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Difficulty: 655-705 Level,   Modifiers,   Verb Tense/Form,                     
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside [#permalink]
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Are you asking because there are two verbs? [led and (had)existed] You might be thinking that one event preceded the other. If so, be careful about linking the two, as they are used quite differently here.

The subject of "led" is "his studies." The subject of "existed" is "ice sheets." Not only that, but the two verbs are found in different clauses of the sentence. The main sentence includes the main verb "led": His studies ... led Louis Agasiz ...to propose the concept. "The concept" is the object of the main clause. We find "existed" deep within a modifier of a modifier of the object. This structure alone implies that the ice sheets existed before Agasiz was led to propose the concept.

A rule of thumb is that if you can use the simple past and still convey the meaning accurately, you shouldn't need to use the past perfect tense.

It would be different if the ice sheets did two things, at different times. For example:
His Studies led Louis Agasiz to propose the concept of an age in which great ice sheets had existed in now temperate areas and melted gradually over the course of a thousand years.
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside [#permalink]
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"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.
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside [#permalink]
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kpadma 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


B is best

C,D,E change the meaning of the sentence..

it suggests that the proposal was made "when" the great ice sheets existed..thats incorrect

A .... now ..currently ...using the two together is redundant

B is best

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Dear Friends,

Here is a detailed explanation to this question-
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



Concepts tested here: Tenses + Modifiers + Awkwardness/Redundancy

• The simple present tense is used to indicate actions taking place in the current time frame, indicate habitual actions, state universal truths, and convey information that is permanent in nature.
• The simple past tense is used to refer to events that concluded in the past.
• The past perfect tense (marked by the use of helping verb "had") is used when a sentence contains two actions in the past; the helping verb "had" is used with the action in the "greater past".
• "when" is only used to refer to a point in time.
• An adjective can only modify a noun; it cannot modify another adjective; to modify an adjective, an adverb must be used; generally, adjective+ly leads to an adverb.

A: This answer choice incorrectly uses the past perfect tense verb "had existed" to refer to a singular action that concluded in the past; please remember, the simple past tense is used to refer to events that concluded in the past, and the past perfect tense (marked by the use of helping verb "had") is used when a sentence contains two actions in the past; the helping verb "had" is used with the action in the "greater past". Further, Option A uses the redundant phrase "now currently", rendering it awkward and needlessly wordy; this usage is redundant, as both "now" and "currently" convey the same information.

B: Correct. This answer choice correctly uses the simple past tense verb "existed" to refer to an event that concluded in the past. Moreover, Option B correctly uses the simple present tense verb "are" to refer to an action taking place in the current time frame. Further, Option B correctly refers to the noun "era" with the modifier "in which". Additionally, Option B avoids the adjective error seen in option D, as it uses the phrase "what are now temperate areas" rather than modifying "temperate". Besides, Option B is free of any awkwardness or redundancy.

C: This answer choice incorrectly uses the simple past tense verb "were" to refer to an action taking place in the current time frame; please remember, the simple present tense is used to refer to actions taking place in the current time frame, and the simple past tense is only used to refer to events that concluded in the past. Further, Option C incorrectly uses "when" to refer to the noun "era"; please remember, "when" is only used to refer to a point in time, and an "era" is a span of time.

D: This answer choice incorrectly uses the past perfect tense verb "had existed" to refer to a singular action that concluded in the past; please remember, the simple past tense is used to refer to events that concluded in the past, and the past perfect tense (marked by the use of helping verb "had") is used when a sentence contains two actions in the past; the helping verb "had" is used with the action in the "greater past". Further, Option D incorrectly uses "when" to refer to the noun "era"; please remember, "when" is only used to refer to a point in time, and an "era" is a span of time. Additionally, Option D incorrectly uses an adjective "current" to modify the adjective "temperate"; please remember, an adjective can only modify a noun; it cannot modify another adjective; to modify an adjective, an adverb must be used; generally, adjective+ly leads to an adverb.

E: This answer choice incorrectly uses "when" to refer to the noun "era"; please remember, "when" is only used to refer to a point in time, and an "era" is a span of time. Further, Option E uses the needlessly indirect phrase "now that are temperate", leading to awkwardness.

