because the friend had already left. But this is not the case with the official sentence. The ice sheets existed irrespective of anyone proposing any theory.

hope this helps.
Thanks.
SJ
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2014, 01:07
3
His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside the range of present-day glaciers, led Louis Agassiz in 1837 to propose the concept of an age in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas.

(A) in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas
(B) in which great ice sheets existed in what are now temperate areas
(C) when great ice sheets existed where there were areas now temperate
(D) when great ice sheets had existed in current temperate areas - currently should be used
(E) when great ice sheets existed in areas now that are temperate - now is not modifying are temprate

To refer to time long back (ages , centuries , decades) we prefer to use inwhich instead of where. However, both can be used.
Now and currently cant be used together in a single sentence. Both are redundant.
had cant be used because there is no past event before which ice sheet existed. Led to propose is not relevant to ice sheet.

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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2015, 01:19
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aakashbaweja wrote:
"When and in which" both are used to modify a time period but here the period is already defined by the word "age".

"age in which" is correct and not "age when"

this gives us 3-2 split.

past perfect is only used when we want to sequence 2 events. Since only 1 event is described here, so no need of past perfect.

we are left with only B.

WHEN CLAUSE can work as adverb: I learn gmat when you come
WHEN CLAUSE can work as an adjective, the age when you came is good.

"the age when" is correct
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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17 Jan 2016, 04:54
5
Isn't that existence of great ice sheets occurred prior to his proposal of concept?, Do I need to consider them as two different events occurred in different time scale or is it a single event? I'm bit confused here.. Pls let me know where my logic goes wrong..
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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21 Jan 2016, 04:34
7
snorkeler wrote:
Isn't that existence of great ice sheets occurred prior to his proposal of concept?, Do I need to consider them as two different events occurred in different time scale or is it a single event? I'm bit confused here.. Pls let me know where my logic goes wrong..

yeah you are correct that proposal of a concept and existence of great ice sheets were at two different times..

But the moment you say he proposed the concept of an age after going through some studies of..., it clearly shows that the age was naturally before he proposed about it existing..
There is no ambiguity in the chronological order..

And when there is no ambiguity, we can avoid the past perfect..

some more example,
The scientist proposed in 1976 that the dinosaurs became extinct during ice age..
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2016, 00:09
2
Top Contributor
Here the 'in which' refers to the word 'age'. And the subject of the 'in which' is 'great ice sheets'.

In general, when you encounter a 'preposition + which' construction, the subject can be found in the clause that follows 'which'.
But, in a 'which' construction, the subject occurs before the 'which'.

For example - 1. the box of toffees, which is on the table, is expensive. Note that the subject of the which clause occurs before the which clause. Also, 'which' modifies that subject (the box).
(the subject is 'the box'; also note that since 'which' is followed by a singular verb, it cannot refer to 'toffees').

2. the box, in which toffees are kept, is made of aluminum. Here, the subject of the 'in which' clause is 'toffees'. But the 'in which' clause modifies 'the box'.

Hope this helps
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2017, 21:07
4
kiranjith wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 2015

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 72
Page: 685

His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine homeland, far outside the range of present-day glaciers, led Louis Agassiz in 1837 to propose the concept of an age in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas.

(A) in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas
(B) in which great ice sheets existed in what are now temperate areas
(C) when great ice sheets existed where there were areas now temperate
(D) when great ice sheets had existed in current temperate areas
(E) when great ice sheets existed in areas now that are temperate

First Glance

The underline starts with in which. Glance at the answers to notice that other choices offer when instead. The sentence might contain a Modifier issue.

Issues

The original sentence uses the past perfect: Ice sheets had existed. Other answers use the simple past existed. Which is correct?

Past perfect is used to denote the longer-ago of two past actions. In this case, the had existed action is paired with a comment about the climate in those same areas now. It's acceptable, then, to use simple past existed; don't use a more complex tense when a simple tense is acceptable. Eliminate answers (A) and (D).

(2) Meaning

In answer (A), now currently is redundant—both words mean the same thing. Eliminate answer (A), and examine the meaning in the other answers:

(B) existed in what are now temperate areas
(C) existed where there were areas now temperate
(D) existed in current temperate areas
(E) existed in areas now that are temperate

Answer (D) drops now and switches from currently to current. That word is modifying the adjective temperate, so it needs to be in the adverb form (currently). The adjective form current can only be used to modify nouns. Eliminate answer (D).

