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# In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to

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In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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11 Feb 2008, 07:48
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In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to create a dictionary more comprehensive than the world had ever seen; although the project would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been born.

(A) would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been
(B) took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
(C) would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was being
(D) would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
(E) took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was about to be
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by nguyendinhtuong on 12 Jun 2017, 22:34, edited 2 times in total.
Reformatted question
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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13 Feb 2008, 14:26
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Between B and D. I think it is D.

1860 the Philological Society launched its effort || the Oxford English Dictionary was born - past indefinite.
(before 1860) the world had ever seen - past perfect
(after 1860) the project would take more than 60 years to complete - future in the past
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2008, 00:31
A: would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been [Why need to have past perfect tense – eliminate it]
B: took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was [ Both verbs in simple past, it is difficult to identify which action completed first – eliminate it]
C: would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was being [Why to have past progressive form – eliminate it]
D: would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was [Hold it]

E: took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was about to be [Difficult to identify the action – eliminate it]

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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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27 Apr 2008, 18:09
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Fistail wrote:
In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to create a dictionary more comprehensive than the world had ever seen; although the project would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been born.

A. would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been
B. took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
C. would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was being
D. would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
E. took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was about to be

D is my take.

I eliminated B and E because of the use of "took" changes the meaning of the sentence. We have three events here. We are talking about the effort of creating the dictionary, and we need "would" to convey the estimated and uncertain timing of the creation of dictionary.

C is out because of "being"
A is not correct either. The meaning of "had been" suggests that the dictionary was continuously born until the time of its creation.
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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27 Apr 2008, 18:47
fresinha12 wrote:
i dont get why B would be wrong?

i mean..it saying the project took 60 years to comple..and as a result the Oxford Dictionary was born..? whats wrong with that?

I believe the intended meaning here is estimation of project length at the time when the effort was launched. This means "would" is correct usage for uncertainty.
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2008, 03:55
[quote="marshpa"]In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to create a dictionary more comprehensive than the world had ever seen; although the project would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been born.
A would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been
B took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was - the project completed and after which the dictionary was born - makes sense
C would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was being
D would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
E took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was about to be[ Just weird/quote]
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2008, 14:34
I am with B.

Edit : I am wrong... removing rest of the reasoning to avoid misleading.

Very good explanation on this in Manhattan site.
http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/in- ... -t421.html

Last edited by vishy007 on 03 Jun 2008, 07:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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14 Oct 2010, 07:55
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@ phoenixrulzz: You will use would in the following instances.

When the main verb of the sentence is in past tense, and whey you want to express something that will be happening thereafter in the future, you will use the past tense of will i.e. would

E.g. I knew well even before the test that I would not make the grade.

Tom realized much later that going to the pub with Dick and Harry would cost him a fortune

But would also can be used to mark some polite plea such as

Would you mind getting me a glass of water!
Would you please give me a loan on my house!
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2010, 11:22
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@daagh, That's a great explanation! We use "would" to describe the future from a past tense point of view, which is the situation we have in this question. This usage isn't super common, but it's definitely good to know and is fair game for testing on the GMAT.

Another situation in which you'd see the "would" construction is with abstract hypothetical situations:

If the two companies merged, the resulting corporation would be unstoppable.
If I were rich, I would buy a house in the Bahamas.

In these types of conditional statements, the condition (or "if" statement) will be in the past tense and the result will have "would + verb root".
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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25 Nov 2010, 11:05
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To understand the logic behind this question, let us travel back to 1860 and view the events from thereon. In 1860, the project did not take sixty years; rather it was just launched and would take another sixty years to complete thenceforth. Secondly in 1860, the Dictionary was born and not had been born nor was about to be born.

D conveys both perspectives rightly and is the answer
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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25 Jan 2011, 14:40
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great explanation about the "took"/"would take" split daagh.

Another quick clue--the launch of the PS's effort *was* the birth of the OED, so those two tenses should match up. "Had been" is in the past perfect, and would imply that the birth happened *before* the other specified past event (the launch).

Sometimes if I have a question about whether to use a perfect tense or not, I do a quick sketch of the events in a timeline. Any event in the same "slot" along that timeline should have matching tenses.