Hence, B is the best answer choice.

To understand the concept of "Simple Tenses" on GMAT, you may want to watch the following video (~1 minute):



To understand the concept of "Past Perfect Tense" on GMAT, you may want to watch the following video (~2 minutes):



All the best!
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside [#permalink]
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I go with B on this one
A) now/currently is redundant
C) if you are talking about something "now temperate", the present tense "are" is needed. "were" is wrong
D) this is illogical. It is as though those ice sheets existed, but ceased to exist in the temperate areas of today.
E) syntax error. Adjective "now" should immediately precede "temperate" because it should be used in conjonction with "temperate" in order to describe the noun "areas"
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside [#permalink]
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mbamantra 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


1. "when" is incorrect because it suggests that Louis proposed the concept when great ice sheets had existed. This completely changes the original meaning.

2. "in which" correctly explains what that age was like.

3. "now currently" is incorrect...either use now or currently...using both of them is redundant usage.

That only leaves us Choice B and IMO, its the best answer
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside [#permalink]
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OA is B.

When "age" means some period, use of pronoun reference "in which" is correct. But referring to particular age i.e. at age 18, "when" is correct.
Ex: I was 18 when I met my consort. - referring to particular time
We are living in an age in which art galleries are more popular than theme parks. -- referring to a period

So, I eliminated to A and B and went with A. I assumed that "led" is in past form so must be preceded by exist (past verb). botirvoy and icandy are correct. "In which" starts new clause here so any clause after pronoun reference creates new fragment and, thus, jeopardizes the chronology, if any. B is correctly using "existed" as standalone past action.

Thank you
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside [#permalink]
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His Studies of ice-polished rocks in his alpine homeland, far outside the range of present day glaciers, led Louis Agasiz 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 sheers existed in areas now that are temperate

Hey guys, can someone explain to me why the verb form here should be simple past "existed" rather than the past perfect "had existed".

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

please answer by below query:

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: the present Temperate areas had great ice sheets, acc. to studies done by LA


Error Analysis : past perfect is to be used when two related past events are there. Not seen in this case

POE: was not able to do completely.


I somehow got the answer, but i was not able to confidently apply three step process..pls help
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside [#permalink]
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shreys9 wrote:
Hi Shraddha,

please answer by below query:

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: the present Temperate areas had great ice sheets, acc. to studies done by LA


Error Analysis : past perfect is to be used when two related past events are there. Not seen in this case

POE: was not able to do completely.


I somehow got the answer, but i was not able to confidently apply three step process..pls help



Hi Shrey,

The complete solution to this question has already been presented by Shraddha. You can find it in the previous page of this thread.
For your convenience, this is the link to that post.
https://gmatclub.com/forum/his-studies-of-ice-polished-rocks-in-his-alpine-home-land-1363-100.html#p1083257

Hope this helps! :)

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

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.



It is very important to understand the meaning of this sentence in order to ascertain whether we need past perfect tense in this sentence or not. In 1837, Louis Agassiz proposed the concept of an age in which great ice sheets existed in those areas that are now temperate areas. His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine homeland, far outside the range of present-day glaciers led Agassiz to make this proposal.



We use past perfect tense to establish sequencing, that is to show out of two events in the past, which event took place earlier and which took place later. It is true that there are two events in this sentence and both took place in the past – “led” and “had existed”.
However when we use past perfect tense, we must keep in mind that in order to establish sequencing between the two events, they must be related. There should be some bearing of one event on the other.
In this sentence, Agassiz proposed the concept of ice age in 1837. And this age actually existed long time ago. However, what we must may heed is that even if Agassiz did not propose the concept of ice age, the fact does not change that ice age still existed. It is not that because Agassiz proposed the concept of ice age, that age came into being. Hence, existence of ice age has no bearing on the proposal of the concept. Hence, we have two independent actions here between which sequencing is just not required.

Error Analysis:
1. Since existence of ice age is a universal fact and did not depend upon the proposal of its concept, use of “had existed” is incorrect. We need simple past tense here.
2. In the presence of “now” already, “currently” is redundant.