The other answers drop currently and use only now. Answers (B) and (C) are okay, but answer (E) has a meaning problem. The word now must be tied to a particular action or event: Something happened now. In answer (E), the word now is actually tied to existed: Sheets existed now that are temperate. Something can't be simultaneously in the past (existed) and happening now. Eliminate answer (E).

Answer (C) also mixes two time frames: were and now. They were [not] temperate before; they are temperate now. Eliminate answer (C).

Correct answer (B) fixes the initial verb error by switching to the simple past existed. The construction in what are now temperate areas properly indicates that the climate has changed in these areas. they used to be cold; they are now temperate.

Miscellaneous

Note: The in which versus when split turned out be a red herring! Both versions are acceptable.
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2019, 04:35
Curly05 wrote:
His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside the range of present-day glaciers, led Louis Agassiz in 1837 to propose the concept of an age in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas.

(A) in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas

(B) in which great ice sheets existed in what are now temperate areas

(C) when great ice sheets existed where there were areas now temperate

(D) when great ice sheets had existed in current temperate areas

(E) when great ice sheets existed in areas now that are temperate

The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition, 2005

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 59
Page: 646

The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 2015

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 72
Page: 685

Attachment:
01.jpg

Attachment:
02.jpg

Attachment:
03.jpg

I agree with the explanations provided. However, I have one query about the usage of plural tense in a clause starting with 'What'

My understanding is that 'What' needs a singular verb when 'What' acts as the subject of a clause. In this sentence, the clause staring with 'What' is a noun clause. Doesn't this mean that the verb after 'What' would be singular? Please help me solve my confusion.

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His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2019, 07:10
The biggest thing here was the choice between which and when.

Though "when" looks tempting, one has to clearly understand the ambiguity it may create. "when" may refer to 1837 or the age (whose concept has been proposed in sentence). Due to this ambiguity, we should get rid of C,D E.

Of A and B, b is a clear winner, because of redundant use of "now currently"

Hence, B
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2019, 10:27
egmat wrote:
Choice E: when great ice sheets existed in areas now that are temperate: Incorrect. The phrasing is not correct here. It should be “areas that are now temperate”.

Hi, can we use "that" here for plural "areas"?

Thanks.
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2019, 02:19
1
Hi GMATNinja
In one of the post you mentioned that when "what" is used as a preposition, we can substitute "what" with "the thing that" and check whether the sentence still makes sense.
I followed the above and now the sentence is:
(B) in which great ice sheets existed in the thing(or place) that are now temperate areas

The above sentence makes sense to me when I replaced "thing" with "place", thinking its of safe to do that, since instead of a "thing" the sentence is talking about a "place".
Please let me know if my understanding is correct?
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2019, 12:13
2
dreamofbest2020 wrote:
Hi GMATNinja
In one of the post you mentioned that when "what" is used as a preposition, we can substitute "what" with "the thing that" and check whether the sentence still makes sense.
I followed the above and now the sentence is:
(B) in which great ice sheets existed in the thing(or place) that are now temperate areas

The above sentence makes sense to me when I replaced "thing" with "place", thinking its of safe to do that, since instead of a "thing" the sentence is talking about a "place".
Please let me know if my understanding is correct?

That sounds perfect!!

I'm very happy that you didn't take my previous advice TOO literally and simply swap "what" with "the thing that" without using your brain.

Instead, you recognized that this sentence is talking about a "place", not a "thing", so you were flexible in your approach. Nicely done.
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2019, 12:40
1
Hital wrote:
egmat wrote:
Choice E: when great ice sheets existed in areas now that are temperate: Incorrect. The phrasing is not correct here. It should be “areas that are now temperate”.

Hi, can we use "that" here for plural "areas"?

Thanks.

Yes Hital, we can use that to address "areas" here. That is because that is being used to begin a relative clause here and not as a demonstrative pronoun. It would have been incorrect to say that places. You would say Those places. However, when you are kicking of a relative clause, I would say that is number-agnostic.

Hope this helps.

Cheers!
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2019, 22:23
Curly05 wrote:
His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside the range of present-day glaciers, led Louis Agassiz in 1837 to propose the concept of an age in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas.

(A) in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas

(B) in which great ice sheets existed in what are now temperate areas

(C) when great ice sheets existed where there were areas now temperate

(D) when great ice sheets had existed in current temperate areas

(E) when great ice sheets existed in areas now that are temperate

I initially eliminated C,D and E based on the "when" split considering it to be ambiguous. It could refer to either the year 1837 (if we ignore prepositional phrases) or the age.
However, I see some conflicting posts here on whether the usage of "when" is acceptable.

