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If the first peoples in the Americas arrived more than 15,000 years

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If the first peoples in the Americas arrived more than 15,000 years  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2018, 18:42
1
9
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  95% (hard)

Question Stats:

39% (01:43) correct 61% (01:53) wrong based on 246 sessions

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If the first peoples in the Americas arrived more than 15,000 years ago, they would have had to have traversed thousands of miles of ice fields, yet those who argue that such a journey would have been impossible and thus that the first peopling of the Americas happened much later have had to account for the presence of artifacts indicating that the Americas were inhabited over 15,000 years ago.


A. would have had to have traversed thousands of miles of ice fields, yet those who argue that such a journey would have been impossible and thus that the first peopling of the Americas happened much later have had to

B. would have to traverse thousands of miles of ice fields, yet those who argue against this impossible journey and thus claim that the first people came to America much later have to

C. had to traverse thousands of miles of ice fields, but those who argue that this was an impossible journey and thus that the first peopling of the Americas happened much later have had to

D. had to have traversed thousands of miles of ice fields, but those who argue that this would have been an impossible journey, the first peoples thus coming to America much later, must

E. would have had to have had traversed thousands of miles of ice fields, yet those who argue that such a journey would have been an impossibility and thus the first people had come to America much later, have had to

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Re: If the first peoples in the Americas arrived more than 15,000 years  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2018, 18:57
+1 for E

This is a nightmare question to me as I struggle with verb tense.

My reasoning:
As we are predicting something which happened in the past we need 'would' here.
Between A and E
In E, the second clause 'people had come' is correct as that happened in the past. Hence, E

Please help me understand how to tackle this one sudarshan22 workout

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Re: If the first peoples in the Americas arrived more than 15,000 years  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2018, 22:27
1
Akash720 wrote:
+1 for E

This is a nightmare question to me as I struggle with verb tense.

My reasoning:
As we are predicting something which happened in the past we need 'would' here.
Between A and E
In E, the second clause 'people had come' is correct as that happened in the past. Hence, E

Please help me understand how to tackle this one sudarshan22 workout

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Akash720

I agree with your reasoning to eliminate options B, C and D. However, I eliminate option E for the usage of two "had" to represent the same event.

"would have had to have had traversed thousands of miles of ice fields"

I will chose option A.
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If the first peoples in the Americas arrived more than 15,000 years  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2018, 04:26
2
Some theory first:

If then conditional and verb tenses:


would is necessary since we are talking about a hypothetical case in the simple past tense. We're talking about an unlikely event.
Refer to image from e-GMAT below:
Image

Eliminate C and D.


If the first peoples in the Americas arrived more than 15,000 years ago, they would have had to have traversed thousands of miles of ice fields, yet those who argue that such a journey would have been impossible and thus that the first peopling of the Americas happened much later have had to account for the presence of artifacts indicating that the Americas were inhabited over 15,000 years ago.

A. would have had to have traversed thousands of miles of ice fields, yet those who argue that such a journey would have been impossible and thus that the first peopling of the Americas happened much later have had to
^Nice and parallel

B. would have to traverse thousands of miles of ice fields, yet those who argue against this impossible journey and thus claim that the first people came to America much later have to
would have to implies --> in future people will do this. eliminate.

C. had to traverse thousands of miles of ice fields, but those who argue that this was an impossible journey and thus that the first peopling of the Americas happened much later have had to

D. had to have traversed thousands of miles of ice fields, but those who argue that this would have been an impossible journey, the first peoples thus coming to America much later, must

E. would have had to have had traversed thousands of miles of ice fields, yet those who argue that such a journey would have been an impossibility and thus the first people had come to America much later, have had to
argue that ... thus the first is not parallel (unlike choice A)
would have had to have had is just too awkward and wordy
eliminate.

Left with A.
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Re: If the first peoples in the Americas arrived more than 15,000 years  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2018, 21:16

Official Explanation


A question about the first peoples in the Americas.

Split #1: verb tense, beginning of underlining

The sentence begins with a past hypothetical possibility, and then, the verb at the beginning of the underlining has to be a verb that is similarly hypothetical but happened earlier than the action of the “if” clause.