[pre-1860 ]---------------[1860]---------------[post-1860]

[other dictionaries: "the world had ever seen"]-----[PS Launched effort/OED born]-----[project completed]
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2011, 10:31
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To understand this question in its right perspective, let us put ourselves in 1860 and look ahead from then on.

In 1860, the project was just launched and certainly it had not taken 60 years nor took 60 years at the point. It would be taking a further 60 years to complete. Hence ‘took’ is wrong and ‘would take’ is right
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2011, 17:28
Quote:
In 1860, the project was just launched and certainly it had not taken 60 years nor took 60 years at the point. It would be taking a further 60 years to complete. Hence ‘took’ is wrong and ‘would take’ is right

I agree with you till this point - It would take 60 years to complete but why do we have "Oxford was born".

Current scenario - In 2011 Jan I embarked on mission MBA; Although it would take 1 year to complete, GMAT score was born.

After 10 years - In 2011 I embarked on mission MBA; Although it would take 1 year to complete, GMAT score was born.

OR

After 10 years - In 2011 I embarked on mission MBA; Although it took 1 year to complete, GMAT score was born.

Tough one guys.
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2011, 10:06
Fistail wrote:
In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to create a dictionary more comprehensive than the world had ever seen; although the project would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been born.

A. would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been
B. took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
C. would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was being
D. would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
E. took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was about to be

"would" signifies uncertainty, so we keep "would" in answer choices.
Hence (B) and (E) are out.

(A) "Oxford English Dictionary" was born after the effort was launched. So "had been" is incorrect.
(C) "Oxford English Dictionary" was born after the effort was launched. So "was being" is incorrect.

(D) remains and is the answer.
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2011, 22:39
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From the sentence here is the chronology of events:

1) 1860, the Philological Society launches effort to create a dictionary : At this time the Society didn't know how long would it take to complete the project.
2) It takes 60 years for the project to complete. Oxford dictionary is born in 1920.

From the intended point of view, we need a conditional to represent the first event(start of project) and simple past to represent the second event(birth of Dictionary).

Hence D is the strongest choice.

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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2011, 04:32
GMATD11 wrote:
In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to create a dictionary more comprehensive than the world had ever seen; although the project would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been born.
1) would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been
2) took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
3) would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was being
4) would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
5) took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was about to be

I marked 5)

I want to discuss the sentence structure, "the Oxford English Dictionary was born" plays what is the sequence of events here

In this, the highlighted point is birth of Oxford dictionary.
To show the contrast between efforts used and birth of Oxford dictionary, the word "although" is used.
Here, the speaker is speaking in the past. i.e., in 1860. So, "would" is needed.
And the birth of Oxford dictionary was in 1860, we can consider the period of 60 years as the growth.
So the dictionary "was born" in 1860.

So, logically the answer should be D or 4.
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2011, 19:19
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Ajay369 wrote:
I'll go for "B" but I understand OA is D.

Can someone highlight that why "would" is needed, as mentioned in D?

Cheers,
Aj.

This is one of those SC problems, which are difficult to explain. Here is another one

san-franciscans-of-the-1890s-mocked-the-claim-that-declared-los-angeles-a-world-city-101974.html

Check out the discussion for better understanding.

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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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01 Dec 2011, 01:53
Fistail wrote:
In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to create a dictionary more comprehensive than the world had ever seen; although the project would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been born.

A. would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been
B. took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
C. would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was being
D. would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
E. took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was about to be

i think B would be the answer if 'had been' were used instead of 'was'. birth of dictionary and 60 years of completion work can not happen simultaneously.

choice D correctly uses 'was' since 'would take' is not simple past tense and hence there is no need to use 'had been' (this is the reason why choice A is not correct)
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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01 Dec 2011, 03:25
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D is more correct tense. Clause with although will go with "would take", another go with "was". "had been" is wrong tense and change the chronological sentences.
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to [#permalink]

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30 Dec 2011, 10:02
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In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to create a dictionary more comprehensive than the world had ever seen; although the project would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been born.
would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been
took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was being
would take more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was
took more than 60 years to complete, the Oxford English Dictionary was about to be
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Last edited by nguyendinhtuong on 12 Jun 2017, 22:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to   [#permalink] 30 Dec 2011, 10:02

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