POE:

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

Choice B: in which great ice sheets existed in what are now temperate areas: Correct. Simple past tense establishes the fact that ice age did exist.

Choice C: when great ice sheets existed where there were areas now temperate: Incorrect. The temperate areas are still there. Using past tense “were” is incorrect.

Choice D: when great ice sheets had existed in current temperate areas: Incorrect. Same verb tense error as in Choice A.

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”.

PS – Use of both “in what” and “when” is correct in the context of this sentence.



1. Use past perfect tense only to establish sequencing between two related events.
2. Avoid redundancy in answer choices.
3. Be wary of the changes in the word that appear in the original sentence. These changes may lead to change in the meaning.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
Shraddha


Hi Shraddha,
Here after 'age', don't you think 'when' is a better usage rather than 'in which' as 'age' indicates a time period in this question I think and when it's time 'when' suits better than anything else...
So the reason we select B over other choices is because rest of the options have other major errors. Right?

Look forward to hearing from you.

P.S: I actually chose E as B appeared to me as verbose :-(
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside [#permalink]
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.

Analysis:

Meaning: Studies of Louis Agasiz on ice polished rocks led him to propose the concept of an age in which great ice sheets once existed but that areas are now temperate.

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

The subject 'studies' have the verb 'led' and 'far outside the range of present-day glaciers' is modifying 'homeland'
In clause 4 - Great ice sheets have verb 'had existed'

Now the five answer choices:

(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

Shouldn't the correct choice contains past perfect tense to disinguish between the events:
1. Studies led him to propose a concept and
2. Great ice sheets existed

the correct answer choice a per the solution is B.

since both these events are in the past, perfect tense should be used.
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Re: His studies of ice-polished rocks in his Alpine home land, far outside [#permalink]
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ankit41 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.

Analysis:

Meaning: Studies of Louis Agasiz on ice polished rocks led him to propose the concept of an age in which great ice sheets once existed but that areas are now temperate.

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

The subject 'studies' have the verb 'led' and 'far outside the range of present-day glaciers' is modifying 'homeland'
In clause 4 - Great ice sheets have verb 'had existed'

Now the five answer choices:

(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

Shouldn't the correct choice contains past perfect tense to disinguish between the events:
1. Studies led him to propose a concept and
2. Great ice sheets existed

the correct answer choice a per the solution is B.

since both these events are in the past, perfect tense should be used.


Hi Ankit,

A query similar to yours has already been addressed in the following post.

his-studies-of-ice-polished-rocks-in-his-alpine-home-land-1363-100.html#p1083257

Hope this helps :)

Regards,
Krishna
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Expert Reply
bagdbmba wrote:
egmat wrote:

PS – Use of both “in what” and “when” is correct in the context of this sentence.


Hi Shraddha,
Here after 'age', don't you think 'when' is a better usage rather than 'in which' as 'age' indicates a time period in this question I think and when it's time 'when' suits better than anything else...
So the reason we select B over other choices is because rest of the options have other major errors. Right?

Look forward to hearing from you.

P.S: I actually chose E as B appeared to me as verbose :-(



Hi bagdbmba,

Firstly, there was a typo in the original post.

The correct sentence is Use of both “in which” and “when” is correct in the context of this sentence.

It is also mentioned in the Official explanation for this sentence that both of them can be used interchangeably in this sentence.

So both "in which" and "when" are equally good in this sentence and there is no error with their usage.

The errors in the incorrect options were already pointed out in the previous explanation.

Hope this helps. :)

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

It's either B or E. Is it due to idioms( in which vs. when) or since the age is in the past; it is unlikely that the great ice sheets existed in areas now. I know diction is important on GMAT. In ( now) temperate areas , does now function as an adjective?

Victor




I have doubt regarding tense usage in the question.

My meaning analysis of the sentence is :-

1.Studies conducted by Louis in his homeland led him to propose in 1837 a concept of an age .
2.In this age great ice sheets existed in area that are now temperate area.