Choice (A): “they would have had to have traversed” = hypothetical & earlier

Choice (B): “they would have to traverse”= hypothetical, but present/future = incorrect

Choice (C): “they had to traverse” = factual and simple past = incorrect

Choice (D): “they had to have traversed” = factual past perfect = incorrect

Choice (E): “they would have had to have had traversed” = iffy: the past perfect infinitive is extremely rare and unneeded after the main verb = incorrect.

Split #2: verb tense, end of underlining

Here, the difference is whether the obligation to account for something is itself in the present or the past. Context does not make clear which, so either is fine. All five choices are correct here.

Split #3: verb tense, part three

Choice (E) has an odd tense pairing: the journey “would have been” (hypothetical past) impossible, and thus first people “had come” (past perfect) much later (??). If that later action is “much later,” why is it in the past perfect, which emphasizes that it was earlier. This is a tense mismatch. Choice (E) is incorrect.

Split #4: pronoun

The beginning of the underlining talking about the people journeying across all the ice, an action given by a verb. We cannot use a pronoun to refer to the action of a verb. We have to refer to this by saying something such as “such a journey,” as in (A) & (E). Choices (C) & (D) use the pronoun “this” to refer to the action of the previous clause: a clear pronoun mistake. Choices (C) & (D) are incorrect.

Split #5: logic

In choice (B), the phrasing “those who argue against this impossible journey” is quite odd. It’s one thing to argue that the journey was impossible—such seems the opinion of some scholars. But the phrasing here seems to assume that we already know that the journey is impossible, and the opinion expressed is that one shouldn’t try this thing known to be impossible—really great advice here: don’t do anything impossible! Furthermore, the sentence here shouldn’t simply assume that the journey is impossible, since the first part of the sentence discusses the possibility of this journey. There are layers of logical problems here. Choice (B) is incorrect.

The only possible choice is (A).
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Re: If the first peoples in the Americas arrived more than 15,000 years  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2018, 05:46
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If the first peoples in the Americas arrived more than 15,000 years ago, they would have had to have traversed thousands of miles of ice fields, yet those who argue that such a journey would have been impossible and thus that the first peopling of the Americas happened much later have had to account for the presence of artifacts indicating that the Americas were inhabited over 15,000 years ago.


A. would have had to have traversed thousands of miles of ice fields, yet those who argue that such a journey would have been impossible and thus that the first peopling of the Americas happened much later have had to

B. would have to traverse thousands of miles of ice fields, yet those who argue against this impossible journey and thus claim that the first people came to America much later have to

C. had to traverse thousands of miles of ice fields, but those who argue that this was an impossible journey and thus that the first peopling of the Americas happened much later have had to

D. had to have traversed thousands of miles of ice fields, but those who argue that this would have been an impossible journey, the first peoples thus coming to America much later, must

E. would have had to have had traversed thousands of miles of ice fields, yet those who argue that such a journey would have been an impossibility and thus the first people had come to America much later, have had to

In the event of getting such an unnerving maze of verb tensing and if you think it is too much to bear on the D - day within those seconds that are available to you, the most important thing is not to panic but try this quick fix.

The non-underlined part mentions as 'the first peoples' and this should be followed steadfastly in the choices. Eliminate B and E for using 'the first people" We are now sufficiently aware that the demonstrative 'this' cannot stand alone in formal writing. Dump C and D. A only remains and is the correct one.

The other alternative is to undergo the rigmarole of verifying the correctness of the verb tense forms in the 'conditionals,' or why B is still wrong in the given context in spite of using the subjunctive "would" and so on.

Disclaimer; This quick fix is only the proverbial last straw and an intuitive process rather than rational decision making.

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Re: If the first peoples in the Americas arrived more than 15,000 years  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2018, 11:41
How i approach this question in 1 min 34 secs
If (conditional) arrived (past tense) then it means "then" clause must include conditional "would" + have had
So i ruled out B, C and D
E is wrong because it uses "would have had to have had" and "an impossibility"
Moreover "such a journey" is necessary because it refer back to "thousand of miles of ice fields"
A is the right option
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Re: If the first peoples in the Americas arrived more than 15,000 years &nbs [#permalink] 26 Sep 2018, 11:41
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If the first peoples in the Americas arrived more than 15,000 years

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