Expert Daagh's post seems to agree with my analysis
daagh wrote:
Here in the context, ‘when’ has a problem. It might mean that Louis proposed in 1837 when Ice sheets had existed. This twisted meaning renders the use of ‘When’ as inappropriate. Hence C, D, and E can be dumped even without proceeding further. The correct choice should be between A and B.; Of course, A is wrong because ‘now currently’ is redundancy. B is the correct choice.

While, egmat expert suggests that usage of "when" here is acceptable.
egmat wrote:
PS – Use of both “in what” and “when” is correct in the context of this sentence.

GMATNinja, could you please be the tie breaker and help clarify whether my approach was valid?
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2019, 22:11
daagh wrote:
‘In which’ is used in cases, where we cannot use which directly in the context for some genuine reasons. Otherwise, in which’ means the same as ‘which’. For example, we cannot use ‘which’ when we refer to a period; we cannot use which when referring to a place. In such cases, we can still use the prepositional phrase ‘in which’ and make the correct meaning.

Ex 1: I belong to the golden times when elders were respected rather than unwelcome.
I belong to the golden times in which elders were respected rather than unwelcome.

Ex 2: In the olden Kerala where Matriarchy was in practice, women were dominant.
The olden Kerala in which Matriarchy was in practice, women were dominant.

The additional factor in favor of ‘in which’ is that the prepositional phrase can be used gainfully to replace the relative adverbs 'when' and 'where' as in the given a case.
Here in the context, ‘when’ has a problem. It might mean that Louis proposed in 1837 when Ice sheets had existed. This twisted meaning renders the use of ‘When’ as inappropriate. Hence C, D, and E can be dumped even without proceeding further. The correct choice should be between A and B.; Of course, A is wrong because ‘now currently’ is redundancy. B is the correct choice.

In Ex 2 here, isn't "in which" introducing an ambiguity ? As you said, "in which" can be used to replace both "when" and "where". In this sentence, with use of "in which" makes it difficult to identify if you are referring to the old period or kerala. Please clarify
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2019, 22:28
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azhr
Where is the the phrase 'old period' or the word 'Kerala' in example 2? There is only 'olden Kerala".
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2019, 10:20
egmat wrote:
Hi Gyanendra,

Here is my response to your question on this official sentence.

His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine homeland, far outside the range of present-day glaciers, led Louis Agassiz in 1837 to propose the concept of an age in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas.

Meaning Analysis:

In 1837, Louis Agassiz studied the ice-polished rocks of his Alpine homeland, far outside the range of present-day glaciers. These studies led him to propose the concept of ice age. During this age, great sheets of ice existed in the areas that are now temperate areas.

Error Analysis:

1. Use of past perfect tense “had existed” is incorrect in this sentence because we use past perfect tense to denote the earlier event in presence of two past events. Past perfect tense establishes the time sequencing between the two past events. However, here we do not have two events that are related to each other in regards to the timing of their happening. The fact that the ice age existed does not depend on Agassiz’s studies. Also, the temperate areas exist in the present time. So there is no question of using past perfect tense in the sentence.

2. Use of “now” and “currently” together leads to redundancy error.

PoE:
(A) in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas: Incorrect for the reasons stated above.

(B) in which great ice sheets existed in what are now temperate areas: Correct. This choices use the correct verb tense – simple past.

(C) when great ice sheets existed where there were areas now temperate: Incorrect. This choice is awkward and non- precise.

(D) when great ice sheets had existed in current temperate areas: Incorrect.
i. This choice repeats the verb tense error of choice A.
ii. “Current” should actually be “currently”.

(E) when great ice sheets existed in areas now that are temperate: Incorrect. Placement of “now” is not correct.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

I am still confused with the past perfect explanation. The reason of why past perfect is required is because isn't the sentence saying that ice ages existed in areas that are now temperate? Meaning, the ice ages existed first (use of had) and now you have areas that are temperate?
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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30 Nov 2019, 16:21
GmatDisciple wrote:
Curly05 wrote:
His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside the range of present-day glaciers, led Louis Agassiz in 1837 to propose the concept of an age in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas.

(A) in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas

(B) in which great ice sheets existed in what are now temperate areas

(C) when great ice sheets existed where there were areas now temperate

(D) when great ice sheets had existed in current temperate areas

(E) when great ice sheets existed in areas now that are temperate

I initially eliminated C,D and E based on the "when" split considering it to be ambiguous. It could refer to either the year 1837 (if we ignore prepositional phrases) or the age.
However, I see some conflicting posts here on whether the usage of "when" is acceptable.