POE done in original sentence:-

1. I don't see error in tense usage , but due to redundancy now / currently.Option A is wrong.

How do I work on the tense and see no error:
1. As per my understanding of egmat course on tense :

-On the timeline , studies are done in the past , in 1837 ( past time ) Louis proposes the concept of an age.
- In this age ice sheets existed in areas.

Usage of past perfect tense as per me is Ok because :-

1. That age has now ceased to exist . so if we use simple past existed it would not convey the meaning.

1. Also I want clarity on the usage of ín which 'and 'when'

My current understanding is : Use 'When 'to refer time /time period.

Expert opinion would be great on each answer choice.
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purnima 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

It's either B or E. Is it due to idioms( in which vs. when) or since the age is in the past; it is unlikely that the great ice sheets existed in areas now. I know diction is important on GMAT. In ( now) temperate areas , does now function as an adjective?

Victor




I have doubt regarding tense usage in the question.

My meaning analysis of the sentence is :-

1.Studies conducted by Louis in his homeland led him to propose in 1837 a concept of an age .
2.In this age great ice sheets existed in area that are now temperate area.

POE done in original sentence:-

1. I don't see error in tense usage , but due to redundancy now / currently.Option A is wrong.

How do I work on the tense and see no error:
1. As per my understanding of egmat course on tense :

-On the timeline , studies are done in the past , in 1837 ( past time ) Louis proposes the concept of an age.
- In this age ice sheets existed in areas.

Usage of past perfect tense as per me is Ok because :-

1. That age has now ceased to exist . so if we use simple past existed it would not convey the meaning.

1. Also I want clarity on the usage of ín which 'and 'when'

My current understanding is : Use 'When 'to refer time /time period.

Expert opinion would be great on each answer choice.


Dear Purnima,
Thank you for your query. :)
Now as mentioned by Shraddha in her post, the use of the Past Perfect Tense is not appropriate in choice A.

As pointed out by Shraddha as well, we use the past perfect tense to establish or emphasize sequencing, that is to show which event took place earlier and which took place later. And mind you, these two events have to have a direct bearing on each other. For example:

• By the time I reached the theater, my friend had left from there.

In the above sentence, my friend left before I reached. I need to stress this sequencing as both the actions are related in terms of the direct impact the earlier action has on the latter . Because of my friends’ leaving earlier and my reaching later, it can be understood that we could not meet. However, does it make sense to use the Past Perfect tense when I say the following:

• Emily found out in 2001 that India had gotten its independence in the year 1947.

Now, arguably India’s independence happened before Emily found out about the same. But do the two events have a direct bearing on each other? Nope! Emily could have found out that fact about India’s history some other time as well, say in 1995. Does the timing of India’s independence and the timing of Emily’s finding out have a direct bearing on each other? No, they don’t! Do you need to emphasize or clarify the sequence of events here? No, you don’t!

Now, in the sentence at hand, it is true that there are two events that are set in different time-periods in the past. But my questions remain the same : Do we need to emphasize or clarify the timing of these events in terms of which event happened earlier and which happened later? Does the timing of the first event have a direct bearing on the second event?

As regards the following analysis by you:

That age has now ceased to exist . so if we use simple past existed it would not convey the meaning.

Why wouldn’t simple-past convey the meaning that the ice-age doesn’t exist anymore? What is the meaning when one says the following:

• We all boast of an era in which calm and peace existed among the various sects of the religion.

Now from the above sentence, is it not clear that the same calm and peace ceased to exist after that era?

Moving on, as mentioned by Krishna above, both “when” and “in which” can be used to modify time elements. However, if you observe, typically “in which” is used to modify longer periods of time, whereas “when” is used for relatively shorter time periods. Accordingly, you’ll see nouns such as “age” and “era” are normally modified by “in which”.

As regards posting analysis for each and every choice, Shraddha has already posted a detailed reply above. Please have a look at the same. In case you still have some questions, please feel free to post them here. However, when you do so, please make sure that you post your analysis of the various choices along with the same. We’ll take our discussion forward from there. :)

Regards,
Neeti.
GMAT Club Bot
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