Expert Daagh's post seems to agree with my analysis
daagh wrote:
Here in the context, ‘when’ has a problem. It might mean that Louis proposed in 1837 when Ice sheets had existed. This twisted meaning renders the use of ‘When’ as inappropriate. Hence C, D, and E can be dumped even without proceeding further. The correct choice should be between A and B.; Of course, A is wrong because ‘now currently’ is redundancy. B is the correct choice.

While, egmat expert suggests that usage of "when" here is acceptable.
egmat wrote:
PS – Use of both “in what” and “when” is correct in the context of this sentence.

GMATNinja, could you please be the tie breaker and help clarify whether my approach was valid?

Sorry, I'm really late to the party! But in case it isn't too late to be helpful: I think Daagh and Krishna both have a point!

Generally, if you see "when" you'd ask yourself if it's referring to a time period. Here it does. This is Krishna's point.

But, of course, any sentence with an illogical meaning will be incorrect, even if "when" is technically referring to a time. This is Daagh's point, not that "when" is inherently wrong here. It might help to clarify why (C), (D), and (E) are illogical.

Quote:
His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside the range of present-day glaciers, led Louis Agassiz in 1837 to propose the concept of an age...

(C) when great ice sheets existed where there were areas now temperate

This construction is illogical. The ice sheets existed where there were areas, but not in the areas themselves? And the phrase, "were areas now" makes no sense - "were" suggests past tense and "now" suggests present. (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) when great ice sheets had existed in current temperate areas

There's another logical problem here involving tense. "When" indicates two actions happening at the same time. For example:

"Tim took a shower when his children were fighting over the dog bone."

Here, the actions "took a shower" and "were fighting" happened at the same time. But "had" suggests that one action happened before another in the past. If we wrote, "Tim took a shower when his children had been fighting over the dog bone..." the sentence conveys that Tim showered at the same time that his children were no longer fighting. This is confusing.

In (D), the phrase, "when great ice sheets had existed" is muddled in the same way: "when" seems to tell us that the sheets existed during the age, but "had" seems to tell us that the sheets were already gone. It makes far more sense to write that the sheets existed during the age, so we don't want "had" here. (D) is out.

Quote:
(E) when great ice sheets existed in areas now that are temperate

This is a mess. The phrase "ice sheets existed in areas now," again, gives us contradictory time frames: "existed" suggests past and "now" suggests present. Notice that in the OA, "existed" and "now" are in different clauses, logically conveying that the sheets existed in the past, and that the areas are temperate now.

I hope that helps!
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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25 May 2020, 13:14
Curly05 wrote:
His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside the range of present-day glaciers, led Louis Agassiz in 1837 to propose the concept of an age in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas.

(A) in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas

(B) in which great ice sheets existed in what are now temperate areas

(C) when great ice sheets existed where there were areas now temperate

(D) when great ice sheets had existed in current temperate areas

(E) when great ice sheets existed in areas now that are temperate

A) "now" and "currently" are redundant, "had existed" is not necesary given the ice sheets still "existed" in the past, speaking from today
B) correct
C) "where" and "there" are redundant
D) "had existed" is not necessary, and "in current temperate areas" illogically indicate the ice sheets exist today.
E) "in areas now" indicate the ice sheet exist today. The asnwer could be better to be changed to "in areas that are now temperate"
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside  [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2020, 03:52
His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside the range of present-day glaciers, led Louis Agassiz in 1837 to propose the concept of an age in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas.

Age in which AND age when both are fine in this sentence.

(A) in which great ice sheets had existed in now currently temperate areas
Had existed is not correct in this sentence since the two events that are sequenced are not related.

(B) in which great ice sheets existed in what are now temperate areas
This is the correct choice.

(C) when great ice sheets existed where there were areas now temperate
Where there were areas – changes the meaning of the sentence.
led Louis Agassiz in 1837 to propose the concept of an age when great ice sheets existed - may mean that ice sheets existed in 1837 when the concept was proposed.

(D) when great ice sheets had existed in current temperate areas
The use of had is incorrect in this sentence.

(E) when great ice sheets existed in areas now that are temperate
Are now that are temperate should be area that are now temperate.
led Louis Agassiz in 1837 to propose the concept of an age when great ice sheets existed - may mean that ice sheets existed in 1837 when the concept was proposed.
Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside   [#permalink] 30 Jun 2020, 03:52

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